Edelweiss is a 2006 Visual Novel by the company Overdrive, also known for Kira-Kira. It was translated by Manga Gamer, their first translation project, and unfortunately, it shows. However, the quality improves in the fandisc.
The fandisc, Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia was released in 2008. It's a direct sequel to the original.
Edelweiss takes place on Eiden Island, an island containing the all-girls school of Eiden Academy that teaches alchemy. The protagonist, Kazushi, and his friends go to the island trying to score with some of the girls there: Haruka, the sweet granddaughter of the Principal; Mizuki, the tomboyish girl who loves swimming; Ran, a feisty money-loving girl with a touch of Nabiki; Natsume, the mysterious freshman that seems to be at odds with the Principal; and Mei, the beautiful teacher without a past. However, it doesn't quite turn out as he planned, since the whole island is full of wonders and secrets...
Eiden Fantasia stars Kazushi again, and features Rin and Sakura (no, not that Rin and Sakura), the two most popular heroines of the original that didn't have their own routes.
Edelweiss and Eiden Fantasia provide examples of:
- Alchemy Is Magic: If you start playing the game unspoiled, thinking it's just a regular slice-of-life Visual Novel, it might come as a shock that Alchemy is the driving force of the plot.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's not made clear whether or not Mei's ending is a reincarnation romance situation or not. The girl looks like her, reminds Kazushi of her, has a meaningful name and has a kind of attachment to Kazushi, but he personally thinks that's a little convenient.It becomes more clear in Eiden Fantasia when pook says that homunculus are reborn as humans when they die so it becomes a bit more clear.
- Artificial Human: There's one, and she's not who you think.
- Beta Couple: Appo and Hu-sen, probably Daigo and Rei.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The English translation of "Edelweiss" is sometimes painful to read, littered with some gems like "weman" "weired" or "sorried". "Eiden Fantasia" is thankfully much better, and the main game got patched by the time the fandisk came out.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The first game is an extremely blatant example of this. (with the exception of Ran's route, which is pretty tame overall) During the first half of the game, the protagonist gets chased around by talking road signs, takes part in beach episodes and slumber parties, gets labelled a pervert more than once and his biggest problem is that he just can't manage to get laid. Then he gets a girlfriend, sleeps with her and things rapidly go south afterwards. After his chosen girl is imprisoned in another dimension/is permanently crippled/starts fading out of existence/dies outright he quickly realizes that those times where all he had to worry about was his virginity maybe weren't so bad after all.
- Covers Always Lie: OK, it's not that big of a lie, but... the cover and former image for this page features Haruka, Natsume and Mizuki; Natsume and Haruka are important to the main story of the game, but Mizuki isn't. Mei's story is also strongly linked to the main story, so she'd have been, probably, a better choice for the cover. Maybe Overdrive went for a "schoolgirl" theme...
- Downer Ending: Mei's route. If you watch the after-credits bit, it becomes a Bittersweet Ending.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Dear God, Haruka's route. They literally waited until the last frigging minute to turn the total Downer Ending into the happiest ending of the game.
- Even the Guys Want Him: There are several times where Panchi-Sempai is so badass that the guys end up falling for him.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Of the five confirmed males that enter the school only one of them goes by their real name. Worse than that; Appo's name is heard a handful of times, while Pierre's name is said only once. Poor Daigo doesn't even get that.
- Eyes Out of Sight: Kazushi, keeping him effectively faceless even on the few occasions when the player can see him from the front.
- Heroic BSoD: Kazushi has a pretty strong one in Haruka's route, after Haruka's death.
- Honest Axe: Used interestingly on Ran's route with the "gold Kazushi" and the "silver Kazushi".
- Hypocrite: Kazushi in Haruka's route. Literally hours after convincing the Principal that trying to revive the dead is wrong, he starts trying to revive Haruka. Much to the Principal's chagrin, of course.
- Identical Grandson: At first we may think that Kazushi sees young!Principal identical to Haruka because he doesn't know how the Principal looked as a young adult, but later Haruka confirms that she's always been told she's identical to her grandma when she were younger.
- Lighter and Softer: Eiden Fantasia. No life-and-death situations, no tearjerking Downer Endings, no angst, a Harem Ending and the most villanous character only wants to chop Kazushi's dick off (and for a good reason).
- Meaningful Name:
- Haruka means distant or far away, meaningful in regards to her route.
- Depending on the characters used in the name Mizuki it can mean either "Beautiful Moon" or "Water Spirit".
- Depending on the characters used in the name Natsume can mean either "Summer Beauty" or "Summer Dream".
- For the series itself, the Edelweiss flower means Courage/Power in Hanakotobanote
- Mythology Gag: The Philosopher's Stone? Hommunculus? Turning Lead into Gold? Are we sure Edelweiss didn't read Goethe's Faust?
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Mei's route. Mei's the Homunculus, and the only reason she's alive is because both her mind and her body are in perfect balance. When she falls in love with Kazushi, her harmony is broken and her existence starts to wane. She has a chance of survival if she has her memories of Kazushi erased... but both Mei and Kazushi decide to let her live happily whatever little time she's got left. Even if all the other characters congratulate Kazushi on his bravery, well, the fact is that it's his fault Mei's going to die.
- And again in Mizuki's route. If Kazushi hadn't followed his gut and went to the beach during a heavy storm, he wouldn't have been swept in by a wave and Mizuki wouldn't have had to save him, injuring herself badly in the process and leaving her wheelchair-bound during the rest of her life. All to save a stuck dolphin. Bravo, Kazushi.
- In most of the routes, most of the bad things that happen take place (directly or indirectly) because of Kazushi's presence. This is why, when Eiden Fantasia rolled around, Eiden island was still pretty much like it used to be with all the heroines appearing alive and well.
- Official Couple: Yeah, Edelweiss, we get it, you'd really like us to get it on with Haruka. And the same goes to you, Eiden Fantasia, and Sakura. The opening movies aren't exactly subtle about this.
- Pungeon Master: Everyone loves Mei-sensei, but she's got the bad habit of making horrendous puns with her name that make being around her VERY awkward.
- Reincarnation Romance: At the end of Mei's route. Maybe. See Ambiguous Situation.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Inverted: Appo and Fusen are caught having sex in Mizuki's route and, to avoid Fan Disservice, the game cuts to a scene of two cartoonish wolves going at it against the full moon. The same resource is used in Eiden Fantasia if you listen to Appo's story, but in this case the game even happily tells you that it's for your sake.
- Soundtrack Dissonance. You got the Bad Ending! That's so bad! We're going to punish you with the credits roll on a black screen... while the most awesomely upbeat song in the game plays.
- Those Three Guys: Appo, Daigo and Pierre.
- Trailers Always Lie: About 60% of the pics used in the intro to Eiden Fantasia are from Edelweiss. At least the trailer is pretty clear about the fact that you can only choose between Rin and Sakura.
- Utsuge: With all the sexy romps and beach episodes, Edelweiss is this at its core. Some of the endings are surprisingly sad.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Aw, so Kazushi and Sakura really love each other! Wait, that's it? What about the huge-ass cherry tree whose flowers scream "HARUCCHI I LOVE YOUUUUUU" that just kind of appeared? No real explanation is given to its appearance and, while it seems very impractical to have around, they don't seem to be rushing to do something about it.