At the end of the school year, Kotaro Makimura
resolves to confess his love to his crush, Kaho Serizawa, and plans to become her boyfriend by the end of summer vacation. On the way home from school, he runs into a cloaked stranger and accidentally gets covered with a mysterious powder. When he wakes up the next morning, he is shocked to find that it is the first day of September
. As he returns to school, his friends tell him that his girlfriend Kaho has died in a traffic accident. But wait! He hasn't even spoken to her yet! And why is the second trimester suddenly started up when summer break was supposedly just around the corner?
A Visual Novel
released in Japan in 2002, Hourglass of Summer
is unusual in that it (a) was released in America
, (b) contains no hentai
, and (c) can be played on a DVD player. It was later adapted into a two-episode OVA that was released exclusively
in Japan. While it never received the amount of success as other visual novels like CLANNAD
, it is still fondly remembered
by Western audiences as their first foray into the visual novel genre.
Provides examples of:
- Bad Export for You: America got the DVD player version of the game, which is by no means bad, but nowhere near as visually impressive as the Japanese PS2 and PC versions.
- Beautiful Dreamer: Mana watches you sleep after you rescue her from her suicide attempt.
- Bleached Underpants: Inverted. The original release was clean, but the Japanese PC rerelease added H-scenes into it.
- Bokukko: Mana.
- Cassandra Truth: The girls don't believe you when you try to tell them about future tragedies you've witnessed.
- Childhood Friend Romance / Girl Next Door / Patient Childhood Love Interest: Ai.
- Compressed Adaptation: The game had a two-episode Original Video Animation released in 2004, around the same time the title hit store shelves in the United States. It tried to squeeze a ten-hour character route (Kaho's true ending route, to be precise) into a 45-minute anime, and general consensus is that it did not do a good job. There's a distinct lack of explanation of many major plot points (the time-traveling aspect, most notably), some things no longer make sense (again, time-traveling), and the pacing seems to suffer due to being so tightly crammed into such a short runtime
- Curtains Match the Window: Tomomi, Mana, and Kaho.
- Cute Little Fangs: Ai.
- Ear Cleaning: One of three choices of compensation for doing Ai a favor.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Kaho.
- Festival Episode
- Frozen Flower: Mana is very cold on the outset, but her route shows she can be very girly and stubborn when the occasion calls for it.
- Girlish Pig Tails: Lee Jane.
- Good Guy Bar: Paradise Cafe is about as close to this trope as you can get in a high school setting.
- Hair Decorations: Ai and Lee Jane.
- Hidden Depths: One of the major draws of the story, everyone has more to them than one would expect.
- Hot Librarian: Tomomi. Kotaro constantly talks about how beautiful she is with her glasses off. Not that she doesn't look just as beautiful with them on...
- Interrupted Suicide: Mana
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Hirameki International, the company that localized Hourglass of Summer and released it in English, ceased production and distribution of its game library, which included this and many other titles (such as Ever17, the Ai Yori Aoshi game and the original Phantom of Inferno game). As such, it and all others are very much out-of-print, and the only way to play the game in English is through torrenting .ISO's and purchasing used copies.
- Naked First Impression: How Kotaro is introduced to Mana. Chronologically, anyway...
- Off Model: Not the game itself, which is amazingly beautiful, but rather the 2004 OVA.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Averted with Kotaro, who is just that - an ordinary high school student with no special powers.
- Out of Focus / Demoted to Extra: Mana, after preventing her accident in every route but her own. Especially in Tomomi's route, which can be beaten without encountering Mana at all.
- She also has precisely zero screentime in the second OVA episode.
- Over Protective Dad: Kaho's.
- Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: In Mana's route she breaks her leg and can no longer competitively swim, when ask about it by some children at the end she calls it, her reminder from God that she is human.
- Piggyback Cute: Ai
- Reset Button Ending: Tomomi's route.
- Road Cone: Generally in use throughout, but one choice is an extremely obvious fork in the road between Kaho and Ai. (Though Lee Jane's ending may also be a possibility at the time.)
- Spell My Name with an S: Is it Ligene or Lee Jane?
- Stable Time Loop: Plenty of them.
- Stalker with a Crush: Tomomi's ex-boyfriend, Oonuma.
- Time Travel Tense Trouble: Oh, yes.
- Training from Hell: Takeshi puts Kotaro through a light version of this in preparation for the boxing match Kotaro promised that he would win for Mana.
- Unlucky or Victorious Childhood Friend: Ai, depending on how you play your cards.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Kotaro and Takeshi. Mana even comments on it, comparing them to a manzai duo.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Kaho. On the surface anyway. Once you are invested in her route she shows her true self.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or green, or orange, or purplish-brown. The only heroine with a realistic hair color is Ai, and even then, blonde hair is pretty unusual for a native Japanese girl.