This game is known for making people bawl their eyes out.
Begins with in a world where neither you nor a god would exist…. But the 12 years old MC Nadeshiko attends a School with only talented rich kids. She lives kind of secluded and isn’t really interested in mingling with her classmates, though she actually feels Lonely alone in the house with her working father. That’s probably why she and her best friend Riichirou together with four other kids get assigned to supplementary classes where they are to learn how to cooperate. At the same time she starts having weird dreams about a future world that lies in ruins, where she meets the grown up versions of her class mates. And she quickly realises that these world begin to intertwine, as a wound she got in the dream world stays in the real world and the figures from the dream start appearing at her school…
In the common route, that took me around 13 hours you have to get to know all the characters and have to do assignments and then walk home with the guy whose route you’re interested in. That means, you have to play the common route for every character again and do the assignments again.
I hope I don’t spoil too much, but its kind of obvious form the trailer, that in the common route, that took me 13 hours the first time, you “romance” the kids and in the character route you romance the grown up version, who might or might not differ from the impression you had from the kid.
I’ll go through the characters in the order I would personally recommend to play them, though this differs from official guides.
Riichirou is Nadeshiko’s child hood friend. He’s a tsundere, not honest, but Nadeshiko understands him they are very close. Though proactivity is not in his dictionary, yet he is in the tea club out of responsibility. He slowly grows envious of the new kid spending so much time with Nadeshiko and secretly is a cry baby.
In his childhood route you have many events about your childhood together, and likewise in his grown up route. I think I liked his child hood version better, as he was such a cute tsundere, but his grown up version has grown soft a bit.
Shuuya sleeps a lot, often is absent minded, loves to read and works a a part-time model. He’s unintentionally funny, doesn’t have a clue nor common sense, like after they introduced themselves he would just call them by their hobby as he didn’t remember a single name! But then there are also moments, when he suddenly turns into a dictionary…
Though he is kind of a weirdo, he also turns out to be extremely sweet and one of the few characters who is interested in Nadeshiko from the beginning and actively woos her.
His route was one of the funniest routes due to his oblivious character and lack of common sense, but at the same time his route was very tragic and had an unusual conflict – even for this game’s standard.
Tora often gets into fights, sleeps at class, is kind of a rowdy, loves machines and video games. Though he always seems rude, he still can be nice or help Nadeshiko out. But he’s definitely a character with two faces, he can act extremely violently in one second and extremely gentle in the next.
And that makes him my favourite character, as you might guess, he’s unpredictable and hard to read, but really passionate in every respect.
And in his route the MC was at her best in my opinion. Instead of just waiting for her fate to happen she takes action herself and opposes everyone who doesn’t treat her properly.
Madoka unintentionally makes his classmate cry, because he’s too honest and gets into fights to protect his brother. These two seem to be in their own world and he always agrees with his brother. He doesn’t even has his own hobbies, as he solely defines over his brother.
And I was so annoyed with him in the common route! Because he always says “if my brother says so” and doesn’t seem to form an own opinion.
But of course this issue is already tackled in the childhood route.
In his grown up route on the other hand he seems like a completely different person and creeped me out so much – but i enjoy being creeped out – so his was actually my favourite route. He seems extremely cold, doesn’t care about Nadeshiko at all and still blindly follows orders…but that makes it very interesting to discover his true character and how he develops and grows. So he is a very close second favourite. And for that he gets my most sexy award, because not everyone likes Tora’s violence and his kiss scene was the best one in the game, as well as his after story was super cute!
After you’ve played Tora and Madoka, you can play his brother
Nakaba can’t adapt to his surrounding, can’t read the air. He loves to eat and cook, is an otaku and denpa(saying strange things), but tends to act before he thinks.
I was even more annoyed by him than Madoka, in the common route, and sadly that didn’t change in the character routes either. He’s like a nice prince character always friendly, with no dark truth what so ever. I think they added him in the ps vita version and I would argue, you kind of notice that, as his story doesn’t reveal much about the world.
Takato is the new kid in class. He’s open, curious and immediately wants to be friends with Nadeshiko and also joins the supplementary classes out of his free will. He actually already does research about clock zero(“stopping time”), what becomes the name of this group of friends.
And he somehow resembles the teacher who assigned the extra classes…
Takato is the poster boy and I definitely see why, but that doesn’t mean he is ordinary at all! Though he seems bright and sweet, especially his grown up version will be messed up and not too easy to deal with.
Voices: My favourite voices were
Madoka (Toriumi Kousuke鳥海 浩輔: Ichiya in Variable Barricade, Natora in Cendrillon palikA – another character with a deep bro con problem) At firs like in the other roles, his voice didn’t totally convince me, but after I played his route I totally grew accustomed to it and now like it very much in this role!
The other voices are:
Shuuya (Ishida Akira石田 彰: Kent in Amnesia, Kouta in Yonuhana Spring)
The CGs are alright, like in good moments, but somehow not all of them could convey feelings to me.
The music ok, but sadly not used well for tragic moments and often ends abruptly.
Overall I would say the art didn’t totally align with the flow of the game.
This game is definitely plot driven, but still manages somehow to have enough time for romantic scene. Though some love development seemed a bit rushed for me, most of them are well paced and relatable, like the characters have time to talk about their feelings, what they have in common, their fears and dreams, and that immensely helps to build up a relationship with them and relate to them falling in love.
She’s 12. And romances guys?
What is kind of confusing in that regard, is that the game is split into two – the childhood time, where you witness their cute interactions and see them grow close as a group of friends. That is suddenly interrupted by the transition into the future, when I wondered, why I had to romance the kids in the first place, when I kind of have to start all over again with the grown ups. What also brings me to the elephant in the room: She’s 12. And romances guys. I know this might seem deeply appalling to some of you, but on the one hand, I think 12 year olds are more mature than one might think, and more importantly on the other hand the game has an explanation why you don’t need to feel weird out by watching a 12 year old girl fall in love – trust me.
The tone of the game is a bit darker, but nothing really bad happens for the most parts, there are some deadly endings – and overall way too many endings . If you want to go for completion you will definitely need a guide- , but nothing is gory or really scary or anything. It’s a serious game, that deals with serious problems, and can even feel bitter sweet or hopeless at times, though the origin of many of these problems is due to science fiction inventions. They are not the main focus, but kind of are there and make the plot happen to begin with. The theories behind them are alright, not as bad as in Virche, but still physicists might flinch at some statements.
And its exactly This setting that also actually makes this game quite difficult for learners, I would even say its upper intermediate stage, because of a lot of scientific or complicated vocabulary.
But on the other hand this is one of the few games with an actual useful dictionary function, where they either explain Japanese idioms or scientific theories like schrodinger’s cat.
Another helpful feature for learners are the class assignments as they practically function as reading comprehension tests on diverse topics! I still don’t get the reason for these assignments but from a learning standpoint they were very useful.
There also are a few timed choices, that could be stressful for learner, but of course there is no shame in just causing the game or consulting a guide.
There are multiple versions of this game.
The PSP/PS2 can be called vanilla.
In the PS Vita Version Nakaba’s route was added and epilogues for every character (really cute!)
In the Switch version middle school scenarios have been added.
The game has a lovely “talking menu”, meaning the captured characters comment on the menu. There also are very cute CG commentaries and skip to CG option(no chapter jump though). And since the Vita version there are epilogues for the two main endings, that tell how their life continues or how they end up getting married.
There also is an ending list, but no love capture, so definitely guide needed! Speaking of endings: there are too main endings for each character, taking part in the respective timeline and a lot of sudden death or random endings.
I didn’t cry
Starting with the negative:
What I hated the most about this game, and I really mean it drove me crazy, was that you have to play the common route again and again and again. I don’t know, maybe it was just my guide that made me do this, but if it was intended by the developers, I’m not happy with that! It felt like a total slog, not fun at all, as you on top of that had many character scenes in between, so you couldn’t really do something else while waiting for the game to skip read and some scenes couldn’t be skipped at all. REALLY bad concept in my opinion.
But this has been improved upon in the Switch version, where you can also skip the assignments.
But apart from that, the game is well written, tells an interesting and capturing story about time travel and moral predicaments that come with it, without giving the science fiction elements too much attention, ans still managing a heavy plot with very romantic scenes. Each route felt very distinct from each other, as every character comes with his own perspective on the plot and most of them are interesting to get to know. And asks you to think about the gap between child and grown up, past and future and the meaning of identity. Some routes seemed more romantic to me than others, but I guess that boils down to personal taste and there were at least two routes with overbearing possessive characters, what I highly appreciate. I even went as far to compare Tora to Yang, what lead to a lively discussion on twitter, but you get my point.
But on the other hands some routes felt like not much did happen, but it was just about explaining how the world and time travel works.
So how much did I like the game?
People died – check, plot – check, romance – check; what was missing?
Though the plot and characters had the best prerequisites with scenario writers from Amnesia, Collar x Malice or Kimi Yuki, for some reason the art department couldn’t convince me, be it the CGs or the music. Especially the music plays a huge role for my emotional investment and i need the violins to kick in hard in tragic scenes to make me cry. So disappointingly I didn’t cry, but still acknowledge without a doubt that this game is not ported for countless times starting on the PS2 and PSP, to the PS Vita Switch and mobile, for no reason.
It tells a tragic story about love and loss and time.
“That was a helpful review!
To show my appreciation I’m gonna purchase it via Lin’s amazon link to support her!”