This story doesn’t only have an awesome protagonist, it also has an awesome heroine.
For starters, I decided on going Satsuki > Shinobu > Leona route because I took note that eroge tend to have certain pointers that indicate whose story is more important or which order the story is meant to be read in. Well frankly they’re mostly guesses but hey, in this case I hit right on the mark as from what I felt, the story went from “weakest” to “strongest”.
It felt more or less like what the story order would have been if it had an enforced route placed on it.
Satsuki’s route was weakest as her drama was almost irrelevant to the main plot and the antagonist that causes trouble in all routes Evan also dies a disappointing death.
What it did add however is that it made me take note of Igel being a pretty cool faction in the story and not the LAST BOSS SITTING ON HIS THRONE IN THE SKY like what happened in previous stories from Light. I mean, god damn, in Zero Infinity the antagonist was looking down so hard on the characters that his throne was located in space.
However then I moved on. Shinobu’s route was pretty much exactly like what I was expecting from the story as it began to cover a lot of story elements and having better fights with more danger involved in it. Igel’s president solidified his position as one hell of an awesome character as he gets himself killed only to play his best card and transfer himself into the digital world so to continue living on as an eternal being just like a SF story.
In this story Igel was not an antagonist but an ally faction so there’s no worries in that area. As Igel was on more friendly terms this time around, you get to know most of the important portions of the setting such as the intervention of CIA and the origins of the Electro Arms technology. In a nutshell it’s a mysterious material excavated which has mysterious properties but is for the most part a black box technology.
The Electro Arms game is essentially a large scale human experimentation factility as the “players” willingly participate and explore the black box to ultimately aid Igel in advancing the analysis of it. America being well, America, intervenes with full intentions of robbing the technology and Evan is a CIA agent sent there for that purpose.
Of course, Evan having as many screws missing as Reiji does, tends to stray off the objective.
Finally it’s Leona’s route. Whether or not the story succeeds or breaks basically depended on it.
And boy did Leona’s route deliver in that area. This particular scene during the start where things were still setting itself up pretty much nails her position as a character:
After they got the relationship details out of the way, shit hit the fan hard as Evan went all out. Forget simply following the orders of America, he went and blew up the embassy and on his way out, he also steals administrator privileges of Electro Arms from Igel while creating a massacre in game with the help of his loyal subordinates.
It goes without saying that chaos ensued. If that wasn’t enough however, Leona herself awoke to the same abilities as Reiji meaning double the trouble. If one monster wasn’t enough, now the antagonists are looking at two. This, combined with the power of friendship and whatnot, spelt doom for the antagonists. They got wiped out pretty easily including Evan. I mean, even Tsukasa who was practically playing the role of Team Rocket with his persistent returns in the story basically went “fuck this, these two are too much” by the end.
The true climax of the story came as everything ended and the battle between Reiji and Leona began.
There, these two proved themselves to be one hell of an insane pair as a protagonist/heroine with their chemistry together far surpassing other heroines in the story. With these two together, the story is hardly like beauty and beast and ends up more along the lines of beast and beast.
If I had to describe it, then the battle pretty much matches what I would imagine you’d get when you have both a yandere protagonist and a yandere heroine in love with each other.
In the epilogue it’s noted that the Igel president seriously considered committing suicide at that point which is pretty funny when you consider his usual demeanor. Who would have expected honestly, the last boss was not the antagonist, a hidden character, an ally or anyone else, it was the heroine. But it’s also a given, seeing as they’re both monsters that have no other match.
As for the aftermath, since during the battle their power levels skyrocketed, they pretty much broke the system and then recreated it as a stripped down version with only the game elements remaining, turning Electro Arms into a true game and no longer a black box technology with shady parties behind it which could also be used for military purposes.
For the two in question who owns the full power of the system however…
Well why the hell not?
Overall it was a greatly entertaining, enjoyable and hell of a fun ride at the end. I can’t say all of the heroines were attractive but when compared to Zero Infinity whose heroines I for the most part didn’t give a damn or flat out detested… it’s a splendid improvement. Mind you, in this case, it’s not as if the heroines themselves, not even Leona was particularly great as a character in a sense.
It’s just that when paired with Reiji, the story becomes much, much more interesting. This links to what I said in the impression, what the protagonist is like can truly contribute to the overall enjoyment of the heroines no matter what characters they have.
Taking a step back and looking elsewhere though, I also liked how Electro Arms had an atmosphere that felt pretty different from the usual fare. It sort of just felt… frank with things. Some parts of the story basically consisted of Reiji or some other character making light jabs at the developments in the story looking too much like a typical Hollywood movie and other related things. It at least went to show that the writer knows damn well what his story looks like.
It may have not had a great cause or deep story but it was enjoyable for what it was.
Now to decide what I’ll read next, I may go and play a RPG or something instead though since I honestly think I’ll feel pretty disappointed if I immediately read anything else that is, at least from this month.