After finding out that she’ll be living with Chiaki, the gets transferred to the Seasonelle team as well. She starts to interact with Chiaki at both work and home, and gets to know a cruel side of him that he hides behind smiles. She’s confused as to which is the “real” Chiaki, and gets stringed along to his rhythm by his teasing. However, things turn complicated when they get assigned to convince an author to write a series for Seasonelle and the author starts to show interest in the MC.
Chiaki is probably the most complex character in OTBS (IMO). It’s really easy to hate Chiaki in the beginning of the route, due to his capriciousness; he changes from the angel at work to the devil at home within a blink of an eye. Though capable, he’s extremely manipulative, and doesn’t hesitate to do what’s necessary to get what he wants. He doesn’t trust women, and has a hard time opening up to anyone. Instead of voicing his true feelings, he tends to put up walls and hurt the people involved instead.
Chiaki reminds me a lot of Kiyoto from IYAT, mostly by their personalities and the fact that they were both hurt by women close to them in their lives. I wasn’t a big fan of how he manipulated the MC into getting what he wanted from her, but it was important for the plot of the route because of the way the MC responded to it. After being betrayed, Chiaki is afraid of trusting people, and he doesn’t understand why the MC still trusts him when she knows that he manipulated her. I loved how the MC was honest with herself and Chiaki as well. She got hurt, but she knows that Chiaki hurts more, and makes the conscious decision to keep trusting him even though experience would tell her not to because she knows how important it is to him; her trust is the main reason why Chiaki started to trust her back and open up to her.
If anything, I was a bit skeptical of the beginning of the relationship development between the MC and Chiaki. While I understand it’s based on the concept “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone,” it seemed to come out of nowhere for me. I honestly couldn’t tell at what point Chiaki started to have feelings for the MC (I know it’s somewhere in his POV story but I can’t remember). The heartwarming parts were well written, but other parts of the romance seemed a bit forced or overdramatic. The pacing of the relationship seemed a bit off for me too; it was too slow in the beginning and rushed towards the end.
While I liked Chiaki himself, I felt that the route as a whole could have been written better. I’m looking forward to how he’ll develop as a character in future routes. He seems like a hit-or-miss character; you’ll either like him, or you wont. If you like Kiyoto from IYAT, then I think you’ll like Chiaki as well. Happy playing!