I super love this gaaame...!!! The first and most obvious route I went for was really something I felt like I needed, since it's just sorta resonant with mine own amateur struggles. I've been trying to get into drawing, and so....!! The writing there was really, really encouraging, with my new-found struggles of looking at what I've made and sometimes not being able to think anything but, "Why am I even trying this". I super appreciated it. Not to mention Angie is freaking cute as hell.
Then, playing through the rest of the game, all of this is just so... pleasant and encouraging, too!! All of the characters are absolutely lovable, and I'm super glad for the heavier moments each of them go through and the character development that follows. I think that Angie and Bea are my faves, Angie being the beautiful dork they are and Bea being a really resonant character for perhaps obvious reasons but also for the more personality-driven reasons (insecure characters sure are powerful sometimes; another bit of encouragement with my struggles). Of course, that's not to say I didn't love Delora and Maka!!! Delora is so freaking sweet and thoughtful it's fantastic and her whole story was really quite heartwarming and encouraging, and Maka's whole personality quirk and general sweetness are also fantastic in a relatable way that makes me go "YES.... SHE'S SO COOL.......". I love 'em all. THEY'RE ALL SUCH LOVABLE FRICKING CHARACTERS......
I always feel a little sad with multiple ending games where you can only ever choose one or the other, and that definitely remains true here, but. I mean. It's sorta like, I'm sad 'cause I love all the outcomes. I want 'em all to be canon...!! But, y'know. Regardless, they're all great. Picking favorites, the second-to-last one listed is my favorite. Just 'cause, it had the most of what I wanted!!! The most "everybody's supporting each other"!! Of course, the other character-specific endings are fantastic, too, but that one really just has the most "I'm happy for everybody here" to it, and the most closure, for me, personally. The ideal of a character thinking "I wish more days were like today" is super freaking powerful.... The 23rd ending is also really nice as an ending, though!! It was a nice thing to look forward to at the end, and its general execution is pretty impactful, for me.
So in conclusion for the impact of each of the main routes, Angie made me cry in a good way and eased some amount of the struggle I'm having with art, Delora's character arc is wonderfully encouraging and splendid, Maka is a fricking lovable gal at every step, and Bea is fricking cool and cute as heck and I'm always happy when I see characters like her depicted in a thoughtful manner like this. BUT ALSO.... Of course..... Cici herself is really great, too. The whole story in all of the different routes really gives you an appreciation that, doing your best to express yourself is always worthwhile, no matter if your best is fantastic or if it's just, your best!! Every ending having its own positive spin on the situation is also really fricking great. Bad ends are for dweebs!!! Sometimes. Not all the time. But in this situation, it's really great that each one is uplifting in its own way.
And who could forget...... Coconut........... The legend............. Not necessarily the MVP, or the character with the strongest motives and goals, but certainly the binding of this book called Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival. Were it not for Coconut, things would be missing Coconut, and that'd be a travesty. If only Coconut could've shown me how to get the last Painting Event that I was missing, but I got everything else, so that's perfectly satisfying!! And as a random note, the dialects of all the characters was super fun, between Cici speaking in such a lively and adorable way and Maka talking in such a gentle but excited way, and everything between or beside, it's all fantastic. And as an extra random note, aaaa. All the expressions are so good.... Maybe it's evil of me, but the sad expressions everybody makes are my favorite, in terms of them just being really effective at making myself feel their emotion. Although I'll say the end of Angie's route has the best portrait, to me. I just think it's really fricking beautiful.... I don't really know how to put it, precisely!! It just is!!! Maybe it's the vulnerability and the fact that it's seriously just, a really fantastic moment.
REALLY THE AMOUNT OF CARE AND EFFORT PUT INTO THIS REALLY SHINES THROUGH!!! The art quality and variation is super charming, the OST is really fitting and perfect, and the message is undeniably resonant and positive. Thank ny'all for making it. I'm 5 years too late to be a fresh review on a newly released story, but!!! The magic of games like this is being able to go through them when you find 'em yourself. So. Ya. Thank you!! It was a great experience!!