Bunmei Kaika Aoiza Ibunroku Saien: Housen’s Route

This continues from the (short) PrologueSanyuutei Housen (CV: Koyasu Takehito) works as a hanashika, though he soon joins Aoiza on their journeys. As expected, he’s well-spoken and often stops at nothing to learn about all sorts of information. Aoi comes to enjoy conversing with him as she grows accustomed to the Meiji era too. This is unlocked after finishing your second route in the game, so it’s best to read someone else’s route prior to this.

May

Narration brings us through April’s events, including her learning about Aoiza’s other job and eventually getting involved in the job itself, and Aoi’s meeting with Housen himself, and Seiji. Time skip to May where the Aoiza members have come to Ginza, and they expect to have her debut performance here. She’s not confident though and asks for some time out first. So they let her walk around the town first and she meets Housen along the way. He immediately tells her to drop the politeness, since they’re not that far in terms of age after all. Aoi (17 years old) eventually finds out that he’s only 20 years old, though to be quite honest she can’t connect those figures to him at all. On the topic of age, she’s reminded that it’s almost her father’s birthday now. Housen is indeed well-informed and soon figures out what “birthday” is, and he even once did some entertainment for a patron’s son’s birthday.

Seeing Aoi somewhat distracted, Housen asks after her and she accidentally lets slip that she came 140years into the past and never expected to have to perform onstage. This immediately piques Housen’s curiousity as he drags her off for further explanation. They end up in a store serving beef hot pot and Aoi has no choice but to tell him everything while they eat. Housen learns that she’s from the future and Aoiza happens to be taking care of her. The future world Aoi comes from interests him a lot, and he would like to learn more from her. Aoi reminds him of her debut stage problem though, so he agrees to help her solve it first. As he muses over it, he comes to the conclusion that it’s better for a newbie like her to not go on stage. Art is not something you can achieve overnight, and requires time to master. So Housen decides to perform in her place instead! He’ll only help her this one time though, in exchange to learn more about the future. She’ll have to learn from him this time so that she can perform on her own.

But as they exit the shop, they accidentally bump into each other and the shock causes Housen to fall back and knock out. Luckily, Hisoka and Kinohime spot them, as they came here for some purchases. So Hisoka helps to carry Housen back to their inn. Inside, Housen wonders if this is ‘cos Aoi’s from the future, and the Aoiza members realise that Aoi told him about her. It can’t be helped but Kikaku threatens him to keep his lips sealed. Kensuke simply explains that Aoi’s Futaba Aoi has certain powers which makes it such that normal people can’t touch her. After that, Housen takes this chance to ask them to let him replace Aoi for the performance. Everyone’s surprised since this isn’t what he usually offers to do. But Housen answers that it’s better to not force people, and to let them slowly enjoy art. Kensuke decides to give in this once, but Housen has to be responsible for looking after Aoi’s growth as she’ll have to perform the next time. Being apart of Aoiza also means having to join them when they travel around. Housen willingly agrees, and assures Aoi that he’s not forcing himself.

Once that’s settled, Housen later comes to find Aoi in her room and since they’ve plenty of time now – he starts bombarding her with all sorts of questions about the future, from the streets to the food lol. On the day of the performance, Housen performs his horror story, Shinkei Kasane ga fuchi. It’s a success, and there were even people who came specifically to watch him. Aoi thanks him again when it’s over, and he says that he enjoyed it too since recently he was only working his other side job – as an informant. She can always thanks him again with more stories of the future. Hearing this, Hachi in awe at how Aoi managed to accompany Housen – he can’t take the lengthy conversations with Housen at all lol. Still, Aoi thinks that Housen is reliable and helped her out after all. She’ll do her best at performing so that Housen will approve of her too.

June

Aoiza members are in Yokohama now, and Kensuke wants Aoi and Kikaku to perform swordplay on the streets this time. She’ll be using Kensuke in his sword form so she shouldn’t worry this time. He would like everyone to search for a good place to perform this. After they settle down in the inn, Housen comes to find Aoi. Aoi is in awe of Yokohama, it’s almost as if they’re in another country. Housen remarks that the “speed” here is faster – with people dressed in Western clothes and the bustling of the port activities. He then invites Aoi to walk around since he’s familiar with Yokohama, while she tells him more of the future lol. Housen’s thoroughly enjoying this since there’s a lot of things he doesn’t know about. But Aoi says that she enjoys hearing about Meiji era from him too. On this note, Housen decides to show her something which has remained the same in both worlds – the sea. Aoi can’t help but feel that it’s almost like a date.

As they gaze at the sea, Aoi tells him more about her world – such as how ships can travel the world in a month (here, it would take at least a few years) – Housen can’t help but feel that she really is from a distant world. Aoi also learns that he can swim, and it’s mostly ‘cos he needs to for his informant job in critical times. They then go down to the beach side and as Aoi enjoys the sea, Housen tells her to be careful to not slip. After a bit of hesitation, he says that he’s feeling a bit regretful that he can’t touch her, not that he can say this to her directly. Seeing boats in a distance, Aoi asks if he would like to tell stories to people overseas too. She also makes a lame pun here and Housen says that he’ll make her regret it one day when he teach her the intricacies of it pffft.

Aoi thinks that the sea in this era is prettier though, perhaps ‘cos she’s gazing at it with Housen. He then remarks that it would be nice if she found something irreplaceable in this era. Since she came all this way in the past, he would like her to have good memories of it. They then decide to start searching around for a good place to perform, and meet Seiji and Yukichi along the way. After the two of them leave, they soon spot Hachi, Rin and Moni in a distance. Housen jokes that they were having a date before, and this makes Aoi more self-conscious. He has to excuse himself now though, for some personal matters, and leaves Aoi with them. As they soon return to the inn, Housen is seen meeting Yukichi later as he reports on the latest information he has obtained.

The day of the performance goes well, and Housen praises her after it’s over. Aoi has also come to somewhat enjoy performing onstage too. Aoiza later hears rumours of a woman wrecking a Western goods store, and they meet Sora along the way when they investigate the case. They eventually go to his house where they see a possessed Chouko. While Housen takes care of Sora, they purify Chouko. He’s naturally excited to see them do this in person, and Kensuke promises to explain it all later. When Housen learns everything about jingi and uramon, he still can’t fully digest it and Aoi says that she couldn’t either at first. Housen is somewhat relieved to hear that she isn’t doing this unwillingly, since it’s no good to force yourself. Aoi also thanks him for protecting Sora, and she noticed that he didn’t let the boy watch them purify his mother. Housen feels somewhat happy to feel needed even though he can’t fight like them.

August

Narration kicks in as we’re told that Aoiza escorted Sora to Hirata, and purified Inomata. After that, they headed to Shirogane where Rin and Hisoka visited Yui’s grave. In August, they’re back in Ueno and a banquet is being prepared that night. Aoi’s in her room and feels a wave of homesickness, so she starts tearing up. Housen passes by and can’t leave her alone like this. So he later comes in with a wet towel, some cold barley tea and mizu-yokan. Housen admits that he isn’t used to handling people when they cry, but he doesn’t want to see her like this and would like her to smile. As Aoi thanks him for his concern, she’s also a bit flustered by his direct words. Housen can only offer to listen, and Aoi feels better after talking to him. Aoi wonders if everyone will forget about her when she’s gone. In response, Housen immediately denies this, especially as a hanashika. Even if the person herself is not present, and even if everyone else forgets about her, she’ll always remain in his thoughts. Seeing how she was uneasy over this, Housen tells Aoi to talk to him anytime she feels lonely.

Aoi feels better thanks to Housen, and they both go downstairs. The Hime sisters spot them and start teasing them, especially over how Housen seemed so frantic as he was getting the youkan etc. He tells them to not tease people too much and if the banquet isn’t ready yet, he’ll be stepping out first to give his greetings to people. After he’s gone, the sisters corner Aoi as they want to hear all about her “love life” and will also train her to use her charms on Housen pfffft. Apparently the other members heard the ruckus since they were quite loud. Later, Aoi is informed that they’re be headed off to Kamimori, Kikaku’s birth village, in a few days. While they plan to perform them, there are also lots of old literature in the village which may contain clues as to how Aoi can return home. As they are on the road to Kamimori, the members do notice that the uramon cases have risen a lot, almost as if someone is involved with them behind-the-scenes.

In Kamimori, Hachi gets his dagger jingi and also find out that he’s brothers with Kikaku. As such, Kensuke decides to only let them work backstage for the next performance, Yaoya Oshichi. Aoi will star as the female lead and Rin will be sure to train her well starting from the next day. So in the meantime, Housen takes her out to look around Nikko. As they explore the area, Aoi remarks that it’s almost like a dream-like fantasy world for her. Housen seems to get a bit upset as he’s reminded that he can’t touch her. She’s a very special existence, though apparently she doesn’t seem to understand how she’s different from others. Aoi misunderstands his meaning, and Housen unconsciously raises his voice. He apologises and abruptly ends their outing here. Aoi is busy with training the next day on so she doesn’t get any chance to speak to Housen.

It’s only later when she finally gets a day off Rin’s training, she spots Housen outside thanks to Moni’s barking. Aoi goes out to find him and apparently he was asked by Yukichi to bring her to a party. He would rather not though, and was planning to come up with some excuse instead. But Aoi is curious, especially since Yukichi sent her a dress to change into, so Housen gets her to promise to not leave his side. They both change clothes and Aoi is surprised to see how much the Western look fits him. They soon head off to where the party is and Yukichi greets them. He has someone he wants to introduce to Housen though so Housen has no choice but to leave Aoi for a while. If necessary, she should touch anyone who comes bothering her (to shock them). Aoi soon spots Seiji in a distance though and calls out to him. He gets obviously conscious with her in a dress (<3) but also apologises that he can’t go to watch Aoiza’s performances in a while due to work.

After Seiji excuses himself, Aoi finds herself approached by Sakazuki. She starts feeling bothered by his talk but thankfully Housen comes back in time and manages to scare Sakazuki away as he is well-informed on certain matters of the Sakazuki household. Aoi finds him somewhat cool here, though she said that she was intending to shock the guy away. Housen gets a bit jealous, since he can’t touch Aoi and he wouldn’t want her to touch such a guy. They quickly leave the party and Aoi thanks Housen for before, while recalling that he called her just “Aoi” then. Housen says that he merely was unsettled with the idea of someone else talking to her though. He can’t touch her, she may even be his own fantasy for all he knows and he might as well say it: he loves her, enough to feel petty jealousy. But the things he said today (including to Sakazuki) were things he shouldn’t say, so he doesn’t need an answer. Housen doesn’t want her to see his other side, where he ensnares other people with his back-job. So he asks her to forget it all, like you would when you wake up from a dream.

Aoi can’t figure out the truth behind his words. But she knows that he’s looking forward to her on stage so for now, she focuses on her role. It ends up as a success but there’s a new uramon case – involving an elderly lady who came to watch them. They purify her successfully, but Aoi can’t help but question who can bear to harm such an elder, and not consider anyone’s feelings. Hearing this, Housen muses that indeed no one else can probably understand the person’s feelings – whether it’s the elderly lady, or the person who handed her the item. It’s just like how Aoi probably doesn’t know his feelings, no matter how much she may study him. In fact, he doesn’t know his own feelings anymore. He’s afraid to imagine how Aoi thinks of him now. Housen doesn’t mean to bother her though and tells her not to look sad. Later that night, Kikaku informs Aoi that his villagers brought the literature over – so she may find a way back home.

October

We are told that in September, Aoiza failed to save Sakazuki as they were too late. Aoi is clearly affected but Housen steps in to tell her that it’s just how things are, even if it’s hard to accept. Now, they have to focus on Sanjou, the name Sakazuki repeatedly mentioned. It’s possible that he’ll get involved now and they wouldn’t want to fail to save him when they can this time. Still, Housen admits that he may be all talk and couldn’t be of help to Aoi at all. Aoi quickly denies this, and even Hisoka says that everyone has their own way of supporting others and he thinks that Housen helped Aoi. Hisoka offers to investigate the case further, but they’re low on resources now. So Kensuke decides it’s time to have another performance. It’ll be nice to have something new so he asks Housen to help them write a new script, and Aoi (the female lead) can work with him.

So the two of them end up discussing what story would be good. Eventually, they decide on the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Housen admits that he already sees Aoi as the character Kaguya-hime, where she has to return to a place no one else can reach, and she isn’t his in the end. Since they’ve decided, Housen goes to tell Kensuke this since they need to consider the props etc. It turns out that all the Aoiza members were outside listening in though ‘cos they were worried about having the two of them alone pfft. Anyway, Kensuke agrees on this idea. When Hachi asks for a cool role, it turns out that none of the suitors have a good end. Housen also plans to make this a comedy, so a cool role is out of the question too. He also whispers to himself that as a writer he can’t stand onstage, so he doesn’t really feel like writing the suitors in a cool manner either.

A few days later, Aoi sees that the light is still on in Housen’s room and goes in to find him. He also happened to have just finished writing the script and gets her to read her lines. Unfortunately, she can’t read the words though and all along she had the help of the other members with the previous scripts. So Housen helps Aoi by reading her lines, and then she’ll repeat after him. Midway though, he gets melancholic as he wrote the script with her as Kaguya-hime and him as the suitors –  troublesome, liars, giving up before the critical moment etc. Housen thought all along that it was okay if she wasn’t his, and just remained by his side. But now he doesn’t know what to do. Aoi tells him to not overlap her with Kaguya-hime. She doesn’t need any proof of love, she’s okay with just his words alone. Caught up in her feelings, Aoi grabs Housen and he’s almost knocked out thanks to the shock.

Hearing the ruckus, Nanami comes in and wakes Housen up. It’s likely that Nanami misunderstood the situation and promises to not ask about it. When Aoi tries to clear it up though, Housen hushes her up. He admits that he felt happy upon hearing her words. Housen then recalls that he knew Nanami from the past, and Hachi too at that, when he was in the process of becoming the him today, including his back-job. Even if she wasn’t from the future, Housen doesn’t feel like he deserves her. He has his secrets, including ones he doesn’t want her to know. But he also thinks that it’s about time for him to stop being a mere observer, and promises to give her a proper answer by the day of the performance. On the day itself, Housen watches Aoi from the side so that she “doesn’t carelessly return to the moon”.

When it’s over, Nanami comes to find Housen, reminding the younger man that Aoi is unlike them and Aoiza won’t let him off if he’s deceiving her. Housen is quick to answer that he truly loves her and has decided on his stand. So Nanami apologises in return and agrees to help him out – since he has never seen this side of Housen before. Meanwhile, we are told through narration that Sanjou was involved in an uramon case. Aoiza managed to save him in time and retrieved back Yui’s magatama too.

November

The other Aoiza members are complaining to themselves as they can only follow some distance behind the couple (to give them some privacy), and Kikaku almost cries pffft. Meanwhile, Housen tells Aoi that he has decided to start acting to his own will. He calls out to the other members (and apparently Aoi wasn’t aware they were present at all) as he has something to tell everyone. Back at the inn, he first shows them a letter addressed to them, from Yukichi, asking to meet them later in the day regarding Seiji. Housen also decides to confess to them, as does Nanami. In short, Seiji was spreading around the uramon wherever Aoiza were on Yukichi’s orders, and for that Housen has been selling information about Aoiza to Yukichi. The short-tempered Hachi is quick to punch Housen. But Housen firmly says that despite considering many times that he should pull out, he couldn’t bear to leave Aoi’s side when she might disappear anytime. Even though Aoi was surprised at first, she soon grabs Housen’s sleeve and asks him to carry on. Both Rin and Kikaku can only stare at them as Hachi mutters at how they can normally flirt with each other in front of them lmao.

In fact, Housen and Seiji had been spying on Aoiza way before Aoi came – this also explains why Seiji is a regular of their performances. Nanami also reveals his past with Yukichi. Yukichi saved him when he was in a huge gambling debt, so he ended up working for him in gratitude and also told him about jingi and uramon. Yukichi then had the idea of corrupting it so that everyone can use it. Nanami managed to escape him when he was away in America, but he looked for Nanami when he came back – to guide Seiji. Seiji probably has his own difficulties. But for Housen, he was always in the same flow of telling stories and then sometimes selling information. When he met Yukichi, he thought that this man could “change” that flow and bring in new winds. Unknown to them all, Yukichi arrived just then and he’s honoured that Housen thinks of him like that.

Since they know everything already, Yukichi also shows that he knows them very well – thanks to Housen’s information. But now Housen tells him that he’s no longer going to work for Yukichi now that he has met Aoi, the one who truly brought “new winds”. He doesn’t seem to bothered though, and will make full use of all the information he has been given till now. Yukichi immediately asks if Aoiza will work for him, as regrettably, Seiji is almost at his limits. Of course Aoiza reject him, especially when they hear him call Seiji a “tool”. It will be difficult to bring about revolution without the help of them, who possess unique powers, but it can’t be helped. He will continue to use Seiji (who’s currently resting) and uramon, to ring an alarm to people who remain complacent even in times of change. Aoi is angered at this, especially when she thinks of how he’s printed on money notes in her world – and this fact indeed does shock the Aoiza members, and amuses Yukichi further. He may talk of changing the world, but there are people living within – people with their own thoughts and ways of living. Amused, he asks Aoi if she’s willing to guide him then. Of course Aoiza won’t let him, and Aoi has no intentions of leaving.

After Yukichi leaves, Kensuke also notices that there are cracks in Futaba Aoi. Its powers are draining so Aoi may also start feeling unwell soon. For now, they tell her to rest while they will search for any answers they can find in the old literature. Aoi refuses to be completely outside of this, so she asks for Housen to read it out to her. Later that night, Hachi comes to give Aoi some snacks. Though his initial impression of Housen wasn’t too good, that has changed now. But if she gets tired of Housen she can come to him anytime lol. Housen happens to overhear this and tells Hachi off. Just then, a ruckus seems to be occurring outside and apparently Seiji has been ordered to kill them off. It is evident that he’s hesitant to though, and Kensuke tells him to not destroy his own wish. He can walk on a different path instead and Kensuke eventually drags Seiji away, leaving the rest in shock.

Aoi happens to feel faint then and Housen quickly supports her. Even though he can’t fight alongside her at all, he can at least support her back. Even though it’s cowardly of him to say this now, Housen asks if Aoi would like to “bury her bones in this era” aka stay behind in this era with him.

December

Aoiza members decide to return to Ueno, and Housen also seems to have his own plans as he takes back some literature home too. In fact when they return to Miyoshino, Housen immediately takes his leave to go home and study them. It’s also ‘cos back when he worked for Yukichi, there was an agreement for Toki (a dangerous man who works for Yukichi) not go near Aoiza. But now that it’s broken, it’s likely that Toki may do something. Housen also believes that Kensuke went to save Seiji for a reason, just that it’s not time to tell them all yet. When he leaves, Nanami and Hachi go to escort him as well, since he’s in a dangerous position himself too. Actually though, Housen also wants to take this chance to distance himself from Aoi to think about their situation – since she may also return home any time soon. Later that day, Nanami sends over a letter to Aoi: Housen’s worried about the deepening cracks in Futaba Aoi, so Nanami is going to lend him a hand in reading the literature for answers too.  They plan to even stay over at his place for this whole time. Also, he would like Aoi to take this chance to think about her situation from here on.

Several days have passed, and Aoi starts to miss Housen. She recalls his words to her last month, and Otohime overhears her and she brings her some tea. He was actually proposing to Aoi, in a sense. And by that, it also means leaving the family you were born into to create a new one. As Aoi continues to ponder over this, Kikaku calls her out later. A letter from Yukichi arrived, asking to meet them next week at Zoujouji temple. He would like to negotiate with them about uramon, and about Kensuke and Seiji’s whereabouts. They decide to discuss with Housen and the rest about this, and head over to find them. It turns out that Housen’s also missing Aoi and is taking it out on Hachi lol. After discussing with everyone, they decide to meet Yukichi. As of now, all they’ve found out from the literature is that Kensuke and Seiji are crucial if Aoi were to return home. After that’s done, the others quickly leave the couple to themselves.

Housen tells Aoi that he left so abruptly, so that they can give themselves time to think. It’s not sure what will happen to her when Futaba Aoi loses all of its powers. If she dies, he’s even ready to go after her. If she returns home, then they’ve to prepare for that too. Housen wasn’t able to hug and comfort her throughout her time here – if Futaba Aoi shatters, he still may not be able to touch her. But if she chooses to stay, then he’ll certainly take full responsibility for her. Seeing her different expressions to his words, Housen asks if he can look at her closer. If they aren’t able to be together, even when Aoi wishes for it, he would like to at least be able to picture her in his mind when she’s gone…so he would like to look at her within touching distance. Aoi gets embarrassed when he pins her down though and tells him to do things normally. Upon hearing this, Housen asks her to forgive him if he happens to faint then – before kissing her. The pain isn’t as bad as before, and he wouldn’t mind kissing her more deeply – but he can feel everyone’s death glares from the other side so he’ll stop here now lol.

Housen, Nanami and Hachi return with them to Miyoshino that day and soon the promised day arrives. On their way to meet Yukichi, Toki interferes and even uses uramon on himself. They have no choice but to fight, and it’s times like this that Housen can’t help but feel annoyed at how he can only watch from the sidelines. Just then, Kensuke and Seiji arrive – as Kensuke tells him that waving a sword around isn’t the only way to fight, just like Aoi taught them. After transforming into his sword, Kensuke and Aoi manage to purify Toki and Futaba Aoi shatters. Its powers are now fully used up and there’s no longer any static shock when Housen touches Aoi. But there’s not much time to rejoice as the temple goes up in flames and they hurry over to find Yukichi. Questioning his motives, they inform him that Futaba Aoi can no longer be used. Yukichi reveals though, that Aoi is still useful to him with her knowledge of the future and progressive thinking. He may even get back Housen, an excellent snitch, at the same time.

Hearing this, Housen tells Yukichi to just admit that he’s attracted to Aoi – similar to how he found himself captured by her even though he had planned to remain as a bystander. Not that he’ll give her up though. All along he watched the world from the sidelines, and then after meeting Yukichi he thought that something might change – but in the end it was still the same. But now, he has someone he loves and friends to back him up. Well, Yukichi thinks he’ll get away with this anyway, likening the flames to that of a homa ceremony. Haibutsu Kishaku (anti-Buddhist movement at the beginning of Meiji era) is still fresh in everyone’s minds so he believes that this fire incident will be accepted by people – the fire started by one of these movement believers is merely the burial of a decaying temple. Of course, they won’t allow this and Kensuke calls upon the rain and puts out the fire. Yukichi has no choice but to retreat for now – he still has other methods to reach his goal and tells Housen to live as he likes with Aoi.

After Yukichi leaves, Housen remarks that he was like the fox in Aesop’s fable of The Fox and the Grapes – longing for something which was determined to not attainable to him at all. But now he has stopped being like that, and only wishes to be by Aoi’s side now. In return, Housen asks for Aoi’s answer.

Stay

Aoi knows that she has family and friends waiting for her back in her world. But yet she can’t imagine going to a world without Housen and that makes her tear up. Seeing her reaction, Housen says that he’ll always listen to her in times of sadness and loneliness. Her everything is his everything and he would like her to stay. It’s ‘cos she’s here in this world that he finds it beautiful. If she isn’t here, he may even start imagining her being around. Aoi finally agrees to stay with Housen, which prompts him to want to touch her now that he’s able to so that he can see more of her reactions. Rin and Kikaku immediately tell him to stop, but Hachi says that he probably can’t hear them anymore pfft. Nanami never expected Housen to be such a passionate guy, but Seiji understands – Aoi’s kinda like Housen’s muse. Kensuke sees that it’ll just be rude of him to ask if it’s necessary to return Aoi home anymore while Hisoka wonders if they should prepare for their wedding lmao. Apparently Housen heard this and said he should, since he had longed proposed to Aoi already~

In the epilogue, it’s Housen’s birthday month as he turns 21 years old. He isn’t used to the ideas of birthdays yet so perhaps that’s why Aoi almost seems happier than him lol. But he’s happy to be holding hands with her and to see her wishing him happy birthday. They’re family now in this world. Aoi also heard from Kensuke that Housen’s writing a new story. It’s “Aoiza Manyuuki”, the story of Aoi from his point of view, and he’s dedicating it to her. The total number of volumes it will have will depend on their time together from now on.

Return

As much as Aoi wants to stay with Housen, she’s hesitant. Seeing this, Housen recalls what he told her: If they aren’t able to be together, even when Aoi wishes for it, he would like to at least be able to picture her in his mind when she’s gone…so he would like to look at her within touching distance. But he has never seen her with such a painful expression before. Housen tells Aoi to return home, though he asks for one last favour: to let him write a story based on her, the times they had and the feelings he has gained from her. He would like to convey to everyone his feelings when they hear this story. Aoi agrees and Housen tells her to just remember that she has already given him the greatest thing. If his story is still heard about 140 years later, he would like her to remember that it’s her story. Kensuke and Seiji do the preparations and Aoi thanks everyone and bids them goodbye. As she enters the mirror, she hears Housen telling her to be happy.

Omake (unlocked when you finish any one ending)

This is similar to Hisoka’s. The Aoiza members are doing some moon-viewing while eating dango. As they admire the moon, Housen says that he’s happy to be able to drink with friends – and to see her face and a perfect moon. This naturally makes Aoi embarrassed. Housen asks Aoi if they have this custom in her world too. They do and she wonders if she tell him that people have even travelled to the moon in her world.

Overall

This route made me love Housen more than expected, lol. I guess for starters, I’ll say that his route was so worth it, I wished it was longer. Sure he talks a lot, but they really show how good he is with words – his romantic lines were well-written. The gap between him and Aoi was nicely put too – in terms of how he can’t touch her, he can’t fight beside her etc. You can see the difference in Housen in his own route compared to other routes too. In Seiji’s he did help Aoi out by bringing her to see Seiji, but always reminding her that it’s there’s anything then he’s not responsible. In other words, he always guarantees his own neck. But here, he’s so deeply caught up with his feelings for Aoi in the end. I loved all of his CGs too, despite the fact that there wasn’t a kiss one – I wouldn’t have minded if it was just a variation of the one where he pushed Aoi down (by the way, I loved that scene).

And I like trivia – there’s is no doubt that Housen is based on Sanyuutei Enchou (Japanese author/rakugo performer). They even referenced to his works! For example, when he replaced Aoi he told the story Shinkei Kasane ga fuchi. In Kikaku’s omake, Housen was also telling his Japanese horror classic, Kaidan botan dourou (the peony lantern). The fox reference Housen made is very suitable too, it doesn’t help that he has a fox mask too. As I was looking up on him, I came across Aozora Bunko (Blue Sky Library; Open Air Library), a Japanese digital library. This leaves me wondering if it’s a coincidence or not as to how similar its name is to the game title!

By the way, Koyasu’s cast talk was so random, it had me laughing almost throughout and in the end he told everyone to not spread what he said online lmao. It’s a pity that the omake didn’t show Housen in the modern world. That would’ve been fun. But okay, it’s not just Housen, as usual I enjoyed the interactions between the Aoiza members. We get to see how in sync Rin and Kikaku can be lol. And finally, Yukichi’s route is next. Till then!

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