[First Impressions] Hashihime of the Old Book Town

古書店街の橋姫 | Hashihime of Old Book Town

Company: ADELTA | MangaGamer

Platform: PC, PS Vita

Category: Boys Love, Mystery, Historical

Release Date: August 13, 2016

English Release Date: September 26, 2019

Official English Site: http://mangagamer.org/hashihime/

Summary: (from MangaGamer site)

Jinbochou, Tokyo

 

June 1922, Taisho Era

 

The Rainy Season

 

Tamamori came to Tokyo with his sights set on getting accepted to the Imperial University. However, he doesn’t pass the entrance exam, and is so undisciplined and wrapped up in endless fantasies that he’s kicked out of his boarding house after only two years. Through a stroke of luck, Tamamori begins to live and work at Umebachidou, a used book store. There, he enjoys whiling away his time as a “student preparing for entrance exams” and taking advantage of friends who are also from his hometown. But one right after the other, mysterious deaths befall those friends and, realizing he’s been repeating the same rainy three days over and over again, Tamamori finds himself racing throughout Jinbochou to save them.

In this pop-occult mystery that surrounds the deaths of his friends… What is real, and what is a hallucination?

Just a heads up before we continue. I’ve already played and finished a route in Japanese before. You can say that I’m already spoiled but it’s been almost two years already since the last time I played so my memory’s fuzzy so what I have is only the general idea of things.

I’m so so glad that this has been translated! I loved Hashihime but the characters used in the Japanese version where old given the time period, not to mention the literary titles and authors that popped out every now and then that makes my head 😵. I feel like I missed a lot of details and I couldn’t shake off that FOMO feels so I stopped playing this before. But now it’s finally here! Yasss!!

Story

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I loved the whole mystery vibe Hashihime gives off. Granted I already know the mystery (or at least have a vague memory of it) but the story still gives me the creeps. I’m still on the edge waiting for what will happen next and I can’t wait to unravel more about this whole sordid and bizarre business.


Characters

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

The characters are just all eccentric wackos with the exception of Hanazawa. Though I’d wager that he has that weirdness inside of him too. It has to be if someone has to be friends with the likes of Tamamori and Kawase.

Playing Hashihime again reminds me of how I hated Tamamori’s guts. He’s just an unbearable guy and a terrible friend. Always the me me me.

Kawase though. I have this love-hate relationship with this guy. First I love his voice and his sharp tongue. But sometimes, I also feel bad whenever he argues with Tamamori like come on, would it hurt to stop being a jerk for one single second?

Also, I did mention above that I’ve already finished a route and was actually in the middle of playing Kawase’s route when I stopped. For this playthrough, I’ll just follow my old order:

Minakami (you have no choice for this one) -> Kawase -> Hanazawa -> I think this is for Hakase -> for the secret character (I’m not sure if this game has one. I forgot. And I haven’t checked any guides yet since I don’t need them at the moment.)


Art

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I love how even with the simple character designs, I never had to confuse one character to another. That is a big plus. There’s always a peculiar thing about them that makes them stand out from the rest. For instance, there’s Tamamori’s blue eyes, Minakami’s closed eyes, and Hakase’s eyepatch (I’ve just noticed that they’re all eyes lol).


Gameplay

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I’d like to mention that while Hashihime is your regular visual novel, the first part (or route) is more of a kinetic novel with no choices involved. You’ll have to read through it until you finish then play again and that’s where you’ll see the branching choices and choose which guy you’ll play next. That’s also why, for the first route, you have no choice but to play Minakami’s route.


Enjoyment (✯◡✯)

I’ve never been excited for a game in a looooong while. It’s not even my habit to buy and play the game right on its release date. I hope more people will play and enjoy this game too!


Highlights

I’d like to share with you the picture of the ultimate tras– I mean, fanboy. Hakase’s always there for Tamamori. 😏

I can’t wait to get to his story.


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