Otome Game Review: Kokuchou no Psychedelica

First post in awhile! I power-played my way through Kokuchou no Psychedelica recently because my mood for otome games came back. I also bought Hyakka Yakou, which hasn’t disappointed me so far. In Psychedelica, the main character wakes in a mansion without memories of herself or her life. She meets four others in the same condition as her, and they are joined by a common goal – to defeat the monsters in the mansion, obtain shards to a mysterious ‘kaleidoscope’, and win back their memories and freedom.

I’ve tried to keep my comments during the routes as neutral as possible!

The main character (Beniyuri aka Beni, CV: Nakahara Mai) wakes up in a mansion, and doesn’t know where she is or who she is. She hears the crying voice of a girl wearing the mask of a goat who seems to be suffering, and watches as the girl turns into a monster before her eyes. She is chased by the thing through the mansion, and saved by Hikage (currently nameless, CV: Ishikawa Kaito) who tells her to hide. Inventory check: both of them have amnesia so are looking for some means of obtaining more info on themselves. The main character’s phone has one last mail telling her to find the shards of the ‘kaleidoscope (mangekyo)’. Hikage’s mail also has one message; there is only one way out of this place. They attempt to leave via the main entrance but the door is locked. The main girl spots black butterflies that disappear without a trace in front of her…and they’re suddenly surrounded by monsters and Hikage gets hurt covering for her. They’re saved by the guy in the fox mask who shoots the monsters down. The monsters turn into black butterflies upon death, and are sucked into the mysterious man’s necklace before he disappears into the mansion.

Hikage and Beni get ready to move off to somewhere to keep safe. Beni spots something shining where the monsters used to be; a shard of glass? She pockets it and leaves when Hikage calls out to her. They give the entrance door a go again and Beni tells Hikage to not brute force it anymore because he’s hurt…Kagiha makes a sudden entrance at this point. Another inventory check happens: they’re all in the same amnesiac situation here and basically team up. It seems that Kagiha feels like he met Beni somewhere before…but more importantly, he knows a place where they can be safe because the monsters won’t enter!

He leads them to a very nice room with retro decor. Beni spots white butterflies fluttering around as she enters the space, but they also disappear without a trace. While Beni tends to Hikage’s wounds, Kagiha explains that it seems that monsters cannot enter where the white butterflies are. Conversely, black butterflies appear before something unfortunate is about to happen, so be warned when you spot them! Beni remembers the phone messages so asks Kagiha if he received any. Kagiha affirms this, and his reads that “you already have the means to combat the monsters somewhere in your possession”. Just then, Beni hears something from far off and goes to check it out by the door…a guy’s screaming voice? She gets worried and wants to help this person out; she can’t stay still even with Hikage warning her she has basically no way to fight the thing. She heads out alone.

Around the main entrance, Karasuba (CV: Kakihara Tetsuya) and Yamato (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa) are surrounded by monsters. Karasuba is cheerful about whatever is happening even if they’re basically cornered by three monsters. Meanwhile, Yamato is getting increasingly angry at the situation. Hikage catches up to Beni and chides her reckless behavior…but is there anything they can do to help them? Beni wishes that if only they had a weapon just like gun held by the boy in the mask, maybe they’d be able to fight back. Suddenly, a gun just appears in her hands as if it were born out of her imagination. These are real guns, and meant to combat the monsters. Here, a minigame segment commences – you basically tap on emerging black butterflies to lock onto them, and press ‘shoot’ to gun them down. It’s not too hard.

The monsters turn into black butterflies and get sucked into Beni’s hairpin and her body feels a little heavier. They induct Yamato and Karasuba, seeing that everyone is in the same amnesiac state so far. The gun in Beni’s hands also disappears suddenly, as if it’s already completed its job of killing the monsters. Later, everyone gathers in the hidden living space Kagiha showed earlier to do inventory. Yamato and Karasuba were in the same room together before they got attacked when they went outside. Suddenly, their phones ring as they receive messages: “the key to your memories is within the mansion” and “complete the kaleidoscope”. Anyway, everyone wants some rest, so Kagiha shows them to the guest rooms. Karasuba mentions that it’s super inconvenient to not have names, so Hikage decides to just adopt the name on the plate attached to the rooms they’ve chosen.

Next morning, Yamato reveals that he has an urgent feeling that he HAS to escape this place but he doesn’t know why. They all generally agree they can’t just sit in this side of the mansion even if there is electricity, food and running water. Who knows when the person who sent them here may throw them a plottwist? Better to map out the mansion and look for the kaleidoscope. They split up into teams to search the mansion. Kagiha+Beni+Karasuba find a storeroom of sorts. It seems safe but it doesn’t FEEL safe so best not to stay too long. There, they find a beautiful circular plate-shaped object that seems special, what could it be? A girl in a rabbit mask appears to them, shocking the heck out of all three. She tells them it’s a necessary piece (the lid) to form the kaleidoscope they’re looking for, and she’s here to help them on orders of the owner of the mansion. Beni names the girl ‘Usagi’ because she doesn’t have a name.

The kaleidoscope is to be formed with the lid, the shards and the barrel/tube parts! The shards are made of glass that gleam with a strange light because they contain power, and have been scattered around inside the mansion. Due to the power they hold, they’ve landed in the hands of the monsters. To obtain the shards, destroy the monsters with the guns by force. These guns are born from strong thoughts. Usagi warns them to head back because rain is beginning to fall indicates that night is near, as rain only falls at night. Usagi runs off without giving them more information. Later when everyone gathers again in the hidden room, Hikage and Yamato have found the barrel of the kaleidoscope, which they combine with the lid. Beni puts two and two together and inserts the glass shard she remembers picking up into the thing, setting off a light show. After it ends, she receives a mail telling her that this is a “reward”…attached to the mail is a picture of a family:

A father, an older sister holding a pet dog, and a little sister…Beni recognizes the older sister as herself, and a piece of her memory comes back to her. Her waking up early to go see someone very important to her… (alongside talking to the members of her family…) Everyone’s getting back a small piece of their memories as well and it increases their urgency to break out of this place because as Yamato puts it: this isn’t where they are meant to be. Karasuba seems to be hiding something, but waves it off when Beni approaches him.

Later in her room, Beni thinks about her family again. Her mother died after giving birth to her little sister Haruka, and so she isn’t in the picture. Beni kept a ribbon that her mother gave her as a keepsake. Overwhelmed by the loneliness of being apart from her family in a strange place where she might never escape from, she starts to cry. Someone knocks on her door: Kagiha shows up and asks her if she’s alright…he tried making cocoa with what he found in the kitchen, and offers it to her. He notices she’s been crying despite the hasty lies she made up so as not to worry him, and tells her it’s alright to not hold it in! Better to let it out than let your feelings cloud over! But it’s also obvious this guy is hiding SOMETHING by this point; he gets down when Beni refers to him as “brotherly”…implying that he probably likes her in some way. Kagiha bids her goodnight. Outside, he encounters Hikage, who’s like “what were you doing in her room”. Kagiha wants to talk about something with him so they do so, but it’s not shown to us.

Over the next few days, everyone learns how to birth and use the guns from their thoughts, except Beni who is somehow unable to do so after the first time. Hikage’s logic is that everyone should be able to protect themselves before any of them can leave to L4D outside because the space they’re in isn’t 100% guaranteed to be safe. Beni stays up till late at night to practice, and Yamato chances upon her when he’s going to grab a drink. He asks if she’s scared of him bc it seems that way, and she thinks about it…she’s mostly afraid he might disappear before they find a way out because Yamato is always pretty reckless. Beni realizes that what she’s afraid of most is losing what’s important to her, which is basically the whole group at this point. Yamato helps her out w/ her training and asks her to recall what it felt like to have her gun in her hands. Use that strength to fight and protect what matters to you. This method meets with success and Beni is overjoyed. Yamato reveals that Hikage was the one who thought him this method of summoning. He really respects Hikage for having the calm to observe his surroundings and act, he has everything Yamato lacks. Beni thinks they make an unexpected combo but it’s nice. Hikage also reminds Yamato of someone…but anyway he’s raring to go for tomorrow, and tells Beni to get some sleep yo and heads off. Beni wonders if it’s ok if he didn’t take the drink he came here for, and thinks if he came out to check on her instead :’)

Next morning she keeps it a secret that Yamato helped her because he seems extremely awkward when she looks at him. Here, you get different short scenes with whoever you pick as your partner. Either way will end with the obtaining of a shard. They are also later rewarded by a full and proper meal delivered to them by Usagi. Everyone’s suspicious at first but the food is safe. Hikage apparently cannot approve of shiitake mushrooms as food LOL. Beni convinces Usagi to grab SOMETHING to eat bc the poor girl seems hungry. She takes off her mask to eat and reveals her very cute face! But then Hikage gets angry at Beni because she’s getting too close to people they can’t be sure are enemies or allies just yet. Usagi thanks Beni and leaves ;_;

Days pass and their shard-hunting continues. Yamato’s condition seems to not be great one day, it’s like cabin fever finally settling in and he’s super irate. Beni is super worried about Yamato as she understands that it’s frustrating and lonely to be away from people you want to see. She wonders if she can help him the same way Kagiha helped her, and goes to look for him (at night woohoo) after making cocoa. Yamato’s all “I don’t like sweet things” and Beni is like super embarrassed about it but he lets her into his room anyway. She has something she wants to speak to him about right? Beni notices that Yamato’s room has less of the white butterflies than hers, so it’s a little darker. She asks if he’s alright and stuff because looking at him worries her. Yamato’s like SORRY I WAS BORN WITH THIS FACE but confides that he remembered about his little brother, back when the family photos were sent to each of them. He can’t remember names or faces, but knows that they’re twins with very different personalities. A long time ago his brother got into an accident thanks to him and has been in the hospital for almost ten years, in a comatose, vegetable-like state. Yamato was told that if he kept calling to him, one day his brother would awaken and he’s been doing that EVERY DAY FOR 10 YEARS. Gosh. Hence, he’s super anxious to get back because with each day, his brother’s consciousness drifts further away from reality.

When she hears Yamato blame himself for landing his brother in this situation, Beni recalls feeling something similar, this self-blame, and wonders if she had hurt someone before. Yamato also asks if this is the first time he’s telling her this, because it feels as if he’d done this before? He reaches out for her and Beni backs away, even though they were both on the edge of remembering SOMETHING, and she wonders why she avoided that. Beni goes back to her room for rest and receives a mail… “Do you wish to know about Yamato?” She receives a picture of two boys that look like Yamato and Hikage when they were younger, wearing the same uniform. Beni thinks they look like siblings.

Then, she hears Yamato howling from outside. Everyone rushes out and tries to get him to come back into the living room because it’s dangerous. Yamato’s sanity, sadly, is near zero. Beni hears the fluttering of wings…black butterflies have arrived. “I killed…that person…” Yamato is going through the same monster transformation as the girl from the prologue but literally no one is doing anything because they’re like just standing around and gasping. Yamato dashes away somewhere into the mansion. Usagi calls out to them to ask if they’re injured after that. Beni asks her what was that all about? Usagi explains:

YAMATO’S SOUL HAS BEEN CORRUPTED BY DESPAIR. What is this, Dangan Ronpa? The space they are in now is the gap between life and death. (I wonder, is there a Roman to be found there…? I mean) Anyway, they aren’t really dead but they aren’t alive either. This is a pit-stop before the passing on, which they can avoid and still turn back! The monsters also used to be human. Normally when people die, they arrive at the gap without their memories. With time they lose their faces and physical bodies, and are able to journey to the other world as souls. But those with a huge attachment to the mortal world, or those who regain their memories develop the urge to escape from this place that seemingly has no end…with time, their souls are turned into monsters by that despair. And thus rather than heading to paradise, they just fall to Naraku, the world of darkness. The presence of the butterflies alludes to their present “good VS bad” status: white = good, less/dark = bad. What is this, Madoka? The kaleidoscope is said to be able to grant the wish of those who possess it, and thus is their only way out of this place. They may have to kill Yamato if he found one of the pieces of the kaleidoscope. THIS IS A FLAG ISN’T IT WWW

Anyway, inventory time: Beni shows them all the pic of Hikage+Yamato. Hikage vaguely remembers this!? He’s Yamato’s little brother!? Huh!? Beni wonders if there’s any way she can give Hikage the photo of them together and goes to see him at night. He’s been thinking about Yamato and wonders how shallow his feelings for his family must be if he couldn’t even remember he had a brother. Anyway after Beni’s flailing and flapping trying to cheer him up, things seem to have lightened! Hikage notes that she seems similar to someone… (BUT WHO?) Anyway, Beni has to go to sleep first.

 

HIKAGE ROUTE aka the locked route for Reasons (but I’ll put it first)

Beni thinks if she can talk to Usagi, she might be able to find out even more. Hiding letters in the cubby-hole elevator thing used to deliver food to the kitchen, she keeps writing to Usagi day by day bc she knows Usagi’s the one delivering them food. One day a letter comes with a map attached, telling her to head to the indicated location in secret. Turns out that Usagi’s room is hidden underground accessible via secret passage! She prepares snacks for Beni who asks her why she isn’t joining in, and questions her about why does everyone wear a mask? Usagi answers that it’s just a replacement for a face for those who have lost theirs across time…because physicality isn’t stable in this space. Those with memories can still remember ‘themselves’, of course. But Usagi is different from the rest, she has her own circumstances. She has to hide her face for her own reasons. Beni bombs her with questions and frightens her…and apologizes straight after. Usagi thinks it’s ok to show her face if it’s just the two of them. She’s so cute hue. They keep in constant contact after that, with Beni keeping their relation a secret!

Over the next few days, the kaleidoscope is very close to completion. Hikage-Beni do some scouting together. Along the way, he gets GRABBED BY A LITTLE KID IN A MASK CALLING HIM ONIICHAN. The little girl is looking for her brother and is sad and alone. Her parents have passed on and it’s only her and her big brother left. Hikage comforts her and tells her it’s alright, and helps her move on – she already knows where she’s going after all. Beni wonders if it was alright to not stop her from disappearing, but Hikage remarks that there is no way a kid can survive on her own. Her parents and everyone she knew back in the ‘real world’ have already passed on. Beni thinks he’s very kind and Hikage is like “Me…? That can’t be…”

Later in Usagi’s room. Beni consults her on all her Hikage PROBLEMS because that guy seems to have no weakness and Usagi is like THIS MUST BE LOVE. I SHALL CHEER YOU ON. Usagi is all YOU GOTTA FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HIM!!! So, Beni gets up early in the morning to interview Hikage and bombs him half to death with questions about himself until he’s like DO YOU LIKE ME OR SOMETHING. Beni denies that and says she simply wants to learn more about the ‘real’ Hikage. Hikage has no idea what she means, but he lightens up towards her over time anyway.

During cleaning, Beni finds an old book on the shelves. The story goes like this: two butterflies fell in love but one died in a storm and the other cried like crazy. But it was saved by a traveller who told the butterfly to go to ‘Psychedelica’, a paradise where the dead stay in peace. Head there if you wish to see your loved one again. But the road was tough so the butterfly’s wings were stained black by mud after falling many times on the way there. Everyone laughed at him but he didn’t care. Only when he was pretty much near death, could he find the entranceway to that paradise. The last page is torn off.

Hikage, who catches her reading, knows the ending because he read it before somewhere. The black butterfly just saw the white butterfly being happy and turned back, and died alone. He asks Beni, would you go to meet someone precious who died, if Psychedelica really existed? Beni answered that yes she would, because she would want to see them again. Hikage wouldn’t though, because he understands why the black butterfly would turn back. You may have changed too much by that point and the other person would not have recognized you or acknowledged you. But Beni objects because this line of logic doesn’t include the feelings of the other butterfly who’d already died. It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed on the outside, you are still you – and so long as you are precious to me, I’d want to see you again. Hikage thinks Beni is stronger than him for believing in the heart of another person like that.

At night, Hikage seems to be having some kind of nightmare and Beni wakes him up from it. It seems some of his memories are back. He’s pretty messed up by whatever he remembers and demands to know why Beni has gotten so close to him, and calls her cruel. Then, he forcibly kisses her!? Uh. From that day on they can’t find any more shards, nor have they talked to each other even once. Beni and Usagi continue to meet and Usagi notices she’s feeling off. Beni cries over what happened with Hikage to her. Usagi feels super bad and wants to let her know stuff – the person who created this space is her older brother. She lived in the mansion once with her family and her father would hold endless parties by inviting people over a la The Great Gatsby. Usagi had no friends as she was born weak and one day her dad brought a young man to the house (Hikage!?) to be her older brother. They grew very close.

Later, her parents had a fight over Hikage’s existence. Usagi was weak and might die at anytime, and Hikage was born to be some kind of backup plan and the mother was like “SMH DAD”. Usagi cries after hearing this and Hikage comforts her. As long as he has her, he can bear with anything. One day, their father lost all his wealth and Hikage eventually needed some means to procure medicine (besides selling away possessions) for Usagi because it was expensive. He went to beg the doctor to send him medicine and the man told him to take it and leave and never appear back again. But still, Usagi died, because the medicine never arrived. Upset, Hikage went to kill the doctor and shot him omfg. After that his SAN meter sort of hit the bottom and he was determined to take back his sister from Psychedelica. He buys a lot of shady research materials and eventually hears rumors about the kaleidoscope. The place where it shines upon will be connected to that world. Anyway he procured it and put it on the lake outside the mansion, and the lake became a doorway to the other world. Then, he killed himself and woke up in the mansion. There was originally no such place, but the forceful opening of ways between worlds created a pit-stop point (aka the mansion was born from Hikage’s thoughts and actions). As all who come to this place have no memories, same goes for Hikage who is an idiot. His strong wish for his sister also recalled Usagi from death back to the mansion. Those who are too caught up in their attachments are unable to pass on so he’s basically stuck here. Usagi hides her face from him so as to protect him from the cruelty of the truth he doesn’t know, and Hikage doesn’t even know she’s his sister.

Usagi explains that her brother is always with them even though he has a different name now (as Hikage). In this space where physicality is fluid, he just borrowed the face of Yamato’s little brother to hide his real self. He’s acquired the ability to pretty much just steal memories from people and thus was able to spoof that he was Yamato’s brother. Usagi thinks her bro has pretty just gone mad with his own grief and is enjoying trolling people with hope and despair in this place. But, she can’t let go of the hope that if he could just make proper friends and form real bonds, maybe he’d return to being the kind person she once knew. Beni thinks about the 3473843 times Hikage was nice to her and believes there’s still a part of him inside that hasn’t lost his human heart!! Usagi and him need a proper siblings talk!!!

Later, Beni calls Hikage out to the main hall for a confrontation. There, it is revealed that indeed Hikage is some fella posing as their friend (the whole reveal was very chuunibyou tbh, or maybe I just have low standards for chuuni). He wants to destroy this mansion and this world because he’s suffering day in and day out thanks to it, unable to move on. He wants those pulled into this world to understand his pain. Usagi tells him to stop this as her older brother and Beni tries to talk him into remembering his past; he isn’t looking for the kaleidoscope for destruction, but is continuing to do so for his sister, isn’t he? Hikage freaks out because Beni is treading on old memories that hurt, and shoots her. However, Usagi covers Beni and starts to bleed to death. Dying, she thanks Beni for giving her to courage to face her older brother. Hikage is an idiot who only remembers Usagi as she dies, saying she’s glad she could talk to him. By the time he realizes what he’s done she’s already gone, and he’s super upset, breaking down in tears in Beni’s arms.

Hikage calms down enough to tell Beni stories about his past because she wanted to know the real him. He was born to a poor woman and was later taken to Usagi’s place where her mom basically treated him like Cinderella. But he continued to play the good son even though he hated his parents, for the sake of his little sister. He began telling her it was going to be alright everyday, and “it’s okay” became a lie to keep his own courage afloat. Still, we know the medicine didn’t reach his home on time as stated and Usagi died. Hikage realized that the adults didn’t even have the intention to give him the medicine in the first place. UGH. He looked for a way to bring her back to life but it was impossible. Then, he found the kaleidoscope but was afraid of meeting Usagi, fearing rejection for he had changed so much since they last met. In his fear and despair, he broke the kaleidoscope and later shot himself. The kaleidoscope was still kinda working at this point so he ended up falling into the lake and ending up in the mansion, and the parts of the kaleidoscope were scattered throughout the place. Hikage says that if only Beni had lived in the same time as he did, maybe something would have turned out different. If he could, he wishes he could meet her in the present time. Hikage admits that even just a little, in the time he spent with her he was able to really feel as if he were ‘alive’ compared to the endless grief/loss he experienced.

He takes her hairpin and tells her that the last shard to the kaleidoscope is there, and neither of them know why. He tells her to head home; he’s already dead and there’s nothing she can do for him. He bids her goodbye after he ascends the main stairs, and shoots himself while saying she’s his [xxx] (we don’t know what he says, because he shoots himself by this point) Beni cries because Hikage is an idiot, and I concur, how could you do that to her omg. This is unfair.

I assume after her crying, Beni must’ve completed the kaleidoscope. She wakes up in hospital and starts crying because she remembers Hikage. Later, she heads to visit the site where the mansion is. It’s now a rumored to be a ghost hotspot LOL. Up till the end, she wasn’t able to tell Hikage she liked him. She recalls his words of hoping to meet her in the present and hopes if they were reincarnated, that he and Usagi would be living together happily. Then, she catches sight of a butterfly and hears a little girl call out to her older brother at how pretty it is and her brother agrees. Beni turns around and sees the figures of two siblings, that look exactly like Hikage and Usagi.

Okay you know what, as ridiculous as I thought all this was, I’m weak to reincarnation stories and people separated by time. I liked Hikage a lot. In his own way, I wish he could obtain happiness.


“BEST END” ROUTE: aka the one where we find out a lot in a very short time.

After Yamato turns into the Beast and flees, Beni sees someone in her room (the kitsune guy) asking her to save someone but thinks it’s a dream. One day, she sees the white butterflies fluttering around the door at night, as if they want to head somewhere. She lets them out and follows them to the main hall, where she encounters the boy in the fox mask. He tells her to follow him because Yamato is waiting…in a hidden room…alone….he can’t enter the space so he’ll wait for her outside here. Excuse you.

Beni enters a very pretty greenhouse filled with plants and white butterflies, and encounters Yamato in beast mode. He tries to scare her away because he doesn’t wish to be seen in this kind of state (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST OR WHAT). He’s pretty cute in half-human mode though. Beni says he’s still him, and hugs him as she remembers the details of the days they’d spent as part of the same gang. He hugs her back tightly as the pollution vanishes from his body, crying and asking her to stay like this because he’s afraid he might not be able to turn back into a human if she leaves now. Hosoya’s voice-acting in this scene is AMAZING, his crying is beautiful. Beni recalls that she had avoided him when she last talked to him – if she hadn’t done that, would this have happened to him? She promises not to run anymore and will stay by his side.

After Yamato calms down, it seems that as he was looking for a place to hide his form, he was led to the hidden greenhouse by white butterflies. Beni says the same happened to her, and mentions that the kitsune boy who led her here seems to know Yamato…? Yamato doesn’t know the fella though. He asks beni to go back and keep this a secret from the rest, because he has things he wants to sort out. Beni thinks he might be bothered about not having fully returned to being human, and agrees.

Later, it turns out the kitsune boy has been showing up in front of Yamato lately and he’s been following Yamato around. Beni thinks it’s cute but Yamato’s like EH IT’S KINDA WEIRD…THE KITSUNE GUY IS THERE AND HEARS ALL THIS WWW Yamato panics because he doesn’t wanna hurt his feelings. Turns out that the kitsune boy is hungry!!! Yamato and Beni try to get him to eat with them. He doesn’t wanna show them his face so eats with his back to them. They name him Monshiro (CV: Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) after the last room available in their hidden living space, and he seems happy about it. On their way back, Monshiro asks to be let into Beni’s group of friends. Beni personally accepts him as a friend, and he gives her a ribbon, saying that it’s his precious keepsake. He has been saved many times by that ribbon, and hopes it will protect her too.

The next day: Monshiro shows up in the room and everyone’s debating if they should induct him into the group. Beni covers for him and Hikage side-eyes her super hard and says what if he’s the owner of the mansion? (as if LOL HEY YOU) Beni sucks at covering for Monshiro so Karasuba steps in and covers for her fib about when they met and who she was with at the time, saying they were together (and not with Yamato!). Karasuba shows Monshiro to his room later. He feels that Monshiro is necessary to their group at the present, just like how Beni feels that Monshiro is “safe”. Beni apologizes for dragging Karasuba into her lie over how she met Monshiro, and Karasuba can see right through her because he’s also a pretty great liar himself. Well, the meaning of his words about keeping things hidden will come to light in his route, I guess.

Monshiro seems to have lived in the mansion for a long time, gaining them a strong ally. Beni says he’s really amazing and wants to become strong herself, so she can complete the kaleidoscope and escape this place. Monshiro says it’s OK if she doesn’t become strong, because he himself got strong because he was alone. Being alone doesn’t suit Beni and he will protect her. Beni says he doesn’t have to be alone anymore, and she DOES want to get stronger for the sake of being reliable, and becoming able to protect him.

Later at night, Beni muses that the ribbon he gave her feels incredibly familiar and hears a noise outside her door. Monshiro has come to see her and goes to sleep on her bed. He wants to always remain by her side, but…he can’t….? She doesn’t quite catch what he’s saying because she’s falling asleep, but it seems important. The next day, they go to visit Yamato! Monshiro seems to really like being with him and Beni thinks it’s cute. Monshiro can’t quite grasp how to act around others because he’s always been alone. Yamato also asks if they’ve been to the study room on the second floor, because it seems like it’s been used by people, but there are a lot of black butterflies there.

During an expedition with Hikage, Beni spots the door to the study room and enters with him. The BAD END is reached if she picks up the book she spots on the desk and reads it, finding herself unable to stop turning the pages…and is sucked into darkness. Panicking and breaking into a run, she calls out for anyone to find her but there’s nothing but running forever in the dark until she loses her sense of direction and self. That’s some legit Cthulhu Mythos shit.

Normally, Beni avoids the book and calls out to Hikage, who has noticed a couple of photos in the study. The face of a person is blacked out and it seems to be a portrait from the past, with one boy in japanese-styled dress from the Meiji-Taishou era? There’s another photo that’s colored and therefore more recent than the rest, but before Beni can question Hikage about anything, they hear the sound of a monster’s roar from outside. She grabs the photo and leaves.

Later during the group session, Beni shows everyone the photo. It’s a picture of five kids at camp, and…everyone remembers that THAT’S THEM WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE!!!
Yamato = Takuya
Karasuba = Aki
Kagiha = Natsuki
Hikage…isn’t Kazuya but whatever, he’s pretending to be.
However, Beni can’t remember what happened for the rest of the camp but it was probably something really serious because EVERYONE LOOKS SUPER GRIM AFTER THAT.

Hikage gets on Monshiro’s case about not being in the picture, and says he’s unable to trust someone from outside of those confirmed to be people he knows. Kagiha and Karasuba are the same, and Beni gets super upset over their lack of faith. Monshiro tells her not to fight with them and sounds really sad about it as he retreats to his room. Kagiha catches Beni later when she’s alone in the living room gazing at the kaleidoscope. She says it’s lonely if they all return and forget their time here, but he doesn’t mind throwing all of that away so long as he gets to live together with her, just like when they were kids, having fun together. She notes that his smile seems forced, as if it’d shatter at any moment. Beni wonders if this means Kagiha isn’t with them now, if he’s in a different school even though he used to live nearby when they were kids? Her memories haven’t returned so she can’t remember what happened to him. But she knows something happened during that summer camp, because everyone gets super clammed up about it. What happened to Kagiha…? He wants her to remember at her own pace.

Beni tears up thinking about how he’s hiding stuff from her to protect her feelings, and recalls the way he comforted her from way back — Kagiha asks if she remembers the promise they’d made, and Beni kind of does; a promise to marry him when they were kids!? (I LAUGHED LMFAO THIS WAS SO SUDDEN) He still keeps that promise very close to heart and hopes to marry her when they return to the real world. EXCUSE YOU.

Next morning, Usagi informs them that the kaleidoscope is almost complete! Karasuba doesn’t seem too overjoyed about it. Something is Up. Karasuba can’t be found shortly after, and everyone heads out to look for him, fearing he might’ve ended up like Yamato. Beni goes to find Yamato to ask for his help too. He hasn’t noticed anything…but his memories of them being childhood friends has come back and he hopes they find Karasuba soon, because he’s always been a bit of a coward as a kid.

At night, Beni-Hikage team hears the sound of a gunshot from a room and dash in to find Karasuba having been attacked by something. I have no idea what he’s trying to prove with his actions tbh. Hikage offers to help him and Karasuba seems super sad that it wasn’t just Beni that came to help him. Uh. They head back with Karasuba supporting himself. Along the way, they walk onto Monshiro VS Kagiha. Monshiro wants to shoot Kagiha because “Natsuki has become like a monster”, indicating that Monshiro actually knows Kagiha back when he was small!? Beni covers Kagiha and asks Monshiro to stop and explain what’s happening. He does stop, but Karasuba starts laughing, saying how everyone here can’t get anything right, but the most useless guy is himself. He aims and shoots Monshiro’s mask to pieces, revealing a face identical to Hikage’s. Karasuba confirms his suspicions – that Monshiro is Kazuya, and Hikage is the imposter.

BIG CHUUNI REVEAL TIME! Hikage is the owner of the mansion and he’s pulling an Enoshima Junko on them, saying how he can change his form at will and enjoys the despair on their faces. Karasuba is pretty heroic to stand up to him, and while Hikage wants to shoot Beni, Kagiha covers for her and gets shot by Hikage instead. He taunts Beni by saying that Kagiha’s gone through a lot for her sake, and Beni is confused: exactly what did Kagiha do? Why doesn’t anyone want to tell her anything? Hikage gets fed up of this shit (tbh me too) and wants to shoot Beni, but is stopped by Yamato who comes out of nowhere to stop him. Hikage grabs Kagiha and takes him hostage to secure his escape, and Karasuba warns Beni not to give chase this time.

Monshiro reveals his real name to be Kanda Kazuya, and apologizes for having kept silent all this while. They retreat to the greenhouse, which is safe because the white butterflies are around. Yamato and Karasuba are glad to reunite but Yamato is upset that Kazuya didn’t show himself earlier. Monshiro reveals that he was afraid of destroying what everyone had, because by the time he joined them, they’d already gotten into established relations with each other. He didn’t want them to split apart even though he knew Hikage was an imposter. Monshiro didn’t want to be alone again either, even if Hikage was posing as him.

Yamato apologizes for having left him alone, ever since whatever happened at camp. No one wants to tell Beni anything about it (PLS) as usual, and Karasuba drags Yamato to help tend his wound, avoiding her. Beni confronts them later about it and Monshiro tells her not to blame them because there are things better off not knowing, especially since they both care about her. Hikage, whom he’d met from a long time back during his 10-year stay in the mansion, is very good at screwing with people’s feelings so her memories may upset her a bit too much.

Usagi comes to fetch them one day and reveals that the last piece of the kaleidoscope is in Beni’s hairpin, and that Hikage wishes for her to bring it to him. In addition, these stained glass pieces (the hairpin, pendants, accessories) act as protective charms that absorb despair and other bad shit aka the black butterflies. In return they become gradually tainted across time. Monshiro’s is already pretty far gone ‘cause he’s been in here for a very long time, and probably will not be okay.

Later at night, Beni catches sight of some light outside the greenhouse and goes to take a look – and finds Kagiha. ISN’T THIS SUSPICIOUS? OF COURSE NOT. She hugs him, glad that he’s back. Kagiha smiles and asks her for her precious item – the ribbon given to her by Monshiro. As long as that thing is around, they won’t be able to return to the living world together. Beni believes him for some reason because it’s totally not suspicious that he’s practically seducing her for the thing, and hands it over. It’s also not suspicious at all that he’s telling her to keep this a secret from everyone! It’s also not suspicious at all that Beni’s hairpin is almost COMPLETELY STAINED BLACK after coming into contact with Kagiha!!!

The next day, the group enters the meeting spot and find Kagiha and Hikage together. Kagiha has made a deal with Hikage of some sorts that he hopes the other will keep, as he’s done as he asked so far. Hikage reveals Beni’s memories as Ai to her at last:

During summer camp, the group went to adventure at the mansion ruins, breaking the rules. It started to storm heavily and everyone barely made it out to safety. Kazuya noticed that the ribbon Ai had tied onto him had come off, and went back to the mansion to look for it because he made a promise to definitely return it back to her. Natsuki and Ai went with him to look for it. They found the ribbon but the path back was even more flooded than usual. Attempting to head back, Kazuya slipped and fell into the lake. Ai tried to pull him up but fell into the lake too. Natsuki saved her and went back under for Kazuya…but ended up drowning, and Kazuya landed in a coma.

Beni freaks out at getting her memories back and blames herself for tearing everyone apart because it was her who suggested they all go to the mansion when it was dangerous. Hikage isn’t helping her by reminding that she put Kazuya and Natsuki in this kind of creepy weird place for years. She freaks out and kind of goes through a transformation herself.

Hikage further chides Kagiha for conveniently listening to him/pledging loyalty just to fulfill his selfish wish of wanting to revive himself to live in the real world again. Hikage takes the last shard from Beni and is about to complete the kaleidoscope when Monshiro shoots at him, saying it’s meant to take Ai and co. back to the real world rather than for Hikage’s use. Beni, tired of all this, goes to apologize to Kagiha for running away from his death. Kagiha also apologizes for being weak and not wanting their time to end here, because he’d wanted to spend more time with the rest. But now he’ll stop holding everyone back, though he’d wanted to live once more as well. Kagiha returns the ribbon to Beni, and it dispels the despair inside her. Kagiha thanks her for looking at him, and confesses that he’s always liked her.

Meanwhile, Hikage has put down everyone else. The scene-transitions in this game are kind of choppy…anyway, Kagiha tells her that on his mark, she has to gun down Hikage. He makes a dash towards Hikage, who’s about to react until Yamato and Karasuba distract him. Then, holding Hikage down during the chance created, Kagiha tells Beni to shoot them both. Beni does so after encouragement from Monshiro to look forward, and Kagiha tells her that his greatest wish is for her to smile under the sun. Beni shoots them and basically turns them both into butterflies. In her grief, she feels warmth from the light of the butterflies leaving, and hears Kagiha’s voice telling her ‘goodbye, and be happy’. She’s able to thank him and give a proper farewell.

Soon after, the light from the completed kaleidoscope envelops them all and the four remaining hold hands, not wanting to be separated. Yamato/Takuya says he’ll drag Monshiro/Kazuya back even if Kazuya’s not sure if he can go back with them. Next, they all wake up in hospital, back in the living world. Kazuya has also miraculously awakened. It turns out that Ai, Takuya and Aki had went to the ruins to memorialize Natsuki’s death. The bus they were on met with an accident and ended up flinging them into the lake.

After waking up, time passes. Later on, the four of them head to the lake to commemorate Natsuki’s death properly. Aki heard from his parents that after their incident ten years ago, the place was properly torn down because it had a bad reputation for causing deaths via drowning and stuff. Also, Natsuki’s unfound body was also discovered (as bones probably) after those long years.

There’s not much in this ending that we don’t already know (since I already narrated out Hikage’s drama): Takuya did some research and found out some of the past of the mansion’s owner, that he was involved in some shady research and was called a madman. Still, they don’t know it was Hikage here. Ai looks at the sky and wonders what future it connects to – surely everyone would have to pass someday, but until then, she will keep the courage she received from Natsuki and everyone else, and move forward with her life.

 

GOOD ENDINGS

Kazuya END
Before they head to see Hikage, Monshiro says he’s always wanted to return the ribbon to Beni even though she doesn’t remember that she lent it to him. In this place, it had been his hope and what protected him and kept him alive. He hugs her and says that in this cold place, he’d almost forgotten what warmth felt like until he met her and the others again, regaining back his memories. Now he wants to return them back to where they came from and tells Beni not to give up hope no matter what happens. Later when everyone is sleeping, Monshiro leaves to go fight Hikage alone.

Hikage taunts him by saying that Monshiro’s pendant has already become pretty clouded over – any more and he’d be taken to Naraku, where no one has ever returned from, to face a loneliness greater than what he’d experienced in the mansion. Hikage also shows him Yamato’s memories as Takuya – that he’d thought of Kazuya as a burden from time to time, and that Kazuya has effectively stolen both his past and future from him. Monshiro grasps for the first time that he hasn’t DIED since the incident, and was merely put into a comatose state for 10 years. Hikage says there’s nothing waiting for him even if he returns to life, since he has no friends and has been rejected by his older brother. Hikage makes to shoot him, and —

Monshiro wakes up outside, having been saved and covered for by Kagiha/Natsuki. Monshiro asks why Kagiha saved him since doesn’t he want to return to life, and thus kept obeying Hikage? Kagiha says that he can’t overlook just letting Hikage gun down his old friend after all. Kagiha understands that what Monshiro has been doing was always to help others so no one would fall victim to Hikage’s plans anymore. Monshiro asks him why he’s so kind, to the point that he literally died for someone like him, who didn’t even have the ‘wish’ to return to the living world? If only Monshiro didn’t exist, then none of this would have happened. Kagiha says that truthfully he wishes that Monshiro would let him live beside Beni and back out — and Monshiro freaks, thinking that it’s true that no one wants him around. There’s a cracking sound and the screen fades to black.

When Beni wakes up in the greenhouse, she discovers Monshiro missing. She’s left in the greenhouse to wait as Yamato and Karasuba search the mansion for Monshiro. She then spots black butterflies in the greenhouse, which means something really bad must have happened. She follows the black butterflies and hears the sound of wind blowing. Thinking it might mean a window opened somewhere, she heads to the sound and finds herself in the main entrance. A huge hole has opened in the ground and wind is coming from the hole that seems to lead into nowhere. Kagiha is found nearby and tells her it’s the entrance to Naraku, an endless darkness. Beni begs him to tell her what happened to Monshiro, because she spies his pendant near the entranceway. Kagiha explains that Monshiro who finally fell to despair has pretty much brought Naraku to them because his soul was closer to it than anyone else’s. He had absorbed despair over ten years continuously, and was still able to go on thanks to having the protective ribbon. Now that the ribbon is with Beni, Monshiro had succumbed to what had been building up inside him.

Beni wants to go to him, recalling his loneliness and how Monshiro had even forgotten the feeling of warmth. She grips the ribbon in her hands and declares that she’ll get him back out of there, she won’t let him be alone. Kagiha asks if that means she likes Monshiro, and Beni doesn’t know. All she knows is that she wants to hold him close to her. Kagiha wants to stop her because he doesn’t want to lose her. Beni apologizes to him – she thought she was alone because everyone kept a piece of her past from her, but having people worry about her like this means she isn’t alone after all, right? She wants to tell Monshiro – Kazuya – the same, that he isn’t alone. She leaves her hairpin with Kagiha, telling him that it seems to be the last piece of the kaleidoscope. She wants everyone to return to the living world, even should she not be able to return.

When Beni falls into Naraku, she is first afraid but the ribbon glows and floats as if leading her somewhere. She sees some of Kazuya’s memories: his meeting with Hikage and kid!Natsuki in the mansion, who recognizes him as Kazuya. Hikage says he’ll give Kazuya back his memories if he helps him in completing the kaleidoscope. Natsuki was always with Hikage, and hopes to finish the kaleidoscope so he can be revived, even as Kazuya wants to escape with him. They bid their farewells here, because Kazuya doesn’t want to see anyone be hurt or sacrificed for Hikage’s goals anymore. From that point on, Kazuya began to live alone, not interacting with anyone else who came to the mansion for fear of dragging them into his problems. But over time, he also began to forget who he was, and his family…he even lost his face, but his feelings that he absolutely had to return the ribbon to someone kept him alive all this time. He wouldn’t allow himself to disappear before that.

Beni realizes the true extent of what had befallen Monshiro in this place, and continues to look for him. The ribbon leads her finally to where he is – alone, and without his memories of her, even as she desperately tries to reach out to him and talk to him. He wants to be left alone here. Beni talks to him about the ribbon and how he had wanted to return it to her all this time, waiting in this place. He begins to slowly remember things like how she’d always included him, who was lonely, in the group of friends, saving him from loneliness. He recalls her, and says it’s better if she didn’t bring him back because he’s just trouble for everyone. Beni tells him that’s not true – and well, friends and family trouble each other all the time anyway. It’s no good to just hold your own martyrdom and not repay people for the worry you’ve caused them either. She persuades Monshiro to follow her out.

They make it to a surface of water with light shining from afar. Monshiro is unable to advance as he keeps sinking, and any more than this the both of them won’t be able to return. He tells Beni to head back alone, as all he hopes for is for her to live happily by this point. He kisses her goodbye and in her shock, Beni lets go of his hand, and he sinks into the dark depths. She hates that she’s letting him slip away at this point and begs desperately for some way to reach him — and the ribbon joining her to the surface seems to grow longer and she’s able to reach Monshiro, grabbing his hand. There’s a flash of white and she wakes in the hospital, which she recognizes as the same one that Kazuya is in. She rushes to him and catches him as he wakes up – alive, after ten years. Later, the details of the accident are explained to her.

It turns out that Takuya and Aki haven’t awakened from their slumber. They’re still somewhere in that mansion. They’re also in the same hospital ward, so Kazuya and Ai visit to talk to them often. They won’t give up that the two of them will return one day, because it was ‘hope’ that brought them back, and so they hope that their thoughts can do the same for Takuya and Aki. Ai thinks about how Kazuya had kissed her and says, flustered, that she might like him – and Kazuya says he likes her and wants to be with her forever. I was expecting Takuya/Aki to awake at this point yelling about how this ain’t gonna fly in their books or something LOL.

Still, Kazuya and Ai aren’t gonna do anything yet, because they want to wait till the rest return to declare their feelings for each other. Just then, Aki and Takuya move just a little, shocking them. Those two are probably coming back soon anytime now and the route ends here on a positive note.


Takuya END

Happens after the Best End. Takuya calls Ai out to tell her something about Kazuya. Takuya says he HAS ALWAYS LIKED AI AS A KID but he was too dishonest about his feelings. He was kinda annoyed that Kazuya got close to her. Kazuya fell during the camp and Ai used her keepsake from her mom to bandage the wound,. Takuya got jealous so he loosened the ribbon, hoping that it’d get lost and Kazuya and Ai would quarrel. IN THE END, LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED. Takuya admits that sometimes he wished Kazuya weren’t around, so he wouldn’t have to keep going to the hospital, and all he wanted was to be forgiven. Ai tells him not to blame himself because his dedication to his brother isn’t a joke. Going to the hospital everyday without fail for ten years is a sure sign that he does care for Kazuya.

Takuya asks her to lend him her strength because he wants to go to apologize to Kazuya in hospital. There, he tells Kazuya about his feelings and what he did and says he’s sorry. Kazuya forgives him because well, Takuya is an idiot but so is he – he got jealous of Takuya too because Takuya was popular and well-liked everywhere, unlike him. He knew Takuya liked Ai. That’s why he borrowed the ribbon from Ai, so he could make Takuya jealous of him. Kazuya thinks it’s alright if they make up now because it’s all over anyway, and thanks Takuya for taking care of him everyday. Brothers are beautiful. Kazuya tells Ai to shush too if she’s gonna apologize, and returns the ribbon to her. He says that returning it was always his hope and it kept him safe for a very long time. In return, she better come visit him even if she already has the ribbon back! Ai promises to do so and Kazuya continues by thanking her for saving Takuya, and entrusts him to her (LOL).

On the way back, Ai wonders if she was able to become a woman befitting of the ribbon that her mother gave her (in other words, a lovely lady just like how lovely the ribbon is) and Takuya helps her put it on her hair, saying it fits her. He also says he STILL likes her. After all the time and experiences they’ve had together, he wants her to know that her unfailing spirit back in the mansion was what saved him. He wants Ai to stay by his side, so he can do the same for her. THEY CAN OVERCOME ANYTHING TOGETHER…or that’s how Ai feels at least, and Takuya wants her to affirm that she really means what she said. He kisses her and she says she does like him – if they’re with each other, it’s all gonna be okay. Happy Disney ending is very happy.

Aki END
Also happens after the Best End. They basically skip class together to hang out at the playground they used to play at as kids. Aki admits he hated being weak and could only watch as the tragedy of summer camp unfolded before his eyes as a kid, and sought to change himself so he would no longer be the one protected by everyone else. However, even after he became popular and stuff, he met Ai at their school opening ceremony and felt he’d returned to the past somehow. He feared becoming weak again. He apologizes for being mean to her back in the mansion, all the things he said about not being able to trust her, or that it would be great if you could just relegate all the things you disliked into being a ‘dream’.

Ai tells him she’s also guilty of running away from Natsuki’s death and indulging in the kindness of others like Aki, but she won’t run away anymore!! Aki jokes about giving him a kiss to make up but Ai knows he’s always doing this to cover for his real feelings. When he jokes, it usually means he’s serious somewhere under all that. She takes his hand instead. Even if she can’t handle kissing right now, she can at least do this! They can move forward at their own pace and she wants to be with him. Aki is super taken aback by the sudden confession because he wasn’t expecting it. Ai wants to come to like Aki day by day as he is right now and he hugs her, saying like this is fine. Going their own pace is okay.

 

BAD ENDINGS

Monshiro END
Beni is unable to reach Monshiro when he sinks and disappears. Ai later wakes up alone in hospital and the other three show no sign of coming back. She goes to visit Kazuya often and weeps that even though she knows there’s no way he’s going to come back, she can’t help but have hope everytime she opens the door to his ward. Ai will continue living in this cycle of hope and despair for many years to come, as she promises to keep waiting for him no matter how long it takes.


Yamato END

Picks up from saving Yamato and leaving him in the greenhouse. Beni keeps bringing him fun stuff to play with over the days!! Yamato takes an interest in a soccer ball and there’s a light scene where they just enjoy passing the ball around and exercising. Beni says he reminds her of her dog LOL poor guy. Yamato thanks her for coming all the time because being alone is sad. He doesn’t have the certainty to head back as he is right now, and her concern for him is already more than enough. “I don’t need anything else, so…just show me your face once in awhile.” WOW Yamato WHEN DID YOU GET SO DERE?

But things take a turn when Hikage catches Beni just as she’s about to head out and she fibs that she’s just going to look for something she’d dropped…keeping her promise to Yamato. BUT! As a result she can’t head to where he is tonight. Meanwhile Yamato is hoping to meet her, and begins to hear someone’s voice chiding him that how can he still think he deserves forgiveness after having committed a crime? Yamato is very unsettled by this. From that day on, Hikage starts to watch Beni closely and she finds her movements locked down. Yamato’s sanity meter keeps falling because the sound of the rain at night is getting to him, it’s reminding him of something bad. He starts to call out to Beni, and begins to hallucinate that she came for him. Uh. What. Beni has a feeling that someone is calling for her and feels guilty that she hasn’t been able to keep her promise to Yamato to visit everyday.

She eventually goes to tell Hikage about Yamato and notes that even though he hears that she found Yamato, he doesn’t seem TOO happy about it? (OBVIOUSLY LOL) Hikage says he’ll watch her from afar when she goes to visit because technically she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about Yamato. When Beni heads to find Yamato, she discovers that Yamato’s gone and something else is off about the room: the white butterflies are gone too. Beni rushes out to inform Hikage, only to find him missing as well!? She goes off to look for them.

She spots black butterflies gathered outside a door and enters a place that looks like a study. Here she finds Yamato, who says she’s come “again” for him just as she did “every day”…which is really weird because Beni didn’t go everyday. The sound of the rain won’t stop and his SAN is really reaching 0…he says it’s all his fault Kazuya (his younger brother) won’t wake up, and he can’t find a way out of this darkness or escape the sound of the rain. He confesses that he killed his brother because he loosened the ribbon (what were they doing, rock-climbing?) …and that Hikage isn’t his brother, ‘Kazuya’ is.

Yamato didn’t want Beni to know any of this but he also wanted her to know and accept him at the same time. He doesn’t want to ask for forgiveness but he’s already at his limit. Beni blames herself for letting this happen to him…they’re in this self-blaming shit together apparently, and hugs him. Yamato says she’ll be dirtied too but she doesn’t care, even if she’s eventually torn apart by him. She feels that they’re both the same kind of people, even from a long time back. Yamato calls her real name – “Ai” – and asks her not to leave him alone anymore. Beni replies with his real name, “Takuya”, and says they’ll always be together like this – two people who hope for forgiveness.

Karasuba END
After Yamato turns into the monster, Karasuba comes to Beni’s room and asks if she’s alright if the whole thing was just a dream – this world and everything in it. Beni says it’s not good to forget because it means you can’t move on and Karasuba kabe-dons her, chiding that she isn’t strong at all and is just putting up a positive front – she’s always trying to run away from facing the monsters outside and doesn’t want to face any possible threats. When Beni gets upset at his actions he backs off, saying it was all just a joke. He changes the topic, saying he feels that Monshiro is someone familiar to them all and that someone who should be there has snuck into their group. (Hi Hikage)

After everyone remembers their childhood, Beni catches him along and he says he thought of destroying the kaleidoscope because he doesn’t want to head back to the real world or remember his childhood of being weak and bullied. He thinks it’s best if she doesn’t remember the rest of the story of summer camp either, because it’s happier for her to stay in this place. Karasuba likes that he can “do over” his weakness in this world as ‘Karasuba’, protecting her. He asks her to “redo” with him, to not face cruel reality but to live in a nice dream together. Beni takes his hand and promises that they’ll always be together. She falls asleep on him and he lugs her off to her room. When she wakes, he’s beside her. Karasuba goes to make breakfast for her and she finds it strange that no one is around. Karasuba says they’ve always been together alone in this place, and is persuaded that it’s just her imagination that something is off. The days keep passing and it’s just the two of them.

Karasuba ends up pouncing Beni one day and persuading her that it’s totally okay to keep dreaming – they’re going to be together forever in this make-believe world of theirs, and beni lets go of the nagging feeling telling her that something is ‘wrong’, and basically falls into indulgence. \o/ This was incredibly sudden.

Kagiha END
The night before everyone goes to final showdown with Hikage, Beni hears a voice telling her that she’s completely alone. She has no one she can believe in because her friends have betrayed her and are hiding things from her. She runs out of the greenhouse to escape the voice and bumps into Kagiha, whom she pushes away because she’s afraid he’s an illusion. He calms her down and makes her remember the promise they made as kids to be married, and asks her for her wish because it would be his wish too. Beni doesn’t want to be hurt anymore and only wants to live in a world of happiness with the person she likes.

The next scene is…of her and Natsuki living together as a married couple, together in their happiness. As Ai, she waits for him to return from his work and they’ve been passing their days doing cute things. When she feels cold, he holds her from behind and Natsuki asks if Ai is truly okay with this, because he hopes his promise hadn’t stolen her future from her. Ai replies that it’s alright and she is happy now. However, the world is obviously a delusion that she’s seeing. They’re really still in the mansion, and this is the kind of ‘world’ she’s chosen; to sink into this faraway place together, in their illusion of happiness. This was also incredibly sudden.

 

EXTRA ENDINGS

“REALITY” END
Acts as a prologue to the incidents of the game. Beni wakes up as Ai, and doesn’t remember what she dreamt of. She heads out of the house to meet up with Aki, heading to school with him. She feels someone watching her (probably Takuya?) and recounts that she reunited with Aki after ten years at their school’s opening ceremony. Aki swapped to calling her by her family name by this point, and Ai felt that he’d changed a lot. To be honest, she thinks she’s bad at dealing with his newfound assertiveness. After school they meet up again and Ai finds a strange shop selling accessories, taking interest in a beautiful butterfly hairpin. There’s a card attached to it that reads “PsycheDelos” and neither of them know what it means. An old man appears out of nowhere and explains that it’s referring to the “other world”. The psyche is the soul and the delos is the ‘condition’/state.

From a long time back, butterflies had been equated with souls that have already lost their physical bodies. The place where many butterflies gather is known as PsycheDelos, or, “the other world”. Now, it’s known more commonly as Psychedelica. Everything in the shop is meant to be used as mourning jewelry to mourn the loss of someone, and the old man wonders if Ai had lost someone important to her. Aki pulls her away and they hang out until sunset, and he gives the hairpin to her as a gift, having bought it in secret. Ai feels bad for accepting it because it’s not like it’s her birthday, but Aki leaves before she can say any more about it.

Right after, a voice calls out to her – it’s Takuya, and Ai recognizes him immediately. Another reunion! Takuya has to leave soon (to visit Kazuya probably) and they swap mail addresses. Later, Ai inspects the hairpin and realizes it’s similar to a glass shard that she received during summer camp ten years ago. It was a present from Natsuki, who said it was pretty and suited her well. Recalling Natsuki makes Ai sad because he was her first love, and she still cannot forget him till this day. A mail comes from Aki asking her out for something, and Ai wonders how to reply because it seems Aki likes her. She doesn’t know if she wants to be alone with him because she doesn’t quite feel the same way as she did for Natsuki for him? Then, she has an idea and calls Takuya out too! The three of them have fun the next day even though Takuya and Aki don’t seem to get along, squabbling for almost the entirety of the outing. They’re those fistkiss types, maybe.

On the way back, Ai wonders what Aki has to say to her. Aki confronts her about her avoiding being alone with him, which Ai denies but Aki can see right through her. He confesses that he likes her and hasn’t been joking to her all this time, and wonders if she’s still in love with Natsuki, even though he’d already passed away. This makes the tension between them grow and Aki realizes what he’d said, and apologizes for going too far. He’s well aware that Ai was put into a very dark place after Natsuki’s passing. Ai says Aki has changed from back then, and Aki yells that of course he has. He isn’t a coward anymore. He wants Ai to look at him now, not to search for the him of the past, but is also aware that Ai doesn’t know anything about him anymore after he’d gone to a different middle school.

Aki leaves after that and Ai thinks about his words, and recounts the events of the summer camp that led to Natsuki’s passing. Ai acknowledges that she’d been running away from reality since that point, and wonders what happened to Kazuya. She phones Takuya about it, and Takuya asks her to come to the hospital if she really wants to see him. Ai hears about Kazuya’s condition from Takuya, and comments that Kazuya seems to be suffering even as he sleeps. She also says it’s alright if he doesn’t return the ribbon to her, as she’ll receive it from him directly when he wakes instead.

Takuya says it’s alright even if he has to give up his dreams as a kid of being a soccer player, though he used to be really good at it. He’s the only one coming to see Kazuya, as their parents are busy at work. Ai feels glad she’s not the only one caught in the past (OI…) though she doesn’t like feeling this way. For the next few days she keeps running away from meeting Aki, and heading to go see Kazuya. Through all this, Ai comes to see herself and Takuya as fellows bound together, unable to escape their common past. Ai understands that having everyone move to different places after the accident might’ve been a good thing, because care-freely talking about the past would hurt all of them in different ways – like having a pink elephant in the room and trying to ignore it but hurting others in the process. Takuya himself tends to remember Kazuya’s half-drowned state when it rains. Ai apologizes because she thinks it’s all her fault and Takuya says it’s not her fault because HE was at fault too – and tells her not to cry because he doesn’t know what to do. He’s truthfully glad that she’s also bothered about the incident just like him.

Their moment is interrupted by Aki, who says he had the suspicion Ai was avoiding him. He’s angry because she’s been hanging with Takuya. The two of them who haven’t entirely accepted the incident at summer camp, what are they gonna do, lick each other’s wounds? Aki calls her out on wanting to just stay in a place that makes her feel safe, and it isn’t facing up to reality at all. Aki is mad because he thinks Takuya is hiding something from Ai, and says they’re both far more cowardly and fearful than how he was in the past. Everything they had that he didn’t have, seems to have been dropped into the lake too during the incident, and it frustrates him. Ai tries to stop the fight between Takuya and Aki, saying all she wants is for them to return to how they were before. Aki replies that fine, they should settle everything by heading to the lake again, and redo everything from the point where they all split apart.

They meet up and board the bus to take them to the lake. It’s storming heavily. Ai brought along the hairpin gift from Aki and the shard that Natsuki had given her – symbols of both past and future, which she holds precious. Ai is unable to choose between the two. She finds herself falling asleep and hears the voices of Takuya and Aki quarreling after Takuya says he wants to head back. Aki is aware of Takuya’s issues with Kazuya and knows what part Takuya had to play in Kazuya’s accident. Shortly after, the accident happens due to the terrible weather conditions and the three of them are drawn into the mansion, to the starting point of the story.

 

ALTERNATE SUMMER CAMP END
“What if instead of crossing back during the storm, everyone decided to wait it out in the mansion?” ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENS AND EVERYONE IS SAFE EVEN THOUGH IT IS VERY COLD. Ai talks about how Takuya got chased by her pet dog Koro and everyone laughs, cheering them all up. They return to the adults at the campsite the next day and get scolded, but all is well.

Present day, Ai is nagged by her sister to not keep her friends waiting outside for her. Aki and Takuya are waiting to collect her on her way to school outside, and it seems like everyone’s relations as childhood friends is still intact in this ending! Takuya is still part of the soccer club and Kazuya is alive, but they left him at home because he was still sleepy. They all dash to school because they’re late! Aki is still hitting on Ai in this worldline…some things never change.

Everyone’s supposed to gather around Ai’s house later in the day – even Natsuki. He was late and couldn’t meet Ai outside her school, so told her to go back first. Ai finds Takuya, Kazuya and Aki along the way and Natsuki joins them later, greeting Ai as she nears her house. Natsuki says it’s like welcoming a new bride home and he talks about their marriage promise as kids and the rest of the guys are like THAT AIN’T FAIR!!! Ai wants to flip all of them and tell them to get in her house. They can all enjoy their time together and snack while talking. Ai says she’s happy to be here with everyone, and thinks that that these days with all of them together like this are incredibly precious and irreplaceable to her. This is a very happy ending indeed.

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS

To be honest, I’m not feeling it from this game. I get that it’s fast-paced and more focused on plot rather than romance (which I liked), but fast-paced doesn’t mean you can overlook character development. A lot of the plot-twists were too sudden, like I was supposed to believe this group of characters are close friends or childhood buddies, when they barely trusted each other like two scenes back? Seriously? None of them really do anything to affirm their relationships, and I didn’t like that. You can’t tell me “they have a close bond!” and not show that at all. A lot of interaction was also glossed over in the narration by saying “a few days later”. This happened many times.

Beniyuri’s character was incredibly inconsistent to me. In Hikage and Monshiro’s route, she was stronger and more proactive in making choices. You could see her determination to save those she cared about, despite having to shoulder her own issues. Everywhere else, she just came off as a girl too caught up in her problems that she starts to self-victimize (every other character is guilty of this tbh). I found it incredibly hypocritical for her to say “move on!” while getting hung up in…pretty much any scene where the summer camp issue is touched upon, aka 60% of the game. Like, I get it’s sad for those involved but it’s so grating after awhile. Martyrdom doesn’t sit well with me (personally) so I got really annoyed at half the game.

Karasuba and Kagiha’s ends might as well just be omake material. Too sudden, too much world-bending involved. I don’t understand how Beni can suddenly literally give up on life out of nowhere and activate some incredible delusion/imaginary world. How does this even WORK. I’m also not very fond of how long it takes the cast to communicate, or how long it takes for people to put two and two together. A lot of what’s happening is incredibly obvious I.E. Yamato turning into a monster. Beni witnessed it happening to someone prior to this. Why didn’t she say anything? Also, you can’t tell me the group are ~best friends~ when all they do is stop and stare at him during his transformation. I wanted someone to run up and try to help/stop him, but they just let him go like that!? Everyone keeping information from Beni was so, so, so frustrating because 1) you’re not helping anything 2) don’t you think telling her yourself is kinder than letting Hikage tell her. PLEASE.

Also there’s no mystery in this damn game at all unless you consider “look at me being suspicious” “WHAT ARE YOU HIDING!” “i can’t tell you…” rinse and repeat to be ‘mystery’. I like things where I can actually use my brain to think and investigate. Cockblocking information from the viewer isn’t what I’m looking for.

Pros: Usagi was amazing, her relationship with Beni was one of the best things developed. I could believe THEY grew close, as compared to Beni and everyone else. Hikage’s route was good and I enjoyed it. Ishikawa Kaito’s performance as Hikage was very enjoyable and I really felt that his character was better developed here VS the other routes, where he sort of just did a 180 out of nowhere. His route was the only one I kind of teared up in, because how he had opened up to Beni over time was obviously causing him a lot of suffering. I also liked Aki yelling at Takuya/Ai about them being hung up on the past because, yeah, the amount of ‘hung up’ in this game cannot be put into words. There’s nothing left for you in the past, guys. Hosoya Yoshimasa as Yamato was AMAZING, there’s also a lot of emotion put into his words when he begins to cry. I liked all the group segments, so I wished there had been more of those in the mansion’s world because it just felt SO LACKING. One thing I would give full marks in is the music. Amazing sound direction makes the atmosphere of the game very believable!

Advertisements

One thought on “Otome Game Review: Kokuchou no Psychedelica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s