NORN9: Senri, Kakeru, Masamune

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I’ll be covering the three guy’s routes for Koharu (CV: Fujimura Ayumi). First, some basic information about her. She basically grew up pretty much alone and isolated, and only learned about the world through books. She was told by the traveller that a ship would come fetch her when she’s 17 years old and release her from her loneliness. So ever since then she looked forward to that day and really wants to get along with everyone and not be hated. Her power is to control fire but she fears of being suspected as the betrayer and desperately keeps quiet about this. She’s polite, naive, and almost tries to absorb information about the world like a sponge by keeping notes. She has a lack of suspicion and usually takes people’s words as they are. You may wanna read Senri’s route first for a basic outline, including common events.

Ichinose Senri (CV: Shimono Hiro)

A pessimistic boy who always holes up in his room for days, he’s distrustful of others due to how he was treated in the past. He enjoys being in the waters, saying that no one can chase after him in there. While the others worry about him (well, Kakeru seems to enjoy teasing him more though), Senri thinks that it’s unnecessary since when they reach their destination, they’ll part ways and likely become enemies. In that case, it’s better to not develop any unwanted feelings. However, during the attack his room’s door was broken down by Akito so that he could be dragged out. And so after that, Senri was forced to spend time with Kakeru and Heishi and Koharu didn’t have much time to interact with him. One day though, she sees Senri running away and pretty much out of breath. Koharu takes the initiative to bring him to her room to hide from Kakeru and Heishi. Right now, the three girls rotate between two rooms and so for today, she’s alone in this one. She learns from Senri that after breakfast, he’s immediately made to play tag on the pretext of morning exercise, and later made to play cards throughout the night till the next morning. He doesn’t like interacting with others since the other person would form expectations of him by themselves, and if he doesn’t live up to them they feel betrayed. In that case, it’s better to remain alone and not get hurt. Just then, Kakeru knocks on the door to ask if Koharu saw Senri, and she answers honestly that he’s with her but isn’t well so she’ll look after him. They leave Senri to her and Koharu decides to cook something for Senri, and confidently asks him to look forward to it.

Outside, Koharu sees Kakeru and Masamune. Kakeru claims that he’s only playing the villian role to help Senri get out of his shell and Koharu is impressed, though Masamune remarks that he’s making Senri more afraid though. In the kitchen, Akito eventually helps Koharu out with baking some cookies but asks her to not tell Senri that he helped. When she gives them to Senri later, he comments on how it has a nostalgic taste to it. Koharu is happy to have come here, but when she thinks of how the journey will eventually come to an end she feels lonely – even more so than the time when she was alone. She wonders if she get greedier and Senri remarks that it’s only natural – if you don’t know another person’s warmth, you won’t develop any loneliness and vice versa. While Koharu agrees with him, she’s still happy now to be with Senri and learn about another person’s warmth which makes him embarrassed. He asks her to make the cookies again for him and goes to sleep. Eventually, Koharu finds herself getting sleepy too and ends up sleeping beside Senri that night. It’s clear that Kakeru finds out about this and it becomes a regular topic for him to tease Senri with.

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Later, Kakeru falls ill so with Masamune looking after him, it’s left to Koharu and Senri to take care of the field. There, Senri helps to water the field with his power and Koharu learns that his ability is the control water. She’s highly impressed since it’s only something he can do. When he wonders why she wants to get along with him since there’s nothing to gain, Koharu replies that the same can apply for him then. She felt happy seeing him do his best that day and just that feeling is enough. Even though Senri claims that he doesn’t like being together with other people, he’s fine with Koharu as he says that he isn’t scared of her. Koharu later suggests to Senri to fix his door. Even though she knows that Kakeru will probably get upset, she still thinks that Senri needs a proper place to rest. Koharu praises on how Senri skillfully touches up the broken door, and he responds by saying that wood carving is his interest – not that he carves anything cute like rabbits. Koharu beams at this and asks if he can do so, and eventually Senri gives in and says that he’ll do so if he has the time. All that’s left are the twisted hinges and Koharu suggests asking Akito for help since he’s strong. While Senri is afraid, the both of them go find Akito and Koharu manages to convince Senri to ask. As Senri hesitantly does so, he also promises to take the initiative to go out from now on too. Akito is taken aback at first, but helps him out and appears happy when Senri thanks him.

Masamune and a fully recovered Kakeru spot Koharu and Senri back to fixing the door. They manage to convince Kakeru, and he has Koharu take care of the key to Senri’s room. Masamune is glad to see the positive change in Senri, and thinks that it’s thanks to Koharu’s influence. Senri observes that Koharu is quick to praise everyone and is a bit shaken when she answers that she likes everyone on this ship. Ever since then, Senri only comes out for meals and while Koharu can go see him since she has the room key, she feels that he’ll get mad if so. The three girls all seem to have their own worries and Itsuki decides to help them out with their (love) problems. That night, the three girls find themselves in the same dream and Itsuki (in a cat form) tells them to find their important person if not they’ll be stuck here forever. They’re all dressed as different fairytale characters but neither Nanami nor Mikoto have a clue about them, so Koharu does her best to tell them the key points – but Mikoto misunderstands Cinderella as having to get the glass shoe in a martial arts competition (instead of ball dance) and Nanami misunderstands Red Riding-hood as having to deliver something like a ninja on a delivery mission while dealing with the enemy wolf lol.

Koharu herself is Snow White and on the way to finding the dwarves’ house, she meets Itsuki. He remarks that while she’s honest, it’s better if she adopts a more penetrating insight and decides to mute all her words – except for words of love. Koharu manages to find her way to the house but finds a timid-looking blue chick. As she thinks over and tries to voice herself but to no avail, she can’t hold back her tears and just then she thought that she heard Senri’s voice. Anyway, in a roundabout manner Koharu encounters Kakeru and Masamune as well but finds it odd, especially when Masamune doesn’t recall anyone called “Senri”. Eventually, Senri reveals himself to be the blue chick as he somehow changes back into his human form. He’s annoyed at how he had to take on that form, and with Kakeru approaching her like a trickster and Masamune passing off like a (wedding) conman lol. As he carries Koharu, he remarks how it’s a first for him to want to protect someone and confesses that he likes her. Koharu manages to voice out the same in return and both of them wake up in her room that morning. After this incident, Senri starts to call Koharu by her name but with Koharu realising that she likes Senri, she starts to feel upset when she sees him talking more to the rest. Senri knows that Koharu keeps avoiding him and manages to chase her down one day and demands for the reason. Koharu hesitantly explains her feelings though she isn’t quite sure. Senri sighs and kisses her lightly, saying that he’ll only do this to her and tells her to think it over.

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Following that, Koharu is extremely dazed out and hardly listens into a meeting everyone is at. Mikoto and Nanami explain to her later that the place they’re landing at next to get supplies is currently involved in conflict and tell her to stay on the ship. In the end, only Koharu is left behind as everyone else heads outside – including Senri, who is dragged out by Heishi. Before leaving though, he goes to see Koharu and she tells him that she’s sorted her feelings out after what happened. Though Senri admits that he’s a bit disappointed to not see her jealous, he’s happy and willing to wait for her proper answer later. After a while, Koharu smells something odd and is led outside where she meets the traveller who she hasn’t seen in a few years. When she was living alone, he helped her out on several occasions. Koharu wonders how he’s so familiar with Norn etc. and when she asks if he knows the World, he replies that he made the World. Koharu goes back into the ship but the rest still have yet to return. Worried, she goes outside and sees the traveller again who tells her to escape as the town has been attacked by the army. Koharu worries about the rest and asks him to lead her there. He does so and when she sees the conflict, he persuades her to use her power to stop the fighting and save the people. Koharu soon does so and the National army retreats. The traveller appears pleased and tells a subordinate to do as accordingly. Soon, everyone is cheering for Koharu as they see her as an envoy from the World who has come to their aid.

Koharu feels uncomfortable and wants to return. Just then, she hears Heishi’s voice in her mind and it appears that they’ve returned to the ship. Koharu thanks the traveller for giving her the push as it’s the first time she’s been thanked for by so many people. One of the people thanks Koharu again, and remarks on how Saga is really their saviour (referring to the traveller) for not only giving them weapons to fight with but also an envoy from the World. The traveller sees her back and notes on how she still hasn’t learned to suspect anything. Inside, a relieved Senri rushes to hug Koharu. Masamune and Heishi are present too, and apparently the World has received a request from the National army and so they’ve been sent to help them. Senri is reluctant but he feels similarly to Koharu, on the point that she’s happy to feel wanted somewhere. They join up with Mikoto and see that the streets have been bombed by the Liberation army, even though there was never such a weapon before. Mikoto remarks on how the National army is hopeless for getting this pressed by the enemy, whom are merely destroying the country in order to live however they want to and even arm children with weapons. It appears that just as how there’s a weapon merchant supplier, Eir, to the National army – the Liberation army has one too. Koharu soon realises that earlier on, she’d helped the Liberation army and when she sees Mikoto and Sakuya in danger, she uses her power to help them. Upon seeing this, the National army accuses her as an enemy since this was the same fire that attacked them before. The rest help her out, and have Senri escape with her first.

The pair stop to catch their breath in an alley, and Senri reassures Koharu that the misunderstanding will be resolved. He praises her ability, as unlike himself who can’t do anything, she can and is useful in such a situation. She has what he has always hoped for, a power people can rely on. Koharu breaks down though and when Senri tries to comfort her, she asks to be alone. After Senri leaves her, the traveller approaches Koharu and tells her that he’d always wanted her since before and will guide her now. Koharu thinks to herself how she’d never wished for this power, and in fact Senri has everything which she wants instead. If possible, she’d rather be needed by Senri and be special to him only. When Senri returns with Masamune, they find Koharu gone and quickly return to tell the rest. The National army is searching for Koharu too but Senri can’t sit back so some of them head out to search too – though they notice that Ron is missing and guess that he’s probably sleeping somewhere knowing him. Meanwhile, Koharu is with the traveller and she reflects back on how she doesn’t feel tired at all no matter how much she uses her power, almost like a monster. The traveller tells her not to look down on herself and that the weak is abused by the strong under the pretense of peace – but she can save them. He doesn’t want to brainwash her like the other dolls and wants her to be on his side on her own will. In a conversation he has with his subordinate later, we learn that he’s both Eir and Saga and weapon orders from both sides are pouring in. He wants to use this chance to tell all the countries that he has this girl’s powerful ability under him, and he wonders when the rest will learn that no weapon can match her.

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Everyone else is back on the ship as they failed to find any signs of Koharu. As they’re discussing what to do, Natsuhiko, the man who attacked Norn repeatedly shows up but he’s here as a mere envoy today for the World due to common benefits – though she hardly fulfills that role now and is also known as Aion. And this is going to be a huge dump of information so let me try to summarise. Aion was a weapon created in 2080 in order to preserve the peace by preventing conflicts from arising. She can take on different forms and she has multiple selfs in different countries – Mikoto and Sakuya recall seeing a different form of her in the Prime Minister’s residence. This actually isn’t 1919, and to be accurate it’s the year 8075. In 2000, the numerous conflicts wore down everyone but nonetheless humans continues fighting. In 2060, WWVI occurred and it was a war on an unprecedented scale. In order to solve this situation, the government came up with the Civilisation Initialisation Plan, also known as Reset. All the civilisation and culture mankind has developed, would be reset back to nothing and the world would return to its original greenery. In 2080, the world was Reset. Up till today, 3 Resets have been conducted so as to force war to an end. All of their 9 powers are meant for this reason – protect lives with the forcefield, burn civilisation with fire, heal the earth with water, give birth to new life with greenery, erase people’s memories etc. Some powers were split into two people as the burden was too much for one though.

Koharu’s power is the strongest and so her being in the hands of Yuiga Shirou is the worst possible cast scenario. Kakeru is shocked to hear this name as it’s his father’s name, but he’s sure that he’s dead so it’s possibly another person. Shirou is a scientist and a weapon merchant, and he probably wants to drive revitalisation of the industry and culture with war for his desired future. Natsuhiko has already made all the preparations to deal with Shirou but as for dealing with Koharu’s power, that means he needs the one who controls water. He appears cynical when he learns that it’s Senri. But Akito also reveals that he controls water and that he’ll bring Koharu back if Senri passes his power onto him. Senri is reluctant, and promises to persuade Koharu somehow and requests for Akito to pass on his power to him instead. Akito agrees as Senri confidently says that he’ll only use his power for getting Koharu to return. At the other side, Koharu is told to go and destroy a country which Shirou claims is invading others and abusing the people. She is flown there, though the driver appears to be swapped (Setsu).

Tragic Love End: Senri doesn’t make it in time as he arrives to see a destroyed city. While Senri tells Koharu that she can’t return to Shirou as he’s the one stirring the conflict, Shirou appears and tells Koharu that he’s the only one who will approve of her. Senri insists on bringing Koharu back though and so Shirou offers for him to come with them, seeing that his power is to control water. Shirou remarks that if things are as Senri says though, then that makes Koharu a rebel too and Senri hesitates at this. When Koharu was driven out of the village, Shirou saved her and truth be told he’d planned to keep her by his side all the while but was hindered. They can continue to chase them down but Koharu would have to kill all the innocent people while at it and he knows that Koharu doesn’t want this. Shirou convinces Koharu that only he knows her feelings. Later, Shirou orders his subordinate to have the two of them in a cage since it’s a fitting place for two birds who won’t fly again.

Happy End: Senri makes it in time and he apologises to Koharu for praising her power instead of comforting her. He thought that it would be easier if she could accept it but he was wrong. Koharu insists otherwise though, and says that she’s different from everyone else and tells him to return. Senri soon feels tired as he counters her fire. He never had any self-confidence and hated others to expect something from him. He also didn’t like to work hard as if he can’t do anything, he’ll be disappointed in himself. He’s a weak person and in fact he kept running away from himself the most. While claiming that he admired her powers, he let go of her. But such a person like him finally found something he won’t lose out to others and that’s his feelings for her. As long as he’s with her, he feels that he can continue on. He can’t win against her, but he didn’t possess this power in order to do so, or in order to hurt her. They were not born to fight. As long as he can stop her with his power for one minute, or even a second it’s fine – during then he’ll hug her and won’t let go of her again. As Senri does so, he tells Koharu that he’ll curse her if she doesn’t agree to come with him – a curse to no longer leave his side. Koharu answers that it’s already in effect and the two of them kiss. Masamune and Natsuhiko come for them and they escape in Natsuhiko’s ship.

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Masamune later remarks that Koharu is the type who’d do anything if she is able to – whether it’s good or bad. Unlike her, Senri won’t do anything even if he’s capable of it – unless he want to. ‘Cos he’s like that, Senri could chose the option of not fighting for Koharu. Senri tells Koharu that he believes now that it’s okay to remain weak and cowardly – as long as you only fight to protect the one who’s important to you. By doing so, even though they possess their powers they can live freely. Days laters, Koharu is seen going to wake Senri up again that morning. Apparently they’re going to the streets tomorrow in order to remove all the weapons. Senri remarks how they’re like a waste retrieval management and that it wasn’t the life he’d dreamed of – he’d rather hole up in a place. Koharu observes how he’d been like this since they returned and feels upset. Senri jokes that it’s his way of monopolising her, though in reality he’d been working on carving a family of rabbits to give her. He passes them to her and tells her that he likes her more than she realises. They then promise to alternate days of when one of them goes to wake up the other person. As Koharu remarks on how she enjoys seeing his sleeping face, Senri mutters that the problem would be solved if they just slept together. He quickly dismisses it as those words sound exactly like what a dishonest adult like Itsuki or Masamune would say lol. Though Senri doesn’t want to become like them, he tells himself that he’ll say it to Koharu someday.

Note: Saga is a goddess in Norse mythology, and is linked to an Old Norse verb which means “to see”. Eir is also a goddess in Norse mythology, and associated with medical skill.

Yuiga Kakeru (CV: Kaji Yuuki)

A bright and kind boy, he’s quick on his feet and brings the members together with both his positive and my-pace personality. He’s skilled at manipulating others strategically, though others also see him as evil. A natural sadist who enjoys teasing others, his ability is that of controlling plants. Koharu learns from him that he decided to split everyone into pairs as the current atmosphere is filled with suspicion and fear with news of the betrayer, especially since no one knows each other well as it’s the rule not to pursue. From the start, Kakeru tells Koharu not to believe people so easily, including himself. When Koharu wonders what kind of lies people say, Kakeru asks her if he sees him as a guy. After a long silence, Koharu comes to the odd realisation that perhaps he’s really a girl and apologises profusely till he bursts out laughing. He sees that she really hasn’t interacted with people up till now, and apologises if she got mad. Instead, Koharu apologises again as she realises that it was what people call a “joke”. This makes Kakeru feel a sharp pang of guilt for the first time. Later, Mikoto warns Koharu to be wary of Kakeru – since they’ll be enemies when they reach their destination anyway.

After that, Kakeru and Koharu continue to tend to the plants daily. Koharu misunderstands that he’s able to talk to plants, but even if he isn’t she still feels as though they’re thanking him – her purity surprises Kakeru, for it’s the complete opposite of himself. Koharu thinks that she’s merely speaking her mind though there are times when she doesn’t too – in fact she’s hiding a lot of things too. Still, even if they were to become enemies she wants to get along. Kakeru sighs as he starts to think that he can’t win against her, and that’s a first. He feels embarrassed when she constantly praises him too, and in fact his power isn’t that special. Anyone can grow a plant, and he soon suggests Koharu trying her hand at it too, to grow something which will make people smile. He offers to help her out too and so they head to the library to read up and decide on which plant. In the end, they decide on the strawberry plant and they’ll buy the seeds for it the next time the ship lands. Once they do, Koharu tends to it in her room first before moving it to the fields after its harvest is done. Koharu hopes for it to grow before they reach their destination so that she can eat the strawberries with Kakeru.

One day when the three girls are going to take a bath, Itsuki jokes as per usual as he asks Koharu if he can join them. Trying to counter back with a joke, Koharu answers that if it’s Kakeru-chan it’s okay. This sends everyone into a shocked silence while Kakeru blushes heavily, till Koharu quickly remarks that it’s a joke. While wondering what went wrong, Kakeru pulls her to one side later and tells her that making such jokes to men are prohibited. As the days continue, Koharu notices that the strawberry plant isn’t doing well. Thinking that it needs sunshine, she brings it outside to the rooftop but trips and breaks the pot. Kakeru comes to find her and encourages her on, as he sees that she gave it too much water. Plant aren’t useless, and they are only giving them a helping hand – just watering it twice a day is fine and if she feels uneasy she can come and find him. Kakeru then reveals that when he was young, he’d pray for them silently as he watches them grow, but he was teased for being like a girl for talking to plants so he stopped mentioning it. Days later, Koharu excitedly informs Kakeru that the strawberry plant has grown its first flower bud. Kakeru remarks how it’s like her, and feels the urge to hug Koharu. He reassures her that she’s no longer alone, but Koharu misunderstands his words – agreeing that she has the strawberry plant now (instead of Kakeru). As Kakeru is left speechless, Itsuki and Heishi happen to enter the room and Itsuki remarks on how he has completely lost to a plant lol.

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Afterwards, they shift the plant to the fields and Kakeru appears to envy it for reasons unknown to Koharu. Mikoto and Sakuya spot them, and the former quickly takes out her handkerchief to clean the dirt off Koharu, telling Kakeru off for not being more mindful. As Koharu looks at the other couple, she can’t help but see them like a fairytale prince and princess and abruptly asks for Mikoto to be her role model. Embarrassingly, Mikoto agrees but adds that she makes mistakes too. After they leave, Kakeru remarks that a lot of feelings are probably developing inside of Koharu since she’s started to live with other people. Koharu relates this to plants, and wonders what sort of flower will grow inside of her. Hearing this, Kakeru comments on how there are poisonous plants too which cause nearby plants to wither and by using those as nutrients it blooms beautifully. He quickly dismisses it though, but Koharu can’t help but feel something off about him. She then notices there’s dirt on his earring, and reaches out for it only to have her hand slapped away. Kakeru quickly apologises, saying that he’s not used to it being touched. He remarks how he’s failed as her partner as Mikoto said, since Koharu looks dreadfully worried about him. Koharu remains bothered by how he’s forcing a smile, even though she originally liked his smile.

One day, Koharu’s talking with Itsuki as he finds out the reason why she wants to be like Mikoto – to be with someone. As Koharu ponders over this, he gives her a kimono to wear while gently reminding her that you can’t be with someone just by being cute or pretty. That night, Koharu goes out to cool her head. Kakeru spots her, as he’s patrolling the ship. He soon learns that she’s been restraining herself from overeating, but tells her that it’s no good to overdo it if her stomach can rumble at this time of the night. Koharu confides in Kakeru about wanting to live happily like a princess and be like Mikoto to make Kakeru happy, but it appears to be difficult for her. Kakeru never said that he wanted that though, and tells Koharu that he’s satisfied with the current her. She doesn’t need to rush things. It’s Kakeru’s turn to confide in her, and he tells her that the earring was from his dad, who’s already dead. They travelled together but he was left alone at the age of 10, as his father was killed but the criminal couldn’t be caught. He was then taken in by a village as his power was useful to them. As Koharu returns to her room, she wonders what else Kakeru is hiding, or what flower is blooming inside of his heart. The next day, Koharu returns the kimono to Itsuki as she begins to realise the meaning behind his advice. Koharu also learns that Kakeru has fallen ill, and asks Masamune to let her take care of him.

That night, Kakeru wakes up to see Koharu beside him. He admits that he doesn’t like others seeing his weak side. Falling ill like this, it’s like he’s returned to being a weak and helpless child. Koharu takes his hand, to reassure him that he isn’t alone. The next morning, Koharu leaves briefly to return with Akito with Kakeru’s breakfast, but Kakeru wonders felt as though someone entered the room before them – and then realises that his earring is missing. They search the room and just outside but to no avail. While Koharu offers to continue searching, Kakeru asks her to rest and reassures her that he’s feeling better already. Seeing Kakeru look down, Koharu tries to ask around for any advice on what she can do. Heishi suggests Sakuya do his fortune-telling, and as the latter does so he appears to see something. As if catching on, Mikoto soon drags everyone else outside leaving him and Koharu alone. Sakuya then tells her:  a traveller with a dog, he has a motive but he’s working against his own will. For the traveller with no number, whether the journey is a discovery or an escape will change the future. He then apologises for only being able to say this, as he doesn’t like talking about the future.

Kakeru appears to be back to normal and even holds a meeting one day to suggest for everyone to hold an event to interact more. However, there’s opposition and so Kakeru decides to leave it for another time. Koharu thinks that if it were the usual Kakeru, he would’ve been able to implement it anyway. When they’re alone, she asks if he’s well and Kakeru reassures her. She then recalls his words from before and wonders if they’re getting along now. When Kakeru says they are, Koharu insists otherwise as he’s forcing himself before her and she doesn’t want that. Kakeru loses his temper, but quickly goes quiet as he apologises. Koharu apologises in return, as she knows that he wants to be alone but refuses to leave his side. Hearing this, Kakeru sighs as he remarks how he can’t hide anything from her. He confesses that he still can’t find the earring and without it, he feels uneasy and unstable as it probably reminds him of his father. He begs for her to say that this isn’t like him but Koharu can’t bring herself to say anything. After that, the two of them stopped talking. The same events leading up to the dream event occur. In the dream, Koharu meets Kakeru who claims to be the poisoned apple which she has to eat. He mockingly remarks how it’s perfect for himself, as no matter how much he tries to act he can’t rid of the poison inside of him. He deceives people. It hurts him to be with her, as she sees through him and his lies. Even though she did nothing wrong, he feels as though he’ll say something cruel to her.

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He calls himself a fool and that it’s better if he was gone. Just then, a sharp vine grows from Kakeru’s hand and Koharu quickly stops him from using it to pierce his own throat. He questions why she did so, since he’s nothing but poison for her. He’s a failure, and being this unstable and weak he isn’t fit for her. Koharu repeatedly calls him a failure, but then pulls him in to kiss his cheek much to his surprise. Despite what he may be, he’s important to her and it’s meaningless to be together if he puts up a strong front. He can take things slowly too, and be the real Kakeru before her. She won’t leave him alone. Hearing this, Kakeru kisses Koharu and it tastes nothing like poison to her. Koharu soon wakes up from the dream and feeling flustered, she goes outside for a walk and spots Ron sleeping outside – and holding Kakeru’s earring. When she tries to retrieve it, Ron wakes up and tells her that it’s for Kakeru’s own good. Koharu uses her power though, so Ron lets go of it and Koharu runs off with it. Ron wonders if it’s really important to Kakeru, but at least he managed to gain something else from this. Koharu can’t help but be bothered by Ron’s words, and can’t bring herself to return it to Kakeru. Kakeru has also settled down and one day, he recalls having a dream before – the couple go into an embarrassed silence and Senri remarks how it’s gross that they’re acting like newlyweds lmao. Annoyed, Kakeru starts bullying Senri but soon stops as he thinks that Koharu is angry. While she claims that she isn’t, even Masamune is shocked that she managed to control Kakeru and Kakeru quickly calls it a day for today’s work.

Koharu is then led to the library by Kakeru and he brings back the topic of the dream. He wonders if Koharu can accept the poisonous him in reality too though. Realising that they saw the same dream, Koharu pulls him close and asks him to be the real Kakeru before her. Just then, Sorata shows up and Kakeru hugs her close to avoid being seen – Sorata appears to still have spotted them though and dashes away. Feeling at ease, Koharu remains in his arms though Kakeru soon admits that he can’t hold himself back for long and kisses her. As they pull away, Koharu bumps into the shelf behind and some books fall – as well as Kakeru’s earring which she had in her pocket. Kakeru is surprised to find it here, and they also spot an open book with the page turned to an image of of fancy-looking man with a dog – 0, the Fool (tarot cards). Koharu recalls Sakuya’s words to her and guesses that it’s referring to Kakeru, and wonders if she should tell this to Kakeru. As Kakeru keeps the earring, he remarks that it’s probably about time he graduates from the earring, as he has Koharu now. The next day is the last day the ship would land and on that day, all the boys leave the ship. Seeing Koharu look out of sorts, Mikoto offers to bring Kakeru back and she leaves with Nanami.

No one has returned after so time so Koharu goes out of her room, and runs into Ron. He notices that Kakeru isn’t wearing his earring, and that if she threw it away she made the right decision. He adds that Kakeru is an empty human being, which causes Koharu to warn him not to speak ill of Kakeru. Just then, two robots show up before them and while Ron gets rid of one, he urges Koharu to use her power to deal with the other. Koharu is hesitant at first, and so Ron contemplates killing her since he can’t hand her over. Agitated, Koharu soon burns the robot to ashes. Kakeru and Akito hurry back then, confused at the sight before them. More robots show up and as they struggle to deal with it, Koharu protects Kakeru from an incoming attack with her power. Later that night, Masamune has reported this to the World and they should reach their destination in 3 days. Sakuya tells him that the future has changed and what will happen, which surprises Masamune. At the other side, a worried Sorata and Nanami try to get Koharu out of her room. Kakeru joins them, and calls out to Koharu inside – that he’ll do anything to see her even if it means destroying this ship. He pretends that he’s about to destroy the door, and Koharu quickly opens it just as he’d predicted. Inside, Kakeru learns that Koharu hates her own power, and asks if every time she praised his she looked down on herself. Just as she feels upset when he’s spoken badly of, Kakeru feels the same about Koharu. He doesn’t want her to decide on her own that they can’t be together, plus he doesn’t find her fire scary. She protected everyone with it and didn’t hurt any of them. Koharu then reveals that she’d always wondered how her power could be used for peace. Moreover, everyone says that they’ll become enemies but she’s gotten greedy and doesn’t want that now, she’s afraid of having to face off with Kakeru one day. As she cries, Kakeru hugs her and reassures her that he feels the same way too. He promises to protect her and repeatedly calls out her name that night as she calms down.

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The next day, Koharu goes to see everyone else and they thank her. Ron appears to be missing though, and as his partner Nanami claims to not know where he is. Kakeru also notices that Masamune isn’t wearing his glove today for some reason. Later, Masamune abruptly asks to shake Koharu’s hand. Kakeru clearly senses something off, especially since Masamune is poor at lying though that’s also why he can be trusted. Kakeru offers his own hand instead, and just as Masamune is about to shake it, the whole ship starts shaking. Kakeru tells Koharu to head to the dining area first, while they go to fetch Senri. Heishi uses his telepathy to tell everyone to gather, and soon everyone is present except for Kakeru and Ron. Heishi then senses someone fighting – and indeed on the rooftop, Ron and Kakeru are fighting. Kakeru is willing to let him go though as long as he doesn’t harm Koharu, seeing that he’s unable to win against Ron’s guns. Ron soon provokes him though, as he mentions how Kakeru is like a puppet with its strings cut off and perhaps it would’ve been more interesting if he’d let Kakeru continue wearing his earring. Kakeru demands for a proper explanation and happens to break Ron’s glasses, and is surprised by the sight of Ron’s eyes. When Koharu rushes to the scene, she finds an injured Kakeru on the ground. A man appears before them, as he coldly calls Kakeru an incapable android. Koharu is shocked as she recognises the man as the traveller who promised to fetch her when she was 17. But he was interfered by Aion so he could only come now.

Masamune and the rest catch up, and the former appears to recognise the traveller too. Natsuhiko appears too, here to kill Yuiga Shirou. Kakeru recognises Shirou as his father, and Shirou notes that he’s still obedient even without the earring. He orders his men to take Kakeru back and Natsuhiko decides to retreat for now. Masamune remarks that this journey was a failure from the start, as Kakeru has turned out to actually be their enemy. A few days later, they arrive at their destination and the ship crashed and they were saved by envoys of the World. They meet Aion and the same explanation is given. But they can’t do Reset as Kakeru is missing, and many irregularities occurred with Aion deteriorating. He’s probably brainwashed by Shirou, even if Aion did interfere once and so Kakeru was separated from Shirou before. Shirou probably wants to recreate the year 2056, and for that he needs Koharu and Kakeru is a tool to get her – and right now, Koharu will probably want to go to Kakeru’s side. Heishi remarks that while Kakeru’s feelings do sound like noise, his feelings for Koharu are clear and so he believes that Kakeru does truly like Koharu. He comforts Koharu, and tells her to believe in Kakeru since she should know best.

Hearing this, Aion thinks that perhaps Kakeru can be saved but before she can go on she breaks down and enemies are heard approaching them. Mikoto sets up a forcefield around them, and Akito asks Koharu if she can fight. Koharu wants to protect everyone, but is afraid of hurting Kakeru. Akito then asks for Senri’s hand, and as something shines Senri passes out. He asks Sakuya to take care of Senri, while looking rather strained. Heishi doesn’t sense any ill intention from the people outside, and convinces the rest to let them in. It turns out to be Natsuhiko and Ron, and they inform the rest that a large army is being led here. Hearing the situation, Natsuhiko sees that his only enemy now is Shirou and so naturally he’ll confront him. Akito asks them to bring him along, and also persuades Koharu to join him as his water power can counter her fire in case anything happens. Nanami also goes with them, as she tells Koharu that she’s worried about someone important to her. Outside, Kakeru soon comes to attack them and doesn’t appear to listen to anything Koharu says. As Ron fights him, Koharu interferes with Natsuhiko as she sees that he’s about to shoot Kakeru. Ron is injured by Kakeru, and seeing this Nanami quickly jumps in between to shield Ron.

Tragic Love End: Koharu is unable to stop Kakeru, as he kills both Nanami and Ron. Time skip and Kakeru is shown bringing Koharu back to Shirou. Though he has a few burn injuries, Kakeru should be able to recover with treatment and Shirou advises him to treat it carefully, since it’s not Kakeru’s own body but his. As Kakeru leaves, he tells Koharu that he heard that Shirou named her. He tells Koharu not to forget her name next time, as Shirou would surely call her many times. When Koharu asks if he won’t call her name anymore, Kakeru replies that he would if there’s the need to be – he doesn’t think that he’s needed anymore. Koharu reaches out for Kakeru who walks away, but is held back by Shirou, who says that he regretted letting her go and that as long as he has her his wish would come true. He asks Koharu to tell him everything that happened in between.

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Good End: Just as Nanami is risking her life to protect her important one, Koharu resolves herself to do the same. She recalls Kakeru’s words on how her power protected everyone, and tells herself that she only couldn’t control it as she was weak. Earlier on, Aion told her that her fire destroy civilisation but it’s not a fire of destruction, but that of renewal – as long as her heart is stable, she won’t hurt anyone with her fire. The fire was a warm and kind thing which protected her in the past. But when she became sad and hurt, it hurt others. Unable to control it and being avoided by others, Koharu became alone. Koharu goes up to embrace Kakeru, and her fire only burns the attacking plants. Kakeru appears to have regained his senses, and he weakly apologises as he made her do this despite his promise to protect her. In the past, he was strong, and didn’t hesitate like this. But that was ‘cos he merely following his father’s orders. He didn’t have his own will so he was never in pain. He hated himself, for committing errors and being weak and hopeless. He was always like that when he was with Koharu, so it hurt him even though he liked her too. Koharu commends him for facing his weaknesses. But she asks Kakeru not to blame himself so much. The thing she can’t forgive is if he kills his own will. He can pretend to forget and not notice anything, but doing so will only make him sad. She thinks that being able to face it is a way to become stronger, and even being lost and in pain is an important step forward. Making mistakes is proof that you’re moving forward. The important thing is to never stop moving forward. After hearing her words, Kakeru remarks that he wants to move forward with her. Even if there are mistakes or they make detours, he will never lose sight of her.

Later, Natsuhiko informs Masamune that Shirou’s dead body was found – the reason is probably deterioration. Everything is finally over. But the malice spread by Shirou around the world is still present so Natsuhiko remarks that until all of it is destroyed there won’t be peace. Time skip and Koharu and Kakeru have travelled back to the place Koharu grew up in. After that day, Kakeru’s health collapsed and it took quite a while before his condition stabilised. Right now, they’re continuing his recuperation at Koharu’s home. They’ve brought the strawberry plant with them, and perhaps they can grow a field here. Kakeru never mentioned his father, and when Koharu asked Masamune and the other island people they made difficult faces too. Heishi told her that while it may take some time, he’s sure there’ll come a day when Kakeru will talk about it – when it does Kakeru will probably be completely free from the brainwash. As of now, the after effects of it are still affecting Kakeru and he’s probably in pain, but yet he tells Koharu that he’s happy now. He reassures Koharu that he’s fine, and lies down on the grass with her in his arms. Kakeru asks if anyone comes around here, as he remarks that this feeling of freedom is nice. As Koharu tells him to stop his jokes, Kakeru decides to settle with a kiss for now. He promises to never let go of her and to protect her, though first he’d have to recover fully first and not worry her. Koharu replies that she’ll always worry about him no matter what, as she wants him to always be happy. Kakeru thinks that he’s pretty satisfied now. The scene skips to the assembly hall covered in greenery with the alarm sounding, and then the screen fades to black.

Tooya Masamune (CV: Satou Takuya)

An older brother-like existence to the younger members of the ship, Masamune is good at looking after everyone. While he’s smart, he’s not skillful with his hands and clumsy. He often reads up on books, and possesses a wide spectrum of knowledge. He usually wears a glove, and it’s supposedly linked to restricting his powers. From the start, Masamune worries about Koharu, especially seeing her innocently accept Itsuki’s suggestive talk. Moreover she thinks that the likes of Kakeru, Senri, Itsuki are basically all good people – which isn’t wrong but he sees that she doesn’t put her guard up either. He specifically tells her to ask him if she doesn’t know anything. Koharu also observes how Masamune is busy cleaning up after everyone’s mess, moreover he goes to report to the World daily. She feels that she’s unable to help him out, and also adds to his trouble especially when she accidentally walks into the men’s bath thinking that she can help to clean the bath area with Masamune. In the end they both apologised to everyone and that night, Koharu is outside thinking what is the way to not give anyone trouble. She happens to see Senri, and seeks his advice. He tells her that if you don’t meet anyone, you won’t hurt or bother anyone then – though he’s doing it for the opposite reason. Koharu had been living alone all this time and didn’t burn anything for 9 years, so she recognises that this is a valid solution.

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And so the next day, Koharu asks Masamune to stop being a pair – he can pair up with Kakeru and she’ll pair up with Senri (with both of them holing up in their own room). Masamune remarks that everyone here doesn’t cooperate so he has to clean up after them and is tired out – but it’s his role. Moreover, he can’t leave Koharu alone anymore seeing how she can say Itsuki is a good person, and how she walks into the men’s bath. He’d prefer for them to remain as a pair, so that she remains in sight. Koharu agrees, though she brings up her worry about hurting people. Masamune tells her that no matter what, people will get hurt and hurt others. But they also learn from it and become stronger. People can also heal others, and he thinks Koharu’s smile is one such source. He offers to help her out with anything she doesn’t know, and so after that he started teaching Koharu about common knowledge and other teachings. Koharu enjoys both learning, as well as being able to spend more time with him. The only half is putting that learning into practice, and so Masamune warns her again to not lend her ears to Itsuki. Koharu remarks how he’s warning her just like Sakuya would to Mikoto. Masamune quickly adds that Itsuki is dangerous to all women – and in fact all men who talk sweet words are. Koharu gets confused as the fairytale story doesn’t go that way, and Masamune is quick to point out that it’s fiction. She wonders how do people fall in love then, if they can’t trust – and if it’s okay for Masamune to teach her then. He tells her that he has no ill intention, and promises to not hurt her. Koharu cheerfully agrees, since it’s Masamune they’re talking about. He also tells her not to tell people about herself, as according to the rule on the ship. As Koharu enjoys herself on the ship, she thinks it’s thanks to Masamune as wonders what she could do in return.

When Kakeru falls ill and Masamune takes care of him, Koharu offers to help too but Masamue reassures her that he’ll be fine. Heishi notices later that Koharu looks down and tries to cheer her up. He comments on how cute she is, just like a younger sister. Mikoto and Sakuya happen to pass by, and Sakuya notes on how Heishi calls Nanami cute too. Heishi remarks that he and Nanami have the same hairstyle, plus he and Koharu have similar hair colour so they’re almost like siblings. Heishi suggests Koharu cooking something sweet for Masamune to heal him. They can’t get Akito’s help as he grumbles at how tired he is clearing up Heishi and Nanami’s mess, so Heishi offers to help teach Koharu. Koharu refuses, to the relief of Mikoto and Sakuya, as she decides to do it with her own efforts. Mikoto offers to help her too, with Koharu encouraging her to give some to Sakuya too. When Koharu gives her cookies to Masamune later, he accepts them after a short hesitation. That night, Koharu spots Masamune coming outside of his room with her cookies. Curious, she follows him to the rooftop and sees them eating them there. Happy to see this, she proceeds to leave but he notices her presence. As he grabs her arm, he questions if she’s afraid of him. While Koharu doesn’t think so, she does sense something off about him. Masamune slowly hugs her close to himself, as he reminds her to always be careful of men. He calls her cute, which makes Koharu recall Heishi’s same remark as she tries to change the topic. As she remarks on how Masamune’s like an older brother, he tells her that she doesn’t think through the real meaning of words and says that he’ll have to teach her thoroughly then – what he really means when he calls her cute. He kisses her several times, but remarks that the class isn’t over yet. Taken aback though, Koharu struggles free and dashes off.

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Two days later, Sakuya catches Masamune sighing heavily and he learns what happened. He decides to go find Mikoto later, as he predicts that she’ll be caught in an awkward situation. At that moment, the three girls are in the library with Koharu reading a fairytale picture book and pondering over the meaning of kisses lol. The topic flusters Mikoto, especially when Koharu questions her directly. Sakuya comes in timely, and answers Koharu instead – it’s something special used to convey your feelings to your loved one. As he brings Mikoto away, Koharu and Nanami are left behind. Nanami adds that the meaning may differ for people though, and Koharu recalls that she and her team went outside the other day but only her and Ron didn’t return that night. When asked if anything happened, Nanami quickly denies that she was kissed and soon excuses herself. Masamune’s been busy since that night and today they’re finally having a study session. He soon shows up, and as they start Koharu notices that Masamune only wears glasses during their study sessions, meaning that only Koharu knows this side of him. Soon, Masamune notices that Koharu has her head in the clouds, and she honestly replies that she was thinking about the kiss from that night – which causes Masamune to fall off his chair lol. Masamune agrees that a kiss is special to him, but is unable to answer why he kissed her. In the end, he apologises for doing it without her consent despite his promise and so Koharu realises that it was a mistake on his part. She pretends to be alright and tells him not to pay any mind. Masamune promises again not to hurt her, moreover he can’t create a “special” someone so he suggests not being a pair anymore. While she’s hurt, Koharu agrees in the end. That night, Koharu can’t help but blame Masamune inside her heart for lying to her.

The next day, Koharu sees Senri avoiding the likes of Kakeru. He remarks that Masamune is way better, and so Koharu tells him that they’re no longer a pair so they can switch if he wants – not that Senri believes her. After that, Koharu hardly sees Masamune as she starts holing up in her room. She decides to thank him for all this time, as an excuse to see him one night. She sees Sorata outside, who tells her that Masamune is in Ron’s room. There, she is welcomed by Itsuki and Ron who invite her in to wait for Masamune, who apparently went to get alcohol.

Bad End: If Koharu goes in to wait, she soon regrets it as Itsuki and Ron get too close for her comfort. Masamune is furious when he returns and ever since that day, Itsuki and Ron were never to be seen……(not making this up).

If Koharu decides to wait outside, Masamune soon returns and is relieved to see that she didn’t enter the beasts’ cave lol. He calls her a good girl for remembering what he taught her, though this bothers her instead. She thanks him for everything before running back to her room. That night, she dreams of herself blaming Masamune for being cruel in separating all of a sudden. She wakes up and has a short conversation with Mikoto, as she apologises for asking her weird questions the previous time. Mikoto remarks that she doesn’t want to kiss anyone though, and before Koharu can confirm the reason she dives back into her bed. As Koharu reflects on her dream, she realises that she couldn’t say her true thoughts to Masamune as she wanted to remain a good kid in his eyes, and instead she blames him behind his back. She thinks that he’d surely hate her if he knew the truth. The next day, Heishi tries to get the three girls to draw lots as told to by Itsuki (for the dream event later) but fails to as they’re in a bad mood. Later, he approaches Masamune and Sakuya instead to help him draw lots.

So in the dream event, Koharu finds the dwarves’, or rather the Hiyoko’s house. Kakeru arrive soon after, and Koharu explains what Itsuki told them. Seeing that they’ve to proceed as according to the story, he closes in to kiss her as he’s the poison apple though Masamune arrives just in time. As they head back to the castle, Koharu decides to come clean about her true feelings. She tells Masamune that she isn’t a good kid as he thinks she is, for she blames him behind his back. She’s willing to correct anything she did wrong, but she calls Masamune a liar as he initially said that he’ll stay together with her. Though a kiss is special to her, Masamune implied that it was a mistake and apologises instead. In response, he hugs her and explains that he did it in order to stick to his promise not to hurt her. He also has his role, which requires him to treat everyone aboard fairly – but Koharu was slowly becoming a bigger existence to him. However, he also thought that Koharu didn’t see him as a man since she acted like everything was alright. Both of them are near their limit of pretending to be the good girl, and the kind guy – but Masamune still has to uphold his role so he asks Koharu to wait till their journey is over. He asks her to believe in him and adds that the wedding this time is a rehearsal for the real one. He tells her to keep this a secret from everyone, though he’s unsure if Itsuki already overheard everything.

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And so everything returns to as per normal. Koharu also learns that Masamune gets drunk on sugar, in fact even quicker than he does on alcohol – which explains what happened on the rooftop as he lost his reason temporarily. As Masamune leaves for his daily report, Koharu runs into Mikoto who’s on the brink of breaking down. Koharu hears her out and later goes to make some tea for her. Sakuya happens to be there too and denies that he’s kind as Koharu calls him. Koharu thinks that anyone would see themselves as the most important, but if there’s someone who overrides that surely it must be ‘cos you love that someone – just as how Sakuya sees Mikoto as the most important. Feeling encouraged, Sakuya remarks that perhaps he wanted someone to approve of him. He offers to take the tea to Mikoto and the next day, Mikoto thanks Koharu as they were able to talk things out. Just then, everyone is called in for a meeting as Masamune informs them that they’ve been ordered by the World to help the National army suppress the rebel army in this area. No one is forced to reveal their powers, and those who can’t be on the frontline will help out behind the scenes. They’ll return to their journey once the situation has settled down. Sorata will remain on the ship, and everyone will return to the ship at night as much as possible.

Sadly, once the people witnessed Mikoto’s power, they start wanting her on the battlefield for as long as possible. Mikoto also remains stubborn and pretends to be alright even though it’s clearly draining her. While Nanami is envious of Mikoto’s power, Koharu is not so sure as Mikoto is being made used of. This opinion is strengthened, after Koharu has a talk with Akito. He remarks that even if you don’t wish for it, you’ll be driven to a point where you have to use it. Though Mikoto appears to be choosing to use it, but she’s also being driven to a corner by everyone. He advices Koharu to keep her power a secret, if not she’ll definitely be made use of. After this, Mikoto is allowed to return to the ship to rest more often though Masamune and Kakeru haven’t returned once at all. One night, Koharu sees Sakuya as he informs her that Masamune has returned to the ship. He tells her that knowing Mikoto’s personality, she won’t be able to bear knowing that innocent people are dying out there when she has this power to protect them. He asks her to leave Mikoto to him, while she goes to see Masamune. As a word of advice, Sakuya tells Koharu that they’re different so they’re capable of different things. Just like he can’t heal Masamune as she can, only he can restrain the stubborn Mikoto having known her for many years. As he tells Koharu not to worry about Mikoto too much, Koharu can only wonder the reason behind his words.

Koharu goes to find Masamune, who is still up as he has to go report to the World at 12am. He informs Koharu that he managed to get some time off for Mikoto from the army, though it’s mostly thanks to Kakeru who was on the verge of threatening them. Masamune also plans to ask the World to let them return to their journey asap. Koharu tells Masamune to rest, and he hugs her for some healing since he hasn’t touched her for days lol. As Koharu pats his head, he soon starts to lose control as he reaches for her ribbon. He tells her that it’s her fault for being cute and coming to a guy’s room at night – but soon he gets embarrassed as he recalls Sorata commenting on how he talks like an old man lmao. Koharu says that she got nervous though, and before Masamune can respond it’s 12am and time for him to leave. The next day, Koharu bumps into someone (Setsu) who soon starts bothering her, as he wants Koharu to humiliate him for his do-M satisfaction lmao. Natsuhiko soon shows up, telling Setsu not to get excited here. They want to know where Mikoto is and when Koharu refuses to say anything, Natsuhiko raises his gun. Masamune arrives just in time to stop him (probably informed by Senri who saw this earlier), and they exchange a conversation which confuses Koharu. Natsuhiko learns from Masamune that the island people decided for the ship to land in this town, and he retreats for now with this information.

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Left alone, Koharu starts worrying about Masamune. He kisses her hand, as he comments on how he’s both been saved by her kindness, but also tortured by it. He wishes that he could return to last night, so that he could’ve remained by her side instead of going to report. Koharu doesn’t feel that it’s like Masamune to abandon his duties like that, but she decides not to ask him anything since he would tell her if he could. But she wants Masamune to say when he’s tired, and she’ll pat his head again like before. He asks that if it’s not enough, whether he can do as he like with her – stuff he hasn’t taught her yet (lol Sorata’s comment is really accurate). Later that night, Masamune calls Kakeru as they plan to leave tomorrow and he asks Kakeru to return. He hears from Kakeru that both armies have dealings with weapon suppliers, apparently one of them’s called Thor. After the call, Sakuya comes to find Masamune. Looking rather solemn, Sakuya tells Masamune that he can’t let go of Koharu no matter what. He believes that Mikoto will surely stand up again one day. But Koharu’s personality is too straight to the point where she’ll sacrifice herself. He advises Masamune to be prepared to throw away everything, if he really treats Koharu as important. The next morning, Masamune tells Koharu and Mikoto that they can rest for today and that they’ll leave tomorrow as the war has settled down. When left alone though, Mikoto wonders if that’s really the case and dashes out when she hears the sound of gunfire. Koharu returns to find Mikoto missing, and also sees Sakuya running off.

Outside, she informs Masamune that the two probably went to town. Masamune tells Koharu to remain inside the ship, while he goes to find them. But Koharu remains worried by the chaos in a distance, and runs towards it anyway. At Mikoto’s side, her forcefield weakens for a second and Sakuya dashes in to take the gunshot in her place. Sakuya apologises for not being able to live on together, and thanks her for letting him protect her. Mikoto breaks down as he passes away and Koharu arrives only then. As the enemy prepares to attack them, Koharu recalls Akito’s words and wonders if she’s being driven to a corner too. But this is all she can do, and she uses her fire to attack the enemy. If only she’d done this earlier and stopped running away, this wouldn’t have happened to Mikoto and Sakuya. Masamune only arrives then, to witness Koharu’s attacks. That night on the ship, Masamune informs the rest of what happened. They’ve been ordered to stay here for a while longer, and the Koharu is with the army now. Akito gets annoyed as he questions whether the duty or everyone’s lives is/are more important, and Masamune remains silent. Itsuki goes to see Mikoto as he persuades her to eat as this was the life Sakuya protected. Mikoto sobs at this though, and Itsuki can only apologise as he leaves her be. Masamune is furious as the army won’t let Koharu return to the ship at night as promised. He even punches one of them, which Akito notes is unlike him. When Masamune goes to see Koharu though, she reassures him that she’s fine staying in town and he’s unable to say anything in return. She decides to sneak onto the ship that night just for a while though.

Tragic Love End: Koharu goes to see Mikoto, who is still blaming herself for Sakuya’s death. Koharu doesn’t want that though, as she says that Mikoto did what she was supposed to do – unlike herself. She asks Mikoto to blame her instead to feel better. While Mikoto refuses to at first, Koharu continues to persuade her and when Mikoto does so, Koharu gently agrees with her. Out on the battlefield the next day, Koharu has driven the enemy away but suddenly she can’t control her fire as it spreads out. At the other side, Masamune hears that Koharu is out there alone as Koharu told them so, to their relief since there’s no telling when they’ll get hurt by her instead. Masamune rushes to find her, and she tells him that she’ll wait till the fire disappears before she returns. As she tells him to go back first, Masamune questions why she’s still able to smile at such a time as he recalls Sakuya’s words. Koharu passes out, and wakes up 3 days later. She learns from Akito that Masamune looked after her all this time and he tells her to return to her room. Koharu goes to find Mikoto instead, who apologises for saying such cruel words to her before. Koharu again, tells her not to say so. She sees that Mikoto has to take sleeping medicine, as she has nightmares. Koharu offers to stay by her side till she sleeps. Later, some army people suddenly burst in and want to take both of them away. Koharu chases them away with her fire, and tells a sleeping Mikoto that she’ll continue to always protect her. Masamune later appears, as he has told the army off so that they won’t come in another time. They’ll think about the future later, and he tells her to rest for now. Masamune apologises before leaving, and Koharu cries quietly at his words.

Happy End: Instead of going to see Mikoto, Koharu goes to find Masamune. Masamune tells her to stay for at least tonight, but Koharu says that she can’t for she has a duty just like he does. She reassures him by saying that she feels better after talking to him before dashing off. Masamune hits the wall in frustration, as he couldn’t do anything. The same events happen up till Masamune goes to see Koharu, who tells him not to get close to her. He does so though, and sees her past – Koharu begging not to be thrown away, and people calling her a monster. Masamune realises that Koharu made herself forget all the cruel memories, and hence even forgot her real name. As Masamune hugs Koharu, he points out to her that her fire isn’t hurting him due to her feelings for him. He apologises for not being able to save her earlier, and promises not to leave her side anymore. Masamune offers to run away with her, to some place where she won’t have to use her power. Koharu refuses, as he has his duty to fulfill plus Mikoto would have to fight again if she’s gone. It was her fault for hiding, if not Sakuya wouldn’t have died and she could’ve protected Mikoto. Masamune forces a kiss on her, and he says that it’s decided already. The one who drove her to a corner the most was Koharu herself. She won’t be happy if she continues to blame herself, Sakuya wouldn’t have wanted that either. No matter what, he won’t leave her side again.

As Koharu is sleeping soundly that night, Masamune meets Natsuhiko on the rooftop. Natsuhiko is surprised to see that Masamune has a change of heart, since he never did so despite his countless persuasions. Masamune explains that he thought going to the battlefield would serve as material for them to decide on whether to do Reset or not. But as he saw his teammates die, and that they weren’t allowed to leave, he started to think that the World wasn’t right anymore. Natsuhiko remarks that the World now is now in a disarray by the island people, and this case is the worst. The deteriorating Aion just a puppet for them, and Aion can no longer be called the World. Masamune sees that they can’t deliberate on whether to Reset or not in this situation anymore, and decides to abandon his role. Nanami goes to find Koharu later, as they talk about all that has happened. Koharu still feels guilty over Mikoto, and doesn’t think she can leave with Masamune after all. Nanami erases her memories, and Koharu no longer remembers what she was talking about. She wonders where Masamune is, and who Nanami is. Itsuki appears, and sends Koharu to sleep and into dreamland. Koharu meets Masamune in her dream, but feels uneasy for some reason. Carrying her, Masamune says that he’ll give her his everything.

At Masamune’s side, he carries a sleeping Koharu as Nanami and Itsuki see him off. As Nanami forcefully erased her memories, Koharu will remain asleep till all of her memories become consistent. Masamune promises to escape the World somehow, since he can’t let them have Koharu. As long as they remain hidden, they should be free too. Masamune asks Itsuki to look after Mikoto. Itsuki wonders whether it’s happier for the person to forget about the person they love, or to live in a reality where you’ve lost your loved one. If it were the past him, he would’ve let Mikoto remain in a dream but that wouldn’t be the future Sakuya would’ve wanted. He can’t be a replacement for Sakuya, and can’t give Mikoto something more than what’s hurting her now. Nanami tells him that there’s no replacement for Sakuya, he’s an irreplaceable person to Mikoto. But the time they’ve spent together would remain as memories to Mikoto. So even though it’s a world where not everyone can be happy, Sakuya continues to live on inside of Mikoto in a sense. Masamune apologises for having them do this, and Nanami is hopeful that they’ll meet again and create happier memories with Koharu. Masamune and Koharu escape on Natsuhiko’s ship. As Masamune wonders the reason why Natsuhiko could escape from the island for 8 years, Natsuhiko answers that it was merely thanks to his partner. He offers for them to stay at his hideout till things settle down.

NORN9 ノルン+ノネット_0175

Time skip and Masamune is seen trying to learn everything about building a ship for himself. Natsuhiko remarks that it’s more like he wants to be alone with Koharu though, to which Masamune agrees – 90% lol. Outside, Koharu is picking strawberries with Setsu who tries to get her to humiliate him. She heard a (fake) back story from Natsuhiko though, that Setsu regretted his tearful break-up with his girlfriend and ever since then he constantly asked for women to blame him lol. And so Koharu is unable to get angry after hearing that and hopes he can forgive himself someday. Setsu quickly makes his escape when Masamune shows up, annoyed. Masamune then leans on Koharu for some energy recharge. Later, Masamune sees Natsuhiko in a room with screens filled with Hiyoko. Natsuhiko remarks that they hjack from time to time and leaves Masamune to deal with them. Masamune wonders why they’re still there when the journey is over, and a calming song transmits through. Masamune remarks that there’s no need for a ship of their own anymore, and asks Koharu to start thinking about their future such as where she wants to live as they’ll leave next week. They also have to hold their actual wedding, and Koharu wonders it implies that they held a rehearsal before. As they leave the room, Nanami and Mikoto can be heard on the other side of the screen. Unlike what Hiyoko said though, they don’t see Koharu and decide to try again next time.

NoteThor is the god in Norse mythology associated with thunder, lightning, storms, protection of mankind etc.

Overall

Firstly, this isn’t the order I played in. Well I did play Senri 1st, but Kakeru was the 4th route and Masamune the 7th route – it’s just that it’s easier to organise the posts by heroine. I think that on the whole, Koharu’s routes are less complete? Well, I can’t say that I found most of the happy/tragic love ends satisfying. All the tragic love ends fell a bit short for me. Senri’s was so short that the CG just shows up for a few second. I expected something a bit longer to kind of…create a bigger impact? I don’t know, I’m probably one of those who think that: if you’re going to give a tragic love end with a CG make it worth playing for? Well the CG is lovely, but the scene wasn’t very lasting I guess. I had a similar problem with Kakeru’s but on the whole, Kakeru’s route answered a few questions but confused you with a few more too. I expected Masamune’s route to answer more questions since he was the locked character but…I felt like I only got a glimpse of the full picture lol.

That being said, yes I’m nit-picking at the plot of each route since we really don’t learn much about Senri, Kakeru, Masamune’s background in their own route. It doesn’t help that the “don’t question each other” rule on the ship can come in as a reason/excuse for them not to probe further. I think basically what it boils down to is that – 90% of the routes are focused on the couple’s romance and interaction with everyone else on the ship. In this aspect the routes were fun! But I don’t think most people had this initial impression of NORN9, thinking that perhaps it’s much more plot-driven etc. Anyway, in that aspect Senri’s route was cute, Kakeru’s was a bit confusing but still amusing and drunk Masamune’s was great. As the new girl, Koharu’s perspective doesn’t give you much extra information or background with the characters unlike Nanami or Mikoto. For example, she’d just see Kakeru as wanting everyone to have fun whereas Mikoto would think that he’s planning this sieve out the betrayer. But Koharu has her own good points and her personality was pretty consistent – we get to see her being supportive of the other girls in other routes too. I think that they chose to feature Kakeru as the ‘main’ guy for her as I felt that the two of them had a more…balanced relationship? Kakeru showed her that her fire can protect people and Koharu drew out Kakeru’s ‘real’ self in a sense. Anyway, I have more to say but those are rather general comments so I’ll leave them for my last post. The next post will be Nanami’s routes!

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