After moving into an apartment when their house needs to get renovated, Chiaki and the MC are surprised when Chris comes to visit them at Shiki Publishing, telling them he’s staying a while for an exchange student program. After finding out that the famous lawyer the MC is interviewing is Chris’s mother, Chiaki starts to act strange, and the MC starts to suspect it has to do with what happened in his past.
Excuse me while I wipe away the tears that keep leaking from my eyes.
I think every proposal route just gets better than the previous one, and I’m fearing for Akiyoshi’s proposal because I don’t know if it’ll meet up to the expectations I have after playing Chiaki’s. I tried to keep the spoilers very minimal in this review, but there are a few things that I had to include to expand on the topic.
Chiaki has a tendency to hide behind his teasing and smirks, but in this route you start seeing his walls break. He acts like the situation with his mother is something that he can easily just forget, but it isn’t. It’s what defined his relationships with other people, especially women, throughout his entire life, and also what drove his ambition at work as well. He says he wants his mother to regret leaving him once he becomes famous, but in actuality he wants her attention, and past that, her approval. He’s desperately holding on to the hope that his mother hasn’t forgotten him, but at the same time believes that she did and has given up trying to find her because he doesn’t think he ever will. He’s scared that he’ll forget his mother, and clings onto that hate because that’s all he has left of his memories of her and the only thing he can remember her by.
You honestly see how broken he is in this route and how much he’s hurting once faced with the fact that his mother appears to have moved on in her life and is happy being part of a loving, close-knit family that he isn’t a part of and never will be. Seeing Chris and his mother just reminds him of what could have been, and just makes him want to forget about his mother even more; the jealousy he felt towards Chris in the season 1 sequel doesn’t help with the situation. Chiaki doesn’t want to acknowledge these feelings in him, and tries to act like they don’t exist. He starts to distance himself from the MC and doesn’t want to approach the topic. The MC is unsure of what to do because she knows that Chiaki is hurting, but at the same time wants to respect his decisions. It also doesn’t help that she’s friendly with Chris as well, and doesn’t want to see either party get hurt.
While Chiaki has learned to trust the MC, his doubts start to come back again, and while he does rely on her, he can’t fully find it in himself to open himself up all the way. It’s not until the MC sees him at his worst that they start to bridge the gap in between them that they haven’t even known existed, and you can see that change in their relationship. It isn’t until he’s forgiven his mother and himself that he can truly be honest with the MC, and the proposal at the end of the route felt so much more, for lack of a better term, precious to both of them because it signifies a new beginning for Chiaki as well as their relationship.
The entire route was just a roller coaster of feels for me and is definitely my favorite route in the game so far. It honestly made me angry because comparing it to Minato and Kaoru’s proposal routes made it seem like Voltage didn’t put any effort into them at all. The writing reminds me a lot of KOR and IYAT because it’s more than just about falling in love, but also learning to forgive and accept what can’t be changed. The idea of family is an important theme in this route as well, and Chiaki’s realization that he can start one with the MC is such an important step for him because it means that he can stop wallowing in the past and start walking towards the future.
The MC is another thing that I loved in this route. While she’s not always in the right, she tries her best to understand and be respectful of Chiaki’s situation, and by staying with him, helps him accept his past. I think the build up from Chiaki’s season 1 routes really set up the stage for this route and make it a lot more meaningful and deep. I wanted Voltage to address the issues that he had with his mother, and Voltage definitely delivered in the most emotionally wrecking way as possible *sobs* I definitely recommend starting from the beginning if you’re planning on playing this route (which you should) to get the full experience and understanding of it. Once again, happy playing! (and try not to cry so much like me…)