Summer Pockets - Shiroha Naruse Route & Character Discussion

Discussion topic for Shiroha’s arc & character in Summer Pockets. Feel free to discuss anything from the route, but mark any comparisons to events outside of her arc and the common route with the [spoiler] tag.

What would you rate this route?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

0 voters

1 Like

“There is no wasted time.”

I’m sure there’ll be some people reading this who haven’t read the VN, just to get an idea of what the VN is about or to see what people are thinking of it, so I’ll do my best to keep this post spoiler free (no details) however for the sake of helpfullness I’ll write a short little spoilerless tl;dr:

This was the route I chose to start with, and it was a sloooow burn. Around 7 or 8 hours of reading (including common) before anything really happened, and then not much else happened for another hour or so… But honestly I think this is the kind of route you want to read in a single sitting. As the quote above says, there really is no wasted time for this route. It all matters.
It’s not an oldschool Key route. It’s not a modern Key route. I’m not sure what it is… But it’s beautiful. I think people here would really like it.


tldr over!

To start from the start, after the OP segment, we’re thrown onto the map screen. From this point on the VN is similar to Majikoi. There’s the map screen, the random comedy scenes, the over the top fight scenes. If you like that kind of stuff it might be good, but for me this was a whole lot of nothing. There’s a lot of talking and a lot of playing, but the characters involved aren’t particularly interesting and the actual writing is pretty bland. I’ll give some props though, some of those jokes disappear for several hours and then hit you again. Feels pretty realistic on that front. An inside joke, a reference, that comes at the perfect timing to remind you of the original event. It’s not a Hippo, but it’s good. It makes those pointless comedy choices mean something. It personalises the route in a way…

Anyway, the protagonist’s interactions with Shiroha during this part of the route are kind of interesting at least. It’s a curious dynamic, of a girl that seemingly curses people to their deaths, and a guy who is in a way trying to escape life. He values his time away from home as more important than the risk of dying…
I also like how Shiroha evolves. Her character doesn’t change too much, but we start to see more of certain aspects of her personality. I’m particularly fond of the rapid-fire speaking whenever she gets nervous.

Throughout the slow slice of life we learn of lots of different meaningless bits of information… Hairi had clubmates. Hairi won a watch once. Hairi had a certain past… So on and so on.
Slowly, across many hours of reading, various one off sentences and throwaway details pile up.
Eventually, in but a couple of sentences, all of those random details come together…
Suddenly we have a story worth reading. More and more details come together. You think back. “OH IT’S THIS!” or “I REMEMBER THAT!” You start to predict, and as soon as you make a prediction it is swiftly verified. It’s incredibly satisfying.

The threads start to ravel, and the story reaches the climax, and it’s all quite fun… It’s not as sentimental as one would expect. It’s much more of a traditional movie story, with some action, some drama, some fun and some romance. It’s simple, but it’s sweet. The way that everything suddenly comes together and forms into this conclusion is definitely the highlight of the route for me.

Outside of all of the slice of life stuff, I still have some complaints. A couple somewhat important characters lacked sprites. A lot of the background music was underwhelming. The characters still feel very flat, and I’m not sure I could even describe Shiroha’s personality very well… There’s no big moment either, nothing that’s super memorable about the route.

It’s not a perfect route, but still, it came together well and ended up being a grand experience. It’s definitely given me hope for the rest of the VN. Right now I’m living for those fancy monologue sequences.

Aaaand here’s an imgur album of screenshots.

3 Likes

This route is long and feels incomplete. Most of the major issues are resolved at the end, yet something is left to be desired. You find out later that it’s just part of the narrative as ALKA and Pocket fills all the holes left in this route. On purpose, of course. Once you finish the game however, does one appreciate how this route was presented.

Yesterday, after finishing the route, I found myself ecstatic. Some hours before that, I would never have imagined that Shiroha’s route would get me to think so much about myself. I felt for real that all of that was written specifically for me… Just like a letter. Even though the route didn’t manage to, technically, be something outstanding, the outcome was, regardless, marvelous.
Initially, Summer Pockets left me without knowing exactly what to expect from it. I was sure there was something more going on besides what they were showing on the surface, but I really didn’t know what to expect… It made it all fell just like a journey through an unknown land. I should probably say that, considering all that dreary slice of life we’re presented with, the writing, somehow, did a really good job. It didn’t bore me as much as I would have expected it to, and it kept me entertained. I, as well as Takafumi, am not too fond of the map system, it makes things feel inconsistent, disconnected, and it’s uncreative as well. So, the whole game dragged a lot after the opening, and it took a lot of time until something actually started to happen.
After Hairi and Shiroha decided to face the “curse” it all began to move forward. From this point on things got really exciting, and honestly, the highlight of it all to me was Hairi. His monologues made me more and more interested in everything that was going on and when we got his whole background, I found myself really touched. The wedding sequence, that goes on to the festival was really beautiful (時編み is such a good track…) and the atmosphere of uneasiness that came with the rain made me sweat. The climax, when Shiroha and Hairi went down the water was one hell of a good scene. I suppose the 時の編み人 are something that will be touched upon on the other routes, and I’m really interested to see what they are, as well as those butterflies.
What impacted me the most was the punch line of it all (or at least what I took from it all), that people should treasure their experiences because they are something we can reach to at the hard times. You can always treasure the good moments you had that summer, those smiles, the loud singing of the cicadas, what you learned there… And then, you can be there at whatever time you want, you’ll have a home to go back to when you need.
I wish I was better at organizing my thoughts into words but anyway… I’m looking forward to the other routes, this ending got me really pumped. Doing Kamome next~

2 Likes

hi i just did this route
it was cute, nothing outstanding, nothing grounbreaking, but it was fun and shiroha is a major cutie
that is all good night

1 Like

Thanks to the fan translation english patch, I was able to finish reading this route. So here’s my sidenotes (it may include spoilers):

*I did get the impression that the route takes too long to get to the main point, but then it ends in a abrupt way. Particularly, I think the festival day itself should’ve been 2 or 3 times longer and more detailed than it actually was in the VN.

*It didn’t feel like Shiroha and Hairi have fallen in love with each other, it looked like they just got closer compared to the beginning of the route.

*It never was explained where Shihora’s power came from (although this might be revealed later in the novel).

*They also didn’t tell us whether Hairi decided to go back to the swim club or not.

*I really liked the way they used the “two injured birds” methaphor to explain how Shiroha and Hairi are similar and complete each other.

*For me, the most interesting aspect of the route were Shihora’s and Hairi’s backstories and how they overcome their traumas from the past.

*In the end, Kyouko-san didn’t request Hairi’s help in the shed during the entire route, not even once.

*I wished the word “s’pursent” was used more often during the route.

*Ryouichi is a way nicer guy than he looked like the first time Hairi meets him.

*Tenzen’s obssession for table tennis is usually funny, though it makes this personality way too plain.

*Nomiki has boobs proportionally bigger that it should.

*Umi-chan best fake little sister! (I wonder what she was doing in that secret place inside the forest…)

*Both the Shimamon and table tennis mini-games are surprisingly addictive! Since I can’t read japanese, I’ll keep playing them until the next translation patch comes out!