The Second Installment: Sono Hanabira 2~Watashi no Ouji-sama

I’ve been wondering why this pair is not given the attention that they deserve. And now that I have finished playing through the game, I felt even sadder because Kaede and Sara truly deserves their moment in the Yuri spotlight, yet not too many people believed so. But now that an English patch is out, I am quite positive that more people will be able to see the light. For those who aren’t familiar with the game series, check out my post on the first game or this blog post for a synopsis of the whole media franchise. In the second game, the player assumes the role of Sara Kitajima. She doesn’t like to be in the center of attention and goes out of her way to braid her hair and wear glasses to avoid standing out. She then meets her long lost cousin, Sara Kitajima – now a very popular teen model. It seems that Sara hasn’t forgotten about Kaede even though it has been years since they last met and then proceeds to do many nice things with Kaede. You can probably guess that this visual novel isn’t for everyone. Please stay away from it as much as possible if: you are not old enough (this is rated R-18, you can guess what for…), you don’t like fictional cousin incest, you don’t like yuri or you like yuri so much that you will die of blood loss if you play this. Characters: Fuguriya decided to take things further by making a cousins pair. In my opinion, this is something good because it gives a very nice “conflict” in the story. However, the real conflict of the story here is not the incestuous relationship, and I’m quite happy about that. Going back to business, a girl who doesn’t want to stand out, Kaede, is fairly likable for me not because of her archetype but because of the nice development that she receives in the story. Though underestimating herself too much may affect her overall character strength, it’s mainly due to the fact that she’s an ordinary middle-class girl attending an exclusive girl’s school for rich ladies. I think that would probably redeem her personality flaws. On the other hand, Sara, a very sociable person, has a very strong personality. Even though she doesn’t listen to Kaede at times, she sure wins me over with her persuasion skills and friendly air. These two look good together and can be a good introduction to the greatness of yuri. 8/10

Character Development: A person who doesn’t stand out and a celebrity pairing up is also quite the trope. We see it often in movies and stuff. But what makes this pair nice is the way Fuguriya handled them. It’s not just the common “we’re worlds apart” conflict, there’s something in their personalities provide another source of story development that is sure to make any yuri fan’s heart soften, even if a little bit. 8/10

Yuri Love Scenes: As some of you may already know, I generally don’t like to read H-scenes because they kind of get repeated for almost all the character-driven and story-oriented visual novels that I read, so I skip them most of the time. However, in the Sono Hanabira Series, the H-Scenes don’t just provide you with nosebleeds and general eroticism, they bring out the feelings of the characters for each other bringing this feeling of sweetness and pure love that makes it very innocent and quite a heartwarming experience. What I have to say about this, though, for the series, they always do it in the strangest (well, not really, considering anime logic) of places and this pair in particular is quite daring in their yuri antics. 8/10

Art: I won’t go further into this than necessary. The backgrounds are nice, the sprites are wonderful, and the CG are very lovely. It just keeps getting better as the series progresses. I have to say that Peko is indeed a master. 9/10

I won’t rate the music and all the stuff that the series have in common, for obvious reasons. This is a separate series of reviews for the Sono Hanabira Series and does not necessarily reflect how I review all visual novels. Overall: This installment on the Sono Hanabira Series exceeded my expectations. It is a very sweet tale between two cousins. I sure hope that people would appreciate the Sara x Kaede pairing now that there is an English patch. It was truly a sweet and heartwarming tale for me.

Characters (30%)=                              2.4
Character Development (30%)=   2.4
H-Scenes (20%)=                                 1.6
Art (20%)=                                             1.8

Overall (100%)=                                  8.2 (very nice)

Special thanks to: Fuguriya for giving us this magnificent game,
AXYPB and the Wings of Yuri staff for translating it to English,
Yi for providing insight and sharing yuri to the world,
Emperor G for giving me support in writing this review,
and my wonderful friend who introduced me to yuri

Edit: Quote: “I am a tree. A tree that grows in the hallway!” -Kitajima Kaede

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    • Yi
    • January 12th, 2011

    Agreed that not enough people give this pair enough credit. For me, the two ladies are both lovely and are adorable together. Sure, the celebrity x commoner is a pretty generic theme, but I think it’s handled wonderfully here. They have a real well-built connection stemming from childhood admirations.

    Great review!!

    • Haha, thanks.

      I do hope people would appreciate the series more, now that there’s another one translated, I wish that this would inspire others to translate the others, especially the sixth one that’s so good, yet does not get too much attention recently.

      Maybe some time next week, I’ll get back to translating Zutto Shiawase na Kiss which I stalled because of schoolwork…

    • Rei
    • January 13th, 2011

    Nice Review! I agree that this pair does not get the attention it deserves. Truthfully, I thought that this pairing wasn’t going to be good as the first one because no one seem to pay any special attention to it. I thought it might have been either the plot was too generic or the characters were lacking. However, I was pleasantly surprised after I finished playing. I loved it. The plot was a bit emotional, the characters were lovely, and it still has the same sweet, fluffy, *hot* Yuri goodness. I’m honestly surprised on why this pair is mostly ignored. >=/

    Anyways, thank you for writing this great review! I agree with all your statements. Keep up the good work.^^

    • Haha, thanks for your support! I’ll be sure to write about more stuff. (Maybe I should review the drama CD’s…)

  1. As expected, your review was splendid. Also, I do hope I’m not the only one who likes Sara’s butt. If I am, I wish to apologies to the entire male population of the planet earth for seeing liking her butt.

    • Hmmm… about that, I like the character designs of everyone in the series. I don’t want to rank them according to their appearances though. But since I’m just a human being, I agree with you.

      • Judging from your answer, I need not be ashamed for admiring how well her butt is drawn.

      • Yup. There’s no need to be ashamed of admiring characters. I for one, like a lot of fictional character designs myself.

  2. Righto, Chikaru is the ruler of Astrea Hill. Chikaru: The omnipotent leader and greatest of the 3 heroines or my top 3 characters. (Yaya, Tamamo and herself.)
    -Is the president/leader of Lulim.
    -Has her own harem
    -Sexiest girl in the series.
    -Has many talents.
    -Will make a club about every single thing she can think of, such as the secret club and the waiting club.
    -A natural born leader.
    -Has a heart of gold and is like a mother figure to all she comes in close contact with.

  3. Found this post very late, clearly……

    Kaede is easily my favourite character in the whole series. I found her equally at home in both masculine and feminine dispositions. And yes, she is also well-endowed. There aren’t that many ACG characters that possess all the afore-mentioned qualities.

    Oh I love Sara’s genki girl image, too.

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