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Random VN: love, Vampire Flowers



This game is on a short list of VNs from 2015 that I am pretty sure I underrated.  As a result, I decided to take a second look at it and see if my impressions changed.  To an extent, they did.  I was much nicer to it this time around, if only because I had better perspective after having taken a few steps back from VNs in general. 

This game is focused on the Gardening Club of a Protestant boarding school in Japan.  The protagonist, Haruto (real name Hartviche or something like that) is a vampire born in the twelfth century and staked rather thoroughly by the Inquisition in the sixteenth century.  He was then revived by the game's main heroine, Kureha, who gave his mummified corpse some of her blood as a child.  His body then reverted to a child state of equal age to hers and he ended up being raised a second time as her little brother. 

It should be noted for those who hate nerfed fantasy that this game is somewhat borderline in that respect.  In this game's version of our world, vampires are actually people who, through intense mental and magical training, exceeded human limits and became able to live solely off of life energy or blood.  Their purpose in doing so (at least the ones who became vampires by this method) was to save humanity by eventually becoming one with the world.  If this sounds vague to you, don't worry, you aren't alone... it is probably the most out-there outlook on vampires I've seen since Twilight, lol.

Anyway, Haruto, who is a member of the club, one day finds that he has entered a state called the Flower Choosing, in which he is required biologically to find his mate and drink their blood, with the near-100% chance they will turn into a vampire themselves.  Haruto, being a goody-goody type, is of course greatly conflicted by this idea (since his experience tells him that very few humans can withstand the burdens of eternity), and, like the hetare all charage protagonists who aren't hot-blooded or super-lucky (as in, the situation resolves itself without him having to move), he waffles a lot during the common route and heroine routes. 

You won't see any action scenes in this game... though there are plenty of scenes that are emotional, the game's length turns out to be its greatest weakness at times.  The common route and the heroine routes are about as long as you'd expect from a Yuzu-soft game, rather than your standard charage, and a ridiculous amount of time is spent with Haruto and the heroines wringing their hands about stuff that is exasperating, looking at it from the outside.

Nonetheless, the emotional moments are generally worth the wait, and I can honestly say there is one area in which this game managed to redeem itself in my eyes... the endings.  Every one of the endings in this game is a 'years later' ending, meaning you aren't stuck reading what they did the day after the climax (a common occurrence in charage, mostly because companies want to leave stuff for a possible FD or just because it is 'tradition' now).  However, one thing that seriously irritated me about this game (besides the somewhat excessive length created at least in part by switching out scenes depending on which heroine is set to dominate at the end of the common route) is the way the vampire setting only ever really lives up to its full potential in Kureha's route.  Oh, there are a few moments in each route where you can go 'that would be kind of cool', but Haruto's general reluctance to use his abilities or actually change the girls ruins most of it. 

I have better perspective now, so I can see it didn't deserve the poor rating I gave it way back when... but if you asked me if it was satisfying, I'd say it falls short.


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