You know, when a story heads towards a climax with everything coming together, I’m pretty sure this means the protagonist is meant to be doing something that influences the result of things. This is why they’re the protagonist. In most cases, or rather every other story I’ve read, when we see the characters fight the last boss, it’s only natural for the protagonist himself to defeat the last boss and save the day!
What doesn’t happen however is that the last boss gets defeated by the side characters while the protagonist is off doing irrelevant things in the meantime. There’s something quite wrong with the flow of things and that is precisely what’s happening in this story. Of course there’s probably exceptions where the story tries to put a refreshing spin on things but that isn’t the case here.
Things were roughly as expected, actual heroine routes are quite short though I’m semi-afraid that this applies to Azurite as well, have to wait and see for that.
To easily sum up what happened in Ruri’s route as well as Ruri’s background:
Originating from the same place as Souji, they were isolated by the other children as “weird people” who could see things others couldn’t, in other words Soa and the likes. Though Souji didn’t know Ruri could (vaguely) see Soa until later. Well both of them being isolated by other children, they became good friends and eventually were adopted by the same person.
As the story progresses in Ruri route the similar symptoms as Seruria route happens, only without her fiancee running around killing people.
And then with the crisis going to the climax, the big reveal happens. As they were researching the family members of Ruri by tracing genetics and the like, shockingly within the past 100 years they failed to find any similar genetics. Following that, when investigating about Azurite, Soa they came by information regarding the queen and made a discovery about Ruri relating to the creation of the queen.
The queen herself appears and reveals that the core of the arcology they live in is essentially incomplete. But in order to make that incomplete core functional, they used a human. Well basically that human would be the queen they see, though mentally she’s not the same person as before in order to make unbiased judgments and the like, essentially she’s an AI at this point and the original human has died.
Anyway, Ruri has been chosen to replace the queen, because the queen is scheduled to die soon. If the queen dies, the arcology will lose its function and… well the result won’t be pretty in any case. Not just any person will do to replace the queen however, it has to be someone closely resembling the queen. This relates to the origins of Ruri.
Souji later talked to his mother about Ruri’s case and she reveals that it’s no surprise Ruri can’t find her parents even after becoming a relatively famous singer. To explain this it requires us to go into the back story of their mother. Essentially while she was still a little girl, certain people performed experiments on her. As a result of the experiments, her growth came to a halt which is why she passes off as Souji’s younger sister in the public despite being his mother and more importantly In Seruria’s route it’s noted that she’s likely as old as Seruria’s grandfather if not older.
Anyway the point of the experiment was to create an assassin, the kind that lures men to bed and then kills them. That’s why there was the need to maintain appearance like that. Well after the experiments ended, probably no one would be happy with what they did so she rampaged around, killed everyone related to the experiment and in the process, all information and people related to the experiments performed on her was lost.
After becoming the head of Gentian, she did some searching for information regarding her body and during that, she discovered an unknown area similar to where Souji discovered Azurite at.
Similarly, she discovered someone in cold sleep there, the person is none other than Ruri. Considering the place, she’s likely a human originating 500 years ago, no surprise that there’s no existing relatives in the current arcology.
This would technically imply that Ruri was put to sleep there as an emergency replacement for the queen if the need came up, driving Ruri into despair (more or less). In addition the need for the sacrifice of Ruri was announced by the queen to the aristocrats, making things more chaotic.
Here is where things go downhill.
It goes without saying that Souji has no intentions to sit by and watch as Ruri gets sacrificed so of course he tries thinking and buying time for Ruri while Soa is slowly invading the arcology sending more and more people into a coma.
The queen has a perfectly legit argument of sacrificing Ruri to save the arcology. While technology bought from Neueblau’s arcology could maintain the queen and then no longer require a sacrifice, that isn’t sufficient to get rid of Soa. The queen intends to sacrifice herself and get rid of Soa but then the arcology loses its function. There, Ruri needs to step up and replace her, putting an end to the incident.
So well, sacrifice Ruri, save the arcology. Not an unreasonable trade off even though there may be doubts on whether or not there’s another way of doing things that doesn’t require a human sacrifice.
As the chaos spreads, some aristocrat began moving to capture Ruri and so on, Souji wanted help from her mother as the leader of Gentian but was refused because there’s not enough merit for them. Namely, even if they put Ruri under their protection, exactly who or what is supposed to save the arcology in that case? Having no answer to that question, Souji gives up.
Well despite that, as their mother, she alone decided to send her children away with an excuse and then take care of knights who arrived at the place to try and kidnap Ruri (with no warrant).
Continuing, while they got themselves out of the crisis, in the end Ruri decided to willingly sacrifice herself, without letting Souji know. Once Souji found out, he rushed to the place and tried to stop her but well, in the end Ruri left.
Before she did however, it was revealed that she’s the daughter of the queen, or rather the person sacrificed for the arcology and that she wasn’t put to sleep as a spare, it was only to allow her to live a more normal life later… that said she pretty much got forgotten in that place so eh, that’s some comforting news at the end I guess.
Well it’s a bitter ending…
…or so it would seem until the end of the epilogue where Neueublau left the arcology and came back with technology to separate Ruri’s consciousness from the queen and live in another body while her actual body serves as the system for the arcology.
While I didn’t care about the story and nothing of particular interest (to me anyway) was revealed, that was still alright as I wasn’t very attached to Ruri to begin with.
My main issue is that despite spending the latter half of the route mopping and preaching about how he won’t accept Ruri being sacrificed for the arcology, Souji himself basically did nothing of particular interest because he couldn’t do anything.
So essentially on one hand the queen approached with a perfectly justifiable argument you can nod your head to, then it’s countered by regardless of the context human sacrifice is wrong and we should solve the problem with another way. But despite that, no one (including Souji) could come up with a way to solve the situation. Following what Souji kept insisting, the arcology would get enveloped by Soa clones and everyone dies. While I get the whole sacrifice is bad thing, it’s not very convincing if our dear protagonist just spends his entire time buying time and doing nothing particularly relevant to the very end.
It’s strange really, he’s protrayed as a very capable protagonist but it honestly doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything useful at all. Everyone else seems to be contributing to the story in their own way, their mother getting heavily wounded to help Ruri and Souji get away, Seruria fighting against the Aristocrats (politically of course) and then defending Ruri’s decision and finally Neueblau returning to her arcology in order to obtain technology to save Ruri. I can’t think of much Souji did other than preach and do some actions which I wouldn’t call very significant story-wise.
Ah well I’m looking to finish Neueblau’s route as well by the end of today. After that it’ll be wrapping up the story with Azurite’s route tomorrow.