Da Capo sets it story in the eyes of Asakura Jun’ichi, a boy with the power to create sweets from the closing of is hands and a bit of imagery. Here, we get to see, from his eyes the daily events that occur around them as well as setting and following the story of several other heroine’s routes who he falls in love with as the story progresses. Since I have already seen the anime before playing the visual novel, I would have already expected what was going to occur through each route, but it was still a decent play as I am reminded once again why I love a particular girl in the series.
Most of the time, an anime adaptation of visual novels cut off certain scenes in order to stay on the main route that the director chooses to go through. In some cases, the intermingle of other routes while following the same route tends to be hard to adapt and may need to be edited for the sake of keeping the story in chronological order. Of course, there are exceptions that do not follow this format, such as To Heart 2 (reveal every route regardless of order) and Amagami SS (separate each route to its own sub section).
The arc that I was particularly fond of the most was Yoriko’s arc, or, should I say, Misaki’s arc. Yoriko is a stray maid that Jun’ichi found attacked by several boys who called her weird because of the cat ears on her hair. Jun’ichi saves her, and Yoriko stated that she would repay him by becoming his maid. Despite wearing maid clothing when he found her, Yoriko knew nothing about what being a maid was like. Furthermore, she was afraid of going outside. The arc shows Jun’ichi coming up with several plans to try to cure her phobia, only to have it broken when he was “hit” at a car accident. Since that time, Jun’ichi would continue to bring her outside until she was used to the outside world. Jun’ichi’s relationship in the visual novel as opposed to the anime was that he was alone with her throughout most of the arc (the anime had them with Nemu, Sakura, and, a few times, Suginami). What I enjoyed most about her arc was the beginning as well as the near end of the arc. Starting the arc was the vision of a girl looking at Jun’ichi and Nemu outside and wishing to be with him, but was locked inside her house most of her life. Her cat would jump out of the window and to the outside world, thus the story that this follows after. I found the artwork during the near end of the segment to be very powerful, especially the scene where we see Sakura alone at the cherry blossom tree, where this game would all come to an end. I liked how Jun’ichi continued to interact with Yoriko at night by walking around the park at night. I also find it meaningful that she would be the one to bring him out to see his school, something that someone else wanted to do with him all this time. In the end, we get to see Misaki, a near split image of Yoriko, rather, whom Yoriko got her image from, subtract the cat ears, entering his school as a transfer student. Of course, the anime did not show this, but I found it to be a very nice way of summing this arc to a close, to have her dream, both Misaki and Yoriko, come true: to become his boyfriend because she love him.
The arc that I was also fond, but saddened about, was Miharu’s arc. Miharu is an overly-energetic girl who is usually seen following Nemu around. One day, she was assumed dead, yet was still present as school. This Miharu was an android of which Jun’ichi was forced to protect under the order of her supervisor, Koyama-sense, who was also Jun’ichi’s homeroom teacher. Of course, life is difficult for Jun’ichi as he has to come up with various ways hiding the fact that she was a robot from everyone. Yet, their past was very touching. When they were children, the two would create a time capsule together under a special tree that makes their wishes come true and would only open them ten years later. When they pulled it out, Mahiru’s wish was to be Jun’ichi bride. While it did not happen, the two would fall in love with each other, despite being an android. What I found saddening was that, after her lifespan was over, Jun’ichi would continue on as if nothing happened. When the real Mahiru returned to school, he treated her like he did before she went to a coma. I would have hoped that it would develop further, but I guess that would not be the case, as Jun’ichi understands how to separate his feelings despite the same face.
What caught me off guard as I played through the visual novel were several scenes that had some Suika (visual novel) elements in it. The most prominent one was the appearance of Shirakawa Sayaka in several small scenes that Jun’ichi encounters, but the one that blew me off my seat was when Suginami and Jun’ichi opened the teacher’s conference room only to see another world, which was the background scene that all four arcs portrayed in Suika. After research, I found out that both were created by Citrus with Suika published earlier than Da Capo. I guess the company wanted to mix in some elements of their earlier works in this piece.
Overall, it was an okay run-through, not because I knew what was going to happen, but because it was just your standard teenage high school boy going through the stages of love. It was quite generic and did not bring anything new to the table. It is a good game for people to try, but it would not be on my recommendation list.