Ceres is a woman who brings a “curse” of death wherever she goes. It’s for this reason people call her a Shinigami or a “reaper”. She stays at an orphanage with a nun who decided to take her in even after all the incidents that occurred in the past. In a place called “Arpecheur” everyone is destined to die at 23 years old. Usually by 20 or 21 a person will start to feel the effects of a sort of respiratory disease that’ll kill them at 23. So in order to prolong people’s lives, research has been done to create clones known as “relivers” with people’s memories downloaded and implanted into them. Once a person has died, their memories are downloaded, a reliver is created, and they’re implanted into the new one. This way, people can live for another 23 years before doing the same process all over again.
After giving a letter to the research facility, Ceres comes back to the orphanage to see a man named Lucas teaching the children about becoming a “reviver” — those who clone themselves after their original body dies. Lucas himself is reaching the age where his body is starting to deteriorate. After he leaves, Ceres wakes up to one of the children coughing in another room. She immediately believes it’s her fault (so does the child) and decides to leave to go to an area near a cliff where black lycoris flowers are. There she spots a man with a mask which immediately makes her wary since he seems to recognize her. After running away, she figures he knew her because she’s known as the “reaper” but then realizes that he reminded her of a boy who helped save her in a fire that started 7 years ago.After this, Ceres hears a dripping noise and finds herself in an alley where blood falls on her from a bunch of dead bodies. She screams in horror and Adolphe, who grew up in the same orphanage as her, comes to her aid. People start showing up and believe that Ceres is the cause but Adolphe defends her. Regardless, everyone wants Ceres gone from the orphanage and try to convince sister Salome to get rid of her. However, the same man Ceres saw briefly appears and defends her. When the incident of the fire 7 years ago is mentioned, he says it was an accident and she just happened to be there. After they leave, Yves and his friend Hugo come in for tea. Yves introduces himself as a handyman of a shop called Cloone who takes on various tasks of the common district. Hugo also introduces himself as a handyman as well and while he came from the wealthy district which is called “Shudi”, he now lives in the common district. The two of them are also vigilante and Hugo works under Yves. They decide to ask Ceres some questions about what she saw in the alley and are hoping to investigate what they believe are murders that occurred. After this, Yves spots Ceres in the hallway and asks to talk to her. Suddenly, they hear Adolphe yelling at one of the orphanage children who has been angry at Ceres somehow obtained a chemical that they planned to use to kill her. It ends up reacting and causing an explosion, which supposedly kills Yves.
Ceres starts to realize she’s the cause of his death and steals Adolphe’s dagger before leaving. She takes his dagger to her throat and remembers all of the people who died because of her and decides it’s for the best if she kills herself. However, she is immediately stopped by a strange man who grabs her dagger. Ceres is in shock as starts but bleeding but reveals he’s not human as his wound heals immediately. He introduces himself as “Ankou” and considers himself the “death keeper” and someone who has come from the underworld to make a deal with Ceres. He promises that he’ll help her be reborn as a normal girl if she forms a contract with him. She asks just who he is and if he knows why people always die around her.
Ankou tells her he does know the reason, but when he tries to tell her, he can’t for some reason (like his words are blocked out and they legit have it censored in text LOL). However, since he is from the underworld the numerous deaths have been causing an imbalance for the reincarnated. He insists that she find out why this island is cursed with so much death and when she finds out the truth, he promises to have her live as a normal girl. Ceres doesn’t believe she deserves it after what happened with Yves, but Ankou tells her that Yves isn’t dead since he didn’t feel his soul enter the underworld yet. He tells her to think it over and disappears.Ceres comes back to he orphanage to have Aldophe yelling at how worried they were. As Ankou had said, Yves was still alive and was resting in Ceres’ bed. Ceres apologies for running off and asks if she can help in their investigation of the deaths that occured. They agree to it since it’s better she leave the orphanage anyway and go to the wealthy district — Shudi. There, Ceres sees a prostitute being harassed after being underpaid and decides she wants to help her. Yves decides to help as well and they manage to get her away from a guard who was harassing her. Ceres is prompted by Yves to tell her that she thinks she’s a strong, beautiful woman who deserves to get what she’s worth. The woman thanks them and says she’ll give them a discount if they decide to become customers lol. After this, a butler arrives in a car and says he has valuable information in regards to their investigation. He invites Adolphe, Ceres, and Hugo to his mansion. There, they meet Mathis who is from the rich Claude family that put a lot of money towards the reliever research. Mathis is super shy and reluctantly introduces himself, saying he knows about murders that took place in his mansion before which is why he wanted to tell them about it. Apparently there was a murderer known as the “executioner” who would leave a dagger in the body like one of the murders they’re investigating. This executioner was also the one who murdered Mathis’ brother which is why he wants to solve it in the first place to get revenge for his brother. Ceres bumps into Mathis and tells him that she’s the rumored “god of death” which surprises Mathis. She expected that sort of reaction though and he tells her he doesn’t mind if he ends up dying as long as he can find the executioner. Although she reassures him she doesn’t intend to let him die. After this, Ceres goes to bed and both Hugo and Mathis talk outside. Hugo admits he’s a reliever while Mathis is still a pure human at 17 years old. Suddenly, Hugo is attacked by someone in a hood who Mathis immediately believes to be the executioner. Mathis immediately loses his shit and tries to kill them but is stopped by Ceres while Eve and Adolphe go after him. They fight him off until Mathis comes running at him with a knife but is almost stabbed until Ceres pushes him to the ground, saving him.
The executioner runs away and Mathis is clearly upset that he got away. Both Yves and Adolphe are treated at a hospital that is apparently owned by a cult known as the “Exorcist order” that are against revivers and believe people should die naturally as god intended. Capucine is one of the doctors at the hospital who informs them of the autopsy report of the victims from the murder. Apparently their hearts were removed from their bodies with daggers left in the hole where they were removed. Then there’s the odd deaths of the others who’s skin were scratched away at their chest but looks more like suicide. After this, Yves and Adolphe are told to stay overnight at the hospital. Meanwhile, Ceres meets a hospitalized little girl and helps her pick up a diary she dropped under her bed. The next day, Yves brings Ceres and the rest of them to his workshop where Cloone takes tasks. But before they can be invited in, a boy named Dahut approaches them and says they’re being requested at the research facility. They’re brought there and Dahut explains that he’s actually a director at the facility and had been a reliever for years now. Relievers stay the same age when they have a new body, so when his original body died at 15 he continued to have that appearance ever since. Dahut brings them to Scien who is the chief of the research facility and established the entire reliever system 60 years ago. He requests that they retrieve the bodies of those who scratched themselves to death by grave robbing them; knowing full well this would help their investigation as well. While they mull it over, Dahut comes in with tea and snacks and ends up calling Yves “Hugo”. Apparently Dahut made a mistake and Scien actually wanted to ask Hugo to do the request, not Yves. After this, Scien’s demeanor changes and he takes back the request. He also informs them that he actually had the royal guard send him bodies to dissect but they never made it to him in one piece because the executioner literally mutilated the bodies and killed the guards. So Scien and the rest of them remain of good terms so as long as they need to collaborate with each other for information. It’s also revealed that there is one flaw in becoming a reliever and that is the one emotion can’t be carried over to a clone is “love”.
The next day, the orphanage kid admits he did try to kill Ceres but wouldn’t tell where he got the chemical. After this, Scien appears and explains that the executioner was after the bodies he wanted and covered it up with the mutilated bodies. Because he took what he was after, Scien now wants to target the executioner. All the while, he forces Salome’s hand by having Ceres accompany them to observe her “curse” and have her assist. Salome is strongly against it but Ceres tells her it’s fine since she wanted to investigate along with them all anyway. So all of them, Ceres, Scien, Mathis, Yves, Lucas, and Adolphe all decide to make plans to catch the executioner together. They decide to stay at Adolphe’s home which is in the outskirts of town and Scien comes up with a plan of having rumors spread that one of the suicidal bodies is being grave robbed and using a dummy body as a decoy. So since they have free time until they prepare, all of them get ready for tomorrow. Mathis notices Scien reading a book on a “Drifter” who was apparently the only person outside of the island to end up there. Because of the strong currents around the island, outsiders never approach it. In addition, people from the outside have aged normally while it’s just the island that has the curse. Apparently Scien’s grandfather approached this drifter 100 years ago to get some clues on how to extend their life. Scien’s grandfather managed to start research on genes, but never completed it. While there was a book the drifter gave him, there were also books that he never received.
The night before the plan, Yves cooks for everyone but apparently his food tastes awful and the only one who likes it is Mathis lmao. So everyone starts drinking and having a good time while Ceres finally feels like a normal happy girl. Well, the reason for this is because Ankou put a hold on her “death god” power so she’s been able to live normally. Ankou tells her she needs to make a choice about their contract since he can only keep it that way if she abides to it. Anyway, next day the plan goes into fruition and they plant the dummy body while everyone waits for the executioner to appear. When they finally do appear, they throw the dummy and immediately run away after getting hit Mathis’ dagger.
So they all follow Mathis into his car to chase him. Mathis’ personality takes a 180 when he drives apparently and so he speeds towards the executioner. He ends up crashing it, then Adolphe and Yves fight him on foot. Scien makes sure to tell them not to kill them since they need to find the location of the corpses they’ve taken. Alphen and Yves both fight the executioner until the two of them manage to stab them with their sword and incapacitate them. Suddenly, acid starts falling from above and hits the executioner whos flesh burns completely away. In the end, they’re killed but they’re unable to find the bodies that were hidden and unable to identify the executioner themselves.
Lucas Proust – (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke)
Lucas is a teacher who often visits churches and orphanages to teach children about relivers and the history of the island. He is a devout believer of God and often visits his sister who’s sick in the hospital. Ceres often encounters him because he usually comes to teach at the orphanage she lives in.
Ceres has tea with Lucas who tells her to stop blaming herself for what happened with Yves and the others. Suddenly, he starts having a coughing fit and Ceres realizes he’s getting closer to the age 23 and needs to make a decision on whether or not to become a reliver. Ceres decides to go to the church to consult Lucas and tells him about everything that’s happened with her and this “death keeper” she met. She says at first she wanted to investigate who killed the executioner, but now she wants to know the identity of the executioner and figures that would be safer to investigate. Lucas offers to help her and offer her to be his assistant since he was thinking of hiring an assistant due to his poor health and she agrees to it.
After getting the permission of the vigilante aka Yves and the others, Ceres starts to visit Lucas’ place as they read books and gather information. Ceres attends classes with the children that Lucas teaches and assists in helping him. Lucas gives a lesson and explains that people can’t transfer their memories and mind into another body because their DNA and memories need to be the same. Ceres also helps the children as well and is considered a teacher by them as well. Lucas pats Ceres on the head and tells her to keep doing her best while calling her his cute little assistant. A few days later, Ceres encounters Jean who is worried for Mathis since he’s been depressed ever since the aftermath of the executioners death. Ceres wonders if maybe knowing the identity of the killer would help, since he never properly got his revenge.
One day, Lucas again invites Ceres to assist him but instead have a recreational day where they play tag. As Ceres is being chased by a boy, she’s slammed into and almost falls to the ground. Lucas manages to catch her fall just in time. He tells the kids to be more careful when playing with her and they apologize. One day, Lucas decides to introduce Ceres to meet his sister Nadia in the hospital. She actually had already met Ceres when they were at the hospital before, which surprises Lucas. Nadia is happy to see her again and asks if they can be friends since she’s been unable to make any in her current condition. Ceres happily agrees to it and Lucas later thanks her for being friends with her.
One day, because a child is lashing out, Lucas offers to assist them. Meanwhile, a man suddenly appears at the orphanage looking for his son. He barges into the facility and asks for his son “Donny”. Apparently he’s an abusive dad who had abandoned him when he was broke and became a reliver. However, Donny is terrified of him and since he no longer has the capacity to love, his emotions have spiraled out of control and moreso worse than when he was human because he lost his ability to sympathize. Finally, Lucas appears and kicks him out before he can get violent, and then Donny and the rest of the kids start to realize they don’t want to become relivers if they’ll end up like that. Lucas is thankful Ceres is okay and realizes a lot of children end up abandoned like that because when parents become relivers, they lose the ability to love their child and often become abusive. In addition, children who are abandoned because their parents die so early without becoming a reliver. They also believe true change needs to happen since the priority a reliver technology has always been the upper class. A few days later, Ceres visits Nadia again and she talks a bit about her past. Apparently her parents died recently but 8 years ago prior Lucas had a big fight with them and left while taking Nadia with him. The topic then changes to Nadia wondering if Ceres has romantic feelings for Lucas. Ceres doesn’t say she does, but Nadia tells her that he writes about her a lot in the diary he and her keep. He often writes in it about his day so Nadia will have something to read and whenever he mentions Ceres he always talks about her as his loving angel. Ceres is embarrassed to hear this but the conversation is interrupted when Capucine comes in for his check in for Nadia. They hear the riots of the exorcist cult outside and he tells them that the founder was actually a woman and it wasn’t originally a group against relivers, but rather a cause to research how to lift the curse of death on the island. After this, Ceres visits Mathis’ mansion to deliver a letter from Lucas. Lucas knows that Mathis has been depressed lately, so he wrote him a letter for tasks to do in order to keep him preoccupied so he could feel his life has more value. As she leaves, Mathis chases after Ceres to thank her. He tells her he appreciates what she and Lucas has done and promises to try and find something for himself. Suddenly, there’s a loud scream and a dismembered body is dropped in front of both Mathis and Ceres. There they see the executioner appear in front of them even though he should be dead. This shocks both Ceres and Mathis as the executioner continues to pull the heart from the body of his victim and put it into a container. As they’re suddenly chased by him, the executioner catches up to Ceres and almost hits her but Lucas appears and saves her just in time. The executioner leaves and Lucas takes Ceres back while Mathis goes back to his mansion, still in shock.
Ceres goes to the chapel with blood still on her clothes and Lucas comes in and comforts her. After this, Adolphe and Yves appear to help as the vigilante. However, the guards come with a decree from the kingdom to not interfere with trying to catch the executioner. Regardless, they believe Ceres needs protection so one of the guards mention that Lucas should be able to because his father was the leader of the vigilante and taught him self-defense. This shocks both Adolphe and Yves who were both trained by his father. After this, Ceres stays with Lucas to keep her safe. They continue to do their daily activities like visiting Nadia who wants Ceres and Lucas to be safe so she suggests that they visit her less even though it’d make her feel lonely.
Unfortunately, Nadia’s condition is only getting worse and she continuously tries to hide it whenever Ceres and Lucas visit. Meanwhile, Nadia is visited by Dahut who’s been visiting her often since he heard her coughing when he had business at the hospital. She starts crying and says she wants to at least be able to see her brother and Ceres without being in the hospital bed at least once. Meanwhile, while Ceres is staying at Lucas’ home, they get a call from Yves. He tells them that the person who is helping the executioner is most likely part of the research institute to make a reliver for them. In addition, the executioner is targeting relivers and the victim was the abusive father of the boy Donny. they tell Lucas they if he, Ceres, or anyone else involved dies because of this incident, the facility is willing to have them made as a reliver for free so as long as they have a backup prepared. As soon as Yves mentions Lucas’ sister, Lucas declines and hangs up. Lucas states that he and his sister intend to live their lives normally as short as it may be. He also reveals he’s a member of the exorcist order. Lucas and Nadia were born from their parents who were two relivers. They didn’t have romantic love for each other but they had enough mutual respect to continue raising their family together. They were fine with becoming a reliver until one day Lucas witnessed a brother who became a reliver beat his sister to death. However, Nadia became sick so his parents wanted to make her a reliver to prolong her life. But Lucas wanted to find another way and left with his sister. Eventually, Nadia was admitted to the hospital run by the exorcist cult and they both vowed to live and die as people so they wouldn’t lose their affection for each other. Ceres respects his decision albeit she’s sad about it but Lucas thanks for respecting it and hopes she’ll continue to look after his sister when he’s gone. As Ceres goes back to sleep, she’s woken up by Ankou who’s bloody all over. He tells her he’ll be fine and will heal but tries to tell her something about Lucas and to run away before he collapses. Ceres goes outside to investigate and make sure Lucas is okay. She suddenly hears a communication decide near the alley with Adolphe saying that another reliver victim is being targeted but since she and Mathis are humans, they won’t be a target. There, Ceres spots Lucas killing someone. In a flashback, Lucas tried with his father and had grown up with inhuman strength like his father. But Lucas didn’t want to be part of the guards like his father and would’ve rather been a teacher like his mother.
Eventually, Lucas took Nadia away from home since she didn’t want to lose her feelings for her brother. He went to see if he could find a doctor who would treat her. No one would until he met Capucine of the exorcist order who just opened their hospital. She was admitted there and they claim God “saved” her so they reassure him if he continues to believe in God and devote himself to him, she will be blessed by God. They tell him relivers are the devil to God and they must be eliminated by purifying them and sending them to heaven. The way of taking the devil’s heart, offering it to heaven, then then plunging a dagger into their chest. When Ceres wakes up, she’s in their headquarters and greeted by Lucas and Capucine. Apparently the executioner they saw when Lucas was there was a fake and it was him when he performed the “ritual” in taking out the heart. He doesn’t kill humans unless necessary and would only injure Adolphe and Yves rather than kill them. Well, instead, they use the relivers to do human experimentation by making copies from the blood of the hearts they take. All in order to try and prolong and strengthen the lives of humans. Ultimately, Lucas doesn’t consider the lives of relivers lives at all. So Lucas intends to keep Ceres to himself as his beautiful angel so as long she doesn’t reveal this to anyone she won’t be killed. So he keeps her in (his ugu cage of love uwu) a cage in his home. Lucas let’s Ceres out to eat albeit she feels extremely uncomfortable over it. Lucas then decides to let her go outside and they go visit Salome but Ceres doesn’t risk telling her anything (if she does, in a bad end, Lucas kills her lol). When she’s brought back to Lucas’ place, he lets her sleep on the bed albeit he keeps restraints on her. He feels bad that she never smiles anymore and Ceres tries to tell him its because realizing that everything was fake despite her falling in love with him, upsets her. He tries to comfort her but she accidently elbows him in the face. But instead of retaliating, he kisses her instead. He tells her he’s always loved her and never wanted to make her uncomfortable or unhappy and asks her to marry him.
Ceres doesn’t answer, but he then falls asleep and starts sleep talking and apologizing to those he’s killed, while saying he’s the true monster. The next day, Lucas brings Ceres to see Nadia but they meet Dahut there. He tells Lucas he’s become friends with his sister and tells him she has an incurable “genetic disease”. He figured he ought to know since he’s related to her and could have it as well. After this, Ceres and Lucas visit Nadia but she can feel the tension between the two of them. While Lucas goes to have tea, Ceres doesn’t give her the full story but tells Nadia that he confessed to her. Unfortunately there’s conflicting feelings that are causing tension. Ceres eventually asks if she remembers when she was hospitalized and she says she doesn’t. But not because it was 8 years ago, but because she was unconscious for a few months. This doesn’t correlate to the story Lucas gave where she was “saved” and “healed” when they brought her in. Lucas suddenly appears and starts choking Ceres in front of Nadia. She begs Lucas to stop until he finally does when Capucine arrives. Lucas is confused since he doesn’t remember trying to choke Ceres and this upsets Nadia after witnessing this and her condition worsens again. Capucine tells them they’re a hindrance to her treatment and tells them to leave. Lucas is confused why she’s worsening and Capucine tells him he’s probably not purifying enough people. Ceres realizes that Capucine is essentially holding his sister hostage as his condition for treating his sister was to complete his “mission”. He then hands Lucas a huge list of relivers to kill and he starts coughing up blood. Capucine tells Lucas he’s banned him from seeing Nadia and kicks him out. Weeks later, Lucas is going on a killing rampage and slowly losing his sanity. One night when Lucas comes back, Capucine visits and injects something into Lucas. He reveals to Ceres he’s been drugging up Lucas ever since he brought Nadia to him in order to make him lose his sanity while he did the reliver killings. He then leaves and Lucas starts losing his mind again while repeating over and over he needs to kill the relivers. Ceres manages to comfort him while still in the cage and tells him to let out all his suffering. Lucas finally starts saying how much he hates killing relivers and only wanted to live a normal life with his sister. After this, Lucas plans to go see his sister along with Ceres.
When they sneak in the hospital, they meet Nadia but she seems different. Lucas notices right away and a soldier arrives to say that Nadia has chosen to become a reliver after she died. Lucas starts losing it again and demands to know where the real Nadia. He slaughters the “fake” one and Capucine reveals through a communication device that he’s right and he has the real Nadia in his headquarters. They’re lead into a secret passage way, where they meet Capucine in his secret laboratory face to face. There, Capucine reveals he’s actually a reliver himself and became the head of the exorcist cult 40 years ago. Capucine’s real name was Otty and he became a genetic researcher at the facility. There, he looked into combining genes but was expelled due to his reckless research. Eventually he joined the exorcist cult and found a way to alter his genes so he could continue to change his appearance as a reliver. He eventually found Lucas and intended to use him to gather people’s hearts for the sake of his own research on genes after making up his religious baloney on the “ritual” he needs to perform. Capucine kept Nadia hostage and was obsessed with her gene makeup that made her genetic disease. So much so that he reveals a monstrosity of genes he combined with Nadia to create a new being himself. As Lucas witnesses this, he screams in agony and tries to kill Capucine. Unfortunately, his reborn sister tries to protect Capucine when he attacks because he implanted memories of him being his bride and erased all memories of Lucas. Ceres decides to throw different chemicals on the ground to make an escape with Lucas. But in the end, a fake executioner manages to find them and inject Lucas with more of that medicine Capucine had been using on him. This causes Lucas to go completely out of control and starts slaughtering everyone on the island including humans. He ultimately wants to kill Scien who created relivers in the first place so he heads towards the research facility and slaughters everyone there. Ceres arrives there and decides to let him kill her (I guess this was her plan???) Lucas then takes Ceres corpse and ends his brutal murder spree. In the despair end, Lucas keeps skeletal remains of Ceres’ body in a cage and puts a ring on her finger saying he’ll no longer kill and continue to protect her forever.
In Lucas’ relief end, Ceres manages to cut Lucas’ throat enough to stop him from continuing his rampage. Lucas regains his sanity and starts crying, realizing he’s done nothing but sin. But Ceres encourages him to live to grant any sort of wishes he may still want to carry out. So Lucas decides to head to where Capucine is to finish him off once and for all. They find Capucine back at his headquarters after infiltrating it. Capucine sends out his clones of Lucas to kill him but Lucas kills them all. Capucine is terrified by Lucas’ strength and has Nadia protect him. Unfortunately for him, Nadia manages to regain enough of her sanity to kill Capucine for hurting her brother.
After Capucine is killed, Nadia has a proper farewell with Lucas and Ceres. She then asks to be killed so she won’t be in pain anymore. She tells the two of them she loves them and Lucas kills her. Lucas realizes his own time is up and rests on Ceres’ lap. He tells her he wishes things could’ve ended differently but nevertheless tells Ceres he loves her. In the epilogue, a year passes and Scien is still alive since he had a backup. Lucas died and Ceres decided she too would join him. Ankou witnessed her about to kill herself and decided to let her use his dagger. Ankou visits her and Lucas’ grave which is together and watches a little girl put a flower on it.
Thoughts: I know I was supposed to feel bad for Lucas but it was kind of hard to when for the most part he’s in his right mind around Ceres so blaming everything on the fact he was drugged seemed too easy to justify his actions (I know he didn’t justify his own actions — but it was clear this was done to make it seem he was semi-innocent and I kind of hate shoehorned reasons). I also just didn’t care about his motives to save his sister because I’m legit tired of the sick imouto trope (I beg of you otomate, please find something more original than this). I also found it hilarious they added the infamous cage in his route LMAO… omg sometimes i just can’t take these games seriously. Regardless, at the very least I think his route was entertaining (especially when he put Ceres in a cage LMAO) but they really made it obvious he was the murderer when they made his sprite the exact same one as the executioner so that wasn’t a shock at all. I didn’t hate this route but I really didn’t care for Lucas at all and if you want the honest truth, part of the reason is because I can’t stand Daisuke Hirakawa’s voice (thinking of Laito’s annoying ass voice from Dialovers doesn’t help lmao). I know a lot of people like it but it annoys the hell out of me for some reason and when he was speaking so slowly at the end of his relief end I legit started skipping so I wouldn’t have to hear it LOL. Anyways, regardless if you like him or not he doesn’t exactly get a happy end… but after all the shit Ankou went through, I don’t get why he’s is so readily willing to let her kill herself for Lucas in the relief end. I also hate the idea that the heroine can’t be happy unless she kills herself for her mans… but alas.
Mathis Claude (CV: Amasaki Kouhei)
Mathis is a shy boy who lives in a mansion as a member of the wealthy Claude family. He loves to read books but has trouble making conversation because he doesn’t interact with other people often. His brother was killed by the executioner so his main goal is to avenge him.
Jean visits Ceres at the orphanage and requests she take on the job of being a maid at his mansion in exchange for him fixing up the orphanage warehouse. Jean is worried about Mathis who shuts himself up in his room and since he sucks at cooking, he hopes Ceres’ meals can cheer him up. So Ceres agrees to it and comes to the mansion. Jean gives Ceres a maid uniform to wear and so she visits Mathis’ in his room to surprise him. He’s still upset about the fact he never got his own revenge for his brother nor did he ever know the true identity of the killer. She manages to cheer him up though by making him food and he realizes he’s glad to be alive so he can eat the food she makes. Mathis feels better after talking with her and remakes a contract for her so that she’ll continue talking to him which he happily agrees to.
After this, Ceres is about to leave but Jean is adamant for her to stay so she can be by Mathis’ side. However, Mathis tells him that his lover may get the wrong idea if she does because apparently Jean has a woman partner that he talks about all the time. That being said, Mathis never met this woman but is happy to see Jean happy since he views him like another brother that is part of his family. The next day, Mathis flips out when Ceres tries to wash his underwear lmao. Afterwards, Ceres visits Mathis in his room and notices there’s a lot more books. Mathis explains he’s looking at books that his Claude family had translated and hopes he too could translate for the royal family. After this, Ceres learns from Jean that he can’t meet his significant other because her parents don’t approve of them seeing each other while they don’t intend to become relivers. Jean is and his lover are apparently a rare case of people who don’t want to become relivers, but instead focus on their love for each other because it becomes lost when you become a reliver. After this, Ceres finds out Mathis is writing his own novel for fun and he asks if she wants to help him with it. Ceres agrees so they continue to work on it over the next few days. One day, Mathis runs out of manuscript paper and Ceres offers to get it for him. She’s afraid she’ll get lost and decides to go with her. Unfortunately, Mathis is still very anxious around people so Ceres asks if there’s a particular reason.
Mathis explains his past and apparently his parents were super abusive because they considered him the failure of the Claude family. Mathis’ brother Camille was their ideal son while Mathis was the shy, introverted son they would abuse and lock in a dungeon without food or water because he pissed them off when he wasn’t learning properly according to them. Ceres completely understands why he would be so afraid of people after that, but Mathis tells her despite all of it he had happy times when his brother and Jean would sneak him books and food. Mathis then takes Ceres hand and tells her he’ll okay because he was to be especially if he’s to protect his important person. After this, Ceres finds a foreign book with poems about love. Mathis offers to give her materials so she can understand it and thanks her for cooking dishes for him and being so kind to him. The next day, Ceres finds that Jean was in a bit of a car accident because of Dahut’s driver. They take Jean and Mathis back to their mansion and Jean drops a necklace by his feet that’s damaged. It has a photo of his lover on it and when Scien sees it, he recognizes the woman and thinks he has a strange habit. The rest of them think he’s being insensitive though and Jean takes the necklace back, saying he’ll fix it himself. That night, Ceres wipes Mathis’ hair after he showers and he tells her not to treat him like a kid. She kinds something weird on his neck but Mathis falls asleep after saying something weird about her causing mischief as usual.
After this, Yves, Hugo, and Adolphe appear to tell Mathis and Ceres that there’s been a series of missing prostitute cases. Jean and Mathis knew about the situation but figured the guards were handling it. Regardless, they tell Ceres to be careful when going out since the target has only been women. Mathis walks Ceres home until the two of them are suddenly covered in blood. There, they spot the executioner who’s killing a woman while their brother watches in horror. Mathis completely loses it and tries to kill him but Ceres tries to stop him. He immediately tells her to back off and yells at her that he won’t have his revenge stopped by the likes of a shinigami. This shocks Eve and also realizes the person who was killed was the prostitute they helped before. Ceres is then knocked out by the executioner. After this, Ceres wakes up in the hospital and learns that Mathis hadn’t come back to the mansion so Jean is worried. Ceres decides to go to the mansion and wait for Mathis’ return. When she goes into Mathis room, she notices manuscripts laying on his desk. Suddenly, Mathis appears but his attitude is completely different. When Ceres tries to ask where he was he tells her to shut up and only came back to get a new dagger since his broke. He throws off his manuscript and almost tramples it but Ceres stops him. She asks why he’s doing this but he just gets more annoyed saying she’d never understand what it’s like to lose someone she loves and almost hits her. Jean immediately comes into the room and slaps Mathis in the face. He tells him he’s acting just like his parents who abused him. When Mathis realizes what he’s done, he starts crying and collapses on the floor with a fever.
[Okay but in all seriousness wtf is this CG LMAO??? Otomate taking tips from BL games???]
When Mathis wakes up in bed, he starts crying and apologizes for what he said to Ceres. He explains that he still intends to get revenge and it’s the only thing he’s really lived for. For that, Ceres intends to help him so that Adolphe and the others don’t get to him first. After this, Ceres figures out from Jean that his lover is actually already dead. The reason that Scien made the comment of him having a strange habit is because Jean took the picture when she was already dead. He of course didn’t have her become a reliver because the two of them vowed to not become one. He never told Mathis about this and asks Ceres to keep it a secret since he knows it would make him sad and promises he’ll go along with their plan to capture the executioner.Ceres eventually goes to the church and Lucas tells her and the rest of the group about a rumor he heard. They go to a bar and a woman talks about a myth that the prostitutes believe in which a man with a beautiful face will take women off of the island to a different country if they hold a bottle of flowers near the beach. To test this, Ceres offers to do so herself since it can only women can do it. When she does, Mathis appears dressed as a woman with a dagger to the throat of a man. The man is actually Capucine who saw Ceres and intended to call out to her and claims he isn’t this delivery person they’re talking about. Mathis explains he intended to lure out the culprit himself by dressing as a woman.
After this, Mathis decides to give the story he was writing to Ceres just in case he tries to destroy it again. He also tells her he wrote his feelings in there as well. Ceres didn’t know what he meant until she read his book and saw the confession he wrote in it saying he loves her. Although one weird thing Ceres notices is that Mathis’ novel is written the same as the novel Mathis’ mother wrote when Salome showed her it. The next day, Ceres finds out the memory data had been stolen from the cloning facility. Scien doesn’t see why someone would take it though since downloading memory in another person doesn’t work and the only theory to perhaps do it is if you do so to a fetus when the mother is pregnant. Even then, it typically doesn’t last long. Scien also reveals one of his cameras went missing and typically no one has one unless they specifically borrow it from the facility. This reminds Ceres that Jean has a camera and wonders why he’d lie about it being his. Suddenly, there’s a commotion since the executioner has appeared again. Scien’s driver gives Yves and Ceres a ride to where he is so they can find Mathis who is already chasing after him. Ceres eventually finds Mathis trying to kill the executioner. He also asks him why he killed his brother, but the executioner actually speaks and tells him he doesn’t know who he’s talking about and that he never killed his brother. This confuses him and eventually Ceres is helped by a woman who was apparently the daughter of Jean’s lover but they don’t know a “Jean” and Camille never had a childhood friend or a younger brother. This only raises more questions for Ceres and then Jean himself appears and takes Ceres and Mathis to his real room. There, Jean reveals that he himself is Camille Claude — the single son to the Claude family. In addition, Mathis is not human nor is he a reliver but an artificial being created with different memories of different people implanted in him by using the special cells of women he sacrificed. There were different people that they met or heard about that had similar traits to Mathis because his memories were implanted from them (like an intense driver who acted like Mathis when he drove). Camille was the single son of the Claude family and his parents expected him to become a reliver to continue their lineage. However, this changed when he met and fell in love with a prostitute named Rosalie and he no longer wanted to become a reliver.
Rosalie eventually became pregnant but their happiness didn’t last long. A jealous angry prostitute killed her and stabbed her child in her stomach because she was living a happy prestigious life. Camille still has Rosalie’s body and needed to cultivate fake memories to implant in her which is why Mathis was born. Camille was able to do this by capturing pregnant prostitutes and obtaining prenatal cells because they don’t have a developed mind yet so you can use them to download memories. Camille wants Ceres as well because she’s the reason that Mathis had “romantic feelings” which are crucial to making Rosalie reborn with this. So Camille tells them he’ll continue to have Mathis’ feelings of anger, sadness, and fear cycle each day and temporarily leaves.
Mathis starts crying and starts believing all his feelings were fake but Ceres reassures him that what he felt was real and he created his own memories with her the Shinigami girl. She tells him she loves him and they decided that they’ll try their best to continue their love for each other no matter how many times Mathis’ personality changes. So each day, Mathis’ personality is changed to violence, self-protection, strict, gloomy, and despise. And each and every time Mathis remembers his love for Ceres. Even though it’s what Camille wants, it starts to make him jealous and frustrated so he tells them he’s going to do one last experiment and then he should have the romantic feelings he needs to revive Rosalie.
So finally he downloads the memory of a murderer who kills women into Mathis. Due to this, Mathis immediately tries to kill Ceres and stabs her leg. He manages to grab her and starts choking her. Ceres tries to get him to remember his feelings for her which he eventually does before trying to kill her. But before he does, he stops and says he doesn’t want to kill her. Ceres starts to believe that Mathis is back to normal but suddenly he starts talking like Camille because apparently his feelings for Rosalie were downloaded and he sees her as Rosalie, not Ceres. In the first bad end, Ceres goes along with being “Rosalie” and Mathis now takes on the personality of Camile and they marry each other. In the 2nd bad end, Ceres tries to run away with Mathis’ help but is caught by Camille. He puts her in a tube like Rosalie and so he manages to convince Mathis to continue helping him lure prostitutes.
In the relief end, Mathis stabs himself instead of Ceres and regains control of himself. He apologizes for hurting Ceres but she tells him she’s okay. After this, Camille comes back to witness Mathis has regained his “self” which ruins his plan to create “romantic feelings” with his fake memories. Mathis criticizes Camille by saying he can see he doesn’t truly love Rosalie for who she is but who she was at the time he loved him. He doesn’t think someone like him deserves Rosalie if he can’t love all of her — even the her that wasn’t in love with Camille at the time. This makes Camille angry and he continuously denies it. However, soon the laboratory starts to collapse due to bombs being set off. Mathis realizes that Camille is trapped and can’t escape with them. Mathis tries to convince Camille that he can atone for his sins but he knows it’s too late for him. Camille convinces Mathis to leave with Ceres and tells them he intends to stay with Rosalie so she doesn’t die alone. Apparently Mathis was born from the cells of Rosalie’s unborn child so while he’s calling him “brother” he’s actually more like his son. After this, Ceres and Mathis sit near the beach and spend the time they have left together since Mathis’ data is starting to deteriorate. He mentions how he didn’t get to finish his novel but wanted to rewrite it anyway about a Shinigami and android falling in love. He asks her to promise him that he’ll be reborn and fall in love with her again and kisses her before his brain completely corrupts.
In the epilogue, Mathis’ data has been preserved enough that it’s possible for him to be reborn as a reliver. Ceres is meanwhile saving up to become a reliver herself so she can be with Mathis if he becomes a reliver, knowing she could lose her feelings of love. Because Scien successfully makes Mathis into a reliver, Ceres suddenly encounters him at the market and he grabs her arm. He apologizes but tells her that the moment he saw her, it was love at first sight and asks if they can be together. Ceres says yes and he smiles happily at her.
Thoughts: I really loved Mathis… I felt so bad for him. I think this is a great way to write a route because to be honest, I didn’t expect this route to take the direction it did. The fact that his memories weren’t his own was a really interesting plot twist. Unlike Lucas, I was legit empathetic for him because he was literally created as a tool and that shit hits hard — especially with how sweet Mathis is. I legit felt really sad seeing his memory start to deteriorate. I think his relief end was sad but bittersweet and seeing Ceres reunite with Mathis was really all I needed. I’m really glad that they didn’t just kill Mathis because this sweet boy does not deserve that kind of ending. But damn this game sure loves to justify MURdEr (like no Jean I dont feel bad for you after you murdered innocent women). So yeah good try otomate but no I’m not going to like your shitty side characters who do stupid things for dumb reasons. What’s funny though is that this route gave me Il from Cafe Enchante vibes and I guess it makes sense because apparently the same scenario writer for this game wrote for Il’s route. I mean, I’m here for it because I love robot / android tropes but I honestly didn’t realize there was a scenario writer from Cafe Enchante on the team.
Scien Brofiise (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa)
Scien is a scientist and chief of the research facility that established the entire reliever system 60 years ago. As the one who create the reliver system, he too has lived many years as a reliver (I guess you could technically say he’s an old man lmao). He’s efficient in his research but considers things such as eating a nuisance so he often eats finger food like sandwiches. He considers emotions “bugs” in programming that interfere with critical thoughts.
One day, Salome asks Ceres to deliver another letter to Scien at the research institute. In doing so, Salome asks her to take a girl from the orphanage with her. When she arrives, she’s suddenly invited inside to see Scien directly. He gets to the point and tells her his room is too much of a mess he’s having a hard time taking naps and doing his work. Dahut usually will cave and clean it but because he’s pissed he hadn’t been doing it recently. He also doesn’t want to waste time and energy doing it himself since it’ll just get dirty again. So he asks Ceres to clean for him, knowing she wouldn’t do anything suspicious behind his back. He tells her to do so within an hour and leaves while Ceres and the girl she brought along start cleaning up. After she finishes, something accidentally breaks but Scien literally doesn’t care since he didn’t want it to begin with.
After this, he gives her some money and lets her leave. This pisses off Salome who apparently knew Scien and even though she knows he’s smart she can’t stand his attitude. She also tells Ceres he’s got and can make tons of backups for himself in a matter of months since someone of his status it’s super easy for him. Ceres doesn’t believe he’s that bad of a person though since he did indeed pay her for his services. The next day, Scien drives to the orphanage to tell Ceres he wants her to be his personal assistant until Dahut is in a better mood to do it himself. This makes Adolphe and Salome flip out but Scien takes it further to threaten Ceres into working to pay for the item she broke. Ceres finally agrees to doing it since she doesn’t believe Dahut will be angry for long. After that, Ceres meets with Ankou who is wary of her associating with Scien. He tells her that he believes he would immediately try and do something to her if he found out about her death curse so he makes sure to warn her to never let him know of it. And if he does try to harm her, he intends to kill him and no matter how many back ups he has. So Ceres starts her job as Scien’s assistant. He tells her to only do the minimum amount of cleaning though (if you choose to move something, you get a bad end where a random guy kills you LMAO). After this, Ceres is suggested by Jean to make a homemade meal for Scien who finds even eating a task. She decides to make sandwiches since he can eat it with one hand and just basically hands it to him while he works.
Scien doesn’t even notice she was handing him sandwiches until he finally saw her there. Scien is super impressed by this because he finds it annoying when people call out to him and he has to go out of his way to eat such big lavish meals and Dahut always throws away his stuff. But since Ceres is different, he’s pleased with her work so he tells her she’s welcome to actually walk around the facility if she wants to. He also claims she’s “his” now and intends to keep her working for him as a permanent worker. So Ceres eventually encounters Scien and Dahut arguing about their research and ultimately it’s about the different factions their research has. On one hand, Scien focuses on the research of relivers to enhance them to survive the curse and not worry about carrying over strong emotions. On the other hand, Dahut is focusing on the research of not worrying so much about the lifespan but creating relivers that can withhold all of their emotions. Ceres wonders why Scien isn’t interested in research that retains emotions and he tells her it’s because he believes that emotions are like “bugs” that interfere with critical thinking. Especially “love” which he believes is a hindrance to one’s perfect reasoning. Ceres doesn’t argue with his reasoning but believes emotions are important. Scien then gives Ceres a lab coat and uniform for her to “officially” start the next day. So Ceres continues to work for Scien and handles his food, laundry, and cleaning of his room. Scien eventually decides she should take a day off since he doesn’t want her overworked and not doing a good job anymore. Ceres believes this is his way of showing concern and asks that he at least tries to better his eating habits. He tells her he can’t promise he will but he’ll at least consider it. So after Ceres’ break she goes back to work and spots Scien laughing to himself on the ground. Apparently he’s assembling a jigsaw puzzle which Ceres had never heard of before but noticed the pieces of puzzles laying around when she was cleaning. She’s glad she didn’t throw them out since Scien is enjoying them so much and he tells her that’s why he hired her cause she doesn’t throw out everything she sees unlike Dahut.
The mere fact that Ceres has consideration for people’s things made Scien realize “yep, I want to keep her around” lol. A few days later, Scien decides to show Ceres the laboratory where relivers are made because of what Dahut brought up about trying to show Ceres gratitude in some way. Scien doesn’t directly tell Ceres why he’s showing her though and says there’s no particular reason. Scien then begins to explain the process in which a human’s memories are stored in a sort of server that converts them into numerals. A person’s memories are downloaded directly from the brain via a special headgear they place on the “original” before implanting it into the clone. So they do a test run where there’s an egg-like cocoon that clones come out of. After this, a random researcher suddenly holds Ceres hostage. He demands that Scien hands over his chief authority to Dahut instead, destroy all his back up data, and die (okay?? 😂). He absolutely hates that Scien doesn’t care enough to focus his research on retaining human emotions and rather focus on prolonging human life. The reason he’s so upset about this is because his wife no longer loved him after becoming a reliver. Ceres knows full well that Scien wouldn’t care if she’s taken hostage so she kind of nonchalantly tells him he and her aren’t involved romantically so he doesn’t have anything to lose by killing her. This confuses the researcher and Ceres manages to shove him off her anyway. This allows for Scien to restrain him and before he can do anything else Dahut appears and stops the commotion by shooting a tranquilizer at the guy. Scien later talks to Ceres at a bar and tells her that this isn’t the first time someone has tried to assassinate him because from a lot of people’s perspective, he’s the “evil one”. He believes his purpose in life was to be a savior for the people and once he’s out of that position, he will no longer have any purpose and will essentially cease to exist. Scien then decides to take Ceres to another area in the facility where human experimentation is done on prisoners as requested by the royal family. Scien had apparently been an apathetic person since he was human which made it easy for him to do experiments on criminals and people who were dying. After his father, he continued his research until he was successful in making himself a reliver once he was 23.
However, Scien emphasizes he doesn’t do human experimentation as a hobby but rather to improve human life. He doesn’t intend to stop his research until he can find a true way to prevent the death curse since reliver technology is only a temporary solution. But he wants Ceres to know he doesn’t consider himself to be this “good person”, rather a sinner who does things for his own self interest. After this, Ceres talks to Dahut who talks about how he likes Scien because he has the same hair color as his dead mother (uhh… okay?) and he respects him. He’s actually working on his research to keep human emotions in relivers because if he were to bring back his mother, he’d want her as close to human as possible. He also believes that it’s possible that Scien could change his mind about human experimentation if Ceres uses the power of love since he thinks he has somewhat of an attraction to her and wouldn’t keep her around if he didn’t. A few days later Ceres comes back to the facility to witness a member of the royal family named Simon barge into the reliver laboratory to have a body made for himself. He believes the technology has advanced to the point where he’ll be able to live more satisfactory life in a new body. He notices someone else is being cloned so he literally destroys the capsule and ultimately kills the person being cloned because the memory data being downloaded is destroyed. Scien comes in and demands to know what he’s doing. Simon begins to explain but Scien just decides to beat the crap out of him and tells him that only people on the verge of death will get reliver bodies and blocks his genes so he can’t obtain a new body in the future — which is ultimately a death sentence. Simon begs for forgiveness but ultimately Scien doesn’t listen. After this, Scien treats Ceres’ wound from when Simon pushed her down when she tried to stop him. Ceres is surprised Scien showed concern for her and gives him the lunch she brought before the incident. Scien is confused why she’s still sticking around and wonders if she forgot what he said to her before or ultimately accepted it. But Ceres doesn’t intend to stop working for him and knows if she does stop he’ll stop eating properly. She also wants to see the puzzle he’s working on get finished and so Scien calls for her to feed him more sandwiches 😂. Unfortunately, the next day there’s protesting against Scien because rumors have spread that he’s the murderer in the suspicious death cases and not the executioner. Since the victims have been only relivers, they believe he created defective ones on purpose to kill them. Ceres decides to visits Scien herself since she’s worried about the situation surrounding him. He and Dahut assures her they had nothing to do with the murder case. Unfortunately, Scien is in the position where they’ll probably try and make Dahut the director instead of him since he’s his number 2. So Ceres decides to stay with Scien at the facility so she can look out for him. But the situation continues to get worse as even Dahut is put in a difficult situation with no choice but to go against Scien for the sake of not causing internal conflict within the facility. After the rest of the vigilante group checks up on Ceres, Scien suddenly asks Ceres if she’s interested in anyone. He starts to realize that Ceres has feelings for him since she clearly wants to be around him so much.
Unfortunately for Ceres, Scien emphasizes that he’ll never have feelings of love for her. Ceres doesn’t know how to respond but they’re immediately interrupted by guards who claim that Scien created a defective reliver of the royal family member named Simon who broke the incubator before. Scien denies this because he was the one who blocked his data so he wonders who unblocked it. Scien then realizes someone else created a reliver with prototype data which is why he has a defect. Simon ends up dying right in front of them and suddenly a voice of a royal named Côme Reve Poir (I think is his name — a lot of them are french) speaks on the intercom that can be heard by all residents states that Scien is a criminal who killed Simon and has been creating relivers with defects on purpose. He continues to defame him by stating he was conducting experiments on purpose and his family is the real Shinigami curse. He continues on that the fact that people have to be reborn as emotionless beings is Scien’s fault. After this, Dahut comes in to announce that a decree from the king has decided that Scien has been expelled from the laboratory and will be executed for his crimes. Dahut apologizes but states he can’t go against the royal family and it’ll also work for him who can now focus the research on emotional memory. But Scien doesn’t go down without a fight and kicks a guard so he can grab a sword and run along with Ceres, Hugo, and Yves. Scien decides to throw some smoke bombs to keep the guards away but suddenly the executioner appears even though they thought he was dead. They fend him off for a while until the executioner decides to hit the ground with his giant halberd, causing the floor to collapse. The executioner jumps into the hole and drags Scien along with him. Scien ends up in the basement of the facility which looks like a sewer. He doesn’t recognize where he is but he soon spots the executioner and fights him. Ceres, Hugo, and Yves eventually follow after them but find Scien severely injured on the ground. Yves and Hugo try to fend off the executioner but he goes straight for Scien who isn’t quite dead yet. Ceres instinctively protects Scien by hugging him to shield him. Fortunately, Scien becomes conscious enough to use a knife to protect the both of them.
Suddenly a voice through Yves or Hugo’s communicator states something happened at the orphanage. Apparently someone related to Côme named Dominic has declared those at the children’s facility traitors because Ceres and the others assisted Scien. Ceres, Yves, Hugo and Scien eventually make it out of the sewer and are driven to the orphanage by Jean to find out what happened. There, they find all the children of the orphanage were slaughtered and when they come into the facility, they witness Adolph be killed by decapitation. Before the guards can do any more damage, the executioner appears and kills them. Ceres and the others use this chance to run away and hide in a vacant house. Ceres is in shock by everything but for some reason is unable to cry. Meanwhile, Salome is freaking out and crying while holding Adolph’s decapitated head hoping they could somehow use his brain to make a reliver. The rest of them manage to convince her to let them bury it and in doing so she has a complete meltdown. After that, everyone decides to rest but Scien is in pain. Ceres decides to help him since he was badly wounded but when she takes off his shirt, she’s shocked by a lot of scars on him. He admits that he’s used the prototype data body on himself so he’s usually in a lot of pain and takes medication to suppress it. So whenever he experiments on criminals, he’d often do it on himself first.
Scien wonders if she blames him for what happened since she associated with him but she says she doesn’t know because if anything it’s her fault too for wanting to be with him. He then brings her in for a hug and tells her it’s pointless to blame herself for something she had no control over the out. He tells her she should think about the future instead and that he still intends to overtake the research facility and continue his research. Ceres doesn’t understand why he wants to continue his research for the people who betrayed him but Scien tells her he can’t abandon his duty as a savior of the world. He also liked having her as his assistant and would feel bad that she’d end up dying without prolonging her life if he gave up now. Scien tells her it’s okay to go ahead and cry and so she does in his arms. The next day, Salome has another breakdown so she’s told to rest by everyone else. She ends up telling Ceres that she was actually involved with helping Scien obtain children with special cases like her and Adolph. She became a reliver about 60 years ago and became involved with the royal family and the exorcist order. Eventually she met Scien and decided to join his research for the sake of solving the death curse. While she did see the children as experiments at first, she says she grew to love them like her own. Ceres believes that and hugs her. So after this, Scien is slowly recovering but needs a new body soon since his is slowly dying. Ceres tries to get him to stop but he starts talking about how his way to improve the body didn’t work. Ceres asks Scien if he’s only focusing on improving the power of the reliver body rather than the curse itself. While they may be earning more time, they’re still delaying the inevitable. Scien denies this at first but starts to realize that his focus was more on withstanding the curse rather than actually breaking free from it. Scien starts laughing and realizing how ridiculous he’s been. He wanted to spread the idea that emotions are useless and make more people like him so people would understand him. He merely wanted someone else to turn away from the curse with him but now realizes that his true goal is to create an existence that isn’t bound by the curse. So now Scien realizes he wants to revaluate everything he’s done without sacrificing anyone anymore by adding “emotions” to the mix. So Scien and the others get ready to infiltrate the facility. Scien plans on using his own body to show that he can implement emotions into himself so the royal guard can see he’s a valuable asset to their emotion research. However, Salome is against bothering to try and convince them and would rather just destroy the royal guard by killing them. However, Scien wants to take control of the situation, not eradicate everyone for revenge. Later, Ceres decides to tell Scien about her own curse and that she believes it could be related to the curse on the island. She suggests that Scien experiment on her but he tells her that he doesn’t need to and he also says he wouldn’t experiment on a woman he intends to be his future partner.
So Scien and the rest of them infiltrate the facility by entering the underground sewer they ended up in before. Yves and Hugo stay behind to fend off the executioner, while Scien and Ceres go into the cloning laboratory so Scien can create a new body for himself. Before doing so, Scien kisses Ceres and tells her he wants her to be the one he falls in love with when he has emotions. So, he goes into the incubator and starts the process of recreating a new body with emotions. Unfortunately, the executioner arrives while Scien is still in the incubator and kills Ceres on the spot while she tries to protect Scien. When Scien gets out of the incubator, he immediately tries to save Ceres by cloning her. In the bad end, Scien is unable to save Ceres and make her a reliver so he downloads her memories into himself. So Ceres is essentially living in Scien’s brain as he talks to her alone in his room while still promising he’s trying to find a way to break the curse. However, because Scien has emotions now, he feels like he’s suffering because he has feelings of love for Ceres and she isn’t truly there. In the 2nd bad end, Salome kills Ceres in order to make it seem like it was the royal family and force Scien into killing them.
In Scien’s relief end, he manages to successfully make a reliver that can retain “emotions”. Scien claims he now intends to find an actual cure for the curse and also have a few kids with Ceres 😂. Dahut decides to completely side with Scien and his research since it brings them closer to creating normal human beings. Everything about this infuriates Côme but Scien mocks him and tells him he can go ahead and kill him if he likes, but the royal family would be useless without him or Dahut. After this, the citizens are in a panic due to what they overheard on a broadcast system but Scien reassures them it’s the royals who are corrupt. Suddenly, Salome appears and kills Côme and Dahut. Unfortunately because the data was destroyed by the royals, Dahut has no backup. Salome then targets Ceres and takes her hostage. She starts yelling at how she needs to kill the royal family and that it’s for the sake of her dead child and Adolphe. Scien realizes that Salome has pretty much had an overload in memory which has caused her to literally go out of control. Ceres is saved by Scien who manages to apprehend Salome by commanding soldiers to injure her. Scien says the only way to save her is to make a new reliver of her that can hold the capacity of her memory or kill her. Ceres begs Scien to help Salome so he decides to use Dominic Reve Poire as his guinea pig to perfect a reliver for Salome that can retain enough memory. In the end, Scien creates a new reliver body for Salome and tells her to atone for her sins in her own way. Scien and Ceres decide to look for flowers for Dahut’s grave and Scien even picks a flower for her privately because he thought it suited her. ❤️❤️❤️ He goes to her room and decides to test out his new feelings of affection for her. He tells her he now knows he has feelings of love for her and tells her he loves her. Ceres wonders if he really wants her of all people but he tells her he can’t imagine anyone else by his side and kisses her. He’s already known that she was attracted to him but asks for her response and so she tells him she’s also in love with him. So, Scien promises to find a cure for her curse but in the meantime… sexy times!!
[God I wish that hand touching the boob was mine]
Thoughts: What more can I say other than the fact Scien is a hot sexy piece of ass. But seriously omg he’s definitely the route I liked the most. I think his route felt the most like an otome game because there was actually more romance by the end of it (minus the part where children got slaughtered). In terms of his character, I honestly found no flaws. Scien was actually the one who was the most logical half the time and ended up solving everyone’s problems lmao. My only issue with this route (not at the fault of Scien) is that it was honestly hard to feel a real connection between Ceres and Scien. Like, I couldn’t even figure out when Ceres fell in love with Scien because not much happened that would indicate a romance between them??? All Ceres ever did was clean his room while he worked and sometimes did puzzles… lol. But alas, this was one of the biggest flaws in this game imo; romance was so secondary that when it happened, it kind of felt shoehorned in. It’s really unfortunate because I like to think if there was better pacing instead of large text dumps of plot information all the time it could be really well-written. At the very least the route had good story writing and Scien is a well-written character but don’t expect a very well-written romance between Ceres and Scien. Oh well, at least his good end was legit one of the best.
Yves (CV: Saitou Souma)
Yves is a sort of jack-of-all trades who works as a handyman at his handiwork place called “Cloone”. He’s also part of the vigilante group and has earned the trust of his fellow vigilante members as well as the people of the city. He burned his face seven years ago which caused his parents to abandon him so hides his scar with a mask. He’s also a philanthropist who loves others hoping that one day someone will love him.
One day, Yves requests if Ceres can join Clune — the handiwork place that he and Hugo are a part of as a sort of assistant to do housework where they reside. So Yves takes Ceres to the Clune base which he’s only ever had Hugo work alongside him. In addition to this, Ceres requests to investigate more about the executioner and the mysterious deaths. This means she’d be more active alongside the vigilante. Unfortunately, the other vigilante aren’t exactly pleased by having Ceres involved because of her being the known “Shinigami” to bring misfortune. But Adolphe tells them that he can’t make them not feel uneasy about it, but reassures them that Ceres will be the one in charge of cooking meals so they don’t have to eat Yves terrible food.One day, Ceres helps Yves try and help a bird. Yves manages to help it, but Yves falls while on a ladder and hurts himself. Ceres finds it strange he doesn’t seem to be phased by his injuries as if he feels no pain. Meanwhile, Hugo tells Ceres to be aware that Yves isn’t the person she thinks he is and is an idiot who recklessly trusts and helps everyone. Ceres is confused by this but Hugo doesn’t elaborate and apologizes her first job turned out to be a bigger ordeal than planned. Back at the orphanage, Salome reveals that she actually purposely made sure Ceres never met Yves to ease the guilt she may feel for what happened to him. But she regrets it now and Ceres is surprisingly not mad about yet, rather she knows that Salome was just looking out for her. The next day, Yves, Hugo, and Ceres do more tasks together by helping a farm. After that, Yves is suddenly stabbed by some man while walking back. Yves doesn’t react to the pain but instead they take the man to the church to ask him his motive for doing something like that. The man claims that his lover who became a reliver fell in love with Yves instead of him who is kind to everyone. Hugo immediately wants to pummel the guy but because Yves is a kind person who tries to see everyone’s sides, he tells him he understands but doesn’t believe that justifies hurting people. After they take him away, Yves collapses due to poison that was on the knife that cut him. Scien happened to be there and helps treat the poison back at his home.
Yves has a fever so they let him rest in his bed. Hugo states this is what he meant when he said that Yves is an idiot and too trusting because he loves everyone equally, he tends to put himself in reckless situations. Hugo leaves to get some air and Ceres tries to take off Yves’ mask to help treat him. He tells her not to and Ceres asks him about his past. He tells her he grew up ordinarily but when he went to visit a friend at the orphanage, that’s when the fire started and he saved Ceres who was about to let herself die. After that, he suffered severe burns especially to his face which made not only normal people reject him, but even his parents called him a monster who had been cursed by the Shinigami and abandoned him. Yves then stayed at another orphanage where he met a merchant who gave him the mask he wears.
Ceres starts to feel bad again but he tells her not to because she was someone who became friends with her without showing sympathy or pity. The reason that Yves decided to “love everyone” is because he wanted to be loved without people feeling sorry for him about what happened. But even if people never reciprocated, he still intended to love them anyway and can’t change this way of life he’s chosen. The next day, Ceres continues assisting the vigilante and rumors about her and Yves start to circulate about them being a couple. Adolphe points this out when Yves get drunk at his place but Ceres denies they’re a thing even though she gets embarrassed by it. Meanwhile, Yves sleeps on her lap after getting drunk and Hugo sends her home but wants to talk to her first. Hugo takes Ceres to a bar and admits he hasn’t taken a woman out in a while and before he was a reliver he’d hook up with women. However, he gets straight to the point and asks Ceres how she feels about Yves because if she has half-hearted feelings for him, he intends to keep them apart. The reason being that most of the people who joined the vigilante couldn’t handle Yves and ended up leaving or calling him a monster after seeing his burnt face behind his mask. This led to Yves getting hurt which is what Hugo wants to avoid. Hugo then tells Ceres about how he met Yves and that he was part of the wealthy district. Thankfully Hugo was wealthy enough to become a reliver without worrying about paying for it. It had been 18 years since he became one (so he’s technically 40 I guess?). He met Yves when he was 14 and witnessed him help a drunk guy who was on the verge of killing himself and other people at a bar. Seeing this, Hugo decided to leave his family and join Yves at his handyman shop where they worked together. Ceres can’t answer right away about her feelings for Yves but knows that she is really happy around him. When Hugo gets back, Yves already can tell Hugo isn’t fond of Ceres and sees her as a threat. The next day, Ceres visits the hospital where she meets Lucas’ sister Nadia. She ends up seeing a medical file about her parents who killed themselves by stabbing themselves in the chest before she was born. Even though her mother was pregnant with her, she was saved and sent to the orphanage. Ceres wants to know more about her past so she tries to meet Ankou in the lycoris field. There, she meets Yves instead who reveals that he’s a “lycoris guardian” — those who protect the lycoris field due to a promise made with the god of death. Ceres thinks it’s wonderful that something that people consider cursed is so loved by him. She thinks it’s especially nice because she almost considers the black lycoris “family” because she understands what it’s liked to be hated and seen as a curse. Yves is relieved to see someone else show love to the flowers because he treasures them. Yves then gives Ceres a hair clip of a red lycoris that his grandfather made to put in her hair. Ceres then tells Yves about what happened to her parents and they hope to find what exactly happened to them.
Unfortunately there’s another mysterious death and Ceres is suddenly accused of being the reason for it because she’s a Shinigami. Yves immediately defends her but figures this puts Ceres in danger and suggests letting her stay at his place while Scien agrees to help investigate the deaths to prove Ceres is innocent. When Yves take Ceres back to his place, Hugo gets mad that he’s going to this length to defend Ceres when she may end up betraying him after seeing his face and call him a monster. Yves tells him it’s possible he’s right, but wants to protect Ceres no matter what. Hugo decides to leave Clune for now and yells at him to not die as he leaves to cool off. After this, Yves continues investigations while keeping Ceres at his place to protect her. Eventually Yves and there others figure out a pattern of the mysterious deaths which is that it’s always a man and woman reliver couple who end up dead. However, apparently these couples died right after showing some sort of affection of love. This leads then to suspect that falling in love causes relivers to die. Unfortunately, the situation continues to get worse and Yves’ reputation is ruined by the fact he’s hiding Ceres who the consider a “Shinigami”. Ceres feels bad bad about putting Yves in danger and wants him to reconsider keeping her there. But Yves is relentless even when people start to vandalize his home and throw stones at him.
So because Yves and Ceres are made into scapegoats by the royal family, eventually the villagers try to burn Yves’ black lycoris flowers he has around his home. Ceres manages to stop them but then Yves soon comes out to help but when he gets in the way his mask is thrown off. Immediately after this, Yves has a mental breakdown and tells them not to look at him. The villagers are shocked by how repulsive Yves looks so they run away. Hugo then appears and covers Yves’ face after angrily yelling at Ceres. He blames her for everything that has happened and says she’s ruined everything that Yves has built for himself. He tells her to go inside as they let Yves rest in his room. Hugo is mad and tells Ceres he hated her since he ever met her since she robbed Yves of his happiness and asks her to die.
But Ceres doesn’t comply and in the end Hugo realizes he “lost” to her when he saw how calm she was when she saw Yves’ burned scar for the first time. Hugo was actually terrified of him at first but Ceres instead tried to speak to him. Hugo realizes that no matter what, Yves would continue to love Ceres. Hugo looks as if he’s about to cry before stating that Ceres’ naivete is probably part of the reason he fell in love with her. After he leaves, Yves wakes up and tries to cover his face again because he’s a afraid Ceres will stop loving him. But Ceres stops him and tells him that his scar looks beautiful and the color reminds her of the lycoris. Yves realizes he doesn’t want to share his love with anyone else but her and confesses that he loves her and Ceres also kisses his scar. Unfortunately, when Ceres and Yves step outside they find Hugo’s dead body.
Meanwhile, Scien invades Capucine’s hideout and finds both him and Lucas. Scien calls out Capucine’s true identity beig Otti who was a researcher obsessed with gene research. Lucas is shocked but tries to kill Scien as Capucine continues to threaten Lucas’ sister. In the end, Lucas is put to sleep with a sleeping gas drug and is dragged away as Scien tells Capucine that he intends to dig all information about his research out of him. Yves also somehow contracts the lung disease that kills people at 23 years old. Yves is then bedridden but can’t get help from any doctors since no one wants to go near him and Ceres. He’s still severely upset about what happened with Hugo but his death throws them for a loop in the mysterious death cases since he’s one person and not a couple in love.
Yves starts to get worse so Ceres tries to contact Capucine but Scien answers instead. He tells Ceres to come to his research facility with Yves blood and in doing so, he’ll send a doctor to help Yves. Ceres complies and also donates her blood as well and Scien explains he believes Ceres and Yves are connected to this curse. Especially Ceres, who’s parents named “Chloe” and “Daryl” died in the lycoris garden after giving birth to her. They were apparently Scien’s second reliver experiments after himself and were given “feelings of love” which caused them to crash. Relivers have a recovery function prevent an overload of memory. The most complex and intense human emotions tend to put the memory in a sort of defense mechanism that protects it from overloading. Usually when it’s “feelings of love” it gives an alerting signal that will repeat about 5 times until they reach the point where it’s too much pain in their heart that they literally claw at their chest until they die all so they can remove it. Ceres wonders why exactly this would happen to Hugo then since he wasn’t with anyone and Scien confirms it could be a one-sided crush or feeling of love (not realizing it’s obviously Yves). Scien goes on to explain that Ceres’ parents was a rare case because normally most people don’t have such strong feelings of love, knowing they lose that ability when they become relivers and plan ahead with that knowledge. However, Scien believes that it has occurred more rapidly because someone hacked the system where memory is generated and had the input of the clones’ memory strength set to low. Meanwhile, Yves is almost killed by other villagers but the guy he once helped years ago sacrificed himself to save Yves and eventually Ankou appears as well. He thanks Yves for keeping his promise and will release him from his duty. Yves is only semi-conscious but Ankou then tells him to dig up his grandfather’s grave in order to find out the truth of the lycoris and Ceres. When Yves does this, he finds a book left behind by his grandfather. He was a drifter who came to the island by accident but found it strange that the humans there would all die at 23. So, Yves’ grandfather agreed to help by giving his medical books to researchers on the island. However, they became obsessed to the point where he became a target of experimentation due to his normal lifespan. Yves’ grandfather decided to run away with his wife that he met there and went into hiding. He had a child with her and eventually met the Shinigami who created the black lycoris flowers in order to protect them. The lycoris were not originally black but red and we’re flowers of disaster but rather flowers that absorb it. Through the process of allelopathy, the lycoris flowers would absorb the soils toxins, making it turn a black color. The Shinigami was protecting the land by having his grandfather take the task of caring for the lycoris that would absorb the toxins. So in reality, it was never a unscientific “curse” but rather a poison. Scien overhears this through the communicator and finally realizes what exactly happened to Ceres. Apparently some sort of toxin poisoned the DNA of the ancestors who lived on the island due to the contaminated soil. This infected the 23 chromosomes of a person’s DNA which is the reason they only lived for 23 years. So everyone eventually inherited this mutated gene for years. So because Ceres was born from relivers with unstable genes and in a lycoris garden, she essentially became a lycoris flower herself because she absorbed more toxins into her body which made her literally a living poison that could effect the people around her because the poison she withholds is beyond what a normal person can intake. She’s also (literally) flammable so the fire and explosions that occurred was due to her toxins. It apparently also weakens relivers memory capacities as well. So apparently Scien’s solution to this since he can’t create an antibody is to clone Ceres as a human lycoris and have her buried alive on the island to absorb as much of the toxins as possible. Ceres is surprisingly relieved she can finally help instead of causing death so she goes along with the plan while Yves strongly objects over the communicator. Scien tells him he should respect her wishes and if he interferes he’ll crush them. After this, Yves is almost killed by the royal guard but he manages to escape with Mathis and hides out at Lucas’ place after Nadia takes them there. Dahut and Adolphe are also there and wonder what Yves wants to do next. Yves struggles for an answer at first because Ceres seemed so happy to die that she literally said “I’m glad” to being a sacrifice.
Yves also can’t help but partially blame Ceres for what happened to Hugo but knows it’s not her fault. Regardless, he wants to be the reason for her to live because he loves her. So he decides that he wants to save her. So Yves and Adolph infiltrate the research facility to save Ceres. Lucas also escapes after being captured and decides to help them save Ceres. They manage to fend off facility guards with the help of Yves’ vigilante team that had turned against him before. Unfortunately, Yves is shoved aside to go help Ceres himself when Adolph pushes him through an emergency door that locks him in. Adolph stays behind but dies in front of him and Lucas follows after him. Lucas leaves him to go on his own, but mentions he noticed that for the most part Yves can’t feel pain. Yves confirms that it was a result of his burns.
Eventually, he makes it to the main facility room where Ceres and Scien are thanks to Dahut’s help. Ceres tries to tell Yves to leave her be and that she doesn’t deserve to live and Yves is surprisingly blunt in saying that indeed she is a Shinigami who brings death. But he doesn’t want to let her die for the sake of mere strangers. Nor does he want to show love to everyone like he did before. And while he still holds blame towards her, it doesn’t matter because he loves her. Unfortunately, they’re interrupted by Scien who immediately gets ready to fight Yves. The two of them do so while Yves asks if he’s such a genius, why didn’t he notice such a simple thing as there being a toxin present on their land. He also criticizes him for focusing more attention on prolonging life than actually curing the disease itself.
Yves grandfather was the one who had the books of research on it but they dismissed it completely and didn’t bother to try and find out more about it. Hence, his grandfather going into hiding because he was afraid he’d merely be used as a human test subject. Yves believes that all he needed to do was ask for help if he wanted to solve the curse but had too much pride and wanted to play god. This truth obviously throws Scien off guard and Yves manages to defeat him and he gives in. Yves tries to get Ceres to leave the cloning capsule but all of a sudden Scien is shocked to notice the system has gone out of control. Because of this, the toxins pretty much spray out of Ceres and cause the facility to explode. Ceres manages to find Yves collapsed on the ground but his sickness had gotten worse and Scien tells her to get away from him because her toxins are so bad she’ll kill anyone she’s near. And even if she died, her toxins could release, killing everyone in the research facility. So Ceres ends up falling into the sewage area and running away. When Yves wakes up, he finds he and Scien alone in the destroyed facility. Scien tells Yves what happened and if he wants to go after her, he should do it now. Yves wonders why his demeanor changed all of a sudden and Scien explains that his grandfather was a collaborator of his but didn’t want to pursue human experiments and left. He owes a debt to him though because he was the one who brought the recipe of bread to them which was his brain power food lol.
Scien gives Yves a sort of suppressant medicine that’ll reduce Ceres’ toxins temporarily so Yves can approach her. Meanwhile, Ceres makes her way to the cliff where the lycoris garden is so she can die without hurting anyone. Villagers then try to attack her but they end up being engulfed by flames due to her poison causing the land to catch fire. Yves soon finds her as she struggles to try and kill herself. Yves slowly approaches her even while she’s surrounded by flames. Ceres tells him to stay away but he reaches for her hand and in the process, his entire body burns. Ceres is in compete shock and while at first she screams in horror, as the flames let up, she sees Yves charcoaled body laying there. She completely loses it and starts laughing, saying that Yves was a genius because there’s no way her curse can affect him if he’s dead. So she takes his burnt hand and kisses it while stating she can be together with him in this state.
In the relief end, Yves walks up to Ceres within the flames, whips out some lycoris flowers, and asks her to marry him. Ceres tries to reject him since she’s afraid of hurting him, but Yves tells her he intends to follow her to the depths of hell and that he loves her. Ceres calls him an idiot but admits she loves him too and kisses him as they’re enveloped in the flames. A few months later, Yves and Ceres are living together in an underground cave. Apparently the rain extinguished the fire and Yves was okay because he had antibodies from eating the bulbs of the lycoris flower (because he was weird food tastes lol). So the two of them continue to live out their lives together while keeping hidden and vow to be together until they die.
Thoughts: Yves good end was fairly short but I guess that’s because his route is semi-long?? At least, its definitely longer than Lucas, Scien, and Mathis. Overall, this definitely was a well written route — probably the best one. The pacing was good, story and romance was balanced in a way that the relationship between Ceres and Yves didn’t feel lacking or underdeveloped. Unfortunately, his good end felt rushed imo and it wasn’t really concluded in a satisfying way (even if it was meant to be sad). That being said, Yves was pretty meh to me. He’s really not a bad character at all but… there was something about him that lacked substance for me (he’s not really my type anyway though). Like, I think I would’ve liked him more if there was more to his character other than being someone who wants to be loved because of a scar that I daresay looks better than his ugly ass mask. Why was he scorned as much as he was for being a “monster” for a burn scar??? Like, are people that petty??? The scar isn’t even that bad LMAO like what the hell. I’d be more traumatized from the fire itself… yet he was so willing to just waltz right into it. Oh, and apparently Huugo’s existence made Japanese fans mad?? He died because he felt “romantic feelings” for Yves so this one sided gay love was apparently considered BL even though there was literally nothing “romantic” that happened between them? Honestly, I thought it was just an interesting addition to the game — it’s not like there hasn’t been female rivals (that I daresay are worse) in otome games before, what difference does it make if they’re male? Jeez.
Adolphe (CV: Yashiro Taku) / Ankou (Okitsu Kazuyuki)
[Both Adolphe and Ankou have the same route]
Adolphe is a member who the vigilante group who grew up in the same orphanage as Ceres before she was taken in. He looks after Ceres as a reliable older brother figure so while he’s seemingly harsh, he can be overly protective of her at times. Ankou is a mysterious immortal man who claims he’s the “death keeper” of the underworld to Ceres.
Adolphe is part of the orphanage where Salome stays and met Ceres when he found her alone in the rain. He was the one who took her to where Salome lived where they became family and he viewed her like a little sister. Ceres wanted to die after the explosion in the orphanage but after she met Ankou who stopped her, she almost drifted off alone in the rain until Adolphe found her. Ceres tells him she’s practically given up because she doesn’t want to kill anymore people even though he tries to reason with her and continues to tell her she’s not a Shinigami. Ultimately, he tells her that if she intends to die, he’ll die along with her. But if she’s going to live, he intends to stay alive with her and protect what’s important to her.
After this, Adolphe brings Ceres back to his place so she can rest. Ceres ends up having a bad dream where Adolphe dies because of her so she literally puts her head to his chest to make sure he’s alive. Adolphe is startled at first but reassures her everything is fine. The next day, Adolphe suggests a change of pace so the two of them ride a horse named Roland that Adolphe takes care of. Eventually they run into Eve who’s basically recovered from the explosion. He tells both Ceres and Adolphe about how his grandfather met the grim reaper and how he’s the guardian of the black lycoris. Ceres also starts to wonder if maybe the Shinigami is Ankou since he was described the same way.
That evening, Ceres overhears Adolphe talking to Hugo about how the murders have continued even though he lied and told Ceres everything was fine. Hugo also mentions how he knows Adolphe doesn’t intend to become a reliver so he should figure out what to do with Ceres instead of protecting her 24/7 until he dies in a few years, leaving Ceres all alone with no where to go. Ceres is shocked about this and runs away. Adolphe realizes she was listening and goes after her. Ankou encounters Ceres first but Adolphe appears and tells him to get away from her. Ankou criticizes Adolphe’s methods of “protecting” Ceres and claims he’s done nothing to change how she felt about herself because ultimately he’s just keeping her locked up instead of facing reality.
Ceres then decides that she wants to accept the deal she made with Ankou to try to live like a normal person with his help. Adolphe is completely against it but Ceres manages to convince the two of them to force themselves to get along or she’ll ditch the both of them. So Ankou stays at Adolphe’s house while the two of them continue to bicker with each other. The next morning, Adolph continues to do vigilante work and Ankou stays with Ceres. Ankou confirms he is the “Shinigami” that Eve’s grandparents met but didn’t cause the curse that had been going on hundreds of years before. Meanwhile, Adolphe visits Salome who is weary of Adolphe getting involved with the research facility since she hates the royal family and wants people to live like normal humans again.
When Adolphe comes back home, he spots Ankou writing in his planner and gets pissed. The two of them argue for a bit until they get a call from Yves. He asks for Ceres to visit Lucas’ sister Nadia to keep her company while also meeting Dahut who befriended her there. Dahut talks about how the drifter was the catalyst for the reliver work so the research should be in the royal library. Unfortunately, only the royal family has access so when Ceres comes back to Adolphe’s home, Ankou immediately suggests sneaking in to find out more about solving the curse. However, they end up getting caught by Dahut who sends them into the cloning facility to ask why they wanted to sneak in. They tell him they want to learn more about the curse but Dahut tells them that if it was that easy, Scien would’ve solved it by now.Regardless, Dahut reassures them he’ll try and help them sneak into the library. After that, Adolphe tells Ceres she doesn’t need to worry about solving the curse in order to save him and should focus on herself. He doesn’t believe he’s qualified anyway because he’s always lied to her about something but doesn’t tell her anymore than that. So finally the day to infiltrate the library comes and both Ceres and Adolphe sneak in with Dahut’s help. Ankou also somehow slips in so he can keep an eye out for Ceres. They manage to make it to the library and search for a while until Ceres accidently opens the way to a hidden room where more books are piled up. There, they find a book by a “Christine Reve Poire” who was the queen of Arpecheur. At 18 is when Christine took the throne and worked to try and find a cure for the curse. However, the royals were merely concerned about ways to extend their life and didn’t care about solving the curse anymore. She even tried to do her own research but was almost killed in the process because they sent people to assassinate her. She eventually had a child that she hoped to survive since it’s possible he could be a target for assassination as he was an heir to the throne. She believed in both a good and fair government and was the one who’s established the reliver rules such as a written oath to become a reliver. According to the documents they read, she got sick and died along with her son. After this, Ceres and Adolphe relay this information to Dahut who thinks Ceres could be related to one of the royals since her DNA reacted to the hidden underground library entrance that couldn’t normally be opened. Dahut reveals to Adolphe that he intends to revive his mother with normal human emotions. However, he wants her to be able to live with a normal lifespan which is why he wants to break the curse. Adolphe eventually admits he doesn’t want to be a reliver for a simple reason which is that he’s just completely freaked out by the idea of cloning and relivers in general. Dahut finds this super simple reason to be hilarious but admits it makes him special in a way. So a few days later Ceres visits the hospital and sees Nadia who’s reading a letter from Dahut. He promises he intends to solve the curse so he can help her. Lucas suddenly gets stressed out all of a sudden and Capucine arrives just in time to drug him up again — unknown to both Ceres and Nadia. That night Yves, Mathis, Scien and Ceres all work together to try and catch the executioner. They manage to find him and try to catch him but in the end Ceres gets split up because he ends up targeting her. Ankou then appears to help her and chases away the executioner since the injuries he sustains heal right away anyway. Suddenly Salome appears but is eager to confine Ceres and had already done so to Adolphe. Salome claims she just wants to protect Ceres but Ankou pretty much calls out her bullshit. He says he knows full well she just wants to hold her hostage so she can get Ankou, who’s immortal, to do her bidding. Thankfully, Ankou manages to prevent Salone from holding Ceres hostage. Meanwhile, Capucine had been ordering Lucas, the executioner, to kill Ceres which is why he was attacking Ceres in the first place. Lucas doesn’t want to listen to him anymore but Capucine just keeps brainwashing him by drugging him up. They managed to get Ceres’ blood when Lucas attacked her so Capucine is ordered by some unknown person to sample Ceres’ blood. Meanwhile, Ceres hides out in an underground cave with Ankou who apparently feeds on the lycoris flowers.
Ankou reveals he’s known about Ceres ever since she was born and thanks her for continuing to live. Ceres thanks him as well and notices he has Adolphe’s dagger. When she asks about it, he tells her he accidentally broke it and intends to give it back to him after fixing it. After this, Adolphe finally makes it to Ceres and Ankou’s hideout after escaping from Salome. Huugo then contacts Adolphe via the communicator to tell them that Scien has been killed by the executioner. Meanwhile, Jean’s lover who’s memories he’s been trying to revive, is taken away by Capucine as a research experiment. Since Jean’s memory research has reached completion, the Exorcist supporters have no use for Jean. The king Benoit Reve Poire happily announces Scien’s death and boasts over the fact that the Reve Poire family will take over Arpecheur. All the while a mysterious voice over a communicator claims that they will be able to live as immortal beings without the use of Scien’s reliver technology. The voice claims they want to rejoin the royal family in exchange for using the saint of lycoris — Ceres — as a sacrifice. They already have the information about the lycoris absorbing the poison and intend to utilize that knowledge. So everyone on the island starts to panic since the reliver technology has been destroyed. The king announces to the people to rest assured that they’ll be able to live normally without the curse so as long as they sacrifice Ceres the “saint” who can absorb the curse. In addition, they’re also looking for Ankou who is with Ceres so they can use him as an experimental body to obtain immortality like him. Apparently Mathis was killed as well and it’s Huugo who relays this information via communicator to both Ceres and Adolphe. Meanwhile, Ankou leaves to check the grave of Yves’ grandfather where the book on the lycoris was hidden. Unfortunately, it’s been dug up, which Ankou had already suspected it was already stolen. Yves then appears and asks if Ankou is the death god that his grandfather met. Ankou confirms he is but says he’s a death keeper not a death god. Yves starts to wonder if he’s some fairy tale being that intends to propose to Ceres since he read a romance story like that which flusters Ankou 😂. Thankfully, Yves spots a locked box that contains an original copy of his grandfather’s research. Ankou suggests they have it translated but before they can head to Mathis’ mansion to find his translation materials, they’re attacked by Lucas.
Yves and Ceres are unfortunately ambushed by villagers who beg for Ceres to give up her life for them. They manage to escape and find that Ankou’s been attacked by Lucas and put into a bag to be kidnapped. While Ceres and Yves are shocked to see Lucas as the executioner, they’re also ambushed by the same villagers who want Ceres to sacrifice herself for them. They start attacking Adolphe so Ceres makes herself the messiah again by telling them she’ll go with them. Ceres goes with them to meet the king and his daughter Mariette. They explain to Ceres about her origin and how she’s basically a human version of the lycoris flower that can absorb the curse’s toxins. In addition, they explain how they’ve surpassed Scien’s research and will create immortal beings using Scien’s memory data and gene manipulation research. Ceres is held prisoner in an underground dungeon where Dahut too is being held there as well for not agreeing with the plans of the royal family. He pretty much has given up on his dreams to bring back his mother or recreate a human and leaves his dream to Ceres. Before he’s taken away to be executed, he helps Ceres by giving her a strand of his hair for DNA so she can access Scien’s room. He tells her it’s likely Ankou will be held there and she’ll probably be taken to the experiment room. Eventually, they take Ceres to get her blood drawn again and she meets Capucine there. He pretty much confirms he’s the one who gave the idea for the gene experiments and is testing on Adolphe in the cloning incubator. However, even though Capucine figures his gene manipulation experiment will result in Adolphe’s death, he surprisingly lives. This confuses Capucine and so he checks Adolphe’s gene data which reveals his big secret. That secret being that he’s actually a normal human with a normal lifespan and is unaffected by the curse because of this. In fact, he’s the 2nd drifter that came to the island while being an outsider himself. So they decide that Adolphe may not be so useless after all and continue to experiment on him. Eventually he’s temporarily thrown into the same cell as Ceres. He tells her he’s actually 25 years old and the only one who knows about him being a normal human is Salome who helped hide his identity.
Adolphe feels guilty I guess and feels like he ultimately couldn’t keep his promise of making her happy. But of course Ceres says she’s always been happy about Adolphe. This causes him to accidentally blurt out that he’s in love with her. When Ceres asks if it’s true, he admits he has since a few years ago. So in regards to Adolphe’s past, where he was from there was a declining birth rate so Adolphe’s parents got repeatedly pregnant. They sold their kids but thought Adolphe was worthless so they tossed him into the ocean near a so-called death island. That’s when Adolphe decided to try and live in order to make his way to land. He makes it to Arpecheur where he meets Salome for the first time who takes him in. Adolphe lived with Salome until he met Ceres and always figured now that he was living on this island he’d also die when he’s 23 years old. He pretty much came to terms with this and was completely fine with dying peacefully somewhere when it happens. Unfortunately, reality hits him that he’s not like anyone in the island and when his 23rd birthday comes around, he doesn’t die. Adolphe is about to try to kill himself until Ceres interrupts and asks if whatever is going on is her fault. In the heat of the moment or I guess in his delusion he ironically believes it is indeed her being a Shinigami that’s interfering with his so-called destiny and preventing his death. Ceres is pretty calm about it and pretty much says “I get it, go ahead and hate me if you need to” cause apparently he’s too kind to blame others anyway.
From then on, Adolphe fell in love with Ceres and swore to never call her a Shinigami ever again and protect her. After this, Ceres finalizes her plans to try and escape to Scien’s room in order to find Ankou. This plan is quickened when all of a sudden the king and other royals end up dead due to a memory crash. This terrifies the gathering citizens and gives Ceres an opportunity to escape to Scien’s room. When he gets there, she finds Ankou’s head in a sort of container with special liquid that weakens him. He apologizes for not being able to help her or create an antibody. Ceres decides to take his head with her and brings it back to Ankou who manages to escape the cell they were locked in. The two of them manage to escape through the underground sewer that leads to Mathis’ mansion. The reason they find out about this is because apparently Scien is actually alive, along with Mathis and Jean at their mansion. Lucas never killed Scien but instead begged him to “save him” in order to help Nadia. Yves is also with them and survived as well. Jean reveals that he was the one who had been killing prostitutes for his fake memory research but is only working with them all because Capucine took Jean’s lover hostage. Before Scien can explain anymore, his communication device cuts off from Ceres and Adolphe. The two of them eventually reach another room where they find Dahut alive and introduces his real name which is “Liam Reve Poire”. He’s been the mastermind pulling the strings of the royals into believing they can achieve immortality.
Liam was the son of Christine Reve Poire who was assassinated in the past and died in the lycoris field. Liam was supposed to be killed as well but on the day of his execution, he managed to escape. He managed to live by deforming his face and stealing food. It was until he got enough money to become a reliver at 15 years old that he was able to live his new life as “Dahut” and join the reliver research with Scien. In addition, the reason Arpecheur has toxins in it’s soil is because it used to be a normal island that was often a target during war. Because this island didn’t have enough manpower to defend itself, the people of the island decided to create a sort of invisible wall made with chemicals. This idea backfired when it ultimately just contaminated the island instead. Ultimately, everything worked out for Dahut because in order to revive his mother he needs her genes to use as a base. And Ceres’ allelopathic ability doesn’t just work for the toxins, but human genes as well which means she has the former queen — Christine’s — genes inside her because she died on the same soil where she was born. Because of this, Dahut wants to use Ceres to resurrect his mother. Adolphe thinks his whole idea is crazy and wants nothing to do with it but if anything, Dahut is just more and more impressed by how Adolphe is a normal human and wants him alive so he can ask him more about “humanity”. Dahut sends his clone of Lucas to capture Ceres but before it can, Ankou finally regenerates himself from inside the container and protects her. Unfortunately, the clone manages to catch Ceres, leaving both Ankou and Adolphe in the sewers. Ceres is brought back to where Dahut is and in the meantime, Dahut declares war on Arpecheur via a live video broadcast. He decides that the humans and relivers on the islanded are tainted and need to be eliminated. So his plan is to have bombs explode all over the island at midnight so people will fall into a toxic water that’ll kill them all. That way, he’ll recreate ordinary humans instead. While the whole idea seems crazy to Ceres, Dahut admits it may seem that way but it’s also for the sake of the world as well. Arpecheur is separated from the rest of the world and the technology and ideas they’ve produced would be considered dangerous from their perspective. So in order for this technology to not get into the wrong hands, Dahut wants to make sure he eliminates it entirely. Meanwhile, Adolphe and the others are back in the cave hideout, trying to figure out what exactly is going on. Ankou suggests preparing a medicine that’ll decrease the effects of the toxins if they’re exposed. But Adolphe is still in his “I can’t protect” mode so he tries to shove saving Ceres on Yves instead and suggests he’s unable to. Yves has to convince him otherwise and so Adolphe finally realizes he wants to hear the response to his confession. After that, Adolphe confronts Ankou in how he knows he’s not really a “death keeper” or man of the underworld. Rather, he’s just a normal human with regenerative abilities. So, whenever he used a smoke to disappear it was all an act apparently. Ceres is still with Dahut but Nadia is brought there as well. Dahut really does care about what happens to Nadia and doesn’t want to kill her as well. Regardless, he understands if she hates him since he was technically the reason Lucas ended up getting drugged by Capucine because he indirectly introduced them. So Adolphe and everyone else make their plan to infiltrate the castle and save Ceres. Yves and Hugo fend off the executioner clones (while Hugo gets ドキドキ pain from his love for Yves lol). Unfortunately, Dahut releases more poison so Scien suggests they all retreat except for Ankou and Adolphe who aren’t affected. Adolphe makes his way to where Ceres is being kept and confesses his love to her again. Dahut believes it’s a wonderful confession but soon after sends out a clone of Lucas’ father — who he claims couldn’t protect his mother.
Adolphe fights the clone until he manages to defeat him with Ankou’s help. His arm is also cut off but apparently it regenerated because the experiments that Capucine did on him gave him the same ability as Ankou. Dahut is super pissed to see that Adolphe “betrayed” him in the sense he’s no longer a normal human. But Adolphe tells him if he wants to blame someone he should blame Capucine who was the reason he ended up like that in the first place. So they manage to stop Dahut who seemingly has given up. But that doesn’t stop him from using iris recognition for his device to continue his annihilation plan. Fortunately, this plan is immediately thwarted by Salome who stabs Dahut and reveals her real identity to be Christine Reve Poire or Dahut’s mother. Scien was the one who saved her and made her a reliver after backing up her data. Salome created the exorcist order but was killed not long after. After she was recreated with another reliver body, she continued to work under Scien with the idea of raising smart orphanage kids. Although in order to keep her identity hidden, her appearance was changed. She apologizes for not realizing he was alive sooner but her memory of him gradually got more clouded because of how many times she was made a reliver. Dahut is surprised she was so close all along and wish he found her sooner. Salome suggests they die again and be reborn so they can start new lives. Unfortunately, he only sees her as a betrayal of what he believed his mother was especially since she’s died and became a reliver so many times. Dahut suddenly stabs her and calls her a sinner of a queen who abandoned her duties.
Dahut then takes Ceres and throws her back into the device she was in so he can start the process of resurrecting his mother again. Her body suddenly becomes covered in marks that look like lycoris flowers due to her body becoming ten times more absorbent of toxins. Ankou demands that they use his blood to create an antibody but Dahut claims it won’t work anyway so it’s pointless even trying. Ankou refuses to listen to him and feeds Ceres his blood to try and stop the process of her body destroying itself. Ankou angrily screams at Dahut but suddenly he’s stabbed by Salome who was still alive. She apologizes for allowing this to happen and asks Ankou and Adolphe to save Ceres. Dahut hugs her and the two of them die together as mother and son.
Unfortunately, Ankou is enraged what Dahut had already done to Ceres and stabs Dahut’s dead body over and over. Adolphe manages to stop him but he attacks Adolphe with a dagger that looks like his and decides to take Ceres himself since he believes Adolphe is useless. He takes her to where she tried to kill herself and demands to know why no matter what he does he can’t save her. Slowly, Ceres finally starts to realize patterns and similarities between Ankou and Adolphe. She soon realizes that the two of them are the same person. Adolphe slowly became “Ankou” when he witnessed Ceres had killed herself. After that, he decided to do research on his body with Scien’s help. This in turn made his body immortal and he obtained regenerative abilities.
It was 103 years later that Ankou decided that he would try and use time travel technology to save Ceres. With the help of Yves, he plants lycoris flowers on Arpecheur 500 years in the past. It takes hundreds of years but they finally grow. This ultimately changes Adolphe’s appearance as well so Ankou believes he wouldn’t even be recognized as “Adolphe” anymore. Unfortunately, they don’t absorb all the toxins. Ankou decides to talk with one of Yves’ ancestors and he tells Ankou that he shouldn’t focus his attention on the lycoris flowers, but the poison itself. What he should do is find a way to create an antibody for the poison because the flowers can only absorb the poison, not destroy it. Ultimately, he suggests that Ankou becomes an antibody himself by eating the lycoris flowers.
After giving Ankou his new name, Ankou thanks him for his kindness and behind trying to make an antibody. Having to feed on the lycoris is so agonizing for Ankou that he starts to become hopeless because it’s taking forever for Ceres to be born. Finally, Ceres is born and Ankou is able to meet her for the first time in many years. Unfortunately, he needs more time creating the antibody so he has to watch as she lives as a “Shinigami”. But he couldn’t tell Ceres anything he knew now and didn’t know back then so he came up with a lie about the underworld. In reality, he stopped Ceres’ poison from spreading by feeding her his blood.
Ankou asks for Ceres to die along with him since he can’t imagine a world where she’s not alive. But Ceres tells him she wants to live especially since she needs to answer his confession. Ankou is shocked at how strong Ceres has become and decides to have a duel with Adolphe to determine whether his former self is worthy for Ceres. They battle with each other for a bit until Ankou manages to transfer his genes to Adolphe so he has the full regenerative abilities like him. Ankou tells Adolphe to use his cells and Ceres’ contaminated ones to save her. then takes out a special gun and shoots his heart so he’ll die permanently. Before dying, Adolphe helps him gather lycoris flowers for a bouquet to do a mock proposal for Ceres because apparently that was his goal when he’d see her again. Ankou dies after telling Ceres he’s always loved her.
About 5 years later, the island is open to visit for tourists. Apparently a vaccine was made from using Ankou’s antibody and Yves blood. Everyone there is able to live like a normal human being. Relivers still exist but live as normal humans with the use of human cells but the technology is no longer needed so they’re no longer made. Lucas has recovered from rehab from the drugs and Nadia is cured of her disease and can walk around freely. For some reason Jean is still working as Mathis’ butler (even though he murdered prostitutes with no remorse wtf) and is being forced to turn the mansion into a nursery by taking care of a child by Scien. Mathis himself is an Android so he needs to be reprogrammed by Scien here and there but he’s working on figuring out how to figure out to make him normal.
Yves and Hugo go on a trip far east together and Scien is now the one who governs the island as a political leader. Ceres and Adolphe are together in a field of white lycoris flowers. Adolphe’s cells have changed rapidly into a superhuman like pace where they can repel any kind of disease — so his blood was used to save Ceres who has been cured. But apparently Adolphe’s cells didn’t mutate anymore so he’s a normal human (I guess?? What kind of logic is this idk LMAO). Anyway, Ceres finally confesses her feelings of love to Adolphe. In Ankou’s despair end, Ankou decides to die alongside Ceres by burning everything to the ground. In Adolphe’s despair end, Ankou suggests using time travel to save Ceres like he did. Adolphe agrees to it and decides he will become like Ankou.
Thoughts: Man where do I even begin. I guess I’ll start off by saying that this route was definitely a giant text dump of information that had its pros and cons. I’m not gonna say this route was terrible, but there are some things that I couldn’t overlook — especially when this is essentially the true route. First, I really liked Ankou as a character, I think he made the game more interesting because of his mysterious aura and exaggerated appearance. But… I was pretty disappointed with how he ended up. I didn’t exactly want a merged route of two characters. I want to make it clear, I don’t like Adolphe. I think he sucked as a character, his attitude towards Ceres at first bothered me, and he’s honestly not a likable character in my opinion. I felt literally no connection between him and Ceres whatsoever so you must understand how fucking shocked and annoyed I was to find out he was actually Ankou. I hate Adolphe, so why does the other route have to be another version of him??? UGH. Also Adolphe knew Ceres for like, what, 2 years?? And you’re telling me he was madly in love with Ceres to the point he was willing to suffer for over hundreds of years just to save her life??? yeah, I don’t buy it. Especially with how he’d act towards her at times like when he called her a Shinigami and blamed her for his problems for no reason (then fell in love with her like what the fuck is this shit romance). Adolphe’s chemistry with Ceres was complete garbage imo so I guess in extension that means her chemistry with Ankou was too (I really wish Ankou was his own character). I’ll never not hate the trope of the older brother figure liking their “little sister” either — so yay it was everything I never wanted. Oh and even if Ankou was the one who actually went through shit, he still isn’t the one to actually be with Ceres which is hilarious to me because it just makes past Adolphe seem less significant as a character yet he’s more deserving of Ceres somehow?? So yeah after not giving two flying fucks about Adolphe — his route just dragged on for me and I slowly started to lose interest. I think some of the twists were interesting especially with Dahut and Salome but it still felt like it had to be shoved in there last minute.
This definitely felt like a game that had great characters and plot but poor execution to certain degree. I’m not going to sit here and say it was a bad game, because it really wasn’t. I did like it and I honestly enjoyed it up until the final route. This unfortunately seems to happen from time to time where I’ll enjoy a lot of different aspects of the game but it’ll be the way it concludes that disappoints me. Ultimately what this game struggled with was a balance of plot and romance. As an otome game, we expect a bit of romance, that’s fair. But this game was so focused on the plot, it felt like it forgot it was an otome game — hence the romance feeling forced. I don’t even mind a game with little romance (Cafe Enchante for example?) but this game had pacing issues in which it had to text dump so much information that there was no room for character development in between. I also really wish Otomate would focus their attention on their heroines for once in a while because I feel bad for Ceres. Not just because of what she went through, but how she was written. Ultimately, Ceres wasn’t a heroine that felt like she really “fit” into the story. Excluding Adolphe, whenever you began a route, Ceres would only get involved with a love interest because they want her for her domestic skills such as cooking, cleaning, ect (I’m not even kidding though). Ceres sometimes felt like an afterthought and I began to notice this more and more when she’d often become the damsel that had to be saved. That is a common trope in otome games, so it’s not necessarily strange, but it’s the amount of times that the story would change POVs to other characters that got frustrating. It suddenly felt like the story was more focused on the other characters and Ceres was just a plot device to get the plot moving. It felt like she was the damsel because they didn’t know what else to do with her (e.g. her having Dahut’s mother’s genes seemed shoehorned in for plot reasons). And I get Ceres had her reasons for being self-depreciating, but was there really no room for growth? Cardia from Code: Realize was in the same position as her, but she didn’t become a martyr every chance she got. I think this is part of why I struggled to feel a connection between Ceres and any of the love interests — it never felt like she truly connected with any of them. Lastly, for being the true route, Adolphe’s love for the heroine felt super shoehorned and unrealistic. This ultimately made his and Ankou’s route unenjoyable because I didn’t feel like there was a romantic spark between her and Adolphe. Literally, I felt like the romance between Adolphe and Ceres was the worst, yet I had to sit through this supposedly heart wrenching romance? Like, where the hell was Adolphe in other routes? Half the time he was killed or wasn’t there. I don’t understand how he could be the true route when the guy wasn’t exactly present in Ceres life for that long. Why not Yves? Adolphe clearly wanted to shove her off to him anyway — how is he not a better candidate for this plot heavy, text dump of a true route. He was mean to her at first, lied to her, and hid that he was a normal human… for what? I’m sorry but, Adolphe’s chemistry with Ceres was so bad I couldn’t even enjoy the final route and that’s pretty disappointing. Well, at least Scien and Mathis exist — who are definitely my favorites in this game. Scien was so damn hot and Mathis was a poor baby who deserved better.
Story – This story takes place on a fictional island surrounded by “death” called “Arpecheur” — where everyone is destined to die at 23 years old due to a curse. Ceres is the heroine who often finds herself present whenever people mysteriously die — hence her being named a “Shinigami”. There is a lot to uncover in every individual route and slowly you’ll find out more about Ceres and the curse itself. While there’s seemingly some borrowed aspects of this story from previous Otomate games (e.g. Code: Realize) that doesn’t make this game any less enjoyable. Rather, the well-written story is one of the best aspects of it that’ll keep you engaged. However, at times, there seems to be a struggle between balancing the story and romance. There are things that become a bit convoluted due to the massive amount of information you’re fed nearing the end of the game.
Characters – The main cast of characters are definitely another redeeming aspect to this game. While there may be an exception or two for me personally, this really is a memorable cast that could use more polish if there are future titles. One of the issues I found was that you had a great cast of characters that needed a bit more character development to really shine. That being said, I think characters themselves were written well but because there was so much plot that needed to be covered, there wasn’t enough room for romance or development of the heroine’s relationship with everyone. Ultimately, I think you have this really good cast put in a story that is too focused on the plot that it starts to neglect the writing of each character’s individual traits and relationships with other characters. Lastly, there’s the sub characters, which are unfortunately often used as plot devices to move the story along; usually deeming them unlikeable when or if they turn against the main cast.
Visuals – This should probably be where the highest praise goes. The artwork of this game is absolutely stunning. Visually, there are literally no flaws and it’s actually some of the best effort I’ve seen in recent Otomate games. Yomi definitely deserves the praise for that because I literally could not keep my eyes of every CG because they just looked so good. Every route got a fair amount of CGs too so it didn’t feel like they were lacking at any point. If anything, it felt like there’s was more than plenty. Even the UI felt like it matched the tone of the game itself and I think this is probably a game with the best visuals in a while (Cupid Parasite was probably the last game I played where the visuals wowed me so much). It’s unfortunate there was so little romance a lot of the time, imagine how beautiful those scenes would look with this quality art.
System – There usually isn’t too much to say about an otome game’s system unless they had specific features. I do wish sometimes the skip wasn’t always so slow, but thankfully and surprisingly this game had a jump to next choice feature. There was also a flowchart but I wasn’t really a fan of how it was formatted — I think it could’ve looked a bit better? But it’s not like that really effects the game much because I barely even looked at it.
Music – Not much to say about he OST other than I think it did a great job of capturing the atmosphere of each scene. Some of the tracks were more upbeat than others (particularly one that would play when Scien appeared) but I think they were all fine. The OP and ED tracks definitely gave you the feeling of despair at times — I honestly really liked them a lot. Particularly the ED track that would play when you got the good ending; I think that one stuck out the most.
Final Thoughts: I want to make it clear, I did like this game. I’m just very nitpicky about certain things because it’s a game that had potential to be better than it was. I think for a good story, you need balance. Sometimes, this game didn’t know what it wanted to be — a really dark visual novel with no happy moments — or a dark visual novel with some happy moments and a touch of romance. I don’t mind a visual novel with very little romance — games like Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk did it really well. However, unlike Virche it kept in mind it was still an otome game and made sure there was a romance slowly being built between the characters. Because there’s SO much plot to be uncovered, a lot of other aspects became diluted — like the romance. This game almost felt like a normal visual novel that literally didn’t even had romance in it. If you’re not considering how the relationship between a character the heroine will be, suddenly throwing them together nearing the end only feels forced. I’ll admit, Mathis in particular, I didn’t really feel that way but there was still this underlying feeling of thinking that Ceres didn’t really connect with these characters as well as she could have.
So, do I recommend this game? Yes, flaws aside, I think its good enough to be played. It’s not like the characters themselves were terrible and the routes are pretty interesting. I just they needed to focus less on the plot and backstory and more on the characters themselves. I don’t really need a long backstory on the sub characters if the main characters themselves are lacking a bit in the development department. Also, Ceres wasn’t a terrible heroine but sometimes she felt like she didn’t belong in the story. If you think of a heroine like Kotone from Cafe Enchante, you know she didn’t have any supernatural powers to assist in fighting alongside the main cast — yet she still felt like she belonged in her story. Ceres, sometimes felt like she was placed in situations because she had to be — not because she felt like she belonged there. Instead, Ceres is constantly tortured and made to endure hardships for… not much actually. Sure, she got her man, but she had no internal growth from her own struggles. The will to live, yes, at times… but they usually they kept her incapacitated so she could be used as a plot device to move the story along. As such, the amount of times it would switch from the heroine to different POVs started to feel excessive.
This is probably supposed to be Otomate’s newest dark, edgy cashcow title like Collar x Malice or Piofiore so there are aspects of it that don’t really surprise me (like the cage making a reappearance). But ultimately, the story didn’t blow me away and it’s not like it didn’t take aspects from other games like Amnesia. It’s also really hard to feel invested in a story that at times, feels like it’s shoehorning in twists and turns that feel semi-unrealistic. I don’t even think it was a terrible idea to lock the good ends until you finished all the routes and their bad end. But, it honestly didn’t really make a difference in the end? There was nothing that was done or said that even mattered if you were able to do the good ends first. I thought there would be spoiler reasons, but there actually wasn’t — so it felt pointless, I guess? I can see what this game was trying to do, but I do think they could of done it differently if it doesn’t even matter much in the end. So overall, this is a good game that ultimately fell flat in certain areas. That being said, if you like dark stories that focus on plot and despair (more so than romance) then this is definitely a game you’ll enjoy regardless of my criticisms.