Now we are down at the last three guys in the game. These three are all newly added characters. We’ll see if their routes are worth playing after all.
Starting off with Souma.
May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!
If Chizuru decides to join Harada, Nagakura, and Heisuke in their patrols, they’ll meet Souma for the first time. So for my entire Hakuoki playthrough, Souma first appeared when I was going after Heisuke. If you remember, I did Heisuke’s route first. In that route, Souma seethes with contempt for the Shinsengumi. He spouts things like how Shinsengumi is only a group of barbaric murderers. Having only met some of the members for the first time, most of his impressions for the group come from the gossips he heard on his journey. As much as Souma not having a good impression with the Shinsengumi, I also didn’t have a very nice impression of him. For one, he’s like a hotshot in this whole bushido thing when his only reference is hearsays. Duuuuude you don’t even know a single thing about them.
Though, if I did other routes first where Souma appears as a member of the Shinsengumi, I’ll probably have a much nicer impression of him.
Being a Warrior
As I’ve mentioned above, Kazue Souma is a samurai Chizuru bumped into while she and the other captains are patrolling. Souma flips out when he learns that the Shinsengumi help him and insults them right then and there. In the middle of the commotion, he drops a drawing which features a Rasetsu. Shocked, the captains have no choice but to bring him to the headquarters. Once Souma meets the rest of the captains, it becomes clear that he only purchased the drawing from someone who knows about Shinsengumi’s past (who turns out to be Ibuki from Hakuoki Reimeiroku).
While that is how the Shinsengumi meets Souma, it isn’t until much later in the story when he finally joins them. He is recruited as Kondou’s page along with another recruit, Nomura. The two of them become Chizuru’s students. It’s cute to hear them say ‘senpaiiiii’ or ‘I’ll protect you senpai!’ though www.
Being a warrior is something Souma takes seriously. That is how he got into the Shinsengumi even with his initial prejudice against them. He starts looking up at Kondou and the other captains. Actually, I got the impression that he is on the verge of turning into another Kondou fanboy (if he isn’t already lol) like Okita.
Romance? What romance?
Souma’s route mainly centers around the Shinsengumi so there really isn’t something new in the story, only a different point of view on some events. One thing that I find refreshing is that I finally got to see what happened during the failed assassination of Kondou. The whole event is only relayed in the other routes so I don’t really have an idea on what or who did that. Okay, I may have an idea on who did it and the mastermind as mentioned in a certain route. But that’s the thing, I’m only told of what happened. Whereas in this route, we witness the entire thing as the event causes Souma to question his strength as a warrior.
Souma is Chizuru’s honest-to-goodness kouhai and I find it hard to tell if there is already budding romance involve or he’s just that, a loyal junior. His route focuses more on what warriors should be. And like most of the route, there’s very little romance in it. So even if Souma is protecting Chizuru with all his might, it makes me wonder if it’s still about his pride as a warrior or because she is important to him in a romantic sense.
One thing that made me scratch my head is how Souma got an amnesia. Oh and I don’t mean like the clinical loss of memories. You see, when the Shinsengumi reveals the reason why Chikage attacks their headquarters, I’m pretty sure they mentioned about Kodo and his relationship with Chizuru. Souma’s reaction at the time is lukewarm which made me wonder. Knowing Chizuru’s involvement in all of the secrets of Shinsengumi is a big thing but Souma’s like, ‘oh okay.’ Then there is another scene later on with Sannan where they talk about Kodo again. This time Souma got surprised. I was surprised as well because they’ve been through that topic already. But Souma looks like he just heard of it the first time. Consistency Otomate, consistency.
Another thing I’ve always wondered is what happens to Chizuru if she drinks the ochimizu. Being a demon, will her body nullify the effects? But seeing the bad end in Souma’s route it seems like she’ll turn to a Rasetsu herself. Which made me wonder about what happens to her demon blood? She’s a pure-blooded demon but something like ochimizu affects her?
I am quite surprised that they included Sakamoto Ryouma as one of the new love interest in the game ww.
Actually, Ryouma could pass for a hidden character. He barely appears in any of the previous routes except for Saito’s but he’s the only character among the three new routes who is mentioned in the original storyline. I really don’t know anything about how his route is going to play out. It’s been so long since I played Saito’s route and at that time, of course, my focus was on Saito and not on Ryouma so I could only barely care about the ossan hitting Chizuru www.
Chizuru decides to join Saito in one of his rounds. He left her in a shop to inquire about her father while he does his patrol duties. An unknown guy approaches her and starts flirting with her. Ryouma gives her his alias and agreed to help her inquire about her father.
They meet him again while on a patrol when Ryouma calls her out in the streets and again, flirts with her. This time, he reveals who he really is. From then on, he approaches Chizuru whenever he could. I swear, I couldn’t really tell if he is being serious with her or just being charming to get something from her ww.
There is a trophy in his route with the title Rico Suave and I chuckled when I read it. Among the other weird trophy titles, this one is spot on. Despite their differing factions, Ryouma still finds a way to ‘date’ Chizuru. He left a big impression on me, not because of his political ideals but with how he always always finds the time to woo Chizuru. He would visit her in the Shinsengumi Headquarters despite the apparent animosity of the other guys. Or he’d ask his friend Nakaoka to deliver a letter for Chizuru. Once Ryouma sets foot in Kyoto, rest assured that he would be somewhere around Chizuru.
His moves are all smooth, suave even www. There is a scene where Ryouma is with Chizuru and he is badly wounded. He tries to make her leave but Chizuru won’t budge. In an attempt to distract her, he kisses her on the forehead while muttering how he would have wanted to do it on her lips. He looooves catching Chizuru off guard like that. I admit that I enjoy watching him tease and make her fluster with his words and actions.
Whatever happened to the Demons?
After what seems like forever, it feels weird not to see Chikage and his cronies interfering with Chizuru’s life. They are not that involve in her affairs that it looks like that subplot is pushed aside somewhere. In the last events before a route ends, Chikage would come running, ruining everything. Instead, what I got was someone I hadn’t expected to see with Ryouma – Shiranui.
I’m surprised at the apparent friendship Ryouma and Shiranui has. All the other routes have Shiranui as one of the antagonists. It is hard to tell about his objectives other than joining Chikage for the heck of it. But in this route, he is helping Chizuru and Ryouma. It made me wonder about his real objectives. Why did he follow Chikage and then moves on his own? What’s in it for him if he joins Ryouma and Chizuru? I hope Edo Blossoms have the answer to that.
…I just want to see a Ryouma vs Chikage scene lol.
Speaking of Edo Blossoms, I’m curious how Ryouma’s story plays out in EB since he is supposedly dead in that timeline.
Among all of the new routes in Hakuoki Kyoto Winds, I look forward at Hachiro’s route the most. Everything is just perfect about him – from his character design to his personality, to his trope, and to his seiyuu!
Chizuru meets Hachiro while she is on the rounds with Hijikata. She stays inside a cafe while waiting for the Shinsengumi to come back when one of the captains, Takeda, comes in and tries to charge the owner without any real basis for an arrest. Chizuru attempts to jump in but another customer holds her back and confronts the captain instead. It almost turns into a fight but not wanting to embarrass himself, Takeda flees. Chizuru thanks the stranger. As he accepts her gratitude, he notes how she doesn’t change at all.
A few days after, the same guy visits the Shinsengumi’s Headquarters and is surprised to see Chizuru living there. In turn, Chizuru is surprised that the captains know about him from their early days. As it happens, Hachiro knows about Chizuru since they were kids as he often visits Kodo’s clinic to read his books.
Having been in Edo and a swordmaster himself, Hachiro used to spar with the captains of the Shinsengumi. While he has a gentle nature, Hachiro is a bodyguard of the shogun. Despite his position, he is friendly and polite to everyone, without being patronizing.
The Childhood Trope
Hachirou fills in the childhood friend trope whom Chizuru met way back in Edo. He recognizes her right off the bat while she forgot all about him.
If Ryouma is really good with his smooth moves, Hachiro has a way with words. Just look at the following screenshots.
He is so cute how he is so obvious about his feelings. He’ll come running almost anytime anywhere if it concerns Chizuru.
But amnesia strikes again.
In the scene where Chikage tries to kidnap Chizuru, she got injured. Hachiro asks her about her wounds but when she tried to hide it, he notes how she’s still keeping their promise after all these years. Chizuru then remembers that the promise she made about not telling other people about her fast recovery isn’t with her father but with Hachiro.
And yet, look at these screenshots of an event that happened in the latter part of the story.
The question is, ‘Is it worth getting Hakuoki for these guys?’
The answer is, not really.
Unless you are a hardcore fan of the series or the seiyuus, I don’t see any additional plot points in any of the three routes. They are mostly confined on their own storyline except for Souma since he is a member of Shinsengumi. But there’s is nothing new in terms of the main storyline aside from looking at the story in a slightly different angle.
Still, though, I enjoyed playing all these routes. I think the romance part compensates for the lack of new information. There’s a lot of fluffy moments especially for Hachiro and Ryouma’s route compared with all the other guys combined. And that alone is enough for me.
Next Hakuoki post will be about my overall thoughts about the game. Till next time. 😀