“[P]lay as [M]anami, a young woman with a boyfriend named [T]atsuya, and join her as she spends the weekend with her friends. [H]elp [Manami] come to an understanding about herself as she thinks about what friendship and romance mean to her.”
After the first five to ten minutes of playing “spring leaves no flowers”, I thought it would be a game about handling your friends being in some kind of relationship you are not used to. That’s just particulary true, as it turned out. Yes, Manami is not used to her both best friends Haru and Erika dating each other and so this interactive novel has a special focus on the blurry line between friendship and romance, but there’s a lot more behind this excellent jam entry.
Thanks to Manami’s conversation with her friends, she realizes that her own relationship with Tatsuya is not a typical one. After she has an intense talk with Erika about the sexual desires of women, she sees clearly for the first time that she doesn’t share the same urges. She always thought that men have them, but that women in general do not. She also never felt that she really fell in love with someone. She calls Haru to talk about her confusing feelings and gets informed about asexuality as well as being aromantic.
I always found it fantastic when jam games deal with such topics. Being unsure about your own identity can be a very haunting experience, so it just feels good to play a game which may reflect your own uncertainity, helping you to find the answers you might seek for. The third part of npckc’s “one night, hot springs” series about the struggles of Manami, Haru and Erika can give you some comfort if you are in such a situation right now. >>PLAY