Bunmei Kaika Aoiza Ibunroku Saien: Seiji’s Route

This continues from the (short) Prologue. Oosuga Seiji (CV: Ishida Akira) is a a soldier and a regular watcher of Aoiza’s performances. He grew interested in Aoi from first sight and would talk to her when he can, though he does get along (somewhat) with the rest of the members too. Seiji is always polite and thinking for Aoi he’s the most adorable thing ever. Aoi finds it comfortable talking to him and they hit off from the start. It is advised to read any of the previous routes first before this since it would make more sense that way (he is only unlocked on the second playthrough for a reason).

April

The first scene shows Toki and Yukichi, as Yukichi muses over how spring is the season for new buds – including planting bad ones. The older man warns him to not play around so much, since it’s enough for that one person to handle that unknown power. All Yukichi needs is his own wits. But the younger one merely feels that he’s challenging something different for the sake of having the country progress in a new direction, in order to stand side by side with the other strong countries. It’s an ideal power which doesn’t leave behind any evidence. Yukichi has already set up a plan which he plans to go ahead with, and would like for Toki to just watch from the sidelines for now.

Next, we see Seiji passing Fujikasa a one-size-too-big haori he had initially bought for himself, as they both take shelter from the rain. Fujikasa gladly accepts Seiji’s offer. After Seiji disappears, Fujikasa gets possessed soon after he wears it. Seiji is seen looking on sadly even though he always does this, as he expects Fujikasa to be consumed by it too. Later on, Seiji sees Housen talking with Aoi on the streets. After Aoi leaves, Seiji approaches Housen to ask about her, knowing that she’s a new member of Aoiza. Housen immediately can tell that Seiji is interested in her, and teases him for it. Even though Housen says that he won’t tell anyone about it, Seiji still threatens to shot him one day for it and Housen quickly makes his escape lol.

Seiji then sees Aoiza purify Fujikasa from the shadows. Housen joins him when they’re gone though, as he’s excited to be able to use them as inspiration for his stories lol. Seiji dissuades Housen from the idea, but Housen plans to still go ahead with it, wanting to spin the story in a funner manner. Seiji knows that he’ll be hated if Aoi knows the truth about his job, that he can probably do nothing about it. Still, he finds himself getting more interested in her, especially after seeing her smile.

May

Once again, Yukichi and Toki are talking. Yukichi obviously is in the know about Aoi, and is tempted to want to make use of her to his advantage. Toki is again opposed to this, since it’s wisdom to not mess with things you don’t know entirely about. Yukichi eventually gives in (?) and says that he understands that that his only motive is for this country to move towards a new era, for people to know the joy of thought, a bright future where there is no decay.

Back in Miyoshino, there are talks of getting Aoi to be involved in her first performance (in Ginza). Naturally Aoi is worried and decides to go out for some fresh air and to prepare herself mentally. Outside, she accidentally bumps into some hoodlums who actually stole her wallet, and also threaten to attack her – this is ‘cos normal people making contact with her would cause them a lot of pain (as a jingi), not that Aoi realised at first. Seiji swiftly steps in and gets Aoi’s wallet back at first while chasing them away.

Seiji quickly introduces himself too, recognising Aoi as part of Aoiza. Due to their frankness, with Seiji even adding in a compliment here and there, they start talking and getting along really well with each other. Though Seiji does warn her to not believe others easily, but Aoi sees him as a kinder person since he tells her so. Seiji also offers Aoi a can of strawberry sweets, something rare in Meiji Japan. Aoi suggests eating them together and she comments on how the taste is like strawberry jam, and also how strawberries remind her of birthday cakes. This in turn allows Seiji to learn that Aoi’s birthday is in December, while quietly wondering to himself if her being used to Western customs is why Aoi doesn’t mind him talking to her.

Later, Aoi confides in Seiji about her reluctance to go to Ginza as she isn’t confident on standing on stage. Seiji encourages her, saying that at least he will enjoy seeing her working hard on stage. The audience will feel it too if she’s having fun on stage. But he’s also intrigued by how unique she is – having eaten strawberry jam before, rather used to foreign words yet she grew up in a temple. But he can see that Aoi has a complicated situation and doesn’t pursue further. He promises to come to see her performance and Aoi goes back to Miyoshino feeling a lot better. Back there, she reassures the worried Aoiza members and the day of the performance goes smoothly.

As promised, Seiji is there and comes to find her after it’s over. The Aoiza members warn him to not let anything happen to Aoi, though he insists that he only came here as promised. If you choose to have Aoi drop a lame pun here, Seiji provides the most charming response as he genuinely finds them funny.

Kensuke: 全くーー勝手にうちの花形女優を口説かないでくれよ?何せうちのお姫様だからさ (mattaku–katteni uchi no hanagata joyuu wo kudokanaidekure yo?) [Really–could you please not involuntarily woo our star actress? At any rate she’s our princess.]
Aoi: 花形って言われると鼻が高いよ (hanagatatte iwareru to hana ga takai yo) [If I’m called a star I’ll become haughty.]
Seiji: …… はながた、かいんだね。うん、そういう自信っていうか、自負っていうか……く、くくっ……!(……hanagata, kain da ne. un, souiu jishintteiuka, jifutteiuka……ku, kuku……!) [……hanagata, kain right. Yes, such confidence or rather, such conceit……ku, kuku……!]

Seiji then praises Aoi’s performance, though Rin remarks that she needs a lot more work lol. Later on, Aoi wants a breather and Hachi calls out to her. He was supposed to be washing but ended up playing with Moni instead and in the end Aoi got all wet so she had to change to her uniform. Aoi decides to take a walk while the clothes are drying and meets Seiji in his own clothes too. After Aoi attempts to explain about her clothes, Seiji notices the unwanted attention she’s getting and suggests going to a less crowded area. Seiji explains to a confused Aoi, as he also blushes over her exposed legs~ He then suggests walking around some more as he still has some time before his appointment for a party for work purposes. They both enjoy their time and later, Seiji sees her back.

Aoiza’s next performance is interrupted by Shou and they manage to purify him before chasing him away. Aoi thinks to herself that she can’t let Seiji know about this side of her work but is just happy that he came to watch her first performance, and thinks “good night” to him as she falls asleep.

June

Once more, Yukichi is talking to Toki – this time he’s even more interested in Aoi and wants to meet her, knowing that she has captured Seiji’s heart. His plan will proceed as planned though, as his policy is to make use of whatever he can. He just wants to have some fun, with Aoiza.

Meanwhile, Aoiza members are currently in Yokohama, as the rest thought that Aoi may be homesick and came to the town that looked the most similar to her world as a change of moods. Aoi thanks them and though she does miss home, she enjoys her time with them too, and seeing the similarities and differences between their worlds. Soon after they arrived at their inn and discuss that Aoi will be involved in the next swordplay performance, Seiji drops by for a visit. He knew they were in town ‘cos they’ve gotten famous thanks to Housen’s Aoiza Manyuuki stories.

Aoi almost let slip about their other job (since Kensuke is supposed to turn into a sword for her to use), and as a change of conversation, she says that she would like to look around Yokohama. Seiji immediately offers to show her around, his quickness noted by the other members. After confirming that he’ll take care of her, he brings Aoi to eat some ice-cream at an expensive-looking place, under the impression that Aoi probably has a sweet tooth. (It should be noted that Seiji and the waitress use the term 「アイスクリン」 and not 「アイスクリーム」. Simply put, it’s an old term. For more details, do a search yourself!) Aoi wonders if he’s not touching his portion ‘cos he doesn’t like sweet things. But Seiji insists that he’s okay with them. He then jokingly asks if he can taste her ice-cream, and Aoi readily offers to feed him since sometimes it’s nice to see others eat heartily. This causes Seiji to blush since they’re in public after all, but he gives in and eats off her spoon in the end. He then hesitantly asks if she wants to eat his too, and Aoi later realises that this is an indirect kiss pfft.

Outside, both of them comment that they enjoyed themselves – though Seiji was a bit embarrassed as he reveals that he was only joking earlier. But he’s still happy~ They both agree to meet up again some time later and here Yukichi calls out to Seiji, remarking that it’s the first time he has seen Seiji escorting a woman. Seiji is obviously uncomfortable, but he does the introductions upon Yukichi’s request. He’s also reminded of his work by Yukichi, so he has to excuse himself, apologising to Aoi for not being able to see her back.

On the way back, it starts to rain and Aoi takes shelter. There, an old man dressed in a suit takes shelter beside her. When the rain clears, he comments that she’s too defenseless towards strangers and leaves. Aoi is left clueless as to what he means and she soon bumps into Sora. Sora is forced by his mother to learn many new things since it’s a new era. Aoi senses something might be wrong, even after Chouko comes to find her son and they leave, due to his last comment about his mother snapping. Later at night, Chouko is approached by Seiji as he passes her a comb. In fact, she even recognises him as she saw him in Hirata. Chouko actually can’t accept the Meiji era, so Seiji says that the item can lift her sadness. But he’s not willing at all as he calls himself the worst.

The next day, Aoi performs her performance with Kensuke and Kikaku successfully. But she notices that Seiji isn’t in the audience. Back in Miyoshino, Aoiza hears news of a woman dressed in a kimono destroying a shop run by a Westerner. They go check it out and bump into Housen (here for work), who lets them in on a rumour of a female spirit roaming the streets last night, dressed in a kimono and combing her hair while muttering to herself. Aoiza starts joining the dots and ask Housen to take them to the rumoured place the woman was seen at – Chouko and Sora’s house.

Aoiza purifies Chouko, with Kensuke having to use his special skill. Housen gets excited at witnessing everything upfront, and trails off about his storytelling. Kensuke quickly tells him to not get carried away, though he promises to explain everything. Chouko is weak and needs time to recover, but Sora wants to go back to Hirata as he’s worried about his father. Aoiza decides to escort him.

July

Yukichi grows more interested in Aoi, or rather her powers. Toki warns him that his goals are changing though and that she’s unnecessary, and Seiji is quick to agree with the old man. Still, Yukichi is tracking their movements and following his plan, as we learn that they’ve prepared for years in order to take Futaba Aoi off their hands.

Meanwhile, Aoiza is on their way to Hirata with Housen tagging along as he thinks of himself as one of them now – though he admits it’s a bonus for his stories too. Midway, Sora also says that he wants to take a bath with Aoi – and rejects Kikaku’s offer ‘cos he’s an old man which shocks poor Kikaku. Kensuke grows curious about how Sora views the rest: to him Kensuke, Hachi and Rin are older brothers while the rest (Nanami, Kikaku, Hisoka) are old men. Both Nanami and Hisoka don’t really mind, while Kikaku laments at how he has reached that age already pffft. As for Housen, Sora says that he’s just Housen ‘cos one can’t really tell his age from his looks. Housen eventually reveals that he’s 20 years old (!?) to which Sora reponds “……Housen, you’ve an age?” and this hurts Housen’s feelings lmao. But apparently this works in favour for Housen in terms of his work.

Sora then remarks that he feels like a burden. If he was an adult then perhaps he could’ve saved his mother etc. Aoi replies that it’s okay to rely on others and to thank them wholeheartedly – and when you grow up you can return their kindness. This leads Aoi to think of Seiji since she thinks of him as kind. Aoiza also learns from Sora that a young man often visited Sora’s mother previously. When his father fell sick, his mother was really bothered and she took a lot of advice from that young man – including bringing Sora to Yokohama. Even though his mother said that he’s a kind man and seems to be under someone else, Sora is sure that Chouko became weird after meeting him in Yokohama. This allows Aoiza to confirm that it’s probably linked to the uramon case. Later, they come under attack as people are after Sora’s life. Housen also seemed to spot someone, though he keeps quiet about it. They finally reach Hirata but it’s late and they decide to retire for tonight.

In her room, Aoi is recalling the past incidents and can’t help but wonder if he’s related to them all though it’s clearly impossible in her eyes. Eventually, she ends up thinking about Seiji himself. Just then, Seiji appears in person as he knocks on her window and calls out to her. Of course Aoi is surprised, but more than that she’s happy to see him ‘cos she missed him just as much as he did. Seiji apologises for not coming to see her previous performance, and Aoi says it’s okay ‘cos she may get more nervous with him watching. Seiji asks for the reason and this makes Aoi embarrassed as he gently teases her by asking if she’s nervous now. In the end, Aoi bursts out saying that she’s nervous and will become all red lol. Aoi then asks after his job, and Seiji answers that he’ll be busy going to different places, but a bit later he should be able to take things easy and meet her more often.

Seiji then wonders if his task if over and he quits his job, whether he can stay with Aoi. But he adds that it’s a job he received from his benefactor so compared to the past he should be happy. To him, that person is like an existence of a father, or an older brother. He knows that Aoi probably grew up in a happy family showered with love, and that’s why he feels all warmed up when he sees her smile. It’ll be like a dream if he could always meet her, and this causes Aoi to realise that her existence in this world is like a dream, after all she’s with Aoiza in order to find a way back home. Seiji also senses that Aoi seems as though she’ll disappear someday. He admits that he did a search on her, and he’s especially good at them since it’s part of his job. But he couldn’t find out anything and in the end he only thinks more about her.

Perhaps he fell in love with her upon first sight, and he wants to know more about her. However, he feels that he doesn’t have a right to do so ‘cos he can’t let others know many things about himself. Aoi sees where he’s coming from (reciprocity) and that he’s being extremely sincere. But she tells him that just ‘cos you can’t reveal about yourself, it shouldn’t become a reason to suppress your desire to know more about the other party. Aoi is the same in that aspect and she’s happy that Seiji wants to learn more about her. This touches Seiji and he says that if the time comes, he’ll tell her everything, if she doesn’t mind listening.

Aoi soon sets her resolutions and asks if Seiji would believe if she came from the future. Though it seems unimaginable, Seiji isn’t too surprised as he noticed that the way she walked and spoke was too different. Seiji’s mother is a foreigner so Aoi’s manner reminded him of a Westerner, and he teases her by reminding her of the ice-cream incident too. Seiji thinks that it was fortunate for Aoiza to have taken Aoi in. Even though this current era is taking in new things from outside, it’s still uncertain as to how people would perceive and treat overly-different things – and Seiji is reminded of how people would treat his mother. Aoi then says that it’s okay to not talk about those secrets, even small things are fine. Seiji agrees with this, as he recalls all the small things he knows about her at the moment.

Touched, Seiji asks if he can touch her, in exchange for the things he can’t tell her for now. Though she doesn’t hate it, Aoi stops him and quickly tries to explain about her condition (normal people will feel pain if they make contact with her). Seiji is reminded of the pick-pocket incident and though it’s a pity, he’s relieved to hear that she doesn’t hate the idea. Seiji then asks Aoi to put her hand out, and he moves in to have their shadows look like they’re holding hands. /this whole scene…dies

They part ways soon after as Seiji knows that tomorrow will be a hard day for Aoi. After she leaves, Seiji wonders to himself why he fell so much in love even though it would’ve been much easier on him to have not. Back in her room, Aoi suddenly recalls Seiji’s words and wonders since when she told him about Sora’s case. But she’s too tired to think further and falls asleep. The next day, Aoiza stumbles upon another uramon case which they quickly resolve. Sora stays behind and thanks them for their help. Even though this trip holds a lot of mysteries, all Aoi can think of is Seiji.

August

Yukichi decides to make use of Sakazuki, and to show up in the party he’s hosting – if he’s lucky he may even meet Aoi. He also asks Seiji if the uramon cases are linked to the damage Futaba Aoi is taking but Seiji can’t confirm this. Yukichi thinks that if he stops attacking Aoiza to allow Futaba Aoi to continue living, it could serve as terms of negotiation. But it may also very well end up in naught – not that he’s too bothered by it.

On the other side, Aoiza have returned to Ueno though they’ll soon be off again to Kamimori. People who can use jingi are usually born in such village which worship jingi. Aoi wonders if she’s from that line of descent too, not that anyone can confirm so. As they head back to Miyoshino, Aoi is still wondering how Seiji knew they were in Hirata, and if everyone else knew he was there. But in the end she kept quiet about him showing up to the rest. Aoi quickly retires to her room later, which makes the rest of the members worried since she doesn’t seem to look well (she misses Seiji too much). Aoi herself finally realised that she likes Seiji, after hearing his confession, and decides to convey this to him properly the next time they meet.

A few days later, they’re on their way to Nikko. Everyone is trying to cheer Aoi up on the way there as they describe how nice Nikko is, and that Kamimori holds many old literature which may contain clues as to how she can return home. Aoi thanks them for their concern. But over the joy of returning home, she first thinks that she won’t be able to meet Seiji anymore if that happens. In the end, Hachi finds himself his own jingi and that Kikaku is his brother. Due to this there wasn’t time to search on any literature and Kensuke decides to let the members rest for a bit more before their next performance – Yaoya Oshichi.

Later, Aoi is seen memorising her script in her room, only for Housen to interrupt her. He invites her to for a breather and even gives her a dress to change into first. Turns out that Yukichi wanted Housen to bring her to a party. Yukichi greets her briefly before having to leave her – and Housen has disappeared too. Just then, Sakazuki bumps into her but he throws biting remarks at her instead before leaving. Seiji spots Aoi and quickly takes her away as he doesn’t think that it’s good for her to stay, and will apologise to Yukichi later knowing that he brought Aoi here.

On the way back, Aoi asks about their meeting in Hirata to confirm that it was real. Seiji wishes for her to believe in him and assures her that he really loves her. But he knows that she’ll hate him if she learns the truth – Kaneiji temple, Ginza, Yokohama, Hirata – he was involved with all the uramon cases. It was the only way he could live and he can’t reject it, even though he doesn’t like his work. But he wonders if he’s with Aoi, whether he can change. Despite knowing this, Aoi tells him that she still loves him. Touched, he tells her the same though he won’t be able to show up before her for a while and kisses her. Aoi wants him to return by all means as she wants a happy ending for them. Seiji kisses her again, and it’ll be nice if they could have a happy ending.

Just then, Nanami interrupts them and tells Seiji that since the girl he likes is waiting for him, it’s about time for him to get away. In response, Seiji weakly says that “if only I could do so” before leaving them.

September

Yukichi asks Seiji about his cute lover, but of course Seiji feigns ignorance. Yukichi then says that if Aoiza provides Futaba Aoi’s power then it’s a done deal. Until then, he instructs Toki to not act roughly. Meanwhile, Aoi and Nanami are making the small stage props and she tries to ask him more about Seiji, due to last month’s incident. Nanami merely says that he knows that Seiji is doing some dark business. To their surprised, Otohime shows up with a letter from Sora (Kinohime had to stay behind to look after the inn). She’s also here to bring some stuff requested by Hisoka.

Sora’s letter reports on how both of his parents are doing well now, and so is his village people. Apparently, his mother returned home ‘cos the young man she knew had asked someone to do so. Aoi knows that Seiji is trying to make up for what he did. Hisoka returns soon after to handle the stuff from Otohime, and he adds that he saw Seiji heading towards the area with many noble mansions. Wanting to meet him, Aoi goes to find Housen, hoping that he’ll guide her to the area. Housen has pretty much guessed about their relationship, but he warns her to not get too involved. Seiji is a good guy, but it’s the people around him that are dangerous – namely Toki. Seiji is keeping his distance from Aoi ‘cos of him and Housen tries to tell Aoi how this is more life-threatening than it appears.

But Aoi has no intentions of giving up so Housen gives in to her request, since he was partly at fault for bringing her along to the party the last time too. He has her change into the dress from before in order to blend in with the Western-style banquet. It’s the same mansion as the last time, owned by Sakazuki, who is trying to get closer to Yukichi and spread influence as he’s opposed to the idea of promotion (by merit or lineage?). So Housen brings her to the mansion, telling her to wait outside while he gets Seiji. However there’s still no sign of either after a long time so Aoi decides to go in. Inside, she spots Sakazuki who appears possessed. But she can’t do anything alone and she soon meets both Housen and Seiji.

Seiji quickly takes Aoi out quietly, while Housen stays behind to keep an eye on the situation – with this Aoi notices that Seiji doesn’t seem affected when he takes her hand…and when he kissed her before. Outside, Seiji is worried for Aoi, who apologises – but Seiji knows that he is at fault too since Aoi hardly knows anything. Seiji wants Aoi to withdraw from the uramon cases, as he’s afraid that she’ll get hurt. He offers to take care of her if she doesn’t have anyone else to rely on besides Aoiza. Aoi can’t bring herself to betray Aoiza though, moreover to leave the people caught up in the uramon peoples behind. Seiji hugs her upon hearing her words, while remarking “if only I could take you away like this……! Just the two of us……to a place where we can leave peacefully……”.

Housen soon arrives behind them, saying that Toki is looking for Seiji. So Seiji asks Housen to see Aoi back, while asking Aoi to try and not fight if possible. But she has too soon after, as she reports to Aoiza about Sakazuki and they heard other rumours too. So they quickly go to find him but it’s too late and he ends up disappearing into thin air. Even though it’s not her fault, Aoi can’t help but feel guilty for failing to save him.

October

Once more, Yukichi is talking to Toki and Seiji. Here, he comments that you should use the things you can and if not, at least you should enjoy them. He plans to make use of Sanjou, as a means of a “check” on the government that you can’t remain complacent. Toki also mentions how ridiculous it is, the idea of conquering Korea in this era. Right now, he favours the idea of a “rich country, strong military”. Yukichi believes that everything has a theory, and he wants the government to understand that it shouldn’t be all about fighting. (To be honest, I’m confused as to what Yukichi advocates now.)

Over with the Aoiza members, they’re discussing about the next performance and notice that Seiji hasn’t been coming recently. Aoi observes that both Housen and Nanami know Seiji’s situation, as they remark that he must be busy with work. Even Hisoka seems to have noticed something, as does Kensuke. In the end, they’ve decided on the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter as their next play.

Nanami comes to find Aoi later regarding Seiji, so Aoi tells Nanami everything that has happened so far. Nanami knows that Aoi is getting herself involved with dangerous business and opens up to her about his past with Yukichi. He was saved by Yukichi when he was young, and ended up working for him for some time. But then Yukichi sent Toki to attack Higakure, Nanami’s birth village. On that same day he had sent Nanami out on a task, so that he would not be present, allowing Toki to attack more easily. Nanami was devastated when he later learnt this, and ran away from Yukichi to go into hiding – until a young Seiji was brought before him.

Aoi senses that Seiji is in possible danger, and Nanami says that not for now since Seiji can touch jingi so he’s still useful to Yukichi for the uramon cases. But if he uses Aoi, he wouldn’t need Seiji anymore – well at least Toki would definitely think so and he’ll do anything for Yukichi. The only answer Nanami can think of to this is for Aoi to return home – Seiji can keep his life while she no longer needs to fight. But of course Aoi can’t accept this, though Nanami remarks that Seiji is probably thinking of the same thing. Still, Nanami agrees to cooperate whenever he can. Knowing Seiji’s situation now, Aoi decides to stop acting impulsively and try to do what she can to save Seiji. During their stage performance, she’s still thinking of Seiji.

Later, Aoiza members are discussing over the rumours of Sanjou’s strange behaviour. It’s unbelievable for the top man in Japan to get involved in uramon. They throw in remarks of how he’s under the most pressure now, even though Iwakura Mission people are back now and they’re under focus too. There’s no telling what would happen if something happens to Sanjou. So Aoiza goes to check up on him and indeed it’s the case. Aoi and Rin purify him and retrieve Yui’s magatama.

That night, Aoi receives a letter from Seiji: he apologises for disappearing, but doesn’t want her to search for him in fear of putting her in danger. If only they had met under normal circumstances. Right now he only prays for her happiness, even if he’s not exactly worthy to do so. Aoi cries upon reading this, as it’s like the words of an eternal farewell.

November

Yukichi says that he wishes for Seiji’s happiness, as a friend, knowing about him and Aoi. But Seiji says that he’s in debt to Yukichi, and he wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him. Though it pains him when he has to hurt people for the sake of Yukichi’s cause. Yukichi says that his childhood was similar to Seiji’s, and after which he craved for knowledge. Humans shouldn’t live for the sake of stepping on each other, but should live respectfully and with pride. While he wishes for Seiji’s happiness, he wishes for this country’s happiness too – their paths may diverge (him, Seiji, Toki) even if they had started at the same place and one can only accept that.

Meanwhile, Aoiza is preparing to return to Ueno. They receive a letter from Yukichi asking to meet them that day too, and it was delivered by Toki. When Yukichi arrives, he uses the excuse of Seiji and even reveals that he’s the one behind the uramon cases with Seiji working under him. He invites Aoi to work for him (and even Aoiza), and with that he wouldn’t need to go through the trouble he’s doing now. When asked why he knows so much, Yukichi throws it over to Nanami and Housen. Of course they reject his offer and Yukichi leaves them, knowing that they won’t harm him since they’re too righteous to attack a defenseless man.

The Aoiza members start questioning Aoi about her involvement with Seiji. Nanami and Housen explain things on her behalf and though the rest aren’t fully convinced that she should be with Seiji, they will support her – though this means that Yukichi and Toki are now their enemies and they’ve to prepare themselves. And right now, Toki orders Seiji to kill Aoi since she rejected Yukichi’s offer. If Seiji won’t do it, then he’ll carry it out himself. Seiji has no choice but to accept it though he mutters to himself that there’s not enough time for him to save Aoi.

That night, Seiji comes to find Aoi – or rather to take her away, as he shoots at the other members while escaping with her. They settle down after running for some distance and Seiji reveals that he wants to return Aoi to her own world, since that’s where she belongs after all and her family is waiting for her. Aoi remarks the same for his family but Seiji only smiles sadly. He asks if she has ever met someone worth calling human rubbish, and of course Aoi says she hasn’t. But Seiji answers that besides his mother, his whole family can be labelled as such. For the sake of power and an easy life without working, they would bribe or even sell off their children, without feeling guilty.

Apparently Seiji did some research on his own on Futaba Aoi. It was split into two and his and Kikaku’s family protected each of them. Unfortunately, his family kept using it for the wrong purposes and it eventually shattered. Seiji was constantly bothered by his family and why he’s related to such people – till he was saved by Yukichi. Even if Yukichi may be doing wrong now, Seiji admires him for working towards his goal – unlike his family. That’s why he’s happy to be of use to Yukichi and that meeting changed his life. But after meeting Aoi, the guilt inside him has grown – to have to see her fighting the people he affected etc. That’s why he’s not planning on handing her to Yukichi or Toki. Still, as much as it hurts him to have her remain here, it hurts him to have to separate from her too if she returns home. Aoi feels the same way too.

But Seiji knows that there isn’t much time left. Futaba Aoi will soon lose all of its powers, as he points out the cracks in her stone. When that happens, she would be able to return home. However he doesn’t know the other requirements, and it’s probably written in the literature in Kamimori village – but there’s no time. So at least, he would like to keep her away from Yukichi till the time comes. Just then, Seiji senses that someone is coming and in the case that it’s Toki, he may have used uramon on himself. So he asks Aoi to use his mirror jingi, not that he has turned into one before.

It turns out to be Aoiza though, and Seiji decides to pretend take Aoi hostage. He whispers to her to go back and use one of their jingi against him. Of course Aoi refuses to do this and tries to ask Nanami for help. He, Housen and Kensuke know that Seiji has other plans but Kikaku, Rin and Hachi don’t seem to be listening. Eventually, Kensuke interferes and says that he’ll tell Seiji the other half of his wish, before disappearing with him. The other members are surprised but they decide to go back first as Aoi doesn’t look too well. Kensuke and Seiji remain missing even after a few days, so they decide to head back to Ueno as planned, hoping to see them there.

December

Back in Ueno, the other members notice Aoi looking down and try to encourage her on. Though they are still suspicious of Seiji, they are worried for her and don’t want her to act alone on any account. Aoi thanks them and goes to rest once they’re back in Miyoshino. The Hime sisters notice something’s up too and later learn from the other members about what happened. The next morning, Aoi also lets them in about the cracks in Futaba Aoi and it acting as a requirement for her to return home. They’re pressed for time so she suggests negotiating with Yukichi, in hopes that he’ll at least stop using uramon. Of course Aoiza won’t let her go negotiate alone and it’s okay for her to act selfish in times like this. It would hurt them more if they couldn’t do anything and only regret it later. Touched, Aoi asks them to protect her.

They soon receive a reply from Yukichi, asking to meet him at Zoujouji Temple next week. For now, they tell her to not go outside since there’s no telling what will happen to her. So Aoi returns to her room and is then recalls that today is her birthday. Just then, she receives a package delivered by Fujikasa. This puzzles Aoi at first till she realises that perhaps it’s actually by Seiji and it turns out to be a pound cake and a letter. The letter wishes her a happy birthday and he apologises for not being able to meet her in person. So at the very least he’d like her to be happy receiving this from him. Aoi tears up as what she wants more than anything is Seiji himself, and she decides to keep the cake in order to have it together with him later.

Housen enters her room just then. He understands that Kensuke and Seiji want to hide away from Toki’s eyes, so it’s very unlike that they’ll find them soon. But upon seeing Aoi like this, he decides to help her search for them, as his birthday present for Aoi. He does so a few days later and brings Aoi to their hideout. Seiji has weakened a lot ‘cos his sacred power has gone down a lot due to turning jingi into uramon. Kensuke has to share some of his sacred power and though Seiji isn’t in much of a condition to talk now, he asks Aoi to at least hold Seiji’s hand. Seiji apologises but Aoi tells him to focus on recuperating and that they’ll both have the cake together when he’s better.

Aoi decides to not let Seiji know about their meeting with Yukichi and she leaves with Housen soon afterwards. Housen remarks on how similar they are as lovers, keeping secrets from each other for the benefit of the other partner – even though usually one would think that you shouldn’t have any secrets from each other at all. But he wants this to be the last secret she has from the other Aoiza members and so Aoi remains in Miyoshino till the meeting day where they are halted by Toki. He thinks that Yukichi has led his curiousity in Aoi weigh over his ambitions and therefore, wants to rid of Aoi. Toki has even used uramon on himself.

Just then, Kensuke and Seiji show up. Seiji won’t forgive anyone for hurting Aoi, not even if it’s Yukichi whom he owes a lot to. Seiji decides to turn into his mirror jingi while the other Aoiza members handle Toki first. Seiji has some trouble at first ‘cos it’ his first time but when he finally does so, he and Aoi defeat Toki almost immediately. Futaba Aoi also completely shatters as it has used up its power. But first they hurry over to see Yukichi as an explosion is heard – and the temple is set on fire. It was his plan all along, as he wants to destroy the old, thinking that it’s the fastest way to take care of this country’s distortion. Yukichi then takes his leave as he wishes them happiness. Kensuke manages to take care of the fire as he calls on the rain though.

Everyone returns to Miyoshino where the following is explained: when Futaba Aoi has lost all its powers, Kensuke’s sword can call upon the thunder and Seiji’s mirror will lead Aoi back home. Seiji learnt the rest of the requirements from Kensuke, and worked hard to recover  in order to send Aoi back home. Kensuke can only do this about one more time though as his power is depleting. Seiji believes that sending her back home is the best for Aoi.

Stay

Aoi refuses to return by herself, since there’s no way she can be happy without Seiji by her side. Seeing her reaction, Seiji quickly hugs her as he apologises. He had been telling himself all along that he should let her go but in the end he can’t do so. Seiji promises to make her even happier if she stays and if she isn’t here, he no longer knows what “happiness” is anymore. He asks her to stay with him and of course Aoi agrees. Kensuke has to interrupt them (lol) as he confirms that Aoi won’t return home, since this is probably the only chance she’ll get. Aoi confirms her decision and the other Aoiza members are happy to hear this, with Nanami remarking that Seiji will probably never recover if she left lol. Seiji knows that it’ll take some time for Aoi to get used to living here, but he promises to support her.

The epilogue has Seiji saying that they’ll spend the rest of their lives together, and that alone is happiness.

Return

Seiji says that he would like to have made her happy at least once, and hence did all he could for her sake in hopes of seeing her back home safely. Aoi decides to return home, but she won’t forget him ever. She makes a last request, for them to eat the birthday cake together as promised. So Aoiza holds a small party as everyone shares the cake. Aoi realises that they had sweets on their first meeting, and now on their last meeting too. She starts crying as she thinks of how she’ll never spend time like this with Seiji ever again.

Seeing this, Kensuke finally asks if Seiji wants to try going to the future, even if it’s just his own conjecture. He heard from Aoi that she came here through a mirror, so his mirror jingi probably exists in her world too. It’s unsure of what will happen but Seiji immediately accepts this offer. In the end, both of them make it back to Aoi’s world successfully. It appears as though Kensuke teased them both a bit, and there wasn’t actually anything to worry about.

In the epilogue, Seiji isn’t completely used to the future world. But they’ll always be together now and he can protect her properly this time.

Omake 1 (unlocked when you finish any one ending)

This is similar to Kensuke’s. It first shows Kensuke asking Seiji for some help to get some ingredients, as Aoi has a huge craving for a certain dish that doesn’t exist in Meiji era. Aoi is shocked when she hears from Kensuke that they’re preparing the stuff for her, and everyone else is looking forward to taste this dish – okonomiyaki. Seiji also comes to bring the cabbage and Worcestershire sauce, something you can only get from foreign settlement at the moment. Everyone enjoys Aoi’s okonomiyaki, and even Hisoka and the Hime sisters are interested in serving it on their menu too. So does Seiji and so Aoi says that she’ll surprise him with another dish in the future. Seiji remarks that she’s always giving him something new and so Aoi tells him to look forward to the next time too.

Omake 2 (unlocked when you finish both endings)

It shows Sousuke and Seiji fighting over Aoi pffft. It’s mostly petty verbal fights as Sousuke would say that living with Aoi, he has seen many sides of Aoi which Seiji doesn’t know. In response, Seiji would say that it’s only on the level of her younger brothers anyway so he need not push himself lol. Aoi can’t help but feel as though Seiji is acting differently, as noticed by Sousuke too (who calls Seiji with Kensuke’s nickname for him “悪代官”). Seiji insists otherwise though, and wants to go on a date with Aoi now. Sousuke can’t stand to see this though so they want to settle things once and for all. At this moment, both their stomachs growl and Aoi bursts out laughing at this. She suggests going to eat some okonomiyaki first before talking – but the boys decide to settle things with okonomiyaki which just puzzles Aoi.

Everything turns out to be a dream though, which explains why both of them seemed out-of-character. Aoi has a craving for okonomiyaki and Seiji enters her room soon after. He apologises for coming over so early but he wanted to see her. Aoi is happy to hear such honest words from him, and asks if he wants to make some okonomiyaki together. Seiji gladly takes up her offer and they both go to do the preparations.

Overall

I loved Seiji’s route. You can say that it’s my bias but yeah. This is my fourth playthrough of the game so I’m glad that it’s pretty different from the previous ones – and it should be since he’s an “antagonist”. The CG that accompanied the scene in July was just so adorable, as with many others. It’s very obvious early on that both Seiji and Aoi are heads over heels in love with each other. My only complaint is that both epilogues were so short compared to the rest. It would’ve been nice to have the stay one take place after some time just like the rest, and for the return one to showcase more too. Both extra stories were cute but just like Rin’s, I really thought that the second one took place in Aoi’s world (since Seiji did return together with Aoi)! Why did they have to make it into a dream? I usually don’t like many OT3s but I found Aoi, Seiji and Sousuke quite amusing. Oh well. ;;

Seiji’s route should reveal more about Yukichi with all those scenes at the beginning of each month but to be honest, I’m not too enlightened haha. I am very clear about Toki now, but Yukichi still confuses me except that he wants the country to “progress” – I presume in favour of Westernisation seeing how Yukichi constantly sprouts English words.

I really enjoyed Ishida’s cast talk. It was surprisingly the longest so far and he pointed out quite a few interesting things about the game (though right at the end he was like “oh yeah this is all unnecessary talk, forget what I said” lol). He said that he liked his character ‘cos Seiji would be considered really rare in Meiji Japan, being a half and all. He said similar things for Aoi since usually it would be an all-male cast, plus for her to have the crucial role in their other job. Of course she had special circumstances and all but yeah. Anyway, I enjoyed playing Seiji’s route very much and it has given me motivation at this halfway mark of the game! The next route will be Hachi’s!

One thought on “Bunmei Kaika Aoiza Ibunroku Saien: Seiji’s Route

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