Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tokimeki Memorial: Girl's Side (DS)

Tokimeki Memorial: First Love Plus (DS)
To celebrate the fact that the English Translation patch for my favourite Tokimeki Memorial game is finally complete, I feel that I’m going to have to write something more in depth about it. At long last, you will be able to understand what on earth all those guys are saying in their husky Japanese voices. /^^/

*** Obligatory Possible Spoiler Warning ***

The game begins by prompting you to tell the voice of your kid brother all your personal details. This includes your first name, last name, birthday and blood type. You can only put in three letters for your first or last name, which means you will be forced to choose short names such as ‘Rei’, ‘Yuki’ and ‘Kai’. The room that you choose here will determine all your starting stats.

You will see a sequence of events taking place in a church, where a boy is reading a fairy tale book written in German to you. It’s about a prince who meets a princess in a church just like the one you are in, and he vows to return to her. The boy also promises that he will return to you when he is done reading, but then you wake up and realise it was all a dream. Or was it? Although the boy’s face is not fully shown, he has blonde hair and green eyes. Only one character in this game fits that profile. I’ll give you a hint. He’s on the cover of the game case. That’s right, it’s Kei Hazuki! He gets those green eyes from his German grandfather, you know. 

After this dream sequence, you hurry over to Habataki High to start your freshman school year. You will meet different girls and guys depending on what activities or stats you choose to raise. There are also mini-games associated with events, and it can be quite important to do well in them. The most critical yearly event is probably the Valentine’s Day game, which has driven me slowly insane over the years.

The aim on Valentine’s Day is to stir your bowl of chocolate according to the arrow signs. If you mess up, your heart chocolate quality goes down and the guy you give it to will not be too impressed. The easiest way for me to go about this is to draw the instructions out onto a piece of paper and stir accordingly. Otherwise, I have a terrible sense of direction and will not be able to get through the stirring without screwing up. You will also fail if you intersect stirring motions, go too close to the edge of the bowl, or stir too slowly. The game will not recognise your stirring motions if they are too small, so be sure to make big swirls. And if your touch screen is scratched or lacking in sensitivity, you might have to kiss your chances of making perfect Valentine’s chocolate goodbye. I swear this infuriating mini-game was just thrown in as a cruel joke. Homemade chocolate is the best gift to give, while buying the expensive deluxe and obligatory chocolate from the store isn’t quite so exciting. If you made a poisonous looking homemade chocolate, the guy you gave it to will still get you a White Day gift in return, possibly out of sheer pity.

Your godly little brother, Tsukushi, knows absolutely everything about all the guys you have met. As you raise your affection levels with them, the information given about each guy changes from time to time. At some point, Tsukushi also manages to get hold of Skinship advice. That’s right, he knows how different guys like to be touched. @-@ Another thing is that if you don’t click to see a guy’s info, it appears that you never get their phone number and so you don’t get bombed as much. This is handy if you happen to meet guys you don’t want to associate with, such as Shiki or Hibiya.

You might notice that once you have a guy at a high enough Tokimeki level, there are two correct options out of three responses available and the date will still go well. One of the responses seems to lead to an awkward conversation which will mess with the guy’s head. In a good way? You can also poke the guy’s hand after he asks to extend the date, which will result in you holding hands until he walks you home. Three sets of heart points will splurt out during Skinship at the end of the date. As an added bonus, you will be able to get an extra Skinship poke in outside your house if you trigger the hand holding event.

If you have two guys with a high affection rating, you may trigger ‘Best Friend Mode’ for one of them. This happens when you come home from a date with Guy A (Kei), and you find Guy B (Sakuya) standing outside your door for no adequately explained reason. You will then call up Guy B and either explain to him that it wasn’t a date he saw, or tell him that you like Guy A. If you tell Guy B you like Guy A, you will meet Guy B at the beach and he will tell you how he wishes you luck with Guy A. After this event, Guy B will be stuck at the Tokimeki smiling state for the rest of the game, in the ‘friend zone’ limbo. The up side to this mode is that Guy B will no longer bomb you, and you will granted the ability to ask him a series of uncomfortable questions.

You should save often and in multiple slots while playing this game, especially because if your DS batteries die in the middle of saving over a slot, the entire save will be wiped. :< Be very careful not to hit the ‘Reset = Erase All Saves’ button, as I accidentally leant on it one time and then had to fight against the urge to throw my DS under a truck.
There is one thing about this game that I have to criticise, and that is the character design used for daily activities.

Look at Kei’s eyes, they are squares. Surely you could have used chibi-fied representations instead of these… things? I also feel that the main female character design needs work, especially since we never get to see her face. Imagine going through your whole youth not knowing what your face really looked like. It’s a disturbing thought. Of course, I would have liked to see even more endings and events… but probably just because I am greedy.

Here are the profiles of all your possible suitors. I will be focusing more on Kei as he is the main character, and also because he pretty much likes everything I like. :3

Hazuki Kei

Birthday: 16th October
Height: 178, 180, 180 cm
Weight: 62, 63, 64 kg
Blood Type: A
Horoscope: Libra
Part-time Job: Magazine Model
Rival: None
Hobby: Sleeping, Jigsaw Puzzles
Course: 1st Class University
Favourites: Cats, Pillows
Colour: White
Fragrance: Citrus Mint
Music: Violin Pieces
Aspiration: Jewellery Designer
Clothing: Pure, followed by Sporty. Sexy is bad.
Accessory: Barrettes
Job: Coffee House ALUCARD
Meet: Automatic
Names at :D or Above: Kei-tama, Kei-pon
Don’t Call Him: Prince

- Planetarium
- Forest Park (Sakura Viewing, Summer)
- Seaside Park (Walkway)
- Fireworks Festival
- Habataki Mountain (Momiji)
- Amusement Park (Night Parade)
- Zoo (Normal, Lions)
- Shopping District
- Cinema (Princess in Danger, Saraba Singing Princess, Girl of the Green Grass)
- Bowling Alley (Table Tennis)
- Park entrance (Shopping)
- Event Hall (KCH Symphony Orchestra)
- Amusement Park (Merry-Go-Round)

Kei Hazuki is a tough nut to crack. His Tokimeki meter seems to rise agonisingly slowly at first, even when regular dates are set. In addition to that, he speaks in a monotone and acts as if he is completely disinterested in anything around him. As you will discover later, this is probably why he feels that people grow tired of speaking with him. Hence his nickname as ‘Stone-Cold-Kei’ was established. Thankfully he does perk up once he likes you enough, and then you’ll be able to drag him any place, at any time and touch him anywhere you want. Well, anywhere your DS display screen permits that is. Some of Kei’s reactions in reponse to your inappropriate poking are simply priceless.

His parameter requirements are high, as expected from a guy who is all-round good at everything. Provided you focus only on Kei and increasing your stats, you should be able to gain his affection rather easily. Once you actually manage to get him to like you, Kei transforms into your perfect man. He defends you against sleazy thugs. He names cats after you. He goes to the Game Arcade to win plush toys you like. His Tokimeki meter will also begin to fill up rapidly after triggering events involving him.

Kei is quite eccentric though, as in he may randomly take naps on park benches, in the middle of the street, or while sitting exams. If you spend time studying with him, he won’t sleep through the exams any more. You never quite know what he wants to hear from you on a date, either. Sometimes he wants to hear something deep, while other times he jokes around. Expect to save before every date and reload afterwards to select the correct responses. >< If the date goes well, you’ll get a text message from Kei that evening for extra affection points.

Look at the above example, a screenshot taken on a date to the museum. Surely, the right thing to say is ‘I’m moved by the way our ancestors lived’? Wrong! Kei actually wants you to say he looks like the primitive man. He responds to this by saying you’re right, and the primitive man actually looks quite handsome. What the deuce??

Kei Hazuki will hang around with you at school if you are studying, reading fashion magazines or participating in sports. He will also model in the backdrop while you are serving drinks at café ALUCARD. Alternatively, you can choose to hang with your female friends, all of which like a different guy. Since Kei has no rival, you can safely befriend any of the girls so that you can unlock more events and go on double dates to the Amusement Park. By the way, Kei likes riding the Ferris Wheel and hates the Merry-Go-Round. Perhaps it’s because riding on painted horses looks a bit fruity. You may also notice that Kei totally has no expression on his face while you are screaming on the Roller Coaster. Similarly, Kei Bungee Jumps without any expression on his face while you are shaking like a leaf. He’s a man of steel.

Kei clearly offers the most elaborate endings, even going so far as to personally design your engagement ring.

The amount of art and merchandise based around him is huge – you can actually buy the clover ring he designs for a hefty sum somewhere in Japan.
No, I do not own an official Kei ring. As much as I would like to support Konami for providing me with this awesome game, these things are horribly rare and impossible to find nowadays. Besides, Konami has already claimed a large sum of my money in previous years via Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Curse that Seto Kaiba and his Blue Eyes White Dragon. I regret nothing!

Also, this:
Because they know how much you want to own a life sized cushion of Kei Hazuki. Dressed in pyjamas. Shine on, you crazy Konami.

Album Events

You bump into Kei while standing in front of the church at Habataki High. He offers his hand to help you up when you trip over. Make a mental note to never wash your hand again.

You make a bento lunch for Kei. He refuses to eat the bean sprouts, but then you guilt trip him into eating them anyway. Nice work.~

While at the park, Kei gets attacked by rabid fangirls. So he pushes you down into the grass to hide from them with him. I’m sure it’s a perfectly natural thing to do, as is taking this opportunity to molest Kei.*

You spy on Kei playing with cats behind the school gym. He names a kitten after you and tells it to try to get along with the others. Then he flees in horror once he realises you overheard him, with the excuse that he is going to buy the cats some milk.

You spot Kei at the flea market, selling his jewellery. You decide to help him attract more customers, because clearly wearing a lamp shade on his head isn’t helping business.

A rival model appears while Kei is playing billiards. He tells you about how many idols Kei has dumped, but shuts up once Kei offers him a knuckle sandwich.*

You overhear Kei talking to his father on the school roof. You notice that he seems different from his image and sounds like a ‘good kid.’ You mention to Kei that he sounds lonely, which is a fair statement considering both his parents are away working and never around. He assures you that it’s just your imagination.

While you are riding the Ferris Wheel, it suddenly stops. Kei takes the time to tell you that he used to cry a lot when he was younger, so his grandfather used to read him a story. He begins to mention the German fairy tale, but is interrupted when the damn carriage starts moving again.

The model who was working with Kei couldn’t make it, so you take her place. :} His outfits are… odd.

You and Kei are starring as the leads in the Cinderella play at school. When you get to the part where you rush home before midnight, Kei loses himself and tells you not to leave. This results in him messing up his lines, so then he runs off into the distance, leaving you stuck there. The audience actually laughs at him. What a bunch of creeps!

Kei brings you to a Christmas tree light display after a Christmas party. Christmas! :>

You watch the Summer fireworks with Kei. ^^

*Possible Dramatisation

Morimura Sakuya
Birthday: 7th July
Height: 163, 163, 163 cm
Weight: 48, 49, 49 kg
Blood Type: O
Horoscope: Cancer
Club: Gardening
Rival: Arisawa Shiho
Hobby: Gardening, Reading, Playing Games
Course: 1st Class University
Favourite: Red Tea
Colour: Green
Fragrance: Jasmine
Music: Classical Jazz
Aspiration: Plant Doctor
Clothing: Pure, followed by Elegant. Sexy is bad.
Accessory: Clip-on Earrings
Meet: Intelligence 55, or join the Gardening Club
Names at :D or Above: Sakuya-chan, Sa.Ku.Ya
Don’t Call Him: Eyeglasses Dude

Sakuya Morimura is the kind, botany-loving, studious one. He is always extremely nice, so much to the point where you feel that one day he might crack it. You will find him either in the library studying or tending to flowers around the school. He is usually ranked second after Kei on the exam results, so you’ve got a lot of studying ahead of you. His Tokimeki meter goes up fairly easily, so you should probably keep an eye on it if you’re actually interested in someone else. Your rival for Sakuya is Shiho Arisawa, who you will certainly meet but should probably avoid if you’re thinking about grabbing Sakuya for yourself. Since Sakuya has similar parameter requirements to Kei, you can quite easily end up dating Kei with Shiho as your best friend, while Sakuya tags along for the ride.

He speaks with flowers.

Mihara Shiki

Birthday: 15th January
Height: 174, 176, 178 cm
Weight: 58, 60, 62 kg
Blood type: AB
Horoscope: Capricorn
Club: Art
Rival: Sudou Mizuki
Hobby: Sketching
Course: Travel around the World
Favourites: Beautiful Things, Himself, Mother’s Cooking
Colour: Purple
Fragrance: Rose
Music: Beautiful Music?
Aspiration: Artist?
Clothing: Elegant, followed by Sexy. Sporty is bad.
Accessory: Shawl
Meet: Art 55, or join Art Club
Names at :D or Above: Shiki-pyon, Shiki-nyan
Don’t Call Him: Mihara

There is something about Shiki Mihara I just can’t stomach. I think it might be the fact that he looks so much like a woman. He is also extremely self-centred, possibly bisexual and speaks in an insulting way. All this is only based on first and last impressions though, as I cannot bring myself to actually go near him.

It’s all about him.

Kijyou Madoka

Birthday: 18th June
Height: 185, 185, 185 cm
Weight: 65, 67, 66 kg
Blood Type: A
Horoscope: Gemini
Part-time Job: STALLION Gas
Rival: Fujii Natsumi
Hobby: His Bike
Course: Freeter
Favourites: Antiques, Coffee
Colour: White
Fragrance: Musk
Music: Western Music
Aspiration: Bum?
Clothing: Sexy, followed by Sporty. Elegant is bad.
Accessory: Pierced Earrings
Meet: Style 55, or get a job at STALLION Gas
Names at :D or Above: Madoka-chan, Madoka-kun, Madoka-oniisan
Don’t Call Him: [None]

Madoka Kijyou is a friendly chap from Kansai, with an interesting accent to go along with it. Even in the English translation, his excessive use of ‘ya’ will make everything he says funny. Upon first meeting him, he tries to crack a joke indicating that he is really a girl. It doesn’t go too well, and makes the situation seem awkward. Despite that, Madoka’s Tokimeki meter rises fast, easily overtaking Kei’s in the beginning even though I didn’t spend any time with him. He likes all pretty girls who neglect their studies, which is what you must become should you be interested in him. Read those fashion magazines like a true airhead! ^^’ On the plus side, he lives alone due to an issue with his father, so he excels at cooking and other chores. He also rides a motorbike which he received from an old teacher in Kansai. Natsumi Fujii is your rival for Madoka, although if you get her best friend ending she will say that she never managed to confess to him. Fujii seems to argue with him whenever they meet, but she is still a cheerleader, which is what he likes.

He loves ya.

Suzuka Kazuma

Birthday: 4th December
Height: 171, 173, 175 cm
Weight: 57, 59, 63 kg
Blood Type: B
Horoscope: Sagittarius
Club: Basketball
Rival: Konno Tamami
Hobby: Fishing for Bass
Course: Exchange student in America (Basketball)
Favourite: Health products, Fish, Milk, Exercising
Colour: Red
Fragrance: Marin
Music: Hip Hop
Clothing: Sporty, followed by Pure. Sexy is bad.
Accessory: Hairpins
Meet: Fitness 55, or join the Basketball Club
Names at :D or Above: Kazurin, Kazu-kun
Don’t Call Him: Mr. Hot-Blooded

Kazuma Suzuka is the blue-haired jock with a perpetual Band-Aid on this cheek. Sports and exercise is his life, as yours should be if you plan on going for him. It seems like he doesn’t speak to girls much and comes across as rather rude. You have to religiously join the Basketball Club and spend all your days on exercise. Kazuma doesn’t seem to care what sort of grades you have, and his Tokimeki meter will rise as long as you are doing well in the Basketball Club. Tamami Konno is the manager of the club, and honestly I think she deserves this guy. If you have seen her best friend ending, she will say that someone else always confesses to the guy she likes before she does. You’ll be able to make friends with Tamami even if you only participate in sports every once in a while. On the other hand, Kazuma turns into a stuttering mess once his Tokimeki meter climbs high enough, which is actually quite fun. Heart points will come gushing out of him if you meet a date disturber. Also, Kazuma will drag you off to America if you end up with him.

In America!

Hibiya Wataru

Birthday: 4th September
Height: 163, 165 cm
Weight: 53, 55 kg
Blood Type: O
Horoscope: Virgo
Club: Baseball
Rival: None
Hobby: Taking Photos, Buying Magazines
Course: Become a Third Year Senior at Habataki High
Favourite: Cool Seniors, Bears
Colour: Pink
Fragrance: Prune-Orange Extract
Music: Visual Kei, Idol Songs
Aspiration: To Be A Cool Sempai
Clothing: Sporty, followed by Sexy. Elegant is bad.
Accessory: Brooch
Meet: Automatic at 1st Day of 2nd Year
Names at :D or Above: Wataru-san, Wataru-chan
Don’t Call Him: Kid or Little One

Wataru Hibiya is second in your annoyance books right after your rose-wielding principal. He is a year younger than you, and acts like a wannabe child. He is obsessed with Kei Hazuki to the point where he tries to imitate professional photos by taking distasteful pictures of himself. But if that floats your boat, join the Baseball Club in your first year and show off your high exam rankings. Wataru will constantly mention that he has to become a ‘man’ and strive to be a ‘cool sempai’. This will probably serve to make you very, very irritated.

… Erm.

Himuro Reiichi
Birthday: 6th November
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Blood Type: A
Horoscope: Scorpio
Club: Band
Part-time Job: None
Rival: None
Hobby: Piano, Writing Test Questions
Course: Form and Maths Teacher at Habataki High
Favourite: Horror Genre
Colour: Black
Fragrance: Musk
Music: Classical and Orchestral Music
Clothing: Pure, followed by Sporty. Sexy is bad.
Accessory: Scrunchies
Meet: Automatic
Names at :D or Above: Himuro-chi, Reiichi-san
Don’t Call Him: Sensei-sama, Binary, Reiichi, Rei-chan, Zero One

Reiichi wears suits eternally and will strike fear into your soul at first sight. He is your strict natured Form teacher as well as the Maths teacher, so your exam ranking is critically important. You will also need to join the Band and stick with it, as Reiichi will get angry if you miss any practice sessions. He enjoys driving fast cars and playing the piano. He’s the older and more mature option available, especially created to suit the needs of girls who have always wanted an illegitimate relationship with their teacher. Think Sensei and Ninomiya-kun, except with a way more attractive Sensei.

He’ll take you for a ride.

Amanohashi Ikkaku

Birthday: 5th February
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Blood Type: B
Horoscope: Aquarius
Job: Habataki School’s Principal
Rival: None
Hobby: Tending to Roses
Clothing: Elegant, followed by Pure. Sporty is bad.
Accessory: Corsage
Meet: Automatic
Names at :D or Above:  Ikkaku, Ojisama
Don’t Call Him: Amanohashi-sama, Gramps, Uncle-sama, Principal-sama

Sweet, buttery Arceus. What is this thing? It appears to be a bouquet of roses with a moustache, wearing spectacles? It will follow you around and force you to go for rides! In some cultures this would be considered stalking. But not here, apparently… Run for your life.

Is it gone?

Aoki Chiharu

Birthday: 18th August
Height: 170, 172,175 cm
Weight: 62, 63, 64 kg
Blood Type: A
Horoscope: Leo
School: Kirameki High
Club: None
Part-time Job: Unknown
Rival: None
Course: 1st Class University
Colour: Orange
Fragrance: Wakoruda
Music: Seventies Japanese Music
Clothing: [None]
Meet: Go Shopping 7 times.

Chiharu is an exchange student from America, who doesn’t seem to speak Japanese too well. You end up meeting him when you go shopping, by giving him directions. As luck would have it, he accidentally sends you an email and you two become pen pals. You will have to fail to meet the parameters for all other guys and go shopping alone. A lot. In the end, you will finally find out what his actual name is and then realise that the random dude you keep bumping into on the street is actually the same one you have been emailing all this time. Neat.

Lost again?

Tendou Jin

Birthday: 15th March
Height: 178, 178, 178
Weight: 57, 59, 63
Blood type: O
Horoscope: Pisces
Club: Kung-Fu Fighting Gang?
Part-time Job: None
Rival: None
Hobby: None
Course: 1st Class University
Favourite: None
Colour: None
Fragrance: None
Music: None
Clothing: [None]
Meet: Intelligence 120, Go Shopping alone in 2nd Year.

Ah, the badass Jin. This is the guy who used to be a good student, but then realised his friends treated him differently for ranking high on exams, and so decided to ditch his studies to become a street fighter. Makes sense to me. After he meets you on the street, he herds you into a girly clothes store and pretends to be your date so that his gangland enemies can’t locate him. The rest of your relationship with Jin revolves around him either running off to beat up mafia members, or pledging to get back into studying so he can get into a 1st Class University with you. As it turns out, he ends up showing up to confess to you after getting beaten to a bloody pulp, just like a true gangster. He ditches the University entrance exams to help his delinquent comrades fight in the mafia war though. You do get to decide whether or not his hair looks better in blonde or black, but it’s still a shame that Jin’s best feature (his face) is bruise ridden during his ending. No matter, he promises to get into your University next year and give up on the Fight Club. Thus his nickname as a ‘NART – New Age Reformed Thug’ was born. He also insists on marrying you, which appears to be what all gangsters do once they realise the error of their ways.

Everybody was Kung Fu fightin’.

Most of the guys have three endings you can unlock. The first one is the regular confession at the church, while the other two are ‘buddy’ endings. The first buddy ending occurs when you become close friends with two guys, and then you choose to date one of them over the other. If you reject the guy you dated at the church, the other one will be waiting for you at the beach. The second buddy ending occurs when you have basically failed to meet parameters for a confession from any guy in the game. You will end up crying in front of the church, and the person closest to you will show up and tell you how great you are, etc.

There are also endings where you have completely failed at the game, and you end up walking home with your younger brother. Another ending is a very strange one involving Goro approaching you to take over the fashion industry together… or something.

Tokimeki Memorial : Second Season (DS)

Okay Konami, let’s see if you can make a superior sequel to the first Tokimeki Memorial GS. I recently discovered that there was also an English translation patch being made for this game which is now largely completed, so naturally I felt inclined to try it out. God bless the Japanese-English speaking fanbase of Tokimeki Memorial – Girl’s Side. :D 

*** Obligatory Possible Spoiler Warning *** 

Well, in short, I didn’t find that the new characters introduced in Second Season surpassed those from First Love. The cartoon character designs have improved slightly, though are still not very pretty. There are some welcome additions to the game overall, such as new mini-games and extra date spots. However, there were several things that I found obviously disturbing about this game:

1. You get to practice the art of molestation on your underage neighbour.

2. Many of the characters are downright unpleasant for the most part.

3. Where are the cats? 

There is also an extra mini-game here, where you torture guys while they walk you home. You touch all the hearts that appear on their faces, which apparently is the equivalent of unlawful bad touching. I don’t understand too much Japanese, but I swear they are begging and shrieking at you to stop. :< Oh well. If you do a good job at poking the hearts, you’ll end up having an awkward and suggestive conversation about how molesting guys against their will is illegal. Except that they enjoyed it.

Incidentally, Saeki is just plain mean. He really is, no matter how high the heart level. I’m not digging his tanned surfer stereotype either, especially since I’ve had two near death experiences with drowning in my lifetime. Plus, he hates the zoo and always refuses to go there. What decent human being hates going to a zoo? Saeki also has a nasty habit of ‘chopping’ you, which I know is supposed to come across as playful and all, but when paired with his attitude somehow makes it seem like the beginning of domestic abuse. Judging by the correct date responses, Saeki has no sense of romance at all and would rather listen to a soundtrack of crunching leaves put on a continuous loop while you stuff your face for the winter. My point was that Saeki as a whole makes neutral ‘stone-cold’ Kei look like the most receptive and romantic person in the universe. Compare and contrast some of their dialogue:

And no, I’m not just demanding cat cameos because I like them. It’s because as we all know, the typical Japanese romance scene involves someone interacting with a cat in the pouring rain. You can’t call a love simulation game complete without putting in any cats, that’s like spray painting an apple yellow and declaring it a banana. To be fair Wakaoji’s life goal is to raise cats, which could have been damn awesome… if he wasn’t a science teacher. Sorry man, the forbidden sensei-student relationship thing makes me feel faintly nauseous. Maybe I just want to see more CG and visual art involving cats? Cue past examples:

Argh, I would gladly trade this bunch of new characters in for another shot at Kei Hazuki. Seriously, I would whack them all senseless with a bag of oranges just for a chance to return to Habataki High to spend my days with the original cast from First Love again. By the way, Kei has been reduced to an obscure bridal poster at the shopping mall in this new game. Sigh. Oh, and beware of visiting the Sky Garden. 
Anyway, I quickly gave up on Saeki despite him having the highest Tokimeki level and now have a choice out of Itaru Hikami (the studious one) or Shiba Katsumi (the sporty one). Given the unfortunate lack of Kei Hazuki, I decided to just go for the next closest thing to him as a consolation prize: Shiba. Thankfully despite him being a hardcore baseball player, Shiba’s life doesn’t revolve entirely around sports like Kazuma. He at least still likes animals, is able to talk about topics other than sports, and… hastily buys you a sack of candy for Christmas? But I think Shiba’s main appeal is actually that he barely says anything half the time, and is quite similar in speech to our beloved original cinderblock (Kei). Or perhaps that’s just me.

Here was the final battle: The Christmas Party.


Saeki loses for consistently being a dirfwad, Hikami scores points here but ultimately loses due to his regular dialogue, and Shiba is left for the win. Outrageous!

In other news, I think we can finally pinpoint the reasons why Kei was so miserable:

Yes, it was clowns and lack of anime all along. :0 Let us pray for this poor soul. 
As for the secret characters available in Second Season, there isn’t anyone nearly as tempting as the former badass Jin. You get a choice out of a plain looking guy from Habataki High, a younger L from Death Note or some older jerkface. No, thank you. 
I get the feeling that most of the Second Season characters were aimed at a different type of audience. The original cast of First Love were all kind and gentle, and they had a quiet dignity about them. (Excluding the pedostache principal of course, but he was just criminally insane.) Second Season offers more ‘lively’ characters. And by that I mean they are louder, more social, or more intimidating, and therefore are suited to similar natured girls. I guess this probably comes across as less boring for some people, but I found it kind of irritating. Yes, the young L clone is reclusive to the extreme, but he is not a main character and is too far at the other end of the scale. Considering I’ve always been rather quiet, you really have to provide me with a selection of decent calmer character options. And they don’t all have to be study freaks like Sakuya, they just have to be less noisy. Madoka and Suzuka were both terrible at exams, but they were still solid characters that I enjoyed interacting with.
Half the time most of the Second Season cast seem to be either yelling at me, calling me derogatory names or giving me dirty looks. It really makes me miss those days at Habataki, where everyone was so delightfully awkward that as a result I was treated nicely most of the time. ^^’

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