After moving back to their house, the MC couldn’t be happier when Kaoru tells her he wants to start seriously planning his life with her together. They decide to take their first step in doing so by announcing their engagement at work, but their plans come to a halt when the MC is transferred to a new department where office romances aren’t allowed! The MC wants to do her best with the position she’s been entrusted with, but what will she do when Kaoru starts to get increasingly lonely and jealous?!
You would think three seasons later, Kaoru would be able to be more open and honest with his feelings with the MC; however, he struggles with the problem of hiding his thoughts again when the MC transfers to Saison. While she’s excited about it, he feels lonely because he won’t be able to see her as often anymore.
This is completely understandable, and I understand that while Kaoru doesn’t mention it in words, he does love and care for the MC and shows it in his own, quiet way. However, I think that Kaoru was a bit selfish in this route, to the point where it felt out of character; at one point in the route he asks the MC to do something that I never thought he would’ve and it was an incredibly selfish thing to ask of her, even if he was asking it out of concern for her. The MC is honestly trying her best at work, but Kaoru doesn’t like seeing her change at work when he can’t see her anymore; instead of encouraging her, he chooses to make her choose between work and their relationship. I found it ironic that at the few moments he does choose to share his thoughts with her, it’s the most selfish ones that come out of his mouth.
Kaoru does change for the better towards the end of the route, but after his season 2 stories, I’ve gotten tired of Voltage pulling the quiet card throughout the entire story and having him dump all his thoughts and feelings on the MC at the very end of the route. I was sorely disappointed in this story; after his season 2 stories I was hoping for better, but instead, Voltage decided to keep to the same formula.
One thing that I did like in this story is the better understanding of Ayame that I got from it. While I didn’t like the inconsistency of how severe he was when he found out about their relationship compared to the MC and Minato, you learn that Ayame has his reasons for everything he does, and he honestly does want the best for his subordinates (though he does it in ways that they may not completely understand). Shusei and Chiaki were also great in this route, helping Kaoru and the MC out to keep their relationship quiet for as long as possible (though Kaoru was a bit more aggressive in this story compared to his previous routes, to the point where it felt out of character).
I can’t find it in myself to recommend this route. If you’re a diehard Kaoru fan and have a bit of extra cash lying around, then I would recommend that you get the epilogue instead; while this route had it’s funny moments here and there, I enjoyed the epilogue throughout it’s entirety. I’m hoping that Kaoru’s next route will be better, especially since it seems like OTBS is going to end with only three seasons and every season has had two long routes. Happy playing!