(18+) EROGE REVIEW: D.C. II ~Da Capo II~

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Da Capo II | Box art
Title D.C. II ~Da Capo II~
Developer Circus
Publisher MangaGamer
Release Date December 24, 2010
Genre Visual Novel, Eroge, Romance, Comedy
Platform Windows
Age Rating 18+
Official Website

Continuing my expedition into the Da Capo series with D.C. II ~Da Capo II~, the sequel to the first game, which I reviewed earlier this month. While I did like Da Capo, the game had its flaws, such as certain routes being weaker than others, and the game’s visual and technical design being somewhat outdated due to it originally being released in 2002. I was interested to see how Da Capo II improved on the original game’s formula.

Da Capo II was initially released in Japan in 2006 from developer Circus, with MangaGamer’s English release coming in December 2010. The story is set roughly 50 years after the events of the first game, and shares its setting of Hatsune Island, where the cherry blossoms bloom year-round. It follows protagonist Yoshiyuki Sakurai, along with his adopted older sister and Kazami Academy student council president Otome Asakura, Otome and Yoshiyuki’s lazy younger sister Yume Asakura, Yoshiyuki’s classmate and childhood friend Koko Tsukishima, Koko’s friend and classmate Anzu Yukimura, the school idol Nanaka Shirakawa, and Yume’s mysterious transfer student classmate Minatsu Amakase. In addition, there’s Koko and Anzu’s friend and classmate Akane Hanasaki, Yoshiyuki’s partners in crime Suginami and Wataru Itabashi, Otome’s vice president Mayuki Kousaka, Yoshiyuki’s guardian Sakura Yoshino, and the Asakura sisters’ grandfather Junichi Asakura. People who played the first game will definitely recognize some of those names; Sakura and Junichi are the only returning characters, while others seem to be descendants of the same family. While the story shares some characters and elements with the first game, the first game is not required reading to enjoy Da Capo II.

Da Capo II | TL Notes

The game comes with a PDF containing a number of translation notes. It’s fine, but I wish it was integrated into the game better like in CLANNAD.

This may be a good thing, since Da Capo II is an improvement over Da Capo in almost every way. More consistent routes, more interesting characters, more varied character sprites and design, unique story structure, better writing and more interesting stories all add up to make Da Capo II overall superior to the original.

Right away, Da Capo II shows off the new character designs and sprites, which are significantly more varied and dynamic than those in the first game. Every character has a back sprite and side sprites, which combined with the different positions they can take on the screen allow for some amusing interactions, as well as when walking with characters it will show their back sprites and different sizes depending on their distance from Yoshiyuki. Sitting with a group of friends will have them taking different positions, sizes and orientations depending on where they are relative to Yoshiyuki. While not quite on the level of sprites moving around freely like in The Fruit of Grisaia or Rewrite, it’s a small touch that makes the presentation that much more enjoyable.

Da Capo II | Wataru and Anzu

Even the side characters are enjoyable to interact with.

Da Capo II is divided cleanly into three parts; part one goes from the beginning in mid-December until after the Christmas party, part two consists of the winter break, and part three goes through January. Part one is the closest this game has to a common route; at the start of the game, the player chooses between Yoshiyuki’s class presenting a puppet show or a haunted house for the Christmas party. The characters are divided into pairs: Anzu and Minatsu, Nanaka and Koko, and Otome and Yume. Each choice for the Christmas party makes one from each pair available to spend lunchtime and after school with, since Da Capo II has the map system from the first game return. The main difference is that the girls’ locations are given on the map, with Anzu, Koko and Otome appearing if the player chooses the puppet show and Minatsu, Nanaka and Yume available with the haunted house. The events of the Christmas party depend on who the player spent the most time with and depending on that, each of the pairs has their own version of part two. The choices for each character in part two are generally less clear cut than in part one, but depending on who the player ends up spending time with, part three is that character’s personal route. Overall there’s less guesswork here than in the first game, making it fairly easy to get the route you want the first time through. It’s also worth noting that in order to unlock Yume’s and Otome’s routes, one must first finish either Anzu’s or Minatsu’s route and either Koko’s or Nanaka’s route. Finishing all of them unlocks a special route presenting the background events of the story from Sakura’s perspective. Trust me when I say it’s worth the time, if for nothing else than to get a clear explanation for the several events that otherwise go unexplained.

Da Capo II | Text formatting

I…I don’t even know what’s going on here.

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About Chris Melchin

Chris is a computer science student who has been gaming ever since he knew what to do with a Super Nintendo controller. He's a fighting game player, with a focus on BlazBlue and Under Night In-Birth games. His favourite games include Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Persona 5, and Little Busters. He started watching anime in high school, and his favourite series is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. He also writes Vocaloid music for his personal YouTube channel, and has a (slight) obsession with Megurine Luka.

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