Fujimiya Haruma was recently hospitalized after being involved in an incident. His memories are still a mess because of post traumatic stress and it has been a while since his classes have started, leaving him with no friends at school. Nothing but strange things are happening around him. People he has never seen before seem to act overly friendly with him for no clear reason and it looks like even his family is hiding something from him.
Ayasaki Nanoka has recently been transferred to Haruma’s class and because of her short stature, she didn’t attract much attention, leaving her lonely in school. By helping her reestablishing the gardening club, Haruma finds out this fake-loli lives a harsh life suffering alone with no money, home, parents, relatives or friends to help when she is heavily bullied at her part-time job. He cannot stand seeing Nanoka living like that and invites her to live with him. She initially refuses (like most heroines would in this situation), but in a very strong dramatic scene, she loses her composure and runs crying after the protagonist, begging for Haruma’s help, which triggers many other events in the game.Sakakino Konomi is Haruma’s childhood friend who lives next door. She seems to be obsessed for the boy, but says she has no intentions to become his lover. Her family is really close to Haruma’s and they own a flower shop together. She is always working there and was pretty disappointed to know Haruma would be too busy with his new activities at the gardening club to help her with work. The last straw was when Harum brought Nanoka to live with them. Curiously, she doesn’t feel like the short lady is a stranger, which is why she accepts her pretty quickly.Obara Karin comes from nowhere together with her friend Yanagida Yuuki. The two claim to be from the unofficial “volunteer club” and offers to help Haruma become more familiar with school. This feels just too nice and convenient for the confused boy.Eventually, Karin asks Haruma to act like an old friend of her hospitalized kid-sister Obara Anzu. Little did he know he would be pretending to be himself…Sakuragi Amane is another one of Haruma’s weird classmates. She is a quiet girl with no friends, until she suddenly becomes attached to Haruma, and consequently, to Nanoka as well. She naturally joins the gardening club, not only to stay close to her new friends, but also because she love plants.So much, in fact, that she seems to be able to speak with them. Even she herself can’t find a clear explanation for this, but it seems this could have some connection with the mysterious girl who is seen together with Nanoka from time to time, selling flowers at the streets.She looks just like Amane and her name is Shigure, which uses the kanji for “rain”. Coincidently, Amane also has this same kanji in her given name, since her family has the tradition to include this kanji in the first-name of all their children.
Routes & Themes
Surprisingly enough, this is not a charage! The story is nothing original or unpredictable, but clichés are not necessarily a bad thing and this game uses them correctly. The story is well-presented, with a nice pacing for the main events. All the routes share the theme of gardening and flowers, and all stories are connected, each one giving you even more hints and teasing future scenes and routes, which makes interesting to follow through the whole story to uncover the plot’s mysteries little by little.When choosing which routes to play, I recommend starting with Karin, following with Amane, finishing with Nanoka and getting Konomi as an “extra”. Actually, Karin’s route isn’t really important for the main plot and I would normally only recommend it for those who love dumb-energetic girls with cute imoutos, but her route needs to be completed in order to unlock Konomi’s route. You will want to watch this childhood friend route if you became attached to the characters and want to watch more of their antics. However, by the time you unlock this final route, all the secrets in the plot have already been revealed during Nanoka’s route, which is the “true route”, although her route is available from the very beginning.In other words, if you couldn’t care less for Konomi or Karin, Amane and Nanoka’s endings are more than enough to unveil all the main plot. Nevertheless, all routes are well-written and interesting in their own ways.A well-established setting with charismatic characters helps making any game into a pleasing experience, and this is certainly the reason why this game is much superior than other Parasol titles. However, while all the heroines are likable, there’s one sub-character who really pisses me off: Sakakino Jun.He is Konomi’s older brother who is unbeatable and perfect at everything he does (maybe this is why Haruma doesn’t like girls who can do all sorts of things). He is REALLY found of Haruma, to the point he gets in the way of every heroine trying to become closer to the protagonist, which is quite annoying. “How annoying, exactly?” Let’s say that the first thing he says when seeing the just-born daughter of the protagonist with one of the heroines is: “She looks like a ugly monkey! I think I can send her photo to my friends and fool them into thinking she is actually a monkey”. WHAT AN ASSHOLE!!Talking about sub-characters, it pains me to see one of my favorite galge seiyuus Toono Soyogi voicing Hasumi Reona, because she is a good character who has an interesting story with her own themes. It’s such a pity to see her being rejected during every route. At least they don’t treat her feelings like a joke or like they never existed in the first place…
Aside from Nanoka, all character-designs are EXTREMELY generic. There’s nothing about their visuals that makes them unique and you could easily mistake any of them with billions of other characters from animes, mangas and games. The art-style used by Chikotamu, Sakura Hanpen and Sakana (?) doesn’t help any bit, since it’s a very simple style that is easy to copy and it’s used by many other artists.Still, the drawings are simplistic but not bad, unless this is about the SDCGs. Sorry Izumi Yuhina, but your SDs are so awful that I believe I could do better without much effort…and I am a complete amateur!
The soundtrack is mediocre, which doesn’t mean it is bad! It’s just forgettable. You would complete the whole game without remembering a single song, because most tracks use digital sounds and sound a lot like other Galge soundtracks. “Average” would be a better words to classify this. At least, there isn’t any stupid song about cats in the mix…
The usual: The female seiyuus do a nice job, specially Kadowaki Mai, who recently voiced a stupidly annoying sub-character from AstralAir, and finally is voicing a main heroine, Nanoka. She even uses her usual style of extending the last syllables of her lines, which is pretty cute, but more importantly, she is more skilled when it comes to real acting and does a good job during scenes where she needs to cry (while the other seiyuus deliver a “painful performance”).On the other hand, the male seiyuus are just real amateurs. It goes beyond a matter of acting skills, since their voices are not very pleasant to hear. Their voices sounds just too normal! It’s not a voice one would listen during hours of gameplay.
Parasol games are usually my “last resort”, titles that I would play only when there was nothing else to play instead. However, “Hare Nochi” is different. While it isn’t an outstanding game, it’s certainly a little title I would recommend for those looking for a relaxing, yet intriguing, love-comedy!