Oh hey, what do you know, it was actually pretty entertaining at the end of the day.
… Well, probably not in the intended sense but this is entertainment in its own way.
The first few chapters revolved around world building, introduction to the settings, characters and the like which I somewhat covered during impressions. But to briefly sum things up: there are 100,000 humans remaining in the world, aliens (SPOOKS) are invading, Krakens are attacking, humanity is going to go extinct, the end.
And then moving on, the truth slowly gets uncovered.
The robot is from, wait for it, the future. Here we get another part which story writers seem to abuse to no ends which is throwing in random bits of quantum mechanics. At the very least they didn’t put in Schrodinger’s cat in it. I don’t know how many times stories have involved that bloody cat.
Anyway, the robot is from the future and our protagonist, (younger brother) Shin is the chosen one to pilot the robot, this role is called Elemental Driver because suddenly magic we can control the elements surrounding the robot as well as draw power from the pilot in order to fight off the SPOOKS
Unfortunately not even future technology is immune to the learning ability of SPOOKS, if too many battles are had with the SPOOKS, the SPOOKS will also learn the technology and eventually surpass it. This goes to explain why Aerial didn’t move faster and waited until the situation was dire. That said, they can’t possibly just idle around repelling SPOOKS until they adapt, but before hearing the wonderful plan we’re conveniently cut off.
Let’s be frank, it was fun solely when watching humanity struggle for survival. This part will be based off the first route I played since well, it leaves the biggest impression.
The general flow of the story for that particular route is, military is gradually getting cornered, route split happens around this range and they confess their love to each other only for the heroine in question to die on her first battle.
Consequently we spend the entire time with Shin mopping around, firming his resolve to become the pilot for the robot, in fact let me note here that it’s called Aerial so that I don’t have to refer it as a robot every time.
Just as he begins to gradually recover, in a training flight he’s shot down by SPOOKS and goes missing for days with no one discovering him or at least his corpse. As AQUAPOLICE can’t stay in one place for too long, it will eventually have to leave the sea area— giving up on Shin’s rescue.
Meanwhile on Shin’s side, he’s apparently trapped underwater in the ruins of VENUS01, a space elevator project which… well didn’t succeed since global warming. There he discovers his beloved heroine who is also there for some reason. I was… heavily disappointed since I was hoping they’d just kill the heroine off and forget her. Don’t care about the heroines so having them around is only a distraction to the story.
Spending days on unable to find an exit, the heroine convinces Shin to just live there, since even if they go out they’ll just be shot down by SPOOKS again. Before everything goes to BAD END the OS for Aerial, Nagi manages to make Shin snap out of it. Speaking of her, I find it somewhat awkward that she has to be naked whenever operating Aerial. Just picture having intense battles while a naked loli is floating around. Well it’s not anything new for robots I suppose.
Moving on, it turns out that everything was just an illusion. I’m happy again. Shin was actually stuck inside a SPOOK nest of sorts, saved by Nagi before he was absorbed into it. I’ll refrain from thinking of what that makes all of the hscenes with the heroine during the entire time. Let’s not go there, yes.
Shin returns to AQUAPOLICE with the use of Aerial and goes into hiding, unable to contact the friends and family who already recognize him as “dead”. Mainly because if he appears now… well various doubts would be raised. With many people looking and being caught on gun cameras, his plane crashed quite far away from AQUAPOLICE. It’s fairly unthinkable that he’d be able to get out of the plane and swim back to AQUAPOLICE (while it’s moving), all while somehow dodging the detection of the rescue teams searching for him.
But he eventually gets discovered and is caught, the fact that he’s alive is announced to AQUAPOLICE which is a breath of relief for his friends and family but he’s also caught for deserting and possible thief of the plane he was on (setting aside how difficult that would be under the watch of that many people).
Yet before proper investigation can be done, he’s dragged off by the special intelligence team under the suspicion of coming in contact with SPOOKS and perhaps he’s also an evolved SPOOK to blend into human societies. It’s otherwise difficult to explain how he managed to survive and get back to AQUAPOLICE.
This chapter was pretty funny in a sense. While Shin was caught, a coup d’etat happened and AQUAPOLICE gets sent into chaos. Humanity has essentially started a battle amongst themselves while still under the danger of SPOOKS. Pretty nice. That’s not the funny point I’m talking about however.
In the middle of this touching battle between the original AQUAPOLICE government insisting democracy and the evil portion of the army wanting to take more extreme measures to protect AQUAPOLICE, we occasionally cut back to Shin being, quite literally, raped/tortured and the likes for information and well, personal enjoyment.
I mean really, in the middle of this mess, was that really very relevant?
To be fair, at the end of it all, Shin recovers and takes another step up in maturing. Calling Aerial and knocking out all of the rebels, saving AQUAPOLICE from the crisis. So uh, I guess CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT?
Since his identity is already out, he willingly reveals his identity and then explains the entire plan the Futurians have in order to save humanity.
Essentially, humanity has survived this crisis once by… borrowing the help of humanity 10,000 years later. Which leads us to the question what happened in the first iteration of survival but well, time travel, messy stuff so “no one knows” and thus it was settled.
Anyway, the plan is to basically take the spaceship prepared by the Futurians, migrate everyone of AQUAPOLICE to it and set out for a long, long journey. Their target is a planet very similar to earth 5,400 light years away. That’s pretty far but apparently because of technology they can manage to cut down the time substantially. Regardless it doesn’t change that it’ll be a long journey.
In addition they must hurry along with the plan because apparently the past they know of subtly differs from the past they are currently in. the “queen” of SPOOKS is going to wake up soon yet according to Nagi’s calculations, the ship will only regain energy 3 days after that. By which humanity would probably be gone.
Though there’s some distrust of Shin and Nagi still but they can’t possibly just ignore their warnings so the plan goes along that Shin will use his magical powers to charge up the ship ahead of schedule so that they can run away before the queen wakes up.
During that time, Aerial will be unable to move therefore the army of AQUAPOLICE, including Shin’s older brother and whatnot needs to protect him. The total time required for charging is 45 minutes, with a 15 minute ETA for the arrival of SPOOKS, it will be a 30 minute fight of survival for humanity as a whole.
The battle begins and, as expected from before, all of the death flags triggered really did wind up killing Shin’s older brother. How unfortunate. Surprisingly Ryoko didn’t die with him at this point which was a cause for some drama but eh whatever, not like I give a damn.
The final chapter was a very entertaining battle from start to end. You’d think everything is solved since they managed to escape safely but no, the life of Shin is full of suffering and it couldn’t possibly end like that.
The queen woke up 2 days before the estimation and charged at the ship with mach 11 speeds. ETA in a mere hour or so, they are once again facing a crisis. Worse yet, the queen takes the form of Shin’s beloved heroine. This only further firms his resolve, firing his strongest attack— but only grazing the queen. The queen shifts its attention to the ship and ignores Aerial which continues to struggle doing any noticeable damage. In addition, the queen summons all existing SPOOKS on Earth. Estimation goes that there’s at least around a million of them. With a few hundred arriving very soon.
With aerial incapable of stopping the queen, all hope seems to be lost as Shin decides to use the final measure, if put simply it’s suicide bombing the queen. Though it’s very likely that the entire planet will be blown off along with it and there’s little possibility of the ship surviving, they decided that 1% is better than 0%.
Just before Shin suicide bombs however, he gives up and couldn’t bring himself to do it. Which I’ll mention was… very anticlimactic. Is all hope lost since suicide bombing didn’t happen?
Of course not.
Apparently Kraken is the materialization of Earths… elemental power? I don’t think it’s good to think too deeply into things but… well… apparently you can just take it as: Earth got pissed off at humans and the SPOOKS invading it so Earth decided to kill them all in the form of a giant Kraken. Let’s not think too deeply after all, yes.
In any case with the queen stopped in its tracks, now they need to repel the SPOOKS that were summoned by the queen and get the preparations of the ship ready so that they can launch into space. Namely, they need to get the last ships with people and whatnot in it.
Normally this would be a piece of cake with Aerial but because of the near suicide explosion yet not quite suicide explosion, Aerial lost speed by a fairly significant amount. As such, it would take it a few more minutes to arrive. During which, human drama here and there, explosions happened, deaths happened, things fell, things blew up, people died, people screamed, people laughed and uh then Aerial arrives to save the day at the last minute. Saving Ryoko as a bonus, though in the end Ryoko didn’t get a chance to properly die.
SPOOKS have been cleared from the skies and they can focus on getting out of Earth, but then Kraken apparently lost the monster battle and now the queen (heavily injured) is heading towards the ship again. Aerial manages to finish it off but then what do you know, some sort of residual magic power the queen has causes the SPOOKS to mass at the ship regardless so… more waves incoming.
Aerial somehow manages to defeat the nearby waves with willpower and then the ship is ready for take off. After Shin gets off Aerial, Nagi launches off alone because apparently her last mission is to basically seal off the skies of earth. Wow, you know, I was wondering where this tied into Artemis blue but, it was honestly entertaining when it actually happened.
Anyway, despite the touching parting of the two partners, the ship arrives at space only to find hundreds of thousands— or was it millions? Of SPOOKS waiting for them. Apparently they came from the moon. It turns out that there’s a SPOOK latched onto a blind spot of the ship which is what called all of them over. Shin once again sets out to defeat the SPOOK (with a normal robot) and eventually defeats it with willpower and recklessness.
But wait, at its final moments it goes through an evolution, it managed to finish studying the robot they use and replicate it!
Just as all hope is lost and Shin seems to be losing consciousness or so… uh… well… things happened. You know those, last moments of life and you see people who you shouldn’t, e.g. dead people or in Shin’s case, Nagi. Managing to catch the SPOOK off guard Shin wakes up and defeats the SPOOK, finally, finally ending the sufferings of Shin.
At least for now.
After the credit roll, we get to see a 15 year epilogue with everyone living (relatively) happily with little SPOOK attacks to speak of.
Hmm, to summarize things…
While the characters, more importantly the heroines were an unlikable bunch and I found it more comedic than anything else that Shin spent half of the story being mentally abused in one way or another, the story itself was pretty fun to read as long as you shut off your brain when it came to details. I feel there’s some blatant convenient plot devices but ah whatever there’s no end to it if we try nitpicking those.
The main merit of the story to me was that it managed to keep things flowing. There was always something happening and just as you think it’s over, another event happens and so on. Thankfully the long and dull school life with tl;dr explanations of piloting 101 was limited to the first few chapters, or else I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it.
Demerits would be that the timing for some parts were honestly, far too convenient. Every single time Aerial appears at the last possible minute to save everyone making you question whether or not all of the previous sacrifices were worth it. But this isn’t anything new in stories so as said, if we tried nitpicking we can go on forever. Still somewhat bothering but I guess this is another story where you should really just turn a blind eye towards its flaws in order to enjoy it.
I’ve only finished one route but, usually the first route is the most important one since on other routes, you’ll spend half of the time skipping past the scenes you’ve already read. Unless there really are people out there with the patience to play from start to end every single route…
Final thoughts will likely be much shorter, I found it a little funny how the heroine in this route just got thrown out of the window during the same very chapter she confessed her love on and after that it felt like it turned into a Nagi route instead. With that said, I’m looking forward to seeing Nagi route just to (hopefully) get a good ending for her. The other routes… I’ll probably read just to catch some new bits of information, not that I’m expecting much. It’s necessary to unlock Nagi route in any case.