A blog for reviews… that's really not much of a blog

Foreword: Quite a hyped game for me, I’m not even going to lie that this was quite the weird game that was slightly off from what I expected. Despite being hyped due to being favorable in many aspects, that high standards made this game look much worse than it may have been, so that was quite a disappointment. I also even thought at one point that this game was pulling a “Favorite” on me, by presenting an enormous amount of fantasy elements and leaving them vague only to be utilized later (kek). So that admittedly made me a bit more salty than usual.

Generally, I found this game to be heavily lacking… in many more areas than I wanted.

Let’s just get to reviewing of the title. Because I have nukige on my backlog begging to be played

Title: 枯れない世界と終わる花 (World that does not Wither and the Ending Flower)
Producers: Sweet&Tea (It’s pronounced Sweetie)
Release Date: November 25, 2016
VNDB Link: https://vndb.org/v19658
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=914784
Game Type: Fantasy Drama Visual Novel

Summary: The world that’s about to end and the seven-colored flower that oversees that conclusion… This world is a sad place where the hardest working individuals are the very ones to suffer the most.

Shou is a boy who has returned to this beautiful and peaceful town where he has a promise to fulfill. A promise made so long ago he’s sure that his opponent has already forgotten. On his way, a mysterious girl who he already knows accompanies him, and giving her the name “Ren”, the two somewhat mismatched couple travels down the road to this town, where they depend on the kindness of its people to survive.

Just a reminder that you also need loli to survive

Story Length: Moderately Short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Very Easy
Comments: Not really a hard game to complete. Four routes, and three choices with two of them “branching” into each respective route. It’s genuinely sad to even ask for a walkthrough for games like this purely because you need to try REALLY hard to mess up. On the other hand, games with routes so simple as such makes it unfortunate that the lack of “effort” in completing the game matches up to how much invested you become in it as well.

Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 4/10
Protagonist Rating: 4/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: Quite a disappointing game indeed! The main problem I saw was that the game lacked not only the quality, but also the quantity of character design and story.

Story was quite unfortunate in the sense in the end, everything felt incomplete. Many things were left unanswered, and the reader may have lingering questions about why the events happened as it did instead of receiving a satisfying conclusion. The excessive amounts of vague fantasy in the beginning makes the reader more confused instead of immersed, somewhat like how Favorite presents its scenario, which is something I absolutely hate. I guess if you enjoy this kind of ambiguity, you’re in for a treat.

To be fair, however, there are a decent amount of foreshadows regarding Shou’s identity from the very beginning, which was a plus. It’s just sad that only his “identity” is foreshadowed, and NOT his “background” instead. Story is rather impactful for the most part, and it really feels like you’re reading a fantasy novel. “Flashback” scenes exist to display the past of these heroines, which I thought was strange; it was actually quite unnecessary.

Though on the other hand, a harem route was kinda necessary :^)

Characters fall for the same reason; their “quantity” was very lacking. The game takes very little time to properly introduce all characters, and this was instead performed by “character arcs” which composed of a heroine being focused instead. This made each heroine rather unmemorable, which was further enhanced by how everything was already kept so vague in the beginning. Not a good combo. There is also the fact characters interact so little within the game that romance also sucks… Man is there anything worth praising this game for?

Protagonist rating is relatively low despite how he seemed to “know everything” because in the end, it was never shown why. I’ve always been a real fan of protagonists who are active and competent compared to other characters, but not without a good reason. He’s given special powers, but by what and why? His design otherwise would have been great; it’s just that outside of the bare basics of what I look for in a protagonist, there was nothing else. Oh, and the romantic transitioning is completely absent. Can’t forget that.

Character Summary:

Haru is the first girl Ren and Shou meets as they step in, offering them food considering neither of them have the money, Shou seems to recognize her immediately for some reason. Very gentle and mature describes this middle sister, who creates a good impression on both Shou and Ren for her kindness, but also from her lonely smile which almost looks demonic.

It’s not long until Shou witnesses Haru collecting a “soul”, however, which is a process where a normal human becomes a flower and is planted near the large tree. This has been the “rule” of this world for as long as Haru can remember, and it was her, and her sister’s jobs to perform this task to stay alive.

As an angel of death, Haru is missing “memories” which was replaced by her powers. This includes memories that she shared with a boy named “Akito”, and memories of her sisters as well. The one thing she does not forget, however, is a promise that she made with Akito a long time ago.

Kotose is the eldest of the three sisters, and Shou meets her when he “barges” into the store they work in, Famiyu, early in the morning. They witness her reading a book with tea which happens to be her specialty in this cafe, and related to a novelist who seems to write a lot of dramatic novels, which Kotose is a big fan of. Generally easily flustered, it’s ironic someone like Kotose is considered the older sister of Haru, but she takes this responsibility fully and makes all efforts to protect her younger sisters from whatever may harm them, including this fate they share of “Death Angels”.

Kotose’s route mostly deals with her lacking a certain emotion that is foreshadowed by the very novelist who attempts to give her that emotion back. I thought it was quite an interesting concept, but as with all the other routes in the game, said concept was rushed and resolved too quickly which made it shallow instead.

Yukina is the youngest of the three sisters, and displays a cheerful and friendly atmosphere which makes her quite easy to approach. She also seems to have skills regarding flowers and their processing into various ornaments, as shown later within the game.

Yukina has a relatively sad story of being unable to trust adults due to being betrayed by them. Because of this, she decided not to trust anyone and resorted to stealing to stay alive. This is when she meets Akito and later on Shou who convince her to discard this lifestyle and join them as family.

While I thought Yukina’s design was decent as well, I didn’t like how she was supposed to be that two-faced character who was “missing something” that was so subjective; not like Haru or Kotose. It’s just unfortunate since I could have seen her character be a bit more stubborn about “trusting others” as I might see in some better games that display the same pattern, since it’s quite unnatural for a girl to firmly believe in her lifestyle be changed so easily.

Ren is the girl who Shou meets along the way down the road and someone that Shou already knows. However, she is shown to not have a name, for which Shou gives her one; “Ren”. More childish and immature, it’s quite surprising to see who this character is revealed at the very end, but she is nonetheless quite an important character.

Despite this, I was thoroughly disappointed that Ren doesn’t seem to play a big role in all of this. Like literally the entire game could have taken her out and it wouldn’t have made a difference. I’m thinking she was just put in there to somehow balance things out or something >.>

… Oh THAT balance

Sexual Content: Moderate

Comments: So overall a very, VERY unfortunate game, the main problems it had was the fact that the characters essentially had nothing. See how I was unable to describe the characters well up there? That’s exactly because there wasn’t much about the characters in the first place. The game shows all these characters are “angels” of some kind forced to turn people into flowers to live, but the basis of all this process is never explained (e.g. What happens if one of them refuses this “role”?), and stuff just went downhill as the writer attempted to put slapdash “patches” on said holes of this story way too late in the game when all the water leaked out already. Character epilogues literally only offer more H-scenes for the readers, and it’s entirely possible to just leave the game after you’ve finished it once and not miss a thing.

On the story compartment, the best way to enjoy this game would be to literally take out your brain and set it aside because if you try to think about the scenario at all, you just see more and more flaws or plotholes that make you wonder why the fuck all of this happened as it did. Having a very cynical and interrogative mindset such as myself didn’t really give this game a good impression, so instead of spending time sympathizing with these characters, I was making predictions of what the “truth” behind all of this might be. Characters literally bawl their eyes out every 2 seconds and I’m just sitting here going “I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHY YOU’RE SO SAD”

Haru’s just reading a really sad novel; that’s it! I promise!

In reality, readers might share the same opinion as me; it’s really tragic to see these heroines with a twisted fate cursed them to take on said painful role, but for what? In a very neutral perspective they’re just another group of homeless kids and how this “god” of the world is a flower and there’s rules to this world that you can’t avoid… It was all a clusterfuck of nonsense elements which was more annoying than mysterious. I found no form of symbolism nor anything that would otherwise make this game stand out more than other games I play, and most of the time during my play I was concentrating on finding what I’m somehow missing from this game… but that might be just me being an asshole than anything else.

I think I made Yukina mad because I was an asshole

Affection for the Characters: Low

CG Score: 8/10. I really like Ametoyuki’s artwork and the background CGs, standalone CGs, and small effects were quite beautiful.

Ametoyuki’s one of my favorite artists currently. For damn good reason too if I may say so myself

Music Score: 5/10. More on the average side. Both the OP and ED didn’t really stand out.

Addictiveness: Low

Conclusion:

Pros

  • Graphically a beautiful game, Ametoyuki’s bishoujo artwork works well with the fantasy atmosphere that the game creates with various CGs.
  • Small graphic effects are great and non-disruptive ways to enhance visual elements.
  • While not a good game, it’s one that contains a lot of impact and drama.

Cons

  • Characters are very limited to explanations and hard to sympathize with. Their design and background are literally shoved on your face instead of having them gradually introduced, which is ironic because each of them has a background story where said introduction should have happened.
  • This a biased comment: I hate the excess amount of fantasy not explained until much later. This kind of scenario will never do well in my book.
  • Story is pretty bad in the sense the scenario keeps the reader wondering about why or how things happened while things are still progressing. The game remains much too vague for readers to be satisfied at one arc and move on.
  • Romance is shit
  • The ending is much too convenient for my liking and AGAIN does not explain how or why things happened as it did.

Overall, Karenai Sekai would be classified as that one game that had great potential, but lost it due to many factors. Both characters and protagonist seems much too incomplete which includes the story which is full of holes as well. This game overall had a very serious and dramatic atmosphere, which was somewhat too short to be actually have that “depressing” effect if that was what the game was trying to go for. If you’re someone like me who hunts and picks out for the objectively good literary elements in visual novels, expect to be thoroughly disappointed.

I genuinely can’t figure out what this game was trying to achieve, so I’ll be depending on the comments you guys leave me to find out. Meanwhile, I got backlog to be completed and nukige to be played. Oh wait I still got Giniro Haruka… FUCK

Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who thought this flower looked absolutely delicious…

I mean it looks like a freaking rainbow marshmallow! Right guys? RIGHT?!

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Comments on: "The World and its Flowers: Review of [161125]Karenai Sekai to Owaru Hana" (12)

  1. Ok, so I just completed this. Kinda weird that each heroine “route” does not add extra content except the epilogue and some h-scenes. Makes this a reaalllly short VN (I mean reaallly short).

    So upon reading to the end I was like “Thats was it? What about those questions you left me with?” Was really disappointed though. I actually thought Ren’s route would be the “true route” where they answer all the questions and stuff, but nah. Story had so much potential but the failed to develop it properly. They really left a lot out such as explanations on why things must be this way or that. Why would people willingly disappear? It’s not like they owe the sisters their lives or anything. Could have said no anytime. Plus what is the place with the tree and flowers? Who/What is Ren? Where did the prologue start from? Rushed, cut and incomplete I’d say.

    Also, I didn’t like how fast the Protagonist became so close to sisters. A few days ago he’s a complete stranger to them and now he’s hugging them and comforting them like a big brother?

    Ame to Yuki sensei’s pretty art was wasted… Such nice characters but you don’t really feel much for them. They could have added parts like the epilogue (moe and some humour) to the common route or something, or at the very least shift the epilogue forward for some character development. What’s the point when the story is over and you start character development in the last 5 minutes of the route? Honestly I actually enjoyed the epilogues more than the main story. Ren’s was the best.

    Other than that I shall move on to other VNs for the month.

    P.S. Ren makes a good imouto. They should totally make a side story just about her

    • I can definitely agree that it was short! The game should have really elongated itself at least to try to answer some of the questions it creates such as how Shou receives his anti-angel powers and what angels were supposed to be in the first place. Like yourself, I expected Ren’s route to be similar to a true route, but as the one I visited first, I was thoroughly disappointed.

      Some things such as the identity of Ren and why some people were willing to disappear is VERY vaguely implied. However, this is completely open to debate and not a good thing especially since there are more vague things (such as said tree, rainbow flower, this world) which were not explained.

      The epilogues themselves seemed like the common routes if you ask me! I also completely agree Ametoyuki’s art was quite a waste here, evenmoreso than Pure X Connect!

  2. Seems we agree on this one, as the vagueness of the plot was too much even for me! I really like あめとゆき’s art, though I wish he/she had stayed with SMEE as it would have made Kanojo*Step much better… I happen to be a fan of both Akino Hana (Ren) and Kiritani Hana (Haru), and I’m particularly weak to the former’s crying voice, it’s literally enough to make me teary-eyed however poor the context is. Music while a little repetitive due to the re-use of the same tracks often was also something I liked, and I appreciate a game that knows how to make use of silence in those night scenes with only the wind breezing.

    Story is really what brings the game down, in both quantity and quality. It’s really disappointing that the same doesn’t feature any proper heroine route at all. The main story unfolds the same way whoever Shou decides to go with, apart from a quick confession+first ecchi scene at the end of said heroine’s chapter. There’s a real disconnect in the story after said scene, as the game switches to the next heroine’s chapter with little transition and the events unfold as if nothing happened. There’s no coming-out scene to the other heroines, no time spent on the two enjoying their newfound relationship. I know I’m asking a lot for a middle price game, but I would have hoped for a completely different route for each one, or at least a different ending. At the very least some little scenes in between chapters to remind the player that he made a choice would have been nice, like Tayutama did in between each “three strongest” plot arc. Stuffing most of heroine-specific along with the ero in epilogues is really not something I appreciated in Senmomo, and seeing the same here just reinforces this opinion.

    My guess is they tried to make a nakige, but they missed critical steps while doing so. The time these games spend on daily slice-of-life or otherwise cheerful events is needed (the baseball in Little Busters!, the various operations in Angel Beats!, etc…), but Karehana progresses events too fast without giving the reader time to form a bond with the characters. This is especially true for each chapter’s “sacrifice” who barely get any screen time at all, so when the drama happens I found it hard to relate to the character and feel anything for them. I think it’s telling that after but a few days I can’t even remember their names (shopkeeper girl was Yuu?)… Main heroines also suffer from this lack of content, the game really needed at least a few more scenes of Shou getting to know each heroine better. As it stands, he switches from total-stranger to most-trusted-person after but a few words, that doesn’t really work.

    As for the main story, while I tend to be rather tolerant on vagueness, the game is too quick to take its elements for granted without explanations. Nowhere does the game explain why angels and sacrifices are needed, which is a critical piece of information to relate to the situation of the three sisters. You can do what the heroines do and dismiss as “It can’t be helped”, but then the ending doesn’t make any kind of sense since it implies this world rule wasn’t even needed in the first place. In the same vein, Ren often mentions that the world is decaying and doesn’t have much longer, but there’s not even a hint of a reason to start forming hypothesis on (my guess, because fate was twisted..?).

    As far as mystery goes, Shou’s identity was to me maybe a bit too obvious, especially as the hints are a bit too explicit (his age is what gave it away almost immediately). His interactions with Ren also made it pretty clear he was, if not directly responsible, at least at the center of the whole clusterfuck. I found the “past” Shou to be a pretty awful character, having kids work to pay for booze while they starve on bean soup, making promises then breaking them without an explanation… No wonder these kids end up fucked up. I know the game tried to make Shou like a sympathetic character by the end but that didn’t really work with me. “Present” Shou didn’t fare much better, as he acts the adult (should he be that mature?) a bit too much while missing or ignoring some very obvious hints.

    I guess it was too much to expect a decent nakige or mystery from Koikuma and Nekopara’s writer. The game up to the opening seemed like it had a lot of potential which is mostly wasted by a half-assed setting and a too fast pacing that doesn’t take time to properly establish its characters. As you say, some of the scenes have pretty good impact but they lack the foundation needed to really make them work. CGs and CVs save the game for me (Ren is adorable!) but I can understand your disappointment as you seem to favor story so much.

    What’s that nukige you want to play that badly?

    • This is essentially the entirety of what I thought about the game, except I think you did a MUCH better job organizing and presenting it and putting me to shame because I suck at review writing (…?)

      When I started this game and saw characters bawling their eyes out, I was genuinely confused! Was there something I missed and characters were genuinely sad? Was I supposed to be sad along with them? I even went a couple of scenes back just to see if I missed some critical element/symbolism for all this crying, because I’m sure I’m quite the emotional person when it comes to genuinely sad stories. Turns out it’s just as you say; all of this “sadness” wasn’t really sad because there was no good bonds formed, and I’m currently laughing my ass off at how Getchu lists this game with the genre “Beautiful and Kind Story about Trust and Bond” when we obviously both know that wasn’t the case.

      I personally think Yukihito did pretty well presenting characters in Koikuma, at least, and expected more of a charage here as well with loveable characters. I saw that to a certain extent (with memorable CVs too!), but the fantasy didn’t work out well to give this a “crying experience” and was mostly too short. Even games like Inochi no Spare made me cry because the game took sufficient length to present Megumi and Ryuuji’s bonds!

      Oh and “ahem

    • Yukihito has a knack for making cute characters, that’s for sure. He can also be pretty funny in the slice-of-life scenes he writes, which makes the scarcity of these in this game even more of a shame. The Koikuma characters are special because of their quirks that contrasts with their demonic parentage, but they all start in love with the protagonist at the beginning of the game. I haven’t played enough of Nekopara to judge all the characters, they’re certainly cute but they also start madly in love with the main character. That leads to me thinking that he is either unable or uninterested in telling how bonds are slowly supposed to be formed.

      I also think he’s pretty bad at making good use of the settings he comes up with. Koikuma’s demonic world could have been replaced with heroines from different countries/upbringings without really impacting anything at all, except some cosplay ecchi-scenes. Nekopara’s universe looks cute and heartwarming, until you realize that it’s a world in which humans genetically engineered cats to look like small girls, gave them intelligence of a teenager, then when the fad dies down throws them down on the streets to starve. That’s something that could work in a dystopian novel but goes directly again everything Nekopara tries to otherwise achieve. Let’s not even talk about the pet-owner relationships getting awkward romance mixed in while it’s (in my eyes) primarily a father-child kind of thing.

      >ahem : I appreciate you being honest about it. Harem + ryoujoku, that’s not really my thing. Rapist protagonists are a real turn-off for me. Then again I did play most of the Rance series, so if treated humorously/ridiculously enough… CGs look alright and it apparently has animations, if it’s any good can we expect a quick review?

    • I would most certainly agree with you on the aspect that Yukihito is incapable of creating said bonds or relationships. I say incapable instead of “uninterested”, because not only does he have multiple works showing this flaw (both Koikuma/Nekopara), he also fails to do so in said “more serious” titles such as KareSekai.

      For the most part, your opinion on the setting is also valid, but on the flipside, said “environment” may be to amplify the sexual content (Demon Setting -> Fantasy of Succubi, Nekopara -> Fulfilling of the “nekomimi bishoujo” fetish) that each title provides even if practically it makes absolutely no freaking sense. Of course, my analysis might be wrong considering KareSekai was rather vanilla in the ecchi department.

      P.S. I generally choose my nukige based on artwork and not about its content. If the content is not my cup of tea, it always allows me to drop the game and move on to the next whenever, but at least I get some eyecandy out of it. I’ll most likely not be writing a review for said nukige (since I don’t do so for like, the 3-5 nukige I play every month), but we’ll see if one of them in the near future catches my fancy. Next review will most likely be Suki to Suki to Sankaku Renai

    • It’s perfectly understandable if you prefer to not spend time to write reviews for every nukige you play out there. Considering you tend to not dwell too much on the sexual content anyway, there wouldn’t much to write about for most of them anyway.

      Currently playing Suki to Suki to de Sankaku Ren’ai? What happened to Gin’Ir… nevermind. I’m also on it, about halfway through but not too motivated to finish it currently (Suzu & Maho left). Impressions so far are that game can be funny, but should maybe listen to its own advice. Quoting Nanaru : “グダグダシリアス続けないでくれよ! こっちは甘いもん食べたくて観てるのに、 ケーキ食べてて中から激辛ソースが出てきたらキレるだろフツーに!!”.

  3. I know this has nothing to do with the game nor even the review but I need to know how you did this fluttering snow thing on your blog…! If you don’t mind >_<;.

    • This is a feature that WordPress blogs are given and turned on by default. If you have a blog yourself, go to your Admin page -> Settings -> General where you can see the toggle-able version for the snow!

      Hope this helps!

    • Wheee, thanks so much! :D

  4. I can’t comment much now, but I’m currently in the midst of Kotose’s route(Haru’s part).

    So far there’s very little interaction between the protagonist and the heroine into the route. It hardly feels that it’s kotose’s route at all as she is left out a lot. The building up of the romance was just BAD. Very quick and not much content at all.

    And honestly I don’t really like the protagonist since he’s kind of lame. He just keeps saying “I’ll save you all blah blah” and. ” I am god blah”.

    I agree that the flashback parts are not bad, but sometimes they are too many and too long though.

    Right now I’m just in the first route, and the game is giving me more questions than it is answering. Still gonna complete this though. Art is nice and the story seems interesting for now

    • Please come back and tell us what you thought afterwards! I agree the lack of interaction is giving the readers too little of the heroines overall, and the protagonist is capable–just a bit boring if I may say so myself.

      I agree the art is good! Ametoyuki has been one of my favorites since I think Fureraba? Story is impactful, but let’s see what you think of it when you’re done!

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