9-nine-はるいろはるこいはるのかぜ 9️⃣ Week 6 (Visual Novel Book Club, offshoot)

This is being read as an offshoot continuing Episode 2. Episode 1 was originally read as part of the Visual Novel Book Club.

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9-nine- episode 3

Current week start date: June 30, 2023
Previous Week (Week 5) :infinity: Next Week (Week 7)


We’re aiming to read approximately 25k characters per week! A suitable enough end point will be selected each week and posted within the thread.

This week's endpoint: 23.2k

Mid 5/04.

Scene transitions and character count (Steam version)
Location Character Count
Kakeru’s home (Beginning of 5/04) 6
Street 274
Shrine 578
Kakeru’s home 14 172
Kakeru’s home (Endpoint) 23 199

Discussion Guidelines

  • 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 :slightly_smiling_face:


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Spoilers up to that big 14k character break

I hope me doing this isn’t too annoying; when there’s a really big split point I’ve been enjoying going ahead and putting out some in-progress thoughts. That fight scene felt big enough to dig into on its own.

You know soon after it became clear it was going to be a a direct encounter, I realized Yoichi was going to show up. They’re a little predictable with the conveniently timed arrivals. The whole section with Takemine and Yoichi fighting was the least interesting, though the questions it brings up about Yoichi’s true role has me curious. Not feeling overly negative about that bit, but it was basically the standard fight scene stuff we’ve all talked about not being too excited by.

However, after that point, I thought it was kind of good actually. Certainly the best this VN has done with the fighting yet, for me. Some of it might just be carried by that new song; I really liked it and I think it was able to prime me at least a little bit to buy into getting invested in the action. The aesthetics were on point all around; I loved the art for Haruka using her power and Iris getting serious. Even the way it played out entertained me too, for two main reasons. First, I like what they did with Kakeru’s power – we all have our thoughts on this parallel world thing, but since the cat is far out of the bag now, I think this sort of utilization is inevitable and I was glad to see them go ahead and do it. It works as a representation of Kakeru’s strength just being this unwavering persistence. Even in the presentation, making you click a little button to redo works for me as small touch, so maybe I’m impressed by the little things. Second, the fight was a method to create meaningful character development for Haruka. For that alone, whether her getting goaded into it by Yuki is heavy-handed or not, it would be hard for me to not think of this as the best fight scene yet. None of the others really managed to use the fights for anything this significant.

Spoilers for the rest

Well, unsurprisingly a bit of a cooling down period following all of that. The Haruka relationship is developing fine, I think, good to see her character development still coming along. Ghost confuses me; I thought the idea was that she looked like Yoichi because for a user who isn’t an expert they default to looking similar to said user. So you’d think Kakeru wouldn’t make her like that, but instead would make one that looks closer to himself. I guess Sophie says he uses the artifacts surprisingly well so it could be justified as actually being a further use of talent to replicate the Yoichi look… but it’s probably careful reuse of resources more than anything, haha. Either way I kinda like having her around so I can’t complain too much.

Surely something else with regards to the main plot has to be brewing before we hit episode 4. Which thus far seems like it requires a new branch, or a new villain. We’ve sure had a rotation cast of villains. Thus far we’ve only swapped branches when it was necessitated by some big failure, and I figure that’s still going to be the case? It still isn’t impossible something bad happens with Haruka or something, though she seems to be managing her powers responsibly, as far as we can tell. I guess I’m just expecting an unforeseen new move from Iris or something, though IIRC at the end of the fight even she said she’d see us in a new branch.

It’s good to see Yuuki seems to have some layers to her character, and is in her own way warming up to the group. I feel like her sort of serious vibe is the least appealing to me of the whole cast, but I’m going to trust that when we get to her episode and see her more closely, I’ll like her enough. Outside of Kujou being a little unfortunately underdeveloped, that has never been one of this VNs problems.

Spoilers for the week

I thought the fight scene this week was a lot better than the previous ones we had. Having a new song for it helped a lot too, it gave it more of a special moment feeling. I wasn’t really expecting Yuuki of all people to be the one to give Haruka the push she needed to finally fight back but I did like that scene.

After the fight Sophie mentioned that Haruka’s stigma color had changed and it was based off of her heart or something to that effect. Hers looked greenish which most likely comes from envy/jealously. When Yuuki was pressing Haruka, she kept mentioning Miyako and how Haruka was afraid to lose to her. I wonder if that ends up playing a bigger role later and if Haruka’s powers go out of control causing her to unintentionally turn on Miyako?

I think that’s how they explained it last time but then Kakeru used the excuse that the only 幻体 he could think of was that one and Sophie? I agree that it was just a cheap excuse to save on resources but it would have been cool to see what a female Kakeru looked like :thinking:

Yeah this makes me still wonder why does any specific branch matter. They defeated Iris in this branch so unless there’s an even more evil person behind them, they should be safe to continue here. Even if Haruka’s powers go out of control later on, wouldn’t it be better to go back to right after the fight to help her instead of the starting point near the beginning of the game?

This week's spoilers

I agree this is probably the best fight scene we’ve had so far, though for like 99% of it I was pretty bored.

Personally I dislike how クソ兄貴 uses his powers here - it kind of made sense in other branches when, maybe subconsciously, he invokes his power after Miyako is turned to stone, or after Sora disappears forever, or after everyone is turned to stone. But here I feel it makes zero sense - dying, according to the lore, means you lose your contract with your artifact. Shouldn’t クソ兄貴 immediately lose his power to redo things?

The fact that the game shows both “redoing things” and “installing memories” as choices kind of gives them a sense of will - that it’s something that in some way クソ兄貴 decides. He can’t decide if he’s dead. I guess with some stretching someone could explain it away - something like it’s a クソ兄貴 from another branch invoking the power that brings the memories from the other branch or something. My main point is, his power feels totally like cheating - he can redo everything, and that makes everything irrelevant since his power has no flaw of any kind. He’ll win anyway. If he can’t now, he can just go back further and find a different way.

I also feel it’s way too… instantaneous? like installing memories of himself dying (which I imagine includes the pain he felt as he died) and being able to react immediately with zero hesitation in the middle of a high-paced action scene feels way too much to me.

Still, I liked how it ended, because finally the VN kind of cleverly combined all of the heroines’ powers to defeat the enemy and I felt it was a nice combination of teamwork that made sense… well, except for one detail that I found odd. Miyako steals the artifact from Iris, but Sensei doesn’t die anyway, The only explanation is that Haruka “does something about it”, but it’s never explained what, which is odd precisely because the game has gone through a lot of trouble to emphasize that things turn out how Haruka wants them only when she can actually imagine a path to that ending. Even the whole thing about how Kakeru stopped feeling pain in battle was achieved by Haruka wishing he pumped out more adrenaline.

LOL. I think this is the first time a remark from クソ兄貴 actually made me laugh. Loved the half-annoyed “そうだろうな” reply from ghost from such an obvious remark.

I kinda enjoyed the new Ghost. Aside from the already mentioned we-don’t-have-enough-budget-for-another-sprite thing, I felt it made sense because how strongly Ghost is a person in クソ兄貴’s mind, and how in his mind (s)he’s associated with the whole 幻体 power. It also explains why she still has that edgy personality.

I liked the post battle scene and seeing Haruka grow even more as a character and starting to gather more confidence in herself.

I didn’t expect to see Ghost sweating nervously, and much less for a reason like this :sweat_smile:

I am wondering what’s left before this episode ends (I mean, aside from the obvious romantic developments). I am imagining episode four is finally the branch where the gate between the two worlds is sealed for good. I would love it if somehow episode 4 maybe just concentrated on Yuuki and クソ兄貴 working together on something like that without any actual antagonists and without any battles. Very unlikely, but a VN-reader can dream, no?