I’m back! I didn’t actually expect to write this so soon but having just finished Aruma’s route I have a lot of written(verbal?) diarrhea to release about BAD APPLE WARS.
Image heavy/sarcasm heavy post ahead
The game is basically about ‘life’ after death. The heroine Rinka is an ’empty’ girl who basically just lives each day doing nothing special, with no interests and no aspirations. On the day of her high school entrance ceremony, she drops her shoe and…ends up getting run over. She even died in a really stupid way.
The next thing she knows, she’s in this weird world where the sky is red and there’s a freaky teacher with a rabbit head on welcoming her to Nevaeh High School. Thinking he’s one of those weirdos commonplace nowadays, she asks him to bring her back to the school she was actually heading to. Rabbit sensei tells her he can’t because she’s already dead.
Thinking it’s a horrible dream, Rabbit sensei drags her to the entrance ceremony where there’s another student, Satoru, who’s already waiting. The ceremony begins and, as you’d have it, the invisible principal explains that they’re both there because they died meaningless deaths while achieving nothing in their lives. The goal of the school was to “to compassionately reincarnate a loser” lmao.
Suddenly a giant explosion happens and a group of delinquents calling themselves Bad Apples appear. The Disciplinary Committee appears almost immediately and both groups fight.
This red headed kid who is presumably the leader, asks both of them if they want to live before retreating.
All the principal says after that is that these new entrants should not become bad apples. Rabbit sensei turns out to be their new teacher and he hands Rinka a student hand book with a whole bunch of pointless rules and she notices the other students look really lifeless and are wearing the same freaky mask and finds it incredibly disturbing.
In the hallway she gets stopped by Bucket sensei (a teacher with a bucket on his head lmao) and harrassed by Gas mask sensei (…yeah). Here she chooses to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
I did Aruma’s route first because it’s fairly obviously the Tacchi char is meant for last so…Aruma is the leader of Bad Apples and voiced by Sakurai Takahiro.
Game spoilers and Angel Beats spoilers and spoilery discussion begins here man I can’t even find anything amusing to say…yeah you’ll know why I mention Angel Beats very soon
When Rinko runs away, she bumps into the redhead from before who calls himself Aruma. He tells her that they’re all dead and even if they want to die again, they can’t. And he shows her.
He slits his own throat in front of her.
Wow. ( ৺ ◡৺ ) I’m sure that’d make me cry.
Rinka closes her eyes but the moment she opens, it was like it never happened, he immediately healed. He starts explaining the world to her, how being ‘good’ turns you into a soulless being, slowly losing your identity/memories until ‘graduation’. He drags her to their base, which is the club rooms cuz club activities are against the rules of Nevaeh High School.
We find out the other people in Bad Apples are from all over time, like Higa is from the Showa era, Shikishima is from the Taisho era omg lmao. But they all arrived at different times, since Aruma was the first there and then Higa. This messed up death timing thing reminds me of Angel Beats…I’m going to be saying this a lot.
At the same time when they arrive, they’re all holding something dear to them, Aruma had a red string which he can transform into a knife or use normally as a weapon, Higa had baseball goods (I wonder…) which he can transform into….exploding baseballs, which is what they used during the entrance ceremony. Strangely enough Rinka was holding nothing when she arrived.
Bad Apples main goal is to break the 7 unbreakable rules and find the forbidden apple which when eaten will get you ‘expelled’. Basically if being graduating = reincarnation, then they think expulsion = revival.
Rinka has no opinion of her own and neither wants to live nor die so she just….kind of stays there and becomes a Bad Apple. ʕ ㅎ_ㅎʔ… She doesn’t really know what’s going on half the time so she wanders off to the school roof top and spots Aruma sleeping.
When she touches him, she sees a bunch of incomprehensible images but also one of the sky. He wakes up and asks if she’s ever experienced a lucid nightmare. Wtf? Anyway Rinka doesn’t get him either and he says when he does, he finds a building and jumps off it, but in Nevaeh they don’t dream anyway. After realising she came alone, he scolds her for being careless cuz she’s unarmed and there’s Disciplinary ppl around who are carrying rulers…which when touch you send you into despair for a while. DESPAIR STICKS! She apologises and…he suddenly decides on her position for the ‘game’.
Game? The first unbreakable rule they’re going to try for is “you must not win the Shinigami Game”. Apparently there’s a school wide game of Shinigami and Soul (read as: cops and robbers) which the Disciplinary Committee becomes the cop and tags everyone. In addition to needing to stay untagged, the Souls also have to find a ‘key’ which they need to bring to the ‘keyhole’ in the time period of the game.
In the game the Bad Apples are split into three groups: distraction, communications and search. Rinka and Aruma are in the search group together so they run around the school looking for the ‘key’. As they look through all the rooms and find nothing, Rika finds it odd that they missed one, but Aruma didn’t notice. When brought up, they search and find the ‘key’.
Taking the key to the roof top, Rinka and Aruma get cornered by the Disciplinary Committee. …Higa breaks a hole in the building and they escape………by jumping off the roof. Since they can’t die anyway this makes sense but holy shit ( ৺ ◡৺ )…
While Aruma is holding onto Rinka, she sees a scene of a young boy and girl talking about the red string of fate. The girl wonders if there’s a string connecting them both and the boy says that even if there wasn’t, he promised to always be with her.
They end up winning the game, effectively breaking the rule. As that happens, an appear appears in front of Aruma, but when reaching for it, it disappears.
Because of this, everyone gets depressed. Rinka regrets finding the ‘key’ and winning the game but Alma tells her to cheer up because they were finally able to achieve a goal they couldn’t before she came and that everyone is not that weak.
At Nevaeh High School, like normal schools there are also exams. With the exams here, each person gets a tailored test…which happens to be their worst subject. ( ☉་☉ ) One of the unbreakable rules is that “you must not score 100% on the test” which is…pretty hard to break. Apparently Aruma got the closes with 98/100 on his worst subject wtf.
Rinka tells Aruma she doesnt have any subjects she’s bad at, but at the same time, nothing she’s good at. Aruma gets an idea that this might be what the school is aiming for and gets her to take the exam with them.
One day when Rinka is about to study with Aruma, she begins feeling tense about being alone with him. He asks her what’s wrong and…she just touches him. ( ◡⁀◡ )
Again, she sees a strange scene again, where the same boy and girl now slightly older are talking in a hospital room. The boy is clearly Aruma and says he’s aiming to be a doctor and he’ll definitely save the girl. Even though he’s gotten good marks, it’s not enough because he’s still a child. So presumably this girl is dying. Rinka doesn’t know what’s going on so she never brings it up with Aruma.
In another study session, they both go to the school library to get some new textbooks. Looking at the empty library, Rinka gets spooked thinking someone may jump out from behind the shelves and she clings to Aruma. he doesn’t understand why she’s so scared, but instead brings up a story which is ‘even scarier to him’.
He tells her about someone who when playing the piano, cannot get a noise out of it, but when someone else touches it, it’s perfectly fine. This is what they call an ‘unwritten regulation’. He tells her in this world, there is such a thing; words written suddenly are suddenly covered with a mosaic when looked at and that words are covered by noise when said. he demonstrates to her and says something that comes out as noise.
Turns out these words are all expressions of love (ง ˙o˙)ว. Rinka tries but she’s also bound by it. Turns out in the Shinigami game, Aruma missed the room due to that regulation, because it made him unable to perceive it but Rinka was able to, so he thinks she’s key in breaking them.
After that, Rinka talks to Sanzu, who is another girl in the group. She explains to Rinka the 7 unbreakable rules.
- You must not win the Shinigami game
- You must not get 100% on the test
- You must not make anyone’s heart tremble at the culture festival
- You must not express love
- You must not have an illicit romantic relationship with anyone
- You must not cry at the graduation ceremony
- You must not eat the forbidden apple
All of these don’t even make sense lmfao. But why not.
Sanzu wants to break the 3rd rule because she knows how it feels to have your heart ‘tremble’, which I assume just means ‘to be moved’. But with the other rules like having a relationship, people in Nevaeh refrain from it because touching people allows your memories to be shown to the other person, which is what Rinka was seeing when she touched Aruma.
There are so many unknowns about the rules, most of them don’t even know where to start to break them which leads them to where they are now.
On the day of the exam, Rinka gets a ridiculous test (1-1=?) to which every answer was 0.
Satoru’s too loud so the Disciplinary Committee smack him with their despair stick and drag him out.
Everyone else was down n the dumps because their exams were so hard. Apparently Aruma’s test was written in code, so he spent all his time figuring out what the question even was ( ¯¯ํ¯_¯¯ํ¯ ) うわ、ひどーい
Naturally Rinka gets 100% and an apple appears again. Same as before, it disappears when she reaches for it. This bums Rinka out but Aruma says it’ll appear again and leaves it like that.
She spots Aruma on the school roof and she finally tells him she saw his memories. Rinka asks whether he saw any of hers but he didn’t, so she concludes that it’s because she’s empty and has nothing important in her. ( ´･_･`)
After that Aruma thinks about how to break the next rule, which is the culture festival one. He’s convinced that there’s a set of conditions that you have to fufill to have the regulations lifted after seeing what Rinka can do. Breaking the next rule would give them more clues but Rinka is scared, since she doesn’t have any of those feelings that the rest of Bad Apples have when they see the forbidden apple because she’s empty.
He decides that everyone should just do what they want at the culture festival because nothing they’ve tried before has worked. One of the guys in the group, Enishi decides to do a play, the trap Naraka does a fashion show and Sanzu decides to do a live band performance on the school roof.
Sanzu asks You, who is one of the guys that entered the school at the same time as her, to play the guitar but he declines. She starts acting weird and Rinka finds Sanzu and You arguing behind the school afterward.
When she asks Aruma about Sanzu, he tells her that in life they were both in the same junior high school and they both came to Nevaeh at the same time, which must mean they died at the same time. Rinka starts noticing that even though Aruma is there, his presence feels so far away.
Afterward, Rinka finally manages to talk to Sanzu, and she tells Rinka that in life, she was also emotionless. Unable to feel anything, one day You lended his rock CD to her, she suddenly felt her ‘heart tremble’. After that You and her along with some other people formed a band, but in the end they all left her alone. This is why she wants to do the performance no matter what, even on her own.
Closer to the day of the culture festival, everyone is suddenly unable to do what they were supposed to. Sanzu is unable to sing her new song and this depressed everyone again. Aruma tells them that because they imposed these new regulations, it must mean that their performances were all going to ‘make someones’ heart tremble’, so they must all push forward.
Rinka feels really useless because she doesn’t understand everyone’s feelings and blames it on being empty. Aruma asks to touch Rinka because it calms him (probably because it’s the closes thing to real human contact given other ppl would have memories).
Again, Rinka sees his past. He becomes a delinquent with red hair and his parents and teachers have all given up on him. This doesn’t matter to him though, because the red hair would mean that she could spot him easier from her hospital room when looking at the rooftop he stands on. At the same time, red is her favourite colour and the colour that binds them. ( ◔_◔ ) …
The day before the culture festival, Rinka suggests that they do a pre-culture festival party to lift the mood and everyone is surprised that she’d make such a great suggestion. (´°ω°｀) They must not expect anything out of her because she’s empty amirite
While they’re preparing, Rinka finds Sanzu behind the school again and she asks Rinka to stay with her. Sanzu tells her that everyone in the band left her, and that means every one including Rinka will someday leave her alone. Rinka tries to tell her she won’t leave her but You comes in and gets angry at Sanzu.
You accuses Sanzu of being the one who left the band but Sanzu says she overheard them saying the Indie comp they were going to attend would be their last performance together. So she acted like nothing was wrong the entire time and took the bus with location with You. The entire ride she was wishing that the time to say good bye would never come, and then it didn’t.
Then You tells her she was wrong, because he also wished the same thing. He regretted having asked her to take part in the band, take that bus, that seat the entire time. The last moment of his life was burnt into his memories, the view of her shielding him in the accident.
He apologises and they make up and agrees to play the guitar for her live.
Rinka gets jealous that everyone has such precious feelings that they carried when arriving at Nevaeh but Aruma promises her that he’ll definitely get her revived, so that she can find that feeling someday. As they do a pinky promise, Rinka sees his memories again.
Aruma is in the girl’s hospital room again and she asks him whether he still remembers the promise they made. He says yes, and the girl starts crying and apologises that she can’t keep it. Aruma tells the girl to not apologise and that he loves her. They make a new promise, that he’ll be with her at her final moment and deep inside, he blames himself for being unable to save her because he’s too young.
Rinka starts crying at this memory and Aruma apologises. He feels comforted when he touches her, yet he’s making her feel pain. Rinka begins to wonder if this pain is his or her own.
The next day, Rinka acts as moral support while Sanzu and You perform, with Aruma as the guard to stop the Disciplinary Committee from interfering. As Sanzu performs and they play it over the PA, people begin to feel moved and an apple appears mid-song. She reaches for it but it disappears and she continues anyway. Since it’s the last time she’ll be able to perform with You, she decides to sing her new song as well, the one which was sealed by the regulation.
This time, she’s able to sing perfectly fine and another apple appears again. Her song was able to break the rule regarding ‘expression of love’. At the same time, Sanzu was also able to hold the apple. She tells You that she’s a bit scared of going back alone but he assures her that he’ll catch up to her soon enough. She passes the apple to him to share the warmth but as she does, both the apple and her disappear.
At that moment the principal announces that someone on the roof top has ‘graduated’ from a hidden condition. They first need to fulfill a certain set of criteria to express love, and when they do, they graduate on the spot. HMMM THIS SOUNDS INCREDIBLY SIMILAR TO…I don’t know, this??? Should have known the moment she was into rock and was part of a band. The worst part is that she was one of the better chars even though it’s like a rip off.
After that event, a lot of people in Bad Apples are all at a loss as to what to do from now on, knowing there’s a risk of ‘graduation’ even in breaking the rules. You decides to leave everything behind and forget, by becoming ‘good’, which a few others follow suit. Aruma stays silent and everyone criticizes him for it.
Rinka follows Alma, since she’s worried about him and finds him in the same room they found the ‘key’ earlier. He starts talking to her as if she were someone else before realising he got his memories muddled up, which happens when you’re in Nevaeh for too long. Apparently his memories have been muddled up more and more lately since Sanzu’s ‘graduation’.
This is the reason why touching Rinka makes him feel calm, because he knows that when his memories get transferred to her, he hasn’t lost ‘her’ (I’m just gonna call that girl from his memories ‘her’). Rinka feels hurt at this but still suggests that he can keep doing it and she’ll keep reminding him by telling him what she sees. He declines and because of over-exertion, starts collapsing. As Rinka tries to support him, he tells her not to touch him in fear of transferring his current negative feelings to her.
Aruma ends up having a fight with Higa over one of the other rules and runs back to the school. Rinka follows him but is harrassed by Gas mask sensei again (๑´╹‸╹`๑)…………… Aruma comes in and saves her, saying he doesn’t want to lose her again?!
His memories are being muddled up again and he’s confusing Rinka with ‘her’. Rinka ends up seeing another memory of his, in which he’s running to ‘her’ hospital room. He was caught in a fight with some delinquents from another school and no matter how much he begged them to let him go this once, they wouldn’t listen. By the time he arrived at ‘her’ room, she was already cold, meaning he couldn’t keep his promise. His father tells him he deserved it for being a bad apple and he truly believes it, saying it was a mistake to even meet ‘her’ and letting her die all alone in despair. He realises he’s carrying an intense pain inside which he uses to tell himself that ‘she’s’ still with him, as long as he doesn’t forget it.
They both fall asleep and when Rinka wakes up, Aruma asks her who she is. Then says that there’s no way he’d forget ‘her’. Rinka realises he’s confused her with ‘her’ so she tells him to rest, but Aruma still doesn’t realise its Rinka. He agrees, only if she lets him hug her.
Again she sees another memory of his, this time a year after the last. Throughout the year he revisits the pain to assure himself he hasn’t lost ‘her’. But he notices that he’s slowly forgetting her, bit by bit and in despair of losing her again, he goes to the rooftop where he can see her room. The last thing Rinka sees is the sky beyond the fence and then darkness.
They both wake up and Aruma is still mistaking Rinka for ‘her’. She decides to take ‘her’ place to lessen his pain and realises she’s the only one who he forgot.
In the end they decide to stay at Nevaeh forever by not breaking any rules, which means they won’t lose anything else. To Aruma, ‘her’ and his friends are the most important. Naraka congratulates them, thinking they’re not a couple, but realises something is off when Aruma is like “Oh yeah you call ‘her’ Rinka here…”
She spots Aruma on the school roof crying, and he himself doesn’t know why because he’s so happy here with all of them, but he feels like he’s forgetting someone. Rinka tells him not to worry and he doesn’t need to remember.
( ৺ ◡৺ )
Present Day End
They both wake up due to Higa’s explosions and go to save him. Turns out he was trying to cheer everyone up by showing how undefeatable they are, even though he was cornered. (*👍 ´∀｀*)👍
Aruma comes to save him and the rest of the Bad Apples in the classes tell them off for being too distracting and come back as well.
Back at base, Aruma asks everyone what they want to do because if they revive there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to remember let alone even see each other. Rinka doesn’t even want to consider this and tells Aruma she’ll never forget. He tells her he never planned on reviving anyway, since ‘she’s’ gone, but Rinka tells him ‘she’d’ be sad if he thought that way.
She brings up his red thread and suggests tying it to everyones pinky so they’d forever be linked and able to meet again after reviving, but he finds it a dumb idea. Rinka ends up asking everyone and they all agree with her. Seeing her reaction, everyone asks since when they were that close lol.
Before the day of Graduation, Rinka is with Aruma again who’s worried about You, who never came back. He thinks that You is like himself, wanting to live but unable to forgive themselves for it, which puts him in a position where he can’t talk sense into You. Rinka tells him he’s wrong, there’s nothing to forgive because it’s the world that has wronged them. Rinka tells him that no matter what happens, she’s happy to have met them and chose this path to which Aruma is so moved he hugs her lol. Then she resolves to tell him her feelings.
She tells him that it may get censored but she has to tell him anyway. It’s fairly obvious what it is, so Aruma stops her. Rinka gets sad, thinking he doesn’t return her feelings but he says it’s because he wants to do it in the living world. And then they kiiiisssss and break the 5th rule.
On the day of the graduation ceremony, the Bad Apples break in and engage in combat with the Disciplinary Committee. Aruma gets on stage to ‘deliver the farewell address’ so they can’t stop him (really? Can’t they?).
He ends up telling them about his own despair but that he was able to find his way with the rest of the Bad Apples. He tells them that those ‘good’ students are probably just like him, unable to forgive themselves and can’t find the courage to say they want to live, so he offers their support and that the Bad Apples will believe in them and support them so that they’ll never be alone.
After his speech, one by one masks from the ‘good’ students begin to drop and everyone is crying. His words also reach You.
Since the rule was broken, another apple appears, but it’s different in that it looks rotten….and can speak. The apple asks them even if they return to a life of despair, do they still want to eat it, to which Rinka says she doesn’t believe in a life of complete despair and everyone offers to eat it.
The apple begins dissolving but Aruma uses his thread to grab onto it. At that moment, the thread and the apple disappears and he hears ‘her’ telling him that he can finally get rid of the thread and ‘she’ can return. Suddenly a forbidden apple appears to every student including the Disciplinary Committee. Both Rinka and Aruma decide to eat it together.
Aruma then wakes up in the hospital and is relieved to still remember Rinka. He then resolves to become a doctor.
Years later, an emergency patient appears who was run over…Surprise it’s Rinka! When Rinka wakes up, Aruma is there and boy has he aged well ;))))
After Rinka finishes high school she goes to find Aruma who was on the hospital rooftop. He asks her if she’s finished and she say yes and asks to ‘say it’. He’s like “yeah okay I like you I love you marry me” in one breath and Rinka gets angry at him for saying it first lmao.
……Okay. Yeah so that happened. How was that……..?
Aruma’s Nevaeh end = Mejojo’s Black Wolves Saga bad end hell they even share the same voice actor lmfao
Aruma’s good end…….I don’t really have much to say other than the fact that I’m majorly disappointed (but since I’ve got the experience of Solomon’s Ring backing me, I know it could be worse)
I fully expected to go into this game for Angel Beats. Hell when I finished the anime earlier this year, I actually wished there was an otome version. Then BAD APPLE WARS came and I was really excited. I desperately wanted this to be good, which may be why I don’t criticise it all that much in the spoilers. Though I guess I expected a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, this route was actually okay.
Life and death as a theme is very very very easy for me to be moved and like something. Unfortunately there’s nothing here that made me all that moved, except for Aruma’s memories maybe. That last one was so painful along with Sanzu’s one. Mmm pain.
I liked all the characters, you know, except for Rinka. Rinka just goes on and on about being empty but doesn’t do anything about it even when she knows its bad. I don’t really feel any progression with her character development, one second it was like damn i’m empty and like 2 scenes later omg i want to be wit u. ??? I feel like she spends the entire time doing nothing, then when she does it’s like OMG SHE SOLVED OUR UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM JUST BY TALKING. ??????????????
Regardless of her personality, one thing I’d really have liked was a back story of some sort for her. When I watched Otonashi’s back story ep in Angel Beats, fuck that was painful, I was bawling. But come to BAD APPLE WARS, I felt the most for the other characters. I actually wished that Aruma would get with his other girl instead omg. When I played Code:Realize, Cardia’s back story really affected me, I wanted to hug her and then melt but it was really really good. I felt for her. Come Rinka, nope, nothing, nuuup.
The system on the other hand wasn’t all that bad? Instead of having visual novel options where you choose what the heroine says, you just choose where she touches ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). After you ‘touch a deep part of their soul’ you get to hear the character’s thoughts and it’s voiced by dummy mike. Kind of interesting, not really something that’d influence whether I think a game is good or bad though.
This was a super long post, thank you for bearing with me xD…
- I like the characters’……back stories
- Pls give Rinka something more than “I’m empty” as a line
- How could a game about death be so not sad
Maybe the other routes will fix my feelings toward her but so far nup. I still sort of have my hopes up that the white haired disciplinary committee leader will fill my need for feels. Please make this game worth the money I spent.