Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds contains 12 guys that you can go after. This is probably the only game that I’ve played that has that much character in it. Thank goodness, you can only play half of their routes in this game (the story continues in Edo Blossoms). Somehow, I can understand why Otomate decided to split the story in half – and it’s not just about money (maaaaaaybe about 5% is not about it www). Imagine playing 12 full routes. It’ll take me half a year to finish it lol.
But still, cutting the story just when things are finally picking up in each route? WHATщ(ﾟДﾟщ)
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
Since there is no play order, I decided to play it like this: Heisuke -> Sanan -> Nagakura -> Yamazaki -> Shinpachi -> Saito -> Okita -> Hijikata -> Chikage -> Souma -> Ryouma -> Iba
For the sake of the posts, I decided to group them into 3 regardless of the play order. So let’s start with the baka trio!
These three are bffs. They hang out together, they fight together, they have each other’s back.
I started with Heisuke because why not lol. When Chizuru first arrives at the Shinsengumi’s headquarters, Heisuke is the first to warm up to her and sort of welcomes her.
One of the captains
Despite appearing like a runt in a world of big, burly guys, Heisuke is a captain like most of the main characters. He is the head of Shinsengumi’s 8th division even if he is the youngest. His character design appears scrawny that I got curious why he got the position of a captain. But despite his age, he is already a strong samurai.
Fighting for what he believes in
In the latter part of Kyoto Winds, Heisuke shows his reluctance about the ways of the Shinsengumi and Shogunate. Then, later on, questions the ideals of Itou. He ponders on what is he fighting for and why. That struck me. I never peg him as the introspective type. Instead, I imagined him as someone who fights first, think later. But even if he still has a boyish look on him, he takes on the world around him like an adult would.
Even in his Rasetsu form, he contemplates on his humanity. And I really like that. I admire how he continues to figure out how to act in a world he lives in.
The bittersweet scene
One of my favorite scene in this route is the part when Chizuru dresses in kimono and “accidentally” meets Heisuke in a tea shop. They act like strangers chatting casually but the air is thick with tension. It is the closest thing I could ever hope for a date. Too bad, there’s no accompanied CG because that would have looked romantic.
My initial impression of Nagakura is that he is loud and reckless – the usual dumb muscle trope. But he didn’t get his position as the captain of Shinsengumi’s 2nd Division from sheer brawling. He is actually insightful when it comes to politics, perhaps not on the level of Itou, but definitely well aware of his surroundings.
Despite his easygoing looks, he is not afraid to go against Hijikata. There’s this scene where he starts violating the curfew after Hijikata enforced hardcore training for their men. All the while giving Itou’s men lighter loads. With Chizuru’s persuasion, Nagakura goes back to their quarters almost at curfew but not without meeting a furious Hijikata. Usually, in the Shinsengumi, if you break the rules, you are most likely going to commit seppuku. But what I find admirable is that Hijikata and Nagakura settle down and talk things through. They discuss their sides without resorting to violence. For a second, I thought Nagakura would just blow his temper and make things harder for everyone. This goes to show that Nagakura is not just all brawl. In his own way, he thinks things through.
Big brother type
At first, he treats Chizuru as if his younger sister. His cheerfulness and optimism help her cope with whatever she is going through. The brother figure theme totally goes to his character design. He looks the part of a reliable brother. Though every time he goes, “Everything for my cute little sister!” I’ll be like ‘yeah right.’ ﾌﾌﾌｰﾝ♪(◉ε◉*)
It is painful to see him after he (unwillingly) takes the ochimizu. He hates it with a passion but still forced to become a rasetsu. It is as if his pride gets shredded into pieces and thrown away.
Still, I’d love to see how he is going to deal with his newfound strength once they are in Edo (and more romance please).
Boy, you probably can’t believe how relieved I am after finishing this route. And I just love love this CG. There is just something in this that makes me adore it so much. Maybe because the scene before this is so sweet, that I am actually reminded that there is romance included in this game. Not to mention that I am so glad that there’s someone among the 12 guys who didn’t need the ochimizu for once.
I hope he’ll remain like that in Edo Blossoms. I don’t need last-minute angst Otomate.
Chivalry is not dead for Harada. Despite the rough nature of Shinsengumi, he treats Chizuru kindly and gently even in other routes. He does spout things like “I’ll kill you.” But not as forceful as Souji.
While he doesn’t look like it, he is compassionate to everyone around him. Most of the times, he’ll console Chizuru even before she understands what she’s feeling. Harada is always the perfect gentleman and almost every scene with him is just sweet.
That’s about it for now. If I’m going to rank the 3, it’ll be Harada > Heisuke > Nagakura. I’m basing this on which route I enjoyed the most. Because if I based it on character, almost every guy will be on equal terms. lol