Otome Game Review: Hanasaku Mani Mani

Wow this game was…something else but more on that in my final thoughts. ಠ_ಠ Our heroine Mochizuki Nao is blasted to the past of the Edo era at the bakumatsu period when they’re about to overthrow the shogun. She gets picked up by a historical bishie who brings her to Manjiya, a prostitute house where the geiko ladies can service men but without having to actually spread their legs. Guess it must be a high class one. \(^o^)/ Even though she starts working in the back, all the guys there suggest she start working “in the front” to service all the male customers instead. Without any second thoughts, Nao’s like SURE THANG and so begin her exciting adventures in semi-prostitution. Warning: Terrible writing and landmine tropes ahead!

pinSo here’s some more spoilers and all that jazz. In actuality, Manjiya actually serves as a hideout for 2 important historical figures who are the key to the Meiji Restoration: Takasugi Shinsaku and Kido Takayoshi. Kido (Who in the game goes by his original name Katsura Kogorou) dresses up as a woman geisha by the name of Haku so most of his customers are trap-lovin’ women. Takasugi goes by the name Tani Wasuke and he basically is in charge of running the prostitution business at Manjiya and making sure all the gross ossan customers are “pleased”. ( ´_ゝ`) So while they run this business, since Manjiya is apparently being funded/supported by the shogun, they have shogun lovin’ male customers come in, get drunk and spill the info to their geikos. The geikos then report any information they hear to Wasuke & co. to help with their battle strategies.  Nao is basically told to do the same and typically she only acts as an assistant like playing shamisen or helping set up food but in various routes she gets promoted to being solely requested by name. Now here’s the deal with Nao. Nao’s actually from this era, and her mother was a famous Yoshiwara prostitute named Yoshino. So then this Yoshino chick had a baby with the owner of Manjiya, Seijirou. That baby was Nao, but because of some massive jealousy & NTR, Nao was taken to the future by Kurama while she was a baby. That’s why in the future she didn’t know her parents, and was raised by an adoptive grandfather. Kurama knew that she wanted to see her parents so he brought her back to the past so she could be reunited with at least her father, since her mother Yoshino died in a fire.

tak01Fujishige Takara – Takara is the “oldest” of the 3 Fujishige brothers but simply because he was adopted earlier. It’s not revealed until late in the route that Seijirou’s only child is Nao and that his 3 sons are all abandoned prostitute babies. Sooo Takara basically starts to fall in love with Nao and imagine the horror when both of them find out they are “brother and sister”. Oh noes not incest! At the time Takara had no idea that he was adopted so he basically spends the entire route anguishing over the fact that he’s in love with his imouto~. It starts to get worse when Nao becomes popular with a a frequent customer named Asano. He constantly requests her and just seeing him do stuff like touch her hair makes Takara go crazy. It gets further worse when while Nao and Takara are practicing some performance, they both fall into the lake..and one thing leads to another…Takara ends up giving Nao a kiss. Realizing that OH SHEIT I KISSED MY SISTER he runs off and pretty much avoids her after that. When she tries to talk things out with him, he just says that he’s worried about some other man taking away his precious imouto lol. So basically they both wanna bang each other but oh noes we’re siblings! So then Asano asks Nao to leave Manjiya and marry him but she only has the hots for oniichan and doesn’t want to. She tells all her feelings to Takara and they both realize how badly they want each other so they end up letting the frustration loose by making out. After this they keep their distance making sure not to get too close before any lewd feelings arise. Meanwhile there’s some international intrigue going on because someone burns down the foreign embassy since Wasuke’s team is anti-gaijins. Due to this Wasuke ends up having to leave Manjiya a lot (and getting arrested) and so Takara says he will take care of all the Manjiya backwork in his place. He works his ass off and gets super tired so Nao decides to serve Takara, Katsura (Haku) and Wasuke as “customers” to help them “relax” a bit from all their work. (Well all she does is just make them her super delicious green tea.)

tak02But suddenly shit hits the fan and Tatsu goes and tells Asano that their entire place is anti-shogun gig. This forces Seijirou to reveal that in fact Tatsu, Tota and Takara are not his real sons and were thrown away prostitute babies that he adopted. Takara is shocked to hear this, but not as much as he would be because fuck yea him and Nao are no longer brother and sister! With this in mind, he comes into her room that night and they sex all night long yeaahh…noooo the next morning the news is spread everywhere that Manjiya is a hideout for anti-shogun rebels and the shogun’s army attacks. Wasuke sends all the hostess ladies away but Nao doesn’t make it and Takara is forced to run away with her.  So apparently Tatsu’s real dad was in love with Yoshino (Nao’s real mom) but she was in love with Seijirou so he got mad and burned the whore house down along with killing Yoshino as well.  And so they figure that’s why Tatsu has been pissed off and butthurt all this time waiting for the right time to strike. Takara goes to try to amend shit with Tatsu and leaves Kurama to watch after Nao. She begs for Kurama to let her go to everyone but he’s like bitch I didn’t bring you back to this era for you to get hurt. She then is like zomg what you mean you’re the one who sent me back to this place?! He says that he brought Nao from the past to the future to save her because Yoshino asked him to. And now he brought her back again though and says he’s watched her all this time. He asks her what her wish is and Nao says she wants to save everyone at Manjiya. Kurama says he’ll lend her his powers and uses his magical fairy power to send her back in time. Good End: After the credits roll Nao magically finds herself hugging Takara back at Manjiya and everything is fine….all thanks to Kurama basically sacrificing himself and the last of his magical powers!

tak03Turns out that they were sent to the past the night before Tatsu went to go tattle tale to Asano. They go and intercept Tatsu and tell him that they know what he’s up to. Tatsu’s like noo you don’t understand my paain and babbles how he will destroy Manjiya in revenge.  He then says in revenge he’ll kill Takara too and the two of them face off.  Just then Tota shows up and he’s like I know we’re not related but I still consider us family.  Unfortunately it’s not effective and Tatsu is still bent upon his revenge. Just then Seijirou shows up and bitchslaps Tatsu and says that he’s always thought of him as his son.  Wasuke then shows up and says that because Tatsu’s dad had a huge loan the babies would have been sold as slaves…but because Seijirou adopted them he took them and the loan to pay off himself.  Tatsu realizes what an asshole he is and gives up on his revenge. Some time passes and Takara asks Nao to marry him and move out of Manjiya together.  And so 5 years later, Nao has twin shotas Chikara and Tatsuru. Normal End: Nao is sent back in time but she runs into Wasuke instead and asks him to stop Tatsu from snitching about their rebellion plans. It gets resolved and Manjiya is saved from being discovered but now they owe Asano a shit ton of money to keep quiet. Nao tells Takara that she wants to accept Asano’s marriage proposal so that it can help bring a partnership and money for Manjiya.  She says that she’s not actually going to marry him but instead be like his personal assistant.  About half a year later she gets a secret letter from Takara that says that he’s still thinking about her forever & always~. Yea I don’t really get this at all. Bad End: Kurama doesn’t use his magical fairy powers to move everyone back in time and Asano’s underlings think that he’s in cahoots with the rebellion group taking Nao hostage.  He then tries to kill Nao for lying to Asano and trying to steal bakufu info from him. Just then there’s a white flash and  Kurama uses his powers to freeze time and send Nao back to the future. She returns only with the hairpin he gave to her but when she searches online to find more information on him she can’t find anything…probably cause they wanted to keep all anti-shogun stuff under the rug.

tatsu01Fujishige Tatsu – Tatsu basically ruined this entire game for me. Not only was he an asshole in Takara’s route, he also then comes back with a vengeance in Kurama’s as well as being an all around douchemuffin in his own!  It might have been better to do his route first because the few scenes where it seems like he shows interest in Nao were all common route…and by the time I got to his route I skipped them and was only left with the horrible shit that goes on in this route. So as we found out, Tatsu is not related to his brothers and on top of this he’s has this 15+ year butthurt revenge plan against the guy who adopted him from being sold as a child slave. Wtf? Talk about kicking a gift horse in the mouth. Once its revealed that Nao is the real daughter of Seijirou and Yoshino, Tatsu’s pissed off beyond belief because grr she was that BABY that time that his dad got all jealous cause of NTR and set the prostitute house on fire.  Obviously Nao has no idea why the hell Tatsu suddenly treats her like some disgusting shit and slaps her hand away when she comes near him. And so because she doesn’t mind her own business, Tatsu then poisons her with sleeping medicine  and then ties her up and throws her in some cellar because she saw him doing sneaky shit. -__-He then also admits he was the one who told that guy to attack Seijirou because he hates both him and Yoshino and wishes they were both dead. (Well Yoshino is dead no thanks to his idiotic father.) So basically Tatsu’s dad killed Tatsu’s mom so that he’d be “available” to then go ask Yoshino to marry him but Yoshino already pregnant with Nao had no interest in Tatsu’s dad and rejected him cause she was in love with Seijirou. So like how the fuck is any of this anyone’s fault but his idiotic dad’s!?? Tatsu was also then thrown out and his dad didn’t care to go after him cause lol just less baggage! So basically Tatsu’s like “hur dur if Yoshino didn’t exist my family wouldn’t fall apart!” Umm now how about if your dad wasn’t a fucking manslut who thinks with his dick this wouldn’t have happened???

tatsu02And so days pass and she spends time locked up in the cellar while he brings her food but she refuses to eat it out of depression.  To try to make her less depressed he decides to stay with her rather than just leaving her alone all the time. ( ´_ゝ`) He then gets all pissed off that she won’t hate him just as keikaku! So after they play pirates & robbers for many days while somehow NOBODY figures out where Nao is and wtf Tatsu is doing….he starts to fall for her all aww aint’ dat cute /rolling eyes into the galaxy. He even says he wants to save her even if she looks like Yoshino…but he still has to take revenge on Seijirou and Takara (who he thinks is Yoshino’s son.)  SO needless to say after leaving her locked up in that shed/cellar thing for a while, Nao starts to get sick. So suddenly he’s all like OH NOES DON’T U GET SICK ON ME AND DIE and is all worried about her. And she’s like oh noes I mustn’t inconvenience him and have him know that I got sick! And I’m just “maybe if you didn’t lock her up like a fucking animal she wouldn’t get sick!?” ಠ_ಠ So I’m just rolling my eyes here waiting for this route to be over and Tatsu decides “to end it all” so he can let her out of this lockup asap. Not that it matters since she’s pretty much Stockholm RABU for him by this point and just wants to heal his WOUNDED heart (and he can go die in a fire for all I care at this point.) So he brings her a giant bowl of rice that will hopefully last her for more than 1 day and says he’ll end it all and disappears. Fortunately majitenshi Kurama finds her and helps her escape all thanks to his magical bird talking powers (a little birdy told him for real lolol). In the meantime Wasuke finds Tatsu and brings him back because by this time Sejirou’s been arrested for treason.  The  doctor Suoh then tells Tatsu that he’s got a massive misunderstanding of Yoshino and Seijirou. He then explains that Yoshino and Seijirou were childhood friends but she was forced into prostitution at a young age at the yuukaku. She didn’t want to screw random dudes so she asked Seijirou to “request her” so he could take her virginity.

tatsu03He didn’t want to at first but eventually gave in since he loved her. After that, she somehow became the best hostess there but her body became off limits. The reason is because she was pregnant with Nao secretly and had asked the doctor to help her give birth. Tatsu’s dad asked Yoshino to marry him but once he found out she was pregnant he set the yuukaku on fire.  He also says that Takara’s mother also died in the same fire that Yoshino did. Since it was expensive to take a prostitute out of the yuukaku it left a huge debt on Tatsu…which Seijirou took upon himself.  Tatsu finally fucking realizes that 1.  Takara is not Yoshino’s baby and 2. his dad is a fucking asshole whose fault this whole thing was anyway! So now Tatsu feels like an asshole but it’s too late. Wasuke then creates a plan to have Kiogiku, Haku and Nao go butter up the guy who arrested Seijirou to free him. They make up some bullshit that Tatsu was deceived by someone and accidentally made up a lie saying that Seijirou was a traitor to the bakufu. When the dude says ok we should then arrest Tatsu for lying but then they add on to the pile of bs saying Tatsu harakiri’ed himself /(^o^)\. Seijirou is released but since Tatsu is supposed to be “dead”, they send him off to join the Choshuu armed forces up near Yamaguchi to aid the rebellion army instead. Good End: Tatsu asks Nao to come with him to Hagi so they can live happily ever after and she agrees. And so while he’s doing his army stuff he’s barely ever home and Nao’s all lonely. He finally comes home with souveniers and they make out and eat dinner. Normal End: What I wanted to happen: Tatsu being imprisoned for his crimes. What actually happened: Tatsu decided what Suoh sensei told him about Seijirou is a lie, grabs Nao and runs away with her. He then drugs her, brings her to god knows where and continues his happy uguu cage of love life with her only letting her out during a full moon…while having their hands tied together. (  ゚,_ゝ゚) (  ゚,_ゝ゚) (  ゚,_ゝ゚) (  ゚,_ゝ゚) Bad End: Tatsu runs away the moment he sees that Nao is free raging that she didn’t “wait for him” (lol who’d wait for your stupid fucking ass in an abandoned shack you asshat.)  So then history repeats itself and Tatsu then sets Manjiya on fire just like his father did herpaderp! He then drugs everyone to fall asleep and die in the fire. Oh except Nao, she gets the extra special treatment of being strangled inside her burning room! Sigh. ( ´_ゝ`) Disgusting, I have nothing but absolute disgust and hatred for this piece of human garbage. I even force skipped through his CGs just to get the trophy/completion cause I couldn’t be bothered to deal with him any longer.

haku01Haku – Haku is one of the Oirans of Manjiya but he’s a dude, and he just dresses like a woman. The reason it to hide his identity, Katsura Kogorou, since he’s part of the anti-shogun movement. He teaches Nao various ways to become beautiful because she’s obviously a country bumpkin who does not understand the ways of the high class prostitute.  Nao doesn’t realize Haku and Katsura are one and the same until she stumbles into Wasuke’s room one day seeing him sitting without makeup in Haku’s kimono.  They go to Kyoto at one point for business and Katsura takes him with her.  The shinsengumi are there looking for him and Wasuke so they have to hide but Nao handles the angry shinsengums like a baws. Katsura’s so impressed he asks her to be his right hand lady for gathering info. Actually Nao is pretty awesome in this route compared to other routes and combined with Katsura being a tsundere moe cake, this ended up being my favorite route in the game. (*´∀`*) When the Ikedaya incident happens, Nao knows that historically everyone involved got killed and she tries to stop Katsura from going. He refuses to listen but she yells that she’s from the future and she knows the outcome. He’s like wtf?! at first but then believes her, but despite this says he can’t “leave everyone behind”. She tells him he’s an important historical figure and he cannot be dying here. This made me realize basically that Hakuoki we were on the side of the “shogun” but this game puts us on the side of the emperor which was kinda interesting seeing it from both perspectives. A few nights later Katsura comes into her room all drunk and tired from all the war shit going on…and ends up making out with Nao. He has to leave for 3 days the next day and in the morning acts like nothing happened the night before while Nao is completely spaced out :lol:.  He tells her to take care of Manjiya while he’s gone. So then one of the guests they want to get more info from goes into pedo mode and pushes Nao on the floor saying he wants her to marry him.

haku02Nao screams for help and Katsura comes and he’s like fuck off my woman.  He knocks the pedobear out with his sword and takes Nao to his room. When he finds out the eroGGE licked her neck, he wipes it off with a towel then kisses it himself. After this she asks him how he feels about her and he blushes like a dork and admits that he loves her. (*´▽`*)萌え So then shit gets bad because Wasuke is diagnosed with tuberculosis (prolly got it from Okita Souji ww) and Katsura tells him to sit his ass at Manjiya and not go anywhere. Wasuke complains that he has to lead the army in the rebellion but Katsura says you can’t do shit with that condition son. Also I have no idea why this wasn’t a thing in Takara and Tatsu’s routes but anyway.  So then one night some crazy guy acts like Nao is Suzune and yells at her saying that she only used him for information. Fortunately  Kurama saves her and is like who told you to kill her.  The dude runs off scared shitless and when Katsura finds out that someone slashed Nao he gets really pissed.  He then gets into an argument with Kurama about protecting Nao.  Afterwards Katsura suggests Nao return to her peaceful future but Nao says she won’t because she can’t leave withotu Katsura. After this Katsura tells her to stop all her man serving activities and to recover from her wounds.  But yea apparently she doesn’t listen and ends up serving the ero GGE who tried to attack her before! ヽ(。_゜)ノ  And once again Katsura saves her and when Kurama shows up he tells him to bring Nao back to the future.  Kurama also reveals that Nao is Yoshino’s baby who was saved from the fire Yoshino died in.  Katsura’s like “why did you bring her back though she coulda been safe in the future” and Kurama says because her real parents are here not there. Kurama warns that if he returns Nao to future, he will not be able to bring her back again.

haku03Katsura tells her to return because everyone’s after her life and the idea of losing her to death scares him.  Normal End: Nao returns to the future never to see Kurama or Katsura again. Instead she runs into someone who looks exactly like Katsura…and I guess it’s his distant relative of his or something. Nao starts crying and he hugs her saying he isn’t sure why he doesn’t want to see her crying face 🙂 I actually enjoyed this ending best out of all of them lol. Bad End: The eroGGE kills Katsura while he tries to protected Nao…therefore altering all of Japanese history oh noes!  In a fit of despair Nao tries to stab herself with his sword but Kurama bursts in and stops her.  He says he’ll send her back in time so that she never meets Katsura so that Japanese history isn’t messed up lol.  The catch is that she’ll never see Katsura again and he won’t remember her and she’ll be stuck foreveralone in the edo period.  Nao ends up working at some teahouse and making sure to avoid Katsura at all costs. One day however she bumps into him, and he asks if he’s met her before but she says no and has to hold herself back from bursting into tears. She tells herself she’s looking fwd to him changing Japan. Good End: Kurama reveals that he’s a little birdy god and he’s been watching over her this whole time and that his human form is just a “temporary” form he uses to interact with people.  So then a bunch of angry patrons come to Manjiya complaining they were used for information.  Haku manages to convince all the ladies not to kill himself out of “shame that Manjiya has brought upon them” lol. After this he gets all jelly of GGEs hitting on her and he tells her that he wants her to stop being a Geiko. Also he can’t hold back all da sexual frustration and they have sexy time 😆 (Lol since he’s younger than her, dat erogaki tho.)  The next day Nao asks daddy to let her quit her geiko job and to marry Katsura. Of course daddy agrees and a few days later they end up moving out of Manjiya together.  Months after they are married and the rebellion is a success, they relax and live happily ever after.

wasuke01Tani Wasuke – I was hoping for a good route out of Wasuke cause he’s based off the historical figure Takasugi Shinsaku. Unfortunately like the rest of this game, they try to solve “historical problems” with magical time travel fairy powers and their lack of knowledge of how TUBERCULOSIS SPREADS made me ಠ_ಠ the whole way down. Historically Wasuke didn’t want foreigners to come into Japan because he doesn’t want Japan to be colonized which is why he was against the British embassy the shogun had built  and why he wishes he could speak English so he could communicate to tell the dirty gaijins to go away! 😆 So because Nao knew how to write “My name is Nao” on a piece of paper that suddenly made her an ENGLISH PRO so he asked her to come with him sometimes to be a translator (lol??)  One night she has some gross GGE being a total asshole to one of the girls so Nao steps in with her shamisen and calms him down. Actually I really liked the way she acted around this guy which was such a huge difference to the way she acted around Tatsu ( ´_ゝ`).  He then says she should become a prostitute and he’ll be her first (rapist) customer.  He pushes her down on the floor so Nao screams for help and Wasuke comes running.  He tells him that he’s not allowed to touch the geikos at this establishment and instead he has Kiogiku handle the GGE. She tells Nao to leave ASAP and she’ll handle the rest. The reason is that they found out this dude is after Katsura’s life.  Wasuke takes Nao who can barely stand from the shaking in her legs and brings her to his room.  He thanks her for getting information from the GGE but apologizes for having her go through such a horrifying experience. He gives her a hug and says he’ll stay with her until she stops shaking.  This was probably the most realistic part about working in this kind of establishment and I honestly wish it was brought to light a lot more often in this game…rather than making it seem like every dude she serves is nice and polite.

wasuke02One day she goes to where Wasuke’s allies are to bring him some snacks but he doesn’t want them knowing about his Manjiya….so he pretends to act like Nao is his lover. Nao realizes she has to act as well so they end up pretending to flirt but the line between acting & their true feelings begins to blur. (*´ω`*) Unfortunately she has to go back to Manjiya and she doesn’t see him for a while since he’s out with the army. Eventually he sends her a letter which just says to keep up the good work at Manjiya…..even if he dies. So then they go find him, and free him from harakiring himself but he still has to get locked up for a bit as a punishment (for some anti Choshuu coup according to Wikipedia.) He gets all frustrated that his allies are out there fighting while he’s stuck in there and on top of it, he gets tuberculosis. She sneaks in to where he’s locked up and they talk through the window. Wasuke asks her to give him her hair pin so he can be reminded not to lose hope in there. thanks to Katsura he’s released but due to being really ill from his disease, he’s forced to stay bed ridden at Manjiya while Nao takes care of him. Once she finds out he has tuberculosis and not just a cold she asks to become an Oiran so lewd GGEs can do whatever they want so she can earn more money to save Wasuke. She tells Wasuke who is obviously against it that it’s on her own will and not for him and she’s a STRONG prostitute who don’t need no man! ( ´_ゝ`)  I guess this turns him on because he grabs and kisses her and  he has tuberculosis omfg are you dumb Wasuke wtf.  And to top it off she asks him to screw her just like her mom asked Seijirou back in the day…so that her ~first time~ is with the person she loves lmao. He’s all like noo but tuberculosis and she’s like hh its ok you can’t easily pass it hehe!! Uhh no?  Forget the fact that she spent most of her time in the diseased room as him, she freaking made out with him over & over! Wtf. ಠ_ಠ “If active tuberculosis disease does develop, and symptoms appear — such as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, breathing problems, or flu-like symptoms — the disease is contagious.”

wasuke03And so they have some sexy time and Nao’s initiated into womanhood :lol:. And so she becomes a prostitute after this though I guess because it’s a SPESHARU yuukaku, she can refuse sexual requests like her mother did. Wasuke’s tuberculosis symptoms magically vanish until they go battle and then they…magically return! He starts coughing blood and the fact that he’s now highly contagious it’s amazing how nobody in that room got infected. So then Wasukes like hur dur you can’t make me stay here I must fight. Then Katsura’s like I’m coming too, then Nao’s like I’m coming three and Kurama’s like ME 4! ಠ_ಠ Woo prostitute cheerleader ftw!~! A heroine who cannot fight going to the battlefield is not “strong” she’s just stupid. Also Wasuke’s historical AIDS magically calming down when necessary was so ridiculous I could no longer take anything seriously. The man was spitting blood just moments earlier and suddenly he’s all ok to fight? Ok then. Good End: So they go battle and they win but then some spy for the shogun tries to kill Wasuke and Nao gets in the way…so miracle magical fairy Kurama freezes time and then sends Nao and Wasuke into the future because they can cure his disease there. Let’s not think about the fact that because Nao was brought back in time, suddenly it means that nobody remembers her existence and yet somehow they will have enough money to find a place to live, and pay for Wasuke’s medical bills! ヽ(。_゜)ノ Or did Kurama also magically give them a house and a wad of bills? So 1 year later, Wasuke and Nao are on a date to celebrate his release from his treatment of tuberculosis and his “miraculous” recovery. Normal End: Probably the more realistic ending where Wasuke retires from war and after seeing that the shogun side is losing, he tells Nao he’ll spend the remaining time with her. Somehow she doesn’t catch his tuberculosis and then shortly later he dies…but not before leaving Nao preggo with their baby. Bad End: Wasuke pretty much dies immediately as his symptoms get worse which is probably the most realistic ending of them all! Too bad the best end kinda ruined things and I could no longer take any of his disease symptoms seriously cause inside all I could think is “where’s Kurama with his magic fairy powers to bring them to the future!?”

kurama01Kurama Kaede – I swear I bought this entire game just for Namikawa’s character but his character wasn’t even good! I found myself caring more about the outcome of Manjiya and Nao’s dad than any of the endings with him and Nao!  Kurama is the Charlie of this game, the Koumei of this game, magical fairy man who sends Nao back to the future as a baby and then back to the edo once she’s like 17. He constantly stalks her at Manjiya and constantly hits on her and teases her and she falls for it every. single. time. Constantly requests her “services” if you know what I mean though he spends most of the time making her go KYAA KURAMA SAN!!? ( ´_ゝ`) Kurama’s annoying in a sense where he wants to bang her but knows he can’t, but still acts upon his jealous of her with other men. Then he’s all shocked that she confesses that she loves him? Wtf. (  ゚,_ゝ゚) So just when I thought I was done with Tatsu’s shit, he decides to come back with a vengeance in Kurama’s route 1 last time!  He spreads a rumor that there’s anti shogun people at Manjiya and shit hits the fan everywhere.  So then the protesters try to shoot Nao with an arrow outside, and Kurama jumps in to protect her.  When they go to bandage him up and heal him, they notice a pattern seal all over his neck and body.  While she’s taking care of him he tells her he’s the god of that shrine where she was during the time flip.  Apparently in the past he committed some sin so as a punishment he was sent to the shrine to repent for 1000 years. Back in the day Yoshino and her master  found Kurama as an injured bird at the shrine and the master was like  hur dur let’s kill it and hang it up on the wall. Yoshino begged not to do this and said she wanted the bird to be alive. She asked a doctor to help heal it and so Kurama felt indebted to her.  So then he watched  over Yoshino as a bird and wished for her happiness with Seijirou. Yoshino then ran away from her master because she was in love with Seijirou who was involved with anti-shogun groups. Due to this she ened up being roped into prostitution.

kurama02The prostitution place she came to was owned by Seijirou and even though he didn’t want her working as a prostitute she felt bad being a freeloader. However she then asked him to take her virginity first etc etc and from then we have the NTR drama with Tatsu’s dad.  Before Nao was born, Nao came to his shrine every day and prayed that she’d have a safe birth. During the fire Yoshino did her best to try and save at least her baby, and just then Kurama appeared in his bird form in front of her. She put Nao into the cradle along with her hairpin and Kurama sent now to the future. Kurama’s annoying in a sense where he wants to bang her but knows he can’t, but still acts upon his jealous of her with other men. Then he’s all shocked that she confesses that she loves him? Wtf. (  ゚,_ゝ゚) So then Nao’s like yea I know you had the hots for my mom and is like damn son I can’t compare. She then gets upset and in tears leaves the room he’s in. He tries to go after her saying  that if she leaves this room now, she’ll die. He also tells her that at first he just felt like her guardian, but he’s ended up falling in love with her. He then asks her to call him by his first name Kaede and then the next day after having a bad dream, he grabs and starts making out with her :lol:. The next morning he doesn’t say anything and Nao is too embarrassed to bring it up and suddenly starts thinking that it’s one sided (idk why you’d even think that at this point???) So after this she takes care of him while he’s getting better and as usual he’s all deredere for her and jelly of any other guys.  They make out in the hallway one night and almost have sexy time until Wasuke cockblocks to remind us this game is still Cero C.  So then thanks to Tatsu-is-an-asshole part II, Seijirou gets arrested by the shogun forces. Nao wants to see him so with his help she sneaks in to where he’s captured. He stops time and they sneak into his  cell finding him all tied up and beat up. They unfreeze his time as well and tell him they’re here to rescue him. He says that he cannot return because they’d catch him anyway and he’s happy enough to have seen Nao one last time. (´;ェ;`)ウゥ・・・ Seriously this is the only point in the game I got teary eyed.

kurama03Kurama also wants to make sure that Wasuke and Katsura are able to successfully escape and make the Meiji Restoration come true. He also says at this point there’s no reason to continue running Manjiya and tells Nao to live her life as she wishes. Nao cries but time’s up and  they have to return. Unfortunately all this time controlling is too much for  Kurama and he nearly collapses at the gate.  He admits that the seal on his body gets worse as he uses more and more of his powers. He also tells her that she can either stay in edo but live a different life away from Manjiya….or return back to the future.  The only reason he brought her back to Edo was to reunite with her dad but now that dad’s on death row she has no reason to stay here anymore. He also says that if she stays behind here, she will probably have to be a real prostitute that offers actual sexual services. While they’re chatting it up, they realize that Manjiya’s been set on fire.  Good End: As usual to try to fix things, Kurama sends himself and Nao back in time which causes him to nearly puke when they get there. They immediately run to Wasuke and say that Manjiya’s gonna be set on fire and Wasuke is hesitant to believe at first but decides to act upon this information. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Kurama is sitting at the shrine being consumed by the overusage of his powers. He then admits that he can no longer ever leave the shrine and tells Nao to be happy in the future. He says that it’s a punishment for laying a hand on a human and crossing the boundary of a god. Eventually he will just fade away into nothing but Nao says she wants to stay with him as long as she can. He says that he doesn’t want to leave her in this time period because what if something like the fire happens again. He kisses her goodbye and sends her back to the future. Nao finds herself back at the summer festival near Kurama’s shrine in the present time.

kurama04Wanting to know what happened to everyone Nao searched various history books but couldn’t find anything. She goes back to the forest where she and Kaede buried a comb back in the edo period and digs it up. It’s an item that back in the olden times was used as a means of “proposal”. And then for like no reason at all, Kurama MAGICALLY COMES BACK because Nao cried a river. Turns out that his “mission” ended after he sent her to the future, and he basically was “reborn” as a human to now live on earth and age and die like everyone else.  He then brings her to a place with a small rock and on it is engraved the world “Manjuya”. On there are also names of everyone who was there and it seems like after Nao left, Kiogiku turned it into an inn for visitors to rest until its closing. ( ;∀;) イイハナシダナー   Kaede takes a job at a flower shop  and says when he’s ready to propose to her, he’ll make the proper boquet of 12 roses. Normal End: Nao chooses Kurama over saving Manjiya which results in its doom but he’s happy she chose him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have too long to live, so even though they live in some small shack together, he dies shortly after. (How dafuq is this NORMAL and not BAD? How dafuq are any of the normal ends not bad except maybe Katsura’s.) Bad End: Because Nao wasn’t good at mini games and didn’t show Kurama enough love, her wish to save Manjiya doesn’t work and instead Kurama uses the last of his powers to send her to the future. When she returns, she has no memories of anything, including her hair pin, but for some reason starts crying non stop and can’t figure out why. Mehhh a lot of nothing happened in Kurama’s route and it felt extremely one sided until the end she’s like oh my god don’t leave me don’t die Kaedeee. Tatsu beinga super dick and starting the fire (just going off his bad end here) further reminded me why I hate him and how much I was sick of this game. At least in Kurama’s omake, he dressed as a butler and well I’ll take Namikawa-butler anyday.

Common Bad End – Seijirou ends up dying after the attack (poor guy’s always a victim in this game I swear…)  After his death everyone pretty much leaves Manjiya and even though Takara asks Nao to come with him she refuses. The reason is cause she’s had enough of this game as much as me and she wants to return back to the future 😆 As she returns home, she forgets all her memories of the  time slip. Honestly this is practically identical to Kurama’s bad end and the fact that I needed to do this to complete the CG gallery & trophies was really annoying. (  ゚,_ゝ゚)

finalthoughtbanner

Back to the Heisei
Back to the Heisei

What the hell honestly. I came in thinking this would be some light hearted wafuuish game like Meikoi but it ended up being some melodramatic serious war story with some terribad deus ex machina time travel shoe’d in. So they added new CGs to the vita port but I guess the new ones were much better than the old ones because some of the what-I-assume old Cgs looked derpy and inconsistent. Some CGs of Katsura and Tatsu especially I’d just be like…who are you. They were much worse quality than the sprites making me think Redjuice didn’t actually draw them? The story was completely absurd. I couldn’t tell if they wanted to follow history or if they wanted to be fantasy? Let’s compare to Hakuoki since they took place basically around the same time period. We have vampires in Hakuoki and we have time travel in this game. Ultimately though, all the Hakuoki dudes die whether it be war, disease, consumption you have it. So historically it’s sad but at least it’s somewhat realistic and accurate to history. Meanwhile here I’m just whut. I realize Meikoi was a bit ridiculous too but they didn’t try to be serious? This game tried to be historically accurate and serious but when they run out of ideas, KURAMA SAVES THE DAY. On the topic of Kurama, it was really annoying how in every route he’d show up to inform us how much he loves Nao and that by picking someone else you’re NTRing! But then you go do his route and OH WE CANNOT BE TOGETHER..and at that point I wanted to chuck my game out the window. The other thing that is a huge landmine for me is the prostitution. Wow well it’s my fault for not reading the story or what the game entails but prostitution everywhere! And  aside from 2 specific scenes, it was made to seem like it’s “not a big deal” for this underage teenager girl to jump through time to “serve old geezers”. Even though it’s a “tokuyuukaku” where they do not give sexual services, in certain routes the line was blurry. Sometimes they’d be like “well we’re a tokuyuukaku but sometimes they can ask other favours” wow so no sticking it in the vag00 but maybe BJ’s are still ok right? So yea, this topic was brushed over too lightly. It’s like being a prostitute was just an average day job for an average teenage girl. Well maybe it was in the 1600s but since Nao came from the future, SURELY there would have been some resistance from her side. Overall it was just very disappointing at how casual everyone was about the whole thing and frankly it felt rather degrading seeing her accept it so easily. If anything I think the only real strong woman was probably Kiogiku because she knew how to control the dirtiest of old men who came as customers and she kicked all their asses in the most polite way possible!

This is possibly worse than Megpoid the Music lol
This is possibly worse than Megpoid the Music

And my final complaint is the system. I played the demo but not long enough to realize there’s ..mini games and stat raising. Okay so the stat raising was annoying at first because I was trying to follow a guide making sure I got 大成功 every time but in fact you do not need to. Still I had series of “fails” that had me constantly quick saving/loading. The mini games were fairly easy except for the quizzes which I failed nearly every time. Fortunately you can easily raise stats with just the regular “stat raise” part and you can fail every mini game if you don’t wanna bother. (I suggest clearing each at least once for the Vita trophies.) There was one mini game that made me ??? because it was like UtaPri type music game…but none of the sounds matched. At all. It was really really weird and you couldn’t tell if you were hitting the correct notes or not but somehow I still managed to clear it. The other annoying thing which is a personal pet peeve is if you didn’t have your finger touching the touch screen constantly, it would just..go dim during auto mode. There’s no dim timer option in Vita and the screen time out timer apparently had no affect on this. With trigger kiss at least you could touch the back of the Vita to keep it “lit up” but here only the front would work so I had to  always block part of the screen with my fat piano fingers just to keep it on. ( ´_ゝ`) Needless to say this made it annoying to play while say….eating fried chicken with greasy fingers. 😆 Who wants to grease up their Vita screen!?

If only he was this moe in his actual route (´・ω・`)
Kurama had the best omakes though.

Meh overall I’m pretty disappointed. My favorite dude ranking is Haku > Takara > Kurama > Wasuke >>>>>>>>>>>>>Cow poop >>>> Olives >>>> Tatsu. Gross. What a horrible character. I mean I know these kinds come up every once in a while but I guess I’ve had such decent characters lately that this was almost a shocker? Like I don’t think I’ve been this grossed out by a character since Chronostacia. Also funny enough, the one thing I did enjoy about this game, that I also did in Chronostacia was the music. All the BGMs were catchy and well fitting so it was probably the only memorable thing! Well needless to say I don’t recommend this. If you like historical games during this time period, Hakuoki handled it much better and the art was a lot more consistent over there too. I feel like if they just had someone else do the writing and characters, it might have been an okay game. I could forgive the art and mini games if the story wasn’t so ridiculous and there weren’t characters I wanted to set on fire to give them a dose of their own medicine. ( ´_ゝ`)

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37 thoughts on “Otome Game Review: Hanasaku Mani Mani

  1. It’s been like almost a year since I played Takara’s route and I actually thought the game was going rather well at that point (then again, my expectations must have been pretty low back then coming from Getsuei no Kusari which was 100x more of a snoozefest than all of the history lessons in this game combined).

    But then before I began Tatsu’s route I dropped it to focus on other games and kind of forgot about it for a while. I felt REALLY bad about it and I kept telling myself that I had some historical bishies waiting for me but damn, after reading your review any regrets I had just flew out the window lol. I was looking forward to Wasuke and Kurama’s routes so it’s a shame to hear things didn’t turn out so well for them. 😦

    Oh well. At least thanks to this game I learned some useful new terms such as FURISODE SHINZO :lol:. Funny how at the time I was like hey maybe wafuu games aren’t too bad after all, I should give Ken ga Kimi a chance sometime~ LOL nope sorry not taking any risks anymore

    1. See Takara was good so I could understand why you’d wanna go back to it. But yea Tatsu ruined this game 3 times. And yea this game completely ruined wafuu games for me. I thought about the Ken ga Kimi vita port too but yea nope-ing the fuck out of that. The menu in Hanamani with all the fancy old timey Japanese script was a pain to read, the war stuff bores me and it’s just too heavy to play after a long work day. I want something light hearted and silly not war stories where everyone dies or goes insane lol

  2. I have to say, that part about “A heroine who cannot fight going to the battlefield is not “strong” she’s just stupid. ” I TOTALLY AGREE WITH!! I HATE to see those feMCs who just RUN out into battle or demand to be taken into a dangerous situation and pretty much are just meat targets. : | like STOP IT you can’t fight, can’t protect yourself, you are just IN. THE. WAY. Makes me want to punch them so we can knock them out for that chunk of the game. xD

    Anyway, great review as always. c: btw how do you feel about the vita ports? I think the upgrade in graphics (if they even do that) is nice but otherwise, I’d rather they focus on making some new (and hopefully better) stuff.

    1. I mean I think it’s okay if like say in Trigger Kiss Futaba has an actual USE on the battlefield but like lol pls little girl in a kimono what are you even going to do. And of course as we saw, she nearly killed herself but thanks to magical Kurama fairy, she got saved. If this was more realistic, she’d just be dead and probably leave a heartbroken Wasuke for the rest of his (short life because he shoulda been dead from Tuberculosis :lol:)

      As far as ports I guess it depends. Visual Novels in general have a very low replay value for me. I mean once you know the story it’s kinda hard to enjoy that “fresh” feeling again. However I might pick up Clock Zero because it’s been like almost 4 years since I played it and since they added new stuff to PSP and will be adding new stuff to Vita it seems like it’s worth the purchase for me. I love Ninkoi and all but I’m not sure if picking up the Vita port for it so soon is viable.

  3. For a moment there I thought the main picture was traptastic. Traptastic semi-prostitution… Which isn’t too far-fetched given all the stories of the warlords and their male lovers during Sengoku Jidai.

    Alas, reading along (fortunately or unfortunately depending on your PoV), brought me back to my senses.

    The graphics do indeed look nice just like quite a number of eroge. And just like most eroge, the writing is mostly crap.

    1. Well it technically is if you think about Haku…he always goes around dressing as a woman sooo..lol

      Graphics weren’t even that good honestly lol. There’s lots of games that have crap story but at least the art is nice…but this definitely wasn’t one of them. Nice background graphics don’t really count (;・∀・)

  4. I can’t really agree with you, I actually quite like Hanimani. I have to admit that I only played Haku and know nothing about Japanese history, but the romantic parts were really cute and the voice acting was superb, as expected. The story was a bit over dramatic(that father part was just ridiculous), but the story is a weakness of a lot of VNs.
    There were definitely some weird parts, like the Yuukaku, but it was still very cute and worth my money.

    The thing with the rythm mini game is that you have to hit the right button or it will play a ‘wrong’ sound. It sounds really nice when you get most of it right after a few tries. The right sounds are yellow and green notes, red make that sound.
    Probably my favorite mini game.

    1. That’s cool to each their own! if you enjoyed it more power to ya!

      However, problem is you are judging the game based on only 1 route and one of the BEST routes in the game! 😆 If I was to judge the whole game based only on Haku’s route, then I’d say it was pretty decent! I’d love to hear an opinion from someone who actually enjoyed Tatsu’s route for example which was to me the worst route in the whole game.

      I tried that mini game several times based on how I played project diva/uta pri and I just couldn’t get it to play properly. I think I only ever got the “wrong” sound. Did you play the PSP or PS Vita version? I wonder if there’s some kind of system difference between the two?

  5. Wow, I’m kinda disappointed as initially interested in the game b/c of redjuice’s chara designs and art. Thanks for the detailed review on the game and routes. I’m not a huge fan of mini-games so I feel your pain when it plays awkwardly for no reason.

    Eh, at least the BGM were nice orz.

    1. I don’t mind mini games if they’re done well with thought put into them? I think the floor cleaning one was the only one I really enjoyed. I hated all the rest.

  6. Good to know someone else thinks this otoge is crap. Thought they’d be delving into some serious territory with the prostitution house being the main setting and all but like usual, everything gets brushed aside. As if time traveling as a major plot point isn’t bad enough. =/

    I’ve had it with all these ‘deep & serious’ sounding otoges and VNs, I’d rather spend money on games that are actually fun and doesn’t require me to make excuses for the plot and characters. Good job finishing this crappy title, Hinano; you’re always taking one for the team. 😄

    1. I think if they just took out the stupid time travel and just had it SET during this time period it would have been completely ok. In that case we could see how a young girl was maybe forced into prostitution and how dangerous it could get. That would have been interesting, but they clearly had no idea where they were going with it.

  7. Hinano, thanks for putting up with Hanamani & painstakingly writing this long post after completing it! I’d been waiting for your review of Hanamani since I finished playing PSP version a year ago.

    I couldn’t agree more with you on Tatsu and Kurama. About Tatsu, the only thing that pushed me to stay through his endings was his looks lol I honestly think his design’s pretty cool (hairstyle n all) second to Haku/Katsura. I’m okay with the 立ち絵 art, but the CG…I think Redjuice’s only payed for design, but not for drawing CGs lol sigh.

    And then Kurama, I don’t get what’s so appealing about him that he placed 2nd in popularity poll. From the first time Nao met him I already felt he’s too 胡散臭い as a character and yea, him using magical powers to fix anything ruined the story for me. There was this ero kissing scene with Namikawa voicing ‘chuchu effect’ when Kurama had a fever (I think it’s the only kissing scene in this game that had such effect), it sounded like the acting director had pushed him way so bad I was like wtf is dis some r-18 game?! His past story with Nao’s mom failed to move me to tears tho apparently it’s a big hit among Japanese fans. Like you, I only cared about dad and Manjuya outcome in his route. His ending was pretty wtf, too… I guess Hanamani’s better off not having Kurama’s route anyway.

    Besides father’s death in Kurama’s route, I got teary eyed reading the sadness description that the CG of Takara piggybacking Nao came with. I found Hanamani’s writing the best one right now, it has such nice tempo that you won’t fall sleepy or had difficulties understanding because the sentence’s too long. It succeeds conveying certain emotions really well too, esp. in romantic scenes n sadness description. The archaic style here’s more consistent than that in Ken ga Kimi, sometimes KgK uses modern terms while Hanamani’s really disciplined about it.

    I regret not buying limited edition of PSP, it came wif CD of BGMs I love. Hanamani’s mini games are a lot of fun for me, it’s not too easy and not too stressing. PSP doesn’t have touch screen, so music game’s like pressing correct button in the same time as OP theme melody rhythm (I love the melody, so once I discover the trick, it’s actually pretty simple and challenging, easily becomes my favorite).

    Glad to know another Katsura fans! I saved his good ending for the very last after Kurama’s ending, I’m so satisfied I did, he’s so kakkoii when he slayed the GGE I can’t not squeee. I played it in Katsura-Tatsu-Takara-Wasuke-Kurama order as someone in 2chan recommended, I agree with him/her, in that order, the way the story reveals gives you surprises as you progress and it increases my enjoyment a bit. I guess I enjoyed Hanamani more than you did.

    1. Lol I didn’t even like Tatsu’s looks so he had nothing going for me 😄

      I’m guessing Kuarma’s appeal is “I’m voiced by sweet voice Namikawa Daisuke” which to be fair, was why he appealed to me at first – until I got to his route. I love me some ear pron and all but when it feels forced & random, it doesn’t do anything! Like throwing an ice cream cone on top of a giant turkey ! 😆

      I loved Takara’s route too. The sentences weren’t difficult but if you don’t understand history or don’t know the history of the Meiji Restoration (which I didn’t until I read wikipedia) then it’s actually very difficult to understand. I would never recommend this game to a newbie in Japanese. And I guess I disagree on the mini games with you, I found the quiz one to be very stressful and once I found out I could just intentionally fail it I was relieved lol.

      I played in an order someone recommended to me on twitter and Amazon. To be fair, Katsura’s route does sort of wrap up the story but it was definitely not the best route in the game to end the game with indeed.

      1. Oh, apparently, after Hanamani release, Yoshiwara or brothel setting’s now booming for otome game. I think I’ve seen one or two mobage titles with same setting. Otomate’s planning to release one, too, called 百華夜光 Knowing the scenario’s done by Tom (the guy in charge for writing Sangoku Rensenki), I guess I still have hope for good story wif prostitution as its theme, Sangoku Rensenki put enough consideration into common sense of the period Hana time travels to, hehe! What do you think?

        1. I’m done with all games that involve prostitution, even stuff like D3P’s Otoko Yuukaku which is like reverse prostitution since now it’s the guys doing it.
          I really find the entire topic offensive and having these games romanticize it makes it all the worse for me.
          But hey if someone likes that stuff, clearly there’s an audience so they can enjoy it I guess lol

  8. Thanks for the review!

    Interesting… I remember this game getting a fair amount of approval at the time of its release, but I guess I should know by now not to trust the majority of the otome fangirls’ standards, which can get pretty low. Not that being easy to please is a bad thing, but rave reviews from these types should be taken with a grain of salt, IMO.

    The dodgy CGs are probably best explained by Redjuice only doing the character designs… or like you guessed, s/he only drew a few CGs and a bunch of other artists were charged with copying the style. I can’t imagine Redjuice would be cheap to hire for all aspects of the game’s artwork.

    1. Eh I feel like whatever game I think is cute and fun (Koibana Days) ends up getting crap reviews on Amazon then games like this get raving ones. On Amazon JP though the reviews are kinda wildly variant? Like you have some 5 stars of BEST THING EVAR but then you have some 2-3 stars which reflect most of my own complaints. I guess there’s no inbetween in this game you either love it or you hate it!

  9. Thx for the review as usual
    i tot this game would be interesting but as i expected Katsura was the only 1 worth playing
    disappointed in Kurama since i was hoping he had a good route
    Haiz~
    btw will u be playing Marginal#4?

    1. problem is he probably only did the sprite designs and the rest was random artists. quin rose often does this and you get a lot of cg inconsistency

  10. I’ll slightly smell than this is going to be a very bad habit from the Otome Game compagny to enroll some VIP designer just for the sprite and not for drawning the cg or hired them for the first game and for the second release ditch them *Look at Konami toward Meine Liebe*, i’ll mean come on when i see the big difference than they have between Haunted Dark Bridal and More Blood seriously i only want to cry certain cg like for Ruki are just so awful my gad щ(ಥДಥщ). I’m waiting for your Marginal 4 review, LMFAO Back To Heisei anyways with this i don’t think than i’m want to play this game, also i’ll prefer to get Ken Ga Kimi and orZ Mafia on vita rather than in PC plus OZ Mafia in vita is going to be full dubbed, anyways thanks for your very funny review it’s make my day.
    P.S The Otome Game compagny seems to do the same thing than Captain Planet writers when we go about subject than they not mastering and are really serious business they lost they’re writing idea and it’s finish to be a big mess for a thing than in final is from a good intention. Bye

  11. I feel like all the guys look like 14 year olds so I was never drawn to this game lol. But I guess I can avoid this game for good!

    The plot sounds very similar to this Ameba game 艶が〜る. High school girl and her childhood friend jump back in time to the Bakumatsu period. She stays and works at a geisha house until she can find a way to go home. Of course, all sorts of historical men visit her, even the shogun himself! It’s pretty good but it’s quite serious so I guess you won’t like it.

    1. I think I’ve heard of that game lol
      But yea sounds exactly like it.
      This game was quite serious too but it was all ruined due to the bad writing with the “time travel saves the day” plot resolution lol

  12. Thank you so much for your review ★ !
    I’m interested by this game then I only read your final thoughts aaand, uhm, I feel a bit disappointed & mitigated. I had a huge hope about the story and characters because I enjoy a lot historical/time travel plots. But I finally see that the companies love botching some games with those kind of stories, like if the mere fact wether be historical and serious enough do it all orz (๑′▵‵๑)…

  13. I was really anticipating this review (because hey, prostitution is a heavy topic and most otome games don’t dive into this kinds of topic, and the fact that redjuice did the art) but when I keep reading the review… holy shit.

    TIME-TRAVELLING SAVES THE DAY. whaaaaaaaat. The other characters sounded inconsistent and base form your review, the Tatsu guy should just go die in a fire. >_>;;; The only route I enjoyed reading was from Katsura (also loved the neck kissing part www)

    Hopefully the next game you’re currently playing right now isn’t as bad as this one. q A q

    1. I think there was some R-18 game announced that was yoshiwara related and looked like the heroine was being raped/strangled on the cover…not interested in it but that probably covers the entire thing in a more realistic angle. I hate when they make these “oh yea she takes a job as a prostitute” thing so lightly because its not just some part time job like delivering newspapers or walking a dog :/

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