To Heart 2 Review (Part 3)

By bluemist on March 20th, 2004

Review Coverage: March 14 to March 20

Interesting stuff happens this week! We will see more references from Leaf’s other bishoujo games, Konomi sleeping over in Takaki’s residence, and finally the long-awaited appearance of Tamaki Kousaka, Yuji’s elder sister.

Things are really getting more and more interesting, and at the same time, it’s getting more and more challenging for me! Because of the extremely high level of Japanese conversations this time around, I was forced to find some tools that may help me understand them. I even ventured into “drawing Kanji” through Windows XP’s Japanese support tools. Well that’s practically useless and it’s a pain to draw.

March 14
With the thief event from before, Takaki checks the house for any damages or lost items. There seems to be no damage or property lost though. It was quite a relief that Takaki was around and awake that time. He then spent his whole day studying for the final exams.

March 15
Takaki joined Konomi again in the morning, walking her dog. She talked about how spring break is already coming for Takaki, she seems to be more excited with it than Takaki himself. At night, Takaki hears police sirens around the area. Maybe the police are on the lookout for the thief, or maybe they caught the thief.

March 16
Konomi, Takaki, and the dog again. After class, Takaki sees Konomi at the gate. He wonders why, because she has no more classes. Anyway, they talk about some stuff like her best friends moving away. Maybe they’ll prepare a farewell party. Takaki seems to suggest dancing.

March 17
This morning Takaki is with Yuji going to school. Takaki brings a pamphlet about Kurusugawa Maid Robot Collection. Apparently it’s about maid robots, and he think Yuji will like it because he’s all maniac about maid robots and stuff. Yuji declines that his hobbies are not like that. Kurusugawa, yes, the big and rich family from To Heart, with the Ayaka and Serika siblings. And, Kurusugawa maid robots would surely include the HMX series.

March 18
Takaki is with Yuji again going to school. Yuji talks about Rina Ogata’s new TV drama. Takaki didn’t watch it, and doesn’t seem to be interested. Rina Ogata is, yes, a character from White Album, one of Leaf’s earliest bishoujo games. She is a singing idol there, and here in To Heart 2, her career seems evolve to include acting as well.

At the shopping district, Takaki meets Konomi. She seems to be shopping for bathing products this time. I don’t know too much about this, but Japanese can be quite intricate in bathing. They seem to need ingredients in the bathtub aside from warm water, possibly to take care of their skin. Konomi talks about having milk baths and wine baths, and she wants to experience that kind as well.

March 19
Konomi’s mother seems to be going out on a trip, leaving Konomi behind, so Konomi would be sleeping over in Takaki’s house. After class, Takaki goes home. Konomi appears, and she seems to be quite excited in the sleep over. They buy groceries, then back at home, Konomi tries to cook beef curry.

It’s sleeping time, and now they share the same room (!). Konomi sleeps in Takaki’s bed, while Takaki on the floor. Konomi wants to stay awake to talk with Takaki, but Takaki seems to be sleepy. She shrugs Takaki to wake him up a couple of times, but eventually he dozes off. During the night, Takaki seems to be sleepwalking, and then Konomi tries to wake him up.

March 20
The phone rings in the morning. It’s Yuji (supposedly), and he asks Takaki to go to his house for something. Konomi is still sleepy so she’ll be left in the house. At Yuji’s house, Tamaki finally appears! Tamaki invited Takaki inside, and seems to be speaking in an extremely formal tone. She offers him tea, and talks about old times. Takaki is quite impressed with her maturity. While Tamaki is preparing breakfast, Takaki hears groaning noises in a closet. It’s Yuji, tied up! Yuji tries to convince Takaki that her elder sister did all this, and that he should be careful because she is devilish. Suddenly, Tamaki appears, same as long ago, and seeing that her plans to impress Takaki has failed, she catfights with Yuji. She hugs/strangles Takaki. She removes her formality-acting slowly and talks normally.

It will be interesting from now on. What kind of effect Tamaki would have on Konomi and Takaki’s relationship? Tamaki seems to be the Shiho (To Heart) of this series. Being an onee-san type of girl, I don’t dig her too much, but she’s quite okay I guess.

Now, I really wonder about the other To Heart 2 characters. Because the walkthrough tells me where to go for the Konomi scenario (yup after class you pick up choices on what place to go to), I don’t go to any other place, which avoids me from meeting the other characters. I’m starting to guess that I won’t see the Himeyuri twins, and that mysterious white-haired girl Lucy Maria. I hope to still see Yuma, Manaka and Karin though.

I noticed there isn’t too much rapport between the girls. We only see that Yuma and Manaka are friends, and that Konomi will cling on to her onee-san Tamaki. Other than that (and the twins obviously), there isn’t too much relationship between the To Heart 2 girls, at least in this Konomi scenario. In both To Heart animes, the girls know each other and are quite friends and acquaintances.

While bishoujo games are interesting, I ask the game-players out there, don’t you get bored with these static pictures? Visual novels feature tons of text, lots of character CGs signifying their emotions, and the usual event CG. I guess I’m really not used to this. Besides, I don’t read novels. But if I do read novels, this is a wonderful step-up, because it is a ‘visual’ novel after all, and a “choose your own adventure” type also.