FLOWERS -Le volume sur hiver- 🌺 Visual Novel Informal Club

Ch3 reply

Their English in this game is really funny sometimes. I feel bad for those girls in-game learning English like that :laughing:

Here’s what the actual line in jp & proper translation is (not my TL). They were supposed to add it into the backlog for that scene but can’t remember if it made it into the game.

image

If you type in the jp into any MTL, it still comes out a lot better than what Innocent Grey’s English was there so I wonder how they came up with it

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Chapter 5 thoughts

It was good to see that Erika’s injury from the previous chapter wasn’t too serious. It was nice to see Suoh finally open up and tell people about Sion too. As soon as she did that, she was able to learn a lot more since Rikka had found those letters earlier. I thought they did a good job of slowly introducing those letters throughout the VN and it was nice we got to read them continuously in full here. Sion and Sayuri’s stories are really sad. Sion and Mayuri really do look crazy alike

The “horror” story scene was pretty creepy. Tying Suoh’s story back to the nightmare she had near the start of the chapter with the evil smiling Suoh was interesting although I can’t say I really understand what they meant by that.

The confrontation with Erika vs Neri & Yuzu was pretty intense but I still don’t think I really like the role they have Neri & Yuzu playing here even though at the end they concede and give out another hint. Still, I wish they would have had someone else play the “villain” role that Neri & Yuzu have been playing these past two chapters instead.

Also a lot of good music in this chapter (and the game overall). The callbacks to the previous games OSTs are always timed really well.

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Chapter 4

Well what a chapter! I didn’t think about writing things down while reading but a lot of things happened!
Also this one music (I think it was this one) really REALLY reminds me of ISLAND (this song, to the point that it’s a bit hard for me to focus ^_^’
Anyway the end of the Chapter was quite something, but I’m sure Erika will turn out to be just fine.

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Finished the first ending. This is the Mayuri ending so you’ll know if its safe to click on or not.

Chapter 6 / First ending

Wow that chapter is really a rollercoaster of emotions. The mystery isn’t really explained here but we do get some bits and pieces to tie some things together.

Some of the aspects of Suoh explaining the mystery were pretty cool on how it was all put together but at the same time, there’s so much here that I don’t think anyone besides her was going to figure that out. I think I mentioned it before but I don’t think this game was designed with the intention of the reader being able to solve this stuff like some of IG’s other games. I think that’s okay though as long as you go into it with that mindset, I still have fun with Suoh explaining everything even if some of it just goes over my head.

Neri telling Chidori to stop chirping like a bird might be one of the funniest lines in the game given how much Chidori hates birds. Just knowing Neri from the past three games, it makes her saying this line funny to me.

The scene inside the room they found is pretty depressing. Japanese people generally take off their shoes before committing suicide so all the lines about Suoh seeing “the shoes” is pretty sad to think about.

The leadup to the play was really sweet. The words of encouragement from Erika was really touching and Erika even followed it up by calling her Suoh.

The play itself was great. I’m really glad this one had very little auto-play so I could read it at my own pace. The presentation was definitely the best its ever been here. I loved seeing all the different costumes and expressions.

Even knowing what was going to happen, I still felt the same way as Suoh did here when Mayuri made the surprise switch with Chidori as the prince. The scene might have been a little cheesy but it was so nice for them to have a reunion like this. I loved it.

The scene in the library was really beautiful too up until the end when Mayuri chose to leave again… There’s still some more endings to go through, so I’ll give my final thoughts on everything then.

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A quick warning when going through your second playthrough. There are some changes in the chapter intermission monologues but if you use the “next” button it will skip right past that. Usually that’ll take you to the next unread line but not in this case so you’ll want to manually skip previously read text after you’ve made all the choices in a chapter. Or using the “skip” button instead of "next’ seems to work too.

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Chapter 5 thoughts

Really touching about Erika’s backstory, and interesting to hear how she handled her condition after the accident versus how her dad handled it.
It’s like he is seeing all the things she “could” or “should” have been, while she is accepting what she actually is and that’s just fine. Totally siding with her on that, move on and do with what you have.
I really liked that long scene with everyone in Erika’s bedroom. Very nice when they laid out for everyone everything they know so far. No more secrets!
Funny how close the names are:
Sion->Suoh
Sayuri->Mayuri
But the girl in the picture that looks like Mayuri is not Sayuri but Sion. Now is it only a coincidence that she looks like Mayuri? Or is it her mom? Is Mayuri Sister Basquiat’s niece?? Did Mayuri find out that Sion killed herself because there were problems in her relationship with Sayuri and Mayuri found out and quit the academy to prevent history from repeating itself with Suoh?
So many questions.
At least it makes a bit more sense to me now why solving the mystery of the girls leaving the academy would bring Suoh closer to Mayuri, since it lead her to discover Sion - Sayuri.
I enjoyed this chapter even though it didn’t answer a lot of questions. Now on to Chapter 6, hopefully I’ll finally know what it’s all about!

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Thoughts for Chaptet 6, the ending is: Bad Ending!

Chapter 6 Thoughts

Chapter 6
Well my first run through ending in a bad ending, makes sense I guess, was neither all green or all yellow.
And wow what a bad ending, being in a limbo for three years, brutal x)
Going to try for a replay will all green (I had written down if my choice lead to green or yellow)
Started a bit, fun to discover the scenes that I had missed :slight_smile: quite a lot actually!

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Finished all the endings

Found Mayuri’s ending, and then didn’t try very hard by myself to find the rest, used the guide instead.

  • Nice reunion with Mayuri but a bit surprised / disappointed that there were still so many questions unanswered
  • So you have to replay the same thing to get the next ending, thought that was a bit funny. Why not just give us more details the first time around?
  • Found the story with Sion - Sayuri - Basquiat’s dad really sad and touching
  • Also makes OK sense that they “borrow” the students to help the grandma. However, I don’t see why the borrowed students need to be hidden or to not say why they were leaving? Even if it’s a lie like “I have to go back home to watch my dying grandma brb in 6 months max” (as it was their expectation at the time). Instead of having the other fellow students left mourning, that the disappeared student maybe was sick, or dying, or something else (one of my theory was that Mayuri found out that she was pregnant and had to be removed before it showed, was half expecting a baby in the secret room :joy:)
  • The last unanswered things:

Wait what? If you remember the explanations and don’t mind sharing them here?

All in all I really enjoyed discovering Flowers, thanks @AzusaChan for talking about it and making this club :slight_smile:
And thanks to all the participants, it was nice to read all of your comments and to get more insight on things and to see some extracts in Japanese. Seems like a tough one to read, I’m impressed that you guys did it!

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Chapter 1

Very nice first chapter.

I guess one of the main themes here is how Suoh (despite her friends’ worries) continues working mostly on her own towards finding out what happened to Mayuri, a trend that’s been going on since the first game where she mostly single-handedly solved the mysteries around her.

All the mystery stuff is very nicely balanced with more light-hearted moments like Suoh wearing glasses, playing in the snow, and also the scary story that Erika tells about her sister. Suoh is still Suoh and still gets all starry-eyed about stuff like going to the bathroom together with a friend :sweat_smile:

I found the final scene where Mayuri and Suoh speak through the wall a bit odd. At first Suoh hears a noise and asks if there’s anybody around, then suddenly starts talking about finding Sion’s grave and the burned down church, which feels a bit of a strange reaction since at that point she had no idea who she was talking to exactly.

That moment is so satisfying :sweat_smile:

I hadn’t made that connection, that makes a lot of sense. I had kinda hoped there would be a bit of a different internal struggle for Suoh for the 4th game, but it’s certainly one of the issues that hadn’t been completed resolved back in the 1st.

I can’t remember if this was explained later in the game, but that’s something I wondered too - the logical next move feels like it would be finding out what’s on the other side. I half-expected Suoh to run out immediately to try to get to there.

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Glad you joined us and enjoyed the game! I’m still going through the other endings but will have my final thoughts on the series once I’m done.

End of series spoilers

I didn’t really like that either. I think for the finale here, they should have just made this a kinetic VN with one ending. Or maybe keep the bad endings + the grand finale end. I guess I can understand they wanted us to replay it at least once so the second playthrough we can see Sayuri’s perspective on the letters and Mayuri’s chapter monologues but still feels silly to playthrough it multiple times just to get the ending extended. I had the same issue with Ete’s true end in that regard.

I haven’t finished reading the info dump scene there so I’m going off of my memory but I believe most of those students never come back to the school after. Usually once they finish playing the role of Sion, the academy hooks them up and transfers them to a highly prestigious school as a thank you of sorts. Since there was a suicide at the school and a dead body inside the library, I’m guessing they wanted to make sure there was no possibility of anyone else finding out.

I need to reread the art book at some point (its over 300 pages with original story planning details, extra stories, stage designs, etc! A very detailed book) but from memory, Suoh was basically wrong about the entire incident in spring. Yuzu did go to the sakura trees where Mayuri was but when she was there, she saw Allium talking to Mayuri and calling her Sion. Yuzu had read those letters left behind from Sion and Sayuri when she was trying to clear Neri’s name the previous year so she knew who Sion was. Yuzu didn’t know who Allium was at that time though, she was going to approach her and ask why she knows who Sion is and then that’s when Iberis saw that and panicked then hit Yuzu from behind to prevent her from talking to Allium (guessing Iberis was afraid it would break Allium since she thought she was talking to Sion?).

Iberis performed some emergency care and then left Yuzu at the garden after that.

Yuzu and Neri ended up helping Dalia because after they left in automne, Dalia was worried about them suddenly leaving and knew Katabami was close to them so she asked her to try go after them to try and persuade them to come back. They didn’t want to come back but since they were still teens trying to live on their own, Dalia offered financial assistance to them to help them out and in return, they tried to stop Suoh from discovering the secret of the school.

Fun stuff from outside of the VN with lots of spoilers (drama CDs, art books etc)

In Flowers 20 which shows all the first years at age 20, Suoh and Mayuri are living together in an apartment now going to the same art university. Suoh is studying book design stuff and Mayuri is studying oil painting. Meanwhile, Rikka went off to a different university and writes to them but due to the new distance, they usually only see each in person once a year. Rikka is also now in another love triangle with Tsuwabuki and Hokama.

There is a drama CD only character, Aberia Floa who is Dalia’s cousin. The Floa family is related to the Basquet family line (not sure exactly how the family line works there). She moved to Japan when she was 14 to attend Saint Angraecum Academy and her, Dalia and Katabami were all best friends basically. There is a drama CD involving them during that time period. Katabami also was in love with Dalia but got rejected :stuck_out_tongue:

I also believe the Automne ending with the twins to be canon because from what I hear the drama CDs expand on the thoughts the twins have for each other. I can’t remember which twin it is, but one of them had a lot stronger feelings while the other one started to realize it was wrong and pushed away from it. I haven’t listed to the drama CD myself so just going off of summaries :sweat_smile: Aberia is a professional photography and currently mentors Yuzu. Ichigo is also Aberia’s assistant now for photography.

There’s a lot more I could ramble on about but for the last thing, Miki posted letter from Erika to Chidori and Chidori’s response on twitter a few years ago. I highly recommend reading it if you’re a fan of either character

EriChido letters

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Wow thanks for delivering, loving all the extra info :heart_eyes:

That one was hilarious :joy:

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I finished all the endings now :partying_face:

Final thoughts on the game/the series

It felt like this one had a lot more extra scenes than the previous games when going through the extra choices. It kind of sucks that all the “wrong” choices leads to more scenes with Chidori so all those scenes of those two spending time together aren’t really “canon”. The scenes with Suoh and Ringo together were funny with them both doing impersonations of other people.

I hate the Rikka ending a lot though so I skimmed through most of that since I didn’t really want to re-read it. I am really glad that even in her ending, she never manages to get into a romantic relationship with Suoh at least.

The true ending was nice. The mystery itself is sort of anti-climatic I think given how much they hype it up in all the previous games. Covering up a suicide at the school is a pretty big deal (especially at a Catholic school) but the first time I played through the game I was definitely expecting something else for the big reveal rather than Mayuri playing the role of a dead girl for grandma.

The Mayuri PoV scenes were nice to get her perspective on things. I can understand why she chose to play the role given her history of being betrayed by her mom. She finally got to experience the selfless love (agape) from Allium that she didn’t get from her own mother.

With that said, there are a lot of things that disappointed me in this game. Mayuri is on the center of the cover and this game was supposed to be about finally finding her and we do, but she has hardly any lines in this game compared to all of the other characters. Mayuri has a total of 210 lines in the game (which is slightly inflated since that includes the chapter monologues she voices). Meanwhile other characters have way more lines than her (Rikka has 927, Erika 1062, Chidori 520 etc)

Even in the first game Rikka took more screentime than her and then in the finale its the same story. There’s so much focus on Rikka and I don’t understand it. Its not that I necessarily hate her character but she’s definitely the least interesting out of the cast once Printemps ended. Miki did say in an interview they tried to tone her down after Printemps because they were afraid people would stop playing the series after the way she was in that game but I think she had more personality back then.

It also annoys me that Rikka never apologized to Suoh back in spring when she blackmailed her. It’s extra bad because all of the characters are super nice to Rikka and then when Mayuri comes back Erika is being a jerk to Mayuri. Erika obviously doesn’t know what Rikka did back in spring but since the reader does, it still hurts to see how nice everyone is to Rikka. I also don’t like how she never showed any real concern for Mayuri and even tried to get Suoh to stop looking for her at various points throughout the series.

The message at the end about how they adapted the 3-person amitié system due to what happened with Sion and Sayuri doesn’t make sense either when almost none of the main cast is actually in a 3-person amitié group and we saw how they were all able to solve their issues throughout the series just fine.

I was also disappointed in the end. I was really hoping they’d actually show Suoh’s birthday party and end it with a scene of just Suoh & Mayuri together. There’s a lot of supplemental material (the artbooks etc) that help complete the story and makes it a better experience but it should have been in the VN.

Despite all the ranting, I still did like the game a lot. The fairy tale vibes were a nice touch. It’s mainly just disappointment from a lack of Mayuri screentime. I did enjoy the game more this time re-reading in jp since I knew what to expect. When I first read it in English, I had like anxiety half the time thinking they were going to pair up Rikka with Suoh to end the game :sweat_smile:

I think this is the weakest entry in the series but Suoh and the OST helps carry it a lot. My personal rankings is Automne > Printemps > Ete > Hiver. Of course, overall the series is my all-time favorite.

Thanks again to everyone that has read along! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on the series. It was a lot of fun reading together as a group.

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Reply about final thoughts

Totally agreed. I love that you have the numbers to backup the fact that we don’t see Mayuri enough :grin:

I get what you mean! It’s nice to playing it for the first time, but there are some things that you don’t enjoy when you don’t know where it’s going. When you replay and you know where it’s going, you can enjoy more your favorite parts / discover other things!
That’s something I enjoyed a lot in ISLAND, when we get to replay the Prologue after Winter, it’s included in the game that you replay it, saves us from playing it a second time later :joy: and you have a completely different set of eyes by then

Hm I’m not sure what is mine. I think Printemps is my favorite, I got very attached to Suoh and had a bit of a hard time focusing on the other characters in the other volumes, was seeing them more as a distraction. And then Hiver, maybe could have been my favorite, if there had been a reunion earlier. I really liked that by then the characters all knew each other pretty well and could team up on things. Maybe we need a Printemps 2 and it would be perfect? :smiley:

Not Flowers related

So I’m curious, what are you going to play / read next?
I’m myself in the middle of a non-fiction novel (the one the ABC is reading). Planning on finishing that, then maybe the next ABC pick. But after that, if I manage to stay away from Book Clubs (it’s not easy :joy: ) then I will take on other visual novels in Japanese! Craving for something short after ISLAND, so I will probably Marco & The Galaxy Dragon or ATRI -My Dear Moments-

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Spoiler reply

Yeah if the first half had been finding Mayuri and then the second half would have been like slice of life stuff with Suoh and Mayuri doing stuff together it probably would have been my favorite too. I would love one more Flowers game at some point with Suoh or Mayuri as the MC and have it just be a slice of life game with no mysteries.

Oh, that reminds me of a picture in the art book

Flowers anime one day? :thinking:

Off topic

There’s quite a few things I want to read but I’ve been indecisive on which one I actually want to start on. I want to read Kara no Shoujo at some point since that is the last major Innocent Grey series I need to read but its a 3-part series that is considerably longer than Flowers so not sure if I want to get into something that long right now.
月に寄りそう乙女の作法 is another VN I’ve been wanting to play forever but that one looks pretty long too (a little over 1m characters per jpdb). It’d be nice to play something shorter and easier as a “break” in between stuff since Flowers was on the harder side but it feels like I’ve played all the shorter VNs already that look interesting to me. I’ll probably go looking around more today to see if I can find anything of interest :stuck_out_tongue:

I played Marco back on release (in eng) and that VN is super fun, I think you’ll like it a lot if you choose it! The production values is crazy in that game. It has like over 300 CGs and 40+ songs and its only like 80k characters per jpdb. I’m not sure how they got such a big budget for such a short game but its a really fun one.

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Off topic

Oh, only judging by the cover but she looks a little bit like Suoh!

Haha yeah, that’s long!! More than ISLAND; which was pretty long!!

Haha fun, I didn’t know all that! Good to know!

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Off topic

Oooh, I really liked Kara no Shoujo. I read the first two in English, before I started studying Japanese seriously. Been waiting for the third part to be translated for ages.

I enjoyed the mysteries quite a lot. The investigation phases are simple but disturbing at the same time (I mean, you are staring at a gruesome murder scene for long minutes trying to figure out what’s out of place).

Since the setting is in the 1950s I imagine that the japanese version might have the additional challenge of some outdated terms and language. It has a lot of interesting bits of information about Japan in that era.

I definitely want to give it a try if my japanese improves and it feels like I can read it at a decent speed.

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Off topic

I heard the translated version of the second game sold really poorly so MangaGamer never picked up the third game but it seems like a different translation company picked up the series and is translating the new HD fully voiced versions so maybe they will bring the third game over eventually. But yeah, I have heard a lot of good things about the series, especially the last two games. I usually see them on a lot of “best VN” lists.

On a side note about KnS, its funny how that series took so long to finish (12 years) that they had to go back and recast characters from the first two games and remake the games because a lot of the voice actors were retired/unavailable by the time they got to the third game. Meanwhile they finished the entire Flowers series in just 4 years :sweat_smile:

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