Masaharu volunteers to be the MC’s main bodyguard, but she’s less than happy about being with the ‘trigger-happy’ fugitive 24/7.
And at the beginning, there really is very little reason for the MC to feel good about being guarded by Masaharu, who’s not only crazy good at what he does, but also just plain crazy (it seems). He has a thing for counting down to force people to do what he wants, and he’s not above putting the MC at the wrong end of his gun.
The MC gets absolutely no sympathy from him, even though she is (quite understandably) reeling from finding out the real story behind her father’s death and being threatened with the same fate.
Scary. Total asshole. Uses me as practice. Ask Mr. Inui for help. Asshole.
~ The MC’s notes on Masaharu
She’s at once scared of him, offended by him, and attracted to him, especially since…
Eventually, the MC discovers the ‘real’ Masaharu — who holds a gun only to protect those who can’t protect themselves — and the story behind the motto he lives by:
… You gotta be heartless to protect some things.
What I think…
I like how the MC started out basically hating this gun-toting stranger who said and did nothing but awful things to her, and not being afraid to fight back. Case in point…
She wasn’t this paragon of virtue, which helped me relate to her better. She judged Masaharu and the other guys as ‘bad’ from day one just because of their background, while trusting everyone else completely, even though she didn’t know the complete story or their actions should’ve told her differently. She was feisty, opinionated, and different from the MCs of old — EXCEPT when it came to food:
Bickering with you made me hungry.
~ The MC (to Masaharu)
Masaharu reminds me of Saizo from Samurai Love Ballad: PARTY in that he is a gun-for-hire with a tragic back story. Both of them go up to the roof to deal with these things, and the MC finds them both beautiful and sad as the moonlight shines on their face.
I loved how neither Masaharu nor the MC were too quick to fall for a pretty face (or sexy body); they spent most of the route arguing and misunderstanding each other. Masaharu had a complicated past that the MC could not hope to immediately understand or accept, but when they finally fell for each other, it was for the perfect reason — both of them had a good heart.
This is not to say that this route escaped poor writing completely; there are several instances in the story that had too much unnecessary explanation from one of the characters, felt forced for the sake of dramatic effect, or just did not make sense.
Still, if you want lots of action and romance (granted, most of it was towards the very end), with lovely bits of comedy here and there, this route will not disappoint.