After seeing her brother burn himself because of a book, Tsugumi starts seeing ‘aura’ or the glow of a cursed book. She, then, joins a group of people called Fukurou who search for these books hoping to avoid any more victims like her brother.
Like with most recent games, you can change the name of the main character or leave it as it is.
Once you’ve finished the common route, you’ll choose whose route you’re going to play. At first, I was bummed out. I prefer getting to a route depending on the choices I made as I play.
As you go through the route, some choices lead to happy or bad ends. You can check if you are heading to your chosen end once the libra appears. The left is the good end and the one on the right is for the bad end.
Within the route, you can check your progress on the story. You can also choose which chapter you would like to see. Other things to check out here are if the chapter will give you a CG event or choices, or which end you are going to end up with. It is a nifty system to have, I must say.
The whole thing about searching for cursed books is pretty intriguing. It poses an interesting question – is it the fault of the author for writing such suicide-inducing books or not? In Nil Admirari’s clunky way of storytelling, it shows that it depends on the intent of the writer. Some write because they are cornered, some have no idea that they have a capacity to produce something like that, and some are plain twisted in their own way.
But the game fails to deliver that.
That’s the thing, the story has lots of inconsistencies.
I thought it would be like in Collar x Malice where it made me think what is really right and wrong. What happens is that one route this character would be the bad guy, in the next route he’ll be the victim and so on. At the end of the game, it made me wonder who is the bad guy.
Clunky way of storytelling
I mean the pacing. The shift from the main plot to the character’s own issues is forgivable since I love the characters. Still, there are scenes where I scratch my head in confusion. Smut coming out of the blue, revelations from the left field – you get the idea.
One of the biggest offenders is Shizuru’s route. I thought the problems are solved and I’m off to the epilogue when the game dropped a twist. I loved twists. But what I didn’t like about this twist is how it disrupts the entire flow of the game.
When I started this game, I wanted to root for Tsugumi and her dreams of living life on her own terms by joining Fukurou. I thought things are looking good because another female character named Shiori leads the team. Then her best friend also got a job as a reporter. The game pretty much establishes a time period where people start accepting women in the workforce.
Then these people start saying “No you can’t do this or that because you are a girl.” This includes her workmates.
Seriously? (╬ Ò ‸ Ó)
I get it if people outside Fukurou will say that. But for Tsugumi’s workmates, it’s just absurd. For one, their leader and the person everyone respects is a woman. Shiori holds a gun. So why can’t Tsugumi go train herself as well? Why do the other characters insult Tsugumi for being a woman when they don’t say anything like that to Shiori? It’s just frustrating to see her being treated like that when Tsugumi works so hard.
The story could have been good. But at least, the characters make this game not too bad. For the order, I recommend the one I did – Shizuru -> Hisui -> Shougo -> Akira -> Rui -> Hayato -> Secret Character.
With her kind of upbringing, Tsugumi surprised me in ways I didn’t expect.
She is Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes and an innocent girl in the ways of the real world. But she decides to work. Not for her family or anybody else but for herself. Well, part of her decision is probably to get out of her family. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that she wants to do things her way. And that’s praise-worthy.
I expected Tsugumi to be a sensitive damsel-in-distress. But she proved me wrong. She likes doing menial things, like household chores. She strives to do better at her work. Heck, she even wanted to be a decent fighter to be able to stand alongside her workmates. Too bad, she is born in an era where people are extremely judgmental of women.
As much as I want Tsugumi to be on my list of favorite heroines, she falls short on the list. For one, I got used almost immediately with her reactions. It’s easy to guess how she would react because there’s a pattern. One character says something that surprises her and her initial reaction is “!!” or “??” or “…?”. What the heck is that థ౪థ. Is the writer lazy to give her a proper reaction? I’m pretty sure normal people have something they blurt out when surprised.
Another thing is that Tsugumi rarely holds an opinion of her own. More often than not, she describes things as they happen, not how she views things. I guess giving the heroine a “general” personality makes it easier to “insert” yourself in her shoes? But I don’t play visual novels to be “in” character. I play so that I can immerse myself in the story and its characters. Too bad the writer didn’t achieve that here. As I’ve mentioned here, there’s got to be more from her than her surface-level reactions.
Tsugumi’s ready anytime, anywhere ◦°˚(*❛‿❛)/˚°◦
So early on, we know that Tsugumi is prim and proper. Like how she is scandalized watching a movie with a guy, blushes when he holds her hands or hesitates just going on a date since it is her first time. The surprising thing is, she never hesitates during sex. That never fails to give me a good laugh. She doesn’t even ask the most cliche first-timer questions. She just goes all the way on her first time, no apprehensions at all.
I’ve mentioned in this post how the couple does it anywhere – even in the apartment’s public spaces. I’m legit scared that someone might catch them doing it. Tsugumi, though, with all her good girl upbringing, has never questioned it at all. In one route, she worries what her teacher would say if she’s caught watching a movie with a guy. I wonder what would her teacher say if she knew her student does it anywhere.
Migiwa Shizuru is the novelist of erotic and tragic love stories. He lives in the shared house with the Fukurou members. Tsugumi met him when he tried to sell her a goldfish while also trying to hit on her.
I wanted to like this route because the smut is A+. It reminds me of the smutty manga I’ve read on my teens. But I didn’t feel the romance between them. I couldn’t even tell when Shizuru falls in love with Tsugumi. He likes her, yes. He likes her body, for he tries to seduce her a lot of times.
My neutral mood for this route starts when Shizuru treats Tsugumi like a whore who beds anyone who has a dong after seeing her walking in the park with another guy. When does walking become synonymous with banging? I was insulted for Tsugumi. She gives her best even her sleep just to help Shizuru and that’s what she gets? Seriously? Thank goodness I used a guide or else the choices that I want to choose will definitely land me a bad end www. All I wanted was for Tsugumi to slap him and never talk to him until he realizes his mistake. She did slap him. But she also wanted to apologizes afterward. Girl you don’t. You just don’t.
After that, I can’t unsee how Shizuru appeals to the good girl nature of Tsugumi to make her submit. Like that one time when he makes her a “proper” adult. Tsugumi spends the entire route doing everything to become mature for Shizuru. When it’s banging time, he asks her a choice which would make sex consensual. But did she really want it? Or she just wanted to prove herself as an adult?
Hoshikawa Hisui is the youngest member of Fukurou. Like Tsugumi, he also has the power to see the cursed books. He looks like a doll, on top of his pretty looks.
Hisui surprised me in his route. He looks so open in the common route. But he’s rather rigid on some things – which totally makes sense once you get to the bottom of things.
What’s surprised me even more though is this:
Mind you, Hisui makes it a point how he hates women and not interested in those things. But he knew those things??
Also, I feel like the main moment for climax got turned down to throw in smexy times. I’m disappointed when Tsugumi chooses to ~fiercely~ kiss Hisui in the middle of his monologue. It felt like a great moment to reassure Hisui and build his self-confidence. Instead, she dived right in for sex. What’s with them acting like sexually deprived teens turning into humping in the middle of a serious discussion?
The son of the prime minister who tried to kill himself the same day Hitaki did.
I’m no good with tsundere characters and Shougo is a massive one. He is constantly irritated towards Tsugumi. I get offended for Tsugumi because he keeps on pushing the blame on her when it wasn’t her fault. And it pains me to see her not stand up for herself (the way she does for Shizuru in Shizuru’s route). He just keeps on getting angry on various things. And tells that it is Tsugumi’s fault when it isn’t.
It was difficult to like Shougo. Though once he got over his tsun side, he is pretty cute. It’s fun to tease him and see him blush even while saying a simple “I’ll be going.”
Kogami Akira appears cold and distant. He has a couple of mysteries around him like how he doesn’t like people seeing him naked in the bath.
I was spoiled about the major landmine in this route that I’m dreading to do Akira’s side of the story. Even after finishing the route, I’ve tried so hard to think of even one good thing that I found here. But all I could think of is how this is a big disappointment to me. Akira’s route makes all the previous route I played far greater than his.
First off, this route has a clunky pacing and Akira’s route is another offender. One moment, it is building the romance. A few minutes after it is dropping a twist. It is confusing as it breaks the momentum one scene establishes. So even if I know, that he should already be falling for her, the romance is just not there.
Akira has his moments. He can be cute if he wanted to. But then these moments are rare and all over the place. And no, it’s not even in the smutty scenes. He has the worst scene out of the first four.
Shiginuma Takashi is a lot worse on this route too. In the previous routes, he appears as a good host with ulterior motives. But here, Tsugumi gets to know him up close and personal.
Sagisawa Rui is a medical student who accidentally bumps into Tsugumi every single time.
I know I’ve been waiting for this route. But seeing Hayato watching Tsugumi being taken by Rui is painful. I’m tired of seeing him watching on the sidelines.
What I did, once I get to the point where I’m halfway through Rui’s route, I skipped until the end to unlock Hayato’s route. I swore I’ll come back once I’ve finished Hayato’s. But then this news happened… and I’ll explain later. 8D
Ozaki Hayato is the first one to invite Tsugumi to join Fukurou after her brother’s incident. Hayato has an obvious crush to Tsugumi that is evident in every route. It’s just so cute!
But choosing guys other than him makes me feel bad for Hayato. It’s been too long. But I loved it. Though the pacing is as clunky as ever and the romance just happened, I still loved it for Hayato x Tsugumi. I even loved the revelation in the end. And I’m looking forward to playing his route in the fan disk.
I never thought I’d guess it right www.
Once you get to Hayato’s story, it is pretty easy to guess who the secret character is. Easy because once you’re there, he is the one who keeps on appearing even when he isn’t on other routes. But I didn’t do his route and wants to save this once I get to the port.
Speaking of port…
Nil Admirari no Tenbin on Switch
That’s right. Otomate is moving to Switch now and one of the titles that they are going to port is Nil Admirari no Tenbin. It will be titled Nil Admirari no Tenbin Irodori Nadeshiko. This port will contain the first game and its fandisk.
For the past weeks, I’ve been debating whether I’d get this or PS4 for my RPG needs. Or if I might need to buy another Vita (I fear that the one I have will die any moment lol). So the move is a welcome change for me.
So what now?
I intended on going back to Rui’s route to actually finish the story. Then do the secret character’s route and then the bad ends. But ever since I heard of the port, my motivation died down www. Eventually, I’ll replay the game so I want to save those ends I didn’t finish on the Switch version. Besides, the port will have the fandisk. So I might as well wait for that.
The important thing is I finished Hayato’s route.
Yes, this is vital www. I’m so shipping this pairing that just finishing Hayato’s route makes my entire playthrough worthwhile.