Sorry for the trouble. I tried to leave things open ended for everyone to do what worked for them, but it seems that just turned into a headache all around.
I stopped reading at that point which is probably a good stopping point, all of the school discussion prior to that is introductory content featuring Yoichi (the blue haired boy in the pictures). That point is where the teacher calls in the Kakeru and ends up having a somewhat long conversation on probably a different topic involving Kujou (the girl on the cover) from what I saw the other day.
Anyway, on to my actual thoughts on the reading so far…
It’s immediately pretty obvious how much of a difference the developer/writing staff seem to make. There is a lot more casual(?) speech in this game and I found myself using the multi-language options (usually just switching between English/Japanese with the E/J keys) to help clarify the main ideas. The voiceovers helped a lot as well. I feel like I’m kind of getting the hang of it, but it makes me feel like an old guy trying to keep up with the youth. The other thing I noticed is…
broad spoilers on the setting/characters
holy hell is this an otakufest of a game. I thought it was kind of funny how they had this sort of self-aware take on the festival from the anime and how the town was something of an over-eager managerial screwup, but… A lot of that dialogue on day 2 just straight up murdered me.
That part where Sora said 「は？ そんなエロゲみたいな設定、 現実にあると思ってんの？」 was a light enough jab, but I’ve accidentally found myself getting into r18 games too many times that I legit sympathized with her roundabout way of explaining things. Even if we’re playing the all ages version, this is technically one of those games too… (if you need the proof you don’t even need to get the patch, they left the panic button in. see below)
If that wasn’t bad enough that conversation with Yoichi on 4/18 was… ugg, that brought back memories of high school anime club I could have gone without. I wasn’t expecting psych damage from the get go, but here we are. 「九條さんスタイルいいし、 絶対“使える”写真になったのに……。 くっそぉ……！！」 Ooof. I’m dead.
Also, I get that people need to CYA things but… first and second year high school students…
not otaku discussion
Ignoring the above, I actually do appreciate the feeling of the characters overall. There’s a lot of templating, but I don’t get the impression that the people we’ve been introduced to will be as painfully archetypal as what we saw in the Loopers side characters. I was honestly a little impressed at how much they were able to convey so quickly (and I’d have to say I actually like what I’ve seen of the English translation).
The amazingly thorough Steam description was “Help Miyako and Kakeru track down a superpowered serial killer before they strike again.” so I have to wonder to what degree the town’s folklore and shrine treasure are going to be relevant to the story. The creepy stuffed animal that’s definitely not going to offer a contract (for the love of all that is holy I hope this thing just stays a mascot character or something) kind of implies that it’s not a trap, but we’re like 7% into this story. At the least I feel like I should point out that getting through 4/20 way back when net me the steam achievement for the “prologue” so we have something like 25kish characters to really set things in.
Finally, did you know that there’s a “panic” button in the game? Pressing P makes the window change to a black screen with a cross hair and the icon switches to the MS Paint icon with the window titled 「無題」 lol