7’scarlet is a mystery otome game from Otomate (Idea Factory). Announced at Otomate Party 2015, it released in July 2016 with a Western release for 2018.
It’s about Hanamaki Ichiko (name customisable), a university student whose older brother disappeared without a trace a year ago. She blanks out from time to time, so her friend (since childhood), Kagutsuchi Hino can’t help but watch out for her. This is also because of a promise he made to Ichiko’s older brother.
Knowing that Ichiko is still hung up on the lack of information about her brother’s disappearance, he suggested visiting Okunezato, where Ichiko’s brother was last known to be. It’s a secluded place without many attractions but there’s an online club called the Forbidden Okunezato Club, dedicated to the various myths and mysteries of the town.
Spoilers after the cut. If you haven’t played this, you best stay away.
Okunezato’s land is crescent-shaped and was said to be round in the shape of the full moon in the past and slowly changed to its current state. There is also a flower called ‘shiseisou’ that blooms every summer and can only be found here. It’s said that the flowers are a symbol of Iwanaga-hime’s hatred for those who betrayed her.
(Iwanaga-hime is part of the Japanese legend where she and her sister, Konohana no Sakuya-hime were given to Ninigi no Mikoto as wives. Since Hononinigi rejected Iwanaga-hime because of her appearance, his descendants were doomed to human lives as fleeting as the cherry blossoms. Iwanaga-hime had an eternal life, likened to rocks and stones. But all these weren’t mentioned nor referred to in the game :’3)
There’s only one accommodation in Okunezato called Fuurinkan. The place is short on staff leaving Isora (the chef/patisserie), Yua, the receptionist and Yuki, a middle-schooler who ‘helps out’ at the hotel.
It’s interesting that the game incorporates actual footage of places but… once you’re done with the opening sequence, the prologue and a number of scenes throughout the game, that’s pretty much it. I understand that if it’s included in other aspects of the game, it will probably too fancy ww
The backgrounds are splendid. I love it. The music (particularly the insert song and the background music) is amazing when you listen from the soundtrack because, to be honest, I didn’t notice much of it in the game /shot
The development for the true ending was simply heartbreaking. I did not see it coming probably because I rushed it through Toa > Sousuke > Yuzuki then finally hidden character’s route. I mean I did tweet
Isora’s route didn’t make much sense to me. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought he’s the killer xD But the scary scenes with the masked antagonist really scared the crap out of me throughout each character routes and boy, the bad ends sure hurt orz
Toa’s route was amazingly cute (love Morikubo-san here💖) and Sousuke is amusing though it could have been a bit more than just that, I feel. But with a splash of cuteness and comedy in the character interactions, they could easily drag you into enjoying their peaceful time at Okunezato. The bath scenes are hilarious (ﾉ´∀｀*)
I did notice minor inconsistencies in the text, like how Ichiko told Isora that she doesn’t eat strawberries only for him to offer her a sangria with strawberries after; Hino told Ichiko that he’s out running in the morning every day since they came only to repeat himself after as though she doesn’t know? It just feels odd, lol.
Just a few things I thought of during my time playing.
– Hino has relatives at Okunezato (he visited as a child with Ichiko) but did they move away? But then Hanate could have easily rewritten their memories lol
– Why did Yasu turned on them? Because of Yuzuki’s father? What are his motives?
I just found it difficult to accept that he could just change his mind and betray them ww
– No explanation for the shiseisou (the cursed flower), the origin of Hanate x Iwanaga-hime’s curse and why this particular village lol
– There should be more to Yuzuki’s family and why they monopolized the area, a former bustling hot spring town but they weren’t explained
– What about Kagura’s role? A total random bad guy? He actually dropped Ichiko into the river for no reason when she came to Okunezato in the past, almost killing her
– Chikage too, it seemed to me that he was too well-kept under wraps to just find what’s going on with his wife…
– Felt that Sousuke’s father could have had a larger role in Sousuke’s route.
– I feel like Yuki’s character has a lot of potential xD That boy is much too smart to be cast aside like this www
But after rethinking a few points (mainly Chikage and his wife, Yasu), probably Chikage and his wife are just there to illustrate the point of the cursed beings retaining their sense of humanity even when they’re resurrected; Yasu is so easily persuaded (being a policeman simply because of his connections and his desire to comply with the local authority aka Yuzuki’s father) that he simply does what he’s told.
7’scarlet is enjoyable if you just go along with it for a good time. With the gorgeous visuals, music, presentation and the interaction between the characters, this will be a 3.5☆.
This post is dedicated to Rei, who lent me her copy of the game. I wouldn’t have played 7’scarlet if it wasn’t for her♡ Also planning to get my own copy |Db
✨Where to buy✨
CDJapan (regular edition)
AmiAmi (limited edition w/bonus) (ami-hime special pack w/bonus)
or any other online Japanese second-hand store that carries them. You’d usually need a a forwarding address or even proxy services.