Let’s admit, Kotori is the #1 girl of the Da Capo series. It’s almost always tradition that most female leads of bishoujo games only settle for second place in the hearts of many-a-bishoujo gamers (legions of Tamaki fans come into mind), so Nemu takes a back seat. In the case of Da Capo, Kotori Shirakawa is what you can say as the “perfect girl”. She’s sweet, kind, smart, loves to sing, and is the most popular school idol.
This is the reason why so many of us were disappointed with the second season of the Da Capo anime. We all thought Kotori will be the main girl, but then Aisia almost always steals her spotlight. The first season did her justice, however, as apparently Kotori’s original scenario in the game was more or less executed well.
But of course we wouldn’t know the entire story about Kotori without playing the game, right? Unfortunately no Da Capo game is available in English. Thankfully though, some kind folks have been strutting their stuff in translating them. Maybe you know already, but not so long ago there was a partial translation patch for D.C.P.C. (Da Capo Plus Communication) that included the entire Kotori scenario. I thank those guys very very much. If you are a Kotori fan even in miniscule scale, go grab the game somewhere and install the patch. If it’s not a possibility though, maybe you would settle for my summary? So finally, here she is, Kotori Shirakawa!
Disclaimer: I played Da Capo Plus Communication, and so some additional scenes and characters may have been added which were not present in the very first version of the game scenario. Also, even though it is available in English, my memory might fail me, so please do comment or contact me in case I have mistakes in describing each girl’s scenario.
Warning: Long read
Kotori is widely regarded as the school idol. Being the perfect girl, she has the looks, the smarts, and the voice to melt your heart away. Suginami even predicted that 100 guys may confess to her before graduation. But despite her extreme popularity, no guy has ever succeeded in winning her heart. She was practically untouchable. One time, Junichi even saw someone being turned down by Kotori after confessing.
All this may change when one day, Junichi was strolling at the Sakura Park. He hears a very beautiful voice singing. It was Kotori, singing and standing in the big Sakura Tree. Kotori notices Junichi, and was quite surprised, because she always loses herself when she sings. Junichi told her how they already met before, at a Christmas party in school. He must have left a good impression, and so Kotori remembered about that.
The next day, they met at the Courtyard. Noticing that Junichi has some rather rare bread to eat (at their school, yakisoba bread gets sold out easily), Kotori offered for a barter trade. Since that day, the two have been meeting each other often. Whether in the park, or at the shopping district, or at the usual place in the courtyard, they always talk to each other about some random things.
Being this close to each other, Junichi notices things about Kotori that no other person would. Apparently, conversations with her get quite inconsistent somethings. No really, even I fail to undertand what Kotori was saying. She says some rather random stuff which, while still on topic, turns out to be weird at second glance. So much for school idol. Junichi notices that, and was rather astounded that Kotori is more down-to-earth, normal girl that what she seems to be.
Kotori is quite close with Kudou too. Too close for comfort, if I may say so. Early in the game, Junichi sees Kotori and Kudou very fit for each other. Kudou seems to be the school idol himself too, since he has that girly face. Kotori and Kudou talk and agree with each other a lot, and you could say that they look like girl best friends. Fitting enough, because Kudou is actually a girl. Junichi doesn’t know that in this scenario, but I would wonder if Kotori already knows… Actually, Kudou is quite bent on pairing Kotori and Junichi though.
On the topic of a girl’s confession of love, Kudou says that confessing in private is a nice thing. Kotori sees the opposite, that it’s quite nice to see someone shout out to everyone telling that she likes this guy. Junichi apparently agrees to Kotori.
One day, Kudou and Junichi agree on following Kotori, who is suspiciously running away with a big bag. They caught her, and saw that the bag contained… whoa! Love letters! Such is expected from our school idol. Kotori thinks though that there is no “love” in each of the letters, so she will reject each. Junichi pinches in a bit of himself though, and that caught Kotori blushing. Embarrassed, she ran away.
Koyomi Shirakawa is Kotori’s elder sister. She is also Junichi’s homeroom teacher. Koyomi is actually quite close to Junichi, because he is quite popular… in other sorts of ways (like the stuff about Sakura and Tamaki). One day, Junichi saw the siblings together. Kotori scolds her elder sister about smoking. She rather quite concerned, which may hint at something… In any case, Koyomi notices that Kotori and Junichi are getting quite close together.
Junichi meets with Kotori often at the shopping district. One time she bought a musical book, indicating her love for singing. She also talks about practicing for the graduation party. Their graduation from middle school is drawing near, and she apparently has something to practice for. Junichi also notices that she coughing a bit lately.
One day, she said to Junichi that she is looking forward to some kind of concert happening. Junichi still notices that she is kinda sick lately, so he told her to be careful with her health, because she also has the graduation party practice to attend to. Actually, Kotori had been practicing with some of her friends for a musical performance at the graduation party. Kotori is on vocals, while two of her friends are on bass and piano.
Nemu is Junichi’s sister (is an introduction even needed?). One day, Nemu and Junichi meet Kotori (with a mask on her nose, indicating her sickness), and Nemu was quite surprised that the two are actually close friends. Kotori and Nemu belongs to the student council but are quite remote with each other. Knowing more about Kotori this time, Nemu is silently praising Kotori, because of her singing prowess. While Kotori is away though, Nemu becomes quite “Dark Nemu” sarcastic on her nii-san Junichi. It is both a mix of sibling jealousy and rooting for lovers, I might say. Don’t worry, Nemu is actually rather fine when she’s NOT in love with Junichi. I like this Nemu a lot, really.
One day, she even directly asked Junichi if he loves Kotori. Nemu says that either way is fine with her, because she will always be his little sister. Aww, how sweet. This got Junichi blushing around when they met Kotori afterwards.
The Ill-Fated Practice
At the music room, so many of Kotori’s fans are watching her practice for the performance. Junichi reacts negatively to this wild and unwieldly crowd, which were mostly just Kotori fanboys. But then this happened. Kotori started coughing wildly, and was about to faint. Commotion abound, as the crowd seemed to react negatively to this. And so Junichi shouted and told them to leave the room. The crowd wasn’t fazed, but then Junichi told a lie, saying that he is the manager of the group. The crowd dispersed, and so Junichi offered to help Kotori.
Tomo-chan and Mik-kun
The girl with spunk is Tomo-chan, and the seemingly quiet girl is Mik-kun. They are Kotori’s close friends, and are the ones to perform with her on the graduation party. They and Junichi help Kotori up after the fiasco in their practice, and they told her to call off the practice because she was sick. Although it was initially just a lie, Junichi really offered to help out the group, being a manager of sorts.
Since Junichi had been walking along with Kotori after practice, they have been going to the park everyday. Kotori would practice everyday on the big sakura tree, while Junichi is listening on the opposite side of the tree. It’s these moments that bring them even closer to each other.
Nemu is quite surprised that her brother is up early during spring break. Junichi really lives up to the “manager” part. Junichi basically helps Kotori, Tomo-chan and Mik-kun during their practice… by bringing them drinks during breaks… manager? More like “waterboy”, but nevertheless… Tomo-chan and Mik-kun also warn Kotori about her health. She’s still not fully recovered from her cough, and yet she still intends to go to that concert. Knowing Kotori and her love for music, she would still go anyway.
One night, Junichi bumped into Koyomi, rather literally. She had her shopping bag fall off, and then Junichi saw its contents. It was some magazines related to… babies! What? Koyomi immediately denied anything weird, saying it was just research material. She was also blabbering about some video game called Sekken 4 (hehe). So she ran away from Junichi who was already confused. I would wonder… is Koyomi pregnant?
The cat went out into the bag when Kotori confirmed something about her sister. Koyomi is actually getting married. Good for her, I think, but then how about Kotori this time? Does this mean that her sister’s gonna move away?
Tomo-chan and Mik-kun decided to ask Junichi about what he feels about Kotori. He denies having a relationship, but he hints to be working on it. I guess Tomo-chan and Mik-kun will support them from now on, as they said to take care of Kotori. After that, we see Kotori, apparently late, feeling really really sick. They decided to call off the practice, and let Kotori go home. Junichi offered to walk her home. Near her home, they bump into Kudou. His house is near Kotori’s actually. Koyomi is there at home, so she is thankful to Junichi for bringing her home.
Like Tomo-chan and Mik-kun, Koyomi asked Junichi about his feelings toward Kotori. This time, he thought about it, and decided to give a straight answer… he loves Kotori. With mixed feelings, Koyomi told Junichi to take good care of her.
For a couple of days, Junichi has been visiting Kotori at her room. She now feels fine especially when Junichi is around. The next day, her friends also came to visit, but they brought some embarrassing news for Kotori. Apparently, the friends entered her into a beauty contest competition at the request of the Handicrafts Club. They will make a dress for her to wear. Kotori was quite angry at them, but then she might as well give it a try.
Finally, Kotori got rid of her cough sickness, and was great in their practice. Incidentally, it was their last practice (and graduation day is tomorrow), so Kotori planned to treat them to a restaurant. Tomo-chan and Mik-kun immediately declined, so that Junichi and Kotori will be together. Nice job girls! And so they went on their first date at the restaurant (called Hana Yori Dango).
The Dream I
Recall that Junichi has the power to look into other people’s dreams. One night, Junichi looked into Kotori’s dream. It was of a young Kotori, crying, then a grandmother came to comfort her. It was actually Junichi’s grandmother. The grandmother used her power to create some food for Kotori, and she was satisfied for a while. But then she cried again, saying that she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t understand her ‘new’ family, what they are thinking. The grandmother replied, “why not try asking?” so that she would know what they are thinking. Regardless, Kotori still is sad because she doesn’t know. The grandmother said that sometimes it’s best not to know what other people are thinking.
New family? This indicated to Junichi that Kotori is actually adopted.
It was graduation day, and so their middle school days are over. Nemu and Junichi bid Kotori good luck on the beauty contest which was to come later on. Actually, Nemu participated on that beauty contest last year, and will not intend to this time.
And so the beauty contest starts. Junichi notices again those rabid fanboys, how they scamper on just to look at the beauties at the school. They booed when it was announced that Nemu is not participating (whoa, she’s actually popular). After some contestants, finally it was Kotori’s turn. The announcer asked some rather weird questions, and Kotori replied with normal (but still weird answers). The last question was “Do you have someone you like?”. This sent the entire crowd silent, and then murmuring at each other. Junichi now is sent into shock, because it is highly possible that Kotori would confess right then and there! Junichi unconsciously approached the stage, and right at that moment, Kotori shouted his name!
There’s going to be chaos. Some rumors of Junichi and Kotori’s relationship was spreading around the school earlier, but this confession confirms the fanboys’ worst thoughts: Their school idol now has a boyfriend! What a way to turn down the suitors all at once! Junichi approached Kotori on the stage, and as an answer… he kissed her.
Riot! They quickly ran away from the stage. Moments later, Junichi was advised by school authorities not to attend to Kotori and friends’ performance (the one they’ve been practicing all along) to prevent further chaos. Later at night, Junichi meets Kotori. Now officially lovers, Junichi walks Kotori home. Aah, what a lovely pair.
Their first date as a couple were basically enjoying the park, and then going to the shopping center to buy a present. Koyomi was about to get married, so Kotori was thinking about giving a present to her. But they ended up enjoying window shopping with each other, so they never got to buy a present. But then Junichi had a great idea, why not sing a song to her? That is going to be a nice present, and so Kotori agreed.
One day, Junichi met Koyomi by chance in the shopping district. Koyomi was actually with her fiance, Saeki. Koyomi was surprised that Junichi knows about her marriage, but then she realizes that Kotori must have said it. They talked about how they were planning to move away from Kotori, but still in the same town, so that she wouldn’t have a hard time, Junichi would be there for her anyway. But then Koyomi mentioned about Nemu having a hard time as well… because she’s going to move out of town…
Wait a minute… Nemu… moving out?!? Junichi never knew! Nemu never told him, and so he immediately confronted Nemu about it. Nemu apologized for the sudden news, but then all the arrangements have already been done: Nemu will move out of town to pursue being a nurse. She was grateful to nurses because she’s always being attended to due to her sickness, and so she wanted to show her appreciation by becoming one herself. Junichi accepts this, and told Nemu that he will always support her no matter what. And there you have it, the precursor to DCSS.
One day, Junichi was going to pick Kotori up for a date. At the neighborhood, Junichi was surprised to see Kotori and Kudou walking together. Yup, jealousy. Junichi ran away afterwards. He was getting agitated, so he decided to call Kotori and call off the date for tomorrow.
The next day, Junichi asked directly about Kotori’s relationship with Kudou. Of course, Kotori said that they are just friends, and confirmed that Junichi is her one-and-only. Well that’s quite a sigh of relief from him. This really got me wondering… does Kotori really know about Kudou being a girl? I’ll have to find out… maybe in Kudou’s scenario perhaps? (coming soon?)
It was the first day in a new school year. Junichi and Kotori found out that they are in the same class, good for them. And so they enjoy each other’s company everyday. They have classes together, eat lunch at the courtyard, and walk home together.
After class, they go again to the park to practice. This time, Kotori would be practicing the song that she will sing as a present for her sister Koyomi’s wedding.
One night, Junichi looked into a dream again. This time, it was of a young Kotori, seen through Koyomi’s eyes. Koyomi said “I don’t understand”. She doesn’t understand Kotori. In the same way, a middle aged couple, apparently Kotori’s parents, looked into her, and said that they don’t understand too.
This indicates further about Kotori’s relationship with her new family. Being adopted, there will be misunderstandings initially. Junichi shrugged it off though, saying that whatever Kotori’s problems may be, it shouldn’t be that serious, as Kotori is happy right now.
Although they have decided to go to an amusement park for Golden Week vacation, things have started to change for Kotori. She is now anxious about something. During a date, Kotori asked Junichi if he was happy this way. Junichi asks if she is being troubled. Kotori replied “All I understand are hearts… I don’t know whether this happiness will last forever…” Junichi reassured Kotori that he is happy with her, and that whatever happens, they won’t leave each other.
The Sakura Withers
Big news! The big sakura tree has withered. Those familiar to Da Capo mythos would know that this sakura tree was the source of the power to grant wishes. And so without him knowing yet, Junichi has lost his power to create sweets, and also his power to look into dreams.
Junichi still has to go to school. And now, she sees Kotori, feeling rather depressed. He still wasn’t able to connect those events together, but we know that Kotori too is affected by the sakura tree. For the next few days, Kotori would remain depressed, not eating too much, and also going home during lunch. Junichi was deeply troubled, and so she confronted Kotori one day, asking if it was his fault. Kotori told him that it wasn’t his fault, and she was just quite sick. She hasn’t eaten yet, and so Junichi was about to offer her some food using his magic… but he wasn’t able to make it. Suddenly, Kotori said that the food isn’t coming out. Junichi was shocked! How did Kotori know about his power? Kotori left before Junichi can even ask.
Koyomi meets with Junichi. Koyomi was troubled as well on Kotori’s condition. They proceed to get each other’s Junichi’s cell number in case of any emergency regarding Kotori. Kotori hates phones, so she doesn’t have a cell phone. The next day, Koyomi told him that Kotori is at home resting. After class, Junichi went to Kotori’s house. He talked to Kotori over at the intercom. Kotori refused to let him in, still sounding depressed, but then she reconfirmed the amusement park date they will have for tomorrow.
Junichi wasn’t satisfied, and shouted “I love you!” over at the intercom. Kotori was quite surprised, and so she promised that she will “change” by tomorrow. Change? What kind?
The Other Kotori
It was the day they will go for a date at the amusement park. Kotori was running late at the meeting place, so Junichi decided to go to Kotori’s house. Inside, Koyomi called out for Kotori. Kotori apparently wasn’t ready yet. Koyomi talks to Junichi, saying that Kotori really is acting strange. “It is as if she was the Kotori from long ago”, she added. The conversation ended there though, as Kotori appeared.
This Kotori, an extreme 180 reversal from yesterday, was quite energetic and happy! The two were surprised by this. And so Junichi and Kotori went on their date anyway, but Junichi thought to himself. It seems as if Kotori is not herself, this happy Kotori seems to be just “acting”. This is not the real Kotori.
“I can’t sing anymore”
At night, while Junichi was confused about how Kotori acted yesterday, a call came up. It was Kotori, apparently calling through an outside pay phone. Sounding sad yet again, Kotori told Junichi to help out in finding a present for her sister. Didn’t they already decide that the present was Kotori singing? Kotori had been practicing a lot the days before she got depressed all of a sudden. Kotori now told Junichi that she can’t sing anymore. She can’t explain the reason, but she really lost her will to sing, and didn’t like it anymore. Junichi was worried, and offered to pick her up wherever she is, but then she said that her sister will pick her up. Afterwards, the line got cut off. Junichi was clearly worried, but then Koyomi was coming to pick her up anyway, so things should be fine.
The Real Kotori
The next morning was Koyomi’s wedding ceremony. Junichi got a call on his cellphone. It was Koyomi, asking if Kotori is with him. Junichi was taken aback, because Kotori seems to have been missing and her sister is trying to find her. Junichi told Koyomi not to worry and just focus on her wedding ceremony. While trying to find Kotori, Koyomi tells that Kotori may have lost her interest in singing. She reveals that Kotori only started singing when her mother told her so. It wasn’t such that her mother was forcing something on her, but rather her mother tried to find a way to connect to Kotori. Junichi revealed and asks if Kotori is an adopted child, Koyomi was surprised but confirmed it. Koyomi wonders if she didn’t express enough love for her, and thought that Kotori hates her and her family. Junichi exclaims that it is not the case. He says that Kotori loves singing and her sister. It is also the same with his case with Nemu. Even if they are not blood-related, they are still real relatives. Junichi now asked Koyomi to hang up, since she’s preparing for her wedding. Junichi now rushed to the sakura park, where, indeed, Kotori is.
Kotori, standing in the withered Sakura tree, asked Junichi to lean opposite the tree like usual. Kotori tries to explain her problem. She doesn’t like singing. She only sang to clear up her mind. She revealed that she has some sort of telepathy. Kotori can read minds. Junichi realized that this is also how she came to know about his power of creating sweets. They discovered that it was due to the sakura withering that’s why they have lost their powers.
To Kotori, it was a convenient thing to read other people’s minds. She was able to act accordingly to other people. She was able to affirm herself with her new family. She was able to gain friends. With this power, she knew that Tomo-chan and Mik-kun loves her. She also knew that Junichi loves her. That is why she was able to love in return. She had proof. But now that the power was gone, she has no proof anymore. She felt insecure about herself, insecure about all the people around her.
Junichi gave advice. Although it was a shock for Kotori, Junichi explains that there is no need to read a mind for proof of being loved. Junichi also tells her that she really likes singing even if she denies it now. There is no need to prove that she likes singing. She just likes it, and that is all. In a normal world, people choose to like and love without any boundaries. Kotori still feels uncertain about this, but then Junichi affirms that by this uncertainty, the way to deal with it is to communicate the feelings. Junichi finally gave Kotori the confirmation she needs. He communicated his feelings by kissing her.
Junichi reaffirmed that Kotori will be able to adjust over time, and she is not alone. Her family, her friends, and Junichi is there for her. There is no need to prove it, because they love Kotori. Finally, Kotori was enlightened, and gave her real smile. The smile of the real Kotori.
Junichi and Kotori rushed to Koyomi’s wedding ceremony just in time. Kotori was able to sing the song for her sister, and her sister broke into tears. Koyomi was so happy that Kotori was there, singing at her wedding day. Koyomi hugged her tight, expressing her love. The rest of the audience clapped with warm loving hands.
After the ceremony, Junichi exclaimed on how he didn’t expect to see Koyomi crying. Kotori said that she already saw something similar when she was young. The day young Kotori called Koyomi “onee-chan”, Koyomi cried with happiness.
With that, Kotori and Junichi lived happily ever after…
Wasn’t that great? I enjoyed this scenario very much! Although it wasn’t already a surprise to me, having seen the Da Capo anime, the new plot details were very endearing. We see more of Kotori as being the normal girl rather than a perfect school idol. This wasn’t focused too much on either season of the anime. It was really nice to hear Kotori doing her “chiwa-su~”, talking about random weird stuff that sometimes doesn’t make sense, etc. One quirk though, we actually don’t hear Kotori sing anything until the very end, which is “Soyokaze no Harmony” (for Koyomi’s wedding).
Another thing to note, Kotori’s seiyuu for the game apparently isn’t the same as in the anime. It’d be hard to adjust at first, but then you’ll get used to Kotori not being the Yui Horie version. She has the same feel anyway, so…
All in all, it left me satisfied. I dunno if I can muster the urge to go play another character in Da Capo, but I hope to have the time once again. If that time comes, I will go for Kudou Kanae’s scenario. Until next time.