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Visual Novel / Flowers (2014)

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"Hold your head up, extend your hands (Always search for the light) Just follow your heart's desire (Ah Ah Ah Ah) Oh flowers which are full of love (Brilliantly bloom) Oh flowers which are dyed with the color of love..."
Song of the Flowers
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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 differing protagonists and love interests:

  • Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-, which focuses on the shy, painfully insecure, book-loving Shirahane Suou, was translated into English and released on Steam on August 16, 2016;
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  • Flowers -Le Volume sur Été-, 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 Yatsuhiro Yuzuriha;
  • Flowers -Le Volume sur Hiver-, the Grand Finale, which returns the game to Suou's perspective, and encompasses the entire cast.

Flowers is produced by Innocent Grey (though it bears a strikingly different tone to the company's most famous previous game); the English translation of Le Volume sur Printemps was published by Jast USA.


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Tropes:

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Suou 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.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Variation - Suou 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.
  • Big Bad: Rikka is the closest thing to one in the first game, the main and final obstacle between Suoh, and Mayuri's intimacy. Very atypical for the genre, as it usual has a No Antagonist policy.
  • Boarding School: Specifically, girls are paired in rooms together with their Amitié partner.
  • 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.
  • Class Representative: Rikka, who eagerly takes the position and revels in it.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: The games each posses two routes, but do 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 Suou 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 Ete, whose bound to a wheelchair, although in this case she's actually the protagonist.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: An Aversion. Suou 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.
  • Gayngst: Surprisingly Averted, considering this takes place in a Catholic School, most of the girls are fine with their romantic feelings for other women, if somewhat confused by their initial attraction. Played painfully straight with Mayuri, however. Her family, very strict Christian, is disgusted with her being a lesbian, and her hometown loathes her for the same reason.
  • 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 inane details.
  • Hands-On Approach: Mayuri uses this to help Suou practice ballet forms. Suou does not have fun.
  • Hidden Depths: Can you believe two of Suou's favorite movies of all time are The Shawshank Redemption, and 'Gladiator?
  • Homeschooled Kids: Suou was (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: Suou first meets Rikka when the other girl calls out to her and Suou, startled, accidentally falls into her. Minutes later, she suddenly comes across Mayuri, and the exact same thing happens!
  • Meganekko: The rules-abiding but kind and helpful, Rikka.
  • Mystery: At the end of most chapters, there will be a segment where Suou will have to figure out a solution for a particular problem in front of her by thinking it through, with the player required to give answers for her questions. These tend to rely more on general knowledge than logic, however.
  • 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.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Almost the entire cast.
  • 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 pyjama uniform, too!
  • Shrinking Violet: Suou, to the extent of social anxiety and avoidant behaviour.
  • 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 rumours. 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 their very close identical twins.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Mayuri is an interesting case, in that neither appearance nor her hobbies seems at all unfeminine, but many characters remark on her more boyish personality (which makes her quite popular in this all girls' school), and her voice is significantly deeper than other characters'. Nevertheless, when Suou finds out that she enjoys baking, she does think that it is surprising and contrasts with her image.
  • True Companions: The aim of the Amitié system. In the games, however, it morphs into something...more.
  • Yuri Genre: Though despite initially seemingly something like Maria-Sama, the game is far more explicit about the various romances.

Alternative Title(s): Flowers

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