Travel to fantastically styled worlds, meet interesting new chickadees, and find romance in the elegantly designed winter wonderlands. Dust the snow off your wings and take flight with familiar faces and new friends alike in extraordinary adventures and intersting side stories about both the old romances and new characters.
I finished Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star last month and decided to write my overall thoughts of the game. This will mainly be centered on the storylines, the short stories, and the main character’s interactions with the birds. I also plan on connecting to the main story of Hatoful Boyfriend.
** Please note that this isn’t a spoiler free reflection.
After playing Hatoful Boyfriend, I wanted to play its sequel and though it took me some time, I finally decided to do so during the holiday season. Coming back into this strange world wasn’t disappoint as it had a bit of romance and the darker sides of the story were shown once more, but through hilarious themes like always. Thus, I decided to write my thoughts on the game, as a way to revisit this dark but funny story full of Christmas joy but loss as well. In this write-up, I will discuss the storylines, the short stories, and the character interactions, and its connection to the Hatoful Boyfriend main story.
A Hunter-Gatherer in the Snow: Hiyoko Tosaka
The stories within Holiday Star seem to be short stories that explaining new things within the world of Hatoful Boyfriend, but still put Hisoka as part of the story in same way. There really isn’t a change from her character in Hatoful Boyfriend to this spin-off. She is still the same spunky and bright high school student that dives into whatever adventure is placed in front of her, which might make some people consider her a “busybody”, though this seems to steam from her need to help people out and because she seems to worry about others in her own strange way. She still has a tendency of jumping to conclusions while the evidence is clearly point to something different. She also tends to say whatever is the first thought that comes to her head and she always seem to be ready to join a fight, but seems to to take on things that are usually much bigger and stronger than her.
However, she has now has a tendency of pulling a lot of the birds into her adventures, as shown with how she interacts with the birds in her class — Okosan, Sakuya, Ryouta but also with Nageki. Yet, due to her overly friendly nature, she doesn’t seem to notice the possible romantic feelings from the other birds or the inner turmoil that her best friend seems to be going though because of her connection with the other birds, which becomes an issue in one of the short stories. Overall, it really seems like this is the school life that Hiyoko would have had if the events of Hatoful Boyfriend hadn’t occur.
Merry Christmas and other Wishes: Main Stories
There are four stories that are at the center of Holiday Star that center around Christmas and the strange events that the whole cast seems to get themselves into, but Hiyoko’s interest is piqued and she finds herself wanting to learn more about what is going on — and that is how the first story begins.
Christmas Thieves Attack is centered around several Christmas trees being stolen around town and the thieves taking more desperate measures, such as attacking Blaster and bombing the Student Council office when trying to get Sakuya’s tree. At the same time, Hisoka and Ryouta are searching for clues to find the perpetrators behind all these incidents, while Dr. Iwamine become interested for his own set of personal reasons. As within everything in Hatoful Boyfriend, the truth is a lot stranger than fiction, as Hiyoko and co., after getting into a fight with Miru and Kuri over the Le Bel Christmas tree, see that the two odd-looking dove things really want to celebrate the spirit of Christmas that they seemed to enjoy with the original creator before they were locked away. In his own strange way of helping, Dr. Iwamine decides to take in Miru and Kiru due to knowing the original creator, though he doesn’t let the rest of the group know and even though he seems exasperated with them most of the time.
Fallen Chronicles (Absolute Zero) deals with Comicket and the rise of Anghel as a manga-ka after he meets a certain birdie by the unique name of Tohri Nishikikouji. This begins with Hiyoko helping Anghel with his artist booth on Comicket and while there is a disappointing turnout, Anghel catches the interest of Tohri, as he is the shady editor-in-chief of Golden Weekly, a manga-publishing magazine. Both Hiyoko and Mr. Nanaki grow concerned over Anghel’s constant state of being tired and wonder if it is connected to his new job, thus leading Hiyoko and co. to investigate what is really going on. As they infiltrate the building, they realize that Tohri is using Anghel’s blood as the means to power up his machine in order to destroy Dr. Iwamine and the St. PigeonNation Labs. However, the power of Pretty Coore is able to save the day and do away with the evil Tohri!
The Day the Night Slept (Before) starts off with the news that the astronomy club is going to be holding a viewing of the total eclipse going on that evening on the rooftop of the school. This leads to Hiyoko inviting a bunch of the birdies to attend the event and she ends up asking Nageki, though he seems hesitant at first, Hiyoko’s enthusiasm wins him over, along with his ability to easily access the room from the library. She excitedly introduces him to the rest of the group, but as the eclipses begins both her and Nageki finds themselves traveling on a mysterious train to an unknown destination, while meeting a strange Migrant Bird. They end up on something called the Holiday Star where they end up doing a bunch of quests for the King, though he seems weary of both of them. However, they soon find out that they can’t get out of the dream known as the Holiday Star.
The Day the Night Slept (After) continues the story but from the outside, as Yuuya and Leone B try to find a way to help the unconscious Hiyoko and co., as Hiyoko and Nageki try to find a way to being everyone back to the real world and away from the King that is showing them all their suffering in the real world. However, Hiyoko and Nageki are able to help them break out of that cycle, though it is a bit harder with Nanaki — though, it does reveal more of his background story and his connection to the King. After finally coming to understand the reasons why the King is so afraid of moving on with the Migrant Bird and the others that have been living in the Holiday Star. Hiyoko and everyone else is able to return home with Nageki being more at ease with his current situation than before.
There stories seem to grow in length as the player moves forward, but do a good job of building up from where the other left off. They also seem to interconnect to Hatoful Boyfriend in subtle ways that the player might not catch all the time, this was true for me when it come to who the Migrant Bird really was and his connection to both Dr. Iwamine and Ryouta. At the same time, it continues to show that not everything is as it seems within the world because even though there are moments of laughter and general silliness, it can suddenly take a dark turn, sometimes with only the player being aware of what is going on. However, all the birds seems to take everything that is thrown at them with stride, though a little on the insane side at times.
To the Side: Short Stories
There are even shorter side stories that are unlocked at the player completes each of the main four stories. Each of them is even more focused on one event or person. While, three of them are from Hiyoko’s point-of-view, there other two focus on a specific character — namely Anghel and Albert. Overall, these are all really funny and cute in different ways (this can especially be said of the Radio Episodes and the Day the Night Slept outtakes), especially those surrounding Hiyoko since they deal a little more with the romantic side of Hatoful Boyfriend since she is able to go on a shrine date with each bird and even give Tohri some beans for Legumentine’s — something that has probably never happened to him before. However, it is also good to see more of Yuuya’s dynamic with Sakuya, even if it is just through worrying about his butler. Overall, they are nice short stories to go through if you want to learn more about the birds, especially some of the newer ones.
As previously stated, the main stories connect a lot of Hatoful Boyfriend and even explain somethings that they don’t go fully into detail during Bad Boys Love. This is mainly shown with Nanaki’s background story after what happened after Operation Hatoful, it really shows how much he changed and what he thought needed to do in order to get revenge, but it also still shows that there might be some type of remorse on his part for what he did to the King. This is also shown with Dr. Iwamine and how connected he seems to be to Dr. Kawara after all this time. This is first shown with how he decides to take care of Miru and Kuri, even though they are annoying because they were a creation of Dr. Kawara. At the same time, he seems to immediately realize who the Migrant Bird is and while he seems a bit annoyed to be dealing with him, he never pushes Kawara away from him like he might with the rest of the cast.
Holiday Star add a lot of cute moments and is almost of what if of the events in Hatoful Boyfriend. It add a lot in terms of character dynamics and added content in terms to story and art, but it doesn’t run away from the things that make Hatoful Boyfriend charming and bit disturbing at the same time. At the same time, it seems to deal with a lot of more stuff that is connected with Hiyoko as a main character, such as romance but also her friendship with Ryouta as shown during his story time in The Day the Night Slept (After). At the same time, it doesn’t let Hiyoko be the sole main character, as shown with the different shifts in focus throughout the stories. While, it might be a bit short it does a good job in adding onto Hatoful Boyfriend, so consider playing it if you haven’t or just feel nostalgic for a certain couple of birdies!