Heya! So lately, I’ve been playing 7’scarlet. It is an otome game with a tinge of mystery. While the game is pretty short, it doesn’t cut out on surprises.
One year after the disappearance of her brother, Ichiko got invited by her childhood friend, Hino, to travel to Okunezato where the members of Okunezato Kinki Club meet up. This club is formed through a website, bringing in people who are interested in the mysteries of Okunezato – the same town where Ichiko’s brother disappeared to. Days after their arrival, mysterious events keep on happening one after another.
7’scarlet opens with a person running for their life. I was thrown into the mystical world of the game right off the bat. But those few seconds catch my interest in an instant.
Mysteries, myths, and legends
The entire story builds on different mysteries and legends that you can put together as you play different routes. There are mysteries ranging from the least dangerous like a cute panda mascot to more dangerous undead roaming and killing random people in the town. The story managed to weave and explain all of this in different routes. Except for the myth mentioned in the secret character route. Due to the nature of the route, the game drops the myth and leaves it like that.
But for me, the biggest mystery is the title – 7’scarlet.
The game does not fully explain what the title even means. But I have a hunch and let me share it with you. The ‘7’ in the title may be due to the 7 mysteries Okunezato have. As I mentioned above, the story revolves around those mysteries and anything that has a connection with it.
Another guess is that it may also refer to the 7 key characters namely: Ichiko, Hino, Toa, Isora, Sousuke, Yuzuki, and Ichiko’s brother. They are all involved in these mysteries one way or another, after all.
Now for the scarlet, take a look at the title screen above. See that emphasis on the C? I figure it has a connection with Okunezato. The town is said to have a crescent shape or a C shape that’s why there’s an emphasis on C.
Oh and scarlet…
I thought the scarlet refers to Ichiko – her red eyes. After all, that is one of the sure sign that a living human being is considered an albino.
Then there’s the red flower, signifying the birth of another undead.
While not a deal-breaker, 7’scarlet suffers from minor inconsistencies. Like, when Ichiko told Isora about her allergy with strawberry. Not too long after that scene, Isora offered her a food made with – wait for it – strawberry. This had me scratch my head. I thought that perhaps I read it wrong. But I tweeted about it and other players had the same experience. At least I’m not hallucinating www. However, the same thing happened on other routes. And every time, I got confused.
I love all the main guys! They are all adorkable www. Otomate had a popularity poll a while back. I’ve never seen a popularity poll that I agree with www. Except with 7’scarlet’s. The top 6 in the poll are also my top 6 favorite characters in the game. Though I was secretly hoping Yuki ranks higher than Isora /kicked.
For the route order, the game sort of forces you to play in a particular order. When you start the game, the only available routes are Hino’s and Isora’s. Start with Hino since his route is the least revealing one. So it will be
Hino -> Isora -> Toa -> Sousuke -> Yuzuki -> True End -> Secret Character’s end.
Ichiko is…okay lol. She doesn’t stand out. She’s like a fragile damsel, always surrounded by her knights and hunted by a villain. For the most part of the game, she rushes to the most dangerous places without bringing anything to help her at least fend off her attacker/pursuer. Although I find her refreshing in Yuzuki’s route because she does speak her mind for once. I only hoped she acts like that in every route.
Goes to the same university as Ichiko and her childhood friend. Hino brings her to Okunezato to join their meet-up but also, to gather information about her brother.
I really loved the development of romance in this route. As Ichiko learns more about the town, so as her feelings for Hino. She grows conscious of him with each interaction so it feels natural to see her falling for him.
When Hino appeared at the start of the game, I knew he is going to be one of my favorites. If you’ve read my Nil Admirari post (if you haven’t, please do *winkwink*), you’ll know that I’m in the guy-falls-in-love-first kick lately. And Hino is just that. To make things even sweeter (or bittersweet, your pick), he’s been in love with her since childhood. I <3 childhood love stories at the moment.
Well, jokes on me.
You see, as I go through the game, the unlocked memories reveal that everyone knows Ichiko since childhood. Even that despicable Kagura. The sad thing is, Hino contains the smallest bit of information about their past and all the major plot points despite being involved with Ichiko, basically, her whole life. He is even the only character who interacted and is relied upon by Hanate.
Also, I got confused with the masked guy. So we know that he was the same guy Hino and Ichiko found in the shrine who Hanate killed. And that guy is Kagura. Does that mean Kagura is the bully kid, the serial killer, and the hell-bent undead trying to kill Ichiko her whole life?
In that same scene, Chikage appears as if someone controls him. And then as he tackles Kagura, he mentions his wife’s name. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t know what happened in this scene www. It doesn’t make sense the more I play the game and discover a lot about the characters.
Isora is the flirty chef of Fuurinkan. To be specific, he specializes in sweets. But since the hotel has an extreme shortage of staff, he does all the work in the cafe. It baffles me how Yuzuki is okay leaving his cafe at the hands of a high schooler. Isora may be good but is that even legal?
So the romance is kinda meh. Since Isora puts Ichiko so much on a pedestal that I don’t know if he loves her as a person or as a goddess.
Is it just me or he doesn’t seem like someone younger? But he is definitely someone creepy. I usually love this kind of flirty character but with Isora, he is more suspicious than charming. Like he knows a lot of things and is keeping all those things from Ichiko. But is also a lot weirder than he is letting on.
I’m doubting him the entire route and I can feel the yandere vibes. He lowkey reminds me of a certain cage of love. And that game teaches me to never ever trust someone who puts you away from the world unless his name is Shiraishi /kicked.
But I digress ww.
I didn’t expect that revelation in the True End where his father is one of the undead. Is that even mentioned in his route? Because if not, it totally comes out from nowhere. :O
Toa is a clumsy and shy guy, always surrounded by cats but runs away from other people.
While I loved how Ichiko gets more conscious of Hino, I loved the romance part of this route. It feels like I really am playing an otome game. But that is also a negative part, since finding Ichiko’s brother is sort of pushed aside in here.
The reveal in his route is pretty much obvious at the start since there is a lot of foreshadowing in his route. The biggest clue is the name Toa = A-TO.
There is an even more revelation in his route which totally veers off from my expectation. But dang, didn’t expect it to hurt so much. So that’s why his name rhymes with Yua. Just when I was thinking that everyone seems to have a part in the whole scheme of things except her, the True End happen.
Be sure to see Toa’s happy end again to see the new end. Though I see it as more of the normal end because… well, there’s only bittersweet end for them.
Sousuke is a medical student who takes things a little too logically.
I feel like if Sousuke’s given more time to show his dere side, he could beat Yuzuki or Toa in my favorites. Too bad, his route is mostly used for the exposition and tracking the real culprit. But out of all the characters, he is the best person for expositions.
Out of all the normal endings in the game, my favorite go to Sousuke’s. There’s not enough oomph in terms of romance in the happy end and I feel like the romance is still in its infancy. With the normal end, it feels like there’s still enough time to build up that tension. I legit look like this (*´∨`*) when he gives his number and asks if Ichiko could still meet him once they get back to Tokyo. Hope is not lost. *。ヾ(｡>ｖ<｡)ﾉﾞ*。
The stoic owner of Fuurinkan.
He is the absolute worst. Or at least until I played his route. I honestly thought that I would never like Yuzuki. He is such an ass. He acts as if everyone’s at his disposal. He is all high and mighty. But dang, he is the cutest in his route!
With his cold-hearted exterior, you’d never guess that he is a big softie. He empathizes with the undead.
Ichiko is in her best personality in this route. Her conversations with Yuzuki is A++. There’s the spark between them and I couldn’t help but feel so kilig! Plus seeing Yuzuki flustered like a teenager melts my heart. ♪(/ω＼*)
The infamous brother of Ichiko. He only appears once you unlock everything.
It’s sad how two of Ichiko’s loves disappear before anything started.
Things could have been sweet. But at the same time, I’m relieved that Otomate didn’t pull a deus ex machina on 7’scarlet. There is no way out for him. For them. But that’s the thing. It hurts so much.
Although the scene where Ichiko and Hanate have to part ways look sweet, I’m not moved. Partly because it is easy to guess with all the foreshadowing and partly because it feels awkward. Hanate may be in love with Ichiko but she seems like she’s still seeing him as her dear oniichan. Not to mention, they are in front of Hino who knows that they are siblings.
Still, I have to give kudos to the last scene where the purple flower blooms. Because that scene, is a real kicker. ｡ﾟ(ﾟ´Д｀ﾟ)ﾟ｡
Major turn off in this route though is having Hanate narrate the entire story. It’s a massive text dump that I’m not sure if Otomate tries to make the most of Midorikawa’s talent fee by having him voice a lot of lines.
While only side characters, these guys and gal drive the story too. I’m surprised that they are part of the bigger picture in the game.
It’s such a waste giving Yuki a big personality and then not giving much emphasis on it. Okay, so Yuki reveals who he really is, explains a bit, and then shifts the topic. I expected more. For starters, who he really is.
I never expected Yua to be more than a side character. But I loved how the writers took the time to flesh out her character. And she’s an important side character at that.
The game is pretty short. Around 4 to 6 hours each route I guess? But that’s not including the bad ends and the normal end. According to the website, the common route goes through 8/1 to 8/3. Whoever you chooses to go with during the fireworks festival will the route you’ll be going through.
Other pet peeves noticed:
Most of the time, I don’t watch the end credits. I click whatever and move on to the epilogue. But I can’t do that here because you have to sit through the entire song before you proceed with the epilogue.
Like most games, 7’scarlet comes with a default set of keys for the menu. But the default keys look weird. The actions assigned to each button are very different from the usual ones. Thank goodness you can change which button does what.
The game has a built-in lexicon of terms and phrases scatter in the game. Mind you, you need to get all of them to get a trophy.
The tips are helpful and entertaining. It gives an even more explanation on things not mentioned in the story. Though some should have been included in the text like the part where Yua gave Toa’s letter to Ichiko. The tips seem unnecessary on that one.
This is one of the first things that made me appreciate 7’scarlet. I mentioned about the person running at the start of the game. I didn’t just read it; I watched it. Other backgrounds move as well such as the passing scenery in a moving bus, the fireworks, and the sunset. The biggest impact is during horror scenes which makes it scarier. These cinematic set the mood and I absolutely adore it.
World’s End Syndrome has great melody and while the vocal is good, I absolutely adore the guitar and drums part. I have mixed feelings with the op movie though. It has pictures of events in real life places that sort of gives a feeling like 7’scarlet might have existed somewhere. But also it looks out of place when you look at the bigger picture.
7’scarlet also uses sfxs that totally delivers the mysterious mood. Though there are occassions where I was expecting things to happen but nothing major really happened www.
Took me quite some time to get used with the character design. There’s just something freaky in their eyes and their pinpoint pupils.
But I love the background and the palette used. Like I really am in a far-flung town in the middle of summer season.
Wrapping it up!
I had a great time playing 7’scarlet! It had all the qualities of a great game but somehow fell short. But that didn’t stop me enjoying the story and it’s characters.