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An introduction to Sono Hanabira


Dergonu

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Introduction: 

So I´ve been on this forum for a decent amount of time now, and for those of you who encounter me in the chat you know: I love yuri. And during my many fallouts with Jade and his trap,(Which is evil :pyaa: ) I post pictures of yuri left and right, most of which are from SonoHana. I realize though that there are people out there who hasn't played these short and plotless  amazing yuri games! Therefore, I will be making a blog post to tell you about something that no one should go their life without playing! Before I get started, do note that a lot of these games are translated, with only the newest releases remaining untranslated, BUT! These are fan translations, and the company releasing these games have shown dissatisfaction with the fan translations due to piracy. (There was a way to get the entire game extracted from the patch alone.) Because of this, please make sure you BUY THE GAME LEGALLY before installing a translation patch for these games. (Information on where to buy the games is in the bottom of the post, however, due to their bad reputation, links to the patches will NOT be in this post. Please use the google no-jutsu for that)

This is NOT the case for remembering how we met, which is the ONLY licensed translation as of right now. Hopefully this will change in the future :) 

 

Ok so, I am talking about Sono hanabira ni kuchizuke o, a yuri VN franchise which has been releasing games for years now. Writers have come and gone, but the games have still remained somewhat the same, introducing a lesbian couple going to school at an all girls high school for daughters from rich families. The norm has been that each couple gets a minimum of 2 games, with some exceptions being released later on. 

The games are rather short, cute and fluffy. Its primarily just about the two main characters, and other characters rarely even have sprites in the early games. (Yes I´m looking at you guys, class mate-A, class mate-B) This however, changes towards the newer games, where most characters have sprites and there are more CGs and voice acting from others than just the main characters. 

Their short length and small amount of content aside, there is still something that makes these games very enjoyable, (except the yuri H-scenes :illya:) and that is the characters and their interactions. I already talked about this a little bit in my previous blog post about sonohana nyuu jene, but I realize that if one haven't played previous games, you won't be able to relate to much I say in that one. 

And so! 

The characters and story

The characters in Sono Hanabira ni kuchizuke o are wonderful. Each one of the couples offer a set of unique and colorful characters. (Unique as in different from each other, not in a general sense. I know a tsundere isn't very unique characteristic in a visual novel.) 

Among the many, many couples who have been introduced, we are going to be looking at, Yuuna x Nanami, the first couple introduced in the franchise, and Hazuki x Manami, one of the latest couples. The reason I´m doing this, thereby omitting a lot of the couples in the middle, is simply because of the first and the last aspect, and not because I like the others less or anything. (Though it does have to be said, these two are some of my favorites.) Which couple you will end up liking the most will be different for everyone. Each one of them has their own characteristics that makes you like them. (Or not like them. Though lets face it, no one dislikes yuri. Right?) 

 

Let us start with Yuuna x Nanami, and the first Sono hana game released. 

It came out in 2006, and tells the story of the cute, silly little Nanami who comes to a school way out of her comfort zone. Its a school filled with oujousama´s (daughters of rich families), and she really doesn't feel like she fits in. Her first day starts of bad as her uniform rips and she ends up hiding behind the school building, not going into the reception ceremony. Then, her guardian angel, the beautiful onee-sama Yuuna walks up and asks her if she needs help. She then goes on to patch up Nanami´s skirt. Instantly lovestruck, the next few months of Nanami´s life are dedicated trying to get into a planning committee where Yuuna is the leader. She wants to get closer to her onee-sama, and well, thats where the love aspect of the game beings. I won't spoil too much of the very small amount of story in the game, and will instead speak in a general way about the game. 

Yuuna and Nanami start dating, and have to deal with issues in school and between each other. There is a simple choice system that will lead to either incomplete endings, or the true end which is quite cute. 

The rest of the games that follow are made in a similar trend. Girl meets girl, couple meets X issue(s), try to resolve them together, happy end. The games are fairly short, about 5+ hours of reading if you listen to all the dialogue and 2 hours or so if you skip it as soon as the text is read. The games do vary a bit in length, and some later releases do have an increased length, (for example Nyuu Jene comes out over 10 hours,) but for the most part the games are fairly similar in this regard. 

 

Moving over to Hazuki x Manami, we have a fairly different setting from Nanami x Yuuna. This couple is introduced in the 19th installment of the series, Nyuu Jene, which I´ve made a blog post on already here: 

The character´s troubles are essentially the opposite of Yuuna x Nanami, but the actual characters Nanami and Hazuki are fairly similar. The reason I bring this up, other than them being the first and last couples, is to make a point; the characters have kind of been re-used at this point, (lets face it, Hazuki and Nanami are very similar.) But despite this the games are very different and the couple´s "worries" or what have you doesn't feel repeated at all. This is another factor that makes the SonoHana games enjoyable despite their short and "plotless" nature. 

 

Navigation through the many titles; how does it work?

So, lets take a break from the story and the characters and talk a little about how to navigate through these games. It might look a little overwhelming and confusing, seeing as there are so many titles and the couples are in seemingly random orders. (Kind of...) 

So far there are 20 games in the franchise. The games have little in common with each other, except A) games that are with a previously introduced couple, working kind of like a sequel, (example games 1 and 6 being yuuna x Nanami, 2 and 4 being Sara x Kaede) B) Games released after Nyuu Jene; These games seem to have the same characters repeated, at least for the moment, and all works as sequels. (After the next 3 are released, this might change. No word on those games are out as of yet.) Other than that, you can just pick a couple you like and play it, which means, YES, you CAN start with, lets say game nr. 3 then play 5 to get its sequel, and go back to lets say 1 and then play 6. Its pretty much just about finding the individual game´s sequel. 

To make figuring out exactly which game offers what couples simple, literally just look it up on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sono_Hanabira_ni_Kuchizuke_o - Do note that this list currently does not have Revolution - Rinagisa (the newest game) listed, but this is a sequel to Nyuu Jene and offers Rina x Nagisa, but with the other characters as supportive characters with a role in the story. This will probably be added soon though. EDIT: Due to a strange edit on wikipedia, they have removed some of the newer games from the list ... Really don't know why. But if you display the page in Japanese instead, all 21 games are there. The games from 1-15 are on the English list.

Do note that the newest games, Nyuu Jene and the rest after are UNTRANSLATED, and have no fan translations as of yet. 

 

Conclusion; why should you play these games and where to get them

 

So, why should you play these games? There are many rom-com slice of life games out there, and to be honest I cant really sell why this should be prioritized over the others without mentioning yuri. Damnit. Well, these games are short, simple, but still offer very enjoyable characters and relationships; they are pretty much getting right to the point without beating around the bush with an incredibly long common route and a bunch of filler characters that has little to do with the story. If you are looking for a short, cute, funny and enjoyable slice of life love story, picking up one or two of these games is not a bad idea at all. 

As for where to get the games, most of them are available on english DLsite, here: (NSFW content!!)

http://www.dlsite.com/ecchi-eng/fsr/=/keyword_maker_name/fuguriya+RG05173/ana_flg/all/from/work.same_maker

For Nyuu Jene and the rest of the games you can't find on DLsite, you can buy them here: (Note that this is a Japanese site, but it DOES accept foreign credit cards. For a guide on how to navigate the site and make  a purchase there, look at the blog post below.) 

http://gyutto.com/i/item161082 (Nyuu Jene)

All of the games

 

Remembering how we met is available on steam or on mangagamer and is the only licensed SonoHana title:

http://www.mangagamer.com/detail.php?goods_type=0&product_code=149

 

 

Alright, thats it for this post. :sachi: 

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