Hanachirasu ("Flower Scattering" but Hana is written with the kanji of sword and cry, the flowers are actually the sounds of swords) is a Visual Novel / H-Game by nitro+. In a vein similar to Togainu no Chi, Hanachirasu features few supernatural elements and also uses an alternate history as its setting. Originally released in 2004, it was given a Fan Translation by TLWiki in November 2010 and was officially released in the US in 2015.
In 1945, the first atomic bomb test in America fails; as such, the United States is forced to invade Kyushu in hopes of ending the war in the Pacific, shortly after the Soviet Union invades Hokkaido. Japan stubbornly refuses to accept the Potsdam Declaration, and the "no surrender" motto adopted by Imperial Japan results in increased casualties for the Japanese, American, and Russian soldiers. A revised Potsdam Declaration is issued, one that maintains that Kyushu and Hokkaido will be occupied, but also allows Japan full sovereignty of the remaining islands; Japan immediately accepts.
The result is a new Cold War front in which the United States won over Japan with the promise of capitalist power. A new joint security is issued in 1969. But before it can be passed, a general known as Ishima Kaigen changes Japan forever.
After overthrowing the current government, Kaigen issues new laws in-order to remove Western ideals from Japan's "tainted spirit".Tokyo becomes the central basis for this. Firearms are banned, and a literal wall is constructed to emphasize its closure from other countries. Additionally, martial arts and swordplay become more widespread. Though Western idealists still maintain a war with those who wish to further Kaigen’s dream of a “pure Japan.”In the midst of this conflict comes the story of blood and vengeance of the mad swordsman Takeda Akane and his quest to face his one true rival, Igarasu Yoshia.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Most Japanese swords will dulls after cutting through a few people, but this is lampshaded.
- Alternate History: Splits off at World War II, where the atomic bomb project fails and the war ends with two of Japan's islands occupied.
- Badass Normal: Both Igarasu and Akane, as there's nothing supernatural about their insane sword skills. Akane even more so because he does not even have Igarasu's raw talent for kenjutsu. He got to where he was by working himself half to death. Plus, he kills a guy with a gun using only his sword, and develops a Maken on his own.
- Black-and-Grey Morality: Interestingly flipped-flopped somewhat. The Takigawa Corporation is shown to be a fairly benevolent organization fighting groups trying to instigate Ishima Kaigen's fascist ideology, but their president knowingly hires a psychotic killer like Akane out of love for him. The Hokodome-no-Kai meanwhile are terrorists loyal to the aforementioned fascist ideology, but Igarasu is at worst a benign Anti-Villain and one of the most sympathetic characters in the story up till he murders Sho in cold blood.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Yumi. Ultimately ends up resulting in Kill the Cutie.
- Crapsack World: The world of Tokyo is not exactly a nice place.
- Deconstructed Trope:
- While most of the characters have varying degrees of inhuman swordfighting skills, it's made clear those are only valid because of Ishima Kaigen's purge of all firearms from Tokyo. Even Akane freaks out when Yasaka pulls a firearm on him as a last resort, and only survives because he was fast enough to literally disarm him.
- Being able to replicate any technique you witness means nothing if you don't understand the logic behind it. Watari learns this the hard way.
- Despair Event Horizon: Yumi descends into one after Akane betrays her by allowing Igarasu to acquire his clearance card. She's so broken that Igarasu choses to Mercy Kill her as a result.
- Downer Ending: By the end of the story, literally everyone but Itsurin is dead, including Akane, who commits suicide after slaying Igarasu in their final duel. And it's strongly implied that Tokyo is going to soon return to fascistic nationalism under the civilian government.
- Driven to Suicide: At the end of the game after killing a countless number of people, performing many horrible deeds, and defeating and killing Igarasu, Akane kills himself because he considers himself to finally be complete. A slight aversion though since he'd planned to kill himself all along.
- Final Battle: The entire novel is basically building to one between Akane and Igarasu, which occurs in the final chapter.
- Gainax Ending: The Eternal Ending, a conclusion only acquirable after getting the normal ending. It starts off relatively normal, then Ishima Kaigen appears resurrected as a little girl, flanked by most of the character who had died, and triggers a Zombie Apocalypse. Remember that, before this, nothing explicitly supernatural was even remotely hinted at. Even the lead-in is strange, claiming that Akane murdered Misuzu out of jealousy over her marrying Igarasu, which starkly contradicts what is actually shown in the flashback of her murder.
- Historical Domain Character: The original Ishima Kaigen is the real world Japanese writer and nationalist Yukio Mishima.
- Letting His Hair Down: Akane in the final scene has his hair flying free from his ponytail. He looks just like a girl◊.
- Meaningful Name: The "aka" in Akane means "crimson".
- Shown Their Work: The novel has some extremely detailed descriptions of Japanese swordplay and the technique behind it. Justified, as the Single-Stroke Battle nature of most fights means that excessive detail is the only way to keep the encounters interesting. Somewhat crosses over with Write What You Know considering that the VN's writer, Narahara Ittetsu, was a Kendo instructor himself.
- Akane's method of suicide. He was so hardcore, he was his own second. Yes, he still managed to decapitate himself even after disemboweling himself.
- Ishima Kaigen the first.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Adhering strictly to realism, the majority of fights amount to Akane or Igarasu avoiding whatever attack is thrown at them, and then delivering the fatal blow on their opponent. Most of the tension in fights is more from the sheer technical strategy that goes into every attack.
- The Reveal: Why did Akane kill Misuzu? Akane and Igarasu were arranged to have a duel to see who would win Misuzu's hand in marriage and continue their schools practices. After losing to Igarasu however, Akane discovered that Misuzu had sabotaged his blade so that she could marry Igarasu. Enraged over his duel being "stolen", Akane murdered her in blind rage and then vanished during a subsequent earthquake.
- Tragic Villain: Akane is a remorseless killer and a borderline sociopath who commits multiple atrocities over the course of the story, but much of the tragedy is gained from showing just how empty his life is as someone purely obsessed with fighting his rival Igarasu, outright throwing away any chance he has at a better life in favour of pursuing his obsession. He even kills himself after killing Igarasu, having nothing to live for.
- The Watcher: Itsurin. She's basically a True Neutral who doesn't do anything to interfere with Akane and Igarasu's blood feud aside from handing them their weapons, holds no especial love or hatred for either even her brief H scene with Akane was done on a whim, in her words, and otherwise is content to just be The Blacksmith of each character's swords.
- Utsuge: Constantly downbeat tone? Strong air of tragedy? Downer Ending? All present and accounted for.
- Wham Episode: Episode 3 is when things really take a turn for the worse as Akane allows his clearance card to fall into Igarasu's hands, then does nothing as Igarasu attacks the Takigawa Corperation, maiming Yasaka and killing Yumi.