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Blinder than blind, here's Shuffle!
Sabbo

[table of contents]
Nerine!
This will be short* . Really, I just want to get this day over with.

In deference to the response/s I asked for (rather than my own thoughts, which I wasn't and still am not sure about), I shall pick the second option of the choices given. My reasoning for the first choice essentially boiled down to what I considered a high chance of Nerine treating it as an act of love (Trite, I know), and as a figurative way to tie her to Rin... which in hindsight might be a dickish thing to do. Pun intended. My reasoning for the second option is mostly that I'm expecting a curveball somewhere here. Surely it could not be as simple as sticking to it until the end? (Also, in accordance with the other response this morning, I won't go into any gritty details. All summaries until the plot returns.)

So yeah. My summary: She said she's happy for the pain (... :/), and didn't mention anything negative about my choice. She's still there in the morning, and seems genuinely happy. When she leaves, she says she is now fulfilled, although the way she said it was kind of weird. I suppose I'll find out why in time.

MONDAY 13TH

During recess at school, the teacher comes up to me and asks me if I know anything about Nerine - it seems that she's "going to absent for a while." Curious. This aggravates Rin, who lashes out at the teacher (despite obviously knowing no more than he). He promises to go check up on her after school.

After school... Nerine's father won't let Rin in the gate. Apparently he has "a desperate tone". Hm. This reminds me of something I kind of recall from near the start of this whole thing... Wasn't Nerine generally unwell before she came to the human world? I get a feeling that this is somehow related. Rin is worried and confused.

THURSDAY 16TH

Rin still has no idea what's going on with Nerine. It seems he's ruled out physical injury - figuring that he'd be told were that the case - and so does his best to remember why Nerine came over the other night and was waiting in front of his house. He delves back into his memories of 8 years ago again.

The sepia-toned image from before appears once again, but this time, as Rin remembers, he recalls... purple eyes. Nerine, of course, has red eyes. Coming to the obvious conclusion that the girl wasn't Nerine, he draws from this a (faulty, as far as I consider) conclusion that his feelings for Nerine "aren't true" either. After a bit more deliberation, it seems that Rin has reached an epiphany regarding Nerine. I'm banking on the Unspoken Plan Guarantee.

SATURDAY 18TH

After some more lamenting while lying on his bed, Rin can hear the phone ring from downstairs. He picks up the phone, and the scene switches twice. First to in front of the school, and next to the rooftop. Nerine is here, in normal clothes. And making up for all this uncertainty is a line I find terribly, terribly funny. The following non-dialog line pops up as Rin spots Nerine...

On the rooftop in the setting sun, her long red hair is swaying.

For those of you who don't know (If there are any of you out there), Nerine looks like this. I wouldn't exactly call that "red".

Moving on though... It turns out that Nerine has called Rin up to the rooftop in order to say goodbye. Nobody is really surprised, although they both have called it cruel. They briefly talk about their first date, before Rin brings up the question of when they first met. They both know that he knows the answer: Three months ago.

Nerine talks about how her body was too weak to contain her magical power - enough to level a city, she says - and that day eight years ago was one of the many days that she was too sick to do anything. So instead, the devils brought a stand-in for Nerine: The second homunculus, the "clone". As you may have guessed (if you didn't know already), the clone, Lycoris, was a clone of Nerine. Due to not being treated as an experiment, Lycoris considered her time with "that boy" - Rin, obviously - her happiest moment. Real love, Nerine says. (I can hear her say "koi", which is more intimate and less common that terms such as suki or daisuki.)

As we know though, the clone homunculus wasn't strong enough for the immense magical power she contained either. Nerine explains how, as her last wish, Lycoris wanted the remainder of her life merged into Nerine's. It seems that due to being a clone of her in the first place, returning to Nerine was possible. There was, however, something they didn't expect: The fusion of the life energies gave Nerine Lycoris' memories and, it seems, "her song". I'm not entirely surprised. I have suspected for a bit now that the song came from the girl who was not Nerine. But that... that is not all of it. The fusion also gave Nerine Lycoris' feelings.

While Nerine keeps feeling sad for "taking everything from Lycoris", I can't help but think of it the other way around: Lycoris gave everything of hers to Nerine. It's said that you can't have give without take (and vice-versa), but I disagree. If it is possible to steal - taking without being given to - then it must be possible to give without an intentional "take". Or maybe I'm just getting a bit philosophical.

Nerine says that she wanted to become Lycoris, to honor her feelings and live the life the clone could not. During her time in this world it seems though, Nerine had come to be more than just Lycoris anew; she had grown feelings for Rin also, independent of her old friend and clone. She wanted to consider "Nerine" dead and be as Lycoris would be, yet can't deny herself.

*Insert a dozen or so "Why?"s, which sound weird as the multi-syllable "nande"*

She seems to then decide that Nerine, as a "supporting character", is not fit to take the lead role she thinks Lycoris should have had. She says that now that she is herself once more, she must leave Rin, regardless of his feelings. She decides that she will not be Lycoris any longer. (paraphrased; she draws out the whole thing quite a lot.)

Rin, seeing Nerine's sad smile, knows he needs to say something. So, he says simply, "Do you want to play a game?" She's as confused as I am. He proposes that if he can find her at 5 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, "the show goes on for one more act"; if not, it doesn't. She sees the odds being heavily stacked against him, but he says that those kinds of odds are what makes people want to play. After a few seconds, she agrees.

At home, he is aware of the odds. He also knows that there is only one place he need go.

SUNDAY 19TH

This is getting kinda long, but I get the feeling I near the end of this. I'll end this route today, I think.

The place is obvious. At the nearby park, where Rin & Lycoris met eight years ago, and where Rin & Nerine met three months ago. Rin is determined to tell them both his feelings here.

As expected, she is on the swings where we first met her. She admits that there are many other places she could have gone; she knows that this was the only place she could go. She feels as though this game was never for her in the first place. After Rin gives a heartfelt confession - one which I could not express here if I tried - he gives a Be Yourself speech which is almost as good, saying that she can still smile with Lycoris, as they both doubtlessly wanted, if only she is herself.

Nerine expresses doubt about whether she can really be herself, but Rin says that it's not a matter of whether she can, it's that she must. He hugs her and asks "can we smile together?", to which she says yes, and then a more... certain yes.

Later, in her bedroom (which has the same background as the rest of her house, shockhorror), she says "Please be kind to me."

One of these scenes again, really? Well, I suppose I can get through this without going into the level of detail I did last time... (Which really wasn't that much. More than I needed to, sure, but... eh; whatever)

He gets her off, she repays in kind, then both at once, then onward into the night. Basic enough for you? :P

I did find something interesting though - toward the end, one of Rin's lines is credited as Nerine. The line itself isn't important, but the mistake is definitely funny enough to mention.

EPILOGUE

At school, the class has just finished a surprise world history test, which Rin did poorly at. Lisianthus & Mayumi sympathize, while Nerine & Itsuki treat it as something to be expected. And this is relevant how?

As we all leave - Kaede too, even though I didn't mention her yet - a huge crowd can be heard outside on the rooftop as we get up there. It seems that Nerine has begun singing in public again, and does this regularly. She's embarrassed, but not to any degree that'd stop her from singing.

And so she sings. Rin describes it prosaically (wow, and I thought I just made that word up), and the credits roll.

...I prefer the OP. This, however, shows a bunch of stuff I suppose you'd be expected to have seen already. And maybe even some things which are only here. All the characters get a neutral shot and a happy shot, and pretty much everybody gets an embarrassed swimsuit shot... except Itsuki, who's tried to look suave in his. Interestingly, it shows last a brown-haired girl I've never seen before. (And I do mean brown. A bit lighter than Itsuki's.)

And back at the main menu... Oh? "Extra"? I want a look at this...

CG Viewer Mode - Ah, so I get to recall all of the things I've been calling "unique scenes" here, and in every variation? I like. (Only 97% of Nerine's? *looks* Ah, of course. The alternate result of the last choice.)

Scene Recollection Mode - Currently I have three available: Nerine's two sex scenes and her epilogue. I don't expect to go through this particularly often.

Sound Mode - A sound test. Interestingly, I'm missing three tunes. Also, the "excitement" background music I mentioned yesterday or the day before is called here こっちからあっち あっちからこっち. I think that translates to something like "From here to there From there to here" A regular Seuss. :P (Note: I may have gotten the "here" and "there" mixed up, but I really don't see that mattering with a title like that.)

.

And so there we have it. My first liveblog, my first visual novel, and my first... actually, I think that's it. It was enjoyable, if however slow to get through due to making a liveblog of the whole thing. I will, of course, be going through the other routes, but I'll leave that to vote as to whether I relay it here or not. One week voting time, and suggestions for my next course of direction will not be ignored. I might not follow them, but I won't ignore them.

No spoilers of stuff outside Nerine's route though please. All other comments appreciated. (And even just commenting to say you read this would be appreciated; I'm curious to know how popular it was.)

おわり
6th Jul '11 3:59:28 AM flag for mods
comments
I'm curious now! I quit watching the anime way before we got to the actual plot if there was one. I say tell all!

My vote goes to trying to get Sia next. Or, failing that, Mayumi - is she attainable? I always thought she was the hottest.

FurikoMaru 6th Jul 11
Lycoris always reminded me of Licoriche.

And Mayumi is not attainable, unfortunately 4 u.

I'm like your only reader but I've really enjoyed it. I vote continue!
neobowman 6th Jul 11
I believe Mayumi is attainable in the expansion of sorts, "Shuffle! Essence+", which according to Wikipedia has expanded routes for the main five, plus six other routes. It has not been translated by anyone. In the version I have, however, the options are the obvious three, Asa and Primula.

Yeah, I kept hearing "licorice" as well. And considering that both would be in katakana, they'd both be written in the same way too.

Oh, and I forgot to mention it in my brief review of it, but in the "backgrounds" section of the CG Viewer Mode, there are some available even though I've never seen them before, such as what I assume are Lisianthus & Asa's rooms. There were also several variant scenes I didn't recognize, but that's less surprising than seeing scenes I'd never actually known about in the first place.
Sabbo 7th Jul 11
I think... I'm only going to leave this "vote" up until the end of the weekend, my time. I really want to get back to it, but don't want to deprive weekenders of their input. :P
Sabbo 7th Jul 11
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