Video Game: Flower, Sun and Rain

SHOUTARO: Just what does "Flower, Sun and Rain" mean anyway? It doesn't really mean anything, does it? Huh?
SUMIO: Oh no! That's the worst possible thing you could have said!
SHOUTARO: It's just what everyone's thinking.
Sumio and Shoutaro, R-07: Children's corner

A mystery is concealed within this entry!

Flower, Sun, and Rain (known as Hana to Taiyō to Ame to in Japanese) is a game created by Grasshopper Manufacture and written by Suda 51 for the Playstation 2 and Nintendo DS consoles in 2001 and 2008 respectively. The game revolves around Sumio Mondo, a "searcher" who finds things using his silver briefcase who he refers to as Catherine. Sumio has come to Lospass Island to take on a job by Edo, manager of the Hotel Flower, Sun and Rain. Apparently, a bomb has been planted in an airplane by a terrorist, and Sumio must find it and diffuse it. The next day, though, he becomes sidetracked and the plane flies over the island and explodes.

Sumio wakes up in his hotel room. Edo tells him he needs to get to the airport to stop the plane from exploding. Arbitrary sidequests, surreal dialogue, number puzzles, self-deprecation, player trolling and Mind Screw ensues.

Part of Suda's "Kill the Past" thematic trilogy/universe, along with The Silver Case and Killer7.

This game contains examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Step got turned into one on a trip to France. He has a Silver Eye, so he's not so concerned about dying when he blows up.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You don't play as Sumio in Chapter 12 and in Chapter 13, and their puzzle segments don't involve using Catherine.
  • All Just a Dream: Sumio initially assumes that this is what's going on after he sees the airplane explode and then wakes up in his bed.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Sumio's Catherine activation phrases. In the PS2 version of the game, this is necessary to activate Catherine, but in the DS version, it's not, and serves as mere Invocation.
  • Companion Cube: Sumio is visibly disturbed when Catherine goes missing, and the first thing you must do afterwards is recover her. He also refers to Catherine as a person, much to Edo and Sue's confusion.
  • Cloning Blues: The island's native inhabitants all have a Silver Eye and Body Surf to a new cloned body whenever they're killed. This includes 15 clones of Sumio.
  • Event Flag: One character talks about triggering one, much to Sumio's confusion.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Sundance Shot. His eyepatch covers his Silver Eye.
  • Final Boss: Subverted. Sumio expects to find one at the airport, but Sundance simply talks with Sumio and lets him leave.
  • Fridge Logic: invoked Shoutaro angers Sumio by repeatedly trying to point out flaws in the game's internal logic, such as the polygon models having unrealistic proportions. Sumio is horrified and says that what he's doing is worse than the airplane bombs.
  • Good Morning, Crono: Each loop begins with Sumio being woken up by Edo's phone call. Until he dies.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In chapter 0, Sumio is told that a "strange magnetic field" has caused the island to lose its past, and in chapter 11, he's told explicitly that time is repeating. Subverted. Time isn't literally repeating; each "day" consists of the experiences of one of 15 Sumio clones.
  • I Am Who?: Sumio Mondo is a clone of Sumio Kodai.
  • I Call It "Vera": Why does Sumio call it "Catherine"? Because it's better than calling it "Bob".
  • Idiot Hero: Many NPCs treat Sumio like one.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: How this game manages to connect up to The Silver Case.
  • Leitmotif: Full of them. From both Flower, Sun, and Rain and The Silver Case.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Shoutaro's father turns out to be just as mean and annoying as his son is.
  • Mind Screw
  • Medium Awareness: Several NPCs, and even Sumio himself to some degree, seem to be aware that the island runs on video game logic.
  • Not a Morning Person: Sumio declares himself this at the beginning of Chapter 1. And indeed, he isn't; in most chapters, he stumbles and falls face-first to the floor after he gets out of bed. There's someone under the bed tripping him, but you don't see her until Request 11.
  • NPC Roadblock: Usually the in-universe reason why Sumio can't reach the airplane in time.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Sundance tribe.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: Most of the soundtrack consists of pop and/or techno remixes of classical (and on occasion, jazz) pieces - in fact, most of the chapters are named after them.
  • Rule of Symbolism / World of Symbolism
  • Sequel First: This game is a sequel to The Silver Case, which never received an English language release. Several plot twists assume you're familiar with the characters and events of the first case.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: This is the reason why Sumio doesn't just go defuse the bombs instead of messing around with the island's residents; he's not allowed to proceed past an unsolved puzzle, even when there's no in-universe reason why he can't.
  • Strategy Guide: The solution to every single mandatory puzzle Sumio encounters is found in the "hotel guidebook" given to the Player Character at the beginning of the game, although said "solutions" are usually riddles of various kinds that the player, and not the Player Character, has to solve.
  • Take Your Time: Zig-Zagged. The Player Character is forced to do meaningless Side Quests, even though there are bombs about to blow up and kill people. And, when you finish them, which you have all the time in the world to do, the airplane blows up because you spent all that time doing meaningless sidequests instead of defusing the bombs.
  • Talking Animal: Christina, the pink alligator. Who happens to be male.
  • Trolling Creator: In true Suda 51 fashion, this game is designed not so much to entertain you as it is to drive you up the wall.
  • Title Theme Tune: Also part Expository Theme Tune, as it's about a character, part "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune, as it's sung in character, and part Foreign Language Theme, as it's incomprehensible to me.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Which "jack" do you need to use to connect Catherine to whatever object contains the puzzle? The only way to find out is to try them until you find one that works.
  • Voice Grunting: Inflected sound effects take the place of voice acting.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: One "request" Sumio has to fulfill is to help two actors verify their identity by helping them re-enact a scene from their most famous movie. This requires you to find something that will serve as a wig; the actor supplies the accent himself.
  • Wham Episode: R11 - Clair de Lune and R17 - Kill the Past.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Sumio solves almost every problem he encounters by entering numbers using Catherine. In one scene, Sumio even wonders why he needs to use Catherine in order to dial a phone number.

Alternative Title(s):

Flower Sun And Rain