Kaoru started working at Shiki Publishing around the same time the MC, and is part of the Seasonelle team. He’s a man of few words, and at first glance seems to be cold towards others. However, as the MC starts live and work together with him, she starts to learn more about him as he starts to open up towards her little by little.
When the MC is transferred to the Seasonelle team, she’s put in charge with Kaoru over an article about a series of arson incidents. After learning more about Kaoru from the other members of the team, she starts noticing that he’s not as cold as he seems; he’s actually a kind person, but has a hard time showing it due to his lack of words. Their situation at home slowly changes from Kaoru’s “Just act like I’m not ever here” stance as the MC reaches out and tries to get to know Kaoru better. He slowly starts to open up towards her, and the MC notices from the small gestures he makes.
After a misunderstanding which caused the MC to think that her friend Tam and Kaoru were dating, Kaoru tells her that she doesn’t have to worry about him getting a girlfriend; he says that he doubts that he can ever fall in love again. There was an incident with his last girlfriend that caused him to feel that way, and it was also the reason why he took himself of the arson case; it makes him wonder if he would have done the same thing as the arsonist. The MC works on the article and tries to make it so that the readers can understand the arsonist’s feelings; she wants Kaoru to read it and stop blaming himself for what happened to his girlfriend. Kaoru gets angry with her for working so hard on the article for his sake, but at the end he gets a sense of closure from reading her article.
Kaoru is one of my favorite characters in OTBS so I’m glad I replayed his route. In the beginning of the route, Kaoru doesn’t say much; expect a lot of “…” when the MC tries to talk to him. It isn’t until the MC moves back in from Tam’s house that Kaoru starts to talk more and openly show his concern for her. He seems stoic about everything, but once he starts opening up to the MC you get to see that he actually has a lot to say, but doesn’t know how to say it; he’d rather express his words with actions. I’m always weak when it comes to the quiet ones >___<;;
One thing I didn’t like about this route was the ending. Kaoru blamed himself for a long time for what happened to his girlfriend, and I find it hard to believe that one article by the MC is what it took for him to get closure. Sure, she put in a lot of effort, and he saw that, but I think it felt a bit rushed and could’ve been written a lot better. Other than that, I definitely recommend this route, especially if you like quiet characters. Happy playing!