Written by the “that guy” of NitroPlus Haganeya Jin (鋼屋ジン), Demonbane is an action visual novel heavily inspired by Cthulhu mythos. Though inspired might be too kind a word as it just rips off Lovecraft’s characters and plot points without context. The VN basically messes up everything in a really low-brow way showing love but no actual respect or understanding of the original subject matter. I mean, whose bright idea was to turn Cthullhu into Godzilla? Monster movies are the antithesis to everything Lovecraft wrote about!
That being said, if it was the only shortcoming of this work, I would really not mind it that much, but, damn me, if this work isn’t painfully boring. The fights are not only always resolved through deus ex machina where the only thing that really matters is the “feelings” of the protagonist, but are also excruciatingly overwritten, some taking over an hour to conclude. The characters are alright for the most part, but not really interesting or deep enough to carry the plot by themselves. The story isn’t particularly interesting either as what it doesn’t rip from Lovecraft is just generic shounen tripe and monster movie drivel. On top of that, the first half of the work is mostly episodic filler which is completely redundant to the overall story.
So yeah, while characters are alright, the whole experience is tedious, boring and predictable, killing any sense of suspense, or entertainment for that matter. Though the prose is competent and the premise not half-bad, the novel fails on almost every single level and I don’t recommend it to anyone unless you really think you have too much time on your hands and are really resistant to boredom. No wonder Demonbane is both the first and last significant work that NitroPlus let Haganeya Jin work on. ><
|Interesting setting||Poorly drawn ero scenes|
|A lot of good complicated ideas, albeit not executed well||Underwhelming music|
|Long-winded tedious writing|
|First half is nearly completely redundant to the overall story|
|Second half, especially the fights, is drawn out for too long|
|Contrived fights offer no tension|
|Extreme predictability leads to a complete lack of suspense|
|Characters lack interesting motivation|