Aah, Tokimi. Why did they tone her down so much in Seinarukana? I miss her crazier self in Eien no Aselia…;_;
Narukana’s route is easily the best route in all of Seinarukana, and not just because of personal preference. In her route, everything comes together so perfectly that I can’t really see another way for Seinarukana to canonically end and pave the way for their appearance in Eien no Aselia 3 without it becoming ridiculously cheesy (like how the fandisc shows it, with the whole brigade all together and all). While Satsuki’s ending – the ending the fandisc picks up from – is kind of acceptable because it does incorporate some necessary story elements, it’s just not as complete as Narukana’s route offers.
What makes Narukana’s route so complete? For me, these defining elements would be it: Jiruoru’s true character and nature, Narukana’s “curse”, and the resolution to the whole Et Ca Rifa incident.
In all the other routes, Jiruoru’s character is barely touched on; aside from his reputation for being the heartless God of Destruction, that he was part of the time tree’s creation, and that he was imprisoned along with Narukana. In Narukana’s route, Nozomu not only gets to briefly witness what transpired during Narukana’s imprisonment, but also feel firsthand Jiruoru’s thoughts. Jiruoru’s loss of himself was tragic – almost on the same level as Celica Sylphil’s – only Jiruoru was integrated into a “system”, along with Faim. His regret at being unable to not just grant, but “connect” with Narukana once they managed to “go outside” with his own desire was just as sad. Kind of adds a new meaning to the choice that you are given should you pursue Narukana’s route – by reaching out to her hand, Nozomu in effect “wakes up” to Jiruoru’s unspoken desire.
Which was why I was pretty much smiling during the entire exchange between Jiruoru and Narukana inside Jiruoru/Nozomu’s mind. Jiruoru realized that he had a second chance to make up to Narukana with Nozomu; despite Nozomu’s lack of power compared to Jiruoru (then again EVERYONE is puny ass weak compared to the fearsome God of Destruction), Nozomu’s will was adamantly stronger than Jiruoru’s own (Immortal Will, there’s a big clue right there), which Jiruoru felt was what he sorely lacked in order to be worthy of Narukana. Narukana, seeing that Jiruoru telling her that Nozomu would be the one who would become her owner, kind of dances around the issue – I think it’s cute. It also explains why, out of everyone, Narukana’s the only one who was fondly thinking of Jiruoru, and not just because they a history. Despite her lack of desire for an owner, I believe Narukana subconsciously knew that Jiruoru was the only one capable of wielding her, and that must have been why she had been looking for him for such a long time (enough to even go as far as to create Ruptna and then forget that she did so in the first place). Not just to be with him again, but to be “outside” again – to be free from everything that restrains them. Jiruoru with his place in the system and the way he was converted to be a part of it, and Narukana from her “curse”.
Narukana’s character as a selfish, loudmouthed impatient know-it-all is a pretty hilarious (and effective) mask for what her character really is. Once the ball gets rolling in Narukana’s route, and that it’s revealed that Narukana (or to be precise, Murakumo) is a cursed existence, that mask starts to makes sense considering the context of her background and her nature. Murakumo, the cursed sword that produces Naru mana, effectively making it unwieldy unless one had a death wish – and therefore immune to its own basic instinct of having a wielder (or so Narukana says). The moment Narukana’s insecurity was shown was the moment that I really felt for Narukana as a character, as she seeks escape from not just her seal but also her fate. Given that she’s shown repeatedly that she WANTS to be wielded by Nozomu after she helps him smack the Naru-corrupted Management God in the face hard (sneaking in his futon once, and the “manga” incident twice, not counting others) yet has to restrain herself for fear of killing Nozomu, that for me marks her inner conflict. It’s pretty much obvious with her kiss to Nozomu, and again during her battle against Naru Yaga, after Naru Yaga’s consumed Satsuki, Euphoria, and Nozomu. Her mask is effectively taken off and she just flies into a rage, trying to kill Naru Yaga to the utmost of her abilities.
Sure the gattai scene detracts from the seriousness of Nozomu making his contract with Murakumo (you have to admit, it IS very hilarious), but the scenes after Naru Yaga’s defeat are pretty sweet. Naru High Eternal Murakumo no Nozomu in his melancholy, brushing off Tokimi and Euphie’s concerns and departing off without an idea as to where to go, is a brief glance at the melancholy that has pervaded Narukana’s existence for a long time. The “reunion” scene brought tears to my eyes, haha. NARUKANA AND JIRUORU NOZOMU, FINALLY FREE AND TOGETHER! WAI WAI! Not without a price, of course – they’ve run smack dab in the middle of the war between Chaos and Law Eternals, with the latter opposed to their existence, and the former sitting on the fence as to how to treat Naru High Eternal Nozomu and co. Another Ikusa Megami parallelism, but whatever – in a sense, Nozomu has become similar to Celica, an existence that is reviled and hated by the entire Eternal pantheon (only Nozomu doesn’t lose his memories every so often, and should he fuck other ladies, his own ladies will kill him). Only not that extreme, as Chaos Eternals seem to not just give a fuck about Nozomu and co. unless they get in their way. Except for Tokimi, and most probably High Eternals Yuuto and Aselia, though I don’t know how those two would take to Nozomu and co’s existence.
All of the above’s also part of why I like Nozomu’s cut-in CG during Immortal Will so much. He looks so calm, collected, so complete in a sense compared to his cut-in CG appearance in Namebreaker, and it’s not hard to figure out why – even if he is fighting another Eternal, albeit Naru-corrupted and with a Rank 2 Shinken, and with the fate of entire worlds in his hands. I’d like to think that it’s because he’s finally fulfilling his purpose, becoming Murakumo’s master and choosing to walk the same path as Narukana. Regarding the Eien no Aselia -Seinarukana Arrange- that plays during the fight with Naru Yaga, I actually didn’t attack until the first loop of the song ended as I was too busy being frozen in place, mouth agape and brain going “WAIT WHAT IS THIS SONG WHAT I THINK IT I-OH FUCK ME YES IT’S THAT SONG ALRIGHT“.
This is why I’d say that at the end of it all, Seinarukana’s a fancy love story involving swords and stuff – only it drunkenly staggers towards that goal. I love the whole love story between Narukana and Jiruoru Nozomu a lot, it’s just too bad that the fandisc felt the need to pick Satsuki’s route over Narukana in order to get some cheap gags (at Narukana’s expense). Admittedly the Rehme fuckans is fine with me, but seriously, that could’ve been done with Narukana’s route as a starting point too – maybe they were just being lazy about it. I want to dismiss it by just closing my ears, going LA LA LAA and telling myself that it’s a fandisc, but it does put some things on the table – things I already know, unfortunately (like how Law Eternals are after Nozomu and co., Nozomi and co. trying to hook up with Nozomu again, and Nozomu having the power to create his own time tree).
I love Seinarukana, but unfortunately Narukana’s route isn’t really enough to hold the title up, even if the other character’s routes are interesting, compared to Eien no Aselia. It strikes me as funny that it’s the non-human characters in the Eien no Aselia universe that I feel are the ones who are well-written, interesting and completely likable to the point that I can emotionally identify with them. In EnA, it was Aselia who held my affections; seeing her grow and develop emotions, up until the incident where she lost her will, then became an Eternal with Yuuto were very touching moments for me (I cried like a bitch once Yuuto and Aselia became Eternals, and went FUCK YEAH IT’S TIME TO KICK ASS at the final battle with Shun, what with the music playing). In Seikana, it’d be (clearly) Narukana, the incarnation and will of the Rank 1 Eien Shinken Murakumo, who gets to be my favorite character, for reasons stated above and more.
Okay, on to Ikusa Megami. Oh man.
Why is VERITA so underwhelming? I keep asking myself that and yet I can’t come up with any definitive answers. Zak suggested that maybe Eushully’s just bad with multiple story progressions, referring to ZERO and the Chapter during which you controlled Hishera after she took over Satia’s body for herself and citing the weakness of that particular chapter with regards to the story. I’d like to agree, but it can’t be simply because of the story structure alone, even though I argued otherwise in here.
What made ZERO epic was because it was reminiscent of the stuff of Greek tragedies, and that was a big thing for me because I fucking loved Greek tragedies. Celica wishing for power in order to simply protect the powerless, and getting it at a heavy price – the deaths of his loved ones and the loss of himself as well as gaining the hatred of the entire world. That’s a pretty big fucking thing for me, and seeing the theme unfold in Celica’s story was even more so. At the end of ZERO, Celica continues to live for the promise he made to live and reunite with Satia, even if he does not remember what promise he made or who he made it with; he continues to help those in need, but new evils are born from actions he perceived as helpful and made with good intentions; he fights to protect those he can protect, but is just barely able to win against Satia’s goddess body.
In VERITA, most of that goes unspoken but shown – there’s even a brief throwback to Celica’s history via the events that occur with Ekria, before she decides to become his apostle. Two cursed existence reviled by the world, finding solace in each other, though not in the sense that you’d think. Admittedly, the most powerful scenes for me were the ones that involved Celica – the moment he threw himself after Ekria after she jumped off the cliff, and during the fight with Marsteria – because they were reminiscent of the events that ZERO had. That was pretty much it for Celica-defining moments for me.
Louie, at first, felt like he was just a tacked-on character who was included just because, but that changed later on once more of his character was explored. Let me get this out of the way first – FUCKING HELL, THERE IS A SEVERE LACK OF GENRIN 2 CHARACTER PRESENCE WTF, WHERE ARE MY RIONNE AND TINA AND SERIEL AND RHEANA AND NINA AND MIRA FUCK WHY ISN’T FAMI RECRUITABLE WHAT THE HELLLLLLLLLLLLL?! Louie’s motivation was primarily creating a country wherein humans and nonhumans could exist together, thanks to Irina who made Louie realize that that was his true desire. Irina’s loss clearly took a huge toll on Louie, as he can be seen still trying to cope with her loss. Hell, his entire story, once he got the facts from Paimon and Zahaniu, was to save Irina from Buleard’s core and resurrect her, while still keeping true to the ideals that he and Irina believed in. There is also the tension between Ekria and Louie whenever they meet, which makes the scene whenever both of them encounter each other interesting, but not so much. The true history ending shows Louie running off after Rifia (and possibly making babies along the way with Fami, Petrene and Carian), so there’s still a slight chance we might get future Genrin installments. I hope so, because much like Celica, Louie is too much of a badass to just put aside.
VERITA had it’s FUCK YEAH moments, off the top of my head those being; Zephyra realizing the existence of the Godslayer, Kuu coming to the rescue, Celica and Louie’s first encounter, the three Majin fight (fuck that was scary the first time I went through it), Louie rampaging through Zahaniu and co.’s base, Ekria fighting “Fate” (though this was a bit cheesy, really), Celica going berserk and going on a rampage, and then Celica and Louie grudgingly teaming up against the demon dragon (poor delishuz Rashena). I also loved the scenes that connected to ZERO, such as Marinya becoming Celica’s apostle, or Abirus’ rebirth. Even the hilarious ones got me laughing, like Rita and her loathing for centipedes, or Amdosius trying to run off with a pillar. But VERITA still paled in comparison to ZERO – maybe ZERO plus the expectations for VERITA put the bar far too high, is what I’m thinking. Most of what happened were a recursion of what happened in ZERO, or expectantly mentioned in previous titles, but were not enough to make a big enough impact on their own in VERITA. That, and trying to merge Ikusa Megami ZERO and Genrin no Kishogun 2 – two big titles on their own – into a single title and being able to match or even exceed either of them in both scale, epic and impact, is, while ideal, actually a very difficult thing to do.
…Ugh, I wish there was a recruitable, playable Dianne and Zephyra, and that Rekshumi and Levia could join you. ;_; And that Ekria had combat skills with her whip swords, ’cause she was a pretty great fighter in Genrin 2. I’m off to cry in my corner now.
PS. I should stop writing about 聖なるかな.