The SonoHana series, a collection of games that revolve around the lesbian relationships of girls at St. Michael Girls’ School, is already well-known and loved by yuri fans, and this is the first official Western release of a title from the series. While most of the other games feature lots of 18+ content, this one is a short and sweet girls’ love story suitable for all ages.
Unlike most of the previous games in the series, this is an all-ages title and is what you could call, in fanfiction terms, “pre-slash”. In other words, it doesn’t show the beginning of the girls’ romantic relationship, but rather their friendship. In fact, if it hadn’t been sandwiched between two present-day scenes where the girls are a couple, it could be read as a completely non-romantic story.
Azumi Risa is a hard worker loved by everyone at her school. She’s a bit of a teacher’s pet, but she’s sincere, kind, and dependable. Ayase Miya is the new transfer student. Her grades are always impeccable and she seems like a quiet and studious young lady – until she starts skipping classes. Risa can’t stand for having a delinquent in her class, and so she makes it her mission to get Miya to stop playing truant. However, Miya proves a difficult subject as behind her lady-like exterior is an unwillingness to abide by the rules.
I love the two main girls’ personalities and I feel like they were well developed within the short 2.5-hour playtime. Although the main focus is on what happens at school we do get some brief glimpses into their home lives, and I was intrigued by Miya’s relationship with her parents (while we don’t learn as much as I would have liked here, I imagine it’s explored in greater depth in the sequel story). The interactions between the two girls are wonderful with Risa’s frustration and Miya’s nonchalant amusement at getting her worked up providing plenty of entertainment while the more serious moments between them are quite touching. Oftentimes the dialogue between characters in visual novels can seem forced, but I thought this came across as natural and it was helped by the high-quality translation.
The art is nice, but there are only sprites for our two main characters and there are very few backgrounds to create variety. There are some lovely CGs, too, but unfortunately they’re all very similar and I would have appreciated a little more diversity. In terms of sound, the voice acting for the two leads is great, but the supporting cast is noticeably terrible. Since they weren’t showing sprites for the extra characters they might as well have left them unvoiced, too, especially since having bad voice acting actively detracts from the game’s otherwise good quality.
These minor issues aside, I’d highly recommend A Kiss For The Petals – Remembering How We Met to any yuri fan or fans of sweet character-driven romance in general. It’s a short read, but the playtime is just the right length to tell the simple but charming story and for us to get to know these two lovely girls.