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Visual Novel / Songs and Flowers

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"You know how dating sims usually have an eccentric friend characters who help you progress through the game? This is a game where you play as one. "
The game's description

A New Transfer Student named Jazz Overstreet, who calls herself Miss Info, has recently moved to the town of L.A.Fornia (yes, that is what the town is called) with big dreams of being a spy/information broker, but before she does that, she actually needs info to sell. At her first morning at her new job, she encounters an interesting boy surrounded by rumours, inspiring her to begin her profile-making quest!

Songs and Flowers is a free-to-play otome made by Cowboy Starshine. The game is on that can be downloaded here.

This game contains the following tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: Names like Jazz and Noct alongside ones like Jin, Serena, and Carol. See Theme Naming.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Intentionally averted by Word of God.
    • Jazz and Serena are both African-American. Jazz's father Laby is an immigrant from Côte d'Ivoire.
    • Noct and his family are Mexican.
    • Nada is Indonesian and a practicing Muslim.
    • Carol and Melo are both Filipino and Jin is Japanese.
  • An Aesop: Love and friendship may not cure mental illnesses, but they can make living with them easier and your life happier. Don't be afraid to let people in.
  • Art Shift: The game's images can fluctuate from more detailed and realistic to a chibi style.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Noct speaks both English and Spanish.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Jazz is a genetic chimera; she has two different blood types. This proves to be a bit of a problematic hurtle during the investigation regarding her mother.
  • Blatant Lies: In Carol's route, he decides to enter a baking competition. On their way there, he assures Jazz he's not nervous...with his eyes bulging out in fear.
  • Blood Knight: Deconstructed with Noct. He struggles with depression and gets into fights because it's the only thing that really makes him feel alive. However, he's also fully aware of how his status as a delinquent has pushed away his friends and how much of a problem it is, but he worries about how it'll burden his family if he brings it up.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jazz may be an eccentric oddball, but she's actually quite good at collecting information and putting pieces together. So good, in fact, she figures out who killed her mother by the end, leading to their arrest.
  • The Casanova: Carol has a reputation as one. The truth is...rather complicated.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The game's first half is largely upbeat, fun, quirky dating sim antics. Later on, the story delves into topics like social anxiety, depression, and social ostracism. Takes an even sharper turn when Jazz learns her missing mother may actually have been murdered years ago and her father was taken into custody for questioning.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Jazz's parents were childhood friends who fell in love and got married. He knew her better than anyone, which is why he never gave up on her.
  • Children Are Innocent: Nada doesn't believe in Santa, but she believes superheroes and unicorns are real. She initially thinks the scars on Noct's back are because he's secretly a hero fighting for love and justice.
  • Cool Big Sis: Requie to Noct. Word of God describes her as a clown waitress lesbian big sister.
  • Covered in Scars: Noct's back is covered in scars and bruises, which is how Nada finds out just how bad his situation really is.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jazz and her family, big time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Noct's humor must be in the middle of a drought considering how dry it is.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Something Jazz truly hates are empty condolences.
  • The Dreaded: Noct's reputation as a fearsome delinquent leads to people avoiding him. Like with Carol, the truth behind his situation is rather complicated.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The main characters all have their own issues, often as a result of mental illnesses. The game is largely about helping them live healthy lives with them.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Families: Subverted with Noct. He has a reputation as a delinquent, but he's not really a bad guy. He does, however, love his family more than anything. Enough to hide his depression from them out of fear of being a burden.
  • Expy:
  • First-Person Smartass: Jazz has her moments, often combined with Sir Swears-a-Lot.
  • The Gadfly: Melo loves trolling people.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Carol is actually a unisex name, but is more often used for women. Here though, Carol is a boy.
  • Good Parents: Jazz's father, Carol's mothers, Noct's brother Urbano and his Aunt are all loving, supportive parental figures who want what's best for their kids.
    • Jazz's mother also turns out to have been this.
  • Happily Adopted: Noct's nieces, Nada and Serena.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": "Jazz" isn't short for Jasmine or anything, it actually is her name. Her father planned on naming her after his favorite musician, only for said musician to be arrested days before she was born. He ultimately panicked and named her after a whole genre.
  • Holding Hands: A recurring theme in Noct's route.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: On Carol's route, an optional CG shows that Jazz barely even come up to Carol's shoulders. She has a similar height difference with her father.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Jazz, of all people, has no right to call people out on being smartasses. See First-Person Smartass.
  • Ironic Name: Jazz doesn't like jazz.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jin hardly ever smiles and has a bit of a sour attitude, but she cares a lot about her son and assures Jazz that there's no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a family member, and tells her she doesn't have to face it alone.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Noct's aunt Bolero is a serene, philosophical, and kind woman who loves her children and always carries her cat Prelu with her. In Noct's route, Jazz considers her kindness the first time she's ever truly received a mother's love.
  • Knowledge Broker: What Jazz aspires to be.
  • Lethal Chef: Rap, Nada, and Serena. They nearly set the kitchen on fire on several occasions.
  • Missing Mom: Jazz's mother left when she was just a child. After she and her father moved to a new town, she's dead-set on finding her, collecting as much info as she can in the process. She later learns that her mother was actually murdered sixteen years earlier and her bones were recently found in a forest with a locket with a photo of Jazz and her dad inside.
  • Mood Whiplash: It's amazing how fast the game can go from hilarious to somber to heartwarming and back to hilarious again.
  • Multiple Endings: In both routes, there's a romance ending and a friendship ending. Both are treated as happy outcomes.
  • No Antagonist: It's a story focused on romance, comedy, and the trials and tribulations of living with mental illnesses. No Big Bad required. The closest the story ever has to one is the culprit behind the death of Jazz's mother, who never even gets a CG.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Noct's sister turns out to be one, even attending clown college.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In both routes, Jazz finds she has a lot in common with Noct and Carol.
  • Ocular Gushers: Jazz and her father both have their moments. It must be genetic.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The main character tries to invoke this, but winds up telling the love interest her name, Jazz Overstreet, early in each route anyways.
  • Opaque Lenses: Jazz's eyes are almost never seen through her Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Open Secret: Noct's whole family can tell he's hiding something and he's in a lot of pain, but they don't want to pressure him into telling them what it is.
  • Out of Focus: What Jazz actually wants as part of her goal to become a spy. Unfortunately for her, it never quite works out that way.
    Jazz: No! I'm supposed to fade into the background and be unseen and that's all!
  • Parental Substitute: Noct and his younger family members were raised by his older brother and sister and their Aunt.
  • Pungeon Master: Carol.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Noct, who has a reputation as a delinquent. In fact, his reputation as a delinquent is part of the reason why: people regularly challenge him to fights and give him offerings if they lose. He only accepts said offerings if they're cute, however, leading to him collecting many accessories.
  • Self-Harm: Noct states that his reason for getting into fights is because it makes him feel alive, but it's also implied to be a form of this.
  • Shrinking Violet: Carol is a more realistic example, and admits to having been diagnosed with social anxiety at 13. It's so bad that he often shuts himself in his room, which worries his mothers.
    • Noct's niece Serena as well, especially around strangers.
  • Shown Their Work: In Noct's route, the subject of his depression hits on many points that are often overlooked in other media, such as difficulties with sleeping and focusing in school, a deep sense of hopelessness, and the fear of being a burden on his family.
    • Jazz also displays many symptoms of ADHD, but averts Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!. She loses track of what's happening and can be forgetful, but she can also get hyperfocused, loves learning new things, and really opens up around friends.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Jazz. Noct considers it weird when she doesn't drop an F bomb in every other sentence.
  • Sleep Cute: Late in Carol's route, Carol and Jazz wind up falling asleep together after a night of playing dating sims.
  • The Stoic: Noct, though there are a few exceptions.
  • The Tease: Athema, a Proud Beauty who openly flirts with Requie.
  • Theme Naming: True to the title, all the characters have names based on music and song forms. Their surnames are also derived from holidays.
    • Jazz is fairly obvious. Her father's name, Laby, comes from Lullaby.
    • The Simmings-Misten family's names are based on Christmas: Carol (Christmas Carol), Melo (Melody) and Jin (Jingle).
    • The Entine family name comes from Valentine, and their names are all based on songs from Ocarina of Time. Noct (Nocturne of Shadow), Bolero (Bolero of Fire), Serena and Nada (Serenade of Water), Bolero's cat Prelu (Prelude of Light), and Rap (Rap + Minuet of Forest). Word of God confirms the name Urbano comes from both Urban Music and an adventurer they met in Etrian Mystery Dungeon. Bolero's surname is White (White Day).
    • Athema Pidia. A Theme and Pi Day.
    • Turne and Aria, both from the infamous Ariana Almandoz and Overture of Sages.
    • Hym Familia. Hymn and Family Day.
    • Jazz's mother is Elegy Threonode. Turns out to be a Meaningful Name, as both come from songs mourning the dead.
  • Time Skip: The story covers the better part of a year, established by the changing seasons and holidays. By the end, the game skips to when Jazz is in college, successfully caught her mother's murderer, and is either dating or very good friends with Noct or Carol.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Noct is shorter than Jazz, something she loves teasing him about.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Jazz after learning that her mother was murdered sixteen years earlier.
  • Tsundere: Jazz and Jin. Noct is a more downplayed example.
  • Wham Line: Late in the story, after a great day with either Noct or Carol, Jazz gets a phone call from the police in her old hometown.
    In the forest near the town, several bones were discovered. Near those bones was a locket. Depicting a man identified to be your father, holding a child presumed to be you.
  • When He Smiles: Noct rarely smiles, but it's always a meaningful moment when he does. The first and only time he laughs in the entire game is during his romance ending.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Rap, which compliments his Quintessential British Gentleman persona. He offers Jazz some advice about how people, by nature, always change. If you try not to, then you're not giving yourself a chance to heal or improve.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Upon first meeting them on their respective routes, Miss Info thinks Noct is the rumoured playboy and Carol is the rumoured delinquent.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A recurring theme with Jazz and her love interests.
  • You Are Not Alone: Another recurring theme. It's a sentiment her love interests and and their families return after Jazz learns what happened to her mother.