Let me preface this review by saying that I’m not a fan of the gentlemanly types. I dunno, there’s something wrong about the perfect characters that just rubs me the wrong way. I try to like them, but they can be too perfect at times…Initially this was that kind of story in fact for the first few chapters I kept giving this route the never ending side eye of doom. Especially with all the not so subtle hints about forbidden romance…Really Voltage? Romeo and Juliet? Come on, you can do better than that!
But, after that…Mr. Sera’s route took an unexpected turn and I loved it! The plot twist was “unexpected”, but welcome! Hidetaka is downright princely, with a winning smile and dashing good looks. On top of that he’s a dedicated English teacher and a famous translator too, but one can’t help but wonder if there is something sinister behind that sweet smile of his…
*Disclaimer: I don’t own these images, they belong to Voltage…and this goes without saying, but there may be slight SPOILERS under the cut…*
Behind his Practiced Smile
When SLA and KHS merge, the MC is paired with the handsome English instructor, Hidetaka Sera. He is the perfect gentleman and the MC is over the moon when she is asked to be his assistant homeroom teacher. Known around the school as the Sweet Prince, Hidetaka does a lot to live up to that name. He is the perfect gentleman, a heartthrob that makes all the
fangirl’s female teacher’s hearts go pitter patter. He is helpful and courteous, always willing to assist his fellow teachers. He is a dedicated and caring instructor to his students, rarely raising his voice in anger. He has a zero tolerance for bullying, even going out of his way to protect students that are targeted by bullies in his classroom. He always manages to engage his students, with cutting edge lessons that are both fun and challenging. On the surface he is perfect and it’s no wonder that the MC, is starstruck. He practically gives off bishie sparkles! But, the more he and the MC work together, the more he starts to reveal his true less than princely nature.
In reality, Hidetaka is a manipulative
bastard man, with a grudge against the Headmistress and the school after an incident with one of his students at SLA. So he hatches a plan to convince the ex-KHS teachers to take legal action against the school, in hopes of getting the Headmistress fired. The MC finds out and he blackmails her to keep her quiet. He spends the first nine or ten chapters treating her like a butt monkey pawn in his schemes against the school. From that point their relationship goes downhill (and my interest in Hidetaka increased significantly). He takes full advantage of her optimism and naivety, by making her an unwitting participant in his plan to incite discord among the fired KHS teachers. I loved dark Hidetaka! I was not wooed by his nice act, in fact I found myself rolling my eyes every time he did something “gentlemanly”. But then when the mask came off and he was really being genuine, I was hooked! I guess I liked that he was a much more relatable character…more human when he was himself and not pretending to be Prince Charming. However, Hidetaka is not a complete jerk, while he does use people to his advantage, he doesn’t go out of his way to inflict harm on innocent people. So when one of the ex-teachers goes overboard with her revenge and threatens the welfare of the students, he does his best to smooth over the situation with the least amount of collateral damage possible.
Like most, Voltage characters he is shaped by the events of his past. As a child, Hidetaka was raised in England, where he was recruited by a editor friend of his father’s to work on translations. Armed with his “native speaker” level language skills, he excelled as a translator and soon took on bigger and bigger jobs. He adapted the pseudonym H. Sera and the “prince” facade in order to get ahead in the world.
She’s a Starstruck Teacher
At first the MC is completely starstruck by Hidetaka, to the point that she has BSOD expression on her face every time the two of them are in the same room together. She fawns over him just like everyone else, within a ten mile radius of his smile. But, when he reveals his true nature, her feelings for him cool considerably allowing for a much more organic relationship to blossom. The relationship is definitely a slow build, as the MC’s feelings transition from fangirl-esque love-at-first-sight to dislike (maybe even hatred) to respect/understanding, and finally love. All I could think when she actually confessed was, “When did that happen?” And then for him to return those feelings, I was confused, not opposed to the idea mind you, just confused…It was such a gradual progression that I almost didn’t even notice it happening.
The MC…if you follow me on Tumblr, you know exactly how I feel about the MC, but for those of you that don’t…She was a mix of the weak MC’s of the past and the more dynamic MC’s of the present. There were times when I was yelling at my iPad for her to do better, but there were other times when I was pumping my fist in the air in celebration of some quip or another. As the route progressed she showed a lot more confidence in herself and as a result she became much more sassy.
Do I Recommend His Route?
I didn’t know what to expect when I first started playing this route…but, boy was I pleasantly surprised. Hidetaka Sera is what we like to refer to as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”…which I absolutely didn’t know up front. In fact, I almost quit playing because he was too nice, but when he flipped the switch, I too had jumped on the Hidetaka Bandwagon! There were several times throughout the route that I laughed out loud at the MC’s snarky quips or Hidetaka’s schemes.
The story was well paced, nothing really stood out to me as being out of place or rushed. I really liked that a lot more attention was given to the ex-KHS teachers, as we really don’t talk about how unfair the “teacher’s assessment” is in the other routes I’ve played. The plot of this route was definitely more dramatic than Shinichi’s route, so a majority of the story was focused on the action rather than the romance. The artwork was nice, but some of his CGs looked awkward, like maybe they should have been drawn from a better angle or something.
There are two endings for this route, the Climatic Ending and the Amorous Ending. Both are pretty good and flow with the overall story. In the Climatic Ending, the school has a meeting to discuss the recent drama with the parents. Hidetaka, takes most of the blame for the incident and the issue is resolved without the school incurring further damages. The ending then takes a turn for the bizarre, when Hidetaka invites a famous Hollywood actor on stage and reveals that he is the famous H. Sera. In the Amorous Ending, Hidetaka calls a press conference as H. Sera and clears up the situation in his own way. Afterwards he and the MC confess their feelings towards one another and share a passionate kiss. To be honest I prefer the Climatic Ending, it was more natural than the other ending, it went well with both character’s development up to that point!
While this is not my favorite route in After School Affairs, I did really enjoy it. The pacing was really good and because the story was the main focus of this route the romance between the MC and Hidetaka kind of sneaks up on you. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes two faced characters, Hidetaka does not disappoint!
Do you have any suggestions for posts? Any burning questions? Want me to review a specific game or character? Feel free to Comment on this post or Ask Me on my tumblr! As always Thank You for reading!