Alright, look, I’m not saying every person who played this route and loved it as much as I do might need to re-evaluate their life but-
Dang, Chiharu’s route might be my favorite Voltage otome route. I’m not saying he is absolutely perfect: The Route features you dating a 17 year old. Since I am 26 years old now there was definitely a part of me going ‘oh my god I am this lady and she should feel bad because I do’. The benefit of Voltage writing for After School Affairs is they seemed to take the concept as a challenge to make it as comfortable as possible, so of course the one initiating in every circumstance is Chiharu. And boy, is he a cutie.
The difference in this route and the one I played before is pretty large, you are one of the teachers responsible for watching over the dorms where Chiharu lives. At first he views you as an overbearing teacher who is trying to live vicariously through her students, but eventually the things you do make him feel for you. In playing all of his extra route material (for…research and reviews and definitely not because I am garbage) the way he treats you is so endearing. The route would not work at all if Chiharu wasn’t more mature in general, and because he is I felt drawn to him.
The route downplays some things about Chiharu right away: he doesn’t seem to escort at all and his job is approved by you and Kagari. However when Chiharu finds out from Kagari that you’re the one who pulled for him to keep his job, he is touched by how much you care for your students. While he seemed to fall for you in a much more direct way in Kagari’s route, seeing how he falls for you in his own route is so much more gratifying.
You protect him at work, and help him rekindle his love for things other than his future profession. You remind him of his love for the stars, and really all you ever do is try to make him be a full rounded happy person. And you never cross any lines, you always want the best for him, and your love is so sweet.
The worst parts about the route, to me, are things I find myself liking ironically. Lollipops and wacky mechanical pencils both weird me out because ‘holy crap this kid is a teenager’ but make me chuckle because neither of the characters take it seriously. In fact, the mechanical pencil is something dumb you end up giving Chiharu because your have a naive and cute side yourself. Anything that reminds me how young Chiharu is and pushes that boundary is squicky, but luckily for the reader, he turns 18 in one of his add-on stories. shoots confetti And that does make it just a little better for me.
Every bit of his add-on content is pure gold too. During his POV story he gets drunk and dreams about the two of you being normal students and him confessing his feelings: that’s one of the moments where he began to realize he loved you and I practically fainted. Reading how he fell in love with you on it’s own makes me want to gush so have a few choice screenshots of that process. Hgnh.
I normally feel opposed to spending all my money on these dating apps, but please Voltage. Write 500 more routes for Chiharu and I will buy them.
I am 100% honest here when I say that I just swoon for this guy. Normally the sequel stories burn out a little for me, but I can’t wait to see where he is going to go as a character once he graduates. That being said, a new special story comes out this month and if anyone wants a review of that I’ll be happy to give it. Because this child is perfection oh my god.