Just in case you are not up-to-date on this massively popular otome series, the plot of Hakuoki is:
Chizuru Yukimura goes to Kyoto to attempt to find her father and, through a series of events, she ends up with the Shinsengumi. From there, and after revealing who she really is, she joins up with the men to help locate her father. And, at the same time, uncovers a dark secret the group are keeping as well as some secrets of her own.
Hakuoki is the grandpapa of otome internationally. Originally released in 2012 on the PSP, it help boost the otome landscape of what we have today. It’s a long game in its original form being 30~50 hours with six routes. It has spawn anime, stage plays, musicals, and many MANY versions of the game.
Are we all caught up? Good.
Once Kyoto Winds (the upgraded version of the original PSP) was announced, I spent December playing the original game on my stream to build hype for Kyoto Winds and we had a blast! After the stream, many people told me they were very excited for the new version of the game that was adding sixlove interests and expanding the shorter romance routes.
Then there is the merch.
When the Limited Edition was announced I was like a puppy who had seen its favorite toy. Bento Box? Sign me up! Furoshiki? I will be the most beautiful weeb-bushka! Artbook? OMG, are you trying to make me cry?! Soundtrack? I’m gonna take epic roadtrips! Reversible Cover Sleeve? When I get tired at looking at these handsomes, now I will look at these other handsomes!
So, when I was contacted by Idea Factory International to be sent a review copy of the Limited Edition, I was floored. Yes, a thousand times, yes.
First and foremost, I have a degree in graphic design. I love touching and holding things. I enjoy well made items. I don’t want flimsy items. If I’m going to spend money on something, I want to get my actual feels worth. And because of that, I hold physical items up to a pretty high standard. I also am a bit of a package design snob. How things fit in packaging, was the package actually designed or is it just a box with things thrown in it, ect.
Oh god. I’m so happy right now I might cry and I want to shake the package designer’s hand. They did a beautiful job.
Let’s start with the collector’s box itself.
This is a nice box. It’s not flimsy. It’s a thick board. If you bought the Amnesia collector’s edition, this is a big step up from that. At no point am I worried I’m going to put the box back together the wrong way and bend it. Just hold the sides and let the bottom slide out. Awww yeah…
I gasped at opening this. I think it’s important to note that the last handful of Limited Editions I bought consisted of “just throw it in the box!” I can tell that everything has a compartment and I’m floored. (Sorry sorry, designer coming out in me again.)
We’ll get to the game itself later but first…
The bento box is not fake wood. It is legit Bamboo and Chinese Fir that has then had a thin layer of latex added. Hand-wash only, not microwave safe. I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable actually using it for its intended purpose because how nice it is.
Every Limited Edition needs its nick-nacky things, this and another thing in this box are those things. They are the body pillow and coasters from the Amnesia Box Set. In this set it’s this and the furoshiki, two items that I would be worried about ruining if I used them. OTL
Maybe I’ll hold charms in the bento instead, like suggested in the Unboxing video that IFI did a month back.
Soundtrack, the necessary item in a limited edition. If there is one small thing I am disappointed in here, it is the same thing that disappoints me about CDs and games these days. I remember in my day we had booklets that came with our CDs and games! You kids these days have no appreciation for a well designed booklet!
20 tracks. I jammed to it on my 10 minute drive to work this morning.
Peek-a-boo. It’s the furoshiki!
For those of you who don’t know the use of a furoshiki, you wrap things in them. Presents, bentos, ect are wrapped in them for easier transport. And now here is one with all 12 bachelors on it. Also, it’s massive (Vita box for scale).
It’s made of polyester so there is a nice feel to it. This is another thing I don’t think I would actually use, though the idea of wrapping my hair in it like some weeb-bushka is very tempting.
Maybe I’ll frame it just to get weird looks from the people I get my prints framed at. They’ve seen what I’ve brought in before, I don’t know why they would be surprised…
Here comes the other thing that made me gasp when I saw it.
It’s a hardcover art book! I opened it to hear the crack. Ohhhhhh I’m gonna curl up in a ball of happiness. That’s some good stuff right there. Nice glossy paper that still has some tooth to it. I held it close for a bit and thought about actually displaying it on my bookshelf instead of hiding it inside the box.
The information is really nicely laid out for the most part. You get a lot of stats info that can help you figure out the age of the characters when you meet them during the game.
Husbando likes tofu. I’m gonna get that MFer some tofu so he’ll love me.
Also, stop calling Toudou the shota of the game, he’s the same age as husbando! Which, going by MC’s age and her birthdate, puts them both at 19~20……….
*lies on the floor* Still gonna get husbando tofu…
It’s just a really nice 64 page art book… Oh and there were ~40 pages of CGs in the book. TAG YOUR CG SPOILERS, IFI!!!
And finally we make it to the game’s case.
I’ve looked at the three new husbandos long enough. Gonna flip the cover to the other husbandos.
Straight up: For me, the artbook alone makes it. Just some nice artbook. 10/10, would artbook again. That artbook is easily worth $30 on its own. The bento and the furoshiki are nice thing to have for display or maybe a purpose outside of their original ones. And if you want to use them, more power to you! It’s up to you. I do believe that items are best and their happiest when you are using them.
Also, there are chibis all along the sides. And who doesn’t love some cute chibis?
Quick Game Comments
The game Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is a wonderful upgrade too. The GUI (Game User Interface) has an amazing upgrade that almost made me cry when I saw it. Gone are the jagged edges and the yellow text box. Everything is crisp. Don’t want to press X? Just touch the screen now. The characters blink and their mouths move when they talk (I was surprised when it happened). Random characters, like one of the ronin in the beginning of the game, now have sprites, which adds to the game’s richness. Backgrounds are now added in where they weren’t in the original game. There are effects happening on screen, it’s now snowing in the game and there are animations when the MC moves.
Oh, and splatter effects. Bless splatter effects. lol
All in all a very nice upgrade from the original version.
I like it so much. I was thinking that I would have a few more gripes about it, but it’s a solid package with nice extras and the game itself has a beautiful upgrade.
Something I do feel the need to confirm with everyone is this game is in two parts. Due to the additional routes, upgrades, and extensions of existing routes, Idea Factory decided to release this game in two parts. The first part is Kyoto Winds (Kaze no Shou) and there is a second part, Hana no Shou. Think of it like an anime series that leaves you with a cliffhanger until the second season comes out. I have seen that most reviewers, who seem to not know what they are missing, feel satisfied with the game after playing it.
I’ll still be here ready for the second part. Additional releases could still be ahead for this series as well. If you look anywhere where fans are talking about this series, you will see wails for Hakuouki SSL ~Sweet School Life~ which is a High School AU game. Otome fans love their AUs…
If you want to get your hands on this, you need to make a decision FAST. The game isn’t even out yet and, on May 5th, Idea Factory Intl announced they are at 40% stock. It’s going and soon it might be gone!
Get those husbandos and enjoy your merch!
Thanks to Idea Factory International for sending me this to review. I’m still in shock when I hold it and feel I’m not worthy. Also, hearing I was the first person outside the company to receive this in no way made me super nervous. NOPE.
Release Date: May 16 (NA) May 19 (EU)
NA – http://www.iffysonlinestore.com/HakuokiKyotoWindsLE
EU – https://store.iffyseurope.com/products/hakuoki-kyoto-winds-limited-edition
Official Site: http://ideafintl.com/hakuoki-kyoto