Ichiko is a college student whose brother has disappeared in a town called Okunezato a year before the story begins. Her childhood friend, Hino, joins a Supernatural club from a website that discusses the mysteries surrounding the town. The club hosts an offline meetup in Okunezato and Hino suggests Ichiko to go investigate her brother’s disappearance.
Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my last review, but I really wanted to review this game because I have a lot to say about it. As always, if you don’t wanna be spoiled, just head to conclusive thoughts. Also, beware because this review has swearing 😆
The first thing you’re shown when you start the game is a cinematic of a woman running away from several people. She has blood on her hands and is desperate to make a call. Suddenly, someone finds her and we’re taken to another cinematic of purple petals with a mysterious monologue.
Fast forward to Ichiko and Hino deciding to go to Okunezato and we’re shown yet another beautiful cinematic of a bus heading towards the town. This is where the common route begins.
Since this story has a lot of mysteries, the game kinda forces you to play the routes in a specific order: Hino – Isora – Toa – Sosuke – Yuzuki – ???’s True End – Hanate (aka Ichiko’s bro). Even so, you still have a bunch of choices you need to make in order to raise the guys’ affection and enter their route.
The common route serves as a sort of introduction to the world of 7’scarlet. You meet the guys, you find out most of them are there for the Supernatural club’s meetup, you notice a strange presence in the woods, you decide to work at the Fuurinkan hotel (the only one in Okunezato) so as to have more days to investigate Ichiko’s brother’s disappearance.
Okunezato is known to have seven mysteries passed down among its townspeople. These are:
- Revenants: When the rainy season ends and summer begins, the dead return to life and wander around town. They are called revenants and are said to have eternal life. They are brought back to “life” by mysterious flowers called Violacias.
- Violacias: Pale purple flowers that are said to be found within Okunezato. They have the power to bring back the dead.
- Konohana Sakuya: A Japanese myth that is said to have taken place in Okunezato. Ninigi-no-Mikoto refused to marry Iwanagahime, who promised him eternal life, and instead chose to marry her younger sister, Konohana Sakuya, for her beauty. Iwanagahime got furious and cursed Ninigi-no-Mikoto to live a short life. It is said that humans are mortal because of this curse.
- Mysterious Disappearances in Okunezato: Those who enter the mountains will never return. This is supposedly the reason why Okunezato has forbidden areas which prevent anyone from going into the mountains. The true reason is unknown.
- Okune Pyres: Fox fires (similar to will o’ wisps) burn in the mountains surrounding Okunezato on dark summer nights. They can often be seen during Obon, the festival of the dead, and are rumored to be the burning souls of those who have passed on.
- The Once Perfectly Round Town: There’s a theory stating that Okunezato was once round. Over the years, the theory has been highly embellished, affecting it’s actual veracity. This has given rise to a number of occult-themed tales, such as one where burial mounds slowly overtake the town.
- No One Knows: In the center of the main street in Okunezato you can catch a glimpse of the Okune Panda, Okunezato’s cute but unofficial mascot, and take a picture or shake hands with him. What’s strange is that he appears in the dead of the night. No one knows who’s the one inside the costume.
Except for the Okune Panda mystery, all of the legends have a BIG connection to death. Which isn’t a coincidence, of course, since the game’s main message is: “To say goodbye is to die a little”. To add to that, the legends hint on there being supernatural themes in the game so expect a lot of that too 😆 .
Apart from the mysteries, Okunezato is known for being unwelcoming of outsiders. Well, it’s not really the townspeople that are against having outsiders but the Murakumo family, that manages the town and even controls the police. The actual reason for the Murakumos’ aversion to outsiders, though, is a mystery (which is revealed later, of course).
Anyway, all of this info dump is thrown at you during the common route until you reach the day of the summer festival. For the first 4 routes, the guys will invite Ichiko to go with them and, if you selected all the right choices and spent time with them during the barbecue scene, you’ll have reached their route (and, of course, if they’re unlocked too).
Something to take note of before heading to the actual routes so as to make things easier to explain:
- Ichiko hates strawberries.
- Ichiko has a lapis lazuli marble that she’s had since she was a child and keeps it as a lucky charm, though she doesn’t remember how she got it.
- Ichiko has actually visited Okunezato when she was a kid but has no memory of this. In fact, she doesn’t remember much of her childhood (there’s a reason, of course).
- Every single one of the guys is from Okunezato so, even though only 3 of them could be considered her childhood friends, Ichiko met them all when she was 8.
- Ichiko’s brother’s name is mentioned for the first time in Sosuke’s route but it’d be a pain to write “Ichiko’s brother” all the time so I’ll just use his name: Hanate.
- There are several recurring secondary characters in the story. They are: Yuki (a really smart but cheeky middle schooler who helps out at the hotel), Yua (a cheerful young woman who works at the hotel and loves videogames), Karasuma (a scary looking novelist), Tsukuyomi (a landscape photographer who also likes to take pictures of cute girls) and Yasu (an incompetent police officer who fails as comic relief).
- There’s an idol called A-TO who plans to give a concert in Okunezato’s middle school’s gym. Unfortunately, this concert gets cancelled in every route due to a series of murders.
- The true route belongs to Toa, so that’s why I’ll talk about him after Sosuke and Yuzuki even though he’s supposed to be the 3rd route you should play.
Hino is Ichiko’s childhood friend who loves cute things like mascots (d’awww) and even goes to the same college as her (I wonder why 😆 ). He’s the only one of the romance-able guys who’s acquainted with Hanate and the one who suggests Ichiko to look for clues on his disappearance. The day Ichiko and him go to the festival, we get a glimpse of Hino’s past and learn he’s got PTSD of guns. The reason is that, when they were kids, he took Ichiko to a haunted house in their neighborhood. This sweet kid only wanted to impress his crush by being a hero but, unfortunately, there was a serial killer inside. The killer dares Hino to shoot him unless he wants Ichiko to be killed, but the poor kid is scared shitless. In the end, Hanate comes and saves them both. If it wasn’t already bad enough that Hino got an inferiority complex towards Hanate, he also gets mad at Hino for failing to protect Ichiko. After that, Hino vows to protect her and starts a daily running routine to get stronger…OK. I think Hino is a sweetheart but, honestly, this whole “I’ll protect you with my life” bullshit is why I think the route wasn’t all that good. Not only do we have a cliché childhood romance in which one party has no fucking clue the other one loves them, but we also have Hino sounding like a broken record saying he knows EVERYTHING about Ichiko (really?) and constantly acting like her knight in shining armor (even willing to give up his life for her, wtf).
To be fair, though, Hino had a lot of cute moments (like the pool scene) and is probably my 3rd favorite route. I felt really sorry for him when he tried to confess his love only to get interrupted by being shot on the leg. Anyway, there’s a point in the route where Ichiko dreams of a strange shrine that gives her the feeling it’s related to her brother. After visiting Hino at the hospital, because of the shot on the leg, she finds an anonymous letter that tells her to go to that shrine and…she has the brilliant idea of going alone 🤦♀️. Remember when I said there were recurring murders in all of the routes? Yup, it’s in THAT scenario that she thinks going alone to an abandoned shrine in the middle of nowhere is a good idea. As you can imagine, she meets the villain (with the most annoying, and over the top laugh I’ve ever heard) who wears a cat mask to cover his face but reveals himself as the killer from the shack incident in her past. Because of plot convenience, Hino comes to save the day but the killer uses the same tactic he used in the past to scare him: telling Hino to grow a pair and shoot him. In the “normal” end, Hino actually saves Ichiko but dies; wow, thanks game ಠ_ಠ. In the happy ending, though, the one who saves them is Karasuma (who the killer had also abducted), since the gun had no bullets in the first place. For some reason, Hino and Ichiko come to the conclusion that her bro died and Hino confesses his love for her at Hanate’s “grave”. Ichiko then “remembers” she also fell in love with Hino at first sight (ಠ_ಠ???). Plot wise, not a whole lot is revealed, only that Ichiko is “special”. Which is kinda sad since, despite being the one who knows Ichiko the most, Hino’s the least involved in the plot.
Isora is a high school student who works as the Fuurinkan hotel’s chef and dreams to be a patissier in the future. The truth is he actually comes from Okunezato and is working at the cafe due to his mom being sick. In the past, his parents used to have a restaurant with lots of customers but, unfortunately, it was destroyed by the Murakumo family after a false rumor spread and made visitors avoid the town (his father had also passed away, so it made handling the restaurant more difficult). This makes Isora greatly resent the Murakumos, of course. Isora also met Ichiko when they were kids, so he’s another one of his childhood friends. He used to make desserts for Ichiko until, one day, she got food poisoned by one of his tarts because he had used rotten strawberries without noticing (this is why Ichiko hates them). Anyway, one day, Isora is in need of some groceries and Ichiko offers to get them at the store by herself, much to his dismay. She promises to go stray back to the hotel after getting the ingredients but, of course, her stupidity in Hino’s route wasn’t enough and strikes yet again 🤦♀️. The thing is, some hours prior to that, Yuki had been spirited away and Isora and Ichiko had seen a black car that they suspected could have abducted him.
When Ichiko gets out of the grocery store, she spots the same car and follows after it to an isolated part of town. The killer finds her and she’s almost killed but Isora comes just in time (nah, he was actually following her), although she does get her leg injured. Isora then turns into Toma 2 and takes Ichiko to an underground refugee, where he’ll keep her for a few days until it’s safe to go outside. At first, Ichiko’s like “sure, man” but then she starts to suspect he could be the bad guy. Here’s the thing, it’s already pretty fucking obvious Isora is a yandere who’s possessive as hell (poor Hino already got the chills from his cold glare) but, if you decide to tell him he’s suspicious as hell, THE DUDE LOSES HIS SHIT and, even though what remains of the route goes by in the same way as the good path, you get the normal end WHERE ICHIKO RETURNS HOME LEAVING A SAD ISORA BEHIND, OK THEN. Back to the good path, despite Ichiko actually doubting Isora, she still decides to blindly trust him. However, the killer finds her anyway and is about to try to kill her yet again until Isora, after getting his hand injured, smacks the murderer’s head against the floor like a fucking psycho. The refugee starts burning but who cares about priorities cause’ Isora confesses his undying love for Ichiko telling her he loved her since he was like 2 and that she’s the reason he wants to be a patissier. Thankfully, Ichiko realizes they shouldn’t be smooching in the middle of a fire so they get the hell out and are taken to the hospital where they kiss again after they wake up lmao 😆 . This route reveals a bit more, mainly the fact that Ichiko went to Okunezato when she was small and that, probably, Isora isn’t the only one who’s from this town.
Sosuke is definitely one of my favorite guys in the whole game. I actually felt that the romance in his route wasn’t forced at all and Ichiko had a lot more backbone and personality than in the first 3 paths. This is just a theory of mine, but I feel like Ichiko felt attracted to him ever since he helped her at the library (during the common route). And even after that, both have a lot of meaningful scenes where they learn a lot from each other. Sosuke probably has the best character development in the game. Anyway, this route is where things finally start to get interesting. First of all, we learn that revenants are actually real and they kill people to steal their life force, which is why there’s always a series of murders in every gameplay. Secondly, we learn that the Murakumo family’s vigilance committee is a group of hunters, called Ensepulchers, who kill revenants as if they were in the freaking middle ages. Thirdly, Violacias are real and we learn it from no other than Sosuke, who had discovered a field of them when he was a kid. This means, of course, that Sosuke’s also a former resident of Okunezato. Even though he decided to visit the town due to nostalgia, Sosuke has a bad relationship with his family, specially with his father, Shinryu Tatehira, whom he apparently saw kill a man during his childhood. Ichiko and Sosuke decide to form a team to look for her brother and to investigate the mysterious incidents that are taking place in Okunezato. I loved this team because it felt like both of them were important to the story, the route wasn’t solely focused on Sosuke or Ichiko alone but rather on the strong bond they formed. In fact, there’s a part where Ichiko even goes to investigate one of the forbidden areas all by herself. Yeah, it’s still pretty reckless but the way it’s handled here makes her look brave and determined rather than stupid and impulsive. Unfortunately, she doesn’t find anything and even gets the feeling that somebody’s watching her.
One day, Sosuke spots his father’s corpse while hiding with Ichiko from the revenant hunters inside Okune shrine. This obviously takes a toll on Sosuke, who’s conflicted on how to feel. And not that long afterwards, much to Ichiko’s dismay, Sosuke decides to investigate the mountain on his own, so she decides to follow him… only to get lost. I know this doesn’t help her case but I would have lost my ass there too and Sosuke is an experienced hiker 😆 so I can’t really blame her here (plus she was worried about him and I found that very sweet). Although Sosuke manages to find her, the vigilance committee finds them as well and they are told to visit the Murakumo mansion at night. Here, they meet Yuzuki’s father and learn that Shinryu was an Ensepulcher (it’s revealed in the true route that the man he killed was actually Isora’s dad after he became a revenant) and that the Murakumos had found a notebook which belonged to Hanate. Enough reveals? Too bad! There’s more! One night, Ichiko’s attacked by the revenant serial killer but manages to escape thanks to the clock’s chime. Since the hotel had been completely sealed due to the series of dangerous incidents, it becomes pretty obvious that the killer is one of the residents there. Sosuke also shares the truth about revenants and, in the end, Tsukuyomi is revealed to be the criminal à la detective way lmao 😆 . Even though they catch him, Tsukuyomi denies killing Sosuke’s dad since he only kills women. In the happy ending, Sosuke and Ichiko confess their love for each other and he takes her to the field of Violacias ❤ It’s also shown that Sosuke had helped Ichiko at the mountain area when they were kids, but I liked how the route just mentions it as a cute extra and not as an excuse for Sosuke’s infatuation with Ichiko (he actually falls in love with her as they spend time together). Also, Sosuke has the best normal ending in the whole game. Instead of being depressing, like the others, he and Ichiko exchange numbers and he promises to take her to a restaurant in Tokyo ❤ . It also makes me pretty happy that Sosuke got so many beautiful hugging CGs but it sucks that his kiss CG is the worst of them all ;__;.
Ohhh Yuzuki, my boyyy. He’s my other favorite in the game and has a fantastic route. Yuzuki is the hotel’s owner and the son of the head of the Murakumo family. Since the Murakumos have been killing revenants for a long time, Yuzuki naturally knows about them and is…err WAS the leader of the Ensepulchers. Unlike the other routes, where you need to start from the prologue, you enter Yuzuki’s path by selecting his scenario at the beginning. The game starts with the same cinematic of the woman running away, only this time the scene is complete. By now, it’s pretty clear that she’s a revenant and that Yuzuki’s the one who finds her when she tries to make a phone call. It is later revealed that she was in fact Karasuma’s wife, Tsuzuri, and wanted to congratulate his husband on the release of his first novel. Yuzuki has a big distrust of people and thinks revenants should all be killed, until Tsuzuri changes his mind when she makes him realize how lonely of a person he is. Because of this change of heart, he helps Tsuzuri make the call to her husband and even tries to let her escape. However, she’s killed by the other hunters and, due to this incident, Yuzuki is expelled from the Ensepulchers; though he still goes out at night to try to help revenants in his own way. When Ichiko first comes into his life, he’s very hostile to her and constantly calls her a busybody. Fortunately, they start becoming closer after she nurses him back to health from a cold. It’s pretty funny because Yuki teases Ichiko a lot and even seems to root for them to be together lmao 😆 .
The Ichiko in this route also had a lot of backbone like in Sosuke’s (even more, actually), she isn’t simply a damsel in distress. Here, Ichiko learns about the revenants after Karasuma abducts her to confront Yuzuki. Karasuma had misunderstood Yuzuki’s intentions, though, and after hearing how he helped his wife, he lets him go. It’s really one of the best scenes in the game. Listening to Karasuma crying for his wife broke my heart in a million pieces. What’s funny is that Karasuma abducts Ichiko because he wrongly assumes she’s Yuzuki’s lover lmao 😆 . Another thing I loved was the silly bickering between Yuzuki and Ichiko that happened from time to time, like the part where she thought he was asking her out on a date when all he really intended was to take her to the Murakumos’ mansion since his father wanted to talk with her. On that note, Ichiko took me by real surprise with the way in which she stood up to Yuzuki’s father whenever he was being an asshole to him. It makes me wonder where the hell was this Ichiko in the other routes (not counting Sosuke’s). Before Hanate’s actual path, this is the route where we learn the most about him since a Murakumo himself helps Ichiko get clues regarding his brother’s disappearance. According to Yasu, Hanate had gone to the forbidden areas and was spied on by the Ensepulchers until he disappeared in the field of Violacias. The day of A-TO’s concert, Ichiko stays at the hotel alone waiting for Yuzuki to return. Unfortunately, Tsukuyomi takes advantage of the situation to attack her. She’s saved by Yuzuki and Sosuke who start working together (the reason being that Yuzuki told him about Shinryu’s death, which he had discovered with Ichiko a few days before)! Man, of course the best guys also make the best team. However, they get distracted when Tsukuyomi tells them he didn’t murder Sosuke’s dad. In fact, Yuzuki gets stabbed and it’s Karasuma who saves the day. Here’s the thing, if you get the normal ending, Yuzuki dies and becomes a revenant. Unlike the rest of the route, this ending is crap; it’s corny, it’s silly, it’s really not very well written and only serves to point the obvious: that Yuzuki has a younger brother (who’s heavily hinted to be Yuki). If you get the happy ending, though, Yuzuki gives one of the most beautiful love confessions I’ve ever heard (I even cried) and shares a passionate kiss with Ichiko. They are then taken to the hospital and when Yuzuki wakes up…he forgets about her. Just kidding, the asshole fakes amnesia on purpose, holy shit I’ve never seen a scene like this and it made me laugh my ass off 😆 . After the credits, though, we hear a call from piece of trash Yasu who says he gave Ichiko his bro’s notebook telling her it was inside Tsukuyomi’s bag (obviously a lie) and that they don’t know who killed Shinryu.
This route is where I think the game failed BIG TIME, so be prepared for a BIG rant. You know how the main plot in this story has to do with Ichiko trying to find stuff about Hanate’s disappearance, right? Welp, in Toa’s route, NO ONE GIVES A DAMN. To put it simply, his path feels like a whole different plot that’s unrelated to Ichiko’s. Toa is this shy glasses cat magnet dude who trips and stutters every five seconds. Ha! You think? You haven’t discovered his true persona yet. True, Toa may be this person, to some extent, but he also has another secret: he’s the famous idol A-TO! What? There’s more? He has lived in Okunezato until he was 14 years old; his family ran a hot springs hotel. What else? He’s the one who gave the marble to Ichiko and considers her his first love and his reason for singing…uh huh, and he supposedly loved her for 123565734 years. Ooook. Had enough? Too bad! He’s also the creator of Okune Panda. What?! We’re not done? We certainly aren’t! Yua is his twin sister who was raised separated from him due to a stupid tradition in Okunezato that prevents twins from growing up together. Stop! No more! HE’S DEAD AND CAME BACK TO LIFE AS A REVENANT. See where I’m going? Toa’s route is one big fucking list of plot twists that are thrown at you without mercy. Plus, for some reason, Ichiko doesn’t give a fuck about looking for his bro here, as she’s too infatuated with how much of a hunk Toa is. As if that weren’t enough, Toa talks about himself 24/7 and his manager is an annoying cockblocker bitch who thinks Ichiko doesn’t deserve him. The clichés and cringy-cheesy romance are already pretty damn awful, but the BIGGEST problem I have with Toa’s route is that everything is terribly inconsistent.
On the one hand, Toa’s this super shy guy but on the other hand, when he takes his glasses off, he is practically a sex god. Seriously? Don’t even get me started on how he trips every 2 seconds WITH GLASSES but then, somehow, is magically able to run through the forest sans glasses while not hitting a single pebble!! Then there’s the dialogue inconsistencies!! When you start the true route, you’re taken to the part where Tsukuyomi’s about to be caught. Ichiko suddenly asks if it’s true that he didn’t kill Sosuke’s dad. What? How the hell does she know that?? She only found that out in Sosuke’s and Yuzuki’s routes!!! Oh! And the marble reveal in the true route! At some point, when Yua confesses to killing Sosuke’s dad in order to protect Toa, she mentions that Ichiko was Toa’s first love. Yet, afterwards, minutes before the concert, Toa tells her the same fucking thing as if Ichiko hadn’t been paying attention to Yua a mere hour before. Back to Tsukuyomi, just because he says “there’s another revenant after Ichiko at the hotel, mwahaha” everyone loses their shit and make a meetup at the hotel’s cafe where they basically throw a bunch of info at your fucking face since the writer didn’t know how the hell he could deliver the remaining mysteries to the player. Everything is done à la detective way but VERY BADLY. After 6 fucking hours of talking, Yuzuki suddenly stabs his fucking arm because Yua continues trying to protect Toa from being discovered and, oh, behold! Toa screams like a madman at the sight of blood and is proven to be the revenant! DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER, JOHNNY!
Don’t get me wrong, I think Toa’s story is extremely sad and it broke my heart to know he died just before arriving at Okunezato, where he dreamed to give a concert. But the way it was handled, man. Awful. Real awful. It makes me conflicted on how should I interpret Toa’s character. The way he was portrayed throughout both his first route and true route made me think he was selfish jerk. First of all he’s the ONLY FUCKING GUY that doesn’t help Ichiko find clues about her brother, he just “helps her” talking about his past EVERY TIME HE’S WITH HER. Then, in the extended happy ending, HE TELLS HER HE’S DEAD ON A FUCKING LETTER. And last, but certainly not least, when the 1-song concert is about to begin, Yua saves Toa from garbage- I mean Yasu, who was planning to take him to the Murakumo mansion. She receives a stab as a result and Toa… What does he do? HE DOESN’T EVEN BLINK, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? BRO, SHE’S YOUR SISTER AND YOU ACT LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM OH MY GOD щ(ಠ益ಠщ). The other characters weren’t much better here either. No matter how much a girl in agony begs you to let her stay, someone should at least drive her to the fucking hospital. And finally…there’s the problem of Toa’s living regret. The extended happy ending makes it seem like he became a revenant to meet Ichiko again…which is cute and all BUT SUCH A FUCKING LIE BECAUSE HIS REGRET WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT BEING ABLE TO GIVE THE CONCERT. This is when inconsistency makes my blood boil. You can’t have a character be the embodiment of music passion and then suddenly take that away and make him zombie Romeo, for pete’s sake. All in all, Toa did have his cute moments, but most of his route was such a big mess that I honestly didn’t care. I really wanted to like this character, I really did. But, in the end, the poor way he was handled combined with his idol persona and the over the top cheesy romance ruined his character for me.
I don’t really see the point of this route except for throwing all the remaining loose ends at your face. Just like Toa’s 2 routes, this one is just as much of an info dump, only in the form of a big ass flashback monologue told from Hanate’s perspective. Noice. First of all, he isn’t really Ichiko’s brother. Yeah, of course he isn’t or he wouldn’t be a roma- actually nevermind. Hanate is an immortal revenant, in fact, he’s the first revenant who ever existed (by the way, revenants can only see in black and white except for the field of Violacias and blood). The way Hanate achieved immortality was by killing an ambrosia. Ambrosias are special humans that give revenants eternal life if they manage to kill them. Are things starting to make more sense now? That’s right, Ichiko’s an ambrosia. Another name they give them is “albino” because their pupils have a faint shade of red (usually very visible in pictures). Secondly, as I mentioned in other routes, Ichiko isn’t from Okunezato but had come once during summer while her parents were working and stayed at Hino’s parents’ house. It’s during this time that she met every single one of the boys. Even Yuzuki, who apparently saved her from a revenant at one point. Thirdly, it’s revealed that the serial killer, Kagura Tsukuyomi, is from Okunezato as well and tried to kill her a bunch of times. Anyway, moving on… Being immortal, Hanate’s bored out of his mind and the only excitement he gets is from seeing revenants killing people. That is, until he meets Ichiko. One day, before a woman revenant is able to kill her, Hanate intervenes. For who knows what reason, Hanate feels drawn to Ichiko and can’t let her die. So he protects her. But it’s not the only time. From this point onwards, Hanate protects Ichiko not only from revenants (who he can identify from humans) but also from Kagura Tsukuyomi. I swear to god, all this protecting was so over the top that it became fucking ridiculous. But anyway…since the murder attempts on Ichiko were far faaaar from over, Hanate takes her out of town. Because of plot convenience, Hanate can also change people’s memories at will (though they gradually fade if he’s too far away from them for a long time), so he changes Ichiko’s memories and pretends to be her brother. When Ichiko gets into middle school, his feelings for her “grow beyond” that of a brother. Lmao, yeah I’m not buying your stupid excuses, Hanate; even if that was the case, you’re still a freaking lolicon 😆 .
Anyway, five years later, Hino’s mom passes away and he moves out of Okunezato to live with his relatives. He visits Ichiko but because of his overprotective oniichan she doesn’t remember anything about him (or Okunezato, for that matter). With time, Hino forgets about Okunezato too and only remembers being Ichiko’s friend since elementary school. Years pass by and Ichiko finally grows into an adult. Unfortunately for Hanate, though, his life is threatened. He and the field of Violacias are one, so if something happens to them so does to him and vice versa. Because of this, he returns to Okunezato (not before telling Hino to protect Ichiko while he’s gone, which explains why Hino is so obsessed with protecting her in his own route). In the end, Hanate goes to the Violacias’ field but is caught by the Ensepulchers; this is how he mysteriously “disappears” from Okunezato. The hunters torture him to get info but to no avail. They even try to look for marks on his back that appear when revenants kill someone, but the Ensepulchers don’t know that killing an ambrosia leaves no marks. Thus, he is confined in the basement of the Murakumo mansion for a year and that’s when Ichiko and Hino decide to investigate his disappearance. When Hanate learns that Ichiko is in the town, he escapes and meets up with her to tell her the big info dump you just read. Ichiko also suddenly falls head over heals for Hanate and forgets ever saying he’d always be her bro no matter what ಠ_ಠ . Anyway, Hanate comes to the conclusion that the only way to save Ichiko is to burn the field of Violacias. When they arrive, though, Tsukuyomi is also there and tries to kill Ichiko. Hanate restrains him and begs Ichiko to burn the field but, in the end, it’s Hino who appears in the nick of time to set the Violacias on fire. I seriously felt bad for Hino because the only route where he successfully protects Ichiko is one where she doesn’t even return his feelings…even worse, it’s the one where she loves Hanate, with whom Hino has an inferiority complex. Before Hanate dies, Ichiko kisses him for the first and last time. Of course, she then forgets everything but cries likes there’s no tomorrow since, somehow, her soul doesn’t forget Hanate. Wow this is really the worst route in the whole game, if it can even be called a route because all it is is a big ass flashback with a pinch of forced/ cringy romance and self-sacrificing love ಠ_ಠ. The only good thing about Hanate was that I didn’t feel any yandere vibes from him despite being the oniichan character. Although falling in love with an 8 year old girl is already creepy enough ಠ_ಠ.
Whew, what a ride. I’m honestly conflicted with this game. I can’t say I hate it nor do I regret buying it, but there’s definitely no replay value except for maybe Sosuke’s and Yuzuki’s routes. It’s not that the game is terrible, but rather it had a lot of great ideas that were poorly executed. First of all, there’s the inconsistencies. I know writing is difficult as hell, I’m a writer myself, and you can get confused with your own plot from time to time but at least try to be consistent in the same fucking route!! I got tired of spotting mistakes every time a character opened their mouth!! Secondly, the terrible, teeeeerrible romance writing. With the exception of Sosuke’s and Yuzuki’s routes (where it was honestly very good), all the other paths felt like a bad written fanfic. It was filled with enough clichés, sudden infatuations and cheese to feed an army. Then, Ichiko’s ways to describe the guys’ features always settled on “perfect” and “handsome”. Guess Sosuke should give her a dictionary for her birthday. On the topic of Ichiko herself, I hope I don’t sound like an asshole with this but it’s really obvious that a chauvinistic man wrote the game. Why do I say this? Because of the way the story portrays gender roles or, more specifically, the role of the female protagonist. Ichiko is this pure soul that attracts men everywhere she breathes and is so defenseless that she has to be protected 24/7. Of course, it’s not the first otoge I encounter with a lot of dudes being obsessed over the heroine but, believe me, it gets irritating. And it doesn’t even end there. She is SO helpless that she can’t seem to find clues on her bro’s disappearance unless she’s given a hand. To add to that, she stupidly gets herself into dangerous situations 2 seconds after being warned she should be careful. With this said, though, I actually really liked her in Sosuke’s and Yuzuki’s routes (and she’s infinitely better than this atrocity). It really surprised me since she seemed like a completely different character. Where was this Ichiko in the other routes??? Of course, she was still a damsel in distress, but her character was handled much MUCH better than in the other paths where she behaved like a doll with almost no personality. In these routes, what truly shined was the bond she formed with Sosuke and Yuzuki. It felt like she and the guys both were important to the story and the route wasn’t solely focusing on the dude or a massive amount of mystery revelations. And that takes me to the problem of the true route. While I think the writer had an interesting idea with this character, I felt like he set his goals too high. This is the only character who doesn’t help Ichiko with the main conflict of the game because he already has a HUGE fucking problem on his hands. In other words, 7’scarlet has two plots with two main characters that have two different conflicts and the only way in which Ichiko and him (aka true route guy) are connected is with the poor excuse of “destiny”. Now, regarding what I actually liked about the game apart from Sosuke’s and Yuzuki’s routes, I want to highlight the cinematics and music which were wonderful. I even plan to buy the soundtrack at some point because it truly stuck with me. Then, of course, there’s the mystery aspect. Despite the reveals being poorly managed, the whole idea behind the truth of the mysteries was very well thought and didn’t leave any plot holes. And, of course, last but not least, I can’t forget about the secondary characters who really stood out to me like Karasuma, Yua and specially Yuki, who I would have loved to learn more about. Oh yeah, in regards to the art, I think it was alright but nothing super amazing (in fact, some of the noses look weird in certain poses and Ichiko’s pupils are too small lmao, kinda creepy); the kissing CGs were all nice at least, well except for Sosuke’s (sadly) but he had really cute hugging CGs so I’ll live 😆 . What’s my verdict, then? I’d say it’s not really for everyone but I do think it’s worth the play at least for the good routes, the mystery aspect and Yuki.
That’s the end of this review. Thanks a lot for reading until the end, feel free to comment and see you next post!! (≧∇≦*)/