Azusa’s route is extremely, extremely abusive. One choice literally leads to him MURDERING HER.
What can I say? Don’t threaten me with a good time.
Honestly though, I feel like these sorts of routes require discussion. I may only be a gal behind a keyboard, and Lord knows I don’t want to be an authority on anything, but I believe I should at least acknowledge those sorts of characters on a site that has basically turned into an otoge reviewing site.
I’m going to be playing this blind. Which… won’t turn out well, I’m certain. Blind plays with me turn into “Pick the choice I would do” response, not “Pick the correct answer.” So if he is as abusive as I’ve read, and you’re supposed to be docile rather than not… Yeah. Bad/Default ending, ahoy!
In general, I like these sorts of “twisted” routes. The difference between my preferences and most otome preferences usually lies in the heroines. For a lot of those guys to basically get their way, the heroine is required to be a doormat. I generally prefer the twisted heroes when the heroines also have some equally vicious demons they’re battling. I am also okay if the games’ gimmick is essentially being as mindfuck as possible, because honestly, if you’re going to buy the game surely you know what kind of men you are dealing with.
This game is marketed like a Harry Potter-esque romance adventure, not a get-your-rocks-off-to-these-crazy-mofos game. In that aspect, I think I’m going to be even harsher than normal. I mean, if you get this game expecting light and fluffy and you get well, this dude…
Our heroine, whom I dubbed “Blarghette”, is the most pure of pure heroines. So check your buckles and let’s start this rollercoaster~
The game opens up with the heroine dreaming. The guy has her pressed against a wall and tells her how much he hates her and how she’s a hypocrite and a bunch of other things. Her dream (isn’t this technically a nightmare?) ends with her screaming STOP.
Ah, what a great way to start a romance.
*The buddy system is some sort of fated school buddy that’s supposed to have your back until you graduate. You know you’ve met your buddy when your emblem lights up or some shit. From that point on, you’re tied together… or something like that. Look, I thought it was a stupid detail so I didn’t pay much attention to the specifics. The entire point of it was to force your way into pairing up with guys who would otherwise have nothing to do with you.
The first time we meet our hero is when he saves us from the horribly monstrosity that is a baby bird. The heroine is naturally taken with him. His good looks, his tall height, his dark eyes, the fact he’s older…
It really pains me to read that sometimes. Really, the teenage years are probably the only time you will love a guy for the simple fact that he’s older. Because uhh, we mistakingly assume older is more mature, when in fact a lot of those manbabies are still manbabies ten years later.
So before the “big bad” comes out, you’re treated to several warning signs.
The girls basically are “zOMG so sexy get that dick, girl” but the men…
He comes across as really try hard to me too. And you will become sick of hearing about “Hinomoto” AKA Japan and how it’s just so much better than this country.
At the fourth chapter in mark literally every conversation with him has been about Hinomoto.
He also does really forward things and the heroine chalks it up to being from a different country. You know, that’s a standard trope in anime/manga (usually the other way around though, with an American or European foreigner) but the only thing that bothers me is you get a choice to tell him you’re uncomfortable with his advances, and he’s like “Oh well in my country it’s normal” and that’s that. He doesn’t acknowledge her feelings at all.
And Klaus tells you this.
All I can think of is how serial killers “practice” on animals before they kill humans.
What’s sad is that these are from different parts of the chapters, meaning that he says this to you literally every time you talk to each other.
So, for me, for basically every other romance-able lead in this game to have a sentence or two to talk about how much they don’t like or trust Azusa speaks volumes to me.
There’s a Love Challenge where you pick a hairstyle for a “date” with Azusa. I didn’t think to screenshot it because, well, you know, why would I do that? Hahaha. The preview for the “premium” wig, which is a Japanese Yamato Nadeshiko-style long black-haired wig, had the standard things like “Oh, you’re so beautiful. I want to make you my wife.” (Earlier he establishes that in Hinomoto everyone their age is already married) in the “preview” for the scene.
I am not coin grinding for premium scenes with this asshat. So I get the peasant’s route, a brown-haired updo, something the heroine could do with her current hair if this was at any point realistic.
He flat out tells her he doesn’t like it and she looks bad in it. LOL Okay, so I admit that made me laugh quite a bit because I wasn’t expecting it. It’s honest and mean, but I guess he gets points for making me laugh in a bad way.
Since you’re Azusa’s “Buddy”*, Klaus asks you to investigate Azusa and report to him any weird or odd things he says or does. That person that’s been practicing forbidden black magic on animals has a magical signature from another land and since Azusa is the resident exchange student/foreigner, the evidence is pretty strongly pointing to him. And by that I mean, IT’S OBVIOUS THAT HE’S THE ONE DOING IT.
In any case, our heroine is the only one too blinded by both her inability to see bad in a person and her love for Azusa to believe what everyone’s saying about him. She agrees to look after him, but to prove Klaus wrong. Klaus gives her an earring and in typical clueless heroine fashion, she touches her ear whenever possible, basically alerting everyone to “HEY LOOK AT THIS NEW EARRING ON MY EAR! I KNOW I ONLY HAVE ONE EARRING. IT’S UHH NEW STYLE.”
Azusa pretty much takes one look at her and knows what’s going on. Their relationship continues on, with him being pushy as ever (and he feels like a total sleezeball while doing it too) and basically declaring love for her over and over. Except it doesn’t feel genuine at all. There’s no real reason for them to love each other at this point. What have they done together? Walked each other to class a couple of times? Had lunch together a couple of times? Sure, he tries to kiss her/hold her whenever possible, but that’s not love so much as it’s a horny teenager, you know?
So the big part comes. The murder scene.
It starts off with Klaus wanting to meet MC at night for a report. He warns her, repeatedly, that Azusa is dangerous and she should stay away from him. She completely doesn’t believe him, of course. There is a choice to tell Klaus about your conversation with Azusa that afternoon before or not to tell him about the conversation. I chose to tell him. Yeah, yeah, snitches and stitches, but look man, if he’s practicing on animals then it’s only a moment in time before he starts practicing on humans. As an //ahem// adult, I’m going to look out for our little heroine.
The next morning Azusa goes to pick up MC to spend some time together. He takes her to the edge of a forbidden forest. MC is confused and asks why they’re not going to their usual spot.
And it happens.
I was honestly blindsided by this because I expected it to be farther into the story. So I had no mental preparation for this, I simply was going along with the heroine, la-di-da and B O O M
But I exited the app and went back in from the start so I could transcribe the chapter in question.
The next morning, I welcomed a much appreciated day off. (What should I do? Azusa promised he would come to pick me up…)
Amelia: “Hey, MC. Isn’t that Azusa out there?” She asked while looking out the window.
I stood next to Amelia and watches as Azusa stood by the gate.
Knowing he was out there waiting for me made my heart tinge with guilt. (…Stay away from Azusa? How could I? How can I, when I love him? I want to see him so badly…)
Amelia: “MC, aren’t you going to meet him?”
MC: “…Yeah. I am.”
—Scene change, outside dorm —
MC: “Azusa! Sorry for making you wait.”
Azusa: “I’m so glad you came. I thought you might hate me or something.”
MC: “Don’t be silly…”
Azusa: “Shall we go?”
He took his hand in mine and began walking.
–scene change, forest —
MC: “Um, Azusa? Isn’t it forbidden to enter here?”
Azusa: “It’s okay. This is just the entrance anyway.”
MC: “Can’t we go where we usually go?”
Azusa: “It’s got to be here today. No one ever comes to this place…”
Azusa: “So no one will ever notice, right?”
The expression on his face crumbled into nothing.
MC: “A-Azusa? What’s going on?”
The kindness in his eyes vanished, replaced by a void of comeplere darkness. Even the reflection of my own figure was lost from his eyes. He looked empty and hollow, like a doll, sending a wretched chill down my spine.
Azusa: “I won’t let you get in my way…”
MC: “Azusa? You’re acting weird. Stop it…”
A sinister figure slipped forward from his shadow. It wore a mask, an an outfit from another land I’d never seen before. The sight of such a vile and perverse figure made my bones and teeth rattle.
MC: “Azusa? What… is that? …. Tell me!”
Azusa: “If only you hadn’t opened your mouth, I might not have had to kill you. What a shame….”
MC: “K-Kill me?!”
The black creature slithered forward as if gliding across the ground.
MC: “No! Get away from me! Help! Azusa!”
A veil of tainted, black mist swallowed my body, preventing any and all escape.
Azusa: “Goodbye, MC.”
The last thing I saw was that friendly smile he always showed me.
After that, a mysterious butterfly appears and says you’ll be given another chance and asks you to save him. You’re taken back to the choice with Klaus, except the option to tell him about Azusa is gone.
I’m not sure if I want to continue to the end. I don’t think, no matter how “broken” a love interest is, it excuses him murdering you. There is no saving a relationship from that. There is no saving a romance after that. I don’t know how, in good conscience, how anyone can read whatever justification they have for that (let me guess, it wasn’t REALLY him, he’s possessed by some evil demon caused by him experimenting with black magic) and think “Oh, well, there was a reason.”
I’ve written a lot, deleted a lot, written more, deleted that. There’s so much I want to say, but I don’t want to sound like a soapbox. You know. I know you know. So let’s just group hug and talk about actual good guys, okay?
And as a side note… EVEN WHEN HE IS KILLING YOU HE HAS TO MENTION HINO-FUCKING-MOTO ALKJELSFKJSLDKGELIJTELKJ SHUT UP ALREADY