Let’s just end this once and for all!
What are you trying to do here?
I will attempt the impossible by playing through a bishoujo game… in Japanese.
Are you suicidal?
This is just because of the extreme urge to somehow play a popular bishoujo game.
You won’t understand it at all!
Yes I know. For one, To Heart 2 is a Visual Novel. It has TONS of text which I won’t understand whe way I am now.
But because this is an attempt at futility, I have some tricks up my sleeve:
- I have a walkthrough.
- I have 5% knowledge of conversational Japanese.
Using the walkthrough, I’ll be able to get a proper ending with a specific girl… if I follow directions right.
And using my 5% Japanese words, vocabulary and sentence understanding, I may be able to understand the story.
This is ridiculous. You won’t understand the story without the text. Besides, the player is YOU. You are supposed to be talking, but the talk is only through the text. The girls and other people may be talking to you through voice-overs, but that means you are getting half the conversation only.
Yes I will get half the story that way.
Enough self-talk. Let’s see where this goes.
You will find my introduction and updates through the URL:
I love the To Heart anime. I love that anime so much, that I really wished nothing will get wrong about the new series which is called To Heart ~Remember my Memories~.
Alas, I was wrong.
Being an anime-only fan of To Heart, I can already expect that I may not deserve to say bad things about To Heart ~Remember my Memories~ (hereby named as To Heart R for clarity), clearly because I haven’t even played the entire game nor understood it fully. For the bishoujo game players, To Heart R is a big treat. They get to see the new stories that happen after the original game. To Heart R is not a direct sequel of To Heart, and because of this, I am trying hard to separate them.
Technically, it’s an absolute shame. The art and animation levels are more of a stock market from the first 2/3 of this series. Sometimes good, sometimes horrible. I know that the producers of this anime are trying to make an accurate art rendition of To Heart using the original game’s character designs, and that’s fine with me. However, the massive and radical differences of the designs between each episode really make me sick. The same character in ep. 1 may not ever look the same in other episodes. Thankfully, the latter part of the series have gotten it right, which makes you wonder why they didn’t do it that way from the first time through. Yup, even before Mahou Sensei Negima, anime like To Heart R is already suffering from varying sakuga levels.
The story is, for me, something up for debate. On one hand, it was nice that they had a full forward story approach, as opposed to the filler-ish nature of the first series. On the other hand, one can argue that the series has been too focused on Multi. Multi’s plotlines run deep through every single episode of To Heart R, in that you may think they are really leaving Akari behind, despite her being the main girl. For fans of the iconic HMX-12 robot, To Heart R is a dream come true. For non-fans of Multi, To Heart R became too unfair to the other characters.
The biggest complaint I had with To Heart R is of one character itself, and that’s Hiroyuki. This is really the biggest disappointment that made me want to ask if his attitude is really that way in the original game. To Heart R’s Hiroyuki is the most insensitive, indecisive, and inconsistent bishoujo male lead I’ve ever seen. It’s an extreme reverse to To Heart’s Hiroyuki, the bored but kind male lead. There is a reason for the girls to love Hiroyuki of the original To Heart, because he is really kind and helpful to all of them. To Heart R’s Hiroyuki, yea sure he’s kind too, but I really can’t see it that way. For one, his “cruelty level” to a person is proportional to how close the person is to him. It means that he is somewhat mean to Masashi and Shiho, and to the worst extent, he is really mean to Akari. He is also hot-headed, and shouts a lot, especially when things don’t go his way. He is impolite to the elders he talks to throughout this series.
I really wonder how the To Heart R Hiroyuki made 3 girls in love with him. Yes folks, 3 people confessed to him in this series, as opposed to 0 in the first. And I really hate how he handled their broken hearts. We all know Akari is the main girl, and Hiroyuki is destined to be with Akari. But those 2 other poor girls got the no answer while Hiroyuki is still confused about his priorities, and Akari is being jealous. Therefore, the 2 busted girls didn’t have the chance to to make themselves worthy of Hiroyuki’s affection at all.
I want to say something good this time about To Heart R. Well, the OP and ED are really good. The OP reminds me of classic bishoujo game music, while the ED is a new rendition of a popular To Heart song. There are also multiple cameos of characters from the new bishoujo game To Heart 2, which I liked very much. The voice cast is almost the same as the first series, which is one of the best ingredient of this anime. Back in 1999, many of those seiyuu are already relatively popular. In 2004, the same seiyuu cast made To Heart R one of the most spectacular lineup of voice talents in recent history. I never thought I could see Yui Horie and Ayako Kawasumi together in an anime again.
I really want to say many more things about To Heart R, but you may be bored about this absolutely biased rant. Sorry that I am biased towards the original To Heart anime, but that’s my true and honest opinion. To Heart R is actually an ok anime, but because of so many reasons, I can’t find myself to liking it.
Taken from Comic Party Revolution 7:
Taken from Comic Party Revolution 5:
It’s Konomi Yuzuhara! It’s Konomi-chan! It’s a major treat for the To Heart 2 fans. They even snuck the opening song of the game in as background music!
Just don’t ask who the heck cosplayed it…
I’m finished!!! Finally, after almost a month, I finished the Konomi scenario in To Heart 2! I never thought I would.
Anyway, my big hurdle was really the language barrier. Not being able to read the Japanese text, I rely and listen closely at what the voice overs are saying in their dialogue. Technically so many details may be wrong in the entirety of the feature, but as a whole all the things that happened in the scenario gives Konomi her necessary character development.
We see her as a fun, klutzy girl who seems always positive but has her share of down times too. She definitely loves her onee-san Tamaki. She is also somewhat superstitious, and likes to buy and give Takaki some charms and stuff like that. She’s definitely a girl, and seeing her cry after her junior school graduation develops her characteristics of vulnerability as a girl. And of course, her “eheee~” habit makes her as cute-sounding as she is cute-looking.
Of course, the other characters which had their share of character development in this scenario are the siblings Yuji and Tamaki. They are very comic siblings. How they punch each other with words or rather physically ups the comic humor a bit in the game. And Yuji serves as the crossover king, citing references to many of the other Leaf games including no less than the first To Heart.
Which brings me to this subject, a possible major flaw in the structure of To Heart 2. How come that all those girls do not remotely know each other? I know that Yuma and Manaka are friends, but that’s just about it. Other than that, no rapport is seen between the other girls. Why is that? I would have wanted some kind of love triangle plot, or some petty fight issues between the girls. I haven’t played the original To Heart game, but why do the To Heart girls know each other in both anime series? In fact, they know each other too well you’d think they’re friends already. Is this an anime-only thing? Will we see rapport among the To Heart 2 characters when the anime arrives? I’ll have to see about that. In any case, it is sad that the To Heart 2 girls have little or no relation to each other in this game.
That said, it really seems to be a straight-forward game. Follow one girl, discard the rest. But if you stray away from her scenario, you get the generic bad ending. Seemingly as simple as that. I guess what really matters here is the story rather than the gameplay. You could see yourself idling away with not pushing any buttons for a period of time, since the choices and place directions are few and far between. It isn’t too hard to stray away from a girl’s scenario either. Just pick the choices that attune to the character, and also go to places where you can possibly meet her. To Heart 2 is an easy game.
On to the technical aspects. For a visual novel or bishoujo game, the event CG is rather good. Only in rare instances did I see the character drawings to be inconsistent. If I’m right, there are a total of 227 event CGs in the game. Character and background CGs blend along well. There are a few special graphical effects seen though, like zooming in the characters, but there are lots of screen fading styles employed (if anyone is ever interested in those). The music is great too. Just recently I realized that many tracks in To Heart 2 are actually revivals or remixes of To Heart PSE tracks! This recreates even more the original To Heart feel, but unfortunately I have a “heard first” tendency, so I rather like the To Heart 2 versions more.
By the way, I am playing the Playstation 2 version of To Heart 2. Actually, there will be a PC port of the game soon, possibly featuring new characters and scenarios to the game. I’m thinking that I may update some parts of this project to include some new events in the PC Konomi scenario in the game, if they will exist (and if I get the game of course).
My many thanks to the people who supported this project. To the people to posted a comment, and also to the game players I (annoyed) asked to help me on this project. Thank you very much!
Well, until the anime or the PC version comes, I officially declare this project… COMPLETE!
Review Coverage: April 25 to 27, True and Alternate Ending
The end is here!
Konomi picks Takaki up again in his house in the morning. After class, they go home together again. She seems to have a problem with some sort of practice. Takaki volunteers to help her, so that made her happy. Along they way, she tries to confess again, but she fails again.
This is the final fateful day. After class, we see Takaki, Konomi, Tamaki and Yuji together. The boys react on how how the weather is. Konomi suggests that they eat ice cream. Everyone agrees and so they go to the cafe. While Tamaki and Konomi gets to buy everyone the ice cream, Konomi’s two friends arrive! It seems that they know about the sleepover events, and so they tease Takaki again about Konomi. On Konomi’s back, Takaki reacts rather badly, saying that she’s really just no more than a childhood friend, or a little sister. Actually, Konomi hears the conversation. She starts getting nervous, and was about to cry, and so she fled and went home. Takaki tries to follow her, but she first gets stopped by Tamaki. Tamaki now becomes his second conscience. So she tries to let Takaki realize his true feelings for Konomi. Is she just a childhood friend to him? Or a potential lover? Tamaki gave Takaki two choices:
I see her as a girl.
I see her as just a childhood friend.
The To Heart 2 game player now has a choice that leads to two different endings.
It’s better for you to go to the page instead of me summarizing the two endings, so anyway go to each ending to find out!
I see her as a childhood friend.
Tamaki “How about it?”
After explaining that she’s really just a childhood friend…
Tamaki “I see…”
Tamaki “If that’s that, just sit back here. I said a while ago. Because of your kindness, Konomi was just hurt a bit.”
Tamaki “Don’t worry, I will go to where Konomi is, just leave it to me.”
I tried to reason out that it may be better that I’ll go instead.
I think she agreed.
So we ran everywhere, until we found Konomi in front of her house, tending Genjimaru.
Konomi “Hey, what’s wrong Genjimaru?”
Konomi “Hey stand up. Let’s go for a walk.”
Konomi sees me.
We go for a walk instead.
Konomi “Sorry about earlier, when I went home suddenly.”
Konomi “Anyway, Genjimaru is cruel, even though I said to have a walk, he doesn’t want.”
Whatever I said made her a bit happy this time. Maybe I was explaining about the event at the cafe.
Konomi “Is what you said true?”
Konomi “Taka-kun, do you know…”
I may be telling her that I don’t like her as a girl right now. But I like her as a childhood friend and that’s a given.
Konomi “Maybe not now… it’s okay. But, someday I’ll be more beautiful, and I’ll make you like me.”
Konomi “I like you Taka-kun. More than anyone, I like you.”
Konomi “This feeling, I won’t lose to anyone.”
Konomi “But Taka-kun, you may see Tama-oneechan as more special.”
Tamaki “Ara, I won’t intend to lose either…”
Konomi “Sorry, Tama-oneechan, we got lost a little bit.”
Tamaki “Well then, Konomi. Whomever Taka-kun picks, whether we win or lose, no regrets… ok?
Konomi “Ok. Even if you’re my opponent Tama-oneechan, I won’t lose.”
Tamaki “Yup, as I wanted.”
(Something tells me that Takaki is gathering his harem)
What the heck are you guys talking about?
Tamaki “You haven’t noticed?”
Tamaki “I like you too. I knew you won’t notice. Hah, that’s that.”
Anyway they put their arms around me, and we’re side-by-side close together.
Chie “Whoaaaaaah… Something’s big happening over here…”
Michiru “FBI vs. KGB… Aliens coming over in summer. Next Comipa theme is SF.”
Yuji “Ahh futile. I told you not to regret.”
Yuji “Huh? This is not supposed to be?”
Tamaki “This Golden Week, maybe we can go play somewhere… Taka-bou’s treat.”
Konomi “Really? Then… is the amusement park ok?”
Tamaki “Ok, it’s fine. First, the amusement park, then maybe onsen is ok too.”
Konomi “Maybe Tama-oneechan wants to join my sleep over at your house too.”
Tamaki “Ara, it’s ok with you?”
Konomi “Yup… I wanna learn some cooking from you…”
I wanna get out of this mess.
(It’s a nightmare! This is a harem To Heart 2 ending!!!)