JP title: 凍京NECRO
Well, stopping Gekkou no Carnevale to play this instead was a fairly solid life decision in retrospect, let me tell you. Primarily because this VN didn’t make me want to kill myself. I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily call Tokyo Necro a total masterpiece, mind you, but it was good-ish. Above average, at the very least. If you were expecting the next Nitro kamige after Muramasa, it’s not quite that, but it’s a game I can look back upon and say “well, y’know, that was fun, you guys. I don’t regret reading that. Not at all.”
JP title: 装甲悪鬼村正 贖罪編
Note: Shokuzai-hen is basically kind of a sequel to Muramasa that takes place after the true end. So keep this in mind. If you haven’t read Muramasa (the main game, that is), don’t read this review unless you want to be spoiled on a bunch of things.
Well, this certainly came as a surprise, in more ways than one. Partly because holy shit, Muramasa is back, and also because this particular spinoff story on offer is actually… pretty good! I’d say I enjoyed it more than most of the other Muramasa-related works, including Janen-hen. The story itself (before you get *too* excited) wasn’t written by Narahara Ittetsu, Muramasa’s original author. No, it was actually penned by a fan for a contest held by Nitroplus a couple years back. And it won the grand prize (so that should tell you something about its quality, at least), which was that Nitro would actually turn it into a VN. Well, they sure took their sweet time with it, but hey, whatever. It’s here. It’s good. It’s free. All is forgiven.
JP title: 月光のカルネヴァーレ
You may have noticed that this post is not labeled in the way I usually label reviews, and there’s a reason for that. That’s because I haven’t finished all of the game (let me explain), and as such, I don’t really consider this a “proper” review in that sense. Sure, you may consequently dismiss this entire post with a wave of the hand, followed by a “but he didn’t finish the whole thing”. Yes, absolutely. I understand. However, after fully completing two of the game’s four heroine routes and dipping my toe in the third, I have decided that I simply cannot take this anymore.
JP title: ありそうでNASA荘
Every once in a while when the moon turns blood red, the stars align and the wolves howl in the night, I do something unlike me and read something dumb and light-hearted. Because even a gourmet eater craves a big, juicy, disgusting hamburger from time to time, right? Right. IN ANY EVENT. I picked up this manga on a whim because the art looked great and the premise sounded wtf enough to pique my curiosity. And… maybe the cover art influenced me too… just a bit… yeah… Anyway, so putting that aside, let’s talk about this dumb, light-hearted, but semi-entertaining manga about a bunch of weirdos doing weird things.
Dies irae is back, and in a way I never would have predicted: with a prequel / side story / fandisc-like thing focusing on Wilhelm Ehrenburg (aka Kaziklu Bey) during the early days of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden. He meets a mysterious young lady by the name of Claudia Jerusalem (voiced by Noto Mamiko), and the two get entangled in… well, all sorts of things. You might be wondering why Wilhelm, of all people, would be starring in a “love” story, and how Claudia even comes into the picture, but in the end… I thought things worked out in a way that satisfied the Dies fan in me.
So I wrote up a quick English walkthrough for Tokyo Babel, for people that don’t want to use the Japanese one. I’d recommend going in the same order as the guide, that is, Raziel –> Sorami –> Lilith.
Note: You can only enter Lilith’s route once the other two routes have been completed.
JP title: 英雄伝説 碧の軌跡
So Zero no Kiseki may have wrapped up its own plotline, but it certainly left certain questions unanswered: that’s where the sequel, Ao no Kiseki comes in, serving as the Sora SC equivalent and grand finale of the Crossbell arc. Or should I say, Sora SC on crack. Because holy shit does this game get good. I went into the Zero/Ao duology with tempered expectations, thinking it might be “good but not as good as Sora/Trails in the Sky” and now that I’m done with Ao, I gotta say, not only is the Crossbell story arc good, it’s the very best this series has to offer, surpassing even the already quite superb Liberl trilogy. In my opinion, at least. Hardcore Estelle fans may disagree, haha.