Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei is an otome game that follows Shanao, the youngest son of the Genji, who harbors a deep secret… Shanao is actually a woman living as a samurai with expectations to overthrow the Heiki clan!
For those not familiar with the genre, an otome game is an interactive story targeted towards women. And the player makes choices that determines the outcome of the story. Like most otome games, Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei features a main storyline with five main characters you can romance. Each character route has a tragic and happy love ending as well as bad endings.
In Birushana, you play as Shanao, the youngest heir of the fallen Genji clan living deep within the mountains of Kurama. With the Heike’s tyrannical rule over Kyoto, Shanao must face the name of being a Genji and navigate their secret of being a woman and decide whether to stand up against the Heike.
Without getting into spoilers, the character routes share the same overall story but take a separate path and reveal different aspects of Shanao’s life and personality. Three character routes are available to start with, and after completing them, you can unlock other routes. The recommended route order I followed was: Noritsune, Shungen, Benkei, Yoritomo, and Tomomori. An interesting aspect I was surprised to see about this game is they also have four other “if” endings for additional side characters that you can romance as well!
While the story and characters were interesting, Birushana has one of the best graphics, designs, voice acting, and music I’ve experienced for an otome. Some scenes, especially the battle ones, were done so well it aided in the interactive experience, so I never felt like I was just reading a story.
Considering this game has such amazing graphics, I was kind of bummed with the limited number of CGs (love interest’s picture like seen above) per character route. While the romance aspect was cute, it felt very much like an afterthought. Most of the romance scenes don’t show up until much later in the game, which was disappointing for an otome. Because of this, it felt very abrupt and rushed in terms of the storyline, so I wished they pushed the romance a bit earlier.
- Amazing graphics, VO, & music
- Engaging story
- Additional ”if” routes
- Weak romance
- Grammatical errors & typos
- Few CGs
While I have a few small complaints about this game, overall, I would say it’s in the top best otome games I’ve ever played. Shanao was not your typical weak main character, which is always refreshing to see when it comes to Japanese media. And the story wasn’t only engaging and interesting, but the character dialogue was witty, and the translations were pretty good.
Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei was a pleasant experience and a title that surprisingly went beyond my expectations. If you’re an otome fan like me, this is a game you must add to your collection. While otome games aren’t for everyone, if you are interested in a good story or romancing pretty men, then Birushana is definitely worth checking out!
Replay value: 9/10
Kid Friendly: No
|Released:||June 28, 2022|
|ESRB:||US Teen, EU 12+|