By Spencer . November 3, 2011 . 9:00am
Aksys likes to joke about all of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom’s "hot men," but the game’s story actually has a serious tone to it. The ESRB evaluated the PSP otome game and rated it "M" and here’s why.
This is a role-playing game in which players follow the story of a girl searching for her missing father in 19th–century Japan. As the storyline unfolds, players make choices that affect interactions between specific characters. Some still-frame cutscenes depict violent acts: a woman getting bit on the neck; characters getting attacked with swords. These scenes are sometimes accompanied by cries of pain and flesh-impact sounds. Text descriptions include violent references such as “I heard the wet slice of two blades cutting into human flesh” and “. . . . [A]s I watched, the blades kept falling, carving deep lines into the corpse.” Characters are sometimes depicted with large blood stains on their bodies and/or clothing. During the course of the game, the dialogue contains some sexual references (e.g., “Didn’t think I’d be getting pushed down into bed tonight, least of all by you” and “Tell me…How is it? On top of me. Does it feel good?’); in one sequence, a man is depicted lying on top of a woman (both fully clothed) before having sex. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” appear in dialogue.
So, Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom isn’t *all* romance for Chizuru. Some of those colorful descriptions of blades cutting into people could have fit into 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors…