Our Hakuoki: Demon Of The Fleeting Blossom Chat With Aksys Heats Up

By Spencer . July 12, 2011 . 1:31pm

We began our Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom interview by discussing Aksys’ foray into the otome genre. We gradually switched towards the game’s characters where editor Ben Bateman and director of production Frank "Bo" deWindt II… got fired up talking about Chizuru’s potential lovers.


Ben, since you’ve been working on this since March, let’s talk about your localization role. What kind of jokes will we see? No more ladders, right?


Ben Bateman, Editor: Hakuoki doesn’t really have a lot of humor. It plays it straight, for the most part. What humor there is going to be is probably going to be a little bit of stuff like sarcasm and dry humor. You wouldn’t say 999 is a funny game either, but I would say there are probably a lot more jokes in 999 than there are in Hakuoki. I mean Hakuoki is straightforward like this is a romance/historical drama with… monsters. Not really monsters, but I couldn’t think of a better term.


Which character would you fall in love with Ben?


image Frank "Bo" deWindt II, Director of Production: Aww… I know the answer to this one!


BB: Do you? Do you? Do you really know the answer to this?


FdW: [Toshizo] Hijikata, what are you talking about? (Hijikata pictured.)


BB: No, not Hijikata. Hijikata is a jerk! He’s a jerk for most of the game up until the very end.


FdW: Who do you like then? Every time he talks about Hakuoki he’s like [says in an adoring voice] Hijikata.


BB: That’s because I’ve been working with Hijikata for the past three months and only now I’ve started to see the other characters.


FdW: Personally, I like [Sanosuke] Harada’s story for various reasons.


Aileen Viray, Assistant Marketing Manager: But, [Hajime] Saito is the strong silent type and he’s pretty dreamy.


BB: It’s pretty hard to say because the way it’s broken up is for the first half of the game it’s basically the same. After that is when it breaks up and you go down the different paths. The only path I’ve completed is Hijikata’s. I don’t really know what happens in the other ones. I don’t know it’s hard to say, I love them all!


FdW:: The game has six bad endings and six good endings.


Hmm… but when you date someone you don’t know how it turns out in the end. You only know about the time you spent with them, just like the first part of Hakuoki.


AV: Is that how it is for you Spencer? [Laughs]


Hahaha. Well, you can’t predict the adventure of love! So, who would you fall in love with for the first half before the story branches off?


image BB: Hmm… it would either be [Souji] Okita or Harada. I dunno, Hijikata is so cold. (Harada pictured.)


FdW: The fans love Hijikata.


BB: I’m not saying there is anything wrong with Hijikata. He and Saito are badasses, but I don’t think I can fall in love with them. I don’t think my heart is ready.


FdW: Saito he’s cool, calm, and collected. Like, you can fall for him easily.


BB: No, no! He’s the kind of guy that you think he’s so awesome and you think – maybe you can fall in love with him, but that is going to be an emotionally unhealthy relationship. I feel like Haruda has what it takes to have a real, meaningful relationship.


FdW: Well, that’s why I like his good ending. He’s a nice guy.


BB: I’m just saying Saito isn’t the kind of boy I would bring home to my mother. [Laughs.]


imageFdW: Well, Okita is kind of an ass. (Okita pictured.)


BB: Much less so.


FdW: I mean kind of in a joking way.


BB: Hijikata is actually an ass. Okita he’s afraid of getting hurt so he deflects any sort of overtures a relationship with jokes and that sort of thing.


FdW: It’s like those guys that meet a girl and are like "Oh, I hate you!", but they actually like them. Like they’re mean, but they actually like the person. It’s that weird love-hate relationship, male tsundere almost.


We need a female perspective to add her views on this, Aileen?


AV: I told you who my favorite character is, it’s Saito. The strong, silent type.


imageBB: Saito is pretty badass. (Saito pictured.)


AV: I like badasses.


FdW: But, what about Shinpachi [Nagakura]? But, you can’t pick him, yeah that’s right.


BB: And I mean who would want to hook up with [Heisuke] Todo?


FdW: What about [Chikage] Kazama?


BB: Kazama is an asshole. [Laughs] We got to see some of the anime. In the anime, he’s sort of like, I don’t know how to put it, he’s a quasi-honorable antagonist. He’s not really evil, but he’s at odds with the protagonist.


In the anime he’s kind of like that and you know from the game he’s someone you can hook up with in the game. So, you think he’s alright. In Hijikata’s story he’s an evil bastard. He does some horrible things.


FdW: What about Heisuke [Todo]?


BB: He’s lame!


imageFdW: But, he’s closest in age to Chizuru [the protagonist] in the series. (Chizuru pictured.)


AV: He’s immature!


BB: He’s not really, he’s probably less immature than Okita.


FdW: Huh?


BB: The problem is Heisuke is gone for a lot of the story in the beginning, but I’m sure they have all been scientifically designed to appeal to different people.


Of course, I think that’s a common theme in male and female romance games. That’s why I was curious who do you admire the most?


BB: It’s hard to say. [Laughs!] Some of the characters that I like the best are characters that are not romanc-able like Amagiri [Kyuju]. Amagiri is a badass.


FdW: Amagiri is pretty sweet.


BB: Amagiri is awesome. Except when he gets stupid, [Isami] Kondou is pretty loveable. You can’t not like Kondou.


Right about here is when we were distracted by an Anime Expo attendee bellowing a war cry and a Lightning cosplayer. We switched topics to Fate/Extra, which we’ll cover later this week.


While we discussed the "hot men" quite a bit, Hakuoki has a story outside of the dating. The game is set at the end of the Edo period where Japan is in political turmoil. Chizuru (well you can rename her anything but her last name is set in, it’s hardcoded) heads to Kyoto in search of her father. There she meets the Shinsengumi, a group that lives by the samurai code and act as a makeshift police force. The Shinsengumi are also looking for Chizuru’s father and you might run into some *ahem* supernatural creatures in the game.


Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom is slated for release in Q1 2012.

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  • Oh man this world need more talk about dreamy hot men, like seriously!!

    Haven’t seen the anime yet, but Saito does look like my choice designwise~
    Also Hijikata looks damn smexy..why must he be the arse?! >__<

    • puchinri


      And I was thinking the same! Saito is usually a character who’s design I like, but it’s the really smexy ones too that tend to be jerks. (Why Hijikata~!?)

      • I know, right? Saito looks like someone you can trust even tho he’s cold, but you feel some kind of attraction towards Hijikata, but you know he’s a jerk and he may make you suffer…argh~!!

        • puchinri

          That’s it exactly! You kind of feel all safe and comfortable with Saito, but then Hijikata ends up pulling you in, even while you’re calling him out on being a jerk. Alas, the suffering we must endure for sexy faces!

  • Haha, that was a fun conversation/interview XD

    And don’t forget, guys! We’re currently doing our Hakuoki LE Questionaire!

    Please feel free to give us your feedback, so we can give everyone an awesome LE befitting a Shinsengumi ;D!


    • puchinri

      Can we just have everything on the list and then some~? ;u;

      • Ryos

        I am of course expecting a real sword to be packaged with the LE.


        Anyway, this was definitely quite an entertaining interview.  Looking forward to the game even if it’s not quite my usual taste and will be happy to fork over the extra cash for whatever ends up being in the LE.

        • puchinri

          We should get a real sword to of course~.

  • This is by far the weirdest interview I have ever read in my life! A bunch of men getting fired up while talking about about potential male lovers… I can already see the ending;)

    • What can I say? We love men.

      • The protagonist is nice in my book btw >8D (now that we can talk freely) at least, visually, dunno how she is tho…

  • After reading this interview I’ve decided I’ll be choosing Saito! :3

  • puchinri

    Guhhhh! I’m too excited for this. I think when Hakouki does come out, I’ll probably just sit there playing it all day. Just to woo some bad ass Shinsengumi guys. 
    But I am interested in the story too! …Just interested in the guys a bit more.

  • Oh God, I love these guys. Aksys are by far my favorite publishers. Just reading them talking to each other is insanely entertaining. I also still haven’t forgotten the video reply to the Catherine Be In Our Trailer thing.

  • Is this some weird INDIRECT THAT IS TELLING ME TO CHECK OUT HIJIKATA?! because now im curious >_>

    • PoppyLein

      hahaha, ME TOO! (^_^)/
      HIJIKATA <3

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    Um, Spencer? You misspelled “Fleeting” in two different ways. First in the headline and second, in the release date.

    Not trying to be an ass about it, I just noticed it is all.

    • No, problem thanks for the correction. :)

  • I am a Masochists.. Lol… I am still going to woo Hijikata eventhough he is a jerk! Haha… But I hope I will choose a good ending with Hijikata though… XD 

  • This was a very funny and interesting interview. There’s nothing wrong with guys talking about hot guys. XD It’s official I’m buying this game when it comes out. X3 I don’t who’ll I choose. All the guys look hot. I’m at a crossroads!!

  • So is this game’s Saito anything like the Rurouni Kenshin Saito?

    • Zero_Destiny

      Yes and No. The Shinsengumi was a real life secret police force hired under the Shogunate. Japanese media likes to write about them a lot so we get a lot of animes/manga and games about them. Stuff like Peace Maker Kurogane, Rurouni Kenshin, Gintama and this game. Most of which is Historical fiction. They use real life events and people but tell a fictional story. Saito was a real member of the shinsengumi, he’s a real person. The character in Kenshin is based off of the real life Saito since it takes place at that time. The character in this game is based off of the real Saito too. So their both based off of the same real life person but they’re completely different characters. That’s about the shortest answer I can give you. lol

      • Ren

        Your definition of short is seriously warped.

  • aoihana

    This interview is awesome, it just pumps me up even more >__<

    Hijikata, I'm looking at you! (*°∀°)=3

    • I absolutely agree. He sounds like he may have a bit of a difficult personality, but I’m totally going for him first.

  • Okita seems the coolest based on the description and image to me. So many endings though, wow.

  • “While we discussed the “hot men” quite a bit, Hakuoki has a
    story outside of the dating. The game is set at the end of the Edo
    period where Japan is in political turmoil. Chizuru (well you can rename
    her anything but her last name is set in hardcoded) heads to Kyoto in
    search of her father. There she meets the Shinsengumi, a group that
    lives by the samurai code and act as a makeshift police force. The
    Shinsengumi are also looking for Chizuru’s father and you might run into some *ahem* supernatural creatures in the game.”

    Edo period? Sexy men? I’m game! ^o^v

  • Hours

    Amazing interview. I love Aksys. The crew there seems so funny, and really excited about their work. It’s infectious.

    As for the dudes, it’s gonna be Harada all the way for me. He’s the nicest AND the hottest, the perfect combination! And he’s actually got some meat on him and isn’t afraid to give us a little pectoral action. :3

    Y’all can have your abusive jerks and aloof loners. ;)


    • Heisuke is neither an abusive jerk or aloof loner so maybe you’ll like him too? :>

  • Ereek

    I want Kazama.

    Villains always find a way of leeching themselves to my heart.


    Lot’s of “ass” in that interview. Lol.

  • Fuh, the hate on Heisuke in that interview is deplorable :<
    I friggin adore Heisuke and he will be my first route choice, no hesitation. 
    Heisuke really isn't immature either, he's the youngest sure, but like
    it was brought up, he's more mature than Okita in ways. Not hatin' on
    Okita either cause he'll be the second route I play through.

    • Sorry, but Heisuke broke my heart when he ditched Kondou and Hijikata to go hang with Itou. ;_;

      • That was indeed incredibly sad to see him go for a while, but it was the scene where he comes back that made me love him so much more.

        • Yeah, all the bro-love warmed my dark obsidian heart.

    • i totally agree!!! i love most of the characters to death, but saitou and heisuke will always be my favorites!!!! i really wish that they made a storyline for heisuke T_T

  • Darkrise

    I think i’ll be choosing Saito. 0.0

    Just that his hair looks kind of awesome. >.>

  • This second part is amazing… 

    Well I dunno who I’ll choose :3 It’ll depend on who I like during the gameplay~

  • LOL Aksys, y’all are so funny.  Great interview, Spencer!  Looking forward to some Shinsengumi heartbreak next year. :D

  • shuratan

    I’ve never considered playing an otome visual novel, but now I have a faint urge to try hakuoki out…

  • PoppyLein

    i love this interview :3

  • Aw man, I love you guys. Great interview, I had a laugh out loud – and now everyone thinks I’m crazy.

    I watched a couple of episodes of the anime, and I’d have to say that I like Okita the best out of them so far.

  • I’m choking here.

    I think I need to make a habit out of separating myself from any sort of food substance when I read interviews on Siliconera from now on XD

  • Roses4Aria

    So glad to see the Harada love!  He’s my favorite too.  Harada is <3!!!

    I kind of like Heisuke.  Yeah, he's immature, but he's cute.  Though I kept wanting to grab hold of his ponytail and hack it off because it drove me crazy, lol.  I guess I must be a tad masochistic, since I also couldn't help but like Okita even though he's always threatening to kill the heroine.  Once the threat lost some of it's bite, it was pretty amusing.

  • XerosBeat

    The people involved with this game are pretty funny!

  • XxDestinyXx

    Hopefully this game will have multiple save slots for those of us that want to romance EVERYONE, and play all the endings. I would hate to have to delete my previous save every time I wanted to date a new guy. :/

  • Potato Mistress

    Haha, I watched the Hakuouki series, and I’m pretty excited for the game.
    This interview is pretty hilarious. Thanks for sharing…

  • I really hope that this game comes to America. I had first discovered otome games with heart no kuni no alice but was upset when i found that it was only in japanese. though i do wish that heisuke would be on of the possible choices, i see no problem with him. i think that  him being immature would be fine, since the anime is rather serious, i wouldn’t mind pairing up with someone who would lighten the mood a bit with their immature nature, especially when things become more difficult.

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