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General tropes

  • Bittersweet Ending: The Maihitoyo movie. Suefumi's relationship with Akane was doomed from the start[1], but consider that the alternative outcome for him was apparently to be exorcised by Yasuaki...
  • Ear Worm: Given that Haruka, like other NeoRomance titles, spawns enormous amounts of character song CDs and live concerts, there are plenty of them. Early OAVs also have catchy J-Pop theme songs, but in some cases it's advisable not to listen to the lyrics too closely. There's even at least one song ("Harari, Hirari", the Ending Theme for the Maihitoyo movie), which, at least within the context it is used in, can function as an Ear Worm and a Tear Jerker at the same time.
  • Growing the Beard: Early stories, even though exhibiting a nice amount of work done, might still come off as a little generic (hence all the Fushigi Yuugi comparisons). Then Haruka 3 picked up a specific historical event complete with Public Domain Characters, made the main character more of an Action Girl and played with some of the plot elements inherited from its predecessors. It is by far the most popular entry in the series.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Goes without saying -- eight pretty guys already bonded in pairs is every Yaoi Fangirl's dream. Particularly popular 'ships among the first game's cast are the Byakko pair (Takamichi/Tomomasa) and the Genbu pair (Eisen/Yasuaki). The former two do exhibit enough generic Ho Yay, but the latter pair provides additional interest due to the possibility of exploring Yasuaki's emotional development -- even though canonically they only develop into real friends in the anime; manga!Eisen seems to think that Yasuaki is scary.
  • Shown Their Work: Despite the notes on Fantasy Counterpart Culture on the main page, the series makes heavy use of actual historical and mythological material, to the point where one starts wondering if the "parallel world" thing only exists just so that some of the details could be changed or excluded without ruining the overall picture.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Haruka 5 initially caused a lot of disappointment due to changing the voice cast and skipping over to the Bakumatsu Period, to the point that some fans have voiced an opinion that it should have been a new series rather than a continuation (by analogy with Neo Angelique). Of course, as more info was revealed, things turned out to be a lot less dramatic.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: So. Very. Much. Was really worth mentioning right on the main page due to sheer persistency, as one of the first things people outside Japan learn about Haruka is that it's Fushigi Yuugi with Serial Numbers Filed Off. Nevermind that this opinion is often only based on the manga/anime adaptation of the first game, and the series has been Growing the Beard for quite a long time since.
  • The Woobie: Many of the Hachiyou have tragic backstories in one way or another. Quite understandable as this character type is intended to be liked by the audience -- which is sort of the point here since Haruka is a Romance Game series and has to give its characters traits that could attract the player.

Funny Moments:

  • The Hachiyou Shou OAVs are a pure comedy. Highlights include:
    • Yorihisa and Takamichi failing to start a conversation. Sure, the topic was somewhat sensitive (they suspected each other of stealing), but performing the good old "no, please, you first" routine when you need to clarify something is generally not a good idea.
    • Inori's One Side of the Story-caused conversation with Eisen, which fails to include its main topic (Inori's stolen doll). Keep in mind that Eisen has absolutely no idea what it was all about because he did not take the doll and likely didn't know it even existed. One can only imagine just how he could possibly interpret Inori's behavior, with sudden talks about being lonely and such.
    • Yasuaki's Stealth Hi Bye trait, and, as a consequence -- him usually overhearing only parts of what other characters are saying. Directly leads into Tenma producing a string of stupid puns to get out of the misunderstanding without revealing what he actually said.
    • Yasuaki (who, it should be noted again, is The Stoic Artificial Human) getting Glowing Eyes of Doom after one too many mischiefs by Kotengu.
  • Akane meeting the Yasuaki mouse in the manga and Hachiyou Shou episode 5. It's technically more "cute" than "funny", but still fits.
  • Much of Hachiyou Shou episode 18; specifically, Yorihisa's overreaction at having to play the role of a thief, and Eisen unwittingly suggesting replacing Akane in her role with a crossdressed Hachiyou which got him Disguised in Drag.
  • Any scene in the stage plays that involves the Onryou trio. This gag reaches its climax near the end of Oborosoushi, where (as an alternative to complete depowering and disappearance, mind you) they get turned into toy-like "shikigami", so cute that the main cast keeps grabbing and adoring them much to their protests. Heck, this scene made Yasuaki smile!

Heartwarming Moments:

  • Any variations on the "Yasuaki becoming human" plot. Especially in the versions where he cries.

Tear Jerker:

  • The end of Hachiyou Shou TV episode seven, particularly when Yorihisa hugs Akane and asks her not to look at him for a while, after he assists his childhood friend in performing Suicide by Cop. Yorihisa's Image Song as the Ending Theme makes it even worse.
  • The climax and the Bittersweet Ending of the Maihitoyo movie. After Suefumi turns into an onryou, Akane can't bring herself to use her powers on him. Tenma orders Yasuaki to do the job, but Yasuaki refuses on the account that Akane will cry, so the Hachiyou instead convince Akane that only she can save Suefumi. Akane then manages to get Suefumi to turn back into his normal form and notes with a Tearful Smile that she can finally call him by his name -- and does this over and over again, ending up crying in his arms. After that, she purifies him, freeing his spirit, and the movie cuts to its Ear Worm ending song, which is pretty sad on its own and only adds to the impression.

Notes

  1. since he was eventually revealed to have been Dead All Along
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