I picked this up mainly because I heard it shared a writer with Grisaia, since Grisaia was that entertaining this couldn’t be that bad. To some extent my expectations were indeed answered.
Contrary to my expectations of IMMORTAL VAMPIRES and OVER THE TOP CHUUNI BATTLES, there wasn’t actually any of that.
Vampires, in this setting, are explained off as a form of virus that goes to absurd extents to survive but it’s definitely doesn’t make them immortal as they still “die” when they’re blown into smithereens. Well at least they’re dead for the next 200 or so years under normal circumstances. Also they “die” when sunk into the ocean, well at least in the sense that they probably won’t be getting up and moving anytime soon, if ever.
Put simply it took a slightly… slightly more realistic approach on vampires. But then all of that gets thrown out of the window by the point of which esp, magic and vampire abilities were introduced.
In the end all that remains is that they’re vampires alright, just that they don’t instantaneously regrow an arm or head when they’re blown off, giving the story a bit more tension in that department.
Alright now for the story… Jun is the son of a vampire prince who has a mother complex. His father… also has a mother complex so you could say “like father, like son”. In this case it even applies to appearance where the only noticeable difference between the two is their hair color. His father went missing and his mother died when he was young so he now lives alone.
The start is your typical affair with our perfectly normal protagonist discovering that he isn’t as normal as he thought he is and then proceeds to get dragged into the world of vampires.
First a praise, I really liked how they pieced together the vampire world and setting. It felt quite fleshed out compared to how other stories handle it. Even though it often led to a lot of exposition but honestly, I’m not really the type to mind that sort of stuff.
Now, while they did a wonderful job in showing us how vampires work and how vampires differ from normal humans… honestly speaking it feels like they didn’t do much beyond that.
There were arcs which introduced a new mob of the day and they placed focus on one particular heroine to receive some character development as it unfolded but like, that’s about all that happened until the very end where, much like Grisaia, it decided to go bonkers.
Before going there though, let’s first talk about the character development. Some of the characters felt pretty complete from the start but characters like Rika went from being a flat out annoying and bitchy exorcist to… well, still as violent as ever but how should I say this… the tsundere levels were tweaked to be much more survivable.
Her character development itself also served as a fine example of master-servant relationship which helped develop the setting further. Overall I’m quite satisfied with how Rika went from being someone I could hardly stand to being a pretty decent character by the end of it all. With that said, she’s only the third best character with the maids winning in every area. I don’t know what is it with this writer and making great maids but I like it.
With all of the development aside, the story gradually reaches its finale but…
Well anyone who has read Rakuen will probably understand this feeling but, the story essentially goes berserk and runs off to every direction.
Suddenly all sorts of twists and turns happen. His uncle is revealed to be the antagonist who is also the founder of the vampire slaying organization that Rika belongs to, Jun’s father gets revived for some sort of father-son confrontation where I couldn’t help but think of Star Wars for some reason. His childhood friend, a man who normally dresses as a girl, better known as a trap turns out to be… a vampire princess and ends up getting kidnapped which of course drives Jun into action.
If that wasn’t crazy enough, we also get an interesting revelation that Jun is well, dead. He died at the very start of the story as a matter of fact. It makes perfect sense when you think of it since the story has made a point of vampires not being things that magically regenerate their body within seconds out of nothing but considering how it happened at the very start, it was really just thrown to somewhere at the back of my head.
The current Jun is a copy and after that reveal, he proceeds to get turned into mince meat by his father. Convinced he’s dead this time, just like a good antagonist he proceeds with his plan ignoring everyone else in the room. Then Jun gets revived but of course not without a price… namely that he was turned into a girl.
What I mean, what?
Hopefully at least a tiny fragment of the random craziness has been transmitted at this point but anyway, at the very least motivation-wise you can make sense out of why the antagonist did those things and you can’t really say either of them are “wrong” in their actions. The ditch between vampires and humans is shown to be pretty deep, it’s understandably hard to imagine that it could be buried at some point.
Overall because of how things developed I can’t say I didn’t like the ending but I can’t say I was completely satisfied either. I sort of wanted to see more of the vampire world instead of generally dealing with the human side of things, at the same time Jun’s father was a disappointment. Considering how the entire story starts with him running off with Jun’s mother I would have expected him to be more of an ally rather than an antagonist.
But to be fair, the more well developed a setting is the more it feels like there’s never enough time to cover everything. Since it honestly could go on for a long while if it wanted. In that sense, keeping the setting narrowed down to a specific region may be a wiser choice.
I mean, doing things like this is like expanding a large world map in front of you but with a catch: all you get to see is a mere fragment of the map. You can’t help but feel that there’s plenty more room for expansion like that.
Next up I have…….. about nothing to read. There’s Gakhthun’s FD and that’s it. September doesn’t appear to have much of interest either so I’ll likely be taking a break from eroge for a while until something to read comes up. On the bright side, October is looking to be wonderful with Kyonyuu Fantasy Gaiden 2. An unexpected surprise for me.