With Friends Like These...
If you haven't already figured it out from the main page, violent content is another Charon trademark.
The game begins with the main character, a young boy named Mitarou, being woken up by his mother. From the looks of things, he's going to have a normal day at kindergarten, right?
I get on the bus to Kindergarten.
I'm sure it'l be a wonderful day like usual at my favorite Kindergarten.
Of course, if that really were the case, it simply wouldn't be a Charon game, wouldn't it.
First, that quite a lurch in tone, from "I hope I have fun at kindergarten" to this.
Anyways, at the kindergarten, we meet Kotomi. As mentioned earlier, she's Mitarou's one and only friend.
She seems nice at first, but it isn't very long at all before we see her true nature.
From my understanding, most of Charon's heroines are emotionally troubled in some way, and have an intense, often to the point of murderous, obsession, romantic or otherwise, with the male protagonists.
Kotomi here just seems to be a bully, and an excessively foul-mouthed one, at that.
The school day begins in earnest, and things don't get any better.
Despite this being kindergarten, the dialogue in this scene quickly devolves into what you might find in some high school drama. You know, the kind of thing I played this game to get awasy from.
There's not much to say here; most of the game consists of these vignettes about Kotomi harrassing Mitarou.
Here, you have her stealing his lunch. It's pretty run of the mill--not to mention age-appropriate--compared to what we've seen from her so far.
Unlike most visual novels, this game only allows you to save at set points, rather than at any time.
Next is a scene that really stuck out to me the first time that I played it. Mitarou is hiding in the bathroom playing video games. Naturally, Kotomi catches him.
How many 6-year-olds know that word, anyway?
I thought that she would snitch on him or something like that, but instead, she just takes his game away from him.
I know of a number of games that fit that description, but that doesn't mean that you need to harass him over it. He's probably just too young to know better.
This finally gets a teacher's attention, but of course, she's no help at all.
Next scene is drawing class. This might be one of the more relatable scenes in this game.
Kotomi tells Mitarou that he shouldn't bother trying to make a living with drawing, since he's doomed to be a starving artist anyway.
Legitimate question: Why did Charon decide to set this game in a kindergarten? Telling people to slit their wrists is something you'd expect from 4th graders at the youngest.
And speeches like this are for 6th graders. And yes, this happens practically right after she tells Mitarou to cut himself. Pacing is not a strong point of this game, you see.
Fun fact: in Japan, schoolchildren have to stay after class to clean up.
I'm not sure if her sudden mood swings are intentional, or just a result of bad writing.
This choice matters about as much as all the others in this game--that is to say, none at all.
She tricks Mitarou into cleaning the toilets for her, and, like usual, he can't get a word in edgewise.
The next scene takes place during recess, where Kotomi forcefully drags Mitarou into playing hooky with her.
Like usual, there's no way of convincing her otherwise.
If you fall from here, you will die for sure.
Great, now she's gone from simple bullying to outright threatening to kill him.
Wha--horny!? He can't be horny, he's six!
I knew going in that this kid would be bullied, but I had no idea he'd be propositioned as well!
But enough about this awkwardly translated uncomfortable fetish stuff; Kotomi has somehting far more important to say.
I heard the teachers talking about it.
Do you know what a criminal is? They are people who have done bad things and got captured by the cops!
Do you know what the bad thing is?
[..../I don't know]
She goes on to spout countless insults at both of Mitarou's parents, claiming that the reason his dad doesn't live with him is that he ran away to avoid having to live with the shame.
I remember reading somewhere that this is a reference to one of Charon's earlier games, and that Mitarou is the son of said game's protagonist.
This is the final straw.
After spending the entire day being harrassed, and having his own parents insulted like this, don't you think it would make sense for Mitarou to finally snap?
Obviously, since he just killed someone, instead of going back to school, he runs back home crying.
Naturally, killing another child in cold blood gets you the bad ending. Yet somehow, I doubt that the good ending is much better.
However, the game isnt quite over yet. Immediately after the above scene, there's a speech that's apparently from Kotomi's point of view, while her mangled corpse is shown on screen.
The innocence of a child is frightening. That's why...
That's why, horrible malice...
It grew stronger and stronger, towards the boy who recently moved.
I know that I wasn't really doing such a thing on purpose.
I could only express my feelings with awful language and violence. My feelings changed each time. I couldn't control myself.
My feelings did not want to show themselves. They didn't want to move. Just waiting and waiting to die.
In other words, Kotomi isn't a yandere like most of Charon's other heroines; she's just a tsundere. Honestly, this is something that I should have expected from the start.