Bullet Butlers is a noir-esque fantasy take on the action visual novel genre by the father of the outstanding Ayakashibito, Higashide Yuichirou (東出祐一郎). And while, unfortunately, this visual novel pales in comparison to his previous work, it is still more than able to put your testosterone on fire.
The main problem with this work is that the good guys aren’t actually all that interesting; the protagonist is a dedicated but a very bland butler and two out of three heroines are just bland, and sleep-inducingly so. The hero side of the cast is still somewhat saved by the prideful successor of the dragon blood and protagonist’s master, Selma, but even her cool demeanor and wits can’t compare to the presence of the villains; especially the lethal apathy of immortal Reis, psychopathic devotion of Alfred, boiling hate of Gustav and solemn idealism of Cid. Anyway, I had a really hard time not cheering for the villains here, I mean, Cid even reminded me of Big Boss from MGS with his idealogy.
With the main heroines and the protagonist being the weakest characters in the vn, the peaceful daily-life scenes which encompass the first half of the work are just a pain to sit through. So if you dropped this mid-way through – it gets better, oh boy, it gets better. Once the action hits the fan and villains jump into the story, Bullet Butlers turns into a blood boiling treat of supremely written action and manly drama. Yuichirou is a master of utilizing strange abilities in a mind-blowing strategic fashion and Bullet Butlers doesn’t hold back when it plays with stuff like instant regeneration, wizardry, dragon breath and weapons fueled by one’s own life energy. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat during the later half of the vn, though you might find yourself cheering for the villain side instead.
If you like hard-boiled characters, film-noir and hot action you’ll love the second half of Bullet Butlers. You might be disappointed by the underwhelming romance and the bland protagonist, but the villains and their strange abilities will doubtlessly blow your mind. It’s really one of those works which had all the components of a masterpiece, but somehow managed to ruin itself by failing at something painfully basic, like establishing interesting good guys.
|Cool character designs||Bland protagonist|
|Good music||Bland heroines|
|Interesting setting mixing early 20th age with traditional fantasy||The peaceful scenes are painfully boring|
|Cool film-noir like atmosphere||Makes you really want to cheer for the villains|
|Great action scenes|