Wednesday, November 8, 2017

S.Y.K Shinsetsu Saiyuki Portable - review

 Game: [S.Y.K Shinsetsu Saiyuki]
Genre: Otome Game Visual Novel.
Developer/Publisher: Otomate.
Platform: PS2, PSP
Release date: 2010-07-29

Like I promised I finally finished up the last route in the game a couple of days ago.
I don't think anyone even cares for this anymore and I don't see otomate bringing it back and port...😅

This game is based on journey to the west and basically this is Otomate's version of it
so even if you're not familiar and here for the bishies and lolz you're still good
but some familiarity would be better to appreciate points others would find annoying.
Like I am not a saiyuki fan I was interested in the shinsetsu series
so I found myself a copy on ebay for about 20$(each) along with its FD and L.G.S
because why not have some otome with chinese folklore?
So this became my backburner when I didn't have anything better to do.
Let's just say it was nice to kill some time with it because it was mostly fun but some aspects
are a pain in the ass, not wand of fortune bad but I never look forward to common route here.
Most of my thoughts are just me raging about the boring ass common route.
The story in most route was average and it only shined in Gokuu's, also due to me
 taking breaks and play over longer period of time I do sort of become attached, I don't usually
 play two games at once but this game is perfect for it, its not really that long either there's just
 a lot of content that adds up, in total there are 26 endings 6 are good ends other are
gag and bad ends, atleast the way this game is designed often makes me say ok enough for today. 😓
Also just so you know this is NOT an easy visual novel language wise.
If you want to invest in this I highly suggest getting the FD as well, without it the original game
may feel lacking in terms of romance because some routes just weren't well rounded.

 - Likeable characters.
- Comedy.
- Art, its on psp...everything is smaller but still fine.

- Takes too long to get started with episodic common route filler even then
it focuses on story/chara/lore with romance as bonus.
- Game pretends to have a serious plot then it drops some deus ex machina and all is well. >_>
- Music, ye olde idea factory bgm... it was below average at best.

The first OP well... I didn't like it that much at first but it sorta grew on me like
 its surprisingly cool and fits with the first half of the game.
Also yes it did sound like crap the first time I heard it and the 2nd OP by Mao is much better.
Honestly speaking the first OP to some extent sounded like something from a 90's anime
to the point the 2nd OP was a blessing to my ears.

System is typical visual novel stuff and its mostly the comfy type so no issues h o w e v e r!
During the first half of the game you have to select a location on a map to go to and choose
which guy to help the peasant, this is actually the worst part because its boring as hell.
The guy will tell you in the baloon if this job is for them or not but still recommend a guide
for the endings atleast because getting them all is cumbersome.
The name of the heroine is fixed for obvious reasons, so you're gonna
have to deal with getting used to the role of Genjou Sanzou.
The common route is told in episodic story like an anime and imo its fun since it really feels
like you are on a journey to somewhere but not much of note really happens. >_>
They also love to shove an OP and ED in for the complete anime-like experience!
I found the post credit previews of what's not going to happen for the next chapter to be hilarious
atleast the first time through after that its just skip it.

I shouldn't even need to write this but...
The heroine Genjou Sanzou is a monk, she'll know when to put her hetare companions
into place when they are unwilling to get shit done or fighting with each other.
She's apparently the reincarnation of this Konzanshi person... ow well that all u hear out of me here.
It would be so much better if she had a sprite next to the text box but alas...
As you know its based on Journey to the west, the heroine is destined to go to Tenjiku
 and save mankind, a lot of shenanigans happen along the way some fun and some bad
her only flaw is that she wants to help everyone she meets along the way...
thus making the game longer than its supposed to be that aside I think Genjou is the only
sane one and that putting up with her companions is half the journey...

Without the side tracking each chapter is actually pretty short? if it gets on your nerves
just skip the dialogue when helping peasants... Otomate's really knew how to add
quality padding that adds nothing to the plot so yeah its a call-back to that one anime.
Even if it seems useless and adds nothing to the actual plot the only
thing that is important about it is if you don't help people you'll just get a bad end
because the peasants will give you some magical rock piece as a thank you which you need.
Nice design right? they should've made the dialogue more interesting and not the typical
Anatatachi wa tsuyoi watashi o TASUKETE onegaishimasu, cue Genjou forcing her harem
to do just that. Helping people with random shit that isn't even interesting to watch/read
because on 2nd+ play I did more skipping than reading. ( ´_ゝ`)
Well atleast if you finish the game once with normal end you get a handy dandy 
skip chapter1/2 option but I wish we could've skipped helping those peasants cuz its 
been there done that once is enough but no you need to do it like six times to get to the routes
not to mention each chapter plays an op/ed ad near infinitum for fullcomp.
This games length is average and the above made it seem annoying but atleast I had a few good
laughs here and there in the more boring parts so I can't really complain that much. 😌
This otome game is best played in short burst, the chapters itself aren't long and like I said
before they have their own OP and ED, its easy to take breaks and do something else. Just so
you know I never had that much fun skipping through the common route cuz there's too much fodder.
Once you latch on the route the OP changes like for example the common route
 is season 1, a character route is season 2, the latter is actually the good part of this game.

 I just recommend that your first play is a clean up fest consisting of getting random endings
since some CG's of the guys only unlock on a second play so may as well try and get the most out of
what this game has to offer, then on 2nd play you can do routes without fear of missing something.
Unless you're absolutely dying to romance someone I guess just do as you please then...
but in all honestly I found the romance to be lacking in most routes because it focus more on plot/lore
which wasn't bad or anything just a little boring but I figure this is because its an old game.
There are also many endings but over half of them are gag/bad ends.
 I don't think I can explain how this game works any better than this lol.

One of the many bonus CG's you get for clearing their routes, too bad you have to survive a massive text dump first.
Overall its a fun otome game but can't really recommend it if you aren't interested 
 to re-enact the journey to the west in otome fashion, or don't like chinese fairy tales
it has a certain charm to it that makes it even more worth it if you are familair.
Some people may even be put off by the character designs or genderbend Sanzou
so S.Y.K really ain't for everyone, that I can say with certainty.
I wouldn't say the plot was fantastic but its there and its decent but it only really shined in Gokuu's
and Ranfan's routes. At the very least most of the story in everyones route was unique
but some things will never change and like I said most of the good stuff might be in the FD.😓
 This isn't really popular and I can see why... its a pain in the ass to play
like I only did so when I had nothing better to do but if not, lol.
I mean the characters are likeable but after one play you have dat common route... to skip through
its great to come back to every once in a while and see everyone again but I just never looked
forward to the first half point and click adventure of saving peasants.😅
At the end of the day I can only recommend to fans familiar with the themes and/or are interested enough.
Its 2017 and I am sure you can find better otome games worth the investment...
I can't say this was all that good at all and well just look at my pro's and con's again to see why
if you don't want to sit through more of my ramblings, lol.

Any play order is good except don't do the latter other end's 2 such as Kanro no Yume
 that are knee deep in Gokuu's till you are actually ready to do Gokuu right after it.
Not recommened to do Gokuu's route too soon or you'll be spoiled making most route look
 self contained that said the order of Gojou/Hakkai/Gyokuryuu by itself do not matter.
Therefor I recommend this guide and the same order I used:
Other ends 1 > Gojou > Hakkai > Gyokuruu > Other ends 2 > Gokuu > Ranfan.

More babbles after the jump, I doubt anyones interested but here goes nothing, lol.

Since no one bothers to mention the common route ALLOW ME:
Chp1 be like: Hi I am Genjou and am on a journey with muh hot mans to Tenjiku! 
but let's save this village along the way! cue shenanigans, great way to kick things off but
then chapter 2 Genjou  meeting Kannon and telling her to get to Tenjiku, she meets 
the other boys and gets them to join them because hey we forgot to do it right the first time.
 That's sorta backwards isn't it, they are all together but then go back to introductions etcetera. -_-
The rest of the chapters following was ok... except the random detours of helping peasants
which added nothing but filler dialogue to the point the general adventuring parts are a lot better!😓 
The general filler plot each chapter where you have to help people is like this:
They run into a peasant near a river, forest, town/village or mountain and they go like
oh you seem strong? will you help me cuz i'm weak... to that of helping a lost child.
In chapter3 Youzen gets introduced but I don't remember anything except Kinkaku and Ginkaku
getting their asses kicked, chapter 4 wasn't worth mentioning except at the end all of them
drinking. Gojou getting drunk,- rebelious and not being able to take Hakkai's shit, then we have
chapter 5-6 which finally properly introduced Ranfan's team rocket gang, the end of chapter 7
 Kougaiji made his grand entrance, I lmao'd because who the fuck puts out
a table and expensive tea set in the middle of the street while being all do you know who I am?
No I don't! he has a threatening air about him like we be after you miss Genjou and your Kyouten
but guess what he just packs his bags since its not the right time, yeah that's so very anime lmao.

Here's a good reason why I did all the filler ends first...
Replaying this game is already a pain in the ass and it wouldn't be fun to do as clean up 
and as half of these ends are basicallly like: ''Oh lol you failed, try again next time, kay?''
Me thinks without a guide I would've surely missed  the first gag end.
Why would one not go and save the village for EIGHT freaking times? after a while it seems like the
choice you need to select doesn't do anything so you may as well continue? but this is intended...
Either way the loop of shenanigans continued Gyokuryuu blew up shit, ending all kek.
I also had a vivid image of Gyokuryuu being curled up being cute while looked at a cat.
second other end was boring since it was failing to convince Gokuu to join you... meh.
The normal good end was uhm Genjou arrives at Tenjiku without a hassle and saves the world!
She is now a great teacher but she missed some opportunities and the villains just
disappear off the face of the planet, man that was pretty boring way to end it. 😢
There's also a gag end with Youzen... where Genjou failed her journey and Youzen takes her
with him to the heavens but only if she's a good girl.
Yes there's even more but I didn't do it till I got to Gokuu, hint its tied to his route, in one
its basically Kougaiji coming in and going you got no chance, make your time, he's right they lost
miserably and Gokuu almost lost it but it was another try better next time okay.
Then there are two more but they're knee deep into Gokuu route one of them is a Youzen NTR end
which is sorta like his gag end except now he's a creepy shit lord and he doesn't kill Genjou cuz
that wouldn't be fun now, lol I like how no one mentioned this one.
Why did I even mention this?! arrrgh.

Also before I forget...
The villain in each route is different, in one its Kougayji who works for a demon bull king
who want the kyouten for themselves in another its Nataku who's a butt hurt reject or Kannon.
I'll leave the rest to you to find out...

CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki.
Oh I'll admit he's handsome.
 Kensei Jirou Shinkun or Jouzen for short this dude is one of the heavenly beings who wants
Genjou to complete her journey to Tenjiku to save the world and forces her to take care
of his BFF Gokuu who ain't himself anyway while Youzen doesn't have a real route
I felt the need to give him his own section for his mini endings since I like him if only a little
but everything is coincidental with him like the first gag end where she ends up in the heavens
after failing to complete her mission so now she has to put up with him, lol.
As long as Genjou behaves Youzen won't harm her but that it... not much depth here
its pretty much a gag end, yet compared to the other ending with Youzen this one is actually good.
Youzen is like one of those trolly/schemey guys who give off a friendly aura yet also
have a mysterious air to them which may or may not give you the creeps.
After Youzen's little side end there was one more but I decided to stop wasting time and do Gojou's
route because Kanro no Yume is tied to Gokuu's route and I do not want
to be spoiled by his events before I get there... its really knee deep into Gokuu's route so that's
enough reason and I don't want to do mr main character first either! So this other end
you probably get for lack of affection or mismanagement of flag event, but it is a lot worse
since Youzen is the antagonist of  Gokuu route, at that point Genjou can't do much for Gokuu
who's lost as is so Youzen throws Genjou in the uguu prison of love to prevent her
from doing anything drastic like in the past and Gokuu can't exactly save her either.
Youzen asks her to entertain him but the whole thing was jarring because it was Gokuu's route
and this end came out of nowhere to me cuz I thought hey i'm pretty much
 on Gokuu route now right? which turned out to be W R O N G. 😥
So it felt like he just NTR'd Genjou right infront of Gokuu throw her into the dungeon and
made her his play thing there's nothing funny about this at all.
If you're a masochist you may enjoy it and it wasn't that bad but there's not much to come out of this
like Youzen seems pretty gay for Seiten Taishei that much is certain, you better not get in his way
but i could never get myself to hate Youzen even if he was a creeper in this end.
There's a time and place stuff like this... but its not really desired.
TL;DR Youzen doesn't have route but he has a couple of endings
but yeah I hope you enjoyed my rambles about Youzen... its either a gag end or a NTR end.

CV: Kondou Takayuki.
 Mr: serious business, perhaps too serious! he's always nit picking when the others go off track.
I swear this guys 2nd objective is to prevent Gokuu and Hakkai from going out of control!
 Yeah those two did some weird shit when they only just met... that aside he's loyal to Genjou
 and pretty much the police officer of the group and often gets into a bitch fight with Hakkai.
Also lol... he's quite dense and gets even worse when he gets drunk...
Gojou + Alcohol don't mix! other than that he's sorta cute I did him first.
 I quickly realized Gojou wants to be useful and often is like pls ask me i'll take care of this issue.
 It isn't till he tries to teach her how to wistle that his cute and dorky side shows
well apparently he's on a mission to redeem himself after fucking up in the past
and his heterochromia has something to do with it, also now it makes sense
why Gojou is so loyal and willing to do anyhing Genjou asks of him.
Speaking of eye color I loved the scene where Genjou said they were pretty and Gojou got all
asdfagdhfdvcx since no one ever said that to him. (I think this was one of my fav scenes early on.)
The other one was where they both fell into the water in a really clumsy fashion~... hahaha.
I enjoyed the rest of his events/route since it developed natural , plot overall is good.
After getting to Tenjiku, Kannon shows up and ordered Gojou to kill Genjou cuz that's how
he's gonna redeem himself for his sins of the past and Kannon is also
the one who told Gojou to join her on the journey.
 Little did Kanon know that Gojou and Genjou fell for each other along the way!
Ofc Gojou can't do that and Genjou convinces him that its not much difference from what he
used to do nor will it fix the past. The romance was convincing enough but there
wasn't a whole lot due to focus on plot/his past which was decent but the problem was solved
in such a convenient and lacklustre way I was half disappointed since the villain boasts
about his evil plans and then out of nowhere deus ex machina comes down
like a judgment bolt on Kannon which solved everything. -_-
Anyway when Hakkai and the others showed up safe and sound in town I was like where the fuck
have ya'll been! though it was funny seeing the other guys reactions that they're a couple now...
Gojou's back to being that one grumpy guard though but I loved his proposal~.
I guess the rest is in the FD... dunno when I get to it though.
Romance ★★★☆☆ (Convincing enough...)
Plot ★★★☆☆ (Decent despite the derp at the end...)
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆ (Nothing I particularly disliked, Gojou is really likeable too.)

CV:  Hatano Wataru.
Fabulous lvl MAX.
The easy going womanizer... hits on anything that has boobs he's basically the moodmaker.
Look I got nothing against Hakkai... and I tried to like him  but the like/dislike just went up
and down throught the route. Some of his antics in the common route are annoying,
all to the point I can totally understand Gojou's rage.
Hakkai is one of those when you just start to think he's OK he'll pull some shit on you
making one think why you even started liking him in the first place!
Either way I pretty much forced myself through this hoping he'd redeem himself, he sorta did
but by then it was too late, not to mention some of the plot with Nataku was ayy lmao.
I guess my fav scene was him wanting to spend a hot night with Genjou but before
he could enter Genjou slammed the door in his face, lmao i'd have done the same.
Ok he was joking so he gets another chance... dunno the whole scene was the most memorable thing early on.
And... Hakkai helped to knock some fashion sense into Genjou since she dresses like a granny.
Hakkai really treats her like a princess and then you realize despite the antics he's actually
 a decent and caring guy who stayed by Genjou's side when she came down with a fever, he
even told her about his family and siblings. If anything it partly tries to show a better side to him
than the usual ass class-clown Hakkai who'd just annoy everyone in the gang.
When Genjou let's her guard down at Tenjiku Hakkai claims he regrets doing what
he's about to do and wished the journey wouldn't reach this point so he drugs her and kidnaps her.
The route overall was only a little interesting,  my care level at that point went below 20%
because once some dude starts drugging the mc its over, Hakkai's a liar liar pants on fire
who's actually a prince from some country I can't remember the name of.
Hakkai's objective was to capture Genjou cuz Nataku told him so, when they about to kill her
he was like oh no you don't that wasn't part of the deal! then Youzen came to save the day
they escaped and the two made out in some alley, he apologizes and confesses too.
They hike thru the mountains and chill, then next day the others shows up out of nowhere, LOL.
Then Youzen shows up again going like my prince you can't just run away
ur country's in danger and so they all go back.
 Then the story turned into some bromance between Nataku and Kisa...
All comes down to it is that Nataku used to be a good boy but then felt betrayed
and wants revenge against those dirty tennin so Nataku used Hakkai to try and nab Genjou earlier.
TL;DR only Kisa could stop Nataku but the whole thing was very eh.😓
 In the end she's like a real princess and they get married but it all felt off to me, too fantasy-ish.
Why Genjou fell for him... prolly the way he treated her early on? If a guy was that nice to me
 I as well would fall for him if only a little, too bad Hakkai came with a bucket load of
FAMILY issues atleast I understand why he doesn't want to be involved? or was that a lie.
I hope the FD is better but its probably more international intrigue over family and wealth. -_-
When I really think about it the only stuff that I liked about Hakkai was before plot shitbricked. 😅
 Romance ★★☆☆☆ (Its okay...)
Plot ★★☆☆☆ (Didn't like it that much also dat bromance.)
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆ (Meh...but decent compared to the next.)
CV: Miyata Kouki.
The mysterious aloof moe cupcake and only cares about Genjou, protecting her is his mission
so unlike the rest, Gyokuryuu is actually doing his job well TOO WELL if I may say so.
Gyokuryuu is some sort of water spirit but once Genjou talks some sense into him he all softens up
because he sees his old master in her so he joins the group! he's so devoted to her willing to
destroy that which stands in the way and for some reason doesn't like fire and tries to avoid it
which makes Kougaiji his natural enemy, lmao.
He doesn't talk much nor likes human beings for some reason one of them is cuz they short lived
also past but he likes Genjou and her being human has nothing to do with it.
In the original tale he was basically a horse dragon but they turned him into a moeblob here, lol.
Ofcourse I looked forward to his route since he's cute and also Miyata Kouki! whom I recently
start to like more but sorry to say it, even then his performance here isn't that special.
Its true a seiyuu won't save a character if the writing itself is balls.
From common route he seems like the keep to himself clingy friend whom you don't want to
piss off yet at the same time he's so moe it hurts but that is all there is.
I suppose this CG scene below was truly everything I wanted and more..! yeah despite
me complaining that this route just didn't deliver I do like his character.
Sadly the problem with this route is the two are already very close the usual romance steps
don't work anymore hench something just feels off not to mention it the plot was boring
they force drama on us that makes Gokuryuu doubt himself. The only thing that was
interesting was his past, all else was dragged out for too long, there's not much to write
so excuse me if I repeated anything.
This may have been the best part in the entire route.
Despite him being cute there's not much else and he does his best for Genjou
like he's ALWAYS so nice and sweet, they get along but other than that there wasn't much.
Gokuryuu turning into a depressed moe blob fidgeting around with his feels of the past and present
which is such a damn shame, there wasn't much conflict either, if anything it felt like one of those
slow healing routes with nothing really note worthy happened like they're already close
so there wasn't much romance either due to them having this master / servant relationship.
 I like him but yeah... the purposely dragged out his internal conflict related to his previous master
Konzanshi which turned out to be Genjou's past incarnation but she killed herself for the greater good
yet he couldn't saver her so he eats himself up over it, hench why he's so super duper loyal.
Gyokuryuu knows what he wants but is just lost and confused which went on for far too long. :/
 TL;DR just a cute boi suffering, just wasn't all that interesting, I really don't enjoy watching
a cute boy for like what? 4-5 hours being lost and confused while so little happens.
Ginkaku gave him some peptalk and Kougaiji was an ass but other than that literally nothing.
I think the reason almost no one likes this route is cuz its devoid of natural romance
and the fact Gyokuryuu is wagging his tail while emoing over the past and present
any other route in this game was more interesting than this including Hakkai.
UwU this boi is trying his hardest just for me! kyaa kyaa! ...too bad its just a drag as a whole
there's no good transition to them becoming lovers even, life goes on
he'll always be there for her now that he's become human, I guess his devotion to Genjou
is sweet but I am sorry that ain't saving the route for me just watching Gokuryuu
and Genjou fiddle around to get him to figure himself out was boring as all hell.
One can only hope Gokuryuu's part in the FD is a lot better... because despite me liking him
there wasn't much here that showed his internal conflict and devotion.  ( ´_ゝ`)
This CG can't sum up the route any better, uwu my moe boi can't possibly be this depressed!
  Romance ☆☆☆☆☆ (Romance? what romance... its platonic at best.)
Plot ★☆☆☆☆ (Plot? what... all I remember was Gyokuryuu angsting bout this and that.)
Enjoyment overall ★☆☆☆☆ (I guess otomate had no idea what they were doing and just winged it.)

CV: Suwabe Junichi.
This guy lives up to his none otome counter part, always wanting to go on breaks
when they all just had one, no wonder Youzen entrusts him into Genjou's capable hands. 
Basically he's mr everything is mendokusai, leave me alone I want to nap.
I guess he was cool at times but lol... he just doesn't wanna bother most of the times though
maybe its cuz he's been alive for decades, in the past he was known as Seiten Taisei
but he had enough of it part of his past self was sealed away, Youzen specifically asks
 Genjou to take care of Gokuu, he really cares for him to the point its scary, lol.
Gokuu may seem like he's out of it or don't care but he does, the scene where he gave her the
necklace after they went out in town was sweet, also typical misunderstandings galore and he tells her
a bit of the past when he was still in the heavens, he pretty much had enough and quit lol.
Youzen and gokuu know each other and get along... and Youzen offers to tell even more
about him and notices Genjou may be into Gokuu, Gokuu misunderstood which was cute.
I felt that their relationship progressed the most naturally much better than the previous disaster.
Basically Gokuu's route has the real plot of the game every other route is just there.
Gokuu is pretty much the main boy and in no other route Genjou really
gets to learn about the past in detail and or the truth behind her journey.
Genjou and Gokuu connect in past and present there's a whole chapter dedicated to
that like after Genjou gets to Tenjiku she passes out and sees the past from Konzanshi's eyes.
I already knew that seiten taisei is very powerful... and a kind soul but honestly is sort of tired
of war crap because it just never ends, Konzanshi did what she thought was right
and killed herself to seal that kyouten thingy, its a tragic love story.
Gyokuryuu was a poor victim in all of this... he couldn't do a thing no wonder he was a wreck. >_>
So the reason Genjou has the kyouten and on a journey is to remove the seal her ancestor set up
which is exactly what certain peeps in the heavens want, Youzen throws a hissy fit
when things don't go according to plan and was just trying to use both Genjou to get
Gokuu back to his former self and get things back on track.
Basically this was 80% plot so I hope the FD gives me more relax and sweet romance that wasn't
exactly possible here, not to say there was none but there was little compared to the plot dump.
Gokuu's route really is the longest route by default? on its own it short but here I sat through
another other ending first thats knee deep in this route  and a bad end where
Genjou gets sort of NTR'd by Youzen so OF COURSE I had to do it all over again
to get to Gokuu's love end where he gets his shit together. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
This just gave me war flashbacks of how you had to get a common end in sangoku rensenki
before you can you know actually romance Koumei himself, except this time u have to
do the peasant crap one more time dunno but this is TOTALLY the true Gokuu experience.
Gokuu's route brought a lot of fun and suffering with it but in no way was it bad, out of all
I think I enjoyed this route the most and it felt rewarding to you know finally get a happy end
but its sad to see Gokuu beg Youzen not to touch his waifu, Youzen let's them go for now
and Genjou was very proactive in telling Gokuu not to run away from the issue at hand
but Youzen was so salty man... wanting them to suffer making Kisa be like Youzen-sama PLS.
PSsst: Shut up Kisa, who are you and who do you think you're speaking to? be a good boy or else.😈
Tho its great to see Youzen like this cuz it means he's not going to perform any ''miracles''
like he usually does but that doesn't mean there won't be any... lol everyone also coincidently reunites
after Gokuu and Genjou were seperated for a long time which made me go: where u all been?!
but atleast we had some good old times before the obligatory finale which was anticlimactic
but Genjou becomes a teacher and Gokuu is just chilling as always but they're happy!
Genjou came to look for him but just when they go and make out the kids find them...😂😂😂
Gokuu's can't be help and they all try and entertaint he kids awww.
Gotta say it atleast once Gokuu is damn fine he's really attractive, I approve of poster boy.
After all this I took a long break from this game... which may or may not have been a good thing.
  Romance ★★★★★ (They had great chemistry.)
Plot ★★★★☆ (Probably the most well rounded route in terms of story.)
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆ (Not bad but a little mixed...
skipping back to that point took 1 to 2 hours so FU Youzen. -_-;)

Awww yeah I am finally down to the last route in the game!
it only took like forever, well partly on purpose.

CV: Kondou Takashi.
It's a trap...!
A trap... who was branded with a fake mark of the kyouten to throw the meikai off
and so he was kidnapped when he was but a child! He now works for the meikai and the
demon bull king whom scheme to take the real kyouten from Sanzou Houshi aka Genjou to use
it against the heavens. On a side note Ginkaku and Kinkaku always exaggerate his beauty.
Genjou first meets him in the woods when he's taking a bath in a riverbank at that point
she doesn't know who he is and that he's part of the chinese version of team rocket
who kidnapped her at one point in the common route and had to be saved by her manslaves.
Anyway he's like the hidden character of this game since he's not part of the main group
 he's just the other romanceable oddball who is actually quite important.
Ranfan sort of disappears into the background in other routes BUT there's a good reason for that.
To get on his route well... uh basically pretend you're going for Gojou atleast that what the guide did
and to be honest for a hidden character its ok but its still a little jarring when I think about it.
Eventually they meet each other in town... Genjou is like ugh this is bad what if they're trying
to snatch me again but luckily for her its an off-day for Ranfan and he ends up taking her
around town just like that meanwhile I am like chotto?! apparently he likes acting/was part of a
troupe and suddenly his tranny-antics make sense but at the end of the day they're still enemies
so how is this gonna work out? well this may have been the most unique route in the game.
This route is like romancing an antagonist who is actually a normal person(or close to it)
but does what he does, the way the route went quite comical like he came after her life
but Genjou grabbed his arm and they both fell down a cliff so they were stuck in a cave together.
 He still takes advantage of her naïveté and the next time Genjou sees him  she doesn't even 
recognize him (wow she really did drop her brain), Ranfan isn't even his real name its Suou.
By this point I think the route got a whole lot better... he doesn't hate her or anything
just they're not on the same side that aside Suou is actually pretty damn hot, too bad there
weren't much scenes for them to get it on with because this game is like 80% plot.
Memorable moments... Suou getting Genjou to get some rest in demon bull's castle
but he just ends up telling even more about himself. xD 
Of course they still wen't to tenjiku... because Suou's objective to get 
the kyouten for the meikai is still his no,1 objective or elsehe fears kin and gin will be killed
and since they're his only friends or more like parents he doesn't want that to happen.
only to be reunited with her pals just as they be done, well isn't their timing just perfect?
because they literally disappeared from the face of the planet.
They all be like who are you? and why u with Genjou? ... Gojou is the only one who can't see
who he is because he's dense, so Hakkai has to be that guy and tell him but he doesn't realize 
till everyone else has to spell it out for him to realize YOU ARE A MAN?!
IDK about you but this was pretty funny. 😅
Suou tells them all to back off (in a cool way) or else he'll kill her... cuz they still need her
it all ends well though and the rest of the plot isn't interesting enough to mention since they had  to
get the kyouten back from Meikai, Kougaiji threw a hissy fit but then mr demon bull king was like oh
let them have it SEE WHAT I MEAN BY BULLSHIT PLOT? Suou gets a promotion and that's it.
Seriously I hate this game and its pretending to be serious at times and then it does that... 
like to the point I am going to drop my score for it by a few points cuz that is not a good point. >_>
I also found it funny how Genjou's band of misfits ceased to matter at times but oh well whatever.
I wouldn't say the romance was far fetched or anything just a little of a slow burn...
and I could really see how close they've gotten near the end of the route.
the only good parts of the plot was Suou explaining his past/reasons but the rest was balls.
Suou isn't a bad guy... he's surprisingly nice and he didn't even like her that much in the beginning
i'm glad he found someone he could protect again, despite that grin he has he's such a sweetheart
who did nothing wrong, NOTHING just another victim in the heavens/meikai's bullshit. 😭
Suou's literally the worst boy but also the best boi, not only was his route more original
than almost everyone else, I could almost never tell what was gonna happen next maybe it was
because I literally had no expectations at this point but glad it went into meikai for once.
Its definitely a treat to do last...  and I sort of want to start the FD right away.
Considering he's a Takashi Kondo character I am surprised I liked him as much as I did... xD
Romance ★★★★★
Plot ★★★☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆

Route rank:
Suou > Gokuu > Gojou > Hakkai > Gyokuryuu.
In case you don't want to read my walls o text above here's the short version:
While I got nothing against Hakkai, his route was rather typical the bromance crap
with Kisa and Nataku went on for far too long and the family drama was boring.
If anything Gojou's was a lot more on point and a cutie pie. Gokuryuu was pretty cute too
but he takes the crown for most boring/least relevant route, the romance well.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Gokuryuu is already very devoted to Genjou so the typical development just wasn't there
it was boring as all hell to the point Hakkai's route suddenly sounds good to me.
Well Gokuu it pretty much became clear he's the main guy and everyone elses route is
almost pale in comparison that aside I liked the route and his character even though
 he's a lazy old fart most of the time too bad Youzen had to fuck things up and literally split
his route in half due to side endings making me have to do things ONE MORE TIME
and well Suou... may not have been the center character coughGokuucough but without a doubt
if anyone is going to be my best boy in this game its going to be Suou, he's an angel.

Fav character:
Suou > Gojou > Gokuu > Gyokuryuu > Hakkai.
I honestly didn't really care nor felt attached to Hakkai but I liked everyone
by the time I was done with the game, they all had their place.

Final thoughts
 This game is actually pretty short when I think about it... but I feel having motivation is key
to finishing it sooner rather than later, later is fine too because I got a little more attached to it.
''I would be lying if I said this game wasn't enjoyable'' but it didn't age well, storywise
its hilariously average and at times it tries too hard and the way its resolved, tsktsktsk.
Well atleast the heroine kicked ass where she could so yeah Genjou was great, she's a real
slave driver but still has her moments of weakness since she's still a girl after all
and it wouldn't be fun if she wasn't allowed to act like a girl or not ask for help.
However I could never feel myself in sync with her...
As usual first play is the longest but each route may have been around 4-6 hours and every chapter
was an hour at most? Gokuu's was the longest due to me collected those other ends first
and getting trolled by Youzen, so the length was alright but I feel they purposely focused this
installment on the story/lore part since the romance in some felt off and/or rushed.
 The last route only took me two days... and I split it at a halfway point too.
That aside I still think it was all over the place, the plot was there, I thought gokuryuu's
had the worst one hands down like an utter waste of time! like his was dragged out
from start to finish with little substance, don't get me started on it again...
The overall plot was only good in Gokuu's, the others it was decent at best for a spinoff.
Art was great, music was balls... there's not much to add on that.
All the common route filler of helping peasants is really just a call back to a certain anime but i
suppose its nice to see the good qualities of the guys shine through sometimes? they're all
oddballs and Genjou is the only sane one in the group who can put them to work.😂
If you don't help and collect those weird ass rainbow fragments you'll just fail the journey...
so it can't be done any other way! even tho its boring and gets redundant on future plays.
Me having this on the back burner may have made it alot better for me, I did find it great
to go back for one more adventure and was able to remember the basic stuff that happened
every route so for the most part I was satisfied but I find it hard to recommend this otome.
Romance.. like I said only few route felt right and its not like its not there but it could've been better...
maybe its because its an older game and they couldn't balance it well with the plot hench the FD existing.
Atleast the epilogues were good the only bad part is some routes are oddly balanced
in some its okay(Gokuu/Gojou) in others is there but rushed(Hakkai) and then you have
Gokuryuu whom's route was devoid of natural romance. I know there's a FD for this
but what if there wasn't? then yeah you'd have a so-so plot with a little romance.
The guys past and general plot in their route was interesting but they love to solve
the problem in the route with a simple deus ex machina, disappointing? yes since the villain
takes its time to set up for the final showdown yet this heavenly dick comes down
from the heavens & says ur done now go to sleep!(exactly what happened in Gojou's).
Its hilarious convenient! also sometimes the other boys disappear somewhere during
the route but reappear later like wassup guys miss me? meanwhile I am like where
the fuck u been, I know this is common in many games but it sucks, lol.
Anyway I am done, it was alright considering the age... even better if you're a fan of the themes.
Once again I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the misadventures of Genjou and the gang.
and I looked forward to return after a while except for the common route part of course
but I hope to never see something like that ever again.
Honestly this is a fair score... this is not a perfect work but enjoyable? maybe.

Characters ★★★★☆ (Depends... it may be a saving grace.)
Art  ★★★★★
Scenario/plot. ★★★☆☆ (Shines only in Gokuu's... )
Music ★☆☆☆☆ (Well below average...)
System  ★★☆☆☆ (If I have to sit through the common route one more time...)
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆ (Its okay... just not of this time.)

Last words? I don't think I or anyone else for that matter could be satisfied with this game
on its own... in most routes I almost lost my patience with how much focus on plot/lore.
I will look forward to rejoin Genjou and the others in the FD.
Now if you'll excuse me i'll continue to suffer through bad apple wars. >_>

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