Unsurprisingly (surprisingly? maybe depending on perspective) it didn’t take all that long to finish this game. And to summarise my feelings: AAAAAAAAAAAaaaHHHHHHHHH.
Synopsis below copied from my first post:
The story is about Awaki Kotone, who inherits her grandfather, Awaki Souan‘s cafe after his sudden death. Having experienced her fair share of early career hardships, she wonders what to do with her life and his cafe and discovers a strange door in the cafe that when opened, allows customers from other worlds to visit Cafe Enchante. At first not believing such a fantastical thing was possible, with the guidance of Souan’s long time customers, Miser Rex (for some reason his name is read as Michelle Alex in common English, CV: Akabane Kenji) the Demon King of the demon world Asmodia, Canus Espada (CV: Umehara Yuichiro) headless knight of the fairy world Medio, Il Fado de Rie (CV: Ishikawa Kaito) fallen angel of the heavenly world Caelm and Ignis Carbunculus the strongest of the magical beast world Beastia, she slowly comes to accept that Cafe Enchante is a place for patrons of other worlds to rest. As it turns out, the Japanese government is well aware that such otherworldly beings frequent Cafe Enchante as well other other parts of the country and have an unofficial branch dedicated to the observation of them, with Rindou Kaoru (CV: Suwabe Junichi) being assigned to Cafe Enchante. As Kotone decides to continue running Cafe Enchante, the game follows her growth and interactions with being from this world and others.
I’m just going to very very very briefly summarise the story from each chars route.
Ignis is actually descended from a beast of prophecy which is destined to destroy Beastia. Doromi, one of his devout followers, was with Ignis all along to try and bring about the awakening of this beast in Ignis, to destroy Beastia, the world that took everyone away from him. Kotone becomes the key to awakening the beast within Ignis as he begins to have romantic feelings for her.
Good end: Kotone manages to bring him back to his senses.
Bad end: Kotone manages to bring him back to his senses but it wasn’t enough to help him transform back to his original form, so he locks himself under the ice caps in Beastia and slumbers until the beast is awoken again one day.
Rindo had a younger sister, Shizuku, who by some incident was turned into a creature and went on a indiscriminate killing spree. Her boyfriend, Mikado Akira, begs Rindo not to kill her and dedicates himself to researching ways to bring her back to her human form. Upon discovering that the paranormal investigation agency they work for were the ones who turned Shizuku into that creature, Mikado takes revenge by sacrificing them to Shizuku while also helping her regain some form of conciousness. Her powers end up cursing Rindo who was caught in the crossfire and to save his life, Kotone has no choice but to give him a developmental drug that also turns him into creature. Unable to stop Shizuku, Rindo has no choice but to kill her and Mikado also dies due to sustained injuries from using himself as a test subject.
Good end: Rindo lives on with Kotone as part of Enchante’s non-human staff.
Bad end: Unable to live with himself being no longer human, he goes on a journey of self-discovery, abandoning Kotone to Enchante.
Kotone decides to try and share some of Il’s interest in otome games and starts playing the very first one that he had ever played. While playing she starts realising some strange coincidences between Il’s favourite character and Il’s behaviour. When Mikado’s helper reveals himself to be God’s right hand angel, Solitus, and that Il is actually the Angel of Judgement, Kotone questions who Il actually is. Il has a breakdown realising that Kotone knows that his personality is actually a copy of the character from that otome game they were playing and deletes his emotions.
Turns out angels are all “dolls” created by God with no emotions, and those that gain emotions become “fallen” and are killed, which was Il’s role. To return Il back to his original state, all of Enchante’s regulars take him back to Caelm where he regains his emotions but God has already put into place a plan to “save” humanity by making them all angels without emotion. Il realises he can save humanity by merging all of his own “data” (eg. his soul, everything that makes him him minus his physical body) with God. Il merges with and destroys God.
Good end: His body is under repair in Caelm but one day Solitus discovers that he has escaped, despite having no free will. Il turns up at Enchante and when meeting Kotone again, starts gaining his emotions back again.
Bad end: Il’s body has lost all of its free will and is tied to where God was, and he is now revered as the angel’s new god.
Kotone realises she’s suddenly being targeted by all sorts of weird happenings and Il brings up the idea of each of the regulars taking turns to be her guard. When Ignis suggests Miser to stay at Enchante overnight, he hesitantely turns down the suggestion. A demon calling himself the Demon King Asmodeus turns up and kidnaps Kotone, after having fallen in love with her at first sight and takes her to Asmodia. Miser and the others go to rescue her but he loses control of his powers after a strange white clad young man appears and Asmodeus’ castle turns to ash. Upon seeing Miser’s true form, he confesses to Kotone that he wasn’t actually a “demon king” at all and that everything his current form touches turns to ash and runs away from Kotone.
As holes to other worlds begin to open up all over Medio, Beastia, Caelm and the human world, it becomes an emergency situation for Ignis and Canus and they are forced to return to manage the situation. Using this chance, Solitus also kidnaps Il back to Caelm. The white clad young man from before appears at Enchante’s gate and drags Kotone into the world of ash, dubbed the World of the End. He claims Kotone for himself and Kotone attempts to escape but begins coughing up blood and experience intense pain, which is an effect of the the world.
Miser shows up and rescues Kotone, but just as he reaches the gate to Enchante, the man from before, steals all of Miser’s magic and throws him into the human world. He calls himself Noah and says that he was from the same place as Miser in the beginning and like Miser, used to be human. Upon arriving in this place, Noah became the empty world they are standing on now, while Miser became a monster. Feeling relieved that he was no longer alone when Miser appeared, he felt betrayed that Miser was “saved” by being able to see Kotone. With those feelings he decided to make Kotone “save” him too and starts to fuse both of their conciousnesses together.
Miser becomes a regular human after having his powers stolen by Noah but despite that returns to the World of the End to save Kotone. Ignis, Canus and Il saw Miser and Noah’s last encounter through the holes that appeared in their worlds and returned to offer assistance. By the time Miser reaches Kotone, only her conciousness remained and Miser confronts Noah’s true feelings. He laments not realising Noah’s existence before all of this and calls him a rival for Kotone’s affections and says that they can be friends to alleviate that loneliness. Noah finally acknowledges his feelings for Kotone, who gives him a clean rejection and having found friendship, says that he can no longer control his powers/the world, and that Miser needs to kill him. As he disappears, Kotone gains full control of the world.
Good end: Kotone becomes one with the world and in her ideal image, projects it to Enchante where she can exist with Miser.
Bad end: Kotone asks the others to return or the world will collapse with them and Miser decides to stay in that empty world with Kotone forever.
Generally spoilery talk:
- I!!! LOVE!!! IL!!!! his route was the only one that managed to make me cry
- im very weak to “emotionless robot learns emotions”
- my summaries are probably terrible but from the length of each one you can probably tell which one is more important overall hahaha
- In Canus’ route, Veneer betrays Canus. In Ignis’ route, Doromi betrays Ignis. In Rindo’s route, Mikado betrays Rindo. Isn’t that a tad too much betraying?
Gensou Kissa Enchante is a game that has a mixture of humorous and serious events. If I had to compare it to a genre of movie, I feel like it’s probably a bit smarter than an action movie but dumber than a thriller. It’s not completely slice of life but not particularly depressing and all the good ends are completely happy, so it still feels like a typical Otomate game.
To be honest, at first when I was going through Canus, Ignis and Rindo’s routes, they felt somewhat incomplete to me. There were little things that are outright ignored from the common route in those three routes which are then explained in Il and Miser’s routes. Because of that, those three routes felt very forgettable. As with all games with unlockable routes this is probably expected.
I was also going to gripe about the fact that in every route except for Miser’s, there are events which are treated as inevitable, but then it actually put it all together and addressed each issue I had. That was really satisfying honestly. But of course in the other individual routes I’m still wondering what happened to those other events, though I guess I can just accept it.
As I mentioned in my first thoughts, I’m glad Kotone is such a good heroine. One of my pet peeves in games is when the heroine acts against common sense, for example like the characters that inevitably end up dying in horror movies (“what was that noise? Better investigate all alone!”). I kept my eyes peeled for events like that but Kotone never once disappointed me. Something strange happen to her? Asks for advice. Hears something odd? Consults a relevant char. Something bothering her with another char? Tries to talk to them. I’m in love. There’s actually no event in the game that relies on contrived occurences.
Some of the worlds are a bit one dimensional, where only relevant things are explained but that’s probably to be expected with so many worlds.
The length of the routes was also strange to me. Canus, Ignis and Rindo’s routes only had 3 chapters, minus the ending chapter and those took me about 4 hours to finish. Il’s route had 4 chapters taking me something like 5 hours. Miser’s route had 5 chapters and took me forever. The first three’s routes went by fairly quickly but Il’s one only reaches its climax in the final chapter which made me wonder why it was so long. All of the routes are really heavily focused on story events, and due to that I find it slightly lacking in the romance department. However, I personally think this game is better than Code Realize and AMNESIA etc. so I feel pretty certain that it’ll be getting some sort of sequel or fandisk.
Aside from that….this game was very enjoyable. After all the priming Canus, Ignis and Rindo’s route did, Il’s route gave such a strong impact, I couldn’t put the game down.
The game is a straight visual novel, nothing special.
There is no love catch or bar which shows the character’s affection you are pursuing which might be a problem for people playing blind. There really is no indication which character’s route you will end up on without using a walk through like I did.
Like I mentioned before too, the skip is….really slow. Really. Slow. But this is a game where you don’t miss out on CGs if you skip the bad ends…so if you head straight for the good ends only then you won’t have to deal with the slow skip I suppose.
There are recorded bonus drama tracks (I call them drama tracks but its really just like 2 sentences??) that you unlock upon the completion of each route but it’s not really much…
THE GAME IS SO SHINY AND POLISHED.
Like I said before, everything is cafe themed which is very cute.
Even the options screen is really nice to look at
All the options are cafe-themed too, which I wonder what will happen with the localised version…For example in the above screenshot, the Japanese part says “get bill (save)”, “go back to the store (load)”, “recipe (dictionary), “kitchen (option)” and “entrance (title)”.
For some reason the BGM sounded really familiar to me, I’m not sure if they’re recycled tracks or something.
I really enjoyed the ending theme though, “eternal” by Oda Kaori and SHOJI. It fit in with the endings of each route pretty well.
While you can adjust the volume for all chars in the game, the sound is incredibly inconsistent; even if everyone is at the same level, sometimes the sound is ridiculously loud or ridiculously quiet. This is particularly obvious with Suwabe’s lines (quiet) and one of the other sub chars (loud) because it just jumps out.
Also PROPS TO ISHIKAWA KAITO. I’m not used to his high voice because I’ve mostly seen him in more oresama roles but I couldn’t tell Il was him half the time. The acting was just, superb.
Honourable mention to Akabane Kenji, he suits Miser so well. From the humour to the heartbreaking moments, his acting never once took me out of the moment. Its almost surprising that he’s never had such a main role before this.
Game good. I’m happy.
Also I love Il (even if you didn’t read everything else I’m making you read this).
- Il Fado de Rie
- Il Fado de Rie
- Il Fado de Rie
- Il Fado de Rie
- Il Fado de Rie
- Story (for once I don’t have anything witty to add)
- that text box in my first post
- lack of romance I guess??? but I like romance so
- that damn skip function
- some chars have shorter routes bc they’re less important and thats obviously gonna affect their popularity lol
Okay now for final thoughts:
Plot ranking of routes (best plot to lolwtf?):
- Il Fado de Rie
- Ignis=Rindo Kaoru
To be honest, the last three are all sorta the same to me.
However if I ranked chars alone…:
- Il Fado de Rie
- Rindo Kaoru (sorry I just can’t deal with ossan chars)
So in this case I’d recommend people play in the order:
- Rindo Kaoru
- Il Fado de Rie
- Miser (fixed)
So basically if you follow Joe’s recommendation to the tee, there’ll be no problems.
If this game gets a fandisk with extra routes I’m definitely buying it. If it gets a fandisk with mini games like Hakuouki, I’m going to shoot someone.
Anyway, that’s it for this game. Not sure what I’ll play next but for now I should go back to Fire Emblem, probably.