Since it just got released in English and it’s short, I’ve decided to give Hanachirasu a spin. The premise is really simple: two swordsmen really, really, really want to fight each other. The setting, however, of a world where nuclear weapons were never successfully developed, is very interesting. There were huge chunks of exposition set to explain the history and social consequences, all of which were quite interesting. What was less interesting, however, was the even bigger chunks of exposition explaining the history and details of sword fighting. They added to the tone and the mood and the plot, yes, but they were a complete bore to read through. I had guessed most of the plot twists and the ending. On top of that, the h-scenes were also completely bland (although I’ve never had any expectations in that department, for some reason the h-scenes in this game didn’t feel like h-scenes). There is some comedy which felt misplaced within the serious text. Some of the non-true endings, in particular, felt completely out of place. I mean, a zombie apocalypse? Really?
That said, the characters are still interesting, and I especially like Akane. He has an attitude that gets on the nerves of almost every character in the game, which is awesome. At first I thought that it was only in the “bad” endings that he retains some kindness (poor Yumi, poor poor Yumi…). However, once you complete the true ending and see what actually happens, all of his actions make much more sense. I also love the character foil that occurs between him and Igarasu. While it seems like Akane is the villian and Igarasu is the hero at first, both of them gain anti-hero qualities which accumulated in a lot of sympathy for Akane on my part.
The art was a bit inconsistent, and had those 3d backgrounds that I detest oh SO much, but it was still nice. The music, as expected from Nitro+, is awesome. Overall, I’d say that it’s entertaining and worth a play.