Have you ever wondered what it might feel like if your partner was a bit younger you, but looked ten years younger? Do you wish that the special person in your life would refer to you using honorifics only? Was your answer to either of these questions yes? Then today I will be talking about the visual novel route for you – Asa, from If My Heart Had Wings.
Asa only joins the visual novel half way through after the club has been formed and Amane has left the Soaring Club. She initially arrives at Flying Fish Manor with her sister, Yoru, as a way of trying to live away from her wealthy family, experiencing life for herself. It is convenient then that when the two arrive, the glider also needs to find a new home – and they just happen to have a hangar to house it. The cost? Membership in the Soaring Club for Asa.
Before I talk about the romance in this route, I want to talk about some of the aspects that distinguish Asa as a character. Compared to all of the other characters in the story, Asa has very few special talents to distinguish herself from a crowd. Ageha is practical, Amane is intelligent, Kotori is obnoxious and Aoi is a boy. More than any of these things though, Asa struggles because of the comparisons we are invited to make between her and Yoru, literally identical in looks, but far more intelligent and supported by her successful and demanding family.
It is suggested by Yoru to Aoi that her sister sees the world differently from most people. That there is more freedom to her actions and beliefs than there is for others in her family, but also a desperation to escape from expectation and do things differently, though in truth the visual novel doesn’t do a particularly great job of showing this through actions until very late on in the route. Flying is, of course, the way in which Asa shows her individuality and by finally taking to the skies, she seems to eventually gain the freedom she is desperate to gain.
Now for the romance. This can basically be summed up with Aoi is stupid. For what it’s worth, from a story telling point of view, if you ask me, if you were picking the ‘correct’ Kazato sister, it would hands down be Yoru. However, for the sake of having both routes, Aoi is allowed (in fact forced on the first play through) to pick Asa with no real consideration as to why he does that. Sure the two characters spend a fair amount of time together, and it’s obvious that Asa is interested, but Aoi is just supporting his kouhai as she gets used to her new school. There is a fairly interesting moment orchestrated by Kanako that leads to the decision being made but otherwise, I found the early stages of this romance unbelievable and dull.
A note on the 18+ aspect
If I found the early stages of the romance unbelievable, it would be fair to say I found the later part of the romance ridiculous. If you’ve installed the patch on this visual novel, you know roughly what you’re going to get here, but I have to say I wouldn’t choose to do it again. After I finished this series of route reviews, I’ll do a full article on H+ scenes, but this section should prove that I’m not entirely anti them. These scenes, and there were several, didn’t add anything to the story and surely only served to please certain, less tasteful members, of the game’s community.
I’m not the law (damn it if I was, I’d probably be in trouble somewhere along the line), so feel free to enjoy this if it’s your thing. However, Asa (and Yoru) are stereotypical ‘lolis’ that look no older than 12. And as it adds zero content to the story, or character development, I would recommend avoiding these scenes entirely.
Some final thoughts
I haven’t played many visual novels, so I can’t comment on any others, but I didn’t expect every single route to be of a really high quality. Unfortunately, Asa’s route confirms this for me as we get a generic heroine who shares many of the traits as the main heroine, without any of the genuinely distinguishing features. The romance feels forced and unbelievable and the adult scenes are just plain wrong. Play this route to complete the game and learn about the characters, but don’t play it expecting a great story or a particularly great experience.
Next time I’ll be able to let you know if it’s worth playing to unlock Yoru’s route.