Toraware no Palm ~ Haruto ~

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Haruto is the first character that was released for Toraware no Palm. I would normally do a short description of what he is like as a character but this profile image above does all the work, so I’ll just straight up translate that below. Also, apologies for the image spam and how much space they take (vertical images are so hard to scale). WARNING: There’s going to be massive spoilers in the summary section below so don’t read if you’re going to play this (also some CG spoilers)!

Following below will be a translation of his profile, summary of his route, his endings, and then my thoughts.

PROFILE:

Name: Haruto

CV: Umehara Yuuichirou

Story: “I feel like you’re different somehow from the other counselors I’ve had up to now.” After being involved in an event, a young man – Haruto – is taken onto a solitary island over distant seas. You, who were taken to this place to be a counselor, end up searching for his lost memories.

Personality: Quiet, he doesn’t show many emotions. His silence makes him unsociable but there seems to be a reason for why he refuses to get involved with people.

Special Facts: A romantic suspense story concerning his memories. A main story heavy with mystery. A love that is nurtured slowly through time.

(HE’S SO GORGEOUS I’M CRY)

SUMMARY:

The game starts with a little boy and a little girl in a field of yellow anemone.

The heroine, you, wakes up at the island and is greeted by a man called Kariya. He wants you to work as a counselor to help this amnesic man, Haruto, regain his memories which he lost after an event. You’re very confused and want to return home but you quickly find out that comings and goings of everyone on this island are strictly monitored and so there isn’t any way to get you off the island… for now. Looks like you have no choice but to cooperate with Kariya, the jailer, and this strange institution you find yourself at.

Mysteries abound as you explore the island, meet Haruto, and he slowly regains his memories. There are slight supernatural-ish events too like Haruto having blue eyes when both his parents had brown, him having the ability to see the colors of people’s emotions (yeah, he can do that LOL except that he can’t see yours), and a message bottle that he sent out to sea when he was a child that you get to answer and receive in the present time.

Anyway, you get clues like Haruto recognizing the sound of a pocket watch, remembering a strange shape that looks like a backwards “N” (basically like “И”), remembering a honeycomb-like shape, the name “Seahive”, the name “Beatrice” from a book called “The Golden Bee”, and “The Day of Forgetting is near”. You learn things like how Haruto’s parents both died in a “car accident” and that they were pharmaceutical researchers. Then you meet this man called Masaki who claims he knows Haruto and reveals that Haruto used to be a pharmacist and that he’s actually Haruto’s boss. This island is under his company’s control and he’s keeping Haruto here to help him regain his memories.

What a nice man– except then the truth all comes to a head in Episode 6 and all the clues you’ve found are put together in a way that made me applaud (and feel dumb). I have to admit that I was doubting how well the mystery would be pulled off but it was pretty great.

PAST. Haruto’s mother, Ryouko, was a genius at pharmacy and Masaki used to work together with her at the same pharmaceutical company, Seahive. Actually, he was her supervisor. He fell in love with her but all she seemed to care about was pharmacy, which was fine with him because he was just going to continue waiting patiently for her. Heck, he even planted yellow anemone in front of the laboratory they used to work at; the flower meaning for yellow anemone is “I’ll believe in you and wait”.

But then one day she fell in love with Haruto’s father and became pregnant with a beautiful blue-eyed baby boy. When Masaki heard that he was NOT HAPPY but what can you do, right? Right, so life went on as normal. But, by the way, he was helping Seahive develop a dangerous drug called “Beatrice”, which seemed like it would allow someone to manipulate another’s thoughts and emotions.

Meanwhile, kid!Haruto ends up being friends with a little girl who is visiting from the mainland. At one point, they climbed a tree but then the girl slipped and fell. Haruto was unable to catch her hand and she hurt herself. It wasn’t life-threatening but Haruto felt so much guilt that he was unable to talk to her or apologize. By the time he found his courage, she had already returned to the mainland.

And then an event of some sort happened (oh god, sorry, I was so sleepy when they were talking about this) that put the company in a dangerous position and so Masaki deleted the names of all the people who were involved unknowingly, Haruto’s mother being one of the researchers that was making A LOT of progress on this drug, EXCEPT for one. Guess whose name that was?

This one name that he didn’t erase, Haruto’s father… may have led to the accident that Haruto’s parents were in. But the game doesn’t confirm this (at least during my playthrough and the ending I got). At any rate, he lost the woman he loved and the research on “Beatrice” for Seahive, except for one sample that he saved. And then a certain someone returned from an American school overseas.

By the way, a fictional story in-game called “The Golden Bee” was written a few years after this and it contained events that are eerily similar to what happened. It was about two researchers who end up realizing that the company they worked for were doing terrible human experiments and so they took the data and ran away but died in the end.

PRESENT. Okay, I lied, this is still going to have past events but this is like near past. So, Haruto returned from overseas and met Masaki who wanted to recruit him into Seahive, this well-known pharmaceutical company. Haruto accepted the job and was promoted to be the project lead on “Beatrice”. He was very talented at chemistry but noticed strange things like how decisions were being made without him in the room. And then, one day, he found out about the effects of the drug that he was working on. That and Seahive kept pushing for human trials even though the animal experiments were showing dangerous results. Haruto, realizing the dangers of this drug, chose to erase all the data on this project. But when he did so he was attacked and lost his memories.

Now the clues start coming together. Haruto was actually attacked by Masaki; the sound of the pocket watch that he recognized belonged to Masaki and was the last thing he saw when he was knocked unconscious. That and its roman numeral VI (which was the backwards N he kept drawing). The honeycomb structure that Haruto remembered were just chemical structures of drugs. Seahive is the corrupt company that he worked at and “Beatrice” was the code name for his project.

Masaki hired Haruto, partially because he’s talented, but also because he was the last link to Ryouko (kinda creepy if you think about it like that). Also, Masaki wanted Haruto to complete his mother’s work on “Beatrice”. He calls the completion of this project “The Day of Forgetting”. Now he’s keeping Haruto on this Seahive-controlled island and facilities to help Haruto regain his memories and return back to the project.

NOTE: I wondered if Beatrice meant anything and saw a review that pointed out the name “Beatrice” features in Dante’s Divine Comedy about Dante’s ideal woman. I think that’s pretty fitting for Masaki to call the project “Beatrice” and dedicate it to Ryouko, the woman he loved and idealized.

So, Haruto regains all his memories. He (and you!) end up remembering that you two knew each other from childhood and that you were the little girl he played with. It turns out that the reason he is unable to see your heart is because of the incident when you two were children. He could see your heart then but when you fell off the branch and he saw your belief and trust in him turn to terror, it traumatized him and he ended up running away from that incident T_T. BUT IN HIS HEART HE STILL SUBCONSCIOUSLY RECOGNIZED YOU.

In fact, let me translate this one scene that made me clutch my heart. Context is that you’re in an interview with him in the present reminiscing about how you two used to play hide-and-seek. Back then you would get angry because he found you so quickly with his ability to see emotions. But one time he wasn’t able to find you because you fell asleep in a greenhouse. His father told him where you were though and he went there to wait for you to wake up.

“… [Name]… are you awake? I found you… Don’t suddenly disappear from me like that again, okay? “Let’s go home together”. I thought I’d find you quicker but… In the past, I’m the one who would find you immediately but it looks like you’ve always been better at hiding than me… to think that our game of hide-and-seek went on for so long until now… I’ve finally found you.”

FUTURE. Now, where this all takes us is that Masaki, like I mentioned above, wants Haruto to regain his memories and work on the project. He’s also seen that you are Haruto’s weakness and threatens Haruto that he won’t return you home unless Haruto cooperates. Oh no.

But!! Kariya, the jailer, is actually a person unconnected with Seahive; he never reveals who he’s working for in-game but he seems to be part of an information agency that is trying to get the dirt on Seahive. He also wants Haruto to regain his memories and then he wants Haruto to testify against Seahive, which is why he searched for a counselor that was unconnected to Masaki and Seahive. Actually, this is why Haruto never opened up to his previous counselors since he could see that they were hiding things (it’s also why Masaki never visits Haruto until the very end). Anyway, Kariya tells you that he’ll do his best to protect you. Awesome! However, he also explains that after Haruto testifies they’ll need to wipe his memories of everything, including this island, and basically give him a new identity so that he won’t be in danger. Not awesome!!

And then… what happens after these two choices are presented to Haruto depends on how you’ve been answering and interacting with Haruto :’). Because he will make his own decision :’)).

ENDING 1:

Haruto chooses to testify against Seahive and agrees to have his memories erased by Kariya and whoever he works for. You’re sent back to the mainland and then 2 years later when you head out to the countryside to see a friend you come across a field of yellow anemone. There you bump into Haruto again who has no memories of anything but he seems pretty content with that (he actually mentions in a conversation once that he’d like to get away from everything and plant flowers).

But… there’s a pain in his heart that won’t go away. It makes him feel like he’s lost someone precious to him and he wonders about his past self. Also, the reason why he planted all these anemone was because he woke up with a withered flower sealed in a bottle (it was a time capsule that you and Haruto buried as children). He took that flower and grafted it onto another plant and when it budded and bloomed it was a yellow anemone.

He’s intrigued by you because you called him by name and sound like you know something about him, but he’s never met you before. When you start crying because he talked a bit about what the past!Haruto probably didn’t want him to forget, he is startled and wipes away your tears. In the end, you two agree to meet again and get to know each other.

GODS I WAS SO SALTY WHEN I GOT THIS. I mean, it wasn’t a horrible or bad ending by any stretch. You helped him regain his memories once so !! maybe again! It’s also a bit sweet because it’s almost fated in a way for you two to meet and fall in love with each other again and again. But still… amnesia… dammit I hate this trope so much and this ending just kicked me in the chest because of that. I still enjoyed it and bawled at this bittersweet ending though.

ENDING 2:

TBD.

ENDING 3:

TBD.

MY THOUGHTS:

 

Because WordPress freaks out whenever you try to do anything other than basic writing…

Image 1: “I was afraid of knowing that girl’s–… your heart, so I ran away not wanting to see it.” [re: the childhood incident]

Image 3: “This underwear is funny. This design is… of a towel wrapped around it?”
“Funny, right? I laughed.”
“Me too. This really does make a person laugh. You find these strange things often, huh.”
“It’s funny so next time I’m going to try wearing it.”

My thoughts were already slipping through in the summary LOL but I’ll throw everything else that didn’t really fit up there in this block, and just go on more about my personal experiences.

First, I have to confess that I normally avoid any stories with amnesia because it’s a pet-peeve of mine. I have had bad experiences with it being terribly done and just making me rage and roll my eyes at the unnecessary melodrama. Also, the observation part of this game weirded me out. But then I kept seeing gorgeous and cute art on my Twitter due to my friends who played it and heard reviews about it being a bittersweet story and if you know anything about me I LOVE bittersweet stories.

So then I ended up playing this game after like a month’s worth of indecision and… I don’t regret it at all. Haruto’s story was well-done and even though he wasn’t my type of character (I don’t normally like such soft-spoken, quiet, and emotionally blunted characters) he was very fleshed out and by the end I couldn’t help but feel like he was a dear friend. Honestly, the difference between how he is at the end and how he was at the beginning is massive and the game wasn’t lying about a “slow, nurtured love” being one of the story’s key points. (SOBS this game makes me wonder how I’ll ever replay it any time soon because I can’t bear to start at the beginning with Haruto having no memories of the journey we went through… although I feel like this happens to me in like every game LOL).

Anyway, moving on, I don’t know actually know how much the choices you make in the texts and things affect what he says but it definitely feels the best when you answer as truthfully as possible and see him bring up the small things you’ve said to him. I feel like this event might have been scripted since it was in an interview but, at one point, Haruto made a comment about how I was always supporting him at his own pace and I felt really embarrassed – MY HEART SKIPPED A BEAT – because during interviews and talks I would be patient and not knock on the glass, letting him finish his train of thoughts, etc. That comment he made really felt like a culmination of all my choices.

NOTE: I’ve been reading some reviews about how to get Ending 2/3 and people seem to be split on it being influenced only in Episode 6 or going through the game and choosing certain answers. One reviewer got Ending 2/3 by always tapping on the glass though which makes me a bit salty that I guess I wasn’t being forceful enough to Haruto LOL.

Regarding the mystery and other elements of this game. I’m laughing at myself and how much doubt I had at the beginning. I was around Episode 4 when I started feeling like the mystery wasn’t done well because they were giving you all these clues that I knew had to have some importance since the game was pointing them out to you, but I felt like there wasn’t anything to connect them too. One could argue that this is why the mystery portion isn’t well done because the game doesn’t give you enough direction. Sure they linked up all the clues in the end, but that’s the bare minimum of doing a mystery story.

However, I thought that the lack of direction (except for the gameplay element of how the mere act of having an item in your inventory means it’s important) was awesome because it made the game feel that much more real. I fell for the red herring when Haruto mentioned the symbol he remembered looked like a backwards N. I can’t believe I just accepted it as potentially a Cyrillic word and left it like that. HARUTO, A BACKWARDS N DOES NOT LOOK LIKE VI.

And I knew Haruto’s parents were pharmacists for the longest time but I just derped out when he was talking about the honeycomb structure. Clearly I recall nothing about my chemistry classes from university, oops. So this reality of being given things that you feel are important clues (Haruto’s vague memories) you don’t even know where to start. It’s only when you interact with something else that you might be given an “ah ha!” epiphany to help you link things.

Also! I thought the reason Haruto couldn’t see the heroine’s heart was to make the player feel special, or some kind of meta gameplay about how each player is different behind the screen and that’s why Haruto can’t actually read your heart. To think that there was actually a good in-game reason as to why he couldn’t and how it led to that AMAZING scene, ahh. Them coincidentally being childhood friends was kind of a giggling moment for me because that was a “oh, of course” moment but heck I enjoy these things. (Plus, once again, if you just think of it is fate or yuanfen making them cross paths again and again… AH T_T).

Overall, I really enjoyed this game and I’m looking forward to playing Aoi because he sounds like a lighthearted playboy and I adore those types, whoops. Also, after how much mystery and suspense I went through in Haruto’s route I’m ready for some melodrama soap opera stuff. But, yeah, this game was well-written, the art is gorgeous, the music is to DIE for (I splurged and bought the soundtrack after just playing Haruto and now I cry at the main theme T_T), and I would recommend it for people to play!

OH! I just remembered that Haruto gives you a pendant from gemstones that you find for him and apparently it’s based on what kind of person he perceives you as from your reactions/answers to him. He gave me a rose quartz pendant :> and IIRC the game explains that this gem is a symbol of love and tenderness; it also makes the beauty of a female shine. Huh, looks like they did their research because that’s pretty much what gemstone sites say too. Known as the “love stone” it encourages peace and calm. T_T HARUTO!! And I’m not surprised since I was, like I mentioned, very patient and encouraged him gently.

Borrowing Bunny’s line: “Good night, sweet prince.” T_T.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be forgetting him any time soon either.

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6 thoughts on “Toraware no Palm ~ Haruto ~

    kukkiriri said:
    April 15, 2017 at 18:14

    Ilinox, I’m sure you must be wondering why this weird chick keeps commenting when she doesn’t even read your posts. Well, I don’t want to know in case they ever bring it over to English! DX (Do you think they will? Hehe.) And I’m much too lazy to try it in Japanese. Ah, what’s the point of saying I even want to improve? orz But I do read your personal comments and thoughts, and you’re such a good…uh…player? Girlfriend? Keke. I do want to ask though, did you consider yourself as such when you play dating games? ;D

      Ilinox responded:
      April 15, 2017 at 20:28

      Never!! Comments are always dearly welcomed <3!

      Oh gosh, I'm not familiar with Capcom's games and localization history but – after looking them up – they do have quite a few series that are localized but they seem to be big franchises, like Ace Attorney, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, etc.

      TL;DR: I don't think it's likely :x because otome games have never had a good track history of being localized. There's been a surge of localizations recently but compared to the amount that gets released it's still really small. Then again Toraware is barely a year old so maybe it can show its potential in sales!! (Listen to me talk like I know what I'm talking about when I don't LMAO).

      //pat pat. Toraware mostly consists of everyday words if that helps convince you |D no need for intense concentration to comprehend what they're going on about (except maybe the mystery portion in Haruto's side).

      I-I just want to be a supportive person to this fictional guys– //////////. Hm, in most otome games I don't put myself in the MC's shoes because the narrative aspect of it gives her a past and story, so I feel like I'm just along for the ride. And even the choices themselves are constrained to what /she/ would do in that situation.

      But for dating/simulation games like these where the MC is basically a blank slate and they always give you a selection of choices to respond to things then I do tend to play as myself /o\ TORAWARE STRAIGHT UP TOLD ME TO DO THAT OKAY!! Hahaha. I think it also helps that personality-wise I tend to find within the range of choices they give me, so it makes it easy to be like "ooh yeah I'd say this!".

        kukkiriri said:
        April 15, 2017 at 21:08

        Oh, wow, you wrote so much in response! (*´∀`*) From WP’s comments notifier, it just showed the one line at the beginning. I’m glad I clicked on your comment to open it up!

        Only a year old? Then we might have hope! If they find that it’s doing well in Japan, maybe they’ll consider porting it over as well. Gadget apps like these are so much easier than bringing over a game, after all. They could just do it themselves, and not have to depend on another company localizing it like an actual video game. ヾ(*´∀`*)ノ Do it, Capcom! Bring your shady voyeuristic game over to all us women in the English-speaking worlds! Like Cheritz. :D When Mystic Messenger was still in development, I thought their idea of simultaneously releasing it in both Korean and English was great. Awesome idea, if only more companies would do that! Come on, there’s a big market out here!

        And maybe I will try it, since you like it so much. >D I’m just a cheapie, I don’t really like to buy in-game contents for apps because I usually feel I’m not getting my money’s worth. Especially otome games. I refuse to buy those. But this seems like a great experiment they’ve got going on, so I’ll give it a try soon maybe.

        As for how you play, sometimes you also just really have no choice either. Since a specific order will give you a specific route or ending. Sigh. I’ve had many a times where I chose the “wrong” answer because it was how I’d react, like telling a douche he was a douchebag loser. >D This though ——> “I do tend to play as myself” <—— oooh :O you're such a nice person! ( ´ ∀ ` )

        Ilinox responded:
        April 15, 2017 at 23:39

        I think Toraware is doing pretty well in Japan since they’re still making goods for it |D IIRC there were pretty huge events for it, bed sheets, dakimakuras, and just recently they’re selling necklaces of the stones that Haruto gives you in game (they’re going for ~¥5000 per stone $_$). But yeah!! It’d be awesome if Capcom picked up the localization themselves like Cheritz is doing!! (On the topic of Mystic Messenger, I’m surprised they’re looking for Spanish translators. Wow, so much care given to making it accessible to people).

        Haha, I totally understand. I don’t like buying in-game purchases either but they’re sneakily putting me under the dollar store event because each “extended interview” or extra scene only costs like 1$ so I’m like “psh, I just won’t drink coffee this week and get like 4 then!” but next thing you know you’ve wracked up like a $20 bill LOL. I think I still left like 70% of Haruto’s extra events because I’m still on the fence about whether I like him that much to care about his extra events (I want to check out Aoi first).

        RE: no choice in otome games. Exactly!! That’s why I don’t see myself in the MC and just treat VNs as novels and the “choices” as things that only get me onto other routes ><. A sort of "what if the heroine did __ instead?" kind of thing.

        (๑→‿←๑) I'm not sure how much or which choices influence Haruto (like whether it's just interviews only) but there's such a massive amount of things to respond to that it'd be tiring if you weren't answering as yourself I think. Kind of like Mystic Messenger. (Though when I collect Haruto's other two ends in the future I will have to be conscious of answering specifically to get an end, aw).

        This is completely off-topic but I actually really liked how Mystic Messenger did their choices too, because a lot of the responses was what I would naturally do and they give you a huge leeway in the amount of hearts you need to get for each guy that even if you break their hearts sometimes or don't even get their hearts for a response (because it raises the affection of another guy) you won't get a bad end. It really made the game more enjoyable because sometimes I /could/ choose a snarky response without any fear of repercussion.

    1_chan said:
    April 15, 2017 at 08:56

    Wow thanks for this review and summary~ the boy is truly very gorgeous xD

      Ilinox responded:
      April 15, 2017 at 20:30

      You’re welcome <3! I'm glad you found this interesting amongst the Light Beyond translations. YES the illustrations are so pretty and there's even more CGs that I didn't get to include here. These were just my top picks and even then I spent like 10 minutes deliberating over picking these as my top, aha.

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