As I said, I agree that Kud’s route has forced drama. However, I don’t think Kud’s route is really a good route. I just praised it because the drama had a reasonable impact on me, in contrast to Haruka’s route, that didn’t hit me at all.
Actually, Kud’s route is the second worst route in my opinion, only behind Haruka’s.
Yes, I agree that the drama of this route felt out-of-place, but not that it’s impossible to connect. From the beginning of the route, you could build a connection with Kud, knowing her better and liking her more. But when you see (Kud’s route spoilers) her finally happy that she can see her mother, than being tortured and blaming herself when she’s done nothing wrong, it’s almost impossible not to feel the drama. . Haruka just keeps pushing things too much on her side, trying to make Kanata look bad, but none of them were right. I couldn’t really feel the drama, because it felt like she was just exaggerating to make Riki pity her.
This is what I don’t like about it. The answer was right under their noses the whole time, and they couldn’t realize it because of their stupid actions. As you said, it was indeed a “dumb contest”. This is why I don’t like it, it feels terribly immature.
From the part when Haruka gains an ally until the climax, nothing really affects the plot. Kanata’s efforts have no effect (I thought they would do something to Haruka, but nothing actually happened), and Haruka keeps going to who knows whose father in order to find out the truth, but her efforts lead to nothing, until the guy sets a condition. It gets tiresome, besides the mood doesn’t really evolve, it stays basically the same until the climax.
Riki feels much more like a “Kyousuke” in Komari’s route. The strength he gives to her by letting her face the truth, and showing her that she could still be happy was crucial for her development and for the end of the conflict With Haruka, Riki just picked her side of the conflict and helped her realize the truth that was right under her nose all along.
And the romantic scenes in her route were less remarkable or special than any other route. Mio had the beach scene, Kud had the painting scene, Komari had the shooting stars scene, Kurugaya had the fireworks scene. Haruka’s route didn’t have any of those, it was too mundane, nothing outstanding or breath-taking.
Umu… I get it now. So let’s say the resolution is forced. The problem is that Haruka’s route could afford to have a conflict from the beginning. Komari’s route couldn’t, it just gave hints, until you really found out later. Also (Komari’s route spoiler) the “cat thing” was only the beginning. It kept evolving until you hit the climax. It had to appear out of nothing, but its purpose wasn’t to receive an emotional response. Instead of it, the reader would have a question hitting his head: “What the heck is wrong with this girl?” This would prepare the reader to the revelation.
Not if they had planned the route differently. The revelation of the conflict was too early, it could have been more in the middle, and then have the beginning giving hints and progressing towards it. After the revelation, it would grow more depressing and tense until the climax hit. Then, you wouldn’t have a forced resolution.
Komari’s route, as I said, before, couldn’t afford to do this. Rather, it would even lose part of its impact, from the contrast between ‘happy’ and ‘sad’.