The MC chose to be assigned with Ayumu to clear up the misunderstanding with him about her walking into the shower; however, things backfire when she finds out from him that she got into the academy fraudulently. She gets assigned as his aide, and he continues to use the information of her “backdoor” entrance to the academy to work her to death. Despite the things she says about him in her head, the MC starts to get curious as to what’s really behind his manipulative smile.
Ayumu was a character that I was looking forward to playing in HLITF, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. I did like him, but I think Voltage was too shallow when it came to exploring his character; it didn’t feel like I really “met” the real him in this route. You see that he’s capable and manipulative, but you already knew that from the other routes in HLITF. He reminded me of Chiaki from OTBS, but since Voltage didn’t fully get into his characterization, he fell a bit short for me since there were still a questions that felt unanswered to who he really is. There were a few instances where you got to see bits of his “real” self (and smile), but they were few and far in between, and felt a bit forced in my opinion.
Despite his manipulation, he’s described as “delicate” and having a “pure heart” by Soma. I can understand where he’s coming from; it might be because he’s the youngest of the instructors, but there’s a certain child-like quality to him as you learn more about him. The introduction of his childhood friend shows this; however, I don’t think the childhood friend was a necessary part of the plot, mostly because she didn’t add anything to the story other than make Ayumu feel like he’d experienced heartbreak, which Voltage didn’t even get into. This plot line felt more like an afterthought; it wasn’t necessary to the story, and looked like an attempt to make Ayumu’s character “deeper.”
The writing in this route was subpar. The plot was all over the place, without much emphasis on the case; it was more focused on Ayumu and the MC’s relationship, but their relationship didn’t develop as much as I wanted it to. The MC’s personal development was probably the best-written part of route, but even that wasn’t that great. In all honesty, it felt like Voltage had a lot they wanted to do with the story, but couldn’t decide what to focus on and did a halfhearted job on everything they wanted to explore.
I hesitate to recommend this route because it felt very… bland to me. I would wait to see how things go in Ayumu’s falling in love route; the happy end showed some promise in it, and I hope Voltage goes more in depth with his character, and want to see more of how his relationship with the MC changes. Hopefully Voltage delivers =___=;; Happy playing!