This post contains major spoilers for this game, so proceed at your own risk.
So it’s time for the long awaited A-4 disc which holds routes for Rinchuu and Homura. I’m sure a lot of people were looking forward to this disc because it they focus on the characters from the west and those that are part of the “Ryouzanpaku”. Both these groups of characters made their biggest appearances in Majikoi-S, and have since been briefly scattered about the other discs in the A-series. However we look into that side of the world in a lot more detail in this disc.
So Homura’s route pretty much continues from the point after the practice battle between the east and the west which occurs at the start of Majikoi S. We find out that Yamato exchanges numbers with Homura at some point before she returns to the west, and they become mail buddies. The principal of the west school asks for 10 students from the east to come for an exchange. So through Kazama’s insane luck, the whole Kazama Family (+ Gen) head over to the west for 2 months.
In the west, Kazama informs the family to avoid spending time with each other in order to experience the west to its fullest. So we learn more about the 10 warriors as they bond with various members of the Kazama family. This aspect of the route I really enjoyed because it was interesting to see how some characters matched up with each other. No new characters are added to this route, which I was fine with. No need to dilute things even further by adding more characters.
Homura’s energetic personality and passion for fireworks reminds me a lot of kazuko. I probably like Kazuko more, but Homura’s also good. The two spend a lot of time together, but I didn’t feel that the interactions between the two were enough to sprout love. All I really remember is fireworks, ramen, and Yamato walking into the bathroom as she’s getting undressed.
I liked how Yamato semi-confesses to Homura and asks her to make some fireworks for him in order to get her out of her slump. However I felt this was something that happened out of the flow of the conversation, rather than out of love. Actually as a whole, Yamato felt rather “shapeless” in this route, and was a lot plainer than I remembered him to be.
There’s some random custom in the west high school where you give a medal to someone you consider a true friend. I didn’t find a huge point in these medals. I mean what? Am I trying to collect them all of something? ButI suppose it did hold some meaning in the sense it showed the gap between the east and west shrink.
No conflict or huge drama, so the route didn’t really have much direction apart from making friends with the west. There’s some minor stuff about Homura and fireworks, but it isn’t very engaging. There are a couple of fights, mainly between Momoyo and the Principal, but nothing major. This was pretty disappointing because I wanted to at least learn more about Homura’s fighting capabilities.
Homura’s route wasn’t bad, but all in fairness it felt more like a West x Kazama family route rather than Homura’s route. The route was around 4 hours long, but maybe 50% of the route focuses of characters other than Homura. The route had a very nice ending though, which pushes the score up a bit. However the addition of an ending for Haru was rather pointless and I would have preferred if they had used the extra time to add a bit more for Homura.
The route starts off with one of the Ryouzanpaku’s biggest rival organisations, the Sou Clan, receiving a message from the ever mysterious “M” stating that Yamato has qualities that could make him the next “Roshungi”. Roshungi seems to be some Chinese historical character, but I really couldn’t be bothered researching in depth. What we’re told about this “Roshungi” figure is that they’re the second highest figure in the Ryouzanpaku, and they’re in charge of managing the 108 warriors in the organisation. Conveniently enough, all these warriors are women, which certainly doesn’t scream a harem ending (<= sarcasm). The Sou Clan target Yamato to make him adopt a similar position in their organisation.
After almost getting kidnapped by Shibunkyou of the Sou Clan, Yamato learns why the Ryouzanpaku came to Kawakami. Rinchuu becomes his personal guard, and two are pretty around each other 24/7. Despite what the situation might call for, the interaction is usually quite professional. There are some nice moments which show the relationship advancing, but I was left wanting a lot more romantic development.
I really like Rinchuu as a heroine. She’s a reliable older sister character, but has a clumsy side to her which the other Ryouzapaku girls often target. However as I said above, limited development means that her appeal as a heroine was utilized as much as it could have been.
Yamato’s a lot less plain in this route, and senses that the Ryouzanpaku have some other motive for hanging around him (i.e. the Roshungi thing). He eventually learns of their other motive after he uses his talents to slowly get closer to Bushou and Kousonshou. His increased interaction with the other members of the Ryouzanpaku causes some nice jealousy from Rinchuu. I really wish they had milked this jealously more, but it only lasts a brief moment.
Rinchuu’s fixation on protecting Yamato was a rather over the top and felt too forced. The yandere moment this led to was quite a shock, but I’m glad that it didn’t lead to any hardcore yandere mannerisms. Her fixation seems to be protecting in general, which makes me wonder why she hasn’t gone yandere on the other clients she guarded in the past. Though I suppose love is the key difference here.
Unfortunately this route failed to satisfy my curiosity about how strong Rinchuu is because she doesn’t actually fight against anyone from the existing Majikoi universe. Instead she only fights against some chick from the Sou Clan called “Shibunkyou”, who pretty much looks like a dark Momoyo. I felt the addition of the Sou Clan was a complete waste. All that really happens after the first failed kidnap attempt is repeated failed attempts which we don’t really see and Shibunkyou saying that they’re here for the long haul.
This route also made me question my perception of the Majikoi universe as a whole when they brought in that special powers crap. Seriously, given that Momoyo can pretty much do the Kamehameha already, I assumed that various feats that could be achieved in the universe was dependent on how the characters manipulated their energy or ki. Now you’re suddenly telling me that there are someone who ate the freakin Mera Mera Fruit and another person who have the Sharingan???
Rinchuu’s ending had varying aspects which felt very off to me. For example, like how the 5 members decide to stay in Kawakami city, or how the Ryouzanpaku and the Sou Clan reach an understanding. The Yamato x Rinchuu relationship felt odd because not much development is shown after the confession other than sex. The harem ending in this route wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, and Miyako’s appearance in it was totally random.
Something I found very amusing about this route is how Yamato x Benkei almost happened =D
Ａー１： Benkei Azumi Sayaka Ａ－２： Seiso Monshiro after+ Cookie 4 is
Ａ－３： Lee Stacy Tsubame after+
Ａ－４： Homura Rin ——-
Ａ－５： Yoshitsune Takae Margit after+
This has been the worst of the A disc to date. Both routes were lacking in the romance department, but I would say the relationship with Homura was stronger. Both routes also lacked the amount of fighting I expected from Majikoi. In the previous A discs, the major routes all had some form of fight or competition that let you see the heroines’ skills. I suppose Rinchuu did get into a fight with Shibunkyou, and there are a few other battles with the Ryouzanpaku, but it still felt lacking.
I suppose the biggest problem with A-4 is that they tried to cover too many characters while keeping within a defined route length. Given that A-4 was only covering two routes, I expected the two routes to be of high quality. Was it wrong of me to expect this?
Please note that the scores I’ve given above might change as I reflect on the routes over the next couple of days/weeks.
With A-4 in the bag, we only have one game left in the A series. Once again we learn pretty much nothing about Mr/Mrs M. I’m just hoping they shed some light on M instead of leaving them as some vague existence.
As for the heroines in the next disc, I’m looking forward to Yoshitsune’s route the most. I’m not a huge fan of Margit, and I imagine that her after-story will just be filled with H-scenes. I really don’t give a crap about Takae. However since I have so low expectations, it means I’ve got nothing to lose.