Our First Date!

Well, we finally got one of our invitations accepted! So it's time to go on our first date. Hopefully we can get past the initial meeting part...

But we still have to finish out this week of school, too.

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Well, not that there's much to do. Our Fine Arts study managed to push our Humanities progress just over the threshold to level up, and we ran into Makihara on the way out of school. She congratulated us on our current success, but when we asked her to walk home, she said she had stuff to do again...

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We got a date and two levels up, so I'd say we had a pretty good week anyway. When you have a date, you're not forced to go, but rather you have the option, and have to pick the date icon from your room. It doesn't appear otherwise, and the cursor will default to it when it does appear, so it's kind of hard to forget about your dates. But you do have the option to stand a girl up if you want...

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Clicking on the heart, we're taken to... the clothing screen. This is another new system for the series, and I absolutely hate it. I'll explain that in more detail in a bit, but first... how it works.

It's pretty simple -- you can choose an accessory, a top, a bottom, and shoes from your inventory to wear.

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You can really do some weird stuff by mixing various pieces together...

And that's about it. Of course, I didn't go with that weird combination from the last screenshot, but instead changed everything back to the default of no accessory, a tee, some jeans, and some sneakers.

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After choosing our clothes, we arrive at FLAME UP, the arcade where we are supposed to meet Kawai. It seems like she is not here yet, so we wait for a bit. And she appears pretty soon...

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... And totally freaks out like we jumped out and scared her or something.

But we didn't.

We ask her what's wrong...

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And she glares at us angrily and says our clothes are weird.

And this is why I hate the clothing system. Because the girls seem to be ridiculously picky about what clothes they think look good or bad, and think almost everything looks bad, and they always get mad at you for wearing it.

What's worse is that if they dislike your choice of attire enough (which is ilke 90% of the time), they'll be too embarrassed to be seen with you in public, and immediately leave the date. So your relationship with them suffers and you waste an entire day on being ditched.

They also get upset if you wear the same thing twice in a row, so if you find something that works, you can't just stick with that. Well, you can. Because at least they won't leave. I've worn the business suit for the entire game once just because it at least wouldn't make them run off -_-;;;;;

Oh, and you have to dress appropriately for the weather, too. Or they'll get mad. They're just... always mad. In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever gotten compliments on what I'm wearing at all in this game...? It's always either very mad or kinda mad LOL.

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Surprisingly, though, Kawai doesn't leave us! I was really prepared to have to write about how we'll never get a date for the entire first playthrough because I'm not going to use guides (I've actually not used a guide for this game yet, because I wanted to get all the endings first, but I've gotten like five of them and I think I might start at least using a guide for the clothing because it's horrible doing the guess-and-check for like half the game getting ditched...)

Anyway, she asks what part of the arcade we should play in, and we can choose to go to the redemption games or the regular games, and when we choose regular games, she gets excited and flaps and bounces and say's that's perfect.

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When we get inside, we ask her what she wants to play, but she asks us to hold on a minute...

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And pulls out of computer (like... from behind her back LOL) and starts typing away on it?!

She giggled to herself and mutters stuff like "All Systems Green" and "All machines in the facility controllable."

We pretty much respond "wtf" and she says it's a secret.

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She changes the subject immediately and asks us to take her to our favorite game. While she waits for us to choose an answer, she rocks back and forth.

We have the option of choosing a fishing game, a shooting game, or a rhythm game. I have a feeling Kawai would like the shooting game the most, but I'm kind of trying to RP and do things I would actually do (uh... I would probably tell her I don't have a favorite and make her pick though LOL) and I chose the rhythm game.

She says she's never played a rhythm game before, and we head off to play.

You don't actually get to see us play the game or anything. The game just kind of fades to black and then back in, and it's as if we already spent the whole day there.

She pulls out the computer again, and says that everything seems to have matched with her predictions, but the data is still incomplete. She seems pretty happy about whatever it is, and thanks us.

After every date event like this, we comment to ourselves about how it went. Usually it's something like, "That seemed to go well." or "Yes! Perfect!" but this time it was like "That seemed to go well but... wtf was that?"

Outside, Kawai tells us that she had a nice day and it made for a good change of pace. She says she's gonna head home to do some experiments, and we part. Our first date was a success, even with the bad clothes!

I'm not going to add more of the game to this entry because I already have the next few planned out and it would either leave others too empty or cram too much into some or whatever so... just the date this time.

But! I want to talk about Kawai a bit.

When I first got this game, it was my second TokiMemo game, my first being Girl's Side. After getting over how ugly it was compared to GS, I grew pretty attached to the leveling system and hobby system and stuff, and really loved Makihara right from the start. I met Tachibana quickly, too, and decided I might try to pursue her, but over the course of the game, I ended up meeting Kawai eventually, and I absolutely fell in love.

There was just something about the way she acted and thought that I really related to, and I wanted to know more about her and completely forgot about Makihara and Tachibana and spent all my time hanging out with Kawai, and ended up getting her ending on my first play. Her story is great, too -- I won't spoil it here. But it made me love this game and it immediately became my favorite in the series (well, I had only played two at the time, but now having played most of the rest, I still really love this one).

But after getting a few endings, I moved on to other games, and didn't play TM3 for a long time. And the last time I played was... last year some time? And I didn't even meet Kawai because I was trying for Tachibana's ending again and heavily focusing on sports. (I ended up getting Makihara's ending though lol, completely by accident...)

So it had been a while since I really had seen Kawai before this playthrough that I'm writing the diary before. And it is only this time that I am meeting her in the game after learning about and being diagnosed with autism, and now it makes so much more sense why it was so easy to relate to and get attached to Kawai -- because I'm pretty sure she's autistic, too.

Now, my Japanese wasn't as good when I played before so various things got lost in translation, so I don't remember it ever being explicitly stated that she is on the spectrum, and I highly doubt it actually is stated explicitly in the game, but...

She rocks back and forth, looks away or looks at her computer while talking a lot, she flaps her arms and bounces when she is excited, her most common standing/resting pose is 'raptor hands,' she relates every last thing ever to science experiments, she has a lot of linguistic oddities like lengthening vowel sounds and talking very loudly even when it's inappropriate, and more. Just from these first few meetings with her in the game, I feel like she's displaying tons of traits commonly associated with the autism spectrum.

And it only makes me love her even more. I don't know if she was intentionally written to be autistic, or if maybe the author/designer knew someone like her and based her mannerisms and stuff off of them without realizing they were autistic traits (a thing a lot of writers seem to do -- writing autistic characters without realizing, because most people know a few people with autism, they just don't realize it). But either way, it's really hard for me to imagine she wasn't written as autistic, whether the writer realized they were doing so or not, and the fact that one of my favorite games of all times has an autistic girl as a main character is super exciting.

But yeah, I originally said I was just going to kinda play casually and role-play this first playthrough, and maybe go for Makihara while trying to meet all the main cast.

But now I'm heavily considering turning this into a Kawai run. Because not only was my love for her reignited, but it has even grown now! And I'm really curious to see how her story plays out with this new perspective I have of her, too.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this entry and I hope you think Kawai is as cute and interesting as I do. If not, there's plenty of other interesting characters in this game, and I'd like to meet them all and see all their stories in these diaries eventually :)


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