Forewarning: I know I’ll ragequit this VN at some point (again), but nevertheless, here I am. It’s a smart tactic they’re going with. Making me wait a year so the absolute hatred I had for the spring volume subsides majorly. Also, spoilers abound. So continue at your own peril.
So the second installment of Flowers (Summer Volume) is coming out on April 17th. And I’m getting sucked in again because a) the artwork is still ridiculously gorgeous, and b) Erika is starring in this volume as the protagonist (?!?!?!).
If you recall, Erika and Yuzuriha are my absolute favourites from the Spring Volume (the less that is said about Rikka and Mayuri the better) and I’m not going to pass up Erika or Sakura Ayane’s sass and snark.
Interestingly, it seems like the volumes retain continuity. Because Mayuri isn’t in the summer volume! Whoohoo! \o/
And if you’ll notice, the game retains the same number of characters. Mayuri is replaced by the new transfer student Takasaki Chidori. Chidori is an interesting character in the sense she doesn’t really fit any archetype that I know of. She’s a singer and an actor, but a little standoffish, and doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve. She has a bit of a poker face going on. And she’s kind of tactless and basically just says whatever comes to mind, so she causes friction pretty often. And she ends up being Erika’s Amitié, which I think is absolutely hilarious. I’m already shipping them. Unless Erika gets to have a route with Yuzuriha (I’m pretty sure she’ll star in Autumn or Winter instead), I’m going to check out Chidori’s route first. They both get on each other’s nerves (in the good, sink-your-teeth-into-a-really-good-ship sort of way). It’s great. Check out this audio file if you know Japanese.
So the Summer Volume starts off with Suou with her heart broken by Mayuri’s unexplained departure from the school at the end of the Spring Volume. Suou acts like it’s not bothering her, but Erika knows it does. And because she’s basically a fuzzy teddy bear underneath her prickliness, she aches seeing her friend Suou that way. She wants to cheer her up somehow, but before she knows it, early summer is rolling around, and they get a transfer student at their school…
Erika and Chidori have a chance encounter that leaves a sour first impression for both parties, and it culminates with Chidori calling Erika a coward. (I can’t imagine that going over well.) But of course, as the days go on, the two draw closer to one another (despite — or because of! — all their bickering).
You can also expect more of the same from the Summer Volume… in the sense that there will be
probably highly unsatisfying yuri and more of those deductive mini games.
And holy shit, the OP. It’s really gay and fluffy and amazing. I really, really, really want to like this volume. Watch it, you won’t regret it!
They’re really not pulling any punches with the OP. I think it’s an interesting dynamic in seeing how these two hugely different people reconcile with one another’s world views and find common ground with one another. And Japan, being not exactly the most inclusive place ever, telling a love story between two girls, where one has an overt physical disability? Hell, I’ve never even seen anything remotely like that in Western media. The closest is probably Root’s stapedectomy from PoI, and that’s not even a remotely overt disability.
Anyway, the post I linked above details the story from the prologue to the end of the first chapter. (If I’m not mistaken, the blogger was given early access, since a trial version for the Summer Volume is not available on the official site as far as I can tell.) I’m not going to read it since the game’s going to come out in a couple of days anyway, and I rather actually play it than read someone else’s synopsis. So I hope this mini preview whets your appetite somewhat. I mean, Suou’s nice and all, but I am 110% for this volume centering on Erika.
And how can you NOT ship Erika and Chidori? I mean, come on:
If you have trouble telling Suou and Chidori apart, you’re not the only one. Their bangs are a little different, and Chidori’s got this ‘lighter, vaguely greenish-grey’ hair going on for her, while Suou has darker hair. But I am seriously, seriously loving this. Chidori’s seiyuu sounds pretty decent too. I don’t really know Suzaki Aya though… this is like.. the first I’ve heard of her. Pleasant surprises all around. Please just give me a decent yuri story with minimal WTF and lots of Yuzuriha. Plz plz plz.