A Kiss for the Petals: Remembering How we Met is the first game in the long running Sono Hanabira/A Kiss for the Petals series to receive an official English localization. Sono Hanabira is a series of yuri eroge that has had yearly releases from 2006 to 2016, and hasn’t had anything since then… probably because that tends to happen when you milk a series too quickly. A lot of them seem to be on the shorter side (or at least the ones I looked up on VNDB) so I guess I can at least see why they got them out so quickly. Also I’m not making any judgement on the quality of these games, it’s just… damn, over 20 installments in 10 years.
This particular installment, Remembering How we Met, is actually one of the more recent entries in the series, having come out in Japan on March 13th of 2015 and getting released in English in September of the same year. It’s also one of the few entries in the series that doesn’t have any erotic content, which is likely why it was the first to be localized. It should be noted that this game DID get a PC remake with added ero content in 2016, but that version hasn’t been localized.
The story and writing was captivating and I was quite fascinated with the romance between Risa and Miya. I found both characters endearing and I also related a lot to Miyu’s character. Framing most of the story as a flashback and starting out with Risa and Miya already together really allowed a greater contrast between their past and present selves. Seeing Miya’s playful and teasing attitude at the start makes it all the more interesting when you see how reserved and quite she has was when she first met Risa.
And I know I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but it is refreshing seeing a romance where both characters are smart and intelligent as opposed to one person being made stupid in an attempt to be more “relatable” to their target audience. It allows this story to feel more real and authentic than the usual harem pandering trash I’ve seen. Even a lot of games that I like are guilty of having the main character be bland as hell while the objects of affection are too good for them… yeah, maybe I just need to give up on cishet eroge altogether.
It also goes without saying that the art direction is amazing and are an absolute joy to look at. The voice acting is solid and I remember liking the music, although I can’t remember any of the tracks, nor can I find any uploads online. Remembering How we Met is a beautifully put together visual novel with such a warm and pure feeling that comes whenever I read it.
The only problem with Remembering How we Met is that it is a bit on the short side. Not only did the ending feel abrupt and like there should have been at least a few more hours of content, but the visual novel is also kinetic, meaning there aren’t even any optional choices or endings to go after. This results in the overall experience feeling incomplete.
I wouldn’t consider this especially problematic if it weren’t for the fact that this was the first Sono Hanabira title to receive an official localization, and this likely would not have been enough to sell a bunch of people on the series as a whole. Granted this isn’t too much of a problem since A Kiss for the Petals: The New Generation and Maidens of Michael have since been localized, but I just imagine that starting with Remembering How we Met would have been the equivalent of if Nekoworks started out with Nekopara Vol. 0, and everyone needed to wait a year until they got the first game.
I guess what I could say is that Remembering How we Met should be seen less as a full installment, and more so a preview of what’s to come; a demo of sorts. And hey, at least they didn’t charge $30 for this one… oh gosh, that’s such a dated meme. I feel old now.
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