Majikoi S is sort of a sequel to Majikoi, in that you should absolutely go through Majikoi first, but also sort of a prequel, sidequel, and alternate. So in terms of how it places the story, it’s everywhere. It doesn’t branch off of any single route of Majikoi, but rather has branches for pretty much all of the main ones, though some branches get significantly more material than others. All of Majikoi’s main heroines, Momoyo, Wanko, Chris, Yukie, and Mayuki, routes all get sequels, but they’re all kind of short and sweet rather than heavy in development. They all go further in showing off the growth each of the heroines had in their previous routes, while also having a bit of slice of life. There’s generally very little conflict, and they all serve as a sort of epilogue to the epilogues in Majikoi. In addition to the heroine routes, there are also two branches off of the Agave route, the final route of Majikoi. One of these is the Kazama family route, and like the heroine routes serves as a sort of light epilogue without much development. To be completely honest, I was hoping for quite a bit more from all of these, but they were nice in their own way.
The other branch off of the Agave route is the first main route, Tatsuko’s route. It explores the themes of family and such pretty well, and gets to a pretty satisfying ending. Now while this is considered a main route, and it definitely has more plot and development than the other routes mentioned so far of Majikoi S, it’s still pretty lacking compared to the main routes in Majikoi and was more to the level of a side route. I quite liked Tatsuko in Majikoi, and her character definitely shone in this, so I find it somewhat unfortunate that she only got so much.
All of the rest of the routes branch off of the No Relationship route from Majikoi, which is essentially the route where nothing happens. Hence, it’s starting the story essentially from a blank slate, which is an interesting choice that I was somewhat skeptical about, but it worked out quite a bit nicely because while throwing out most everything from the first one did feel a bit strange, it prevented the creators from being boxed in and let them go wherever they wanted in terms of story, which they take in a completely new direction that sets the stage for so much more than any previous route could. All of this begins with a common route, which is where I feel the core part of Majikoi S begins, because there’s a difference in tone and intensity as well as the feelings of a new beginning. It serves as a solid set up and introduces a whole cast of new characters, though most of them don’t have routes in Majikoi S. It then opens up a single choice over which character to pick, Tsubama, Margrit, Monshiro, or Kokoro.
Tsubame’s route is the first route that felt like a full fledged route, with a great action, a solid story, major character development, and an epic finale. It revolves around Tsubame’s ambition and how that impacts those around her, but also develops Mamoyo’s and Yamato’s relationship as siblings quite a bit. It then branches off two ways depending on a choice made towards the end, regarding which takes the lead in the relationship. That felt like a pointless split though to be honest, and Yamato felt quite off in he branch where Tsubame takes the lead. Still, overall this route was pretty great, at the level of the routes from Majikoi.
The latter three were quite a bit different from Tsubame’s however. Margrit’s route revolves around her development as a normal girl. The entrance to the route is pretty abrupt. There was definitely a good amount of character development, but the plot felt at the level of a side route, without much depth. Monshiro’s route also had a good amount of character development, mostly surrounding her relationship with her mother and her desire to prove herself to her, but the story was also lacking in terms of plot and also felt more like a side route than a main route. In the exact same vein, Kokoro also had a route with good character development, mostly revolving around her pride, but was also lacking story. In addition to these routes, Iyo’s route can also branch off of the common route, though in a more complicated manner, and similarly also has some good character development for her, though it’s even more of a side route than the others. As an overall note, it seems that Majikoi S chose to take the path of having far more routes, but having less depth to most of them. They’re all still great quality, so it’s not a matter of quality vs quantity, but more of something that comes down to preference, and I’d have to say I preferred how Majikoi was handled more.
Now, lastly there’s Koyoki’s route. It’s a bit strange, in that it doesn’t directly branch off of the No Relationship route from Majikoi, but rather involves changes that occurred far before, when Yamato and friends were still children. Other than these changes, in terms of plot and the characters involved, it’s still pretty much exactly how it is during the No Relationship Route. This route is the main route of Majikoi S in a way, similar to how the Agave route was the main route in Majikoi. It pretty much takes everything developed in all the other routes, all the hints, all the character motivations and abilities, not just from Majikoi S but Majikoi as well, and throws them into an epic story at a much larger scale than anything else so far. Some of the twists were expected, such as those involving Maple, and some of them were completely unexpected, such as those involving Seiso, but overall the story was great, and ultimately the main part of the route was just as good as Agave.
This branches off into Koyoki’s route continues depending on a choice made during the route. Honestly, this I felt was handled pretty badly and felt like it was random throw away and lazy, where it just sort of happened at the end, because the plot of the route was oriented around things at a much larger scale than just their relationship and the relationship didn’t seem all that developed at all. I much preferred how Agave was handled, in that it didn’t focus on any one character, and would have preferred that here as well, calling it Bushido route or something, with a solid non-romance end. Furthermore, I also felt that this was a tremendous waste in potential, as it resulted in a pretty weak route for Koyuki, who I thought had major potential. A route with her branching off of Agave with a happy ending could have been amazing.
In addition to all of that, there were also a bunch of easter egg type routes, such as branches off of the Hermit Crab route in Majikoi, where Yamato continues down the Hermit Crab route or ends up with Yumiko. There’s also a route, Tachibana’s, that branches off of the anime, that was really strange, but I liked her character and look forward to seeing more of her. There’s also a route with Kosugi, the ‘premium’ girl, that is unlocked after playing through the tutorial a number of times. There’s a maid route that branches off of Monshiro. There’s also a couple guy routes, Shima and Chosokabe which are like joke routes. Like Majikoi, veering off the path can also lead to a sudden Mayuki route, which is still funny.
The art was still stupendous. The soundtrack was still great, and the vocal tracks were all still awesome. There was a much higher usage of anime scenes as well as a lot more effects, which overall gave it these feeling of being higher budget and more polished that made it feel very high quality.
Overall, the highest high in Majikoi S was just as good as the highest high in Majikoi, and there were a good amount of these highs, but in general I feel the routes were lacking compared to the routes for the main five in Majikoi. The development of the world that took place as well as the new cast of characters were great and add a tremendous amount to the franchise, however a lot of it felt like it was somewhat of a set up, just touching the tip of the iceberg on quite a bit more to come. In that vein, this made me very much look forward to the A installments.
A solid sequel to Majikoi that sets the stage for a much longer franchise and has a lot of high quality content, but not as much content per route as it’s predecessor.
Good luck JAST. Please don’t take forever like Sumaga.