This was the last Valentine’s Day of my high school life.
I, who had no luck with love, thought Valentine’s Day would end uneventfully like it always does, but…
“Everything was going just as I planned.”
★ ☆ ✰ Rating: 7.5/10
When I decided to play this game sometime after its release, I was expecting sweet game about girl confessing their sweet love during the last year of high school. While, I did get that, it was completely different from how I thought Hana and Touma were connected and reacted to each other. However, before getting into that, I wanna say that I really like the art to this game. There might be a lot of pink and red, but it does not run away from central theme of the story, but it can also take a little twist once the player learns what is really going on behind the scenes. The designs of the characters and the backgrounds have a really soft coloring to them that makes it seem sweet and sort of romantic, like teenaged love is suppose to be like — but, that might seem a little farther from the truth.
Hana is quiet and shy 3rd year that seems to have no interest in boys or in giving them anything for Valentine’s Day. However, as her friend points out, this will be their last year to confess any romantic feelings that they might have before moving forward with their studies and future goals. So, Hana is sort of forced into making Valentine’s Day chocolate for the only guy she interacts with (and might have some semblance of feelings for) — Toma, a fellow member of the library committee. While Hana does have a hard time convincing herself of going though with the plan, she eventually goes through with it and Toma confesses, thus start their romance! However, replaying a second time and the side story opens up a different can of worms on what is going behind Hana’s back.
Personally, I really Hana’s personality and how she really doesn’t want to give chocolate to anyone, while at the same time being a little shy and awkward. After reading the side stories, it does feel that she is pushed into the bigger scheme of things and while her relationship with Toma might be “normal” in some aspects, it is really creepy in others. Toma, for how short the game is, is a really complex character that seems to have everything a young man might want — looks, grades, rich due to his prominent family. However, he doesn’t seem to get right in the love department since he seems to have been pinning for Hana over the past 3 years. He seems to do a lot of things in order to get closer to Hana and due to not seeing any real progress in 3 years, he finally decides to take matters into his own hands. Outside of all this, Hana’s friend –named Riko in the extra material– might be a pushy but she seems to do it with the best of intentions, though she doesn’t seem to think ahead when she is moving forward with so much energy.
While, the story might be short, it does have a good and complex story that might be ignored by the player if they are reading too fast. There are a lot of things that make the player rethink after the first playthrough, especially when coming to see that first impressions aren’t always what they seem to be. I would also recommend reading the creator’s note after playing the whole game, in order to better understand the characters and how they were developed because while everything might be rose-colored, there are also lots of gray shades in between.
If you want something quick to play through, but that will leave you thinking — consider checking out this game and give the translators some love as well!