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Magatsu Barai: Preliminary Thoughts


Clephas

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Before someone asks, I merely paused the other VN to start Magatsu Barai (and Xenoblade Chronicles 3).  I will finish it (eventually).

Magatsu Barai is the first Light game to be made from beginning to end after the collapse of the company's original owners.  As such, it is only natural (and unfortunate, at least to an extent) that some things will have changed.

To address the elephant in the room for anyone who has seen the cover or sample cgs... The coloring really is that awful.  I mean, how could any cg artist think those colors wouldn't be eye cancer?  

On the other hand, the music is an interesting set of contrasts.  There are a lot of themes that have been slightly rearranged to seem like new ones but are actually just modified ones from the Silverio series.  The rest are actually quite high-quality, but then, Light has never had any problem on that side of things.

For those unable to read the official website due to being Nihongo-disabled, I will explain the basic setting.  

Essentially, it is a world where sorcery in Japan remained intertwined with politics and daily life right up to the modern day.  In that sense, the setting is somewhat reminiscent of Tokyo Ravens.  However, a vital difference is that there was no real magic left outside of Japan before WWII, when the atom bombs spread it over the world when they hit Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  This resulted in the Japanese having a valuable service to provide the rest of the world... exorcists and sorcerers to counter the new laws of reality that made some of the habits the rest of the world had developed disastrous.

As an example of this, the 'magatsu' in this world setting essentially causes a magical reaction whenever enough harm is done to a feeling being (even an insect), and this effect magnifies the more this is done.  At the beginning of the story, a news story comes up on the TV where, as the result of a country overusing pesticide against a plague of locusts, the locusts' spirits became a cloud of demonic insects that were even worse than the locusts in question.

Because this happens all over the place, it is a world where magic-users always have a role to play.

As such, I find the setting interesting... at least so far.

As for the heroines, I'd say the two magatsu heroines are the most interesting, with the protagonist's older sister entering one step behind and Tsubasa falling a few steps behind her.  This is my tastes though, so others might feel differently.  A huge positive is that there are no 'Victim A' heroines in this story.  All the heroines are capable of protecting themselves (sometimes better than the protagonist is... actually all of them), so there is no sense that any of them is helpless, one of the most annoying chuunige tropes.

On the other hand, the protagonist is under the influence of one of the more annoying tropes of the genre... the talentless guy who nonetheless throws himself into things (think Emiya Shirou from Fate).  While he does gain a power that lets him keep up, this is a power given to him by the true heroine, not a power of his own (which is another trope).

All in all, my opinion so far is that this is an interesting chuunige VN whose art is eye cancer.

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