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Edelweiss is a 2006 Visual Novel by the company Overdrive, also known for Kira Kira. It was translated by Manga Gamer, their first translation project, and unfortunately, it shows. However, the quality improves in the fandisc.
The fandisc, Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia was released in 2008. It's a direct sequel to the original.
Edelweiss takes place on Eiden Island, an island containing the all-girls school of Eiden Academy that teaches alchemy. The protagonist, Kazushi, and his friends go to the island trying to score with some of the girls there: Haruka, the sweet granddaughter of the Principal; Mizuki, the tomboyish girl who loves swimming; Ran, a feisty money-loving girl with a touch of Nabiki; Natsume, the mysterious freshman that seems to be at odds with the Principal; and Mei, the beautiful teacher without a past. However, it doesn't quite turn out as he planned, since the whole island is full of wonders and secrets...
Eiden Fantasia stars Kazushi again, and features Rin and Sakura (no, not that Rin and Sakura), the two most popular heroines of the original that didn't have their own routes.
Not to be confused with the tank.
Edelweiss and Eiden Fantasia provide examples of:
- Alchemy Is Magic: If you start playing the game unspoiled, thinking it's just a regular slice-of-life Visual Novel, it might come as a shock that Alchemy is the driving force of the plot.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's not made clear whether or not Mei's ending is a reincarnation romance situation or not. The girl looks like her, reminds Kazushi of her, has a meaningful name and has a kind of attachment to Kazushi, but he personally thinks that's a little convenient.It becomes more clear in Eiden Fantasia when pook says that homunculus are reborn as humans when they die so it becomes a bit more clear.
- Artificial Human: There's one, and she's not who you think.
- Beta Couple: Appo and Hu-sen, probably Daigo and Rei.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The role of the Principal varies greatly from route to route. In Mei's route, she's mildly obstructive with traces of a dark past. In Haruka's route she starts pretty evil, but eventually becomes a tragic figure. Aside from some details, she's pretty much absent of Ran's route, but on Mizuki's... hoo boy. She pretty much enters full-blown Big Bad mode, blinking in and out of existence, launching people into the air and trying to hack Kazushi's legs with an axe just to prove a point. As noted on Lighter and Softer, she's not that bad in Eiden Fantasia.
- Blind Idiot Translation: The English translation of "Edelweiss" is sometimes painful to read, littered with some gems like "weman" "weired" or "sorried". "Eiden Fantasia" is thankfully much better, and the main game got patched by the time the fandisk came out.
- Covert Pervert: According to Sakura, Rin wears pretty raunchy lingerie. In Eiden Fantasia you actually discover that she does, but she's not that much of a pervert, even if her route starts with her having some pretty perverted dreams and she really lets herself loose during the True End.
- Covers Always Lie: OK, it's not that big of a lie, but... see that cover up there? It features Haruka, Natsume and Mizuki; Natsume and Haruka are important to the main story of the game, but Mizuki isn't. Mei's story is also strongly linked to the main story, so she'd have been, probably, a better choice for the cover. Maybe Overdrive went for a "schoolgirl" theme...
- Downer Ending: Mei's route. If you watch the after-credits bit, it becomes a Bittersweet Ending.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Dear God, Haruka's route. They literally waited until the last frigging minute to turn the total Downer Ending into the happiest ending of the game.
- Gonk: Appo, Fusen (who has a nice body but a very weird face) and Rei, who is a Brawn Hilda of the "overly muscular" persuasion.
- Heroic BSOD: Kazushi has a pretty strong one in Haruka's route, after Haruka's death.
- Honest Axe: Used interestingly on Ran's route with the "gold Kazushi" and the "silver Kazushi".
- Hypocrite: Kazushi in Haruka's route. Literally hours after convincing the Principal that trying to revive the dead is wrong, he starts trying to revive Haruka. Much to the Principal's chagrin, of course.
- Identical Grandson: At first we may think that Kazushi sees young!Principal identical to Haruka because he doesn't know how the Principal looked as a young adult, but later Haruka confirms that she's always been told she's identical to her grandma when she were younger.
- Lighter and Softer: Eiden Fantasia. No life-and-death situations, no tearjerking Downer Endings, no angst, a Harem Ending and the most villanous character only wants to chop Kazushi's dick off (and for a good reason).
- Meaningful Name: Two, mainly: Mizuki: Mizu means "water", and the first time you find her is while she's swimming, naked. Also, Haruka; "Haru" means "Spring", and the first time you find her she is in a bed of flowers. Naked.
- Money Fetish: Ran's mind seems to be absolutely transfixed in money, so much as to actually disregard her own safety to rescue a burning wallet. There's, of course, a reason for that, though it's pretty dumb.
- Necromantic: The Principal, on a way. Also, in Haruka's route, Kazushi
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Mei's route. Mei's the Homunculus, and the only reason she's alive is because both her mind and her body are in perfect balance. When she falls in love with Kazushi, her harmony is broken and her existence starts to wane. She has a chance of survival if she has her memories of Kazushi erased... but both Mei and Kazushi decide to let her live happily whatever little time she's got left. Even if all the other characters congratulate Kazushi on his bravery, well, the fact is that it's his fault Mei's going to die.
- And again in Mizuki's route. If Kazushi hadn't followed his gut and went to the beach during a heavy storm, he wouldn't have been swept in by a wave and Mizuki wouldn't have had to save him, injuring herself badly in the process and leaving her wheelchair-bound during the rest of her life. All to save a stuck dolphin. Bravo, Kazushi.
- Official Couple: Yeah, Edelweiss, we get it, you'd really like us to get it on with Haruka. And the same goes to you, Eiden Fantasia, and Sakura. The opening movies aren't exactly subtle about this.
- Pungeon Master: Everyone loves Mei-sensei, but she's got the bad habit of making horrendous puns with her name that make being around her VERY awkward.
- Reincarnation Romance: At the end of Mei's route. Maybe. See ambiguous situation.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Inverted: Appo and Fusen are caught having sex in Mizuki's route and, to avoid Fan Disservice, the game cuts to a scene of two cartoonish wolves going at it against the full moon. The same resource is used in Eiden Fantasia if you listen to Appo's story, but in this case the game even happily tells you that it's for your sake.
- Soundtrack Dissonance. You got the Bad Ending! That's so bad! We're going to punish you with the credits roll on a black screen... while the most awesomely happy and upbeat song of the game plays.
- Stalker with a Crush: Haruka veers dangerously towards this trope during the first half of the game, even using her influence with the Principal to be allowed near Kazushi when she shouldn't. Actually subverted: Haruka has been stalking Kazushi because the Principal ordered her to... for her own dark reasons
- The Nicknamer: Natsume never gets any name right but Kazushi's, but it's implied that she does it on purpose. For her, Rin and Sakura are Umeko and Suzu, Haruka is Ao-chan, and Mei is Yagi-sensei.
- Sakura also qualifies (Harucchi, Harucchi, Harucchi)
- The Unintelligible: Panchu. His text dialog reads fine, but his voiced lines sound like hushed gibberish.
- In Eiden Fantasia his text dialog is mostly unintelligible too.
- Those Three Guys: Appo, Daigo and Pierre.
- Tough Love: Prof. Yagami is a firm believer of this. Prof. Ibuki does not agree.
- Trailers Always Lie: About 60% of the pics used in the intro to Eiden Fantasia are from Edelweiss. At least the trailer is pretty clear about the fact that you can only choose between Rin and Sakura.
- Tsundere: Mizuki, albeit a very light one ("I'm not smiling at you!")
- Utsuge: With all the sexy romps and beach episodes, Edelweiss is this at its core. Some of the endings are surprisingly sad.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Aw, so Kazushi and Sakura really love each other! Wait, that's it? What about the huge-ass cherry tree whose flowers scream "HARUCCHI I LOVE YOUUUUUU" that just kind of appeared? No real explanation is given to its appearance and, while it seems very impractical to have around, they don't seem to be rushing to do something about it.