ADELTA's comments on the last route

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#1 by yggdrasiln
2019-10-30 at 12:11
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this vn, and I think it's fair to assume others will as well. It's one heck of a roller coaster, and there's a lot of things the reader is left to infer.


SPOILER WARNING: Please be warned this has major spoilers for the last route of the game!

ADELTA has made a post on Koshotengai no Hashihime's website clearing up some things about that ending. If you're really heart broken by that ending or just curious, I highly recommend reading. A rough google translate is honestly enough to convey the ideas ADELTA is trying to explain in this case.

link
#2 by theblacktealady
2019-10-31 at 11:53
SPOILER WARNING


I don't like this explaination, for me everything makes sense with the ending as it is (it makes even more sense thinking that all the routes are actually fake). Th e point of the ending is to be heart breaking and insane, we have to accept it as a reality.
But maybe the google translation is not a good idea for this question.
#3 by maggierobot
2019-11-01 at 18:26
Spoilers ahead, obviously


It does makes sense for the other routes to exist. Look at Professor's route, there are an unholy ton of timelines in existance, it's not like they died in every single one of them. In fact, since the shopkeeper *is* real (he was the one that brought Kaoru, made Umebachidou sturdy, published Yumeno's work ahead of time, all of that is still there in Kaoru's route), there's at least one timeline where everyone is alive and they are very much real: his original one. I mean, they were exactly the reason he went back in time.

I saw Kaoru's ending as "the timeline where the shopkeeper's plan succeeded" and the others as "the timelines where his plan failed". But the diverging point is not the choices present Tamamori made, but the shopkeeper's ability of killing them in the past or not. If he did, we go for Kaoru's route where everything is fake; if he didn't, we go for the one of the other four where everything is real.

Time travel shenanigans are complicated, but the moment the shopkeeper went back in time, the parallel worlds concept is real in the game. If it was just rewriting time, he would vanish as soon as he killed the others, because his future would've been invalidated.

tl;dr all of the routes are real in diferent timelines, but Kaoru's timeline starts way earlierLast modified on 2019-11-01 at 18:53
#4 by theblacktealady
2019-11-03 at 19:34
EXTREME SPOILER WARNING AGAIN

I was also thinking about the timelines at first to justify the existence of the characters in any possible way.

However, thinking about it, I think that Tamamori also imagined this story of time traveling and that from the beginning it is the "shopkeeper" (the old Tamamori) who wrote this story, so he never traveled in time and that explains all the knowledge he has about the future.
It's simply a fantasy of the past where he imagines himself young again with his friends as if they never died.

So Kaoru and the shopkeeper are the only real characters (assuming that Kaoru does exist but it's still a fuzzy theory).

The time traveling is kinda strange in the professor's route, from the beginning there is some logic with the power of Hashihime but suddenly, Professor brings us a time travel machine, I found it a little pulled by the hair and bullshit, as if it was a plot facility and that the way of traveling in time didn't really matter in the end.

Also, a lot of things are clearer about Tamamori's psychology, especially his sexual fantasies, all the characters are unaturally obsessed with him, he's the one who writes them after all, he's an attention whore (don't get me wrong, I love Tamamori, he's one of the best written character and it's because he has a lot of flaws). The homosexuality of ALL the cast can also be explained by the fact that Tamamori is one and inevitably he fantasize a story as such.

To conclude, Tamamori is a mature and lone man who actually confuses reality with his hallucinations. The end shows us that he has not completely learned from his mistakes and continues to imagine characters (the two last persons visiting his shop).
I still have a doubt about this theory because in the end, Tamamori is not 42 years old but 32 (as if this past he imagined was still real) but I think it is the beginning of his progress, he has not yet fully accepted the reality but is on the way to, so he gained 10 years of age but he still has some way to go in his mind (that would explain why Kaoru does not age he is still described as a vigorous young man).

In the end, the only real question I have is how Kawase, Minakami and Hanazawa died as kids, it was never explained and I didn't find enough clues to have a clear answer.

PS : And yes, I'm sorry to tell you that in this theory, Tamamori is a dirty old man that stained young Kaoru...

I hope I was clear enough, I don't like to write unlike Tamamori hahaLast modified on 2019-11-03 at 19:44
#5 by maggierobot
2019-11-03 at 21:55
I won't even bother writing spoilers anymore xD The whole topic is spoilerish af


Sure, you were very clear, even if I don't believe this theory, you made it way more valid than what I originally thought it was.

And for me it was the opposite, in fact. I was leaning toward "even the existence of the shopkeeper as a separate being and time travel are fake", but the more I thought about it, more hole appears. So I still leans towards while everything you wrote is true in Kaoru's route (except for time travel not being real, I think Tamamori just got too broken by the end to actually believe in it, maybe he himself didn't travel but the shopkeeper did), that's just one of many timelines, so the others are real somewhere where the shopkeeper couldn't kill them in the past.

Considering the sequence where Tamamori is 32 is the only real thing in the story and time travel is not real... There's a lot of things that doesn't make much sense in his conversation with Yume no Kyusaku, or his whole character I suppose:
1) "this was the only shop that survived the Great Earthquake", it could have been just dumb luck and then he imagined a time travel reason for it, but why was it so reinforced then? He cooooould have done that after the fact, but then who even he inherited the shop from? He did mention he wanted to keep the shop open like "him" or something along these lines. None of this would be a problem if that meeting with Kaijaku isn't real either, but then when did the fantasy cycle started again...? Kaoru does react to him too.
2) the character profile for Kaijaku in the menu states that Tamamori feels like he "killed off" Yumeno Kyusaku, and in the actual route he thinks to himself after he heard that Kaijaku is calling himself Kyusaku "that now what he did was forgiven". How did this happen? Going by the conversation with the editor, the Yumeno who wrote Dogra Magra and Kaijaku who calls himself Yume no Kyusaku are two different people and both are real. And assuming the dates are correct, the year at the end is 1934, a year before Dogra Magra was supposed to be released (and, trivia, 2 years before the real Kaijaku died).

Speaking of character profiles, Kaoru's itself states he was orphaned in a air raid that I always assumed it was during WW2, but the game doesn't provide enough evidence for that, so it just leaves me more confused. Same with Tamamori's blue eyes in the end, it could just be anime colors, it could be a clue. And about everyone's being gay for the main character alone, it's just how BL games are, I didn't think too deep about that xD (but what you said does make sense and I admit I didn't buy Hanazawa's obessession)

In the end, I wrote and wrote and the conclusion I got is that both theories are faulty and I guess it was done on purpose to screw our minds. Sorry ADELTA, I won't go crazy like Tamamori.


Actually, in the scenario writer's tumblr link (yeah, they have one) they say each chapter is inspired in a literary genre: Minakami is romance, Kawase is mystery, Hanazawa is adventure (I guess), Professor is Sci-Fi (explains why the time travel suddenly wasn't supernatural only) and Kaoru is a bizarre thriller (I can agree with the bizarre part).Last modified on 2019-11-04 at 00:32
#6 by theblacktealady
2019-11-04 at 00:28
Almost everything can be explained if you consider that Tamamori is still stuck in his fantasy, his blue eyes, the year, what you say about the appearance of Yumeno, it can simply be a new story set 10 years earlier as I explained (so Tamamori is not fully awake, he accepted the existence of Kaoru and the death of his friends but he creates new substitutes).

About the shopkeeper that "kills" the three boys when they're kids. I saw it in a metaphorical way. The shopkeeper wanted to radically wakes up Tamamori and it was the best way to do it, into "killing" them in their early life.

I think maybe too far about homosexual romance but I like to find a certain logic and here it is totally explainable so I just wanted to emphasize it.

In my opinion, the vn forces us (the reader) to accept a difficult reality, just like Tamamori, that is to say the inexistence of almost all the characters.
I loved these characters, I was attached to them and the fact that they never existed was difficult to hear but I feel that it is also the purpose of this ending, to force us to accept and I personally find it very coherent.
Maybe the point is to see which kind of person we are, over realistic or a dreamer ? Since both possible theories are in opposition.

I didn't know about the different genres from every routes, it's very interesting thank you for the information!

I am stubborn and clinging to my theory haha ​​but the vn is full of interesting details and it is normal to question a lot of things.
I myself have not retained every detail, it's a story that deserves proofreading as it contains a lot of foreshadowing.Last modified on 2019-11-04 at 00:37
#7 by maggierobot
2019-11-04 at 01:05
The fun part of fiction is, imho, to take your own conclusion and theorize as much as the work gives you space for it, so you're doing fine. ;)

While I'm not moving on my theory either (I mean, I believe there's enough leeway for it to be true too, and it doesn't make Kaoru's ending any less sad to me either, Tamamori still end forever alone with none of the friendship that he tried to mend in the other routes, but only a quite twisted relationship with Kaoru holding him, it's horrible enough, and the idea that everything before AND AFTER the twist is fake is not good enough for me >.<), it *is* interesting to see other people's take on the matter. More so when the ending is like... this.

And "Maybe the point is the see which kind of person we are, over realistic or a dreamer ?" is one very interesting take. According to that blog post OP linked, Kaoru's route was supposed to have 2 endings? I immediately thought the other ending could be one where Tamamori could finally dispel ALL of his illusions, he being "trapped (in the sense he have no one else to stick with)" with Kaoru included. Guess in what camp am I hahaha I just want my boy to feel free *sobs*

I feel that if I reread everything I'll came up with a third even more wild theory tbh hahaha that's the amount of foreshadow it indeed had.Last modified on 2019-11-04 at 01:05
#8 by jinuzuki
2019-11-07 at 07:12
The last route is dog shit and barely makes sense. It's too short to say anything interesting and the overall message is nonsensical and contradicts the themes of the other routes. You could remove it and the story would straight up improve - the reader would be spared the disappointment of having to find a Q&A on the Japanese site that explains yes, the last route isn't the true route, don't worry. The best part of Hashihime is Minakami's route which is basically where the author put all the twists, emotional moments and best story beats. It's literally a complete story.


Regardless, the author's word is the world of god and it's not like there are not hints of that in the last route (Tamamori specifically mentions the children being hanged and killed by someone), Kyuuusaku's deal even the pre-release material mentions the last route "is not mean to be a true route". There are a lot of weird things in the last route that hint at something weird and supernatural, but it's easy to discharge them since the narrative points at one thing.

Kaoru's route is basically "The kids died, Tamamori completely falls for his delusions and creates an imaginary word, later wakes up, grooms his mentally-challenged man-child into a fucktoy, 12 YEARS TIME SKIP, the end". There isn't even a story in this game, if you assume everything is a dream.

The route itself is an attempt to do a 2deep4you meta-twist that falls on its face because it's too short, too late and the novel already peaked with the first route/Main route. Then the story uses the other sub-scenarios to essentially explore the other characters' motivations and lore - it doesn't always succeeded because the story is so intrinsically tied to Minakami's, but it's overall OK.


Also the "relationship" was really fucked up for a novel that up to that point managed to be relatively sane, even Kawase the dick friend was surprisingly tender and Minakami's romance is genuinely a great love story without the usual BL tropes that would work outside of the novel. Hanazawa's route is dogshit, but on par with most bad routes with the average VN.



I saw Kaoru's ending as "the timeline where the shopkeeper's plan succeeded" and the others as "the timelines where his plan failed". But the diverging point is not the choices present Tamamori made, but the shopkeeper's ability of killing them in the past or not. If he did, we go for Kaoru's route where everything is fake; if he didn't, we go for the one of the other four where everything is real.

The shopkeeper's plan didn't fail in Minakami's route (And arguably in the other routes), his original plan was to stop the war and kill the war criminals, but Kaoru refused to kill Hanzawa and Kawase and he couldn't bring himself to kill Minakami because he's in love with him. His plan obviously changed, he wanted a future where him and Minakami actually grew closer and he stopped the great war at the same time, hence why at the end of the game he has no problem giving himself and his memories to Tamamori once he's ready to step-up his game and save Minakami. It's also why he's much more aggressive in the other routes.

Also it's unknown if the shopkeeper can ever truly stop the war anyway, but the novel is not interested in exploring if his actions are futile or not.

Also, a lot of things are clearer about Tamamori's psychology, especially his sexual fantasies, all the characters are unaturally obsessed with him, he's the one who writes them after all, he's an attention whore (don't get me wrong, I love Tamamori, he's one of the best written character and it's because he has a lot of flaws). The homosexuality of ALL the cast can also be explained by the fact that Tamamori is one and inevitably he fantasize a story as such.

It's a VN. It would be weird if the cast didn't want to fuck the main character or the main character wasn't at the center of the cast. It's not like straight harems are particularly realistic either. There are probably dozen of VN/gacha games/whatever worse than this. So I'm not sure why anyone would single-out homosexuality.

Also if we take the "everything is a dream" approach anyway, most of Tamamori's flaws would disappear since everything was just fantasy. In fact, if we assume everything was a dream (which isn't) Tamamori could barely be called a character given most of his development and actions happened in the other routes.

According to that blog post OP linked, Kaoru's route was supposed to have 2 endings?

It's not a blog post, it's Hashihime's official site, apparently Japanese fans weren't exactly pleased with the ending either.
It's Minakami's ending that was meant to have two endings. One bad ending which leads to Kaoru's route (The shopkeeper in Kaoru's route is Tamamori from Minakami's route) and one good (Which leads to the short stories).

She straight up call Kaoru's route an AU and says that Tamamori "is not the same Tamamori as the other routes" (Which makes sense because I want to believe the original one woudln't ever go that route no matter what).Last modified on 2019-11-07 at 14:41
#9 by maggierobot
2019-11-07 at 17:18
#8 yeah, when I mentioned "his plan" I was talking only about his original one. Sure, he had his change of heart, and then he accepted the outcome and removed himself from present Tamamori way peacefully, and he gets kinda satisfied, but in a way Hanazawa goes freely to do his shit in most routes, so that always goes unresolved. Then again, his character wasn't really explored much in any route, so eh.

And I think it's was less of Kaoru not wanting to kill them and more of the shopkeeper saving them for later to kill them in a novel fashion to make Tamamori grow as a writer or something. In Minakami route he gets a change of heart before this even happens, while in Kawase route he gets desperate and doesn't really care much about waiting. Kaoru would probably kill anyone if the shopkeeper demands him to, I think.

And about the endings, thanks for the correction. That was such a brain fart of mine, I'm almost impressed. ww
#10 by jinuzuki
2019-11-07 at 17:58
#8 yeah, when I mentioned "his plan" I was talking only about his original one. Sure, he had his change of heart, and then he accepted the outcome and removed himself from present Tamamori way peacefully, and he gets kinda satisfied, but in a way Hanazawa goes freely to do his shit in most routes, so that always goes unresolved. Then again, his character wasn't really explored much in any route, so eh.

Well, I think his character mostly exists in contrast to Tamamori, he knows Tamamori's heart because he's him - he wants Tamamori to grow as a person and accept Minakami's feelings (and his own feelings) in a way he couldn't because it's too late for him.

link

Really, like most of the things in Hashihime he seems to exist in relation to Tamamori's development and the love story.

And I think it's was less of Kaoru not wanting to kill them and more of the shopkeeper saving them for later to kill them in a novel fashion to make Tamamori grow as a writer or something. In Minakami route he gets a change of heart before this even happens, while in Kawase route he gets desperate and doesn't really care much about waiting. Kaoru would probably kill anyone if the shopkeeper demands him to, I think.



He explicitly mentions (Toward the end of Minakami's route link) he originally sent Kaoru after the kids, but he came back asking him if "dying was sad", "saving" him and allowing him to take another path. You are right though that Kaoru would kill anyone he asked by the time the game takes place, but I think at that point he's resolved to shape his younger self into a better individual. When he doesn't chose (choosing Kawase, or simply giving up) he goes rogues. He has no future with Minakami and no hope for his younger self, so may as well try to just stop the war.


Anyway, nice to see there is finally a thread about this here to discuss it ahah.Last modified on 2019-11-07 at 23:17
#11 by maggierobot
2019-11-07 at 22:40
#10
>He explicitly mentions (Toward the end of Minakami's route)

Aaaah, seems I forgot about that part. I see I see. Damn, indeed a reread of this game will do wonders.

I do wanted to discuss/get clarification on other things about the other routes with people that have a better memory than me, but I'm not sure if I should do this here (because no one will mind, probably) or create a new General Discussion thread that won't get that much replies anyway ('cause very technically this thread is for the last route) xDLast modified on 2019-11-07 at 22:40
#12 by jinuzuki
2019-11-07 at 23:15
I think it's pretty normal to forget things, I found Hashihime decently fast paced, scenes often happen one after after and it's easy to forget details (For example, I didn't realize the Shopkeeper wasn't just using Tamamori's illusions to talk to him and follow him around, he straight up could see everything Tamamori was doing using his glasses... that helped me understand a lot of things lol)

But yeah, it should be a pretty good novel to re-read, or at least Kawase and Minakami's routes. The narration lies all the time and Tamamori is completely dishonest about his own feelings, so a lot of scenes assume another context once you know the truth behind the characters' actions and how they actually feel. I had some issue with the quality of the third and fourth route (I'm not counting the 5th route since it's an AU and that Tamamori is basicaly another person) but for example the fourth route confirming that Tamamori is in love with Minakami in all four routes and indeed did write his stories only for him really nails why he couldn't just quit him despite the fact he claimed "anyone would do." Really helped me re-contextualize so many scenes in the first half and made the story so much better.Last modified on 2019-11-07 at 23:19

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