Review coverage: March 1 to March 6
So, these are the first parts of To Heart 2.
Takaki is the main guy in this bishoujo game. If you are playing To Heart 2, YOU are Takaki. Suspend your reality to go into his beautiful world where the sky is blue and all the girls are moe~. Yup, a clear escape from the darkness of today’s real civilized world. Takaki wakes up in your seemingly tidy room. Then he hears the doorbell. Yup, it’s Konomi, his childhood friend. Such cliches. Takaki seems as lazy as Hiroyuki (To Heart 1), still needing a girl/childhood friend (Akari from To Heart 1) to wake you up in the morning. But wait, don’t be fooled by this yet. Him being woken up is but a one-time affair for now. On normal days it is actually Takaki who picks up Konomi at their house.
Anyway this is somewhat a special day, so Konomi cooks breakfast for Takaki. It’s still early so they eat… and do a bit of siesta. Well, after they woke up from their short siesta… they’re now late for school! So they run outside, and…
(To Heart 2 opening movie)
The opening is a fully animated OP, which left me wishing now for a To Heart 2 anime series. Heart to Heart, the title of the theme song, is just as good and nostalgically similar to Feeling Heart. I listen to the song everyday. While we’re at it, the title of Konomi-chan’s main theme and background music is Small Courage ~ Don’t Give Up, Girl! It’s my favorite theme too, mostly because I hear it anytime Konomi is around.
After the opening, we see that they have run enough. They meet Yuji, Takaki’s friend and classmate. He’s the sort of typical 2nd guy we see in other bishoujo games. A playboy, somewhat a pervert too, your typical guy. He’s not too nosy unlike Comic Party’s Taishi, but not too bishounen unlike To Heart’s Masashi. They talk about Yuji’s new robot maid. Hmm… I wonder what HMX-##…
Take note that To Heart 2 timeline is apparently 2 years after To Heart, and so there doesn’t seem to be any cameos of the To Heart characters anywhere. I’m quite disappointed, but it’s alright.
After a while, Konomi’s two friends are introduced, Chie and Michiru. Chie is the energetic type, Michiru is a slow and sweet meganekko girl. Apparently, Konomi and her friends is actually in another school, which explains the different uniforms. Maybe middle school, while Takaki is in high school. And so the girls go to their school, while the boys go to theirs, which is the same high school from To Heart.
We meet another female character named Manaka Komaki. She is an acting-class representative, although she’s quite incompetent in it. She can’t promote order in class, and is quite clumsy in terms of rep work. She’s similar to Chisa in Comic Party. Anyway the real class rep appears, and seeing that he is quite busy on some things, the class appoints Manaka to be the official new class rep. She’s in trouble.
After class, Takaki meets Konomi in going home, but first they have to buy some groceries. Konomi is quite the meticulous buyer, telling stuff about nutrition, product commercials and various brands. I think she wants to stay over to Takaki’s how and join him in dinner, so she tried to ask permission from her mother. Her mother is a good sukiyaki cook, she says.
At home, Takaki meets Konomi at the door, bringing some food Konomi’s mom made. She got scolded a bit because her mom refused her permission. It’s Taka-kun’s fault, she says. Anyway she goes home afterwards.
We see here that it is actually Takaki who goes to the Yuzuharas and picks Konomi up. We see her mom trying to wake up the clumsy Konomi. Takaki seems to be growing impatient while Konomi pleads to wait for her.
Afterwards they go to school again, when suddenly this bike girl zooms in on Takaki, almost hitting him. That’s another character named Yuma Tonami. More on her later.
At lunch break, Takaki meets another character, Karin Sasamori. She’s quite the happy gal, and seems to like eating eggs.
Takaki was ordered by a teacher to relay some things to the class rep, and so she talks to Manaka, who seems to be slumped with requests from other students. She is very very busy, and can’t seem to handle the pressure. She talks to Takaki and exclaims that she doesn’t seem to be fit in this Iincho business.
After class, Takaki and Konomi walk home together. Konomi tries to do some stunts in the stairs. We hear Konomi’s trademark “ehheee~~”. It kinda sounds like Misha’s *tee hee hee hee* in Pitaten. They also talked about plans of going in an amusement park. They planned it for Sunday, but Takaki seems to have plans, so Konomi proposed next Sunday. Takaki still has plans, so I think the amusement park date will be indefinite.
From this point, I realize that To Heart 2 is slow-moving. True to the form of a Visual Novel, the game contains long narratives and events that completely flesh out the characters. I can imagine the game-players being extremely engaged into bishoujo games, because character development here is much, much more detailed compared to anime series. This is a good sign somehow. The little things they do create their character.
Konomi asks about playing card games. I think she’s quite weak in that area, but she wants to because there seems to be candy for a prize. While they’re walking, that bike girl zooms past Takaki again. Another near miss. He talked to Yuji about it, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in the topic. Maids, waitresses, etc… he’s fulfilling his youth manhood. Yuji seems to want Takaki to be interested in girls too.
That’s why when Manaka is in trouble and Takaki is trying to help, Yuji says that he seems to have a sis-con (sister complex). Yuji suggests Manaka and Takaki hook up together, but Takaki obviously declines on the idea. Manaka too.
Finally, that bike girl hit the mark. Yuma hits Takaki, which turns into a little petty fight. Yuma Tonami is a feisty girl. I can say that she is similar to To Heart’s Shiho. Yuma blames Takaki for her being late, and talks about a lot of other stuff. Anyway, Manaka arrives, and she asks if there’s a problem. Manaka is actually a friend of Yuma.
At lunch, our boys notice Manaka only eats bread, and she can’t find an empty seat. That’s kinda lonely. Yuji calls her but some classmates call her to sit too. Well at least she is gaining some friends because of her class rep status. Yuma suddenly appears and annoys Takaki again. But she got some sort of trouble with the staff over at the canteen, so she went away.
You can see the difference between the slow Manaka and the energetic Yuma. It will be interesting to find about their friendship, if ever I see it.
Takaki goes to a nearby coffee shop, where Konomi and friends are. Chie and Michiru, being Konomi’s friends, tries to pair up Konomi and Takaki. They try to make her jealous by sitting close to Takaki (lucky guy). Konomi, being so naive, isn’t affected at all. Chie says it’s boring.
Chie and Michiru are minor characters in To Heart 2, but I think we’ll be seeing more of them than the other main girls because we’re going through Konomi’s scenario.
Yuji tells some bad news (to him at least). Her elder sister, Tamaki Kousaka, will return home and transfer to their school! This is headache to Yuji, but Konomi is quite excited. Takaki doesn’t seem to remember her though.
Anyway, Tamaki will be a major character throughout Konomi’s scenario, but I don’t find her appealing. More on her later.
In PE baseball or softball class, Yuji talks about girls again. Takaki sees Yuma drinking in a nearby fountain. Takaki is quite the wuss here. It’s his turn to bat, and he intentionally hit the ball to an area such that Yuma will be quite troubled. She wets herself in the fountain. Takaki seems to continually see Yuma as some sort of threat. Well, because this is Konomi’s scenario, any hopes of having rapport with Yuma may be lost, but we’ll see.
I’m confused here. March 6 is a Saturday, and yet they have classes? Anyway, this may be a miscellaneous class. The teacher seems to talk about the upcoming final exams. Which means trouble for Yuji. Out of the blue, Yuma appears, and talks about her incompetence when it comes to exams. This turned into a conversation that made her embarrassed, and then she left. Manaka again asks if there’s something wrong. She’s so clueless in some situations.
Going home, it is only Takaki talking to himself, and because it’s in Japanese text I won’t be able to interpret it at all.
We see that some plot is moving in terms of Tamaki coming over. I wonder what kind of girl is she. I don’t like onee-san types in bishoujo games.