The MC Yunoha, who initially left her rural home town to study fashion design in Tokyo, has been called back home, as her mother is ill and she is to tend to the family inn for the next three months, until her mother recovers.
In the long common route divided in four chapters and accompanied by character scenes depending on your choices you tend to customers in each chapter and help them solve their problems. These are little cute, but also emotional slice of life stories, like a girl who lost the picture of her lover or a boy who doesn’t feel loved by his parents.
The four characters you can romance while working at the inn are:
The clumsy new staff member who somehow ended up working at the ryokan because he couldn’t pay his bills. He immediately spots Yunoha’s handmade apron, as he’s also into needle work and also seems to have a reason why he doesn’t want to return home.
Naomasa is supposed to be a shy and cute character. But in his character route he gets surprisingly proactive and of course you discover why he chose to work at the ryokan.
I first thought his route might get angsty, but not all, though he had small troubles in the past, it’s nothing on the level of angst, but rather small family quarrels, but all is sweet and harmonious in the end. But him turning from shy into proactive – both traits well voiced by the same voice as Tora in Clock Zero or Tyril in Even if Tempest – made his route the most romantic for me.
Is the assistant chef at the ryokan. Though he has a kind heart, picking up a stray dog and always cooking him delicious meals, he tends to scare animals and children due to his tall build and stern face. He has a soft, apologetic and calm nature, and doesn’t talk too much. With his biggest passion being cooking his dream is to make even more people smile with his dishes.
So Yunoha and Kouta connect about both having big dreams for the future and cheer each other on. The only problem is, that love doesn’t fit into Kouta’s plan.
I loved Kouta from the second I saw him, with his kind heart, who tends to be misunderstood, he seems like a puppy dog himself and has so many extremely cute scenes. Not being a man of many words, he tends to be straightforward, sincere and honest when the situation calls for it. And this bluntness combined with his deep voice- who also voiced Kent in Amnesia or Shuuya in Clock Zero- earns him – though the game is fluffy and innocent overall – my most sexy award.
Izumi actually works at the rivalling inn, but somehow has the habit to suddenly pop into conversations at our inn and act all friendly with everybody. He’s the kind of flirt character who always seems as if he has sparkles all around his bright smile.
His first impression isn’t too good though, as he shamelessly flirts with Yunoha, bad mouthing her inn, not knowing she’s the new chef of it, but later promises to bring her sweets to apologise and for relaxation.
So though he’s a noisy flirt, you immediately see, he’s also a good guy, who just wants to be part of this group of friends.
I loved his bright, funny and bubbly personality – that was superbly conveyed by the voice acting, similar to his role as Nicola in Piofiore-, but the character route showed me again. A flirt character is never what you expect him to be…
And this twist made his story the most interesting and almost plot driven to me. Initially I thought he would earn my most sexy award, but to me the plot played a bigger role in his route than the romance.
Is Yunoha’s good childhood friend and generally recommended to play last, though his “spoiler” is so evident from the beginning of the game, that I would say it doesn’t really matter, except for the point that he also unlocks the secret character, who I also liked a lot.
Kintarou has been working at the ryokan for a long time, is hard working and fully devoted to the success and good reputation of the inn.
Growing up together and having spent a lot of time together, Kin-chan and Yunoha tend to think alike a lot and can read each other’s thoughts like it’s written on their faces.
This makes for a really sweet and familiar dynamic between them, if Kin-chan wouldn’t be so reluctant to accept that he’s in love with Yunoha. He needs a lot of pushes from the others to finally admit it.
Being the funny childhood friend- voiced by the same VA as Limbo in Bustafellows or Totomaru in Kenka Banchou Otome- his route was very entertaining and had a lot of blushy moments, where neither of these two wanted to admit they like each other.
I think what stands out most about the game is the breathtakingly beautiful art by RiRi, who also drew the art in Piofiore or Binary Star. Be it the beautiful pastel shades of pink, dynamic CGs or details in every scene, like small animations for some emotions. She is my favourite artist, I think, and made every of the many CGs such a pure joy.
But also the music fitted the relaxed calm and fluffy tone of the game, so you could feel at ease as soon as you booted up the game.
Even the background art looks beautiful and almost therapeutically calm.
Every bit of this game conveys feelings of happiness, hospitality and taking a break from stressful everyday life.
That means the tone of the game might best be described as calm and fluffy.
Being set in a traditional Japanese inn and the common route consisting of you tending to customers and helping them with their little problems, gives the game undeniably a slice of life feeling. Though there are no stakes whatsoever to the story, these little episodes about the customer’s troubles feel very warm and wholesome, like helping a boy conveying his feelings to his parents. This is of little consequence for anyone else but the family, but still you know you’ve done some good today.
And I think wholesome is really the best word to describe the overall tone of the game.
Because though of course there are also little problems in the character routes, nothing major really happens, for the main time of the game everyone is just happy.
The romance as well feels sweet, fluffy and innocent. The common route isn’t too romantic, but the character routes are full with CGs and scenes of the cutest romantic scenes in otome history. Considering the cero b – ages 12 and up – rating, you still are lucky when you get a kiss at the end, but still the scenes were so romantic they made me squeal every time, especially those of the awkward Kouta. For everyone it was their first love and I feel that this situation was decribed realistically, like you could remember your own first date and all the insercurities about how to behvae as a couple or discussing 10 minutes which ice to buy together.
That being said, I can also see, why one would describe the common route as boring, because it almost purely focuses on the customers and you don’t get to see much romance and might ask yourself, why you should care about that kid!
And I think I might also have felt frustrated about that fact, if the language wasn’t easy enough for me, to read these customer parts at a quicker pace.
Because overall I would say the game is on an upper beginner level. It doesn’t overuse kanji and has a lot of everyday conversations. What makes it tricky though, is the setting in the ryoukan and therefore the use of some unusual words, specific to ryoukan or traditional japanese settings. Like when in Kouta’s route he starts talking about dishes and vegetables I have never heard of.
But the reason why I think this is not too big of a problem, is that you won’t miss out on much, if you skip these sentences. You will quickly get a hang of the ryokan specific words and then don’t really need to know which exact vegetables Kouta is using. As there is no real story you won’t miss anything, but still be able to enjoy the character interactions.
So though I know some people in my discord, find this game a little hard for beginners, I would still recommend it, as long as you’re willing to look up some specific words. And then you can also ask us in the discord if you have problems with translations or understanding what’s going on. So though there are easier games for beginners, I think this game is suited for upper beginners and I remember already being able to read it with some effort about a year ago.
Fan Disk Cherishing Time
I haven’t played too much of the FD, because I basically was just looking for sugar content. Coming from the original game, I perceived as very romantic, I expected the FD to up the level of romance. But I can’t say it had a lot of sugar content.
The FD consists out of the after stories, an another story, where practically the story of the main game is reset and you play another chapter of the common route – this time tending to an annoying spoiled idol, while you have a very light love development with the LI you choose, including a new other childhood friend, who you miraculously forgot about – and if story, where just everyone has fun at the beach and you again can choose the get a bit closer to one of the LIs, but not to an extent it could be called romance. And in this alternative stories you can also choose to romance two new characters ….Kintarous little brother – yes he’s 12 – or Izumi’s older brother, a similar age gap, but he’s is way older than you. Both “romances” are very light…but yeah, its there kind a….
Starting with the after stories, the part of an FD I look forward to the most.
They all start with the LI summing up what happened in the original game from their point of view – what is cute.
But sadly the sugar content wasn’t very high and the only story I really enjoyed was Kouta’s as you finally get to meet one of his sisters. In all routes small obstacles come in the way of their relationship, but they didn’t feel too meaningful for their character development. All couples decided to treasure each other and also share hardships together – which is good, but I would have liked a bit more variety in problems.
On top of that these stories only take about 2 hours.
Then there are the if and another story, both basically additional common route chapters with light romance I find unsatisfying. I would have preferred to spend more time in the after stories, than have two stories where I can slightly- but yet not really- romance the guys all over again.
How did I like the new LIs?
Honestly the new childhood friend, no one remembered, just was creepy and pushy, I mean he could have made this all up and stalk Yunoha. He was just way ahead in his love development and Yunoaha could barely catch up, which made it all feel awkward to me.
Izumi’s older brother was as you would expect, cold and you helped him open up..but in that short amount of time I couldn’t really build a connection with him.
And so I didn’t even try to romance Kintarou’s little brother. It might be sweet, once he’s grown up, but then he’s just a little Kintarou – in that case I’d rather stay with Kintarou.
The only fun addition of the FD is that the CGs now have touch function and you can make the characters say three additional sentences, cute, but somehow useless.
So overall, the FD is very short and too much of the game’s common route for me. Too much slice of life problems that don’t affect the relationship and too much time spent with characters other than the LI.
So if you don’t already have the switch version where the FD is included, I don’t think you should spend extra money on it, unless you want more of the common route of the main game or want to support my channel by purchasing either of the games via my links.
But setting my disappointment of the FD aside, I think Yunohana spring is one of the cutest and most relaxed otome games I’ve ever played, that makes you feel so much at ease and forget the worries of your own life as if you were a customer there yourself.
If you found this review to be helpful, please consider buying the game via my link to support my work!