Editor’s Note: I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tsui no Sora day! Certainly, for people following politics, the Republicans have their own Invention happening right now. Electing a fat Takuji as president is definitely a homage to SCA-JI’s masterpiece, but we can’t let those cultists steal all the denpa fun! Today, we have light novels about a hikikomori who looks like Mary Christie from Sharnoth and a RuiTomo redemption post. I also don’t feel like censoring Metarail’s images because he is the 魔王 of this post. So if you want to see tits and blood, scroll down!
Hi there. I’ll start by talking about one of the series I had been anticipating for quite some time and finally started at the end of last month, that is, 9S. Some of you might have heard about it already. Honestly, it deserves all the praise it got from Japanese fans back in the day and even nowadays, since it ended relatively recently.
But what is 9S about, some of you might be wondering. Well, trying to put it in the most succinct way would be a challenge on its own, so I won’t hold back.
9S or The Security System that Seals the Savage Science Smartly by its Supreme Sagacity and Strength — hence the nine “S” — is the story of a world reigned by The Legacy, which are inventions created by the greatest, most renowned scientist humanity has ever seen, Yuujirou Mineshima.
He received both praise and hatred alike as he made his way through history, creating and innovating in all kind of fields. Coming up with new theories that rendered useless the already-established ones, as well as crushing the very foundations of science itself.
Until one day, he vanished like thin air. He was gone, but his Legacy wasn’t, and soon all these inventions started to fall in hands of criminal organizations and governments so they carried out their own agendas.
To regulate the usage of all these creations, Japan’s government decided to establish ADEM (Administrative Division of the Estate of Mineshima), which is in charge of recollecting all the inventions that are part of the The Legacy, as well as arresting or suppressing, if necessary, all those who make unlawful use of them all around the globe.
Some of these inventions are released to the public after minute examination, for some of them can bring great progress to different fields of medicine, biology, physics, mathematics or even be applied to military purposes. Those that ADEM deem not apt for public release, are sent to their secret facility, unknown to the public and Japan’s government itself, NCT (Non-Cognizable Technology).
It is in this facility, 1200kms below the surface, where ADEM studies and examines those inventions that are not yet fully understood by human being, or are too dangerous to be released. All in cooperation with Yuujirou’s magnum opus and her daughter, Yuu Mineshima, this story’s heroine.
She’s being held captive in NCT as her brain possess all kind of information regarding The Legacy, and so she doesn’t fall in the wrong hands. You could say she’s paying for the mess her father left behind, but also because she’s feel guilty about it, since she was too involved in amassing the quantity of inventions that exist today before she was abandoned by her father when she was just seven years old.
Through a series of events, she meets up with Touma who’s the first person who ever referred to her as a human being, and not as a “thing,” being this one encounter a turning point for both of them.
Yuu has always wanted to go outside and know what looking at a bright blue sky is like, what looking at dawn is like, what feeling the sun’s warmth is like, since she’s spent the last twelve years caged below the surface, suffering all kind of experiments and being deprived of all privacy.
Her fateful encounter with Touma at Sphere Laboratory, an environmental facility with a length of 500mts and a height of 200mts, with a dome-like shape, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is what puts the wheel of destiny in motion, as well as unleashing a conspiracy that will involve the whole world. This is basically volume one’s summary, and the whole series goes on like it.
Every single book so far has had material to always keep you entertained, as well to leave you in awe at what you’re reading. Pretty intense development and sperging about different topics regarding some heavy sciency stuff, if you’re into that.
I’ve got to admit, though, that while that is Hayama’s strength for me, it could also mean a weakness for some people, since he gets really passionate about the image he’s trying to paint with this fantastic setting and the explanation about every single invention or phenomenon that is ensued because of it, that it could overwhelm some people, or even bore them.
The first three books were a sort of test to see if the series would appeal to people, and it got serialized for real in fourth book after seeing the response they got from readers.
Honestly, writing something of this caliber is an achievement in and of itself. The sheer amount of effort and ambition put into the plotting is insane, resulting in a feast for the eyes if it happens to make click with you. Now I can only wonder how all this will end.
P.S. Any book of 9S contains more action and excitement than the entirety of Hollywood.
As for what’s next, I also made some progress through ひきこもりの彼女は神なのです。, a lil’ series that piqued my interest when I found out Suebashi was one of those authors influenced by Akuma no Mikata (self-advertising banzai!), so it was only natural for me to check it out.
It tells the story of Takato Nazuka, a high-school student who recently moved to Mihiro City due to certain issues with his father and, more than anything, to turn over a new leaf.
He’s one of those protagonists that used to have a strong sense of justice, and wanted to aid all those who were in trouble back in middle school. He was, however, made aware that not everyone can be saved, and where there is good, there is malice.
There is not white without black, nor sun without moon. So, after certain incident, he quits being local Robin Hood, and sees his entrance to high-school as an opportunity to change, and “what better opportunity than moving to a different city and starting over?,” he thought.
Takato is appointed to a lodging house called Neutral House upon his arrival, where he will spend his high-school years along with other residents. Something he didn’t know, it’s that Mihiro is not a normal city, as it is inhabited by mystical creatures, monsters, demons and several gods from all kind of worlds.
It’s a more or less known world, to him, however, since he himself bears an ability he inherited from birth: he’s capable of manipulating gravity and being able to walk walls or roofs as well as an inhuman ability to regenerate wounds almost really fast.
He is introduced to most of the cast by the lodging house’s manager, Tetra, a somewhat lazy university student, and the oldest resident living in there. Ayaka, the story’s heroine, she’s a goddess, considered the female Japanese version of Hades and you can identify her easily by her eyes (Sharnoth vibes, anyone?).
She spends her free time watching anime, reading light novels, playing online videogames, sleeping late and ordering all kind of stuff online. Whenever she needs something, ordering her tiny personal maid, Ulrica, is all that’s necessary.
Ayaka, however, doesn’t take a liking to Takato immediately, as he is assigned to her room and well, that’s her personal space. Her private area. Her holy land. Suffice to say it takes some incidents and time for these two to get along, and in the process, Ayaka notices she feels something for Takato. Though she’s not the only one.
She became an hikikomori because, as a goddess that used to reign over life and death, she had to judge many people for their actions, and grant them passage to either heaven or hell. But that’s not what afflicted her, what it did was seeing that no matter how many time passed, humanity didn’t change.
She was in touch with people’s emotions the whole time, be it hatred, happiness, rage or mere hollowness. And as time passed by, her workload did nothing but increase, since humanity’s population kept rising. But change never came, not to her eyes at least.
That’s how she gave up on humanity, and retired to a secluded life, away from people and their world, and Mihiro City was just ideal for that. This a tiny fragment of Ayaka’s background; most characters have a story of their own and had trouble, which was ultimately the reason why they moved to Neutral House.
Takato’s arrival helps bring order and some light to the day-to-day moments of everyone at the residence, as well as helping them out in whatever he can. Neutral House also serves as an organization of sorts that ensures order and prevents chaos in the city usually originated by other creatures.
Though not really long, so far there’s been a few parts that felt a bit banal and diminished some of the series’s charm, but nothing too critic. Suebashi’s writing is quite… honest and practical, really. He doesn’t embellishes it more than necessary, and gets his point across clearly, but it’s is not barren nor crude either. A peculiar mix if anything. All in all, a balanced and cute series so far.
That’d be all from my part this time around. I wanted to write about Hakozoko no Elpis too, a series I’ve been pestering people about to read, but that’d make the post unnecessarily long, so I’ll better save that for a standalone one in the future. Till next time.
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Welp, I’m burned out on novels. My concentration is getting poorer and poorer as I get more and more disappointed by terribly written bestsellers and worn down by depressingly cynical reads. My usual interest in novels have always been seesawing with my constant boredom, but for the past few weeks boredom is getting a bit too fat and is not letting off its feet from the ground. I don’t know how to make my boredom go away besides work (which I constantly have but never enough, it seems).
That’s the thing with burnout: You’re bored of X, but you want something new of X. It’s a paradox only Doraemon could solve. Getting out of that paradox usually means doing something unexpected, so I’ve been reading some comics — both Western and Japanese. You may have seen me fangasming over Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (might write an article about it — rip Disco, I am fated to never finish writing about you forever) and random shoujo manga. I, uh, wonder what my next TSNM contribution will look like…
But enough of that, I did finish some interesting reads despite the struggle. I already wrote about one out of writer’s block (thanks Disco). There’s still more.
For example, Run Over is what happens if you let Tarantino write a school caste light novel. School caste novels are basically anything about bullies terrorizing outcasts in high school. They can be darn realistic (see: SubaHibi’s Insects, which is based on real instances of bullying) or goddamn insane like this novel.
The protagonist is apathetic to the situation. Some kid gets bullied by a guy and a girl, whatever. He does have an itchy hand: he likes to pickpocket wallets and other valuables. He’s gotten good at it actually — and Minato, the new transfer student, praises him for it. She asks him if he likes to join her in overcoming the bullies. And if he can grab a phone from one of the bullies.
That phone holds a video of them fucking each other.
This is a short read, so I won’t go any further with the synopsis. But I think that will give some intrigue into the plot. The real fun however is the insane atmosphere. You never really understand Minato as a character; she is sort of what you would call “flat”. But you know she is nuts and will do anything — violence, blackmailing, war — to retaliate against the bullies. You are swept into a bloody orgy of horror and pain thanks to her. You just want to read what’s going to happen next. Makes the reader feel sadistic (seeing all this people cry in pain) and masochistic (getting disgusted by all of this). The ending is a “oh god” moment that I am sure bound to piss some people off. It’s almost like a joke on how happy endings in these type of novels work.
So this isn’t the sort of “light novel” some folks might want to read. The writer knows that. In the afterword, he mentions how he has submitted this to the publisher and the publisher went “This isn’t a light novel.” The writer argues that it is because it’s set in a high school and has a mystery transfer student, ergo this is a light novel. Ah yes, light novels about murder and rape. If that doesn’t make you question whether light novels as a “genre” exist, what will? A lot of people got upset over this. Maybe they saw the cute cover and thought, “My waifu.” In Bookmeter reviews, you see people sometimes criticizing its existence. One review actually said the writer should just fucking die and rot in hell.
To give an approximation of the inanity, the chapter titles are The Pixies’s songs. Listen to the lyrics to get the “feel” of the novel. If you find them beautiful(?), definitely check out this novel.
My only problem is that the artist doesn’t really draw anything violent. It’s all the cute school scenes, which are somewhat funny because they don’t match the absurd, violent tone in the book. Really makes you want to see what the artist can do with the cute art, so it feels missing. What we have is alright, I guess.
It’s entertaining and in this world of people ignoring their boredom to read deep literature, a work that’s written like a Tarantino movie is unbelievably refreshing. I can see this being a cult classic, especially with people in the West if it ever gets translated (lol). It isn’t ultra-violent but it is ultra-fun, the sort of thing Americans love today (according to my sales research in comics)!
舟を編む is an example of one of those bestsellers that have recently killed my drive. Except I actually finished it. I bought the book and felt nasty after reading like 20% into it. Only reason I got interested in this piece of trash was the Noitamina adaptation coming up in Fall. I will probably talk about this at deeper length on Mimidoshima when the anime is almost out. But the night is young (I write at nights) and I can whip up something about it.
Majide (yes, that’s his name) helps out in a publishing firm that specializes in dictionaries. He falls in love with a cute girl who is the landlord’s daughter. Then, they lived happily ever after.
That’s the synopsis. I actually told the entire plot of the whole novel. You may rest easy now.
There are many, many, many, many, many, many wrong things with this book. The biggest thing is: It doesn’t know what it wants to be. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a book about dictionaries. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a book on businesses. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a book with a silly romance comedy subplot. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a book on adults. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a book about life. And many more.
I’m not saying a book can’t hold all these themes or whatever lit people call these days. But there isn’t an identity the book can latch onto. You could easily say what the main theme of a work is (CROSS+CHANNEL: Communication; Sakura no Uta: Art in connection to life; Kikokugai: Hero’s journey’s premise can be flawed…), but here you don’t know what it’s trying to say. And if you’re deceived as most people were by the anime PV or the description on Amazon, it is definitely not a book on dictionaries.
Dictionaries in the book don’t even deserve the lowly status of gimmicks. They barely exist. You see them pop up in Majide’s chapters, but they don’t exist everywhere else. And yes, you are in different characters’ perspectives most of the time. It’s not even about Majide’s story. I don’t fucking understand this book.
I definitely need a blog post to vent out my frustrations, else I’ll be cooped up like a Donald Duck. I try to be as un-negative as possible, but god I don’t know why this book exists.
Go read light novels instead like 12月のベロニカ. It’s a romantic fairy tale dressed up as a light novel. In an essay by the contest judge who gave this the green light (some light novels are published through contests), he mentioned how he cried the first time he read it. Then, he cried the second time rereading it. And he cried again for the third time because he now understands the structure and beauty of it.
I’m a sucker for sentimentalist romanticist fiction. That might be a surprising fact to many people because I grew up on lifeless, dry, cold academic writing. I don’t know why and how — Hong Kong dramas and shoujo manga maybe? — but I love it when writers don’t go for the gritty world and instead create something romantic. Plus points if it’s from a gritty world.
And 12月のベロニカ is exactly that. You have a knight who has promised to protect his osananajimi, a medium to the gods, at all costs. But shit happens and he and his commander are down on their luck until a badass mercenary comes along. And that’s when the chivalry and romance shine.
The writing is brimming with affection and this can lead to people thinking it’s some corny fantasy romance work. But I do agree with the judge: there is something inside the novel that makes everything beautiful. Like it is reaffirming the role of a knight. I’m not sure if I’m making sense here, but I fucking love knights as a heroic role of sorts. And this novel shows that. And the structure is quite well-crafted but for spoiler reasons I can’t discuss. It does lend itself well to rereading and I actually find it driving the sentimentalism back home more. Have I mentioned I like sentimentality?
This is probably the best novel read I’ve had out of this batch. It might be nothing special to most people, but there is something irresistible in going against the rules and limitations of the world as a knight. Knights are made out of promises and loyalty. Couple that with an anime osananajimi and it becomes a lovely couple! I also think this might be a good introductory read to the world of light novels and fantasy stuff. Fun and kawaii read!
I mentioned Shibusawa on the previous TNSM and I decided to read 夢の宇宙誌 as well. This time, it’s an assortment of ideas like inventions and God. I won’t write much about this because I’m considering a post on Shibusawa later. But the ideas he explores are, as the cool kids say, radical.
For example, Adam and Eve in the most boring Bible tale, Genesis. We all know the story, but let’s think in Shibusawa’s gnostic concepts. What if the serpent is the good guy here? Some gnostic schools believe that the serpent is the bringer of knowledge while God up there is a totalitarian dick. He doesn’t want to share the concept of knowledge (or sex) with his creations. But the serpent, a Prometheus-like figure in the eyes of the gnostics, does. What does sex entail? Penis into vagina. That’s the long story short (sex is a far more complicated subject, but everyone reading this blog is a sexpert). But what does it remind you of? Unity? Fusion? Eve was born out of Adam’s ribs after all. What if the concept of fucking means the male and female sex are trying to become one again? What are we when God didn’t split the sexes? Hermaphrodite? Is the concept of heterosexual lust then a desire to return to that state of having a penis and vagina? Then, if we are now binary, then what is God? Unitary? Does he then have a dick and a vagina? He is omniscient after all. The One. The All-knowing. He is the eternal. So that means he must be a futanari!
Shibusawa has so many epiphanies reading everything he can grab. And I too feel like there’s something over the rainbow when I read his stuff. Every time I read him, I feel like I gained an ounce of wisdom, knowledge, trivia, or his insanity. I won’t recommend this book to first-time readers (this is admittedly denser than his other stuff), but it’s enlightening. Maybe this sounds like crazy hokeypokey shmuck but aren’t all “enlightening reads” crazy hokeypokey shmuck in some way?
Well, that’s it for now. I do have some more shit to talk about, but I do feel like I am pushing my limits as a contributor to it. Writing here is getting too tiring and I actually need to edit this post. Hopefully, I’ll have more stuff to say next time!
HA HA, IT’S TIME FOR A RUITOMO REDEMPTION POST
[Note: if you have no idea what Ruitomo is, you should probably take a few moments to read Wahfuu’s excellent review of it here before going forward, considering I’m not going to explain any of the basics of the series in this post.]
If there is such a thing as a gold standard for eroge fandiscs, るいは智を呼ぶファンディスク ―明日のむこうに視える風― is definitely what sets the bar in my eyes. It strikes a perfect balance of “typical fandisc” content by letting us spend plenty of time with the main cast and introduces the more serious stuff by taking the ideas from the original game in meaningful new directions in the additional heroine routes. Make no mistake, this is not an optional read designed for people who are looking to relive the original game, it’s an integral part of the experience that is Ruitomo and it is not a stretch to say that you are not “finished” if you have not read it. Fortunately, it also clears up many of the issues I had with the original game, namely by introducing a concrete central idea (明日) to grab onto and reducing the writer whiplash to almost nothing by having Shuudou respectfully bow out early. The fandisc is a far more consistent read as a result and the story is afforded the opportunity to go to the places Hino wanted to take it originally. Basically, I felt this was just a much more well executed experience in general and I ended up enjoying it significantly more than the original game because of that, go figure.
Anyway, the fandisc takes place chronologically right after the parkour race at the end of the common route in the original game, just before entering a character route. The FD contains 3 new routes (Miya, Yenfei, Megumu), the latter two of which are much more interesting characters than any of the heroines in the main game, except for my darling Akaneko of course.
Miya’s route and the early parts of the FD are very much so the reader’s chance to chill out and get back into the Ruitomo ノリ, these parts only briefly go into any sort of drama and maintain a very light, humorous atmosphere for their duration. Some may recall my INTENSE ANGER at several of Shuudou’s parts in the original Ruitomo, but his improvement here is tangible. Character interactions make sense, very little unnecessary meandering in irrelevant conflict, and there are actually a few passages that I legitimately enjoyed. The idea behind the route (break free of your overbearing 古風 family and live your own life) is somewhat stale for me, but it connects to the main idea behind the game in a believable way and I enjoyed seeing it in this context nonetheless. This also has Fuurin singing an insert song so it’s literally impossible to dislike ok.
Yenfei’s route is up next and it marks the point in the game when Hino comes around to move us out of Disney territory and into the Real Deal. As opposed to school festivals and bullying we have life and death drama and murder subplots. I found it interesting that this route spends a lot of time exploring Ruitomo’s setting; not so much its physical world but more the seedy underbelly of the city and the forces that thrive there. Gang conflicts, shadow corporations, power struggles, the drug trade, Tomo’s 男の娘 eromanga loving neighbor being revealed as an ikemen rival gang leader who regularly gives inspirational speeches about courage and values to his 部下, et cetera. This made me realize just how much I like the urban setting in Ruitomo and strangely enough it even gave me some Oretsuba vibes. I really wish more eroge took place outside of schools or at least made better use of their worlds, I think there’s a lot to be gained in that aspect.
This route also reaffirmed my conviction that Yenfei got fucking SHAFTED in the main game, her character desperately needed more time to shine and I’m so glad she got that chance in the FD. Watching Tomo slowly chip away enough of the street hardened lone wolf KING OF THE UNDERGROUND persona to reveal an actual human girl that I now feel comfortable calling ゆんゆん was a great pleasure. I do think it’s important to note that she still commands an air of danger and vengeance despite this; many character routes with heroines like Yenfei fall into the trap of having a previously well defined character completely throw away all of that development and devolve into a moeblob after beginning a Physical Relationship with the protagonist, so seeing this route avoid that pitfall was nice.
Don’t get me wrong though, she is still quite moe whether she realizes it or not.
After seeing the events of the main game, Megumu’s route was the part of the experience I was most looking forward to and it delivered in spades, although not in the way I expected it to. Her route is unique in the sense that it takes the theme of 明日 that I mentioned earlier and completely turns it on its head by presenting a situation where there never really was a “tomorrow”, at least not by the standards established thus far. Megumu’s character is incredibly tragic, not only does she bear the Curse that all of our main characters do, she also suffers from a genetic illness that has killed every member of her bloodline before the age of thirty. The details here will have to remain vague, but suffice it to say that the circumstances connecting her curse and illness and the things she must do to continue to live are masterfully crafted to present a logical labyrinth; one to which there is no true escape and every possible path leads to a dead end. Honestly, the ideas approached here are so commonly explored that I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this has pondered them on at least a basic level before, but the highly personal way in which they are presented sparked a great deal of new thought on these subjects for me. Underneath everything, it all boils down to a single question: Do all lives have equal meaning, regardless of how virtuous or sinful the life in question has been? Furthermore, how do we define “virtue” and “sin”, or do those concepts even exist at all in the face of this world’s incongruity?
The contradictions inherent to that debate gnaw at our protagonist Tomo the most deeply – after all, he’s the one who gets embroiled the most in this trainwreck as someone who’s in love with Megumu. He’s the one who has to take the damage from things happening beyond his control while he has no choice but to stand by and watch. I actually find this route to be memorable not because of Megumu’s role as heroine, but because of what Hino does with Tomo as a protagonist. The entire thing feels like one giant exercise in futility as he struggles to reconcile the unfolding situation with his own worldview and perception of what’s right, only to have any kind of reasonable understanding relentlessly smashed over and over again. And again. And again. And again (for good measure).
This causes increasingly more mental friction for him as things rise to critical mass and ultimately, time just runs out. One of two choices must be made, and of course neither of the two are entirely “correct” in any sense of the word. And in a series like Ruitomo which has never gone very deeply into darkness, I doubt anyone expected the developments Tomo’s solution brought about. Everything culminates in a kind of deranged catharsis, a symbolic baseball bat to the face of a world that was cursed from the beginning and a hatchet to the skull of a society built on inadequate morals and useless ethics. It feels like Hino channeled the rage of everyone who’s ever been shit on by destiny or stomped on by someone else into one visceral, gutwrenching moment of liberation guaranteed to both haunt and bring readers face to face with their own discontent long after the credits roll.
In the end, whether or not Tomo made the correct move is anyone’s guess. A scenario like this is wildly complex and taking the “next right step” is simply impossible because it doesn’t exist. This is all strengthened immensely by Hino’s ability to tie the ideas being explored to characters we’ve grown intimate with as opposed to just having them remain as abstract concepts. With all of that being said, Megumu’s route has etched out a place in my mental Rolodex as one of the most ambitious routes I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.
This has gotten entirely too long, so I’m going to opt not to write about the rest of the game (it’s all spoilers anyway) and just talk about what I took away from the experience as a whole. I think what I find most notable in the end is the absolute refusal to compromise for a full on happy ending. Even with some pretty crazy supernatural elements introduced, none of the game’s real problems go away. Even in all possible outcomes, we’re still left with the only option we ever had: to keep moving forward. Towards tomorrow. A friend described Hino’s worldview and the messages in his games as “cynical optimism” and I think that’s an apt description. After all, what else do you call an active choice to try your chances at living in a world fundamentally composed of 矛盾 and evil as opposed to a silent sanctuary nerfed of all hardship? I think that’s a message worth hearing, especially in today’s society.
Overall, I can’t help but think of Ruitomo and its fandisc as a single experience, neither is complete without the other and both come together to create something pretty cool. So far, it’s proven to be something that will stick with me, I think about it more or less every day. There are undeniably a few bumps in the road and my earlier complaints still stand, but I feel comfortable in saying it is worthwhile for anybody who’s interested!
Oh hey it’s that oddball again. By the stroke of some miracle I have some weird spur of momentum/motivation? here again to put some roman alphabets one after another.
So yeah as I said last time I would read EXTRAVAGANZA~蟲狂編~ and did so [holy hell my actual reading plan kept]. It’s kinda hard to talk about 蟲狂編 without talking about the main game as 蟲狂編 is just missing/additional route to it although being standalone, and you know most of you probably haven’t played EXTRAVAGANZA ～蟲愛でる少女～ due to being .
about EXTRAVAGANZA ～蟲愛でる少女～:
[ooo motivation] ok let me drop some words from my hazy memory about Extravaganzas main game before blabbering 蟲狂編.
Extravaganza tells story of Yumemi Sakurai a normal girl and how her life becomes quite abnormal due to accidently getting involved in affairs of mushitsukais, a special clan of people who use special kinds of bugs/insects called 蟲 to do all kinds of nasty shit. [what’s up with that naming anyway, you can’t really call 蟲(mushi) normal bugs/insects for distinction purpose]. It also focuses on her relationship about a special 蟲 she had to bore during hardships.
Interestingly the story is told in 3 different time periods, Yumemis loli-, teen- and adult-years, showing how various things begin and finally end after so many years. Of these periods the teen years is the longest and most branchy part of game though. Other interesting aspect is how you proceed with the story, you basically choose the next scene one by one from flow-chart, the catch being that the game doesn’t really tell you about necessary flags for branching conditions just that there are other variations for same scene. This causes some convoluted progression sometimes where some flags might exist, but thankfully there are some clear cause-and-effect to good deal of scenes. Although due to how branchy the game can get it is major pain in ass to fully read unless you use walkthough. Personally I really liked “searching” for the right routes and absolutely refused to use walkthrough as I saw the “searching” fitting to the morbid and atmospheric story and felt it being part of experience. [maybe that’s why I never managed to 100% game actually, me and my weird habits, maybe when I reread I just use walkthrough tho…one day]. Although I do recommend people to do few runs without walk personally to see in what kind of ending the end up, theres like 40 endings in game, most bad ends though but they don’t necessarily end immediately. Shame 蟲狂編 was standalone and short so it couldn’t really use this kind of system.
One other “cool” thing is that all the ero in game is harcore rape and tentacles and fetishick stuff, with no consensual vanilla ero (consentacles there is though) to fit general mood of things. Well there “is” consensual vanilla sex but that was deemed too lewd for the game and get black-screen and one liner. [I seriously laughed when it happened for first time].
But anyway I would need to reread EXTRAVAGANZA ～蟲愛でる少女～ to do proper/say_more things of it, so will just stop here and say it’s a interesting story about girl and her child/蟲 with cool morbid atmosphere and nice dose of harcore ero, well after the loli-chapter you can actually finish the game without even seeing one ero-scene I think.
It sure feels nice to see some of these charas after all these years, even though not everyone appears but atleast most get mentions. Timewise this chapter/route takes place 5 years after the teen-parts finale of extravaganza from result not present in the game, what’s different is explained. And the story itself doesn’t lead to adult portion of main game due to certain obvious differences.
Nut anyway, 蟲狂編s story shifts away from Yumemi and focuses on the Ren & Miyaka pairing who weren’t really explored properly in extavaganzas main part although they were the mains of proto-extravaganza that was mushitsukai (蟲使い https://vndb.org/v2323). So it was nice to see some more closure on them, plus additionally to some hanging stuff of the mushitsukai clan and Rens relationship with her daughter Ayaka. Julia and Mu-chan also do their part of asskicking when things start to roll in to mushi things.
The story in 蟲狂編 is fairly clearly partitioned to first and second half + ero-branch. with first part being SoL and catching up with characters taking it easy, and there’s some inherently hilarious moments here with Ren’s lack of common-sense no-nonsense character interacting in more “normal” life situations and adapting. And then the second half focuses more on plot when the current state of mushitsukai-clans existance and the result on how they should act with the changing world with their own closed society. This change ofcourse comes with direct conflict to Ren own feelings and how they have changed with the past 5 years living outside. Shamefully mushikuruhen is just that one new route so it doesn’t last too long, but even in this short period of time it felt good to return to the cast of extravaganza and this world, and there were some really nice scenes here too with how Ren was developed as character although nothing horribly original. Also new “villain” here was nice contrast to changed Ren with their viewpoints and way of life of mushitsukais. And when all is said and done, it offers nice new conclusion/videwpoint [what the fuck are videwpoints] for the story and giving some much needed closure that the main story lacked to Ren&Miyaka, complementing the main game really nicely. One other thing I found neat was that there was times when characters talked about what-if scenarios, and these ideas were pretty much what you actually saw in some of the branches of main game.
Ero-branch is, is well that ero, mostly H as there was practically no ero in main story branch, well there was one + extravaganza style vanilla H too lewd to be shown (sides still notwithstanding). And the H was more extravaganza style ero, meaning various degree of rape and tentacles, and some fucked up shit yo, with some hotcold dext to go with. So fairly hot if you are to that kind of thing, art is really nice here (the usual Metawo) and VAs do good job screaming. There was no new things to plot really here except one interesting what-if at the end that some of the branches tended to have.
Must read for the fans of main game. +voiced Ren.
Also production were pretty nice for product of this length. Sure it might have recycled the extravaganza OST, but hey it is Extravaganza. And it did have new tracks, mainly the OP song that was also used as insert in great scene. Art was also nice with some good ammount of tachies and even some SoL CGs (Holy shit SoL CGs in Extravaganza).
Indeed Mushikuruhen is short but good product, and with Metawo and Banya back at doing things at Black-cyc after all these years, this might be sign that black-cyc might actually want to make good things again, hopefully we’ll get something as good as Extravaganza, MinDead Blood or GSS once again from this company.
Continuing with Banya things. As there was surprise release with second trial to 死に逝く君、館に芽吹く憎悪 ended up reading it too. Well it didn’t go too much beyond the first trial and just reinforced my idea/opinion I got from first trial. So yeah really liking the mental aspect of Miya in it how her character is written here, with some healthy? dose of shockingly cute ero. But will blabber more about nikuniku next time when the actually game is out. For good? or bad? will get read it sooner now that Baldr heart is delayed by one month. So nikuniku is actually my top priority release this month(july) now.
Back to tentacles again. So yaeh managed to tentacle myself to the end of the newest 淫妖蟲 (淫妖蟲 獄～凌触地獄退魔録～), twas hot as fuck. The fact that manages to reach “end” as in got every scene is just proof of that I guess. 淫妖蟲 being one of those more known tentacle eroge series this already being the 5th game in series. Although the series is continuous in its plot and characters there really isn’t need to have played previous games as necessary things get explained from past games and the plot-quality being about jump shounen-levels of silly. Maybe it’s just me but that silly shounen-esque plot which lets you choose to make HORRIBLE BAD THINGS HAPPEN to heroines that I have grown attached for some reason along the games that makes me enjoy (and hate myself for feeling bad when BAD THINGS HAPPEN to heroines) the 淫妖蟲 eroges so much with their twisted but hot as fuck ero.
This time the plot has our idiot mains getting thrown in past japan due to mishap in helping the Tsukishiro sister trying to figure out cause of their immortality. This then leading them to beat the shit out of local red oni with oh so evil plan or fail horribly and then getting raped to death, like the usual deal goes in this series. With each route having the baka male + pair of heroines going in time. Routes lasting about the length of normal shounen episode + another for heroine specific bad end, which causes the 獄 feeling tad too short. Shiratori sisters who are like the face of series getting the longest/”deepest” route but honestly I don’t care crap about them as they are most boring ones, and then Sui & Rinko and Tsukishiro sisters getting the bit short end stick getting slightly less lengthy version. Thankfully there is small gaiden/extra after finishing the 3-routes that focuses Sui & Rinko + some new characters, and having BAD THINGS HAPPEN again. This scenario also leaves with a sequel hook along the line in the next episode of BAD THINGS HAPPEN to heroines. Overall though nearing the end and in the not Shiratori parts felt like that they were bit rushing and some scenes felt that they intended to write more but didn’t/lacked_time and there was distinct lack of usual sd-art-CGs. So because of those things, 獄 left bit of unfinished taste but it still delivers series main appeal and can be “used” for quite sometime due to amount of h-scenes. But yeha the series will keep us entertaining still in future and I will tentacle my way through them again most likely.
But if one is gonna play 淫妖蟲 eroge, it’s for ero indeed and it’s good with it and Aojirus art. Just don’t except any vanilla here even though there is male lead, but he is such a damedame shounen protag that only like has brute force, besides some moments of “luckiness”. Although the series is know for tentacles there isn’t too much of them actually this time round, it’s more gangbang by onis or humans and highspeed impregnation & birthing with some focus in bugs/tentacles, body modification, inserting lots of things to holes oversized or not and torture. Personally not too much into impregnation & birthing, but still found some of it prety nice. So yeah lots of stomach bulging, birthing and semen overflow, to degree of suspension of disbelief, stuff more normal people will most likely go wtf or laugh how ridiculous it is rather than find it hot that or just find it straight out disturbing. ofcourse if you are seasoned tentacle veteran or have fucked up fetishes it gets pretty damn hot. The writing here being more erotic/fetishitic focused rather than more cold/harsh it is in Extravaganza for comparison sake, or maybe it’s the arts “warmth” that caused that feel. There goes quite bit to synchronity of art and color palette used to make mood other than the text for ero-scenes. On another matter VAs also do some nice job making my T wriggles greatly, especially Rinkos who does damn nice job. Also the size difference in scenes between the heroines and the red oni when he was using heroines as living onaholes made me think that damn living onaholes must be awesome (and hot).
淫妖蟲 獄 recommended to fucked up ero degenerates of all shapes and sizes.
Probably gonna have bit break from tentacles now, not much room for them with all the other stuff. Nikuniku coming, but it’s not tentacles. Then there’s like Baldr Heart, Utawarerumono 3 and new Atelier coming to keep me busy this fall + others. Well I’m always half-assing various nukiges anyway, but don’t feel like talking about them if can’t get to “end” of things, maybe.
Speaking of Baldr Heart, it got delayed by month, noooo my kokorooo T_T.
Oh yeah read the story trial for it too. Well not that much need to be said for it, as everyone should know the answer already. Hiei Baldr is finally fucking back ;_; this feeling is just… aaahhh blissssss. DOYA, the OST is also magnificent.
so yeah overall my opinion of trial would be: Max_level_autism_DOYA_level_Hiei_Baldr_has_come_to_suck_your_time_to_balck_hole/10.
Also started playing ルフランの地下迷宮と魔女ノ旅団 from nipponichi [due being blackmailed into buying it by the autist around me], it’s cool and fun drpg, recommend it for those looking something to do with their vita. Refrain now with Gears of Dragoon 2 have offered some good drpg autism for this year indeed, although Refrains systems isn’t as deep compared to GoD2, both appealing in their own niche of this niche genre. btw GoD2 is awesome fun and autistic so go play it too + has good porn + great OST + delicious grills + Ashleys song is like one of best eroge songs I have heard. OPINIONs.
In fact I think I might need to be autist over GoD2 a bit again. *starts it up
uwaah why do have put this many words here, time to stop to save some sanity. See ya next time,… maybe.
on a trail note, writing is hard, and to convey my thoughts is even harder. Felt like managed stuff better last time. well need experience so just gotta gambare writing/grinding things here maybe. and why am I talking about this useless crap of thoughs here. and maybe I’m more coherent next time. MAYBE
.. and I want to kill myself again after rereading this….