Bad Apple Wars is an odd sort of game. It is one filled with plotholes. There are more than a few instances where things make sense, all so the game can tie up various loose ends at the end. Naturally, this extends to its endings. After all, this is a game where people end up at a high school in limbo after death, congregating in the same space despite living and dying during different periods of time. Of course the conclusions will be as convoluted. But some make more or less sense than others, which might be a little frustrating for otome fans trying to rationalize things.
As you can expect, spoilers are about to follow.
Let’s get the general idea out of the way before we start really getting into the Bad Apple Wars details. Since everyone is dead and in limbo, people are trying to get “expelled” from school and get back to their actual lives. Which may or may not work out too well for everyone, what with the circumstances surrounding each of their deaths. So our heroine, who we’ll refer to by the default name of Rinka, was hit by a car. If she resurrects, no big deal. Things are fine. But someone like Natsuku Shikishima is in a really bad place, since he was from the Taisho era and suffering from a fatal illness.
This means that people may be a bit split when it comes to which Bad Apple Wars endings actually do or don’t work. Satoru’s works very well, since he is from the same time and place as Rinka when he dies from exhaustion. He recovers instead of dies and the two end up entering high school at the same time a year later. Aruma’s works very well too, since when he comes back to life, he becomes a doctor like he promised his first love. This means when Rinka comes back, he’s the doctor who is treating her. In these instances, everything falls into place and makes sense. The age difference even doesn’t seem as bad, because Aruma was waiting for Rinka and knew she would be coming, due to retaining his memories.
There are others that end up feeling a bit forced. Higa graduates in his route, which means he graduates and is not expelled. This means he ends up reincarnating as the son of his brother, the man he spent his original life trying to save. While this means his sacrifice in his original death, where he saved a child from being killed, isn’t squandered, it all comes across as a little too “convenient” that he was reborn as his brother’s son, attends the same high school as Rinka and even says he felt like he was born to be with her. Shikishima is a bit forced as well, as he still dies in the Taisho era from his illness, but his descendant, Haruhiko Shikishima, happened to be at the gallery with his work. So Rinka is essentially with Haruhiko because he resembles Natsuku and she is in love with him, but Haruhiko is okay with that. The endings involving reincarnation stretch the limits of our imagination. Considering Higa’s route can feel like it isn’t as well written as the other characters throughout Bad Apple Wars and Shikashima’s is actually shorter than the other bachelors, it makes me wonder if these could have felt stronger if they had each received more attention.
The worst resolution comes in Wataru’s route. He’s the man in the mask who acts as a Prefect in Bad Apple Wars’ Good Apple path. Both his storyline and ending make no sense. Why? Because we never see him die. His death is never discussed. He witnesses Rinka die in the real world, begs for someone kill him and that is it. Suddenly, he is somehow present in NEVEAH. I felt like this tainted his route, because there is this gap. How does he get from the real world to NEVEAH? Why, in his good ending, is he suddenly there at the crash site and running to the hospital after Rinka’s accident so he can be there when she wakes up? Was the entire game his dream, his ending canon and he just experienced some episode that helped him come to terms with his horrible and tragic life in time to run to the hospital to be with a girl he nearly saw die? Who knows?
Bad Apple Wars can be an uneven game. Some routes are clearly better written and more well thought out than others. The endings clearly illustrate this. Some things work out exceptionally well. Others can feel contrived. This doesn’t mean everyone will love or hate these endings. But some might find a few better than others due to the way they come together at the end.