Welcome back to 12 Days of Weebsmas! GUYS. It’s now the sixth day of Weebsmas, we’re halfway to the holiday! That’s absolutely mental to me because these days have just flown by. And speaking of flying–for today, I figured I’d reinterpret a fun post from Otakutober for Weebsmas–horror otome games. But since horror isn’t really Christmassy–I decided we’d go with winter-themed or holiday games. But y’know, since the month is just flying by, I only had the chance to play a single holiday otome game. And I must say…it was the craziest and most cracked out one I could’ve chosen. I played the Christmas special, Hatoful Boyfriend – Holiday Stars.
Hatoful Boyfriend–if by any chance you haven’t heard of it, let me give you a quick description: it’s an otome game featuring birds–yes birds. You choose which bird to find love with, in a world where birds have become the dominant species. There are some darker things going on in the background for sure–and darker plots that take over in the main game. But Holiday Stars is not as dark, more straightforward–and to be honest…more of a visual novel than a dating game. Like, I honestly was expecting you to choose a Christmas date or something but NOPE–that was not what we got AT ALL. Instead, we got full-on Christmas crack (in my opinion) and yet, after playing the entirety of the game, it did make me tear up a bit towards the end.
The straightforward game offers you four episodes–to be played in order for the full story. The first part focuses on investigating with Ryouta, your best friend pigeon, to solve the mystery of the mysterious stolen Christmas Trees. In this storyline, you see glimpses of pretty much every character, with Yuuya and Sakura (the definitely related doves) being the most helpful. If you’ve never played Hatoful Boyfriend before, you’ll still get a good idea of the ridiculously quirky characters. Anyway, this first episode is virtually impossible to get a bad ending for and introduces two weird bird-like creatures that are obsessed with Christmas named Miru and Kaku. It features a battle sequence that includes both a mailbox and a friggin’ army tank, and is probably one of the most insane plot lines I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Right after finishing this plotline, you take a bit of a…tour from true holiday happenings.
The second episode deals with you helping out the strange bird known as Anghel who speaks like a fucking nerd and is drawing a manga. He asks you to help him sell stuff at a like holiday anime/comic/manga convention. After selling nothing he meets this like super popular agent or something. If that sounds too normal–don’t worry. Give it some time and boy will it get whack because then the entire plot changes into a mystery on why Anghel is showing up anemic and you find out someone is trying to harvest this weird fanboy power he has to make things real through imagination. It’s really weird you guys and very dramatic and has little to do with the holidays.
The last two episodes are about a dream sequence. All the birds and the MC go to view the eclipse and end up in a dream they can’t wake up from. They are on like a ‘holiday star’ but it has little to do with the holidays and actually becomes this really dark story about death and murder and at one point it does make me feel like I want to tear up over it. It’s really weird. I just like–damn. It was a ride alright with a lot of strange reveals I would not expect–then again, I had thought that I would get a LOT more holiday content or dating content but this game is filled with a lot of…not that.
There were short New Years specials for each of the boys–err, I mean birds. And those were like less than five minutes each and kinda random. I did like them though. Kinda wished that there was more of that and less of…army tanks and strange fights…but then again what do I expect from Hatoful Boyfriend?
Overall, Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star was not really a holiday otome. Like it’s labeled as such, but it’s pretty far from dating and also far from true holiday activity. But it’s still a really entertaining game–like, I played through the whole thing for sure. However, if I was looking for an otome game to play for this Weebsmas, I might pick up the Mystic Messenger Holiday special instead.