Random VNs: Damekoi Final part
Now, this is going to be a somewhat short post, despite the fact that Damekoi has turned into one of the better VNs I've played in recent years (well, for the first time, anyway). That is because Asami and Mitoko's routes split at the same point and share at least some of the same events and text, and Asami's route is mostly done by that split.
I'm going to be blunt... once you get past Himeo's route, it turns into a muddy and messy ren'ai drama. The protagonist, Osamu, is torn between his lingering feelings for his ex-wife Asami, and his blooming (non-parental) emotions toward Mitoko (who happens to be over twelve years younger than him, lol). It is complicated by a number of events, as well as the intermingling views and emotions of all the characters...
Asami's route is basically the 'I chose Asami over Mitoko' route, and it is fairly painful to see how Osamu's choice hurts Mitoko, as by this time, if you don't have semi-parental feelings about Mitoko, you are probably heartless. I know I felt bad about choosing Asami, even though it made her happy. The ending itself was fairly light compared to the events up until then, mostly because things settle down more or less peacefully.
Mitoko's route, however, is only just starting when you pick her (which you can only do if you've seen all the endings previous). The events that occur from then on are a mix of forbidden love, clashes with loved ones, and doses of reality (on all sides) that is eventually resolved in a fairly emotional scene (where Mitoko's idiot mother gets shoved to the side where she belongs, lol). That said, I felt that the ending was a nice cut-off for the rough ride of this VN.
A few conclusions... Osamu's sincerity is both his great strength and his great weakness. He has an immense capacity for kindness, as well as being surprisingly wise at times. Unfortunately, it is usually the worst of times when that wisdom tends to fail him (he really can be an idiot when it comes to other people's feelings).
Mitoko, for lack of a better word, is a girl that was forced to become an adult far too early, because of her mother's abandonment. Her adult side is tempered by a childlike emotional side, where she is not really able to control her emotions when it comes to Osamu (with whom she falls in love early on).
I honestly enjoyed this VN as a love story... but I have to advise honestly against any localization company picking it up. The polite fiction of 'all heroines are over 18' really won't hold water in this case, haha. This story's slice-of-life is much grittier than you generally see in modern-day romance VNs, and that serves it well, at least for me.