Continuing after Shuuya in Clock Zero (PSP), I went after Saionji Toranosuke (CV: Sugiyama Noriaki) since he is the last from the “white bunny” side (you’ll understand better in future reviews). Toranosuke, or Tora which is his later nickname, is the same year as Nadeshiko. As you can tell from his looks, he’s a rebellious kid who accepts challenges readily and regularly skips class to go elsewhere or play games. However, he is unexpectedly good at looking out for and taking care of others, as he is an older brother to his two younger brothers. Again, his route, starts the same like all others so you may want to read the first part of my review for Riichirou for details. /lazy However, since he skips all of the after-class homework stuff, he has some interesting interactions in addition.
In summary, Tora is part of the after-school Clock Zero group members Nadeshiko gets called into by Kaga-sensei. At night, she dreams of a broken world and during that time, her body is that of an adult’s. As mentioned, Tora hardly turns up for the after-school activities, hence most of the time she spends with him is after-school or when she meets him in school. It’s pretty nice ‘cos they included interactions between the two of them and each of the other CZ characters – and personally, I really like the group dynamics, especially between Tora and Shuuya lol. SPOILERS AHEAD
Interactions between Tora and Nadeshiko alone include Nadeshiko catching Tora fighting with middle-school kids and stopping him, and then getting cornered by those kids on another day and Tora coming to help her and then she having to stop him again. These events reveal that Tora not only has a short temper, but when he loses it, he loses all rationality – hence he would’ve continued beating the kids up even when they can’t resist anymore if Nadeshiko call the police (lol).
On other not-so-scary incidents, Tora drags Nadeshiko on a late-night trip into the school for the sake of “thrill”. They were almost caught by the guard ‘cos Nadeshiko felt too close for comfort when they were trying to hide lol. Tora also invites Nadeshiko to his house on the free-day and they end up gaming. Nadeshiko also finds out that Tora lives with his siblings and grandfather at a house that houses a shrine, and is distanced from his father. There isn’t mention of his mother, but it is suggested that she doesn’t live together with him either currently.
The very mention of his father turns Tora’s mood bad and Nadeshiko attempts to change the topic. However, she also comments on how she fails to understand Tora and his ever-changing moods. Tora doesn’t get what she means and when Nadeshiko probes further, thinking if she is hated by him or not, Tora answers that he doesn’t hate her even though she’s noisy and troublesome. Moreover, if he hated her he wouldn’t have invited her to his room. Tora says that Nadeshiko can continue “confronting” him face-front like she’s always done. It is obvious that Tora hasn’t met someone who treated him with such keen, straightforward, and stubborn interest like Nadeshiko before, and doesn’t mind it.
Like in Riichirou and Shuuya’s route, Nadeshiko also meets the people she’s been seeing in her dreams, including Waka, who is an acquaintance of Shuuya. The climax of the game is also the same, as the time is stopped in her world and her consciousness gets transferred to her older 22-year-old body by Kaga-sensei (otherwise known as King in the broken world as the head of the government) and his government body members. However,Yuushinkai, of which Waka and Shuuya are part of, managed to capture his 22-year-old body from the government at this critical moment. Nadeshiko wakes up to an unfamiliar room with an unfamiliar man sleeping (Shuuya~) beside her. Similarly, Yuushinkai plans to take Nadeshiko hostage and use her as a bargaining chip with the government.
Nadeshiko gets to know Waka, who is also the Tora of year 2020. She feels conflicted between this Tora and the Tora she knew in her old world and often compares them, not knowing that the older Tora feels annoyed each time this happens since she seems to be denying his existence. At one point, Nadeshiko notices that the guards are gone and attempts to sneak out, only to be cornered by some hungry-looking members, and then to met Osa, the current temporary head of Yuushinkai. However, he warns her to not be too smart and active for her own good. Tora then appears and Osa asks him about the poor security, only for Tora to suggest that it was intentional, in order for Nadeshiko to learn her position. Osa comments on how Tora’s similar to him in that aspect and Tora angrily denies it.
It is later decided that Yuushinkai will bargain for the release of the captured Yuushinkai members instead with the government, and Tora also cuts off Nadeshiko’s hair to send to the government. Clearly, the government don’t take this lightly and decide to take their own defensive measures by using “Saionji Shigure”, who is later revealed to be both Tora’s mother and the previous leader and founder of Yuushinkai.
Meanwhile, Nadeshiko attempts to escape again and this time, she pulls it off…amazingly well. While running away, she meets a young man who asks after her situation and observes that she doesn’t seem to have a identification code on her. A few government officers catch them and he drags her away to escape. However, halfway she loses him and instead gets pulled away by Tora. He admits that Yuushinkai is doomed for since she managed to escape so easily lol. The young man comes back to find both Nadeshiko and Tora, recognising Tora as Waka, and says that he collects information. He leaves them since Tora claims Nadeshiko is with him, but whispers to Nadeshiko to come to a certain place to find him if she ever needs help. The two of them return to Yuushinkai and Nadeshiko loses her cool as she comments on how she can’t trust Tora and compares him with the younger Tora.
This causes Tora to snap back at her, only to be slapped by Nadeshiko. However, Tora pushes her down in response and tells her to not push her ideals and fantasies of “Tora” onto him, and that he has no obligation to stick to those either. He then guesses that Nadeshiko must’ve liked the 2010 Tora, and goes on to say that he hasn’t changed at all (unlike what Nadeshiko constantly claims when she compares the two “Tora”s). Tora then repeats what Nadeshiko claims of him being untrustworthy and inhuman, and admits it in a self-mockery manner. Nadeshiko breaks down and answers that that is not the case, and that she actually wants to believe in this Tora as well. Seeing this, Tora licks her tears and admits that he went overboard.
Later on, the government attack Yuushinkai, demanding for Nadeshiko. The Yuushinkai members drag Nadeshiko to them, much to Tora’s opposition, even though the government threatens him with Shigure. The members lose their cool and threaten to harm Nadeshiko in return, but Tora takes the blow for her instead. Seeing this, Nadeshiko refuses to leave Tora like this and threatens the government instead with her own life. They back down and Nadeshiko insists on taking responsibility by looking after Tora. She does a pretty good job and Tora comments on how she’s a bit too calm and cool for a 12-year-old, despite her strong-willed and stubborn personality. Nadeshiko admits that she’s surprised herself.
Tora then reveals that it may be related to the fact that she synchronised with her 22-year-old body, which has had an extra 10 years worth of experience, knowledge, and memories, and hence affected her “growth” (…scary, something which Nadeshiko felt in common). However, Tora later reassures her that the “inside” is still the same though and that she hasn’t changed.
After that, Nadeshiko chances upon Tora half-naked and trying to do himself up with fresh bandages and gets all embarrassed. He asks for her help and she ends up engrossed in counting the value of pi while doing the bandages pffft. Apparently, this is also when Tora first calls Nadeshiko by her name, rather than お嬢 but she was too caught up in her own thoughts to realise it haha. Tora later teases her for having so many reactions and whether when she counts the value of pi, her face will get all red lol.
After they were done, Nadeshiko asks about him and the organisation, and how Tora met Shuuya and Riichirou. He explains that he was with the organisation since its founding, and that he met Shuuya just after the previous leader was caught by the government 3 years ago. They were just a small group which conducted terrorist attacks without much planning, but had a lot of sacrifices, including Shigure. This made them realise that they needed help in intelligence and hence recruited people like Shuuya. He met Riichirou much later, when attacking the government (read Riichirou’s route for more lol. /lazy)
But then Tora gets tired of Nadeshiko’s questions and goes to sleep, with her by his side lol. The other Yuushinkai members also warm up to Nadeshiko, during their frequent visits to Tora. Unknown to them though, Osa receives agreement from the government (exchanging Nadeshiko for Shigure) and asks Kaede, one of the guards who follows Waka, to bring Nadeshiko out for the exchange and to not let Tora know of this. Apparently, the reason he chose Kade is because Nadeshiko will be less guarded with him.
Kaede later carries out this order, feeling guilty. Nadeshiko gets dragged back to the government building, only for Tora to intercept and snatch her away. He claims that he was only just passing by, but obviously his actions carry more meaning and he has pretty much went against the organisation’s will and Osa’s orders. They seek refuge in the hiding place where Riichirou usually is (but he seriously almost never appears in the game), and Nadeshiko insist in tending to Tora’s wound which has yet to be recovered, before letting Tora attend to hers (which is her foot haha).
They later both fall asleep, with Tora forcing Nadeshiko to sleep in his arms on the same bed lol. Nadeshiko wakes up comfortably to him stroking her head, only to be later touched in weird places and stopping him before he goes further. Apparently he enjoys teasing her like this, saying that he restrained himself and even asks if they’ll continue further pfft. In response, Nadeshiko hit him lol. After they “calmed down”, Tora reveals that Osa is his father, despite how much he detests having the same blood as him and being commented on how similar they are in terms of temperaments.
Tora remarks that Osa is extremely possessive of Shigure, even with his own son, himself. He left him and his brothers to their grandfather when they were young. Also, he would beat Tora and look down on his own son, though Tora would also attempt to pay him back in his own rebellious way haha. Nadeshiko then have thoughts of whether Tora’s hidden eye got hurt due to that, but Tora denies so and instead shows that his other eye is a different colour (in case you haven’t noticed, the 2010 Tora covers his left, blue-ish eye, while 2020 Tora covers his right, golden-brown eye). He says that he often gets looks from people, including dirty ones from his own father, about his eyes, and hence he decided to cover one of them always.
Tora’s words start demeaning himself, since he has the same blood as his father whom he hates. Nadeshiko comforts him in her own way, and also adds that Tora need not be restrained to his parentage, and that he can think what he wants to think, even if it is hating his own father. However, the fact that they are family would not change no matter what. So he should not demean himself just for having the same blood. Tora is both shocked and touched at her words, and embarrassingly tells Nadeshiko that he doesn’t hate her.
Tora and Nadeshiko sneak back into Yuushinkai, in an attempt to sort out the next step, only to find themselves face to face with Osa. Tora declares to Osa that he was only taking what is his (Nadeshiko), just like how Osa wants to take Shigure back from the government. In this manner, Tora is clearly prioritising Nadeshiko over his own mother. Osa starts talking down to Tora, recalling how he abandoned Tora and saying that he has no value of being loved by another. Osa even goes on to question whether Nadeshiko truly loves this Tora and not the one back in her old world. Nadeshiko answers without hesitation that she needs the Tora in front of her now. Soon after, the other Yuushinkai members have been alerted of Tora and Nadeshiko’s presence and interrupt their conversation. Tora and Nadeshiko flee from the scene and Osa doesn’t give orders to give chase.
They end up wandering around and Tora starts to feel uneasy due to the conversation they had with Osa. Nadeshiko reassures him that she wants him and that if he is hers, then she is his too. Tora sneaks a kiss on Nadeshiko after her heated confession, and reaffirms her feelings and his feelings for her. To be honest, it’s very…instinctive? Animalistic? Since Tora says to not sweat about the small stuff of like and dislike, and for Nadeshiko to just want him. Well, it does suit his dangerous character since while Tora can act sensibly, he mostly acts on instincts. And Nadeshiko found herself attracted to that.
Tora decides to head back to Yuushinkai with Nadeshiko in order to clean up whatever mess there is. He eventually makes a deal with Osa: Tora and other supporting members can split away from the organisation to form their own group, and in exchange he’ll bring Shigure back somehow. And of course, Osa would have no need for Nadeshiko then. While things seem to have reached some settlement, Tora jumps the question on Nadeshiko: whether she wants to return to her old world, since that was what she had been hoping for. This then splits into the two different endings.
Stay: Nadeshiko decides that she wants to stay in the broken world with him and to not return to her old world. This shocks Tora and Nadeshiko reassures him about her decision. In the epilogue, it starts off with Nadeshiko meeting the young man from before to gather some information. When they’re parting ways, the young man tells her of how if they were caught meeting each other by Tora, he’d be in danger lol. Nadeshiko also asks for his name but he replies that it’s still a secret and that a hero of justice doesn’t give his name so easily haha. (Doesn’t he clearly remind you of someone?)
When Nadeshiko returned, Tora immediately jumps her. It is later revealed that he’s throwing a tantrum ‘cos Nadeshiko left without his knowledge lol. It is also revealed that they have yet to find out news about Shigure’s real whereabouts (and that Tora telling Osa that when he went to snatch Nadeshiko from the government, he also searched for Shigure’s whereabouts was a blatant lie lol). Things are not completely resolved but at least they are content with having each other as they act all clingy as seen in the CG lol.
Return: Nadeshiko feels conflicted but she eventually answers that she still wishes to return. Tora seems to have expected that answer from her, but he still feels hurt. He tells her that they should make the preparations as soon as possible since the equipment is at Yuushinkai itself, which they will be leaving soon. Nadeshiko asks about the accident she would meet with and of time being slowed down in her old world. Tora answers that Shuuya has already figured out the answers, but it turns out otherwise after Tora sends Nadeshiko back home and reassures her that he’ll see her there. Shuuya returns to see Tora preparing to leave, and greatly opposes to his actions when he guesses what Tora is about to do since it will affect Tora’s existence too.
Nadeshiko wakes up in her younger body, and soon sees that time has returned to normal, guessing that Tora must’ve done something about it. She asks a classmate about Riichirou and Takato’s whereabouts, only to receive a puzzled look as to who Takato was. Nadeshiko also learns that the classmate doesn’t seem to know who Kaga-sensei is. Tora soon finds Nadeshiko and approaches her…with bloody hands, reassuring her kindly that she has nothing to worry about now. She guesses that he must’ve finished off both of them. Nadeshiko recognises that he’s treating her gently as per usual, but also senses that there’s something animalistic about him. Tora tells her that he is neither smart like Shuuya, nor as persistent as Riichirou, hence he chose to fastest method of guaranteeing her safety. He tells her to live long and safely, ‘cos no matter what he’ll always be watching over her. It is uncertain whether he refers to himself, or the 2010 Tora, as a white light surrounds him and Nadeshiko fades into unconsciousness.
This jumps to the epilogue, showing Nadeshiko and the 2010 Tora all grown up in 2020 spring. Nadeshiko finds herself getting déjà vu vibes and feeling rather bittersweet and tearful from when Tora calls her noisy, and when he gently strokes her head. As Tora teases her about what sounds like a daring confession, he later invites Nadeshiko to his room, teasing her some more as he asks her if she’s willing to experience something new with him.
Bad end: There are a few bad ends when Nadeshiko escapes Yuushinkai, and gets caught by either the Yuushinkai members or the government members. But the real bad ending is probably when Nadeshiko hesitates upon her answer to Osa’s question on whether she truly wants the 2020 Tora. She gets knocked unconscious soon after, only to wake up to find Tora gently stroking her with bloody hands and to see a familiar black eye-patch. Tora tells her that since she only needs “him”, then there is no need for another “Tora”.
Extras: Similarly, each CG has a voice-over where Tora comments as if reminiscing the times with Nadeshiko. There is also a Q&A with both the younger and older Tora, as well as a bonus ご褒美 image for completing everything (Tora is
cosplaying dressed up as a doctor).
In addition, there is a short novel told which happens after the Return ending. Basically, Tora is frustrated by how Nadeshiko isn’t answering any calls or messages, and he hasn’t seen her for a month. He knows that she’s angry over something but can’t figure out what. Tora’s temper has calmed down with Nadeshiko nagging at his side now, but eventually he takes it out on a few guys who challenged him after bumping into each other. Tora later overhears two women talking and how one of them received a short message (会いたい) from her boyfriend but still felt extremely touched. He contemplates doing the same, despite finding it troublesome. He accidentally sends it out though pfft. It then jumps to Tora showing up at Nadeshiko’s doorstep, and she eventually explains that they decided to have a cool-down period of a month after a quarrel. And apparently Nadeshiko switched off her phone all this time lol. They eventually make-up though, after he tells her to see her inbox and etc.
In the Stay after story, it starts off with Tora “disciplining” some government officers, and gets held back by Kaede who tells him that if he didn’t stop soon enough, it’ll upset Nadeshiko. Tora cools down and they return to their headquarters. Nadeshiko probes after what happened and Tora eventually tells her. When the two of them are alone, he admits that the broken world seems to suit him a lot, as it is a place where you have to fight for your own freedom. Nadeshiko agrees, but reminds Tora that you can only do so much on your own. Tora later confesses that he heard from the government officers before talking about Shigure, and how she received some “corrective treatment” and probably is done for. He feels guilty since he believes that the best time to get her back is when they truly attack and dismantle the government. If they get her back any time earlier, she may be more trouble instead depending on the “corrective treatment” she received. Nadeshiko agrees that it’s a reasonable decision and reassures Tora’s guilty, by saying that he still wishes to get his mother back, and that as long as they “win”, it’s okay. It ends off on a more light-hearted note as Tora smells something weird on her (yes, smell lol) and Nadeshiko answers that it’s most likely ‘cos she was treating patients earlier. He then gets all jealous ‘cos that means she touched other men and may have gotten touched by other men too pfft.
In the Return after story, it shows Tora and Nadeshiko in Tora’s room, and how he’s been clinging to her since forever lol. It is then brought up that they were planning to go for a short trip during the vacation. Nadeshiko reported this to her father, thinking that it was a good chance to introduce Tora properly as her lover, only to hear his curt reply (telling her to break up with Tora immediately). She decided to talk to her father that afternoon and manages to struggle away from Tora’s embrace to meet her father in a café lol. However, Tora turns up as well, apparently having overheard their meeting place. He starts off by greeting her father politely, but later turns back to his usual self and offends her father lol. Tora and Nadeshiko’s father both get into a heated conversation, and Nadeshiko stops them both, and also tells Tora to leave first and to leave things to her.
It then switches to nighttime and Tora appears at Nadeshiko’s doorstep, asking her what happened eventually. She admits that things did not go ideally but they will do something about it anyway. Tora reassures Nadeshiko in his own way as he says that they belong to each other and hence, in other for her to be happy he’s necessary – so they won’t separate that easily.
Overall: Hmm I can’t sum up my thoughts on Tora’s route in one sentence. I think yes, compared to the likes of Shuuya, Madoka in the CZ group, he’s actually surprisingly the most sensible kid. Yet that violent side of him makes him dangerous like a beast, and that was also what attracted Nadeshiko to him in the first place. Even though she might’ve tamed him somewhat and they had their really romantic moments, it is hard to change his initial personality. So, I didn’t mind the scary things that happened in his route, ‘cos that who Tora is anyway and it would’ve been more unsettling for Tora to be tamed 100% so suddenly by Nadeshiko in my opinion.
Most of his route isn’t very plot-related either, it’s more about Tora and his background and links with Yuushinkai. I think it’s a pity that it didn’t feature more of Shuuya and Riichirou, unlike in Shuuya and Riichirou’s routes where Tora and Shuuya had some interaction time with the main guy respectively.
Both of Tora’s Stay and Return endings are most definitely not perfect either. I don’t have a preference for either endings, but can I just say that he has some of the neatest CGs? Yes, I even liked the scene from the Return ending where he’s stroking Nadeshiko with bloody hands ‘cos I think it encapsulated many layers of Tora’s personality. And like Nadeshiko’s description, I found his eyes there scarily beautiful. Or maybe I’m just weird. That is not to say that it isn’t depressing though, having numerous sacrifices in that ending, and then having Nadeshiko forget that Tora – yet they needed to add how she felt reminiscent even though she can’t remember. The Stay after story helped to resolve some questions, but never felt quite as complete as Shuuya’s, where it cleared up quite a bit even with the ambiguity. /read my review on Shuuya for more
I’m neutral to Sugiyama’s voice as well (the rare exception is his role as Boris, I love Boris). So well, I do like Tora’s wild character, and him with Nadeshiko as a couple is intriguing. But how things progressed and ended were iffy…somehow it doesn’t feel tight enough to me. But I can’t point out where exactly, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. Or maybe I’m bias after playing Shuuya! Who knows.
You can check out the Clock Zero tag on my tumblr for more screenshots and corresponding translations.
Next will be Madoka, which I have yet to start on. I am looking forward to it though, since he’s a popular character.