Ichiya Misono’s route in My First Last Kiss is wild. Ichiya is the MC’s asshole childhood friend. He is not a nice guy and honestly I spent the majority of his main story wanting to strangle him. Ichiya is rude and manipulative to the point that he’d give guys like Eisuke Ichinomiya from Kissed by the Baddest Bidder a run for their money. I wish I could say he gets better as the route progresses. But honestly, you just kind of get used to his mean, insensitive ass. He reminds me a lot of Ryoki from Hot Gimmick, and trust that is not a compliment.
Thoughts on Ichiya Misono: Dude is Kind of an Asshole
There is no sugar coating it, Ichiya Misono is just a jerk. He doesn’t really associate with the other LIs and he seems to have a special contempt for the MC. As a child he would often tease the MC to the point that she was lowkey afraid of him. Thankfully, he mostly kept to himself and could be found playing alone. His cold personality created distance between himself and other children, something that carried over into his adult life. So when he and the MC are reunited, she does her best to keep her distance from him.
Unfortunately the MC is partnered with Ichiya for a joint work venture between their companies. So she finds that she will be seeing more of him for the foreseeable future. She tries to keep things professional with Ichiya, but he constantly pushes her boundaries, much to her dismay. Things finally come to a head when Ichiya asks the MC to pretend to be his girlfriend so he can get his current girlfriend to break up with him.
Of course the MC is not okay with his proposition. So Ichiya decides to use a bit of blackmail to get what he wants. The MC’s friend has been having an affair with a married coworker. Ichiya somehow got ahold of this info and threatens to expose the affair if the MC doesn’t do what he says. Being the good friend that she is, the MC reluctantly agrees to go along with the ruse.
Ichiya’s current girlfriend isn’t about to give up without a fight and does everything in her power to try and win Ichiya back. Honestly I felt bad that Ichiya’s girlfriend and the MC have to go through such a childish situation. Instead of just breaking up with his current girlfriend like an adult he decides the best course of action is to try and trick her like a child. And the poor MC is just along for the ride.
The rest of the route is just one big unnecessary drama. Ichiya’s (ex) girlfriend does everything in her power to break Ichiya and the MC up and Ichiya treats the MC like crap. Eventually the MC’s work ethic and determination melt Ichiya’s icy heart, but at what cost? Her self respect?!
In his defense, Ichiya does undergo considerable growth over the course of his main story. Flashbacks throughout the route add context to the MC and Ichiya’s current and past relationship. You really see just how starved for attention Ichiya was as a child, which I think is an attempt to give the reader some sympathy for Ichiya. Honestly, baby Ichiya needed a hug and some love. He secretly wanted to be a part of the MC’s little childhood friend group, but he was too shy to approach them. So he resulted to being a tiny terror.
But, even with an explanation for his behavior, Ichiya is a character that might not be for everyone. He does have some genuinely kind moments with the MC, but each time it seems like she and Ichiya are finally connecting he puts up his walls again.
Thoughts on the MC: Making the Best of A not So Great Situation
I really like the MC in this route, she holds her own, even standing up to Ichiya when he’s being especially unreasonable. While she does agree to pretend to be his fake fiancé/girlfriend, she sets ground rules and rarely lets Ichiya cross the line. Her inner monologues were hilarious, I just wish that she actually said some of the things that she thought.
Overall a good plot, and I liked the development, if at times it seemed a little rushed. Ichiya is my type, so if you don’t like ice cold, aloof, and at times jerky characters, this may not be the route for you…but if you can see beyond his prickly personality, Ichiya Misono is a sweetie pie who just wants to be loved. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ROUTE!!