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Review of Flowers -Le Volume sur Automne-

SubjectFlowers -Le Volume sur Automne-
Flowers -Le Volume sur Automne- Download Edition
ByVote: 5zansnae on 2020-09-30
ReviewWhile nowhere near as captivating as the previous VN in the series, automne still manages to be a decent reading experience. As the third game in the series, the main perspective shifts over to the enigmatic Student Council President Yuzuriha who provides a different outlook compared to the meek Shirohane from printemps or the cynical Erika from ete, this time focusing on her relationship with her childhood friend, Nerine as well as juggling that with a sudden confession from Ringo. Yuzuriha has often put up a false upbeat personality in most of her dealings with the school but deep down she is more vulnerable than what other people could see in her.

I thought going in this would be a point of contention and a major theme of Yuzuriha coming out to the rest of the world and not hiding anything within herself but this ended up playing a minor role in the grand scheme of things. Which is how the VN ended up being for me. A fairly interesting premise is suddenly rushed towards a half-baked conclusion at the end with not much in terms of development or resolution for the romantic plot threads. Unlike ete's very focused character development and growth, I feel that automne doesn't do enough to sell the reader on the relationship between Yuzuriha and Nerine beyond the very basic setup of "They were childhood friends" -> "Yuzuriha tried confessing but failed so she goes out with Ringo now" -> "Yuzuriha's second confession worked and now everyone's happy".

I still do question the necessity of the mystery puzzle moments since they do break up the pacing especially when you get them wrong (though definitely not as cryptic as the ones from printemps). While they do connect back into the main story and characterizations on a thematic level, their inclusion still feels very artificial for a series that isn't a mystery at its core. Adding to this, the main mystery regarding the Goddess of Truth and Mayuri set up by printemps and briefly mentioned in the bonus end to ete and this is still almost completely ignored in the main story, leaving much to be desired.

At the end of the day, with its brilliant soundtrack, peaceful visuals and slow pacing, automne still makes for a relaxing reading experience, but one that makes you long for something more substantial as you reach its end.

5/10

Comments

#1 by hannibalmick
2021-11-03 at 18:58
< report >Even if I rated it a 8, I fully agree to your reasoning, the rushed conclusion left a sour taste in my mouth, and the mystery aspect (a flaw of the series) was more present in this episode and in consequence even more boring compared to Eté. I also felt how the twins were handled was very poor, and the twins ending is very meh. It's a shame since Yuzuriha has the most complex psychology of the three protagonist of the series, but how she evolved is not satisfying enough (and Nerine is probably the main heroine I like the least of the series).
#2 by butterflygrrl
2021-11-11 at 22:06
< report >I was really hoping for a hard swerve in which she spends the first half of the game obsessing over Nerine, learns to her chagrin that that was a terrible idea, and then both real route options are other people.

I don't feel like there was nearly enough exploration of what Nerine thought and felt in order to bring us around to what happens in the true end. It ends up making both of them look dumb.
#3 by rainfellow
2021-11-24 at 20:10
< report >Unfortunately, lack of exploration of non-protagonist's motives is the main problem of the series and it will become even more apparent in chapter 4. And if you try to come up with it yourself based on what IS in the game, the most logical conclusion for me is actually in the very first word of this VN - "ushirometai", the feeling of being guilty. Nerine just felt too guilty about how Yuzu is always here for her, basically being her voluntary slave. Thus she decides to repay Yatsushiro equally by reciprocating her feelings. This line of thought is only reinforced by the fact that all the way until the end she was still undecisive, and only showed up when Yuzuriha reminded Neri of their childhood promise. The childhood is what Nerine felt the most guilty about. Well, if all these assumptions are true, it kinda makes sense for the author to not show this directly and ruin the happy feeling.
But unfortunately having read all FLOWERS and Kudan no Folklore, I feel like motives are just the weakest part of Shimizu Hatsumi-san's writing. When it gets too complex she just tries to skip them or completely fails at it. Really hope she gets better, though. I really enjoy her storytelling otherwise.Last modified on 2021-11-24 at 20:16