H2O: Footprints in the Sand is a Japanese adult visual novel by Makura that was released on June 23, 2006 for the PC as a DVD; a version playable on the PlayStation 2 under the title H2O + followed on April 24, 2008 with adult content removed, but in its place will be additional scenarios and graphics not seen in the original release. H2O is Makura's first game; a sequel named Root After and Another was later produced in October 2007. The gameplay in H2O follows a plot line that offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the three female main characters. There are two modes of gameplay, the Blindness Effect and Normal Effect, where the former plays on the fact that the protagonist is blind, and the latter mode removes the added element of gameplay the Blindness Effect has. The story is broken into three parts: the original introduction and meeting, following by a separation and reunion, and finally ending with the protagonist choosing one of the girls and spending the rest of the game with her.
A manga adaptation, drawn by Kira Inugami, was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace between 2007 and 2008. A 12-episode anime by the animation studio Zexcs aired in Japan between January and March 2008 on the Fukui TV television network. Several music albums have also been released. The name H2O comes from the first letter of the three main heroines: Hayami, Hinata, and Otoha. Footprints in the Sand comes from a poem; the first part of this poem appeared in episode one of the anime and the second half in the final episode.
Takuma Hirose is a blind young male high school student, though the cause for his blindness is undetermined. In order to heal his medical condition, he is sent to live in a village with his uncle. There, he meets several girls, three of which stand out more than any of the others. They are Hayami Kohinata, Hinata Kangura, and Otoha. Otoha temporarily heals his blindness and Hirose uses his sight to help others. He finds out that, for some reason, Hayami Kohinata is hated in the village, and he tries his best to help her out. Meanwhile, many sad secrets unfold in the village...