[Otome Game Review] Hakuouki Shinkai Hana no Shou

August 5, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Games, Otome Games | Leave a comment
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Soon to be localized in the west as “Hakuouki Edo Blossoms”, Hakuouki Hana no Shou is the second half of Hakuouki Shinkai, the remake of Otomate’s most popular game. This is my review of Hana no Shou, which I really enjoyed a lot, deppite the fact that I complained a lot when I was playing Kaze no Shou w

Possible spoilers and some fangirling ahead・´∀`・)

It’s finally the continuation of the cliffhangers in Kaze no Shou and I’m very happy that we don’t need to go through a common route anymore! Upon starting the game, you just have to choose which route you want to go play and you’re good.

Like in Kaze no Shou, some scenes from Zuisouroku were added to the six original routes. Meanwhile, the six new character routes are shorter compared the original six. Some have lots of ichaicha *cough*Yamazaki*cough*Iba*cough* and fast romance development, but I overall I think most of them have a nice balance between romance and history.

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Nagakura Shinpachi (CV: Tsuboi Tomohiro)

I thought Nagakura route will only be an oniisan route but boy was I so wrong. I wasn’t informed that this is a romance route??? Anyways, the main conflict in this route is Nagakura being a rasetsu even though he did not choose to be one. It’s about his self-pity about his rasetsu self, but as the story progresses, he is able to accept his fate and use that power to protect others.

Sannan Keisuke (CV: Tobita Nobuo)

Sannan route includes more explanations about the rasetsu, like what exactly happens to their body if they use their rasetsu powers (which tbh, doesn’t follow what happened in the original routes smh) and what the other no-name rasetsu soldiers think about themselves. Again, I was surprised that this is also a romance route so for the whole of the route I was just NO. In any case, Sannan really is so intelligent, I applaud *claps*

Yamazaki Susumu (CV: Suzuki Takayuki)

The main theme is Yamazaki acting as the shadow of the Shinsengumi. The development in this route is a bit fast but I’m happy with the ichaicha being thrown at me huehuehue. The Yamazaki hiren end also has a CG just like Okita like GAME HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO MY BEST BOYS??

Iba Hachirou (CV: Mamoru Miyano)

Due to the promise to Sen in exchange for getting the demon’s hand, Iba must not get involved with history again even though he wants to fight alongside his friends because he’s so pissed that most people under the shogunate doesn’t want to get involved in the war anymore. But whatever because this is… my least favorite route. It’s so emo and fanservicey it feels that they just thew in overused tropes and plot devices into the route ?? And why so many ichaicha this is so unfair with the original routes??? And that very shounen final battle with Takeda?? Idk anymore.

Souma Kazue (CV: Kaji Yuuki)

This is best route, I say! It has very good balance between history and romance and I love it so much. It’s basically Souma and Chizuru going after vice-commander Hijikata after Kondou’s capture and death, and meeting the other Shinsengumi people along the way and leaving them all to die I CRY. And when they do get to finally see Hijikata, they watch him die THIS IS SO CRUEL WTHELL??? ;;;;;;;; Being inspired by the historical Souma Kazue, Souma continues the legacy of the Shinsengumi by acting as the commander after Hijikata’s death.

Definitely the route that’s best saved for last! Even the bad ends are so unique I bet Otomate spent most of the budget to writing Souma route. I’m also glad that they did not focus on Miki as the main antagonist, and instead they focused on the Shinsengumi. The only question I can think of is how Souma was able to survive his exile in prison island because hellooooo, he’s a rasetsu right? In any case, it’s still a very good route and playing Hakuouki Shinkai for Souma/Kaji Yuuki is so worth it already.

Sakamoto Ryouma (CV: Ono Daisuke)

Since the historical Ryouma is already dead during the time of Hana no Shou, rasetsu Ryouma no longer gets himself involved with historical stuff. Instead, he focused on stopping his former friend Nakaoka. But boy that CG with Ryouma and Nakaoka looks like something from a BL game and I can only laugh ww Basically, Ryouma route is just ichaicha while going after Nakaoka. It’s a bit disappointing that most of the nice stuff are in the Kaze.

Kazama Chikage (CV: Tsuda Kenjirou)

Again, it’s Kazama route but has added scenes so it’s longer than the original Kazama route.

Chizuru route/Normal end

This is the original normal end but done in a different way, with Chizuru getting help from Sen and Kimigiku instead of Kazama.

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Conclusion

I complained a lot in Kaze but I’m glad that Hana proved to me that Shinkai isn’t trash after all. Hana no Shou is so good (Souma Kazue route!!), imagine how much better Shinkai would’ve been if I wasn’t so pissed with the cliffhangers in Kaze.

For Hakuouki starters, I still recommend playing the original Hakuouki game first instead of jumping straight to Shinkai. But overall, I think Hakuouki Shinkai is worth playing especially to Hakuouki fans.

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