Tokyo Necro is a thrilling action-packed ride through one of the most fascinating settings in visual novel history.
Release: 2016 (Nitroplus)
Writers: Shimokura Vio (Sumaga, Totono)
Gijou Mitsumi – 2/5
Con Su – 3/5
Aso Kiriri – 4/5
Hougyou Iliya – 4/5
Japanese difficulty: Hard
English: Not Available
Ratings: VNDB (8.00); EGS (8.31)
Tokyo Necro was one of the major surprises this year, as despite sounding awesome through and through, it was written by Shimokura Vio who has a long history of turning the most fascinating of concepts dull. However… I don’t know what happened this time — maybe he got someone else to write parts of the game for him — but Tokyo Necro is goddamn awesome, with a few scenes in Kiriri’s and Iliya’s routes almost giving me Muramasa vibes.
Shimokura’s crude prose and awkward dialogue are still as present as ever, but I guess the dystopian setting of 2200’s Japan stuck in an ice age and completely changed by the “industry” of necromancy was simply too fascinating to screw up. The world completely captivated me in the first few minutes, and while 3D battles took some time getting used to (they look pretty ugly at first, but work well to convey fast-paced movement), I was hooked by the fast-paced twist-ridden plot and the blood-pumping action from the beginning to the end.
Tokyo Necro is not exactly the most profound visual novel I’ve read, but it offers a solid story which at times makes you think, at times pumps you with adrenaline, and at times even offers an effective emotional scene or two.
The characters are a bit impaired by the poorly written dialogue, but some of them have fairly memorable personalities, and each have a cool moment or two even though the game is mostly plot driven. As it has grown almost usual with action visual novels, villains end up stealing the show from the heroines, with the mass suicidal ex-painting-restorer Milgram ending up as the most memorable character of the bunch.
The game has no enforced route order, but I’d strongly recommend clearing it in Mitsumi –> Con Su –> Kiriri –> Iliya order, as the former two routes definitely feel like an introduction to the plot, while shit goes nuclear in Kiriri’s and Iliya’s routes. Most seem to find Iliya’s route which mainly concentrates on the male protagonist Souun and Milgram to be their favorite, but Ethica’s rebellion against her dad that reaches murderous degree in Kiriri’s route took the prize for me, as it also offered one of my favorite fights in any visual novel ever.
It’s just too bad that it ends kind of abruptly before much of catharsis after all the insane twists and fighting with Kiriri barely even really factoring in her own route at all.
Tokyo Necro was a long ride, but it offered just so much of everything that at times it almost felt like it was going too fast. I actually feel a bit let down to leave its fascinating world so soon as it had depth not even the current plot has yet fully explored. Definitely one of the best and well-thought out settings I came across in a visual novel. I mean, the people over there were creative enough to start using undead humans parts for machinery to cut down on the costs… I’ve never seen such a practical and clever use of zombies before.
In any case while it’s not exactly perfect Tokyo Necro offers on hell of satisfying experience and is most definitely Shimokura Vio’s best work and one of the strongest contenders for the best VN this year.
|Once you get used to them, 3D battles work surprisingly well||Crude artwork and PS2 level graphics make the vn look kind of ugly at times|
|Fascinating, complex, well thought-out futuristic setting… with zombies!||Base, dull prose|
|Effective, upbeat music sets your blood on fire||Awkward dialogue|
|Captivating plot with a plethora of twists, with a few downright mind-blowing ones||One of the protagonists, Souun, is pretty dull|
|Good, just right pacing||Weak, forced romance|
|Solid if not necessarily overly deep story||A few “overly convenient” developments in the final route are a bit hard to buy|
|Effective emotional moments|
|Interesting and charismatic villain|
|Lots of simply amazing action scenes|