Now for some of my spoiler thoughts and critiques on the different character routes (I’m not bashing, I’d love to discuss and have my eyes opened if I missed something!) I’ll quickly go over plot holes / things I wished they expanded on first though.
Plot holes/things I wished they expanded on (maybe in the FD??):
- What’s San’s past? What was he like in his first life before becoming an IDEA apostle/agent? Why did he become one in the first place?
- Do the vampires drink blood at all? I know vampires are associated with blood-sucking in popular myth. And Impey does make one mention about a minor vampire myth (was it about garlic??).
- Nonetheless, there was nothing else except how vampires were a minority population with superhuman strength. And that was it. So it makes me wonder why they included a supernatural species when they weren’t going to expand on it.
- How does Cardia age? Like wouldn’t she be immortal? It kinda sucks that they didn’t really address that because there’s some angst potential right there.
Spoiler Impressions of the Routes
Impey – When I heard that I should play Impey first for the recommended route order… I was less than inclined to do so. While funny, Impey didn’t really strike me I guess. But I absolutely loved him in the end and found him surprisingly endearing. And his comedic timing had me chuckling.
I felt like I totally understood what Cardia meant by just being able to trust him whenever he said things would be all right. The guy always came through in a pinch. He always had this bright and reliable smile/tone, and it was easy to see how you could just put your full trust in him. His frequent flirts were borderline annoying at the beginning, but then they almost took my breath away near the end. The story-line was kinda weak for the route, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Also, his normal end was very moving.
Van – While Van’s still my least fave, he was all right in the end. I mean I just don’t like the “megane” or “serious” type… which fits Van. I mean I couldn’t help but associate him with a character that has pretty much the exact same name and personality (Van Hellsing from Princess Nightmare).
And his love for Cardia wasn’t as developed as I would have liked.. nor did I see how and why Cardia fell in love with him either… Like I get how he’s the type who shows his love via his actions rather than through words, but yeah.
Saint Germain – I may or may not have shed a tear or two with this guy. DAMN IT SAN. For the route order, I think he should actually be played last before Lupin. His route was definitely the strongest of the 4 (with the exception of Lupin). My heart hurt when he touched Cardia’s face and had his face burn. Sure he can heal, but the pain still exists (THAT CG MAN).
But I think one problem I had is the frequent back and forth between San and Cardia: “I should die for you” and then “No I should die instead”. Yes it was nice… but then it became slightly repetitive after it was done more than necessary if that makes sense. When he was willing to die multiple times to kill all the Apostles, it touched my heart. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder that his actions were a bit in vain though. Even if he did manage to kill them all, couldn’t Omnibus have gotten new apostles anyways? How does she choose the Apostles in the first place?
On a side note, the chapter when Cardia was stuck with San in the house/room was really well done! In particular, the scene when Cardia finally escapes by getting the door to open and then San is behind her in shock in how she was able to escape the locked room. Not gonna lie, his sudden shocked voice and the tension came together great, and I almost got shivers. Then I stopped being cautious of the guy when the route went on and my feelings towards him took a 180 LOL.
One more thing! San also reminds me of one of my biggest otoge (
and problematic) biases – Hime from Hana Awase! Well to be more specific, just the “mask-like” smile thing. That damn trait gets me hook, line and sinker every time.
Fran – Aka the guy whose route I wanted to play first (other than Lupin who was locked). But again, rec route order said I should play him fourth, so that’s what I did. And boy what a disappointment. I really like characters like Fran with the whole gentle thing going on and his voice was literally music to the ears. HOWEVER, his route wasn’t.. very.. good?
For instance (among other things), they had the whole time limit thing at the end . So of course, you would feel some sense of urgency since the clock is ticking. But no, everything is so slow and calm. I get Fran is the non-violent type, but his whole demonstration with Leonhardt felt kinda lame? I mean you literally have 5 minutes left before Cardia turns into a monster.. there was just no sense of urgency until the last 30 seconds and I think that was a problem.
Moreover, the route sort of gave me the vibe that Fran returned Cardia’s feelings out of a sense of redemption (due to his guilt of running away before)? I’m sure that’s not the case, but that’s just the feeling I got from the way his route was written.
Lupin – This was the route that I was looking forward to most from the very beginning. During my run through of the common route, I kept being drawn towards the guy. And with good reason, since the game pretty much sets him up with Cardia as the OTP. After all, his route can only be unlocked until you play everyone else. I think it was a well-rounded route, and incorporates everyone else’s route “reveals” in it.
My favourite scene was near the end with Lupin & Cardia falling down out of the airship, and him burning his hands when he touches her hair – aka the cover image/CG for the entire game. I also liked his confidence and reliability. I can totally relate to how Cardia felt like she could trust him. In that sense, I feel like Lupin and Impey are pretty similar (albeit in different ways haha).
To be honest, I couldn’t really see/understand how the respective characters fell in love. I was kinda sold by the romances.. but not really. With the exception of Lupin, since the romantic development in his route felt more naturally done compared to everyone else. And can I just say that whenever Lupin calls Cardia his beloved princess or beautiful gem or any of those nicknames, it’s ❤
Argh as I’m typing this, I’m still trying to decide who I like more with San vs Lupin. SO HARD…. though I think I’m leaning towards the former a bit more