Do not read this if you are under 18.
Some of you might wonder why I chose to review 2 Visual Novels at once. Answering that is simple. Both games display the same main couple and since “Aishisa no Photograph” is the continuation of “Watashi no Ouji-sama”, I think it’s more convenient to just review them together.
Status: Both Translated
Genre: Eroge, Yuri, Romance, Incest
Kaede Kitajima: Kaede is a very shy and introverted girl trying her best to not stand out from everyone else. Unfortunately she was (again) elected to become the class representative and in addition to that, her relationship with Sara makes her stand out even more.
Sara Kitajima: Over the years Sara has become a quite popular teen model who is often busy with work. Despite that Sara became a cheerful and very straightforward girl that always speaks her mind and wears her heart on her sleeve.
Other (minor) characters take part in the story as well, but they are mostly so unimportant to the plot, that they are just named “Girl A/B/C”. Other than that, we have some guest appearances of characters from the other Sono Hanabira games as well.
Oh and I totally forgot to mention, Sara and Kaede are cousins.
Do I care that they are related? Nope.
I think it’s no big deal, but then again, as a yuri fan it wouldn’t even bother me if they were sisters.
|Related or not, they’re still cute~|
Watashi no Ouji-sama tells the story of Kaede’s and Sara’s reunion after the two of them were separated when they were still little. While Kaede almost forgot about the time they spend together as children, Sara developed some strong feelings for her cousin that still remain, even years after their seperation. And even though she had to move, she never forgot about “her Prince”, as she calls Kaede and returned to Japan, just so the two of them could be reunited.
But it seems they both have changed quite a bit. Back then, Sara was an insecure child and a crybaby who was often bullied, while Kaede always defended her and chased away anyone that might hurt her cousin. Now their roles seem to have changed. While Sara became a famous teen model, Kaede turned into a pretty shy girl. But even though they might have changed quite a bit from back then, they somehow still remain the same.
Aishisa no Photograph continues just where the first game left off. The two of them live together and now share a quite loving (and longing) relationship with one another. We mainly get to see how their relationship further develops, but this time with some small obstacles lying in their path.
So as you can see, the plot is pretty light, there’s not much drama and I think that’s perfectly fine for a series like this. What we get is a cute romance with some nice comedy elements and on top of that a lot of enjoyable sex scenes.
Sound and Voice Acting: 7/10
There’s not much I can say about the music either. The tracks are the same as in every other SonoHana game and so far I enjoyed them. The voice acting on the other hand is a factor of high importance to me. If the voices don’t fit the characters, the whole game will be spoiled. Fortunately Sono Hanabira comes with some very enjoyable voice acting. I especially liked Kaede’s voice. It just fits her perfectly. Same goes for Sara, but in her case I think it’s noticeable that the voice actress actually had to disguise her voice a little. I usually don’t notice something like that and it didn’t really bother me either.
It’s not like I’ve played a lot of other Visual Novels, so I can’t really compare its art to many others. But here’s what I can say about it. The characters look stunningly beautiful, rich in detail, colorful and in general very appealing to the eye. Same goes for the background. We can definitely see that they put a lot of work in creating these beautiful pictures and that’s one of the many reasons why these games are so very enjoyable.
|Click to enlarge|
It’s a fact that Sono Hanabira never disappointes me when it comes to the display of sex and we get to see quite a lot of those scenes in each game. I’ve already said that a few times before, but let me repeat myself once more. Sono Hanabira delivers pure yuri, no males, no sex toys, just two girl making love with one another.
But let me still warn you, while all the scenes are quite lovely, especially their first time comes off a little rape-ish I would say. Not in a way of violently forcing someone to have sex with you, rather like pushing someone down by surprise and taking advantage of the situation. Ah well it’s not like Kaede really tried to make Sara stop, so I guess that’s ok.
Other than that it’s worth mentioning that these two are the only couple that manages to somehow reverse their positions. Usually we have one character that always initiates intimacy and one that only rarely takes the upper hand. At first, Sara is the one bluntly throwing her feelings and desires at Kaede, but their roles change throughout the game, and they kind of balance each other out, which is quite nice for a change.
|Some cosplay action~|
Just like all the other Sono Hanabira games, these 2 as well, provide you with around 2-5 hours of playtime. You can’t really influence the outcome of the games even though you get around 3 choices to make. But no matter what you choose, the ending will eventually be the same. As you can see this is pretty simple but I don’t mind that since it goes well with the story, that is pretty light to begin with.
Total Enjoyment: 8/10
These two games are definitely not my favorite Sono Hanabira titles. Anata to Koibtito Tsunagi and Tenshi no Hanabira Zome are for example better in many ways. However, only because I liked some others better doesn’t mean I disliked these two. In fact, I loved them, just like all the other Sono Hanabira games. The only thing that probably reduced my enjoyment a little is yet again the pace of the story. Watashi no Ouji-sama definitely wasted no time in (physically) pairing Sara and Kaede up, which might not be a problem for most of you, but I guess I’d prefer it a little slower.
All in all I would say this is a must play for all Sono Hanabira fans and in general for every yuri fan who is not bothered by the display of (quite explicit) sex between cousins.
My only limitation in regards to incest (as you may have already read during one of your many stalking adventures to my castle), is between mother and daughter.
Anyway, Kaede and Sara continue being the most balanced couple in the series. I have yet to play Hanabira 11 or 12 but I can easily tell that Hom-, I mean Miya, wears the pants in her relationship with Mad- “cough”Risa”cough”.
Lastly, not only is Sara the cutest girl in the series (Screw you Runa), she also has the best butt…a fact I am shamefully obsessed with reiterating.
Mother and daugther… I guess that's also going a little too far for me.
Oh and since I've already played Hanabira 11 a little, I can tell you that you're absolutely right, Homuhomu is wearing the pants in their relationship and I have a feeling that this won't change. But I really love how the two of them interact with each other so I'm actually hoping that their roles won't change.
And you're all wrong, the cutest is Shizuku~
These are the two games i enjoyed the most.
Kaede is by far my favorite character in the series. I like how she doesn't instantly fall in love like some of the others couples. She questions her feelings but then realized how she always cared about Sara.
I really like when “love” doesn't come out of nowhere or for superficial reasons, this is something good that also happens in third game, this just happens really early, but after a flashback of how they met and being told that they were classmates for a month with Mai taking care over Reo. On the other hand in the first game i felt it was really superficial it was all because “she is cute” or “she is like an angel”, nanami and yuuna barely knew each other.
Also as you said it's really nice to see Sara and Kaede reversing their positions.
Somehow i ended up writing more than i thought i would, anyway nice review.
You're right, the first game didn't go very deep when it comes to their get-together. It's as you said, they barely knew each other and fell in love for superficial reasons.
I'm happy this changed in the 2nd game and even though sexual actions happend pretty early, mentally acceptiong Sara and really seeing her as her girlfriend took Kaede quite some time.
I have a feeling that we will both very much enjoy the 11th game when the translation is done.
Shizuku is part of the sexiest couple in the series. She's too hot to be cute. I do not squee when I see her and Eris in action (Both casually and making love), I get a raging otaku boner.
I at least have an idea of how Homura's brain works thanks to the Risa-Miya Theater translations and it's clear Madoka's sort of a masochist.
Shizuku is hot, that's true, but don't you agree that she has one of the cutest personalities one could have?
Her countless attempts to get herself to open up to Eris, writing a gigantic love letter because she's too nervous to confess and running away from her crush because she's too shy to talk to her.
Aren't all of these things super cute?
I hope so, but it's gonna take a while :(. We still need to wait for 9 and 10 to be translated. And the worst part is that i don't care about 9.
It seems many people don't care for the 9th one and to be honest, I'd rather have 10 and 11 as well.
And unfortunately you are right, it will take some time…
Well, she's a better tsundere than Reo, no doubt about that. Ah yes, the love letter that as long as a presidential speech. Priceless. Oh, the chase scene where Eris showed more of her vampire powers. Another epic moment.
You are right about Shizuku being cute. However, Sara is cuter.