I recently got my hands on Café Enchanté about a month ago as an early birthday present to myself. It was only the other day that I finally finished my first route after an 8 (!) chapters long prologue that resulted me in somehow getting the somewhat enigmatic sheltered otome-loving baby of the group, Il. The fallen angel who almost always seems to be lost in his own world was someone I was not expecting to get but then I realized…
I’ve only played a handful of otomes so far but it seems like when I play blindly and most routes are open, I somehow get the white-haired “oddball” of the group which is…a little concerning (lol). Oh well, ’tis my fate perhaps.
Well, I won’t procrastinate any long as this post is going to be a mix between an appreciation post and what I thought about Il’s route. The route’s themselves supposedly consists of 4 chapters (with Misyr being an exception) so it doesn’t seem like much but boy, was a lot packed into those 4 chapters that made my head spin. Let’s start shall we?
But first, a quick profile on Il:
[Note: Major spoilers for Il’s route ahead. Proceed with extreme caution!]
His Seiyuu: Ishikawa Kaito
This was most unexpected. When I booted up the game for the first time and listened to Il, I couldn’t guess who his voice actor was. Turns out, I kind of should’ve known as it turns out Il’s voiced by Ishikawa Kaito who most otome lovers will know also voiced Dante, the poster boy of Piofiore – my second ever otome game for the Switch and actually my least favourite love interest in that game. Check out my appreciation posts on Orlok and Yang and you’ll find out why Dante is not my favourite guy in the otome world.
Anyways, I’m quite impressed with Ishikawa. The roles I’m most familiar with when it comes to him are all dudes that sound quite similar to Dante, so the more baritone deep voiced characters who sound nothing like Il. He sounds almost unrecognizable unless you listen to Il really closely specifically at times when Il sounds more calculative or emotionless.
Even then, it’s a bit hard to believe someone like Dante and Il are voiced by the same person.
…I don’t think they’d get along well.
He’s an Otome Lover
Well, this seems like an obvious one. Why Il is so adorable is his love for otome games is almost unparalleled. I’m still a beginner of otome games myself so watching how passionate Il is when it comes to otomes is both endearing and hilarious especially with how meta his display of affection towards the genre gets. He is definitely a mirror to some of you all out there when it comes to otome games.
It’s also funny and commendable that he uses his otome expertise in cheering up Kotone after the tragic discovery in Bestia that weakens her spirit. Even though Il is terrible at reading the room correctly and not great at identifying Kotone’s sadness and why she was sad in the first place until it was pointed out to him, I was happy to seem him still do his best to cheer her up.
This is important to note since you learn that Il was partially saved through otome games. I’m not joking. You can crack jokes all you want and say that these otome developers are patting themselves on the back for creating a character who was literally saved through otome games, but to me I found Il’s salvation to be both relatable and endearing.
You see, I have to start with how Il became a fallen angel in the first place.
How Il Fell is a Tale of Sorrow and Love
Il isn’t just any fallen angel – he was Caelm’s, the Heavenly Realm’s, greatest weapon known as the Angel of Judgement. The main task of the Angel of Judgement was to carry out executions of angels who had fallen. Normally, angels are beings who carry little to no emotions thus allowing the God of Caelm to exercise complete and utter control of the realm while also making sure perpetuity is sustained as keeping things the same for eternity is a huge deal over there and change is abhorred (sounds like a certain someone in a certain popular rpg game).
Angels who gain emotions are a threat to this eternity as who knows what these “frivolous” emotions may lead to if they act on them and so the Angel of Judgement is sent to kill any who fall into their feelings. Two such angels were the Angels of Recollection – a female and male angel who fell in love with each other after nearly losing the other. These two manage to jam the connection between the Angel of Judgement, Il, and the Oracle, God. This is big because Il, who at the time was as emotionless as any other “normal” angel, could only act on the orders of God or his “other wing,” Solitus (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru). Thus, with no orders and no will of his own, Il was forced to stay and listen to the tale of the Angels of Recollection.
Some days pass and while Il was still in a state of confusion over these two fallen angels, he started to doubt whether they were threats at all. The two treated him kindly despite knowing he had come to kill them and even showed him that holding feelings wasn’t so bad. Alas, the good times came to an end when Solitus found Il and ordered him to kill the Angels of Recollection who were about to accept their fate, but surprisingly and for the first time ever in his thousands of years of existence, Il refused. Shocked, Solitus was forced to use his power to force Il to kill the two much to Il’s horror.
Soon after that incident, Il fled, having starting the process of becoming fallen himself, and fatefully stumbled across the gate to Café Enchanté where he was taken in by Kotone’s grandfather, Souan, and Misyr. At first, Il was holed up in a room with a scattered and distraught mind to properly talk, eat, or do anything really besides shiver in a corner wondering one thing: what is love?
Love. The elusive emotion that the Angels of Recollection held for each other but never knew the word for.
This “love” was something Il wanted to know about and feel for himself but didn’t know how until Misyr gave him a Switch and an otome game and thus, history was made. Yet, Il still had a long way to go before knowing what love really is.
Il is Il of Café Enchanté
This might sound confusing if you haven’t played Il’s route, but I’ll explain. See, the otome game Misyr bought for Il had a mysterious young man as a love interest whose name was Il Fado de Rie. Yes, Il basically copied the personality, words, and name of this otome love interest and made it his identity. Now is a good time to mention that angels in this world are more analytical and logical beings than the angels you’re probably used to hearing about. It almost feels like they’re AIs or robots to give a simple analogy. Thus, it was easy for Il to do a complete 180 in just a matter of a day from being the somewhat emotionless withdrawn fallen angel to being the gentle serene Il Fado de Rie.
But despite that, Il never felt like a fake or a “puppet” as Solitus would say. Il was Il the whole time I felt. I mean, sure he did rattle off a few lines word for word from the otome Il, but who hasn’t used some of their favorite characters’ quotes or sayings before? I mean, this is basically just cosplay but 24/7.
The thing is, when it comes to Il, it’s a bit more serious since he should learn to form his own identity and person. As an angel specifically created to act as a wing of God and be his unquestioning emotionless puppet of a weapon, it’s almost virtually impossible for Il to be anything but he proves that wrong.
I feel like his chapter where he’s the one to propose taking Kotone on dates to cheer her up or doing his own route when he shows remorse over his thoughtless actions that trouble Kotone before wanting to make it up to her are signs that he is trying to change and grow into his own person.
Plus, you learn that Il is coincidentally very similar to the character he copied in the otome so it turns out to be fine anyway (lol).
Having Emotions or To Not Have Emotions? This is the Question…
I will say that Il’s growth came at a cost. His route is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. It all comes to a head when Solitus finally finds Il in the human world and confronts him and Kotone in Enchanté. This is when Kotone finally confirms that Il has been mimicking an otome character and ends up wondering if her time with Il was a sham. Despite Il’s pleas that he’s not a puppet and that he doesn’t want to kill anymore, he is once again controlled by Solitas to kill fallen angels the latter brought with him. Poor Kotone was already in a state of severe confusion but this fueled fear in her – fear that Il saw directed at him which was the last straw.
Il snapped and in the midst of a melt down condemned having emotions and after screaming his heart out in pain – reset himself to have zero emotions or even a will of his own. Just like how he originally was back in Caelm except somehow a bit worse.
God…I have to say hearing the usually gentle and soft-spoken Il freak out and scream in his agony and pain over having to kill his fellow angels again and scaring Kotone as well was honestly so awful. I felt tearful listening to him and seeing him willfully revert back to his puppet-like state as the Angel of Judgement again which was physically and emotionally painful to see.
Thankfully, Il doesn’t go back to Caelm with Solitus who has to retreat, but on the other hand, the others have to take him back in order to find out how to restore his emotions anyway. Unfortunately, almost as soon as they arrive, he turns on them. As the Angel of Judgement, his other duties include security, and any outsiders of Caelm must be prosecuted aka killed. No one dies, but later on the others have to infiltrate a tower to find clues as to how to restore Il to his good old self, but in the end Kotone is left all alone with Epilogi, the leader of a group of fallen angels, who is quickly knocked out by Il. Then, the Angel of Judgement turns his attention to Kotone.
Now, it’s here where things can go badly I’m guessing since Il proceeds to strangle Kotone. Thankfully, he stops at the last moment and kind of comes to his senses enough to not succeed in killing her and even protecting her from Solitus when he comes up.
The power of love, right? Truly the emotion that transcends emotions. Love to see it as cheesy as I am.
But yeah, lesson learned…better to have emotions than not.
He is Surprisingly Over-Protective
For a more light-hearted one, I wanted to mention that he is surprisingly over-protective of Kotone, or more like, he can be quite clingy. Even before he fully developed feelings for her, this fallen angel wanted to follow her everywhere. It was quite an amusing and cute sight to see. When Kotone wanted to go out on the town for some alone time, the others literally had to hold Il back from following her. The poor man was pleading to go with her to no avail. The cutie.
Then, in another instance, he fended her off from the “wolfish” Rindo after being told graciously by Misyr and Ignis that the older man was known for going after the ladies. By this point, it was clear Il was in love with Kotone and was almost petulantly adamant about not sharing her. Again, cute.
This Fallen Angel can be Reset Thousands of Times, and He’d Still Come for Kotone
In the end, Il has to destroy God in order to stop him from spiriting away the whole of humanity to use for his Spirit Furnace thing to restore Caelm to its full and former glory. Yeah, did I mention that angels on the orders of God were kidnapping people in order to absorb their essence into his Spirit Furnace so his perpetuity could keep going? Because that was also certainly a thing that was happening.
Anyway, not important. What is important was that Il succeeded in killing God but at the cost of his emotions, memories, and humanity again. Once more he had to revert back to being an empty shell – even worse, this time without a soul. Still, there was a sliver of hope, so they kept him in a sort of nourishing tank in case he woke up again.
It took a year! But Il finally made his way back to Kotone and this time it was just the simple words of “I love you” to spark his emotions to take flight and return to him to reciprocate Kotone’s feelings.
And thus, all’s well that ends well.
Jesus Christ, the emotions I experienced in Il’s route was something else. He seems the most non-suspecting love interest to hold such trauma and tragic backstory but I had my suspicions. Still, it was no joke just how emotionally frayed I became in the middle of his route during and after the scene with Solitas and Il’s unraveling. All in all, I think Il’s route was done rather well and I would recommend him if you’re looking for flighty gentle love interests with a dark past who really really needs some TLC. This boy protects but he needs protecting himself.
Up next, I hope to write up on Ignis’ route as I’m currently on that one and so far, while it’s not as a doozy as Il’s, it’s still riling up my emotions. Our poor Ignis also appears to need a lot of loving, too.
But that’s for next time. Ciao for now~