Generally when I get a new idea for a project, I run it into the ground until I get bored of it (which happens quite quickly), and then I leave it on hiatus indefinitely. Until I suddenly get another burst of inspiration, and then start up all my old projects again.
Anyway. Previously on Nursery Rhyme, Shizuma got conned into a date with Yukina, or at least what amounts to a date. This doesn't actually have much to do with the plot, since it's not like the player can choose to get out of it.
Yukina starts by asking for Shizuma's opinion on various clothes (for him). I don't know if it's a female thing, but even in Real Life, this always happens, and I have no idea why. Generally, unless they're going for some specific brand or such, most guys I know just grab the first thing that fits their objective close enough. For the most part, this means "is comfortable" and "doesn't look totally stupid".
It's not that I don't know the difference between various designs, but more that I don't see a significant change in the level of Looking Good. Of course, this is also why I don't spend that much time with the City of Heroes costume creator, because I really don't care if my character is using this star-shaped brooch or that slightly different star-shaped brooch.
And then Yukina muses that since Shizuma's not really noticeable, he should be wearing something brighter. In orange, pink, and green.
We don't see the actual shirt in question, but we do see Yukina pouting later, after Shizuma presumably flatly refused.
Shizuma: No matter what, I just don't look good in pink.
Yukina: I wonder.
Apparently they settled for something blue. I always have trouble with the kanji for "aoi", since in modern simplified Chinese, it's "green", but in Japanese (and older Chinese) it's "blue". In any case, Yukina paid for it, as a present to Shizuma for transferring into Shousei.
Yukina: Shizuma-kun, when's your birthday?"
Shizuma: Um, 28th of July.
Shizuma braces himself for a present of a pink shirt this year.
Just a screenshot to remind ourselves of the twins' birthday: 9th of December.
Shizuma promises to remember, and then makes a mental note to mark the day on his calendar, since otherwise he'll definitely forget.
"Five girls as housemates, huh."
Yes indeed, you lucky bastard.
Makina arrives, slightly out of breath, for no reason whatsoever. She inquires what they're doing, and upon receiving the answer of "just finished shopping", asks what they bought.
Shizuma mentions that he got a shirt as a present from Yukina.
Makina's reaction speaks volumes.
Apparently Yukina has a well-known tendency to pick garish or bizarre colours. Makina never actually says as much, being that Yukina gives her the Smiling Death Glare all the way, but even Shizuma picks up on the unspoken message.
Makina: Anyway, Shizuma! Lend me any interesting manga you have!
Shizuma: We didn't buy any manga.
Makina: Bah, boring.
The conversation turns to hobbies, and Shizuma reveals that he likes aquariums. This leads to the twins deciding to get an aquarium for the house… or something. I don't know how it ended up that way, but I think it had something to do with Shizuma having to give his fish back to the store when he moved or something.
Since the aquarium shop is pretty far, Makina suggests asking Tita for a ride in her car, since "she's interested in that sort of thing as well". (Whether Makina means the aquarium, or being chauffeured around, I'm not sure.)
The trio head home, and…
… okay, I'm not screenshotting this. Or rather, I'm not going to post it up, since for all the talk about Cute Girls, I'm still trying to keep this blog PG-13.
The girls are all in an open-air bath at Tita's place, presumably not from the viewpoint of Shizuma, who's way out of the scene for this one. It wouldn't be so bad if Makina wasn't stretching, giving us a nude side-view (upper half, at least). Everyone else has towels covering themselves, which Tita also points out. Makina doesn't care, since the walls are high and there's anti-peeping magic around the place. (Convenient.)
They discuss Shizuma's presence in the house, and Yukina believes that Shizuma is both an Honourable Man, and… I suppose the best translation is "spineless". (Ouch.) There's some teasing about Tita's asking about him, and overall not much of note other than idle chatter.
After this, quick fade to black, and fade in again to the next day.
Yuria acts the mildly worried mother sending her children off to school. Also, turns out that Krile is supposed to give the opening ceremony speech. Everyone wishes everyone else luck, despite Makina insisting that there's nothing to be lucky for, since it's only the opening ceremony.
Screenshotting because I like Rin. CHECK!Point, and all that.
The trip to school takes about fifteen minutes, and I think Shizuma mentions something about it being an "elevator school". I could be mistaken.
Yukina explains that it's a fairly laissez-faire ("jiyuu") school, and the uniforms can be arranged however the student sees fit, so Krile carrying around a stuffed (talking) cat will not cause much comment. Azu complains about being called a stuffed animal (dude, that's what you are), and Krile tosses him to Shizuma. Azu then spends a lot of kanji complaining about that.
That cat is really annoying.
I think this means that other than Krile, Azu only speaks when being held by Yuria. Since Shizuma can elicit speech from Azu as well, the twins are surprised.
Shizuma asks Krile directly about what Azu is.
After an awkward moment (broken by Azu making empty threats), Krile just goes "my friend". Looks like that's all.
Shizuma offers to be Krile's friend as well, Krile gets embarrassed, but accepts, before running off ahead. The twins just stare at Shizuma, deciding that he's "naturally an idiot".
Well, if you don't tell him (and by extension the player) what's wrong, it's not like we can improve, right?
Meet Philip "just call me Phil" Miyagau (however it's romanized), Shizuma's old friend, the only other person to get accepted into Shousei. He fits quite directly into the Earnest Eager Bishounen Girl-Crazy Flirt archetype. He attempts to compliment the twins with absurdly poetic language, which completely flies over Makina's head and makes Yukina politely disinterested.
Phil: Shizuma! Don't tell me you know these girls!
Shizuma: We walked to school together. What do you think?
Phil: No, it couldn't be! There's no way you could be with a girl!
Shizuma: (So cruel.)
Phil rants about how Shizuma is so unfashionable and unworthy of a girl's attention, before doing an instant mood change and politely asking for introductions. He easily identifies the girls as twins, and Yukina as the elder. I'm not sure how impressive this is supposed to be, since Yukina's character design compared to Makina's is pretty obviously the Older Sister archetype, unless subverted.
He tries to praise the twins' beauty again. I don't quite understand what he compares Yukina to ("gihin"?), but I'm fairly sure he says something about Makina being a "wild rose".
Yukina smoothly states that since she's "off-scene" right now in Phil's eyes, she'll leave Makina to deal with him.
Makina protests, and runs off as well.
Shizuma references something about chasing after two rabbits when one is enough, which I think is the same as the "bird in the hand" proverb. (For those unfamiliar with it, the idea is that if you're too greedy, you'll lose whatever you already have.) Then he escapes, leaving Phil all alone.
Shizuma is in 1-A. Just for reference. So is Yukina, as it turns out.
Tita insists that Shizuma not talk to her (since she's still angry at him), and Yukina also not talk to her (since they're "rivals"). Yukina dodges the issue, and invites Shizuma and Tita to sit near her.
This is, um, Toukichirou Higashimurayama, apparently. That's going to be a pain to spell. Anyway, he's Yukina's former (and current) classmate. I think I recognize the voice actor, but I could be wrong, since it's a bit generically Deep and Manly. Interestingly, his speech font is smaller than usual.
According to Tita and Yukina, Toukichirou speaks rather softly. Well, Yukina says "kind of softly", while Tita goes for "completely inaudible". Apparently up until then, only Yukina could hear him. Shizuma wonders if it's because Tita is too loud.
Azu speaks at the opening ceremony. Or something.
Ken Sekiya is 1-A's homeroom teacher, described by Shizuma as a Lycan newbie teacher. He sounds half-dead.
That night, Shizuma ponders the day's events, which are fairly significant to him (meeting an old friend and a new one), but not exactly groundbreaking for the player. He also looks out of the window.
We should have expected this by now.
The next day, Shizuma asks Yuria if there's a library in the area. Is it just me, or is the picture a little off-model?
Krile mentions that the school's library is better, possibly because she's in the Library Club. Shizuma decides to check it out, and Krile offers to go with him.
Shizuma is also doing a recap of the characters we've met so far. Nothing new to us, just a mention of who they are and their general personality. I'm not sure why.
At the school library, everyone (all girls, oddly) greet Krile enthusiastically, largely because they want to play with Azu. As in, poke at him and squish him in that stuffed toy way. Azu isn't happy about this, but Shizuma is content to let him go to his doom.
The other library girls assume that Shizuma is there to join the Library Club, but when Krile shakes her head, they're disappointed, since they've been wanting a guy in the club for a long time. (Uh.) Azu declares Shizuma as… I'm not sure how to translate it, but it's something like "subordinate", and that the library girls are free to "use him as you want". The girls are appreciative. (They also later assure him that yes, they know Azu wasn't serious. Nevertheless, since "it's natural for underclassmen to listen to their upperclassmen", Shizuma gets roped into helping out anyway.)
Later, tired out from working at the library, Azu insists that they stop by the cake shop where Rin is part-timing at. Shizuma readily agrees, mostly as a treat to Krile.
Rin greets her new customers, just as she realizes who they are.
Throughout all of this, there's the sound of breaking glass (or porcelain) in the background. If you're wondering.
Apart from this picture, Rin goes through a lot of CHECK!Point-able expressions (well, four including this one; there's also a normal smiling one, a smile-sweatdrop one, and a really nervous-looking one).
Shizuma, again for no apparent reason, narrates to the player the differences between the races in the Nursery Rhyme world. Lycans (like Krile) are usually physically strong (which makes Krile's magical ability doubly uncommon), Elfans (like Rin) are usually magically strong, while Humans are the usual middle race, able to do anything but not as well as the others. The races can interbreed, and Shizuma's father is an Elfan, but his mother's Human blood is "stronger" (seems to vary individually), so Shizuma's a Human.
Yeah, I don't know why he's thinking about this while eating cake.
CHECK!Point: Shizuma offers his cake to Krile.
Shizuma chats with Rin (who seems to be slightly less apprehensive around him now, at least if she doesn't think about it too much). Rin is in university, studying to become a teacher. She's also no good at magic, so she's planning to go into other subjects.
Rin is easily flustered. Here, she's saying something about how Krile's magic is so much better than hers that Rin isn't qualified to teach any magic. Or something.
I managed to catch this screenshot before it disappeared. Since I have to use GIMP's "Acquire Screenshot (Grab from Window)" function, it's easier than having to cut out the relevant window every time from a full screenshot, but I'd rather be able to screencap at my leisure.
In any case, it's the first day of school proper, and most of the house residents are at the table eating breakfast. Makina left early for club-related activities, leading to a conversation about which club Shizuma is planning to join. He's not really interested in anything other than aquariums, but Krile is kind of hoping that he'll join the Library Club.
Rin comes down slightly later.
In her pajamas. Rin is apparently not an early riser.
CHECK!Point: I like how the "ears turning red" thing is applied to Elfans.
Choice time! This takes place after school. From top to bottom: the school entrance (ie shoe locker area), the main road, the road to school (well, technically road from school), and Others:
(Again, top to bottom:) Outside the classrooms, the first floor of home, and Others again (which brings us to the previous set of choices).
A quick peek ahead via the magic of save/reload:
- School Entrance has Phil attempting to recruit you into the soccer club, and then Makina trying her own recruitment.
- Main Road has Toukichirou worried about joining a club, and then Yukina coming along to reassure him.
- Road to School has Tita being tsundere.
- Outside the Classrooms soon leads to the gym, where Krile's class is having PE. (Strangely enough, Toukichirou is also here. I suppose it's a matter of timing, since the Main Road option looks like it's later in the day.)
- First Floor Home takes place a lot later, when Rin comes back from work.