Saku Saku: Love Blooms with the Cherry Blossoms 18+ – PC Review

Genre: Casual
Developer: PALETTE
Publisher: DenpaSoft
Release Date: Oct 2, 2017
Edited by KnightAvenger

Back in October, I delved into the love infatuated and crazy world of Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms and found it to be an enjoyable story with some silly (but interesting) characters. Now it is time to delve back into that world one more time with: Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+. Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ is a casual, slice-of-life visual novel developed by PALETTE, later released by Sekai Project, that, while it contains all of the same retaining elements that made the first novel so worthwhile, adds in some juicy adult content and a new issue to boot.

Sitting under the sakura trees once again, Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ keeps the strong and endearing storytelling while adding in new adult content elements that spice up some scenes in the novel perfectly, and some not so much. We, the reader, follow in the shoes of Yuma Asaba, a second-year student at Mihaya Academy, as we go through the daily life of Yuma alongside his friends, teacher/parental guardian and sister, Konami. However, not everything in his life is perfect, as, when they start the new school term, it seems someone has it out for him with a wanted post on the school bulletin boards of a cash prize of 21,000 yen if they make him fall in love, before taxes. Unsure at this point how to feel about someone trying to force him to find love, he goes about his day, taking part of his after school job as a nurse’s aid for fellow female classmates as a love doctor and advises them how to solve their problems with relationships. The problem only seems to worsen, though, as a mysterious love fairy named Tina starts showing up periodically before Yuma, who, for some reason, is carrying around a fairly large scythe and has only one goal in mind, getting Yuma to accept love. I will end my story synopsis here, as to avoid heavy spoilers later in the story. However, with around eight hours plus per run, depending on reading speed, the choice of five routes does make for some very entertaining scenes, especially the newly added adult scenes for this version.

While Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ does not change much of anything in terms of the story, it does show many similar flaws from the normal version, including a new flaw based on the adult content. The first flaw comes to, once again, the sheer slow pacing. Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ is a slow burner novel, with times where the build up to a new and big event coming in taking up to an hour plus. This is highly respectable, especially with how strong the character development is for this novel but can be off-putting to readers, like me, where the long wait times can kill the hype of that new event before it arrives. The second flaw is Tina, specifically with how her character is implemented into the story. Tina, as a character, is great, being this very random but spontaneous and interesting, impasse character of some form that will do what she has to, to get her job done. This leaves her in a very weird spot, though, considering she starts to feel like that annoying guide character in games, where they want you to do that one objective and will constantly remind you of it until it happens.

Bringing in the heat, Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ does not fail to bring you the adult content the novel promises to life, with a fair number of new scenes added in to deepen those bonds of characters. The sex or play scenes, the biggest of the new additions, were nicely integrated into the story and felt like it completed missing content that was absent before, although it does have one issue that the novel generally suffers from in a glaring way. The characters’ bodies tend to be very stiff while their faces are used to show the emotion of the scene or event going on. This hinders the sex or play scenes pretty hard, as you’re constantly waiting for the image to change in some cases to get the depth of the scene going on. I won’t say it completely kills them, as the scenes themselves are still great to see and listen to the characters interact, but it does lose some of its potency.

Keeping a watch on those falling cherry blossoms, Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+, in terms of presentation, keeps that movie-like quality, giving us some excellently designed backgrounds and characters, with a few new tracks to spice up the original variation. Visually, I still think Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ has very well designed visuals, with the 2-D being a great asset for some talking scenes where a character is imagining something going on. The details that Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ puts in with its background are a favorite of mine, especially since the focus on little things like posters with stuff from previous works of the developers just sprinkle about the landscape. The characters, once again, are excellently presented, with the focus on the emotion being used with the face instead of body motion. I do find the lack of body motion an issue but mostly in the scenes added to the 18+ version specifically.

Still pulling at those strings, Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ soundtrack keeps the scene by scene impression, adding a few new tracks for the new scenes to add some variety but ultimately still missing that mark. Musically, I still find the overall soundtrack to be an excellent representation of the world created for Saku Saku, with the use of strings, piano, wind and horn instruments being mixed in just the right way, that each scene has a story to tell, musically. This, ultimately, did not solve the variety issue I had from my previous read while the new tracks did add some nice relief to break it up as best they could.

Overall, I found my experience with Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ to be the definitive version of the novel, if just because it added back some needed missing content that wasn’t there before, but not truly solving the issues from my previous review. The excellently told story with creative writing, multiple character routes, eight-plus hour routes, adult content scene additions, interesting and creative characters, deep character development, use of the 2-D art style, nicely done facial animations and voice acting, and the classical-themed soundtrack make this a novel worth a reread alone.

Pros:

  • An excellently told story, with creative writing
  • Five character routes to read
  • Solid eight hour plus reading time (varying on reading speed)
  • The addition of the sex and play adult scenes
  • Solid use of the 2-D art style throughout
  • Excellently done facial animations and voice acting
  • Use of the classical-themed soundtrack
  • A deep but welcoming character development throughout the story

Cons:

  • The slow pacing of the overall story can feel drawn out
  • The characters’ stiff body motions, if any, during the novel’s sex and play scenes
  • Lack of variety in the overall soundtrack

DarkLunarDude gives Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ a Drastik Measure 8.9 out of 10.0 (89)

For the price of $39.99 (USD) on Denpasoft, I can recommend Saku Saku: Love Blooms With The Cherry Blossoms 18+ to those wanting to complete the overall experience storywise or those seeking the playful and semi-erotic sex scenes as a bonus to the excellent story and character development although not the best at times.

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