We’re aiming to read approximately 10-12.5k characters per week! A suitable enough end point will be selected each week (feel free if you have a texthooker and it hasn’t been posted yet!) and posted within the thread. @ccookf has helpfully begun compiling a spreadsheet to display progress through the days:
Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
When asking for help, do your best to provide context. Pasted text, screenshots, descriptions, etc. Unlike book clubs we can’t flip to relevant pages, so we may need a little help identifying exactly what is being discussed.
Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Clubs live and die by participation, and asking whatever question you have, no matter how silly it may seem, helps others who are reading it and even the answerer themselves.
Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible
I’m reading along
I have finished this part
I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
This weeks reading definitely had a different vibe each day. 5/07 was rather cute seeing them go on a date together. They finally worked up the nerve to start calling each other by their first name too.
I thought it was funny how the MC kept wasting all of his money to win the crane game for his “precious girlfriend” but Miyako looked terrified as he kept spending more and more money. At least he finally did get the prize in the end.
The next day was more interesting though. So the time control theory wasn’t exactly right but Sophie has the power to look at parallel worlds? I’m not sure if I need to reread the section or if Sophie didn’t give a great explanation. It sounded like Sophie can see what occurred in the parallel worlds but limited to only what they could experience there. Surely in one of the other parallel worlds Sophie would have seen the 魔眼 user and could rely that information to everyone in the current world? Maybe we find out Sophie’s power ends up being tied to Kakeru later and he needs to “experience” the branch first before Sophie can rely the information.
With this new information, I wonder if the next few games will be different parallel worlds and have us “start over”? I think each game focuses on a new heroine so outside of that, I’m not sure how else it’d work.
Haha, bet you didn’t expect to see me return! I’ve been let out of the kennel for a bit while the doctors work some magic on the whole biopsy thing and figure out what kind of cocktail to load me up with. At this point I’m just going to focus on reading normally with the hope of finishing this VN before I get caged again.
Miyako’s saving routine is a really fun bit of her character. I’ve seen a few other characters built around the idea of being poor as well as rags to riches (and it’s inverse), but it’s pretty silly to see her just saving for the sake of being a good little girl. Her reaction to the whole crane game fiasco was great and… holy fuck, I always forget that 500 yen is a pretty big chunk of change.
The mock burger scene was pretty cute as well, but I kind of hoped by now that Kakeru would have let his preconceptions of Miyako go a bit by now. It seemed almost redundant reading that given that we already knew she saw eating there as a once a month luxury.
Day 2 kissing scene let’s gooo! It’s not a surprise especially considering this is the all ages version, but I always enjoy those kinds of scenes. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine and the descriptions were… enjoyable from my perspective.
Sophie… man, I don’t even know what to say here. She somehow left more questions than answers. I guess the biggest shock was seeing that we’ve now got parallel worlds and isekai world crossing all in one. Is that legal in the anime world? It’s a bit of an odd tangent, but I’m wondering if this ever goes into a fourth wall situation with the readers. It now makes sense seeing and enforcing the bad end as it’s probably part of the canonical story through Sophie’s power, but we still had that bit about fixing things when replaying the game that sticks out. Who was that referring to?
I’m curious to what degree we’re going to experience changes in the timeline. Right now it feels like Kakeru has written off Kousaka and has been written off by Noa, but those also feel like relatively small outcomes based on what we’ve seen so far. I’m wondering if we’ll have part of this timeline get reverted, or if maybe episode 2 with (yosuga no) Sora will bridge the gap into fixing those relationships.
Also, god d**** no wonder Sophie is so screwed up in the head with how she treats everyone. I just can’t imagine seeing the world the same way with alternate timelines like that. Being able to grasp complete shifts in character based on tiny things like our protagonists dating instead of breaking up… I feel like it would be hard to take anyone seriously. You’d have the potential to be aware of very different faces of a person all being legit, it would be endlessly contradicting. That sounds awful.
Well, when it’s all said and done, it indeed boils down to something like this - but there’s also interesting twist on that.
Actually, when you think about it, most of the VNs with multiple routes turn out like this - but usually it’s just a game mechanic, while ~Nine~, (following the example of YU-NO I guess), tries to weave that mechanical thing into the story itself.
Was certainly a chill week for the most part! The dates with Miyako were fun, loved the chibi bits These are officially my favourite thing of the VN so far. Not much to mention about the whole cuteness of the dates, but afterwards Sophie’s appearance mentioning this timeline’s Miyako being alive… I was like, well there it is, the thing we were waiting for to be mentioned or something related. My mind automatically thought that not being a time travel thing that means in the other timeline there’s a Kakeru absolutely wrecked and traumatised after the events of 5/06 :c feels bad.
And then unconsciously revert to using surnames for a moment .
世界の眼 , I understood it as being able to travel there and see what happens much like she’s doing in our timeline. I suppose none of the timelines she’s visited have had our characters figure out who the user is. But now I’m confused, I wonder if the timeline right now happens in parallel to the bad end one and the rest, and while apparently we didn’t jump back in time we certainly started the game from the beginning, just as the bad end timeline is developing. Sophie mentioned Miyako died in the other timeline in past tense, but then again she dies in 5/06 and we were in 5/08 here so could just be that she died two days prior in the other timeline. That’s at least my understanding, and I guess Sophie going in and out dimensions is her travelling to other timelines to see if there’s any relevant development. If they happen at different points in time, well then that’s a different story.
That actually makes a lot of sense. Perhaps they play with this whole timeline thing for that, a timeline where Kakeru doesn’t get close to Miyako but to the other heroines, and so on. This would mean that the plot won’t develop in a substantial way for the whole saga though . If this is the case, I’m wondering that perhaps at some point Kakeru develops the ability to peep into other timelines too, or perhaps they use Sophie for that and they operate with the new info resulting in a different development each time. If this is the case I’m not particularly hyped about replaying the same setting or story constantly but I’m also sure that if it was like this then people wouldn’t have rated it as high. Surely they would’ve gotten bored of it, and the rest of the chapters are apparently rated higher than this one, especially the last one, so hopefully it does deliver.
I’m not sure I follow, what do you mean by this?
Oh, right. We either restart the timeline or keep moving forward, and if there’s no other bad end ahead for now I suppose the only option is to move forward (unless it’s not specifically triggered by bad ends). Then I guess we either get an early bad end in Episode 2 and go back to the beginning or just keep going forward in time, it wouldn’t make sense to replay the exact same days for the whole four games, would it? Will it ever be April and May? Will it always start at the shrine? (rhetorical question, not one I want answered)
Welcome back btw
Edit: Also now that the dates are over and we’re back to plot, it’s looking more and more like we’re finally reaching the conclusion of this Episode. We probably should start thinking about how we want to go for the next Episodes relatively soonish ^^ .
I think that it isn’t too much spoilerous, so I’m leaving it in open
Luckily that’s not the case. From what I remember, stories in subsequent episodes branch in different directions, and each iteration brings new parts, twists and reveals into the main plot - it isn’t just the same story with different girlfriend for protagonist each time
I can’t remember, but the first button was phrased something along the lines of return and fix from the beginning or something like that.
I might have misunderstood, but I think Sophie’s artifact lets he see the past events of parallel timelines (and if we get into power creep she’s now look at parallel timelines for two worlds) that she’s involved with. Was that line referring to Sophie looking into a different timeline? Was it referring to something involving Kakeru’s still unknown abilities? Was it referring to the readers being involved?
Probably not important to this story, but it’s a bit of a curiosity to me as the number of decision points in a 10 day period is probably far more than the 4 given to us as readers. I would expect there to be many, many branches and it makes me wonder what is dictating the fate that we see.
Ah, right, it was はじめからやり直す. I understood that as a sort of “game over, let’s start again from the beginning” but I admit I didn’t read too much into it. Relevant 直す entries from a couple dictionaries:
I guess it depends on who it was referring to: Kakeru or the reader itself, or even Sophie as you say and she’s the protagonist all along . I assumed it referred to us as readers. Probably ambiguous on purpose .
I’d expect Sophie being much more proficient with the artifacts than the people who just suddenly got them. Maybe this really is the extent of her powers with the current circumstances? No idea, guess we’ll find out at some point. We definitely still know very little about her but it’s nice we got another piece though.
Not much to add to everything that has already been said. Lots of cute and fun interactions between our protagonists.
Definitely the most interesting piece of information is what Sophie dropped on Miyako and Kakeru on the second day. Details on how exactly she uses the artifact to check events on parallel words seem to be pretty fuzzy. Again this time also she wasn’t very nice but I don’t dislike how she openly tries to manipulate them into helping her.
I was under the impression that her appearing out of a distortion in space-time was her coming and going from her original world, so not sure it’s actually related to her using the parallel-world eye artifact-thing.
To be honest, I am not a big fan of the “parallel-worlds that are born out of people’s choices” plots in general. I imagine we will eventually end up in a parallel-world where our protagonists end up saving the world for Evil-Eye user, but somehow that just feels unsatisfying. They probably lost in many worlds, won in many others… makes the whole thing feel kind of pointless. I am hoping this VN will handle this in an interesting or at least original way.
It also makes me wonder how exactly is Sophie’s artifact useful. I mean, she could in a parallel world see who is the Evil-Eye user, but it could easily be that the current world has a different person as the user (e.g., the original user died and the artifact was transferred to someone else). People’s choices are too many, so the parallel worlds are infinite. Unless she has some way of knowing how close or how different a parallel world is to the current one, or something.
So, on their own, I think all the pieces of this work pretty well. Kujou is likeable and their date is cute, Kakeru shifts into seeming like a very nice, caring boyfriend quickly, and the artifact story is, at least at its base, intriguing if not a little overly familiar. But I do think at least for my tastes, they’re fumbling how they weave this together a bit. It is increasingly feeling like the point of this episode is getting together with Kujou, with some supernatural stuff happening sparsely in the background. It’s the opposite ratio of what I was hoping for. At this point Sophie has to pop in to remind them that there is a plot outside of their dating. And where I previously praised the VN for weaving together character moments with exposition and moving things forward, they’re getting increasingly separated. I’d chalk it up to introductory episode, and that might be still true to an extent, but especially when you’re selling the arcs individually, you’d really want the first to set the tone for the remainder, right?
That all sounds pretty harsh but it’s still been a fine read, I think better than Loopers because these characters are overall more three dimensional and endearing. Just some missed potential / possibly a mismatch in expectations or tastes. A solid turn in the coming episodes could see this still be quite good.
Anyway, interesting to see we at least partly called it with the parallel worlds. That plot development almost feels mundane in this medium at this point, so I’m reserving judgment to see how it’s utilized as well. There are ways to do cool things with it, but on its own it doesn’t do much for me.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing when I was reading this. They did have to spend a good amount of time on introductions for every character in the story and that shouldn’t be an issue in the later episodes so I’m hoping they become more plot focused. I did like the characters so it made the slice of life parts fun still but I was hoping for some more plot stuff. I think all of the other episodes for this series are rated significantly higher on VNDB too, so I’m guessing it gets better.
Whoops, missed this from before. I can’t say I’m fond of it, mostly because I think it’s kind of overdone. There doesn’t seem to be much novelty and it’s less direct than say a time travel phenomenon like we could see in Bustafellows. The experience there feels more weighted and well… consequential.
I was definitely a little disappointed with this going into the bad and good endings. They still weaved in some exploration on the setting, but as we’ve kind of discussed already some of it seems like arbitrary moot that’s going to get deus ex’d or power creeped or something silly. So really most of it was just character development in the middle (which is still a lot more than we can say for most of Loopers) and suddenly a mild amount of plot. I really thought they would have spent more time either chasing the killer or spending most of Episode 1 getting a team together that would chase down the culprits for the rest of the series.
I always worry about that being partially self-selection, since people who sufficiently disliked episode 1 will probably just dip, but I do think I’ve heard people prefer the later ones too so you’re likely right.
I know length isn’t a good indicator of anything, but seeing that episode 1 was ~130k or so while the whole series is about 750k I have a bit more hope for development in the future episodes. If we want to get spoilery and metagaming I’d have to say the screenshots on the Steam page for Episode 2 definitely had me a bit more excited.