Hashihime of the Old Book Town (古書店街の橋姫)

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?

✯Verdict✯

A MUST PLAY

Recommended for: Everyone

Obviously for BL fans, but also, for people who like a bit of mystery, a bit of thriller, a bit of drama, lots of bizarre events, and a damn good story littered with flawed but lovable characters.

Though, there are some fair warnings in the game which you should also need to check out after the cut.

Read below why you should or should not play this game.

Story

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

Visual novels are known for their branching routes which are like parallel worlds, in a sense. Hashihime did its best without using too many choices. It’s a straightforward VN, but the story is interesting and intriguing, keeping me at the edge of my seat from start to finish. Because of this kind of setup with multiple restarts, the player manages to know all sides of the story and every facet of the characters.

Hashihime tackles quite a lot of things such as coping with grief, different kinds and sides of love, among other things. When I finished the game, I sort of felt like it was kinda cheated by the revelation. But in hindsight, it was brilliant. The setup was amazing.

I love how the story is like a hero’s journey with a lazy good-for-nothing Tamamori, and then working his way through this bizarre world, all the while, understanding himself and his friends.

BUT

I mentioned the warnings above, and there are a lot of them in this game. But the creators are kind enough to put a warning at the start.

Some of the things above are only mentioned in the game.

Well, I did say this game is recommended for everyone because I wanted more people to know and play this game. But I also understand that some of these might be a trigger for some people.


Characters

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

The characters are nuts. Despite that, I love them and their imperfections. There’s something human in them, hidden behind their pompous attitudes and sweet lies.

I love all of them, even the side characters but my favorite is Hakase — the only one who made me bawl my eyes out.


Art

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

The art sort of reminds me of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

The art is lovely! I love the contrast of the dark-colored real life versus the colorful designs of Tamamori’s imagination.


Gameplay

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

There’s a forced route that you have to go through. The routes won’t unlock until you’ve finished the one preceding it. 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. That’s also why, for the first route, you have no choice but to play Minakami’s route.

And if you check out the Extras part, you would see the profile of the characters. I suggest not going through them and wait until you finished the game as the details contain some sort of an epilogue of what happens to the characters after the route. So it’s like an epilogue.

I will put a guide on how to get all the endings that will be published after this post.


Enjoyment (✯◡✯)

Hashihime is a wild rollercoaster ride and brings my feelings to the extreme ends of the spectrum. Yet I love this a lot and enjoyed this immensely.

I mean, if I don’t, I wouldn’t have replayed this after having played the Japanese version, and I rarely replay anything.


Other Reads:

Check out the posts on Manga Gamer’s website. They have interesting content and insights from the team who participated in bringing Hashihime to the West.


If you want to play this game and would also like to support this blog, please consider getting this at Manga Gamer (affiliate link). Any purchases made earns me a small commission that goes back towards keeping the site running. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Alternatively, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi!

Care to share your thoughts?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.