Some romance visual novels throw you to the wolves and challenge you to make heads or tails of every suitor's likes and dislikes. Others are kinder, offering helpful hints or even outright answers on your quest for love. For a mercy, Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei belongs to the latter camp.
There's a method to this otome's madness, you see. It's a recurring illustration, confusing at first blush but endearing (and reliable!) once you understand what exactly it's trying to tell you. It's called Love Catch, and it manifests by briefly covering the screen in five flowers forming a star-like pattern.
The first time this gorgeous piece of art pops up, it does so without explanation. In fact, it never really explains itself, but it's possibly the most important system in the game. Let's amend this.
How to Decipher Birushana's Love Catch System
Love Catch is color-coordinated. The flower colors reflect the names of the leading men.
That's it. That's the secret. It's not a very good secret, but that's fine, because it likely wasn't intended to be a secret in the first place. All throughout Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei's marketing cycle, Love Catch was a large part of the publisher's hype build-up, so it stands to reason that it isn't intended to mystify, but to clarify.
It's just that for many of us we need a dose of clarification before we can rely upon Love Catch. So, let's take a look at the five names above. They are, of course, Shanao's five potential love interests. Each of their names is written in the same font but with a different color.
The Color-Coded Star
Behold — Shanao's quintet of thirst quests. Shungen's flower is yellow, seen at top-right. Noritsune's is pink, matching his hair. Ingenious. Benkei's is blue-green. Yoritomo's is purple. And lastly, Tomomori's is deep blue. If you disagree with our definitions of these colors, hey, that's fair. But so long as you match the flower shades to the protagonists, you're golden.
Love Catch isn't just something to passively watch animate before your eyes after making dialogue decisions. Rather, you can view the results of every choice ahead of time, making Love Catch a free fortune-teller for the entire pre-route portion of Birushana. Just imagine your friendly fortune-teller prefers to communicate through flowers rather than words.
Once you have locked in a route — note that only Shungen, Noritsune, and Benkei are available until replays — the Love Catch mechanic will fade away. But that's okay. You've 'caught' your love; the rest of the tale is about keeping them hooked. Well, that and warfare. And questions of fate versus determinism. And all sorts of other stuff.
But the flirting's still front-and-center in Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei, and otome fans wouldn't have it any other way.
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