Oh right I’m here to talk about Augment.
Augment basically falls into another one of those “The writer had a good idea but didn’t exploit it well enough” settings. When you hear the story setting you may think that “oh wow this sounds interesting enough”, there may be various possibilities for the setting. But then when actually reading the story, not only is Augment short (shorter than even Naka no hito for that matter), it also fails to properly make use of the setting it created.
On the other hand, this is really more of an issue of expectations I suppose, I expected the writer to do more with the setting but in the end it never did go very far. The part that it’s too short is true though, whether or not that mattered or not I don’t know but if it were longer, perhaps it would have more time to develop the story and make use of the setting.
Well complaints about the production of the VN aside, the story itself was basically… average, maybe below average. The art is fine and all, the setting is interesting, but there was hardly much build up. Let’s take the story which was relatively more impacting and thus serves as a better example:
Once we hit Nami route and resolved the issues, confessed love, everything is going smoothly.
We’re progressing just fine, I’m vaguely expecting a bomb to drop soon and all of a sudden there’s a speaking dog and a coincidental chain of life threatening events, be it a plant pot falling from the sky or a car which nearly runs Nami over. It isn’t that ba—
There, Augments ability that she gave Hideya comes in handy. He promptly stabs himself in the neck and turns back time. Usually this would take him back to day one but through the power of willpower and love he managed to make it so that it only turned back time by a day. Now this time they can prevent the incidents and hopefully achieve a happy end.
Alright, turning back time once more we come to the conclusion that clearly something not-so-human is at work here. With the existence of Augment, though rare, it’s probably another shinigami at work.
Lo and behold, the big reveal.
I suspected that we might be looking at another shinigami which is a recolored Augment because well, maybe they all look the same, perhaps. But hold it, actually it is a recolored Augment because the criminal is inside Augment herself! Or more accurately one of the souls that Augment’s core is comprised of.
Now things are moving, how will Hideya overcome this crisis?!
… Well immediately after Augment regained control of her body, they came to the conclusion that they should expel it from her body. Like, right now since it should be weak from taking over Augment’s consciousness. And so she did.
But it was all part of its plan, it ran away into the dog, went and attacked Nami (again), hijacked Hideya’s body to time leap away and escape from Augment, then with another twist, Hideya manages to defeat (or rather purify) the shinigami after the time leap. He thinks that he’ll need to restart from scratch again in relationship but then we find out that Nami decided to get possessed by Augment so she could time leap as well and… uh well, they end up back at the same time frame, only with Augment along Nami instead.
After that they happily move on with their lives, marry and (probably) live happily from there on as well. In the epilogue Augment actually decided to erase memories of her and the events that happened from the minds of Nami and Hideya. Augment did this for the other heroines as well.
Let’s note here. However long you may think that chain of events after the introduction of the criminal lasted, in reality when reading it all happened in a span of about… 10 minutes? (excluding the ending credits roll). Meaning that they promptly introduced the criminal, revealed his wonderful plan and motives, got rid of him, fixed the aftermath problem and then credit rolled to epilogue where they married within that time span. There… wasn’t much build up to say the least.
To take an anime analogy, it would be like building up towards an evil antagonist just for him to appear, introduce himself, get his plan ruined, then die all in one episode. We hardly even knew him. I was sort of expecting something more… dramatic after Nami getting brutally killed two times.
Other routes followed a similar trend but it was most blatant in Nami route in my opinion.
All in all it’s a decent story. It was just disappointing as it didn’t manage to meet the expectations I had of it.
There’s still about a week until end of the month releases so I think in the meantime I’ll read Irotori’s FD since I’ve been hearing good things about it.