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VN Staff: Higashide Yuuichirou

Clephas

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Higashide might be familiar to Western anime fans as the writer for the Fate/Apocrypha LNs and the new anime series, or he might be familiar as the writer of Ayakashibito and Tokyo Babel.  However, of late he has definitely begun to worm his way into the collective consciousness of the Western otakus.

So what kind of writer is he?  He wrote one of my single favorite VNs, Evolimit, and his works definitely have a certain... style.  Perhaps the most obvious reason why he leaves and impression is that he is really, really good at creating characters on both sides of the line of his battle stories that are both larger than life yet still empathetic.  While I could also mention the delightful sense of humor he puts into his works, and that is indeed a defining aspect of his writing, what really defines his games is the sheer overwhelming power of the characters and the emotions born from their interactions.

Of the top ten most memorable scenes I've read in a VN, three of them have been from one of his VNs.  Higashide loves his tragic heroes, his great villains, and all the colors of humanity in between.  The Disasters from Evolimit and their final moments in Shizuku's path still break my heart... even in memory.   Selma's bravery in overcoming her own internal demons in the face of prejudice and malice from those around her in Bullet Butlers still strikes me to the heart today.  Kuki-sensei's bravery and strength of will to overcome his own past in the crossover fandisc Chrono Belt fills me with the same bittersweet emotions it did the first time.

His characters are so... alive.  That is something few VN writers can manage.  Moe, as a tool of storytelling, is really good at leaving an initial impression.  However, HIgashide is someone who can utilize moe without making it the center of the story, using it as a spice rather than drowning the main dish in moe ketchup. 

He really is one of those rare writers who can make a story that is better than the sum of its parts.  He is also really, really, good at presenting that story in a way that leaves and impression that doesn't fade even after years have passed.

As a writer, he doesn't really go for the obscure or for the philosophical.  Many of his works, by the end, start to feel like a Greek tragicomedy or a heroic saga.  They leave you with a feeling of the grandiose, and they are far more straightforward than you usually experience with a chuuni writer, most of whom will often go for being obscure, just out of habit.  The fact that he can create that sense of grandiosity while giving his characters the humanity they need to strike at the hearts of the readers makes him one of my favorite writers of all time.

It just sucks that he doesn't intend to write any more VNs.

 



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10 hours ago, Narcosis said:

One day... one day I will get my hands on Evolimit. Surely.

The cheapest I've seen it is from Getchu for around $70 in the last few years... Will is apparently reprinting it in small numbers on an irregular basis, but the market isn't exactly glutted.  Getchu does have overseas shipping options now...  If you are living in Japan, a better option is to get the nenshou-kei version directly from Will's website, which also contains the Japanese version of Tokyo Babel and is cheaper than the Normal Version of Evolimit by itself, lol.

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By the way, seeing that Higashide was also involved in Princess Waltz - as assistant writer only though, what do you think about Princess Waltz in general? Just asking.

Edited by littleshogun

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