No, Thank You Kouichi Route // Japanese Video Game Review (NSFW)

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi! Let’s Talk. Today, we’re going to talk about the No, Thank You Kouichi Route.

If you are new to No, Thank You, I have already reviewed two of it’s four routes. Click this link to read my review of the Hiroyuki route or click this link to read the review on the Maki route.

A quick synopsis is, “A young man saves a business owner from getting hit by a car. In the process the young man loses his memory. The business owner, Kouichi, sets the young man up with a job and home while also naming the man Haru. Haru quickly finds out that the bar he’s been hired at doubles as a private investigations office. The story follows Haru and his coworkers as they solve case after case. In addition, the player can make chooses that can lead to a romance between Haru and one of his coworkers.”

My Thoughts Before Playing

Honestly, all I want is to learn more about Haru’s backstory. That’s it. I just want that so badly, so I hope the story actually touches on it this time. As for Kouichi, I really don’t have much enthusiam for his story line. I’m just kind of passive on his character. But who knows, maybe I’ll end up liking him the most.

This is the No, Thank You Kouichi Route.

Where to Buy:

Manga Gamer

The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):

Side Characters

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One thing about this game is that it doesn’t fully tunnel you into a story line with your route character. For instance, the game Dramatical Murder at the halfway point made it so all the other characters beside the protagonist and the route character disappeared. With this game, you focus on the two, but the other characters are still around and still show up in scenes. I think both sides have good and bad aspects about them. Mostly, I appreciated the variety they both bring.

Another example would be the character Kazuiki/Bunbun. He got a lot of attention in the No, Thank You Kouichi Route. That of course makes sense as he’s investigating Kouichi in all other routes. That said, after finishing the route I still don’t really know or understand his character too well. I get the overall feel that he’s this unfortunate guy who’s just trying to do something right. Other than that, he doesn’t really have much character development.

Part of me wishes there was a route for him just so I could get to know his character better. What is he like when he’s not investigating. Sadly, that was his only purpose in this story when I would have liked to see more of him.

One other thing, Kazuki or BunBun’s story is too similar to the childhood friend’s story in Maki’s route. That’s just poor writing in my opinion. The whole idea of someone you know getting into trouble and then the innocent wife and daughter are raped and die because of it. It just felt too much like the story I already heard in the last route.

The Story Line

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Thank god, I’m learning more about what’s really going on. Now, it’s a little convenient to have Narimiya just explain it all, but hey, it’s something. I honestly had to read that scene several times to understand what was being. When Haru was like, “Who’s that? Who’s this guy again,” I was like, “Thank you Haru for asking, ‘cause I’m confused too.” That said, I’m just happy to get a better idea for the whole picture of the story.

Likely, that wasn’t all of the “big picture story” that gets explained in this route. It’s revealed that Kouichi is in fact dealing drugs and not just solving cases around them. In addition, more of Haru’s story line is hinted at. For instance, it’s revealed that the group that he works for is some kind of crime ring that handles drugs and sex clubs. I’m happy to learn more, but perhaps I would like it even more if I could just follow Haru outside of sotano.

Haru and Kouichi

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As for the main pairing the No, Thank You Kouichi Route … I don’t really know how to think about them. Much like how Kouichi is at a loss on how to comprehend Haru’s actions, I’m at a loss on how to comprehend the two together. You can see their relationship in a couple different ways. Employee with employer, boy with father figure, perverted young man with the object of his desires. The two shift between these roles constantly.

That said, this route revealed that the two have some similarities. Just as Maki and Haru shared the similarity of having combat experience, Haru and Kouichi shared the similarity of secretly being a part of the crime filled underworld.

Speaking of Kouichi, he is a little detective mastermind. The end of this route reveals that Kouichi has known about Haru and his deceptive ways all along. He purposely set up situations or manipulated them to spring a trap on Haru.

Honestly, I was impressed by that. Before this moment I was pretty meh on the route and the character, but hearing all the details about Kouichi’s detective skills was great. Part of me thinks it’s a little too easy to just say that Kouichi was the mastermind behind it all, but most of me appreciates how well it fits in. The first thought is probably because the storytelling is just so nuance that it went over my head.

In Conclusion

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I’m finally almost done! I’ve taken a while to review the entirety of No, Thank You. While I am enjoying it, this experience has told me that I need to readjust the way I review visual novels.

As for this route, I enjoyed it. I appreciated the multilayered relationship between Haru and Kouichi. From the reltionships that I stated earlier, to the crime relationship of detective and hitman that they had toward the end. They were surely something interesting to watch.

My rating for the No, Thank You Kouichi Route is 4 stars out of 5. What’s Yours?