After being rejected by her first love, the MC is shocked when Ichiya, the terror of her childhood, asks her to be his woman! Unwillingly caught up in a contract where she’ll play his girlfriend for appearance’s sake, she finds herself spending more time with him both personally and professionally when his company is hired for a project she’s part of at work. She starts to realize that despite his harsh words and cold actions, there’s another side of Ichiya that she hasn’t seen yet as she slowly starts to fall for him.
Although he’s the same age the MC (24), Ichiya has a bright future through Air, the interior design firm he started himself. As the CEO, he certainly plays the part with his cold words and calculating personality. Everything is a transaction and a contract to him, whether its managing company relations at work or personal ones in private. He doesn’t invest himself in anything unless he sees that he can gain something from it; he judges everything by how much merit it has. Regardless to say, he doesn’t know a thing about love and views it only as a physical relationship between two people who can gain something from each other’s social standings.
Ichiya is a logical person and doesn’t make it a habit to lie to himself; he’s pretty honest towards himself in his head, though his words may express something completely different. While he comes off as harsh and even cruel at times, Ichiya does have a kind heart in him, but just doesn’t know how to express it, resulting in him acting cold and distant towards others. He’s a (very extreme) tsundere, with more focus on the “tsun” aspect instead of the “dere”. It’s more accurate to say that rather teasing, he bullied the MC when they were children, but his reasoning in doing so was more complex than just the stereotypical boy teasing the girl he likes situation. Ichiya and the MC come from very different family backgrounds, and while I won’t get into it because of spoilers, he’s rather envious of what the MC has and takes for granted.
I loved the MC’s character development in this story. She definitely grows a lot professionally, and Ichiya definitely plays a big part in this. I really liked how she got closure over her unrequited love for Hiroki; she realizes that loving someone is loving everything about them, faults and all, and her love for Hiroki was more based on her dream of falling in love with a “prince” rather looking at him as a person. I especially loved her changing relationship with Ryoko; while there’s drama in the beginning, there wasn’t too much and it feels like they’re friends (or beginning to be) at the end.
I don’t condone some of the things Ichiya says or does in this route, and he certainly isn’t a character for everyone. If you want honeyed words and whispered nothings, Ichiya definitely isn’t for you. However, I don’t think it’s fair to judge him based on his character in the beginning of the story. I highly encourage you to get his POV story; it definitely puts more things into perspective and made me appreciate his character more. He definitely turns a gentler little by little as the story progresses, and you see that he is kind in his own way, but just doesn’t know how to express it. There are quite a few cute moments in the game here and there >w< I have to say that I liked his story more than Ayato’s ^w^ Until next time, happy playing!