Due to the construction going on around their apartment, the MC and Kaoru agree to stay at the newly build Shiki company housing for a month until their house gets fully repaired. They struggle to keep their relationship a secret from everyone, but get discovered by Shusei. The MC gets assigned to an article with him, and things are okay until one day he confesses his feelings to her and tells Kaoru he’s going to win her away from him!
Kaoru reminds me of a shy cat; he’s quiet, but can get quite forward when he wants attention from the MC. He’s opened up to her more, and is absolutely adorable when he’s trying to get a bit of love from her (/w\) However, he still has the problem as in his previous routes: he keeps his worries to himself, and doesn’t try to approach the MC about them. Once again, he learns the importance of communicating with the MC instead of keeping everything to himself, though the situation forced him into it. You get see him show more of his actual feelings, and I appreciated being able to see more of his true feelings since he holds them in all the time.
I love Kaoru as a character, but he always seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to plot in his routes. While I did enjoy the story in the beginning of the route, as it progressed I found myself getting increasingly frustrated with Kaoru, Shusei, and the MC. Towards the end I almost stopped playing because of how immature everyone was being; instead of talking it out like adults, everyone avoids the main conflict and tries to get around it by doing things their own way without putting much thought into it. A lot of the events that frustrated me could’ve been prevented if both Kaoru and the MC had been straightforward and honest with their feelings.
I think this route did a pretty bad job at portraying Shusei as well. While in the beginning he’s the gentleman he always his, after he reveals his feelings for the MC he starts acting extremely petty and inconsiderate, which isn’t true to his character at all. I understand they were trying to make him out to be the “bad guy,” but Kido wasn’t portrayed like this in Minato’s route, and he’s much more petty than Shusei ever could be. The lack of consideration both Kaoru and Shusei showed for the MC’s own feelings irritated me as well, though it is partially her fault for not stating them clearly.
I was disappointed in this route, but was sort of expecting to be. If you’re a die-hard Kaoru fan, then you’ll probably enjoy this route. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting frustrated at everyone towards the end like I did. If you don’t already love Kaoru, then I wouldn’t recommend this route. Happy playing!