Serendipity Next Door Byron / Keiichi Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

Basic Premise: Two neighbors get to know one another while dealing with every-day life.

Positives

  • The main character may be naive, but she’s brave enough to admit her feelings and move on if they are not returned.
  • The secondary women characters are more sympathetic than the other routes I have tried. I like Mitsuko here.
  • Keiichi has some funny moments.
  • The translation is excellent.

Negatives

  • Keiichi manages to hit many of my pet peeves. He continuously makes disparaging comments about the main character’s physical appearance, attitude, personality, and fashion sense without building a relationship first. He goes through her things without her permission and invades her personal space. I don’t know what the author was going for, but this is not the way to make me think “oh, this person’s such a good friend!” This is not friendship. This is bullying. He barges into the MC’s life without a real connection to her, pulls back when she says she cares for him and tells her she’s wrong…then continues to jerk her back into his orbit. He’s selfish, he’s fake, and I wanted to smack him with a rolled-up newspaper every time. And I like him in the other routes, dangit.
  • The MC spends a good portion of the route getting a makeover and learning to be feminine and sexy. If it was something she had decided on her own she wanted, this wouldn’t bother me. The fact that she’s pressured into it so she can win some guy’s approval grinds my gears.

Overall: A disappointment; I’m glad I bought it on discount.

Voltage’s Serendipity Next Door is available on iOS and Android.

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5 thoughts on “Serendipity Next Door Byron / Keiichi Main Route Impressions and Review – Spoiler Free

  1. I just finished his route, and I really have to agree with you. It took some work for me to want to continue his route. I really can’t stand the premise that the MC won’t be good enough for any guy unless she throws her back out and kills her feet in some heels (those suckers are a proven health hazard…). Also, there are far better ways to encourage someone to improve themselves without insulting them.

    I know I could put up the defense (And it does hold water), that as an American I place a high value on privacy, but that other cultures don’t always feel and behave the same way, and the one the MC is from might not either. For me, it’s a sign of respect to NOT comment on others’ bodies/personalities and invade their personal space without permission. But in some cultures it’s natural for them to make comments even to strangers, and apparently they see it as a sign of caring and concern and just have a level of interaction with one another that goes beyond what I would be comfortable with. I don’t think they always mean disrespect with those ways and I do think, in a lot of games for instance, I can overlook a lot of things because of cultural differences. Plus, fiction.

    But even if we account for some cultural differences, Keiichi is still a bully! Because culture doesn’t account for…

    Spoiler ahead here for anyone reading any further…

    Lots of points really grated on my nerves, but one in particular just had me seething. When Keiichi tells the MC that her face is ugly because she looks depressed (Nice way to cheer someone up, by bullying them…) And you get one of three options on how to respond to this. Well, if you choose to let the MC have a backbone and bully him right back about having some facial stubble (Not like you’re calling him a jerk or worse, even though you probably should be), he then freaks out and accuses the MC of not only being ugly on the outside, but also having an ugly personality! So, it’s cool for him to be a bully to her when he sees and knows she’s feeling bad already, but the MC better not even TRY to defend herself, or SHE’S suddenly the bad guy?! UGH! I loved him in the other routes too, but I think that level of bullying and hypocrisy ruined him for me…

    • You brought up the exact choice that irritated me most; Keiichi’s response to the MC’s teasing about his appearance bothered me enough that I had to reload and choose something else. I couldn’t stand to see the MC still pine after him if she had been told that. I like stories in which the two leads tease and prod each other IF THEY’RE EQUALS.

      On cultural differences: Many Asian cultures are much more open to commenting about physical appearance to, well, everyone, but from what I’ve read (and talked with my Korean and Japanese friends) it’s out of concern for someone’s health, not “you should be pretty decoration.” (At least if they’re not jerks.)

      The route would have worked a lot better for me if the MC had sought Keiichi’s professional advice at the beginning because it’s what SHE WANTED. I have friends who haven’t worn makeup or “fashionable” clothes for years and friends who must spend at least an hour every day doing their hair and makeup and put a lot of thought into each outfit. I’m somewhere in the middle, taking about fifteen minutes to fix my hair, put on makeup, and slip on a ’50s or ’60s style dress and flats (fellow heel-hater here).

      And it doesn’t matter because it’s what we want and makes us feel good and doesn’t define our worth as a person. And we don’t make catty remarks about how the other person looks. Bite me, Keiichi.

    • Doubtful. He doesn’t seem to be particularly difficult though. I got the best ending without trying. Let me know if you need answers in a few days, and I can go through it for you.

  2. Pingback: Serendipity Next Door His POV Impressions – Spoiler Free | myladylydia

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