So, esturd, you ask, what have you been up to in your first year at college? Decided on a major yet? (Nope.) Found something productive to do over the summer? (Nope.) Made friends, or better yet, found a significant other? (Uhh… why even bother asking…)
But you know what, hypothetical reader that cares about my life? I HAVE accomplished things. I am now in committed relationship with MULTIPLE 2D GUYS. Yes. Life is great.
tl;dr I discovered otome games and this is going to be the death of me.
EDIT: HOLY I TOTALLY FORGOT THAT THE HEROINE DIDN’T HAVE A DEFAULT NAME. I’VE JUST BEEN CALLING HER MAYU ALL THIS TIME AND I TOTALLY FORGOT I CAME UP WITH IT LOL. JUST TO CLEAR UP ANY CONFUSION.
Amnesia: Memories is the second otome game I’ve ever played. The first was Nameless, which was pretty fun, but Amnesia was only $6 on PlayStation and I couldn’t resist grabbing it to play on my (newly bought) Vita. For the past few days, I’ve been replaying and reliving the game. First time around I never bothered going for all the bad ends cause it just stressed me out… and second time around it still stressed me out. I’ve only gone through Shin’s route so far, but I figured I’d record my thoughts so far so I can look back on them and cringe.
Shin is my favorite out of the bunch. Even though he’s the youngest, he’s the most responsible by far, and due to his past he’s had a hell of a lot to deal with. He’s whip-smart, cool-headed, and doesn’t give a damn about your opinion–he tells it like it is. At the same time, this means that he’s upfront with the MC (Shin deserves better than this lump of sludge) and it’s clear that he’s always acting in her best interests. Nothing she does or says gets by him–heck, he catches on right away that she’s lost her memories, and I like myself an observant guy. He’s a great character, and it doesn’t hurt that visually he’s probably my favorite too.
One thing I noticed about myself is that when I play visual novels/otome games/any choice-based games, I always feel really uncomfortable making mean or dumb choices. Like, I just feel bad. I know they’re 2D characters, but clearly I’m playing these games to escape reality in some sense or another and I don’t want to make this virtual reality sad too. So when I was playing for Shin’s bad route, I felt so bad for my poor baby. Stupid Mayu would say something like “I don’t trust you” and Shin would nonchalantly be like “Oh that’s understandable” BUT YOU COULD TELL IT HURT HIM AND I FELT SO BAD.
Playing the bad end made me feel like such an asshat, and it was even worse because I played without a guide the first time and I avoided the hell out of Toma because who wants to spend time with that pile of crap–I want to hang out with my girl Sawa!!–but no, the bad end requires essentially choosing Toma over Shin, so I had to hurt Shin and trust the FREAKING PERSON WHO PUSHED ME. I had to try for the bad end like four times because I didn’t save at all–I figured I didn’t need to try to get a bad end–and because of this I had to suspect Shin over and over again and by the time I actually got the bad end I was raging.
Some people complain about Shin because he’s too harsh and because of the forced kissing and stuff, but honestly, if your girlfriend didn’t remember you, how would you react? I think out of all the guys (except Ukyo oops) Shin has the most stress and inner turmoil to deal with because he figures out that Mayu is missing her memories almost right away, so he always has to worry about whether she even loves him anymore or if she’s the same person. I think it’s completely understandable for him to think that hey, maybe kissing will spark up the old romance again! He’s also got to deal with the police and everything and studying and making money and how does this boy do it I can’t even go a semester at college without dying.
Of course, just because Shin is a good character doesn’t mean he had the best route because the route overall felt a bit… unrealistic? Not only does the whole “Let’s bring everyone back to the place of the crime and reenact everything we did” feel a little off (and frankly a bit ridiculous), I didn’t like that the route required the MC to also explore her relationship with Toma, like, I want qual time with Shin, not this jerkwad! Shin and Toma were both essential to the route as foils to each other in how they treated the MC, and I wished that the route had focused more on just Shin and MC’s relationship, like maybe exploring why the MC liked him?? Also the whole suspecting Shin thing was kind of dumb because, uh, it’s his route, why would he be the one who pushed her off the cliff? Overall the MC in this route was super useless. Shin did all the work, and had to drag her around to boot. She was basically a lump of sludge that Shin had to punch into shape and I wish she’d taken a little more agency in acclimating to her life/trying to regain her memories.
Also, I didn’t hang out with Sawa before I played this game again, and woah, I didn’t know she had a thing for Shin. That’s sort of… unexpected. I wonder if she likes him in all the other routes too–I’ll have to keep an eye out for that.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on Shin’s route! In spite of all my raging, I do appreciate how Amnesia’s routes are all distinct and lengthy–since I’m a fast reader, I always zip right through otome games, and I like that Amnesia lasts a bit longer than most. I’ll probably update this (dead) blog with further thoughts on the other guys after I’ve played through them again, and who knows, maybe this anime blog will become an otome blog! I’ve got loads of other games to play/replay and I’m excited to waste my summer~