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I’ll be honest, I’m a Nemu fan so this game is on par with sacrilege for me. That being said, outside the canonical story of the original Da Capo, Kotori’s path had to be the next most well crafted and flushed out story of all the characters. If I were to rank them, Kotori would be dead last second or third, depending on how much you liked seeing Moe in a maid outfit…
Having seen the D.C.I.F. OVA before hand, I was ready for a /wrists-flavored, emotastic disappointment. After being pleasantly proven wrong, I’m proud to say this is a delectable addition to the Da Capo franchise. For starters, this isn’t a retelling of Kotori’s story from the original Da Capo, in fact, the game starts when Kotori reveals her feelings for Junichi in front of the whole school. While in Da Capo, this marks the beginning of the *rabu-rabu* relationship between the two, in D.C.I.F. this becomes the kick in the shin that starts the two of them down their rocky path of devotion and despair.
Being shorter than the original game (only one heroine here), D.C.I.F does require some knowledge of the original Da Capo to fully appreciate every nook and cranny, but all of the important points to Kotori’s story are presented in flashbacks for the benefit of those who haven’t played the original. A handful of the heroines from the original and D.C.P.C. make cameo appearances, but none of them are integral to the D.C.I.F. storyline. Like the image above, the cameos are just nods to the longtime fans; nothing a good browse through Wikipedia can’t fix.
I must admit, like some of the testers pointed out (or will point out), the only down side to this game is Nemu. Live it up Kotori fans, this is as close to an olive branch as you’re going to get from me.
As with all good stories, there needs to be a conflict and an antagonist. To the Kotori fan there can be no greater antagonist than Nemu, and boy does this game show it… Gone is the beloved angel from which Da Capo derives its canonical story, behold the Wicked Witch of the East’s latest incarnation! Not only does this game solidify the bloody rift between the two camps, but Team Kotori get what they want, they get EXACTLY what they want. Here’s a hint for you Kotori fans out there: the ‘happy medium‘ is always better than either extremes.
As a Nemu fan, I find it to be my responsibility to point out that without Nemu, there can be no Nanaka, but that’s a conversation for D.C. II where I will be shouting down Nanaka from the Team-Otome podium every chance I get.
Overall, I enjoyed D.C.I.F. I find Hinata Yura’s portrayal of Kotori to be a lot more appealing than Horie Yui’s, but that might be because the D.C.I.F. OVA completely ruined the Horie Yui-Kotori for me. I know a lot of people liked Kotori because they’re part of the “Hocchan is HNNNNNNGGGGG~!” crowd, but I firmly believe Hinata Yura just does a better Kotori.
D.C.I.F. needs more Nemu Utamaru…