I’ve played Toki no kizuna for the first time years ago, when I was still a newbie to otome games and my japanese was very basic: needless to say, I couldn’t understand most of the dialogues, so I ended up dropping it after a couple routes.
My knowledge of japanese history was also non existent, so even if I used a guide I couldn’t enjoy it at all: I spent most of the time looking at those old man speaking, asking myself wtf should I care about their wars instead of spending time with the boys… and I figured out that forcing myself to play it until the end was just a waste of time.
Years later, I’ve decided to pick it up again, to figure out if my tastes changed and I could finally enjoy this game.
Was it a good idea? Well…. yes and no.
Since I’ve started, I understood clearly why I had so many problems with those kanji: I can read them now, but games like this make our poor gaijin crazy!
My first route was Shin, because he was the only one I managed to complete back then too and I was really curious to see if my reaction changed.
I still had some flashbacks of the most important scenes, but overall it felt like playing a new game to me, and I enjoyed it at the fullest.
The plot was interesting and the characters too, Shin is also my type, so I was very happy about my choice!I also told myself “how could I hate this game?! It’s so good! The tragedy, the feelings… everything melts perfectly together!”…at least, this was my first impression, but it didn’t last too long.
Kazuya was amazing and I understand why most of my friends love him: you can clearly tell he’s a sweet guy, behind his stoic attitude. He reminds me a bit of Hakuoki’s Saito, this kind of character seems always to be the most popular!
Well, I can’t deny he’s good husbando material, his romantic scenes were really touching.
Chitose’s route had plenty of funny moments, he’s also really cute and I liked him as a character!
But………. well, at this point I started to get really bored of all the endless talking about wars.
I get it, it’s an historical game, I was prepared fot military strategies and actions scenes, but…. it’s still an otome, the plot shouldn’t push aside the relationship completely!
When the demons attacked, every scene started to look the same and they became very repetitive and boring, so I just put the autoplay and did other things while I heard the same stuff happening over and over again.
Kazutake was deeply affected too, sadly I couldn’t enjoy his route enough for this reason.
Also, I admit he’s not my type: he keeps protecting the heroine because she’s a woman, but…. hey, she’s strong! She can fight on her own, let her be!
I appreciated his concern, but it became almost offensive, since Yukina was trained and had no problems at all to defend herself.
Senkimaru needs to be played last, because his route features all the side characters who appeared in the previous routes, and also has huge reveals about the real plot of the story, explaining the heroine’s past and the villain’s true goal.
I admit I was expecting a similar revelation, but still it surprised me, so I liked a lot how this route was completely different from the others.
So…… did I regret my “replay”? (If I can call it like that)
I don’t regret it at all, it was overall a good game, but there are some lacking points too.
The good points of this game are:
all the characters are interesting, and they have great seiyuu too;
some routes will make you cry and feel emotional;
the art is amazing.
The bad points are:
too much war stuff; some routes are basically made ONLY of that.
After the first run, nothing is really surprising. Even if the characters are interesting, many scenes give a deja vu feeling and it feels boring; (Senkimaru is the only exception)
If you decide to play Toki no kizuna, keep in mind that it’s more and “adventure game” than an otome game. Of course, there are romantic scenes too, but the focus is more on the plot (which is not even interesting, if you don’t care about japanese history and wars).
Even if I love plot-centric games, and the tragic ones most of all, I still find it difficult to keep my attention up for all the route: for example, the actions scenes when the main characters fight with the demons, honestly looked all similar in every route and I stop caring after a while.
I’m going to play the fandisk for sure anyway, because I loved all the boys and I need some cute moments with them, they deserve it!