Hana Awase tells the story of a girl named Mikoto (みこと). One day, after being involved in a minor car accident, she wakes up in the hospital and sees a young man she doesn’t recognize. After he leaves, the nurses tell her that he’s the one who took her to the hospital and stayed with her the whole time, though Mikoto is confused about this since she doesn’t know him.
Shortly after, Mikoto finds a strange card with an oni on it. Though she herself is not sure of what it all entails, she has been chosen by this onifuda. As a result of being chosen, Mikoto is invited to transfer to the prestigious and mysterious Kaen Academy, where a group of young men known as the five brights engage in hana awase, a card “game” that puts their very lives on the line; they do this with the help of minamo, pure girls whose energy grants them power. Mikoto soon finds out the reason for her invitation: she is a candidate to be a senki, a minamo with such immense power that she can potentially tip the very balance of heaven and earth itself.
I’m not sure I can give a proper synopsis for this without ruining the story thus the quote. ^^;;;;;
It’s just out of curiosity that I started the game. It immediately throws me out of the loop at the start and I was like “…just what did happen???”. There is also these overwhelming terms being thrown at me. And it can be pretty confusing while I fumble through the game.
The interface is simple with the menu buttons lined up on the right side of the window. This can be both a good and bad thing. Good since when you play the card game (I’ll just refer to it as the card game okay ^^;) you are already used that the buttons are on the side. Yet it is also bad in terms of CG gathering since you can’t really hide it. Unless you cut it out of the picture but the CG is already small and you wouldn’t want to make it look any smaller.
Speaking of CGs, I wish they’ll make a full screen for each one. I appreciate the pretty black with a touch of flowery background but I’d like to see a larger CG. In the gallery, they have choices whether you just like to see the CG or the scene in which the CG is contained. However, if you choose CG, you’ll get like this:
As if the black sides are not enough, there is also a green outline on the side of the image. I JUST WANT MY CG TAT. Instead, I’ll have to go back to the scenes and experience despair all over again only to get the CGs. That is still kinda difficult since I’m not sure if I have gotten this one or they change a something in it and it’s already different from the previous one.
The character designs look good. Although they tend to appear inconsistent when they change the angle. For instance, Mizuchi’s appearance; his face is grimacing but when he moved his face he’ll look boyish. While I liked the stills, there are relatively few poses for each character. Doesn’t bother me though but for some maybe. The CGs are sometimes inconsistent too. Like they don’t know how to put draw them. The most common victim is Mikoto especially on parts where you can only see the side of her face. (´･ω･`)
Meanwhile, the Extra part contains BGMs used in the game. They are quite nice; not bad but not really remarkable. Upon listening to the songs again with full concentration this time, the songs are moving and compliments the depressing theme of the game. What I find likable are the character songs. I initially liked Mizuchi’s but I liked how rock-ish Iroha’s song.
Hana Awase is about a chosen one (who happens to be a girl in this story) who has a great power deep within. She has to awaken this said power and fight off the bad guys to save the earth! ヽ(゜∇゜)ノ Even though it may appear as simple as that, they added some twists such fate, reincarnation (or so I’d like to think), and the moon. Yes, the moon is a very important existence in this game. It all begins and ends with it; from all the blessings and curses that befell in our characters.
The simple plot is backed up by strong and equally mysterious characters. I learned from this game that everything and everyone you meet happens for a reason. There is no such thing as coincidences (or at least in this game). They have to play a role, one way or another.
-Our heroine. She’s so…normal. Well other than the superpowers, that is.
Mikoto is actually a likable heroine. She is simple, meek, can cook, and has a nice body to boot. She may not be the most intelligent gal in Kaen but she is hard-working and perseveres to catch up with the rest of Koukoku class. What I admire most from her are her guts. She goes with what she feels right. Though that may also be viewed as reckless and just an act by a maiden in love, she shows how much she trusts Mizuchi. She has an undying faith in him.
But that faith also blinds her to have a sound judgment hence the bad ends. There are times when her gullibility gets the better of her. She is naive for her own good. And I sometimes feel bad for Mizuchi and all the guys whom she made them cry. lol
-Mikoto’s partner and one of the Five Brights representing Koukoku Class.
I was like Mikoto; intimidated at first, then got curious about his life, and completely (////A////) at the end of his route. And man, it’s FukuJuuuun!
Mizuchi is so stiff at first. He is so rigid when it comes to rules. Rules are rules. That’s where Koukoku is known. It all roots from strict rules of Mizuchi’s family. Despite the aura that he is emitting, he is not a jerk deep down. He even apologizes to the other Minamo when his cousin mocks Mikoto in front of the entire Koukoku.
As you go along, you’ll see how he is slowly falling for Mikoto. He is so attentive with her. He is such a gentleman ASDFSASDFKSADLFJ. But he is as inexperienced in love as her and of course, he is holding himself back. This results in high sexual frustration. lmao
I love how he said that he’d choose death than erasing Mikoto’s existence in his life. Aww. That part is really touching! ; w ; Though I feel bad for both him and Iroha (that all happened in Iroha’s route :3) . I liked his chemistry with Mikoto and as I mentioned I liked him a lot but as I play other routes, I started liking the other guys more than him. /o
-The womanizer from Ouka Class.
The one who, more often than not, sexually harasses Mikoto. Kurenai refers to himself as “Kurenai-sama” and often resorts to violence when aggravated or when someone touches his woman. I loved how blunt and sharp this guy is. I just loved sharp guys. Period. xD
He piqued my interest when I am playing Mizuchi’s route. There is this part when he notes about the other guy’s feelings and Ono– Sensei (I know I’ll mess his name up /o) asks what about him — his feelings. Is it really Mikoto’s body that he wants? Or…? So I want to know more about him.
I’m proud of this guy because he is the only one who isn’t tainted by utsurohi o/. Even if you hate his harsh nature, you’ll eventually see in his route how he cares for Mikoto. “I don’t need many of them (woman/Minamo). I only need you.” Of course not the best translations but GAAAAAH KURENAIIIIII. The way how they explained why he doesn’t have a permanent Minamo is good. It is because the girls have to take turns to support the genius that is Kurenai-sama. So it’s not just womanizing, there is a justifiable explanation for that. Maybe that is also the reason why he said he doesn’t need anyone other than Mikoto. Besides the fact that he likes her, as the Senki candidate she is stronger than other Minamo does and so she can keep up to him in his every battle. He isn’t actually showy about his feelings at first but his poems reveal it all.
– Everyone’s princess from Gekkou Class.
Yandere trait aside, Hime is the character I can totally relate too. In fact, I feel a stab in my heart whenever he implies his unrequited love. Like, “I love everyone. But when it is really love, I won’t say it. It is also a form of love, right?” Hime…o(TωT )
Whenever he appears, be it in his route or not, I can’t help but feel sad for him. Even when he snaps, I didn’t feel scared or what. Because it’s sad. Because it’s heart-breaking. Because he is already at the point of no return. Thank you Mikoto for making him snapped :|. Really, I dislike Mikoto here. Other than taking Hime for granted, Mikoto lied to him by not saying that she is with Mizuchi. Why not tell him properly and explain things??? GDI. ヽ(ｏ`皿′ｏ)ﾉ
I liked the pacing in his route but we still don’t see the real Hime. Instead there are have LOTS of questions that arise after finishing his route. This is perhaps their tactic to keep looking forward to the next game which is Hime-hen. XDD
Who is Kagami? I know she is Minamo but who is she really? The class rep and Sensei that Mikoto will be surprised if she sees her in flesh.
What has Hime done before? Who is the real him? Mizuchi have seen ‘that side of him’ but what is that?
Aaaaahhhh where is the next game?? /grabby hands
– Stoic guy from Chisen Class.
Kurenai made me extremely sad, then Hime got me teary-eyed, but Iroha…OMFG why make me cry? ; v ;
Iroha is sooo cold and expressionless, almost like a robot. It may be weird but I take all of his ‘breakdown’ moments precious. That is the only part where he softens his features and lowers his guard. Much less express all of his bottled up feelings within him.
He is a character that you just can’t ignore. You are or will eventually be drawn to be. That’s how strong his charisma to other people! He also has a sweet tooth which is super cute!
Since he doesn’t show his emotions that much or even says what’s on his mind (FB? lol), some people might find his actions abrupt and wtf?!. The hints about him liking Mikoto is very subtle and you really have to read between the lines which are not easy ahaha.
Iroha is like a big jigsaw puzzle (the game is already a jigsaw…) and there are still lots of gaps to be filled in. I hope this will be answered in the next games or in his own game (if he ever gets one ; v ;).
– Iroha’s Minamo.
I admit I thought Momotose is a drag before /o. Took me a long time to accept that she IS a girl lol.
Kaen’s top Minamo who backs up Mikoto. Our heroine is as clueless as us about Momotose’s attachment to her. Given that she is friendly, but why SO friendly only with Mikoto. She is as mysterious as her partner, Iroha. D;
I don’t think I mentioned this above but Hana Awase have a mini-game. For mechanics of the game, I followed the video tutorial about it. If you like, you can even use this one. Once you learn the mechanics, it can be quite addictive. It becomes tiresome with every playthrough that I have to rest. Still, I managed to get all my stats over 70 to beat Iroha. o/ Once you moved higher in the rankings, the Brights (even Momotose) will come to challenge you. The bestest thing about Hana Awase’s system is that you can carry over your stat to your next playthrough. I was worried that I’d have to rise through the ranks again. Well, I still did but my stats were intact so I had no problems moving up.
I also had fun during the Ex mode of the guys. The image I used for the guys are from their Ex mode’s scene (??). I love love love Hime’s attire. So Prince like <3. Meanwhile, the grandest animations is perhaps with Iroha. His is so captivating with all the kanji floating around (but not confusing you!) as you play. While I look forward in seeing their Ex modes, it is tiring to watch them again and again since you can’t skip them! D8 Of course, other than Iroha that is. You can’t skip his but you don’t see his Ex mode unless you’re in his route so pretty sure you’re not fed up with his pretty scene. *o*
In the end, I guess I liked the story for the high unresolved sexual tension and despair. Like when you like someone but you can’t show them or something like that; so near yet so far. Yeah, I’m a sucker for those stories. Or I only want my heart to suffer~
There are lots of questions that formed while playing this game. Well yes, of course, it’s only the first game. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next installments won’t let me down. As for favorite characters, I ended up liking all of them. I want to hug them and tell them that everything will be all right…hopefully. Yet Iroha is a little higher in my rankings: Iroha >> Mizuchi, Kurenai, Hime lol. Hime-hen next! o/
P.S.I’ll probably never look at the moon in the same way again. 😛