Otome Game Review: Hatsukare☆Renai Debut Sengen

Ironically posting belatedly about a gakuen otoge while I am drowning at university!!

Hatsukare☆Renai Debut Sengen – a story of first loves. Our heroine Shinomiya Yui is already in her 2nd year of highschool and this year’s the year she scores her first boyfriend! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

There’s even a famous jinx that goes: if you kiss someone on Asumi Hill during the fireworks display at the July summer festival, your love will last forever.

Hatsukare follows Yui’s adventures through highschool and love. It’s a gakuen comedy type of game with no ~SUDDEN DARK HAPPENINGS~ so if you’re looking for a game that’s straight-up bright and fun, I would recommend this. There’s also a cast of really AMAZING SUB-CHARACTERS and no amount of HFKHFJSHFJS will ever describe how well they enhance the experience.

INTRODUCTION
It’s Yui’s first day of her 2nd year, and she’s greeted by the three main sub-characters:

– Her adorable corgi Kentarou!! Daichi calls him KENTAUROS because he’s a ‘fearsome beast of the underworld’ or something.

Shinomiya Daichi aka GAIA, her older brother who dresses like some European count, speaks like one, wears a cape to school, is the school council president, and gives everyone weird english nicknames. He lives in his own world and has a fanclub. Yui has the honor of being called a random english name by him every time.

Yamazaki Sakuya aka Saki, Yui’s best friend, classmate, and onee-chara VOICED BY TANIYAMA KISHOU i just oh my god Saki is brilliant and funny and fierce. He has a deep interest in hair, makeup, fashion and cute things.

The sub-characters are essentially my favorite part of Hatsukare, because they just make everything so interesting. They’re best seen in action interacting with the 6 main options of the game, alongside Yui (´◡`Y `◡͐´ Y `◡͐´ )✧

THE SYSTEM
This is my first game with a system, even…anyway, the game basically enables you to navigate Yui through various events over the months.

1) Choose who you want to go for on the map! Daichi will explain this to the player each time a new game is started. A heart indicates a main event, a pale heart is a sub-event, the one that looks like MSN Messenger is a group event, and a gold star represents a friendship event! Dokkyun talks are the smiley-faces, thank you Brenda for correcting me on this 😀 Only the main events are compulsory for a ‘good’ end, but the others help max affection points to get to the ‘best’ ending. NOTE: Green stars are for sub-character events only.

2) Locate the character you selected on the sub-map! Talk to them to initiate the event (main/sub/dokkyun talk).

3) What is a Dokkyun Talk? Basically, Yui locates the target of choice and talks to them, asking them questions/choosing correct ‘actions’ and getting a response. If you picked the good options, their affection will rise. If you picked bad ones, their affection falls. There are some options that trigger a neutral/safe response. You get about 5 turns to max out the guy’s heart meter, making them DOKKYUN—!! for you (⊙‿⊙✿) If you successfully Dokkyun Talk them, you get to see extra events and increase their affection with Yui, aiding in your quest for the ‘best’ end.

4) How do you get topics for a Dokkyun Talk? Daichi has a route just for this. Aim for all the green stars on the map when prompted, and talk to all the other zako characters around before talking to the sub-character (Daichi/Saki). These other characters (often passersby or classmates) will give Yui chat topics to use when chasing the other 6 guys. Technicalities aside, Daichi’s route is awesome – don’t miss it out!!

NOTE 1: Due to there being a lot of events per guy, I’ll have to skip over most of the smaller ones. I’ll also be skipping over the Friend Ends because they’re mostly just the guy of choice and Yui hanging as pals at the festival, nothing conclusive (though very cute). I apologize in advance m(_ _)m

NOTE 2: I won’t be talking about the epilogues, since they’re just fluffy extras! I’ll also skip Mizuki’s route because it’s been months and I don’t remember it anymore weeps(;▽;)

 

Shinomiya Daichi (CV: Koizumi Yutaka)
I didn’t know his seiyuu plays Sanetoshi from Penguindrum oh man…

Anyway Daichi is fantastic, possibly the most memorable of the lot. He comes off as eccentric, a total siscon and kinda chuunibyou, but he’s a responsible council president with a heart as big as his imagination. His route exists mostly for 1) collecting chat topics 2) providing insight to the side-characters 3) briefly introducing the love options…but that doesn’t mean it’s BAD, though it’s very brief!!

Also features Saki shedding his onee side for like 5mins and hustling with the aunties for some discount prices. Saki you are the actual best ok shhhh.

I’ve already talked about what kind of guy Daichi’s like, and it takes some time to find out WHY he’s this way. Yui walks in on him after school plucking the petals off a flower going on about AI and SECRETS and she’s just NANI IS MY ONII-CHAN IN LOVE OR…but no, he’s just consulting the flower about how he should present himself as council president. Apparently Daichi is troubled by his own talent. At this point I got some pretty weird Prince of Tennis flashbacks to Atobe but okok

Daichi loves Yui so much he’d rather ban her from school than subject her to all these ~dangerous men~ or something…if not, she should either wear a guy’s uniform or he’ll follow her 24/7 all year. Yui’s reaction to him most of the time is just ‘onii-chan pls’ (・-・ )

Anyway Daichi ended up such an eccentric because when he was young, the girl he liked rejected him because she was in love with some popular idol named LOUIS who was all gaijin-y and stuff. So Daichi went from being a quiet bookworm to…this guy right now after that past trauma wahaha. In any case he’s still a very caring older bro to Yui. When the festival rolls around, they’re both stuck in school from council work though Yui really wanted to see the fireworks. She hears the sounds of the fireworks starting, then…

…Daichi pulls back the curtains, and Yui realizes that they’re able to watch the fireworks from the council room. She asks Daichi how he knew she wanted to see the fireworks, and he replies that come on, how many years has he been her brother? Yui reflects that though he may have a bit of a troublesome personality, Daichi’s always been the first one at her side supporting her. She thanks him and Daichi says it’s not necessary to – he’s her brother after all. And no matter how old Yui will get, he’ll always be her brother.

The route ends here and ngl I cried at this scene, it was really sweet ・゚・(ノД`)・゚・。

 

Kariya Yuuji (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki)
Scary Year 3 senpai that scares off everyone who even touches him – that’s Yuuji’s first impression. Of course he isn’t like that at all, he’s actually a nice family guy who likes shojo manga, cooks, and enjoys eating sweet desserts! 俺の嫁 (*°∀°)=3 (*°∀°)=3 (*°∀°)=3

Yuuji’s life is basically destroyed the moment Kentarou runs away from Yui and Daichi during a walk, and Yuuji’s gotta perform some amazing bike gymnastics to not bang into the little hamburger. Kentarou – 1, Yuuji – 0 because Yuuji ends up crashing and falling off his bike, and Yui rushes to the scene and apologizes. Luckily he’s made of stronger stuff than that, and he’s glad Kentarou’s fine. (WHY IS THERE NO CG OF HIM AND KENTAROU? I WAS HOPING FOR ONE…)

TL;DR Yui gets closer to him despite his protests, because she believes Yuuji isn’t as thug as he seems.

Luckily Yui’s right – Yuuji’s a pretty nice guy. He’s just a loner by nature and happens to look terrifying. When he’s off school, Yuuji helps out at his grandma’s bento shop because she can’t manage on her own, and does the cooking around the house because his parents aren’t really good at it. As a result, he’s gotten super handy at it and gained an interest in desserts and the like as well…though he’s reluctant to share this fact. Yui caught him at the donut shop she part-times at once. He fiercely denied being there to buy them for himself and Yui was all “…You seem terribly familiar with the menu though (⊙‿⊙✿)”

…Look at him while working, even ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

He ALSO reads a shitton of shojo manga, and everytime he says their titles I just end up laughing because they’re so flowery lmfofjksd E.G. one of the sub-events: Shun’s the class otaku and notices that Yuuji’s bike is EXACTLY like the one in some retro shojo manga and gushes over it…then it turns out Yuuji knows which shojo manga Shun’s talking about. They just stand there talking about how damn cool it was while Yui looks on like “(゜▽゜ )???”

…Yuuji has a younger twin brother named Reiji who’s an ACTUAL gang leader (whom Yui met while Reiji was trying to buy groceries and failing because he didn’t know wtf the items were – he thinks eggs are FREE-SIZE bc he has no clue they can come in M/L sizes).

People mistake Yuuji for Reiji all the time on the streets, and Yuuji ends up having to fight them all off…hence the bad rumors about him getting into brawls. Yui got caught up in it once because she kept hanging out with Yuuji trying to get to know him/get him to stop skipping class, and Yuuji fought the thugs away from her. Some of the drama in his route’s about the conflict between whether Yui should keep hanging out with him or not, because she’ll inevitably come to danger.

Adding to that, though – Reiji takes an interest in Yui because she’s always hanging around his bro, and she’s gained a rep as Yuuji’s gal. Reiji and Yuuji are also hyper-competitive between themselves (fabulous brotherly rship you got there) so they fight over almost everything. Plus Yui is apparently Reiji’s ‘type’, so here we have the lil bro trying to NTR Yui from Yuuji by showing up at school one day and trying to kiss her. But this will not fly, because Yuuji slides in all WATER U GUYS DOING after Yui shoves Reiji away. But of course nothing happened ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Yuuji ends up liking Yui because she’s the only one who treats him like a normal dude. 99% of the student body is shitscared of him – like for the school camp trip, during the courage test…all Yuuji had to do was to holler at the ‘ghosts’ to STFU and the students immediately start running away from him and I just. Bro you just missed the whole point of the activity but ok.

Best End: Yuuji and Yui end up dating. They both go to the festival together where they’re ambushed by thugs thinking that Yuuji is Reiji. But the actual Reiji shows up with godly timing and is all YOU GOT THE WRONG MAN and runs away while the thugs chase him instead. Which leads Yuuji to conclude that Reiji was stalking him and Yui but ok LMFAO. Later, Yuuji gives Yui the keys to his bike as promise that she can ride with him whenever she wishes. (But dude she doesn’t know how to ride the bike, giving her your house keys would be better…right?)

Good End: Reiji and Yuuji duke it out like men over Yui…in an arm-wrestling match because Yui doesn’t want ‘em both to kill each other. Yuuji wins though, but him and Yui don’t get to go to the fes because his grandma’s shop got really busy and the both of them end up helping her out together. I kind of prefer the Good End because awh, family stuff is always super cute.

IMO Yuuji’s best moment was in his Friend End, where he’s all protective over Yui because they’re ダチ now (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

And he fought off guys creeping on her while holding their choco-bananas man it was the weirdest scene ever but why did it have a CG, IT LOOKS SO AWKWARD FSJKHFKJS

 

Natori Shunichirou/Shun (CV: Suzumura Kenichi)
HE’S AN OTAKU GAMER. Shun lives and breathes games and anime, and will also never stop making references to existing titles, which is part why I enjoyed his route lots (there was a Jojo reference omg). He speaks in gamespeak and does shit like answer test papers like this:

Q: List the properties of ether
A: It restores your MP

His current obsessions are the Dunzam Mobile Mail mecha anime series (“IT’S NOT A ROBOT, IT’S MOBILE MAIL!” – Shun), Dragon Fantasy RPG, and the fighting game Ultimate Brave – which has a tournament upcoming. Shun wants to conquer the male-female pair category, but has no girl gamer friends to drag in.

Along comes classmate Yui, who ends up having to play Ultimate Brave against Shun one day and OHKOs him by button-mashing out some SUPER LEGENDARY ATTACK. This shocks everyone, because Shun’s like the King of Games. Yui gets dragged into Shun’s world of anime and gaming because she agrees to help him out. Like a shonen manga, now she’s got ~special training~ to do at his house!! (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=)

When Yui goes over, she’s shocked to find that Shun’s some rich kid but his parents are often away. Since young, he was practically raised on games and anime because he had too much free time alone at home. Shun also can’t cook (but he absorbs almost every life skill from games so why not Cooking Mama) so he doesn’t eat breakfast, grabs bread for lunch, and eats instant/microwave dinners. For fibre, he…drinks veggie juice. Which is a pretty sad lifestyle, and I can see why Yui was super worried for him…

So Yui decides to cook for Shun! She makes bentos for him and even character bentos oh my god. Shun, I envy you /jiiii

Because Yui’s still a gaming noob, Shun lends her his qsq (LOL) and they spend tons of time together training – after school at the arcade, over at his place, etc. They get closer and start liking each other, but then the tournament rolls around and Yui OHKOs their opponent in the finals with her button-mashing again. They win but the atmosphere’s kind of dimmed…they realize that they won’t have a good excuse to spend time together anymore. (You guys are still friends right omfhjks please come on)

So life gets awkward until Shun and Yui confront each other during the school camp trip about this, and everything is Super Serious until THERE’S A BUG ON YUI’S BACK and the atmosphere goes straight to hell. I love how all it takes is one freaking mushi to break the ice between them LMFAO SILLY PEOPLE. They decide not to think about this ‘problem’ too much, and to do things at a pace more suited for themselves.

Best End: Shun confesses to Yui that he Maji Loves her 2000% and they end up dating. He liked her because he’s never had a female friend who shared his interests, let alone spend so much time with together one-on-one, because Shun’s always alone at home and used to group interactions with his otaku/gamer pals. He’s also a little scared Yui wouldn’t like him because of his game/anime otaku thing and apologizes for dragging her into a weird world, but Yui is just LMFAO DON’T WORRY about it. However Shun’s friends think all riajuus should explode and even start chasing down Shun+Yui during a date (Shun your friends are all crazy). The festival happens, Happy End.

Good End: Saki confesses to Yui in front of Shun, which gets Shun all !!! and he tells Yui that he’s Serious about her and it is very intense until they hear Saki going “JUST KISS HER ALREADY GDI”. Turns out Saki only did all that because he thought they were too my-pace and not ~romantic~ enough. They decide not to go to the festival because Shun got tickets to a once-in-a-lifetime concert (an orchestra playing anime OST tracks!!), and Yui wouldn’t want such a valuable chance to slip them by. After the concert they stroll back home, deciding it’s best to take their romance the simple and slow way, at their own pace.

 

Asahina Kakeru (CV: Shimono Hiro)

Yui’s next-door neighbor, and unfortunate brozoned childhood friend. Kakeru’s a fairly normal bloke who’s in the soccer club, and only recently managed to rejoin the regulars after a pretty bad leg injury last year. There’s not much to say besides Kakeru’s charm point is being normal because he’s painfully so…but that actually makes his deep friendship and history with Yui even more apparent, because it really feels like they’re always gonna be there for each other no matter what. (=´∀`)人(´∀‘=)

On Kakeru’s route, the main issues are that he’s been feeling off his game for awhile, and harbors a lot of frustration towards his lack of progress after his injury. Yui offers to help him out after noticing something off after Kakeru misses a chance during a practice match, and they go for 5AM runs together even though Yui struggles to wake up so early. True friendship is when someone is willing to get up that early for you OK.

In school, Yui accidentally walks in to one of his outbursts by the water taps and says she’s worried about him because they’re friends – but Kakeru’s like WE AIN’T FRIENDS. Which makes things super awkward because Kakeru likes her but Yui doesn’t get it, and it ends up damaging their relationship.

He ends up blubbering about it to her after a Talk on the park swings they used to play on as kids. He’s always liked Yui since they were kids, but he hasn’t yet sorted out his feelings and doesn’t have the resolve to properly confess to her. Until then, he clarifies that it’s totally cool if they can stay as they are…‘cause they’re still childhood friends before all else. Kakeru also flails a little at how uncool this semi-confession of his is, which is really funny awww (∩´v`∩)

Kakeru only tells Yui about his sports-related troubles during the school camp trip at night. His leg’s healed but when he plays he feels like there’s this fear of hurting himself again that prevents him from playing at full-power. He’s always trying to match up to how he was before he got injured. It was Yui’s constant support that got him to remember the most important thing’s to give it all he’s got, and to enjoy the game instead of worrying!

THIS IS SUCH A SPORTS MANGA LINE BUT YES!!! GOOD JOB KAKERU

Best End: There’s a match later on, and Kakeru asks Yui to watch him play and to meet him on the school rooftop after. Kakeru wins after genuinely enjoying himself and all that (SPORTS MANGA FLAG) and confesses to Yui. They end up going out hurr hurr and do cute shit like eat donuts together like big sillies. Kakeru gifts Yui a pair of earrings at the festival, which he had a super hard time choosing for her (they went shopping together in an earlier event hehe).

Good End: Kakeru doesn’t win the match but Yui confesses to him on the roof instead. They end up going out! Later, Kakeru’s soccer club had something on last-minute and they don’t get to go to the festival. They instead spend their time eating takoyaki on Yui’s veranda and watching the fireworks from there, just like old times when they used to climb over to each other’s place. ERHGJKD I really like all the Good Ends they’re so homely. (இдஇ`。)

His Friend End is pretty sweet as well…they head to the festival together and sit down to chat, and Yui reaffirms their friendship and that whatever happens, Kakeru’s always gonna be there for her awhgjfkg ;_; OSANANAJIMMIES

I should also mention how Kentarou and Kakeru have this weird rivalry going on because Kentarou is like GRRR KAKERU everytime he gets close to Yui LOL. Kakeru actually baked cookies for Kentarou because he wanted to get along with him awwwhh. But Kentarou bit Kakeru when Yui praised him lmfaofhjk only Saki gets why Kentarou is so angry at Kakeru.

 

Mochizuki Kazuma (CV: Kaji Yuuki)

Super-popular model for a men’s fashion magazine ~*MEN’S FLAPPER*~ (???) and Yui’s upperclassman. He’s nicknamed “Mocchi”. Unfortunately for him Yui ain’t got a clue who he is, and she’s not going to let his popularity get to her either…which is exactly what interests him, because usually girls scream and throw themselves at him. They first meet like this – he’s running from his fanclub to class, and jumps over a fence to where Yui and Saki are. While Yui’s all “who’s that??”, Saki recognizes Mochizuki and is surprised bc Yui lives under a rock when it comes to the latest fashion trends.

Yui and Mochizuki bump into each other and Yui gets to see him at work by chance – he reveals that he’s pretty carefree about his modelling career, just doing the job without any real passion or hard work. This doesn’t sit right with Yui, who believes that working hard isn’t a waste at all, and will reap results in time. Yui and him strike up a challenge – she’ll plant some sunflower seeds that Daichi gave to her, as proof that hard work pays off. If they don’t bloom after all her care, then Mochizuki would have won the ‘bet’. He ends up helping her heave the flowerpots around anyway, because Yui was struggling at first pffff

Later down the months, Saki drags Yui out to de-stress with him at the batting centre. They bump into Mochizuki on their way there, and he agrees to go along with them (more like got dragged along, and also bonus because ~Yui’s going~). Yui’s surprised that he’s unexpectedly good at this, though he has to run off halfway because of work. The man at the counter reveals a photograph of Mochizuki when he was younger – in middle school he was a damn good baseball player, but quit abruptly.

BUT ALAS Yui’s sunflowers are in trouble…there’s construction going on and they have to build over the garden where Yui planted her sunflowers. She can’t do anything despite not wanting to lose to Mochizuki, and eventually dejectedly admits that he was right, her hard work was indeed wasted (´;ω;`)

Later at the camping trip, Yui finds out the truth behind his quitting baseball. She meets Mochizuki while hunting for wood from the forest to turn into furniture pieces (I think?), and he talks about how his old team was prepping for one final match during their last year. But the school changed principals, and the new principal wanted to take the school in a totally new direction…which led to all the sports clubs being annulled. IDK WHAT NEW DIRECTION THIS IS LMFAO WATER U THINKING, PRINCIPAL!?

Mochizuki and his team didn’t even get to play their final match, and that one move destroyed all their hard work because it happened JUST before the match. After that he was scouted to be a model, and not having anything to do, he agreed. That’s why he doesn’t believe in hard work anymore, if something he does so carelessly can reap more results than baseball, which he tried so hard for.

After the camp, Mochizuki excitedly calls Yui out to go to school even though it’s a holiday – he has something she absolutely MUST see. He drags her into school and to the construction site even though they’re not supposed to be there – turns out Yui’s sunflowers did bloom!

Construction around that area was slower than others, so her sunflowers were given enough time to bloom. Mochizuki wanted to check in on them because he’d been hoping that Yui would prove him wrong in the end – watching her try so hard has moved him to start working hard on his modeling career himself.

Best End: He confesses to Yui and they start going out. They move the sunflowers to a new location away from construction…which tbh they should have done much earlier but okok. There’s a lot of ichaicha scenes because Mochizuki’s the most touchy-feely of the love interests, and he really likes kissing Yui and teasing her. By the end, they kiss on Asumi Hill during the festival.

Good End: The flowerpots were destroyed instead of blooming (iirc), but Yui doesn’t give up. Instead, she’s determined to plan new flowers, because one can always restart from zero if the first attempt doesn’t work out. She admits to liking Mochizuki and asks him out, then they end up dating. During the festival they’re chased by his fangirls and they run all the way out of the festival venue…by the time they think they’re in the clear, the fireworks have already started. But they buy those mini fireworks from a nearby store anyway and play with them hehehe, unexpectedly cute.

 

Kirishima Aoto (CV: Kimura Ryohei)

Year 1 underclassman who’s obsessed over being MANLY!! Yui thinks he tries a bit too hard, despite being really capable…he was the new student representative during the opening ceremony, and he even joined the student council (Daichi’s nickname for him is ~Lancelot~).

He’s a pretty responsible guy who looks out for Yui, always saying IT’S A MAN’S DUTY ETC ETC…like deflecting a stray ball from one of the sports clubs that nearly bonks her. Yui follows after him to make sure he’s alright/thank him, but turns out Aoto’s hiding away somewhere screaming about how much it hurts LMFAO. Yui’s all “….” and leaves him alone to protect his delicate manliness /single tear

Aoto also HATES being called cute, and takes every opportunity to yell at people not to do so. Saki doesn’t give a shit though. On the day of the school sports fes, Saki’s club needs a model for the cheerleader outfit they’re making, and Aoto got dragged in to model for them against his will lmfaofhjdkds he was so traumatized after that (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Aoto himself also was training super hard despite his short stature, because he was supposed to play basketball for his class…Yui witnessed his training, and thinks he’s pretty incredible. He didn’t manage to win against more seasoned players, but still!!

Daichi has MISSIONS for Aoto and Yui, because he came down with a bad flu and can’t conduct the welcome ceremony for this year’s foreign exchange students…which is happening later on the exact same day. The both of them have to handle it by themselves, AND put up a performance themed after the Japanese cultural identity. Yui has no clue what to do, but Aoto says he’ll handle it…….and puts up a samurai show LMFAO, which was apparently a hit.

One day, Yui catches Aoto together with 3 other girls she doesn’t recognize and thinks he’s pretty popular, huh…she meets him with the girls later during her part-time job. Turns out they’re his older sisters, and they push him around all the time LOL. Because of his babyface/height, all this gave him a pretty big complex about becoming MANLY so he wouldn’t be pushed around anymore. He picked a highschool where no one knew him, in order to leave his old self behind and build up his new image, but Yui’s found out so he’s all NOOOOOO about it.

Yui obviously has the sense to tell him he’s being a boob about it, she’s been relying on him a lot more recently too. (´・ω・`)

This becomes really apparent when during the camp trip. Yui fell down a hill and Aoto slid after her, but neither of them know how to get back to where they started, so they end up lost. Aoto climbs up a tree by nightfall to try and get reception to send a message for help, but ends up falling down and hitting his head. There’s blood as he passes out with some manly famous last words, and Yui panics…but luckily Daichi received their message and rushes in to saves the day, carting them both back to the cabins. Turns out Aoto isn’t dead LMFAO he just got conked out, it wasn’t anything too serious, ruining his manly ‘death’ scene.

This dangerous experience helped him realize his feelings for Yui, so Aoto calls her out after the camp to confess…in the middle of a busy street LOL. Yui’s like !?!?! because all of a sudden they have a peanut gallery cheering them on…and she agrees to go out with Aoto, which makes them cheer harder LMFAO

Best End: Both of them buy matching pink/green straps for each other (Aoto uses the pink one because Yui wants him to look at it and think of her LOL). But one day in school Yui chances upon yankees destroying school property and Aoto tries to back her up, but ends up getting roughed up by the yankees instead. Luckily Yuuji was passing by and stepped in to stop the fight, but Yui lost the strap Aoto got for her in the chaos. Aoto refuses to let Yui dirty her hands and instead wades about in the school pond repeatedly trying to find it…even if it makes him look uncool in the eyes of others, as Yui overhears some girls talking trash about Aoto’s actions.

Yui’s very conflicted about this but lets Aoto search on anyway, because she doesn’t want to disrespect his feelings. On the day of the festival, Aoto presents to Yui that same strap – he’s managed to find it after all awwwhhwhw.

Good End: Since Aoto and Yui are both in the student council, they get bogged down by work on the day of the festival. They’re not able to make it to the festival venue on time, but decide that AH WELL WE CAN ALWAYS JUST WATCH THE FIREWORKS FROM HERE!! But since they can’t see them from inside the council room, they head up to the rooftop and watch the fireworks from there.

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS

ひゅう

It’s technically been close to half a year since I last wrote up the first draft of this post, but I still remember my first impressions very clearly. I’m still fairly new to otome games and this was my first game with a system, but I think it went well, it’s quite easy to understand once you get used to it! (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑

The art in Hatsukare is done by the amazing Yukihiro Utako, who draws for stuff I really like (Makai Ouji!). Her style in Hatsukare is so bright, and all the CGs are really well done for the most part. The soundtrack isn’t exactly memorable, but I’d say it fits the carefree atmosphere of the game. There’s not really any of that dark and edgy stuff, which is…really refreshing IMO, to see a game that’s more or less cheerful from start to finish.

The characters are definitely Hatsukare’s strongest point. They’re all different and appealing in their own ways, and a lot of them are funny about…90% of the time? I remember I took over 1000 screenshots of their fooling around LMFAO, they do so much dumb shit. Another good part is that they’re all characters that can have great interactions amongst each other, not necessarily needing Yui to facilitate their interaction. Yui herself is hilarious and such a down-to-earth girl, she’s lovely.

TL;DR HATSUKARE IS REALLY FUN, HAS ACTUAL QUALITY, 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND. 

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3 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Hatsukare☆Renai Debut Sengen

  1. Brenda says:

    Aww, when I found your review, I was so happy to see that there was someone else playing hatasukare, but I was sad to see that you didn’t post Mizuki-sensei’s route! I can understand that you’ve forgotten it, but I was just wondering if you might know what I’m doing wrong. I keep trying to enter a love route with one of the guys, but just when I think something’s going to happen, their status changes from a heart to a star! A star means a friend route basically doesn’t it? I was confused cause you posted that a gold star represented a dokkyun talk, which I thought was symbolized with a blushing smiley face.

    • Nerrin says:

      I really enjoyed my run of Hatsukare, it was such a cute game ;_; I wish I could remember Mizuki’s route too, but alas my memory did not kickstart itself even after I went through my old screencaps T__T Also thank you for the correction – I went to doublecheck the system from the site, and a Dokkyun Talk is indeed the smiling face! I must have gotten the two mixed up, silly of me ;;

      Anyway – as long as you aim for all the hearts (both red and pale) for your guy of choice, and his dokkyun talk smiley faces, you should be able to enter his route by June! For further reference, here’s the system page on the site: http://www.cs.furyu.jp/hatsukare/system/

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