Visual Novel Review: A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986

SPOILER WARNING!
a summer's end hong kong 1986
Title: A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986
Year: 2020
Publisher/Developer: Oracle & Bone
Genre: Retro, Romance, Yuri

Long time no see, huh? But who would have thought that I’d just have to come back to review this gem of a game. Well, while I’m quite literally on the brink of bursting with all I have to say about this visual novel, I will try to compose myself as much as possible and start out the regular way, so here we go.

A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986 is a visual novel set in the mentioned year and in the mentioned city. Big surprise, I know.

The story follows young woman Michelle, who, after her father’s death, is living alone with her mother and working as an assistant in an esteemed company. One day, as a result of a broken heel, she meets Sam, daughter of the cobbler she’s visiting, and spends some time with her while waiting for her shoe to get fixed.

michelle sam a summer's end hong kong 1986
Michelle (left), Sam (right)

Charmed by Sam’s open and outgoing personality, Michelle (who is quite the opposite) can’t help wanting to spend more time with Sam, and she tries to find her again the next day. Not knowing that this innocent interest would soon turn into more, Michelle is thrown into a rollercoaster ride of emotions, burdened to make some difficult decisions during the ride.

This story takes place in a time before I was even born but that I nevertheless have a big interest in. So while it was interesting to see how this visual novel presented this time period to us (and while, of course, missing some references to movies or music here and there), what struck me the most is how the modern and traditional way of life and thinking was portrayed, and of course, what this meant for the LGBTQ community.

While Sam is independent, open, and willing to take risks, Michelle is, in a way, held back by her upbringing and trying to live up to her mother’s more traditional goals that have been set for her. This basically means dedicating her life to studying, getting a high paying job, and eventually marrying a wealthy man, all while being monitored by her mother, leaving Michelle with little to no personal life. It’s an interesting mix, and one that’s set up for some drama.

In addition to the impeccable character choices, we also get visual glimpses of 1986’s Hong Kong, and I gotta say, I love this retro style. Everything about the neon lights at nighttime, their fashion, and of course, this fabulous retro soundtrack, made this an absolutely immersive experience and such a great setting for a yuri story.

The art and sound of this game in general stood out to me above all. You often see me drool over good art and music, but it’s hard to describe just how perfect these two elements complimented this story and how very much I was literally struck when one of the first event CG’s came up.

a summers end adult yuri visual novel

Not gonna lie, this left me with my mouth hanging open for the sheer beauty of it. Hands down, the artist, Tida K. (also known as lilac), did a perfect job with every last one of those pictures~

While the art might have been my personal highlight of this game, we can’t forget about story and writing itself, and oh boy, what a delight this was as well. The story moves on at a steady pace, alternating between the inner thoughts of Michelle (from whose point of view we usually see the story unfold), descriptions of the surroundings, and the dialogue between the characters. Of course, what I enjoyed the most is whenever Michelle and Sam spent time together, seeing their sometimes a little awkward but mostly sweet and funny, interactions. Those interactions mostly felt natural, and even if I’m not an expert on the topic, it made sense for the time this is supposed to take place in.

a summer's end yuri visual novel
Another one of my favorites~

The one thing I do think could have been improved, however, is the length of the game.

I think that while the story left off at a good point, where we can guess that things will probably go into a positive direction for all of them, I still think that there simply could have been more. Seeing Michelle’s mother possibly coming to terms with her daughter’s relationship, or seeing Sam introduce Michelle as her girlfriend to her father or Cecilia would have been exciting as well. To add a bit more drama, Joey could have spotted Sam and Michelle kissing in front of the restaurant after their reunion. I think there are a lot of possibilities to get some more story in without dragging it out for too long. And, of course, to add some more sex scenes, because, well, do I need a reason for that? But in the end, I guess I just wish for more of what I like, and to say the least, I did like it a whole lot, and I will definitely replay this game at some point.

All in all, I’m still more than just happy with this game and simply so excited to see it receive so much positive feedback online. It really deserves it. It’s hard not to see just how much work went into creating this game, and it’s even harder to find reasons to dislike it, with such a great story, such beautiful fitting art, and such an awesome retro soundtrack. It just all makes for the perfect experience, and that is something I think we all need during these times right now.

So to all of you who haven’t played this game yet, I would suggest you put down your Animal Crossing for a bit and indulge yourself in some other game, and this one should be it. And no, I was not paid to say this. 😛


Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Art: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Yuri: 10/10
Total Enjoyment: 9/10

You can find the adult patch here. (I highly recommend playing it with all the content.)


I hope you’re all doing well during these uncertain times. Please stay healthy, and try to make the best out of it~


15 thoughts on “Visual Novel Review: A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986

  1. A wild Lena appears! 😛 Good to see another review from you, and a visual novel too! I heard about this but your glowing review might have me ready to go ahead and just buy this already! 😀 Since you played this yuri visual novel you should also check out the Flowers games and the Nurse Love games on Steam. They are so good too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh God Chimeko, go on and do it already, you won’t regret it, it’s a promise!! 😛
      Also I actually own both Flowers and Nurse Love Addiction. For Flowers I think I stopped playing after the game told me the age of the characters… Weird because I LOVE the look of this absolutely gorgeous VN. For Nurse Love Addiction I think I will have to start over again but it’s on top of my list, right after Animal Crossing 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You should for sure replay both series! they are so good! I just got through Nurse Love Syndrome recently. Poured over 65 hours into the game but man was it worth it! 😛 Nurse Love Addiction is also really good! I also recently bought the Yumeutsutsu. Yeah they are expensive as hell for visual novels but a yuri fan’s gotta do what a yuri fan’s gotta do. 😀 Trust me when I say playing through the Flowers series is 100% worth it. Some of the best yuri visual novels I have ever played!

        Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t really see it as a problem since it’s fictional. This is also not a hentai visual novel if that is what you are worried about. As long as it is drawn fictional characters I don’t let it be a problem for me. I just sit back and enjoy the yuri! 😀

            Like

  2. it’s good to see you back again lena!!! also great review, i have heard about this VN but i haven’t gotten the chance to try it out myself, definitely need to get to it eventually especially cause i love the art so much, and from what i can tell from your review it is definitely gonna be a good yuri VN adventure!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh wow, that was a really fun one to play, thanks for recommending that! 😀
    It was a real visual treat for the eyes and ears, and boy did that fashion make me flashback to the 80’s big time!
    That Sam though, the way she pulled both Michelle and the story along was just wonderful. I kept wondering if she was going to turn out to be some kind of player, but turned out had a heart of gold. 🙂
    While Michelle was often so stiff with the way she thought and talked, it was nice to see how relaxed and personable she would become when interacting with Sam. They made a really great couple in that they were very different but complemented each other really well.
    Not to mention it was really well grounded with each having their issues with family to deal with.
    Plus the steamy parts were plenty steamy! 😛

    It was also quite nostalgic for me. I lived in Hong Kong in the late 70’s as a kid. I remember riding the Star Ferry to Kowloon, having fun at Ocean Park, eating at some hole in the wall with tables in the streets, and trips to the New Territories. It was the first big city for me, and I remember the awe I felt walking amongst so many large modern buildings. Not to mention my first introduction to anime! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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