Hello everyone! I started this route a bit late. I’m not done yet, but I figured I’d post my thoughts/reactions/summary so far. It’s very very detailed. Sorry about that!
Before posting this I was looking for a discussion to jump into, but it looks like they’ve all been mostly resolved. I really shouldn’t have started so late…
[quote=“Pepe, post:48, topic:722”]
What does Minagi really mean when she refers to her “Wings that can’t fly”?
[/quote]My take on this, from my previous playthrough, would be that Minagi is referring to some sort of lost ambition. That she was once “able to fly” (able to live her life, and experience happiness). However, because of the situation around her mom and Michiru, she felt that this would be impossible. Another interpretation might be that her mother acted as her wings before. Anyway, don’t consider that too seriously as I haven’t reread to that point yet…
On to Minagi’s route then!
Sunday, the 23rd. Almost immediately Yukito thinks to himself “It’s not like I came all the way here just to see them.” Looks like Yukito and I are thinking separate things. (It’s difficult to give a proper analysis here on the part of Yukito since being there is the direct result of a choice I made.)
(Michiru/Minagi end) 「Pain is the proof that you’re alive.」 I didn’t catch that the first time I played. Made me smile a bit.
「Fwoooo…」 Pop! 「Wapu!」「Nnyuu…」
I believe the above to be an accurate representation of the way Michiru spends her time.
Later on, by divine revelation I stick it (a straw) in Michiru… (Was the game worded like that in the original Japanese version or is that phrasing unique to the translation?) Suggestive wording aside, the interactions with Michiru here are quite enjoyable. I don’t find her annoying at this point in the game – and most of the problems were instigated by Yukito (starting from the 23rd, anyway).
In conversation with Haruko: 『Oh I see. Yeh pretended to be a traveller, but yeh’re actually a petty thief.』 I would’ve personally responded with: 「You caught me. I’m actually here to steal… your heart.」 Although on second thought, that might be interpreted poorly. More seriously though, we can see the motherly side of Haruko shine a bit here. I get the impression that at this point she has grown a little attached to Yukito. As though he had become a part of their family.
The next day. We’re immediately shown a sad conversation between Yukito and Misuzu. Wanting to spend time with both Misuzu and Minagi, I feel a bit torn. Of course there’s nothing to be done about that. I’m not entirely sure whether Yukito feels the same at that point. On the one hand he agrees to continue walking Misuzu to school, but he claims it’s just to return the favor for her helping him out.
After parting with Misuzu, Minagi comes to cheer Yukito up. I enjoyed the way that both Haruko and Minagi suspected Yukito of being a thief. (Though in both cases I also got the impression they were just joking.) Minagi’s willingness to provide a bento, almost immediately, is indicative of her interest in Yukito. Of course so was the “Po” stuff in the common route. (It can be interpreted as kindness too, and Yukito does interpret it that way.)
Whenever Yukito has a conversation with Hijiri, our thoughts seem to line up perfectly. The responses I would make, and the responses from Yukito have been mostly the same so far. Moving along to Kano, I personally find her a bit dull. She’s energetic, and at times she’s fun, but she’s not very interesting. Yukito doesn’t show much interest here either. (Granted, that’s the norm for him.)
Kano and Hijiri seem attached to Yukito already.
The time Yukito spends with Michiru and Minagi is really peaceful for the rest of the day. Of course there’s some violence, but this subsides once there’s food. After Michiru eats herself to sleep the remainder of the day is calm. Like that the day passes on into the next.
Tuesday, the 25th. Yukito follows up on his promise to take Misuzu to school. The interaction here isn’t all that sad. The morning is relatively typical, but then midday hits and Yukito decides to buy rice before happening upon a woman doing the same thing. She’s having some trouble, so Yukito helps her. (Looks like Tabuchi didn’t come out to play…)
Now, Yukito helped her by carrying 20㎏ bags of rice up the hill. If you’re not sure, that’s just under 45 pounds. After putting those onto the cart, where there are five of them, that’s 225 pounds. On flat ground that’s not so bad, but he’s pushing that up a hill. This is one of the few times in the game that I view Yukito positively. (My view is usually neutral, and occasionally negative. In the common route my view is mostly negative.)
Trivia: Hijiri uses the phrase “Love Love Hunter.” I wonder if other Key games besides Little Busters! use that phrase anywhere as well, now.
Later, Michiru steals your puppet. (Thief!) So you chase her with 40㎏ (90 pounds) of rice on you. After she runs into the inst-appear Minagi, you manage to get the puppet back and order a ramen set. Minagi rejects your order (well, she doesn’t understand why you ordered rather). You got four more rice coupons. Somehow Minagi also has more coupons than before. (Where is she getting them!?)
As soon as Minagi mentions Yukito’s puppet must be an important memento, Yukito gets this strange “soft” emotion. 「A nostalgic, painful, distant something…」 This gives an interesting look into Yukito – it’s as though he has not thought of his puppet as something quite so precious in a long time. This links back to @Takafumi’s theory about work. In this case Yukito has been mostly absorbed with using his puppet as a tool of the trade, as a way to make money.
Before we can draw any meaningful conclusions about Yukito, we get into something a little bit deeper with Minagi. 「I ran into your mother this morning.」 All this time it’s been said that Minagi’s mother doesn’t have any physical illness. That would imply she may have a mental illness of some kind. Today, we get confirmation of that from Minagi.
「Mother is… having a dream.」 Minagi begins to explain things… However Michiru interrupts. Yukito must have been thinking too deeply to realize that Michiru was about to hit him.
The majority of the remainder of the 25th is spent with Kano and Potato. We’ll cover that in the next route, so nothing else to say here.
The next day. Wednesday, the 26th. The morning is almost immediately sad. 「You don’t have to walk me to school anymore.」「You have something you need to do, Yukito-san, and I don’t want to trouble you.」 Not cry-worthy sad, but sad nonetheless. I wonder, did Misuzu really sleep in, as well? Or was she actually waiting for Yukito? (I don’t remember from my previous play-through.)
Little known fact about Minagi is that she’s actually the alien, not Yukito! She proved this, and it’s really quite easy to follow. See, after she disappeared the day before, she stepped into her Tohno-Tech Time Teleportation Device (TTTTD; pronounced “Ttttd”), which allows her to displace herself from one time stream into another. She utilizes this device by moving herself into a few days prior to Yukito’s appearance, setting herself up into the right location, then moving forward in time to surprise Yukito! That’s how she “magically” appears in front of Yukito all those times. Her reason for doing this? To collect energy. Yukito, a traveller, has collected the most radiation from the sun of all the people within town. By letting out surprise, Yukito gives off some of that radiation, with just a little bit of his Houjutsu, which feeds Minagi what she desires. Thus is her interest in Ta-… Yukito. Minagi happens to be there when Yukito wakes up from his nap. The interactions that follow are rather enjoyable. I’d personally like to meet someone with similar conversation habits as her. Might get old quickly, but on the other hand it might not. Regardless, I find it enjoyable in the game setting at least.
We learn that Minagi’s father worked at the station, which raises the question “Where is he now?” Then Minagi gives you stardust and
teaches us poor earthlings tells Yukito about the shower / lighter. (Hey! We can cook now!) The day ends with a brief conversation with a sad Michiru.
「I feel like I had a dream. There was something important to me, right in front of me… But no matter how far I reached, I couldn’t even brush my fingertips against it… I couldn’t even find the willpower to give up…」
The 27th. Thursday.
Morning The afternoon reaches Yukito. Minagi… appears. (That’s a good day.) She appears not to mind being soaked by water, but perhaps she’s aware it was an accident. Either way, she’s much calmer than Kano or Misuzu would react in the situation. (Though, I don’t think Misuzu’s reaction would be that different.)
Note: Minagi uses the phrase “Love Love” again shortly after starting the day.
Minagi fixed the puppet. Lucky us! (Incidentally, Yukito learns what overalls are.) Afterward, Yukito shows them his Houjutsu. This is the first time they’ve seen it.
Minagi: “You’re Japanese. Eat rice. Do it.” <shoves envelope in your face> (Note: That’s not what happened. It was close enough though.)
The day seems to have advanced quickly. Either a lot of the usual stuff happened, Yukito woke up really late (not just late), or both. Aside from the usual stuff though, Minagi asks Yukito about where he’s going.
【Yukito】「If I told you there were people with wings in this world, would you believe me?」
【Yukito】「Yeah. They’re not like us humans, and they can fly through the sky. Most people would think of them as gods.」
【Minagi】「… …When I was little… I saw a picture like that in my house… In the picture… was a girl with white wings coming out of her back… In my young heart… I really wished I could join her up in the sky…」
【Yukito】「Then, if I told you I’m on a journey to find that winged girl, would you laugh at me?」
【Minagi】「… …I don’t think it’s weird… To go on a journey for that reason.」
The feeling I get from Minagi, having already played through the game, is that (Summer arc spoiler) she’s somehow the same as Uraha, the great ancestor of Yukito. I don’t mean that they (Minagi and Uraha) are necessarily related. Just that her “soul” is effectively the same, despite the personality differences.
Later that night, Minagi asks Yukito if he’s ever spent time just being happy. Thus is the purpose of the majority of Minagi’s route, IMO. Yukito begins to question his journey – it’s his mother’s dream after all. Foreshadowing for the route, perhaps. Maybe this route isn’t the “route of focus.” (Air) Misuzu’s route is apparently the route of focus. But going just off of the phrasing used here, we can infer that Minagi’s isn’t, even without having played the game before.
Then, Friday the 28th arrives. Michiru finds a dictionary. Minagi’s mother is buying rice again. She bought rice on the 25th though… Five bags I think. Did she really go through that much? That’s 1⅔ bags a day! If each bag is 20㎏ then each day they go through 33⅓㎏ (approximately 75 pounds) per day – before it’s even cooked! With that amount of rice you’d expect that she’s running a ricetaurant… (Ha. ha. ha.) If she’s not actively cooking it, then that’s a lot of wasted rice. (I think somewhere else she says something about the freshness of the rice being important… In that case, just buy smaller quantities at a time then!) And if she’s not, then the anime adaptation got her weight way wrong… (And both the VN and the anime got her even being alive wrong, if she was really eating that much.)
Anyway, Yukito helps her with the rice again.
Oh. She states that she still has a ton of rice at home. Well, that was a lot of overanalysis for nothing. Still… smaller bags. I’m sure they sell differently sized bags of rice.
Next Yukito is waiting outside of the school to pick up Misuzu… Oh wait, there’s Minagi. Hells yeah! The letter R! Nothing else matters anymore. Game complete on the letter R. Key’s next game should focus entirely on that.
Then they talk about Michiru. After that they look for Michiru. Next they find Michiru. (Minagi’s reaction: “Actually… I’m the perverted devil kidnapper… …Just look at how cute Michiru is…” ← The preceding may or may not have actually been what happened.) In all seriousness though, Minagi’s interaction with the sleeping Michiru gives a warm sense of family. When I first read the story, I wondered whether they were related.
A not very significant conversation with Michiru occurs. She is simply more pleasant to deal with at this point. Granted her words at this point carry a little bit of foreshadowing, I don’t find them very significant.
And that’s it for the day! There are still many more days to go, as Minagi’s route as rather long.
Minagi’s calm. Best girl. (Misuzu is also best girl, but for different reasons.)
Minagi’s mom buys way too much rice. (Smaller packs! Get smaller packs!)
Michiru is totally tsundere.
Yukito doesn’t care about his journey anymore (is the feeling I’m getting).
I’m at the beginning of the 29th now.
Why does Yukito seem to get along so well with Minagi almost immediately? Even to the point of seeming to no longer care about his journey (even if temporarily so).