(Always search for the light)
Just follow your heart's desire
Oh, flowers which are full of love
Oh, flowers which are dyed with the color of love...
In the middle of a deep, dense forest can be found a hidden grove of beauty: Saint Angraecum Academy, a missionary school for proper young ladies of high school age. Although it is renowned for many reasons, from the gorgeousness of its Western-style architecture to its coveted ballet education, there is one programme that demonstrates its uniqueness: the Amitié system, in which girls are paired together as partners and encouraged to develop a deep, long-lasting friendship. However, friendship is not all that blossoms between the young girls at Saint Angraecum...
Flowers is an all-ages Japanese visual novel series in four seasonally-themed parts, each involving around the same core cast of characters but with different protagonists and love interests:
- Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-, which focuses on the shy, painfully insecure, book-loving Shirahane Suoh, was translated into English and released on Steam on August 16, 2016;
- Flowers -Le Volume sur -, which focuses on the sly, catlike, but distant Yaegaki Erika, and is out in English as of July 27, 2018;
- Flowers -Le Volume sur Automne-, which focuses on the eccentric, flirtatious, beautiful Yatsushiro Yuzuriha, was translated into English and released on Steam as of July 31, 2020;
- Flowers -Le Volume sur Hiver-, the Grand Finale, which returns the game to Suoh's perspective, and encompasses the entire cast.
Flowers is produced by Innocent Grey (though it is strikingly different to the company's most famous previous game); the English translations of Le Volume sur Printemps, Été, and Automne have been published by JAST USA.
Please note that all information in this page may be inaccurate to the FLOWERS series. If you'd like the story accurate information, please play the visual novel or check the FLOWERS wiki.
- All There in the Manual: Besides the many drama-CD's, the game's artist and director frequently post trivia about the characters and the setting over on their Twitter pages. There are also several supplementary works; most notably, the 2019 Fanbook, which was made to celebrate the series five year anniversary, contained a massive "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, providing the entire cast a section detailing their adult life, profession, how everyone is settling in as adult couples, and an artistic depiction of everyone's adult appearance.
- Animal Motif: Erika and Chidori are frequently described as being cats, especially with the former's terrifying cat-like grins. Their relationship is always being described as two felines getting into play fights. In contrast, Yuzuriha is commonly compared to a dog; steadfast and loyal, but also very playful.
- Arc Words: "The tale of the girls who blossom with the seasons."
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Suoh has the look, and most girls seem to assume that she's mature and cool based on her appearance, but she doesn't have the personality at all, instead being very shy, yet incredibly friendly once you get to know her. Chidori plays this much more straight, being outwardly cold and stoic, but like Suoh, she can be very soft and tender towards people who get to know her.
- Atomic F-Bomb: Erika freely and frequently uses profanity in her speech, much to the horror of the refined ladies she calls friends.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Chidori and Erika engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat, and very intense Slap-Slap-Kiss antics on a regular basis, but it's shown countless times their relationship is quite possibly the most stable and loving of the various couples, with them being downright sweet to each other when no one else is looking.
- Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Variation - Suoh goes to the baths later than usual, but unexpectedly Rikka and Mayuri walk in talking loudly about her, with a large wall preventing them from seeing her there.
- Bespectacled Cutie: The rules-abiding but kind and helpful, Rikka.
- Big Bad: The closest thing the series have to a villain would be the Goddess of Truth, said to be responsible for Mayuri Kohsaka's disappearance at the end of Printemps. Her true nature come into light much later in Hiver when she is revealed to be an alias of the Basquiat Family, namely their eldest member Allium, who mistook Mayuri for her long lost granddaughter. In order to appease her, Dahlia and other members of the family made contact with Mayuri, proposing to take care of the old lady in exchange for an accelerated homeschooling in the Basquiat residence. Hence making her disappear from Angraecum, in a remote house from roughly one hour from the school.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Usually there's one per route that happens as a very dramatic The Climax; such as Mayuri and Suoh affirming their love for the other in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary after the Feast of Assumption, but the biggest has to be Erika and Chidori's, which happens after a long-winded speech about how they viewed each other with scorn and disgust the first time they've met, and how they've transformed into life partners after a long journey together.
- Boarding School: The setting of the game. Specifically, typically girls from well-to-do families are sent to the academy to have a Western education, and to learn how to behave lady-like. Girls are paired in rooms together with their Amitié partner.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Erika is The Smart Guy of the group, being able to lie, cheat, and deceive her way through every problematic situation...yet she spends most of her time lazying about and reading. She's still third-best academics-wise in her class, but it's made clear she could be at the very top if she put more time into her studies.
- Cast Full of Gay: Literally the entire cast. From the main characters to one-offs, everyone shown is depicted as having a romantic interest in the same-sex, and the game freely uses the terms "lesbian" and "homosexuality" to describe the characters. Even Sister Dahlia, a nun and the only shown teacher, is heavily implied to have been in love with another woman.
- Childhood Friends: Yuzuriha and Nerine have been close friends since they were little girls, and have inseparable ever since. By the third game, it blossoms into a full Childhood Friend Romance, although Yuzuriha has been in love with Nerine practically the first time she met her.
- Class Representative: Rikka, who eagerly takes the position and revels in it.
- Cutting Off the Branches: The games each possess two routes, but due to being completely intertangled with one another, there's a clear canon path. The longer one is always the canon one.
- Cute Bookworm: Plenty of girls at Saint Angraecum enjoy reading, including Erika and Ringo, but Suoh is undoubtedly the best example, being a very shy girl who has spent her life reading and watching movies rather than making friends.
- Covert Pervert: Played more seriously than usual; Suoh feels very uncomfortable about how flustered she secretly gets when other girls change around her, and gets downright aroused when she's touched by them.
- Deadpan Snarker: Good lord, most of the words that come out of Erika's mouth are barely hidden sarcasm and sardonic venom. The only person she dials this back on Suoh
- Disabled Love Interest: Erika in Été, who uses a wheelchair, although in this case, she's actually the protagonist.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: An Aversion. Suoh is surprised that Mayuri, Ichigo, and Ringo all enjoy cooking in some way (though Mayuri only really enjoys baking), all of which are somewhat masculine. Ichigo admits however that she's mainly in the cooking club just so she can eat the food they make afterwards.
- Flower Motifs: It's in the title after all. Being a Yuri work, white lilies are very prevalent along with red roses. On top of that, every character has some kind of flower or plant reference in their name, which also serves as their personal symbol. The title screens and intro sequences of the games feature the main characters' flowers prominently.
- The Gadfly: Ichigo and Ringo, often.
- Guide Dang It!: You'd have to be a walking encyclopedia-like Suoh to figure out some of the mysteries without at least Googling a few things and paying really close attention to seemingly insane details.
- Hands-On Approach: Mayuri uses this to help Suoh practice ballet forms. Suoh does not have fun.
- Hidden Depths: Can you believe two of Suoh's favorite movies of all time are The Shawshank Redemption, and Gladiator?
- Homeschooled Kids: Suoh was homeschooled (apart from one year she spent at an ordinary school which ended horribly) until she entered Saint Angraecum with the intent of changing herself and becoming more brave and sociable.
- Japanese Christian: Not most of the main cast actually, despite the nature of the school, but Nerine and Yuzuriha (who are half and a quarter foreign respectively) both are. Mayuri is a Deconstructed example, as whilst her family are all very devoted Catholics, and she herself admits to herself she believes in God, it's that very faith that gives her such self-loathing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Erika, Ichigo, and Ringo all fall under this category.
- Love Triangle: One in every game.
- Measuring Day: And since it's an all-girls' school, everyone is expected to strip down to their underwear for it. Awkwardness ensues.
- Meet Cute: Suoh first meets Rikka when the other girl calls out to her and Suoh, startled, accidentally falls into her. Minutes later, she suddenly comes across Mayuri, and the exact same thing happens!
- The Ojou: The school itself is designed for wealthy students, so most of the cast would technically qualify, but Nerine and Yuzuriha fit the archetype best.
- One-Gender School: Appropriately, as it's a Christian boarding school.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Ichigo is loud and energetic, while Ringo is quiet and lazy.
- The Runaway: In the True ending of Automne, Yuzuriha and Nerine run away together.
- School Uniforms are the New Black: Enforced by the school, which outright doesn't allow students to bring any other clothes. And there is even a set pajama uniform, too!
- Shrinking Violet: Suoh, to the extent of social anxiety and avoidant behavior.
- Situational Sexuality: It's occasionally brought up that, since it's an all-girl's school, it's quite easy for two girls who are quite close to spark rumors. The game makes strides to show, however, that the main girls are genuine lesbians.
- The Seven Mysteries: The secondary focus, besides the romance, are the various mysteries around the school, which are focused on the religious aspects of the academy.
- Theme Twin Naming: Ichigo ('strawberry') and Ringo ('apple').
- Those Two Guys: Ichigo and Ringo are almost always seen together, Justified, as they're very close identical twins.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Mayuri is an interesting case, in that neither appearance nor her hobbies seem at all unfeminine, but many characters remark on her more boyish personality (which makes her quite popular in this all-girls' school), and her significantly deeper voice than that of other characters'. Nevertheless, when Suoh finds out that she enjoys baking, Suoh finds it surprising and that it contrasts with her image of Mayuri.
- True Companions: The aim of the Amitié system. In the games, however, it morphs into something...more.
- Twincest: Only in one ending in Automne between Ichigo and Ringo.
- Yuri Genre: Though despite initially seemingly something like Maria-Sama, the game is far more explicit about the various romances.