Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom [Saito Hajime Route]
Now we take in the delicious delicious Saito.
I’m sitting here after literally just beating this path. So it’s really fresh in my mind. And my response is…I AM DISAPPOINT.
This path is. so. long. And not good long. I was super excited for this because Saito is extremely adorable and I was expecting a more subtle romance. But guys. THIS WAS TOO SUBTLE. 9 chapters including the final one and it’s just…too much for me man. Nothing. Freaking. Happens. It’s a huge history lesson and Saito and Chizuru literally give too little too late. And don’t argue with me about time. She has been involved with the Shinsengumi for years and ugh. I feel so frustrated right now guys.
Before I get into spoilers, let me give you some general issues. It’s too long, with too little character movements. You don’t get enough romance to believe it and the villain of this story switches to and fro and while we knew he’d be fighting the person he did eventually, it just seems so uninteresting. Chizuru is too busy giving us history lessons to invoke emotion in us. Seriously guys. The entire first two chapters of the game is litterd with history, I don’t want to know anymore. I DON’T. I PROMISE. And Saito gives a bunch of speeches about being a warrior and I’m cool with that but you literally get so little time with his romance I didn’t believe it. You felt like his companion by the end, sure, but not his lover. Frustration.
~~Spoiler tiems yo~~
So basically the entirety of the game is spent building up what Saito thinks of being a warrior, his origins, his motivations- and I was really okay with that. But it takes you until the freaking seventh act to get anywhere with him really. He doesn’t really even admit CARING about you until then. Oh yeah, the subtle hints, but they are so scarce because most of the time other shit is going on. And they’re not even cool. Chizuru barely works up the nerve to speak to him about the things he does. Like, you stay in your room so Amagiri kidnaps you and you get saved by Saito. Okay that’s cool. So uh. He makes an obvious bluff and Amagiri just lets him go, and he shrugs off all questions about it. And Chizuru never brings up again how he lied and obviously cared about her life. And he goes out during the day to find her and shows no real other concern than why didn’t you get permission?
And here’s the thing. The biggest and most romantic thing he does for you for the longest time is become a fury for you when he gets his ass kicked by Kazama, and then he downplays this and so does Chizuru by being all HIS WARRIORS SPIRIT AND INABILITY TO LOSE! Okay that would be cool IF YOU GAVE ME. ENOUGH ROMANCE. TO FUNCTION. Literally at one point Chizuru says, hey I’m going to probably be in a situation where I’ll die to be with you. I want us to share our fates! I don’t get this or believe in it. You just barely kiss. YOU DON’T GET MANY SIGNS OF LOVING HIM. When you go through Okita’s route you ARE LIKE HEY. This guy is an ass. BUT HE LOVES ME. He believes I am someone he wants to be with. And if I change who I am because I’m scared or hurt, he’ll kill me so I can die who I am. Saito it’s like, OH HEY I’M SAITO
WATCH ME STAND THERE AS THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS FALL
I AM SO COOL
~kawaii desu ne~
Ugh seriously. Like. I thought Heisuke would be a bad love interest but after this I’ve decided to play Heisuke just because I’m sure that while his story might not end up great, I’m damn sure I’ll be able to believe he loves me JUST FROM THE WAY HE ACTS IN OTHER PEOPLES PLAYTHROUGHS. I need to go watch Souji tell me he loves me or SOMETHING I DUNNO MAN.
~edit~: Okay it’s been a few days and let me come back and say that the scenes are sweet. They’re kind of sparse, but they’re sweet. So it’s not all bad. If you’re into history and like really subtle romance, give it a shot!
And I’ll admit it….his final scene is very cute. You watch the snow together and say you’ll be together forever.
Saito is the 4th route I’ve completed. While it did have the flaws, the key point to this route is the history and Saito’s backstory, explaining to us how he is different and what made him the man he is today.
One of the few things I’ve enjoyed in this route is revealing a Fury who was a the verge of death who was able to grasp his humanity for the last time. This innocent peasant gave us the information we needed to hear and told us how they were dragged into the situation in the first place as well by the fact they were attempting to run away, but their blood lust got the better of them.
It was incredibly generous of Saito to give him his blood in exchange for more information despite the risk the fury could’ve turned his back against them, and thankfully the fury was finally put to rest as his lifespan had expired.
Another thing is just how freaky and fucked up Sanan turned out to be. He didn’t play a huge role in this route, as he embraced the role as the Traitor who was blinded by fascination and desire for the special Water of Life that allows Furries to walk in daylight. Well, this isn’t the only route he betrays everyone, but still- this one in particular was pretty creepy, especially how he was completely caught up in his own world.
The reunion with Heisuke, Harada and Shinpaichi was okay. It really bothered me (despite the fact it was hilarious) when the three of them barged in and were all like, “OLLA LETS TAKE THIS BITCH DOWN, TOGETHER!” or how I like to put it: “BEHOLD THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!”
In fact, I was more annoyed that Saito wasn’t the one to take Kodo down. Moreover, why the hell was Heisuke more badass in this route than he was in his own??!?!?! WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THAT?!
Overall Saito’s route had an intersting aspect to it, but I would figure for most people, they were disappointed or grew bored with the lack of chemistry and conversation. The highlight in this route is definitely the deeper insight of the changes and history. I think it was also the fact of just how strong Saito is as whole made this pretty inspiring as he resisted the fury temptations. On top of that, Saito throughout the story was losing everything that he lived for. At one point you can feel that it’s so overwhelming that my eyes startsed to sting and I couldn’t help but feel sad and in a way, pitied him.
While there were some poistive points, I’m afraid I have two major complaints:
1) From Respect to Disgrace
In this route I felt the Heroine was a damsel in distress- and that pisses me off!!!
She had LOTS of opportunities to get off her ass and do something like she had in the other routes, so there’s NO EXCUSES for making her quite pathetic as she was! I mean for the love of god, the odds of being killed by Kazama is significantly lower than being shot by Shirahui when she went out to defend Harada in his route!!!
Kazama wants her to bear his demon babies > Shirahui doesn’t give a shit.
See the difference?
In the beginning, she actually was useful and did shit, but right after Chapter 3- it is safe to say the heroine is a perfect damsel in distress and on top of that, to make things worse: The minute Saito drinks the Water of Life, his character goes down hill too!
Crash and burn much?
Saito is a STRONG character, and all the sudden he can’t put up a decent fight with Kazama! I mean hello! Lets go back to their first fight. DUDE! He was not only mentally strong but he had guts. Despite his critical condition and bathed in his own blood, he continued to fight! Then all the sudden, after drinking that shit he becomes like… weak.
To be honest, I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that they decided to throw in “THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP” during the last battle or the fact our dear Heroine did NOTHING to create opportunities in that fight. NOT EVEN A DISTRACTION! *HEADESKS*
2) Lack of Love:
I really wished that we were able to get a bit more- no scratch that: ALOT more chemistry. I felt nothing more than an acquaintance. If anything, the whole relationship felt terribly one-sided. I think it would’ve been nicer to expand on it a bit more.
For example, not once has he ever said, “I love you”, nor has he boldly confessed or say anything even close to it. If you’re thinking “I’ll protect you!”, think again. Every fucking guy here says that, which makes it totally overrated and definitely not special.
In the end I do not recommend you do Saito’s path first. In fact if you do, it might give you a bad impression of the game as whole if you tend to be narrow-minded. Also, I highly recommend that you do not waltz into this route with high expectations as you will likely to be disappointed.