Ever since the announcement of Dollfie Dream Sasara by Volks a few days ago, I have assigned utmost priority to learn about Sasara’s story. It’s funny that I have been putting it off for more than a year, and I know I have been wanting to do it but the announcement of DD Sasara gave me the final nudge in the back I needed to start another visual novel marathon. I suppose this is my first Leaf game as well.
Kusugawa Sasara 久寿川 ささら ,is a new character introduced in the PC port version of the game, she is one year older than the protagonist Takaaki Kono. Her arc is almost in sync with Tamaki’s arc but branch off about mid-way through the game. Kusugawa Sasara appeared in game as an unapproachable beauty, the student council president, with a very cold demeanor towards others. But the real reason she acted this way was because of her family background. Her parents had been separated for some time, and while both tried to care for her and love her, they didn’t understand her at all. Sasara wanted to be loved but yet all she got was pretended love, and in response, she pretended to accept her parents’ pretended love (oh my, that’s complicated). This complex family problem had caused Sasara to shut herself out towards other, and not wanting to make any friends.
Sasara made her first appearance in game when Takaaki was stuck helping out with the graduating ceremony preparation for the student council. He ran into Sasara on the roof of the school building when she was tearing off a piece of photograph. Takaaki’s appearance on the roof surprised Sasara and caused one of the two pieces of the photograph to get blown away by the wind. Sasara cried her eyes out while holding on the other piece of photograph tight.
Updated to include links to part 2 and part 3 of the story write up:
Takaaki didn’t know what to do except to escort this girl to the nurse office to wait for her to calm herself down. There were a ton of questions in his mind, why was she up on the roof? Why tore off the photo? Why did she not want to find the piece that was blown away? And moreover, why did she have to cry? But Takaaki could not bring himself to ask any of these questions. After a long pause, Takaai finally realized the girl in front of him is unlike Tomomi or Tamaki that he was used to associate with, she was like a fragile glass sculpture in an art gallery, not something he should touch or associate with. Perhaps the girl didn’t notice what was going through Takaaki’s mind and decided to take a closer look at him.
Reflectively, Takaaki tried to back off but the girl didn’t seem to mind. She noticed there is a little bump in his forehead and probably caused by the collision they had up on the roof. While Takaaki claimed that he wasn’t hurt by it at all, but the girl decided to wet her handkerchief and gave it to Takaaki for his wound. Before she left the nurse office, she advised Takaaki to forget what had happened today and forget about meeting her.
On his way out of the school ground, Takaaki went into Maryan (which is her nickname, her real name is later identified as Asagiri Maako in ToHeart 2 Another Day), who is more like a comic relief character in this game and in reality, the super loli former student council president who was in her 3rd year (her in game appearance would suggest she is more like 14 years old), but due to various circumstances she was late to the graduating ceremony (and in reality, she failed certain classes and couldn’t graduate on that day anyway). She became acquainted with Takaaki immediately and started calling him Taka chan. Maryan was actually the only friend Sasara ever had in school, but that wasn’t revealed until later on in game.
After this incident, Takaaki could not forget about the girl he met on the roof. He eventually found out she was actually the current student council president! And supposedly, she was super unsociable and anyone caught associating with her would become the common enemy of the school! That sounds pretty serious, but despite all that, Takaaki continued to try to approach her and tried to understand her. He knew it in his heart that there is a soft side to Sasara because of his first encounter with her.
After a series of accidents… some facilitated by Maryan sempai…
And then some by the force of nature!
Sasara and Takaaki eventually became more acquainted with each other but they kept their distance. Both of them tried to be very careful with each other while trying their hardest not to cause the slightest discomfort in each others’ presence, but as we all know, things rarely works out that way. The harder they tried to not cause any discomfort, the harder it was to achieve it.
One of the main reasons why Sasara chose not to make any friends was because her only friend in school Maryan sempai was graduating and she was afraid to lose the only true friendship she have ever had and in turn tried to pretend that she hated Maryan sempai. Sasara eventually decided to ask Takaaki not to show up to the student council again and told him to forget about ever meeting her.
As Takaaki was running out of ideas on how to bring Sasara out of her lonely world, it finally came to him that the key must be Maryan sempai and that missing piece of photograph that was blown away from the roof of the building when they first met. Despite how rare the chance might be, he eventually found the missing piece of photograph by the help of Tomomi’s dog.
The piece he took from Sasara’s student handbook.
After Takaaki recovered his trump card, he still needed some proof and he needed to know what Sasara’s thinking really was. He confronted Sasara with a series of questions, like why she was on the roof top of the school building during the graduating ceremony, and if he could turn back the clock to the day of the graduating ceremony, what would she do? While Sasara avoided answering the question and retreated to the school building, but Takaaki already had enough information to proceed with his plan.
So, despite the fact that he had no business in the student council, he asked his class rep to let him attend the student council meeting in preparation for the end of school year ceremony.
Sasara was surprised to see Takaaki to showed up for the meeting but due to the fact that his class really didn’t have an official class rep, she had no choice but to let him attend the meeting.
Near the end of the meeting, Takaaki motioned to have a simple graduating ceremony for Maryan sempai since she had just passed her make up test a few days ago. Despite the fact that Sasara was not too fond of the idea of having to face the reality once again, majority of the class reps raised their hands to support the motion. Some of the class rep genuinely supported the motion, while others just wanted to see a final show down between Sasara and Maryan sempai. However, for Takaaki, his main purpose was to wind back the clock to that day, the day of the graduating ceremony, the lost time between Maryan sempai and Sasara.
After the student council meeting, Sasara called out to Takaaki and appeared to want to talk to him but she couldn’t bring herself to say it. Takaaki interrupted her and told her that he had already successfully wind back the time to that day, and this was really her last chance to do what she really wanted to do on that day.
On the day of the ceremony, Sasara still hasn’t shown herself in the school ground. Takaaki was confident that Sasara must be some where in school and was just lacking a little courage to show up in front of Maryan sempai. And if everything was to return to that day, Sasara can only be in one place – the roof. By the time Takaaki reached the roof Sasara was already up there.
Sasara was somewhat surprised by seeing Takaaki on the roof. Takaaki asked Sasara if she was afraid of losing Maryan sempai and therefore pretend to hate her and try to pretend that she never have met her. While almost in tears, Sasara claimed that she was not afraid of it. Takaaki knew this was the time to pull out his trump card and showed her the part of the photo he picked up from Sasara and claimed the photo contained her true feeling.
Sasara realized her photo is no longer in her student handbook but told Takaaki that the photo meant nothing. And that the photo only contain a girl who wished the world would disappear! Knowing that would happened, Takaaki once again reached out to his student handbook and pulled out the piece he recovered from the school ground and paired up the photo.
Sasara couldn’t believe her eyes and leaned against the wall, and Takaaki kept pressing further and asked her if she only see the girl who wished the world would disappear. Perhaps unconsciously she reached out for the photo. Within the photo are two girls. The shorter one, full of energy and smile, posed in front of the camera with a victory sign. The other one, while trying to avoid the camera, but it contain the “true feeling” of the girl who wished the world would disappear. The two girls appeared to be holding their hands tight together, obviously, they are Maryan sempai and Sasara. Takaaki asked Sasara if she wanted the world to disappear, and if so, it’s better off to destroy this photo. That’s why Sasara was on the roof that day, to destroy the photo and everything. “But why did you have to cry then?” Takaaki kept pressing, and “Why did you have to keep you own half of the photo?”
Takaaki approached Sasara while still holding the photo and told her it’s not as easy as she said to pretend nothing ever happened and if the other girl really disappeared from the world, there will be a hole the could never be filled in her heart. And even if that was possible, the only thing that will disappear is her own heart.
Takaaki then further explained that he too could not forget about Sasara, and cannot pretend nothing ever happened. He was sad that he couldn’t help her out, but even then they should not pretend nothing ever happened. From the moment they met, he could not forget about her. Perhaps it was because Sasara has always pretended to be cold and that’s why no one had tried to get close to her. And Sasara was afraid of someone becoming important to her, and that’s why she build up a firm defense line to make other people hate her. But himself and Maryan sempai are different. With Maryan sempai’s carefree attitude and Takaaki discovering Sasara’s true feelings. Since then, both of them have already become part of Sasara’s inner feelings.
While Sasara was still hesitating on whether she should meet Maryan sempai, Takaaki once again reminded her that she only need to say one thing, it’s not to pretend nothing ever happened, but to treasure all the wonderful memories they shared together.
After the end of school year ceremony, it was finally the time for Sasara to give her speech to the graduating class (in reality, it’s her speech to Maryan sempai). Sasara started off her speech normally but eventually broke down in tears and begged Maryan sempai to not graduate and that she would do anything for her if she would stay.
The cold demeanor student council president was all but vaporized, all that’s left on stage was a girl with fragile emotion. However, Maryan sempai shaked her head and told Sasara it’s not possible anymore, she had already received her diploma and this moment has already been decided from the very moment they first met. Maryan sempai further explained that she hated Sasara, the naturally gifted and beautiful girl but always seemed to wish for the end of the world to come. She hated that Sasara, and that’s why she had to drag Sasara to the student council to make that Sasara disappear from the world. If that Sasara truly wished the school would disappear, it would be better if she would disappear instead. She then proceed to tell Sasara that she wished for her happiness but it appeared to be more than what she was capable of, all she ever did was to cause trouble for Sasara.
Sasara could not stop crying on stage, the ceremony came to a quick end.
In the next screen, Takaai was greeted by Maryan sempai in front of the nurse office.
(Despite her carefree attitude and eccentric behavior, Maryan sempai was much more mature than she usually let out to be, she is rather essential to the later part of the story as well)
She told Takaaki that he really had done something incredible, and almost deserve a Nobel peace prize! Half jokingly, She told Takaaki that she is passing on her baton to him for taking care of Sasara in the future. They were later joined by Sasara herself. Sasara apologized to Maryan that she had tore their photo up.
While there was nothing that could be done about the photo that was torn up, Maryan offered her own copy of the photo to Sasara. May be there was nothing they could do to repair that photo… then all of a sudden, Takaaki had an idea and told them to meet him at the school ground. Takaaki went back to the classroom and dragged Yuji (who happened to come to the school ground with a camera that day) to take a new photo for them.
Part 1 end!
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