WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION!
If you would like the walkthrough for his character, you can read it here.
For a general review of the game, you can read it here.
Shunichiro Tachibana is the Creative Director of Addison & Rhodes, and by extension the heroine’s boss and head of her department. He inspired the heroine to pursue commercial advertising and marketing, after viewing his first commercial during a difficult heartbreak at a young age. It touched the heroine’s heart and gave her the encouragement to move forward with her life; to some day create a commercial that could touch the lives of others. The heroine works hard and manages to be accepted into the same company he works at.
After six years at Addison & Rhodes, the protagonist is still very much so passionate about her work. It’s to the point where her closest co-workers Natsume and Yuiko always tease her about her undeterred determination, and constantly force her to attend lunch with them otherwise she’d lose track of time and forget to eat.
Shunichiro Tachibana has since risen in the ranks of the company, and is on the fast-track to being promoted to Director. He is the CEO’s right hand man, talented, ambitious, all-around perfect and considered out of reach by all the women in the company.
At a company party celebrating his recipiency of another award, the heroine has one too many drinks and reveals to him her long harboured feelings of admiration for his work. He is surprised and touched by her words, as he had almost forgotten his rookie days at the company.
It was a commercial that had been panned by his superiors for its weak delivery, and after hours of hard work refining it; he finally managed to receive their approval. It is an elementary work at best, but to the young Shunichiro it had been his greatest achievement at the time and the fruits of his labour.
To hear that his work from so long ago had been able to touch someone’s heart gives him a deep sense of nostalgia and happiness. The protagonist reminds him of his younger self; brimming with passion, devotion and genuine love for advertising – something which he has long lost and become jaded to after working in the field for so long. When Yukihisa Maki (the company Doctor) suggests to take the heroine home as his responsibility as a Doctor, Shunichiro refuses – stating he would take care of her instead.
As long time childhood friends, Yukihisa is surprised as normally Shunichiro doesn’t bother taking care of drunk girls but eventually relents to his insistence. He takes her to a hotel, and changes her out of her wet clothes due to the heavy rain on their way there.
He dresses her in a bath robe, and says he should be leaving now; but the heroine in her drunken state holds onto his arm. She rectifies that she admires him as both her inspiration, and as her boss. Shunichiro struggles holding himself back in her currently defenceless state, and attempts to draw a line between them due to their work place relationship.
The heroine then expresses that she loves him, and although Shunichiro knows she probably means it out of admiration for him; he is unable to hold himself back any longer. He is undeniably attracted to her, and she willingly accepts his advances. They sleep together and the heroine flees the next morning without learning who her partner was.
This was due to both embarrassment and because she had originally intended to come into work early that day. It is then announced that she has been placed on an elite team from the company to produce an advertisement for the Olympic Games and it is against their number one rival CL, who in prior years has had this exclusive privilege.
This year however, it is an open competition to all advertising companies on who can create the best campaign to be chosen by a panel of judges. The team will be lead by Shunichiro, and the whole company’s future will be riding on this event. If they emerge victorious, it would create history and Shunichiro’s promotion as Director would undoubtedly occur. The heroine is extremely excited by the opportunity, as she had never participated in such a major project before.
To her dismay, she is unable to fully enjoy the news due to her realisation that the mystery man she slept with is one of her co-workers that are all currently working with her on the project. She decides to return to the bar from the party last night in hopes of finding any clues in discerning who the prospect is. To her absolute shock, it was Shunichiro Tachibana after receiving a text from him saying he wants to see her again that night. Thus, this begins their whirlwind romance and office tryst.
What I really liked about his route was that the foundations for their attraction was already clear from the beginning. He is her long admired superior and inspiration for her work, whereas he respects her passion and dedication as his subordinate. They already have a connection and point of interest from her love of his first commercial, and their similar devotion and pride for their job.
It is only natural then that attraction would bloom, because they’re like-minded individuals and are physically compatible. Shunichiro Tachibana gives her the opportunity to work for the Olympic Games Advertisement out of recognition for the hard work she has put in during her six years with the company.
He sees her potential and talent, and continually helps and encourages her development progress with it. Shunichiro is always helpful with his advice, and leads her onto the right path to figure it out herself with her own strength. He pushes her to her limits and works her extremely hard because he genuinely believes that she can do it. It is through these interactions that the heroine begins to see the sides of him that she never saw before from afar; the Shunichiro Tachibana that wasn’t her boss or employer, but Shunichiro Tachibana himself.
Although she knows it’s wrong and never thought she would have a purely physical relationship with someone; she is unable to hold herself back and continues to sleep with him. So long as she can continue this connection with him, she can accept the consequences. However, as she falls more deeply in love with him; she realises she can no longer sustain this relationship in shades of grey.
She knows it’s selfish to desire more, because to begin with their relationship had never ‘started’. There was never anything more to expect out of this predicament other than heartbreak, and so she has only herself to blame. If only she could enjoy the physical pleasures of it, then they could’ve continued as they were – but her morals and values couldn’t bring herself to see it through. She knows it’s wrong with his impending arranged engagement, and breaks up with him.
This is what I really liked about the heroine. No matter what happened in her personal life, she never let it interfere with her work life. She always put her utmost effort into creating the foundations for the commercial, pouring her everything into making it a success. She knows what she wants, and takes decisive action on it; even though she knows the inevitable heartbreak in the end. She knows when to draw the line, and decide what is best for herself. Even until the end, she doesn’t tell Shunichiro Tachibana she loves him; because it wouldn’t lead to anything until Shunichiro decides exactly where she stands to him.
I really liked the scenes where they made love whenever it rained. It was just so passionate and the palpable attraction and dynamic between the couple was well written. Especially the last scene when they say goodbye after their final date before ending their relationship, you could clearly see the agony and heartbreak of both characters struggling to decide what to do with their emotions.
Shunichiro is the typical type of guy where in order to maintain his strong, masculine persona; he never reveals his true emotions in order to protect himself. He had originally decided to end the engagement after the advertisement presentation in fear of it impacting the judge’s verdict.
This is because the arranged engagement is to the governor’s daughter, someone who has massive bearings over the competition and had allowed them to participate if Shunchiro agreed to attend the omiai (marriage meeting) in the first place. However, faced with the prospect of losing the heroine and what he always wanted most; he decides to throw it all away and cancel the engagement.
He wanted the heroine to fall for him so badly without him revealing his true feelings and winning the competition to fulfill his promise at the same time; that his indecision between the two led to him losing her. With their eventual advertisement victory with the judges touched by it’s impactful message, he bares his complete heart to the heroine. He apologises for his selfishness, and that he knew he couldn’t win her heart with the way he was going; but he couldn’t bear to let her go.
She reminds him of the parts of himself he has long forgotten; his passion, drive, and enjoyment for the job. She inspires him to better himself as a person, and deeply respects her talent and ambition – it was why he helped her to begin with for the advertisement, rather than taking the reigns himself. He had always been serious about her from the beginning, and that was why he slept with her.
It was more than just physical attraction, or merely a one-night stand. However, due to the circumstances and his inability to cope with his newfound feelings; he was unable to fully come to terms with himself and what he wanted to do until faced with the prospect of losing her. They finally confess their love for each other, and become a real couple.
What I really liked was the incorporation of their work dynamic in the game, and the feeling that they were truly equals. The heroine is talented in her own right, and Shunichiro continually helps her better both her skills in the workplace and herself as a person. Vice versa, the heroine shows Shunichiro sides of himself that he has since forgotten, and challenges him in a way that no one else does. They’re both willing recipients in the events after their one-night stand; it’s a choice that both of them consent to due to their intense attraction to one another both mentally and physically.
Of course, when their feelings deepen that’s when the complications occur. I highly recommend reading Shunichiro Tachibana’s POV story, since it gives a lot more insight in his thought process throughout the whole affair; and paints a better picture of his true feelings.
What I thought could be improved on was a lot of aspects weren’t explained clearly or delved upon in the main story. For example: what is the nature of this ‘promise’ he made to the previous CEO of Addison & Rhodes? What about it was so important that he simply couldn’t give up the competition? Just why is he so desperate as to make it his life’s purpose?
It’s been hinted that his father is a member of the Diet, and as such he is highly ranked in Parliament. This makes Shunichiro his son and direct successor, as well as a future member of the Diet. What made Shunichiro pursue a career in advertising instead? What is his relationship to his father and family? Perhaps it might be delved upon in the season two arcs or the sequel stories. Regardless, it left much to be desired because it felt like there was so much more to Shunichiro’s character that just wasn’t explored.
Overall, I really did enjoy Shunichiro Tachibana’s story. It was refreshing to see such an interesting and passionate dynamic between the two lead characters; battling their attraction for one another whilst balancing their office life. The writing was much better than Voltage Inc’s previous works, which I was pretty surprised about.
However, he is the main bachelor of the game so I did expect his story to be the best out of all the potential characters you can choose. Voltage is quite inconsistent in that aspect, since their routes tend to differ greatly in writing quality. They’ll have one or two good routes, with the others being very average or lacking in many aspects.
The first five episodes of Shunichiro Tachibana’s route is free to play right now as part of their promotional campaign for the game, so I recommend checking the game out whilst it’s free to play.