Release: 2015 (light)
Writers: 高濱亮 (Vendetta) 4/5
昏式龍也 (Chitose) 2/5
無義歩 (Millie) 1/5
Japanese difficulty: V. Hard
Ratings: VNDB (8.76); EGS (8.07)
Written by three light authors (who seem to be a little bit too obsessed with Masada) Silverio Vendetta is a story about a cowardly deserter who gets pulled into a struggle between heroes and villains against his own will in a world where the discovery of a certain particle, named Astral, provides those chosen with unbelievable powers.
Now, the first thing to note is that the whole thing is written in extremely complex Japanese, obviously inspired by Masada (Dies Irae). And while it doesn’t quite contain anything really comparable to his sometimes nigh incomprehensible philosophical musings, Silverio Vendetta is almost as hard on basic linguistic level. Actually, these guys sometimes downright rip-off Masada’s writing; there is 永久不変™, there is のたれ死ぬ™, and much more. One of the character is even a complete rip off of Dies Irae’s Eleonore, downright to a scene where one of other characters convinces her that her loyalty is just another form of love.
As such, I’m not sure whether I should call Silverio Vendetta inspired by Dies, or a downright rip-off . The many parallels don’t necessarily ruin the whole thing, but a few scenes might irk some of Dies Irae fans, more so as they are so blatantly inferior despite attempting the same thing. It’s sometimes quite sad to see that the majority of Masada’s influence manifests only on the superficial details (linguistics, situations), with only Takahama (Vendetta’s route) attempting to go into something deeper than “this guy whacks that guy”. Well, I digressed a bit, but my point is; don’t even think of touching this VN unless you are confident in your Japanese skills.
Another thing I want to get out of the way, is that the routes of Millie and Chitose, written by “guest” authors (Takahama came up with characters, setting, and all the other cool stuff), are atrocious, and do not, in any way, represent the overall quality of this visual novel. In those routes characters act as if they have read the script beforehand, constantly making decisions based on things they shouldn’t know, while their own motivations are muddled to the point it’s nigh impossible to tell what they are even doing most of the time. The plot keeps contradicting various details set in the common route, and there is no foreshadowing for any of the ridiculous “twists” that at best succeed at making you scratch your head. Meanwhile the story itself is so predictable and shallow it hurts. I mean, I expected some discrepancy in quality, but I almost felt like I was going through Also Sprach Zarathustra all over again.
Both routes are just a bunch of guys forced to fight each other for no better reason than that “the plot says so”, and the whole framework is so flimsy a single scrutinizing thought wrecks the whole premise like a hurricane would a card house. Granted, the fights themselves are adequately written, and even exciting at parts, but there is just that much to cool action scenes when all their context achieves is making you facepalm. Ironically, in Vendetta’s route, Chitose even has a line which basically tells that whoever would do something what she actually ‘did’ in her route, would be an idiot. Was Takahama indirectly mocking the other authors? Either way, Chitose and Millie’s routes are garbage, and I recommend to either skim through or skip them altogether.
Now, while Vendetta’s route also has a lot of problems, namely that it feels like it was written backwards (I bet the events in the plot were planned before the writer came up with motivation for the characters to actually cause them), unlike the the other routes, it at least feels like a full fledged story that actually tries its hand at the Muramasa-esque anti-justice philosophy.
It has some pacing issues, the romance is very underwhelming, the villain’s motivation is a bit muddled, and there are even a few fights that make no sense whatsoever and occur only because “it’s cool so why not”, but it still, in the end, turns out to be a relatively heartfelt tale about a nameless wretch taking revenge on the concept of heroism that inadvertently ruined his life. It’s a story about a nameless marine who lost his job because Monkey D. Luffy accidentally broke his spine; it’s a story about a farmer whose farm was ruined because of earthquakes caused by Goku’s transformations; it’s a story about a guy whose wife was killed by Joker only to mock Batman. It’s a really fascinating concept that finally explores the idea that while superficially protecting the weak, the actions of heroes, ultimately, just attract more calamities and weaken the populace.
And Silverio Vendetta doesn’t disappoint with its two “heroes” of justice whose obsession with betterment of mankind’s future and simple inability to give up goes beyond creepy to downright terrifying. It’s too bad that their actual goals are somewhat muddled and vague, but their passion certainly seeps through. And it’s really fascinating to see an otherwise cowardly scum of a protagonist putting the compiled loathing of those “sacrificed for the better future” on his shoulders to exact a vendetta of average joes against the so-called protectors of justice. And Silverio Vendetta does a good job at giving you a taste of the creepiness of being on the other side than “a hero” who constantly breaks limits and rises no matter how many times you seemingly beat him (it kinda makes you feel sorry for most of the villains in fiction, couldn’t blame them for going down with a mental disorder after such an encounter).
Also, Takahama even manages to tie the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice quite tastefully to the whole thing, which I thought was a nice poetic touch. Too bad that other names from Greek literature are just being dropped around with nearly no context and are never really explored (some of them are even Roman for no clear reason).
Silverio Vendetta has a lot of problems, and offers little except for the nicely written battles and the whole traditional hero deconstruction thing, but it also does that stuff so well (in Vendetta’s route), that I can’t help but feel compelled to forgive its somewhat poorly planned story, inconsistencies in the setting, muddled motivations, and underwhelming romance. It’s just too bad that Takahama couldn’t write everything, the two other guys pretty much ruined the characters of Millie and Chitose.
Anyway, check Silverio Vendetta out if you are into overblown action and are tired of those pesky self-righteous heroes who unknowingly ruin as many lives as they save (if not even more). Don’t expect for the game to quite match Dies Irae, FSN, or Muramasa, as the guys responsible for it are nowhere near as smart or linguistically gifted to achieve anything as grand to those games.
|Beautiful character designs||Chitose and Millie’s routes are terrible|
|Well-drawn HCGs||Muddled character motivations|
|Amazing production values in general (particularly battle scenes)||Everything pertaining to Lucid character makes no sense|
|Detailed, complex (post-apocalyptic?) setting||
Extremely predictable plot
A couple of nonsensical twists make it hard to take the story seriously
|A couple of cool, mind-blowing characters (Zeus, Mars, Chitose)||Shallow, underwhelming romance|
|Thought provoking on the negative aspects of heroism|
|Good, blood-boiling battles|
|Cool, poetic chants|
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