Desultory ripples wave the end shore by wild it pulse. In those surge to drown, or wavelet to pound, utmost joint of mixture concur no derision against withstanding coral. Those whimsical take the shape of equivocal, passing rendition on for itself elaborates the diffusion. By its mind exposed to versatile vibration of sentiments inadvertent to no cease, echoing all length of obscure sentience for eternity. Parallel to empathy they are that each on their time desires an innermost tinge of sympathy affecting embodiment behind. Thence begin their journey led through train of prologues, ソレヨリノプロローグ.
Start with rhetorical phrases about wave, it related to the conception of perception to surrounding human’s emotions. The sensation of perceiving other’s feelings in sense resembling ebb and flow of a wave. The emotion isn’t literal and only be understood through similar experience known by the receiver. Not a mind sensing, but rather diving into another’s feelings, hence the ability name, “Empathy”. A power that by no intention leaks other’s emotions into the holder’s mind, not limited by number of people in radius of 10 meters. Seems all interpreted emotions affect the state of mind of the beholder, who was the protagonist of the story himself. All kind of emotions, from range of mild positive to merciless negative, hit the protagonist’s mind on his daily, including one which he himself couldn’t interpret out of inexperience. Part which affecting the mind particularly was from mix of wave coming from all direction, jumbled into one that spurred nausea.
One especially on summer season where it’s killing hot and people complain a lot, verbally or not. 2 months after entering high school at beginning of June where the protagonist, Shuu, sensed something different than usual on the way commuting by train to Minagi Gakuen. A feeling of emptiness transmitted by Empathy. He noticed a girl who’s the source of irregularity in silence on her expressionless visage. Out of curiosity he followed her to the school rooftop and there she introduced herself as Towa and explained her “Wall of Heart”. One kind of ability which unintentionally blocks other’s emotion from coming in and also her emotion from coming out. The meaning of the word itself is perceived, but not the feeling. That’s what her sense was, though she felt something touching the wall from Shuu’s direction.
The prologue was enough a high tension of a main story excitement. To summarize it, began with their meeting and slowly started to get closer from Towa’s approach, by her excuse of “people observation”, since Shuu wasn’t an active type to begin with. Shuu who held feeling to want to know her more affected Towa somehow and exploited her vulnerable from people’s emotion by crack on her wall of heart. Shuu’s confession allowed them getting closer. It’s soon ended after Shuu remembered his forgotten past and failed his approach to Towa. She disappointed how he hasn’t change since then, still one who depended on Empathy to avoid himself from getting hurt by others. His cowardice ended the summer break with their separation.
No even leisure ice breaker for deeper characters introduction. Characters personality just flow along the plot without wasting too much space. This prologue itself already focused to one heroine and left an unforgettable impression of it. The feeling of standing by a hopeless girl only to hurt her. Want to protect her, but at the same time felt unworthy for her. Seeing her suffering, yet couldn’t do anything for this self is powerless. It’s just sad and irritating for being so useless. More to it, everything just being thrown in at once and being rejected out of it all don’t make sense in mind anymore. That kind of impression I felt. Surely that’s where the protagonist went wrong for blaming himself from all happened to Towa, but then, I myself wouldn’t think about any excuse nor qualification to be forgiven in that state. Perhaps it’s the feeling of self-tormenting that I could learn something from it. It wasn’t so teary until Shuu about to write his blog record of his separation with Towa. Again reminded of this helpless self for not able to protect her happiness, the end of summer break ended the tearful heart-breaking prologue.
Houses the exact mirrored interface template as its previous work and probably some others under Musica, the title screen is as lazy and lonely as it gets without bgm while iterates between day, twilight, and night according to real daytime clock.
The magnum opus visualizations still take advantage of defying brilliance over CG-leveled sprites perspectival manipulation. Of course the way Goddess-beauty CG provide the same over-the-top UX through eyes blink and lip sync. Definitely talking it again here just rendered the meaning out of focus rather than shifting the blur that reading the first impression on the reference is greatly encouraged, if not, a must for their stunning visual paradigm. Why, naturally saying the same words over time would lost its meaning.
Opening movie is nice though spoiling. First few seconds quickly rippled name introduction for all characters in a brief glance matching the beginning tone followed by title logo. Comes after the beginning, setting from inside a train to a station as if picturing the initial prologue. Proper heroines’ introduction is neat. One girl after another by monochromatic image of her with eyes closed transitioned through material ripples into colorful one along her romanji name which then flipped into kanji subbed her CV. Like how they arranged it like that. The rest are count as spoiler I guess. Somewhat got their feelings, it’s just irresistible to put them in the opening, especially when it’s so natural as CG-quality animation. The cracks going on the coming end is the worst for spoiler actually, but cool that it couldn’t be helped.
Miyasaki Shuu (宮坂終), indecisive glasses-wearing protagonist who’s easily pulled along other’s pace. His name was to hope he would be the last one to inherit emotion perception ability on his lineage. Quite unsociable mainly because his ability often perceive people’s hypocrisy and lies. Also not the type who drags a long conversation and often seemed to be depressed. It’s not like he’s a hetare, though just couldn’t express himself clearly. On the contrary, his writings had far-reaching vocabulary and were well-presented that as Towa said that he’d be a good writer, he actually did out of luck. By distinct, Shuu’s not that capable like typical whatever-can-do protagonist. He faced problem in a roundabout fashion, or about indirectly touch the subject of matter that somewhat turned out well. Not that I fully followed, but this kind of story dialogues which play out emotions as the biggest entire part sounds coercively mind-provoking since last-one-already-forgotten. From that, it’s pretty confusing how he didn’t get to the point and instead turned an answer somewhat that avoided what actually being asked. Anyhow, he’s cool in his own awkward way.
The setting jumped into 2 years later at summer. Shuu had since changed firmer, though still quick to get carried away. He’s now a famous writer through his debut novel entitled “Star-Crossed Lovers” which was based on his days with Towa. His pen name’s Mikasa Yuusha (三笠優者), an anagram of his real name. It was around 2 month of his 3rd year where suddenly Towa asked him to be friends again. Route choices followed after he took her offer.
The magic that exceed the boundary of branching which makes true route possible is the existence of parallel world. The choices itself was given not by necessity. It allowed going with preferable heroine for first timeline, either with Mayura or Haruka. One didn’t get picked would automatically entered after clearing the chosen one. A “train” carried Shuu back to that summer and there began another timeline right after the turning point. It’s not like he’s actually leaped into another timeline. The “train” was more like a projection that called him into another route he supposed to cross over to lastly arrive on Towa route, the true route. The awesome moment where the protagonist caught a flash of otherworldly experiences was remarkable at best I can’t get enough of this kind of plot.
Tsudzuki Haruka (都築はるか), a newly introduced heroine soon at beginning of hard-to-call or rather nonexistent-because-it’s-too-short common route. She’s a first year, so to speak kouhai, who suddenly approached Shuu where their 4th meeting explained how Haruka knew him from a party of his novel debut. She’s an avid literature girl and reflected that her pointlessly long narrative greetings. So random and deceitful most the time. Haruka’s haphazard frolicky pranks mostly made those who involved feel exhaustive not being able to follow her train of thoughts. She’s also rich, so rich that she could buy the school and maybe the whole complex if she wanted. As expected from a famous family, her position allowed her to do anything she pleased, like wearing maid uniform to school. She’s even okay with walking around the town in maid uniform, though it’s pretty cute of her.
Haruka was full of lies, and there’s actually some twist behind it that made from her past. Her route started with her helping to get Shuu and Towa’s relationship back so Shuu could get his 3rd volume of his novel worked out. It didn’t turn out well so she proposed Shuu to have “pretending love” with her instead. It’s a fun amusing plot overall. There’s no boring part knowing Haruka’s weird pranks day after day. Shuu himself acted pretty cool in response to her fabricated betrayal. The time she’s snapped was a thrill, though easily broken thanks to Empathy that felt fear from her. The conclusion’s decently romantic I like that.
Sakurai Mayura (佐倉井真響), osananajimi of the protagonist. She knew Shuu’s ability to some extent and thanks to her honest and straight personality that she’s still in good term with Shuu. Mayura’s a sweet gentle and cute girl. An anime otaku who didn’t have trouble talking indecent topic. She’s nicely cheerful without pointless force to it. Looking at her somewhat makes me at ease. Her character stood out more than the story, or to say it differently, I love her while the story didn’t have decent impact. Her dedication to Shuu and strongly believe in him makes her the best heroine. Or at least, if not for the true route, objectively.
Her route didn’t have enough dramatic romance and instead the most climax put Towa in focus. Towa’s feeling toward Shuu was strongly shown contrary to small talk on Haruka route. In retrospect, Mayura route involved Towa a lot as subject of matter. Shuu still held strong feeling to Towa gradually changed thanks to Mayura’s care and her encouraging belief to him. Even though Towa reminded her not to get involved with him. Even though Shuu himself rejected her so that she wouldn’t get hurt anymore. Too bad the weak story wasn’t up to what she deserved, though at least Mayura’s amazing enough to compensate.
Himeno Towa (姫野永遠), central heroine of the story with “wall of heart” which was the root problem of her being. She’s toneless and expressionless at first and that changed in gap 2 years after her separation with Shuu. A beautiful ordinary girl was probably at best for her description. She had not enough character that stood out, just like she said herself, plain. Else, she’s stubborn and not honest to herself. Even though she’s the one who broke up her relation with Shuu and spited a “curse” in addition, she actually had much stronger feelings to him. Saying it strongly, she just didn’t think everything would work out a happy resolution and not fitting a happy conclusion herself. Hence her self-torment hurt both Shuu and herself. She’s just one who had to be pulled in to move her heart because she just not honest to herself, highly since she never felt what it means to be loved and to accept it sincerely due to her wall of heart. In fact, she did show her jealous attitude up the time of her quarrel with Mayura.
Back to the same time on summer, images of parallel flashed Shuu’s head. He felt a surge of feeling of another him who has experienced a lot of precious emotions. Somewhere he as well felt something from another Towa. Guided by the heart inside the “barrier”, he aimed for the true end. The possibility that’s been closed now brought up to light from a protagonist that changed by timelines he indirectly experienced. This type of base to true route plot never fail me loving it. Shuu’s really getting his foot stand solid this time, not to be casually carried away and also spoke his intention clearly, boldly sentenced that he could and definitely would achieve his objectives. Plot development’s pretty drastic and heartwarming. That including Haruka’s involvement that pushed Shuu and Towa one step closer, normal solution to relationship matter with Mayura, and as well Shuu’s solvent to his friend – Souta’s problem that’s been ignored till then. And that’s just a little parts of the sweets. The final moments were dramatically touching. The sad part’s not. Conversely, the most- teariest minutes fell on the resolution they arrived on. Line by line of anticlimax cooling down was the happiest as it’s remarkably touching a true route being worthy of.
H-scenes are pretty hot, though not for my qualified material. Just as the art’s done amazing as expected, the girls are provocative enough with their sweet invitations. Some lines actually still being part of the main story, though not that important to not skip them. It’s unfortunate Maki didn’t get anymore H time other than her rooftop onani which I found it the hottest among all. A peek of her after bath CG opened my eyes for the prettiest girl here. Seriously I might rather assault her before she assault me.
BGM unfortunately only a few to name a good one. Many on slow silent side and not enough of ear-catching. Well since there’s not that a lot of happy time, it might be just about balanced. They’re really going emotional-oriented without much beats and repulsions. Day comes first for daily tone I guess, second with calming Pleasure. Collapse really reminds the true route final moment. Still, “Ahead” is the nicest emotional one that’s soothing when I listen to it.
Timescape 7 prologue 2 common 6 Haruka 7 Mayura 9 Towa