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Review of Soukou Akki Muramasa

SubjectSoukou Akki Muramasa
ByVote: 6animecac on 2021-09-25
ReviewI was waiting for a long time for this one. In short, I was disappointed, very disappointed.. If I were to score this based on my enjoyment alone it'd be lower than a 6, but my score reflects an attempt to merge my own feelings with a more objective look at the story.

It does a lot right. It sets up an interesting world, set with intriguing lore and philosophical conundrums. There are some very well done battle sequences, and it does introduce ideas that get you thinking at various times throughout the story.

From a narrative perspective, I have to say I couldn't be more disappointed and frustrated. The true ending was hollow. The earlier heroine routes were often cheesy (particularly the Otori route); bloated and not terribly well written at times. There were many scenes added purely for a sense of shock and sickening, and whilst I understand it could be argued that these enhanced the reality of the terrible world they inhabited; I'd say that is more likely an excuse (particularly if you take into consideration of the age of those on screen); and there are much better ways to achieve this sense in any case.

I feel much of the plot points were left not very well addressed or concluded, particularly those surrounding Hikaru, and whilst I understand that "This is not a story of Heroes", and wasn't expecting a "Happy Ending", I was still expecting one that felt a little more definitive and conclusive. It basically ended with me thinking "Okay... I saw that coming, now what? Wait, that's it?!" Which is ironic given its length, but still - most of its length is wasted - and when I felt like it needed a little more to conclude it - well, that's it!

I get the sense it is trying to create. It is trying to leave it on a note in which it forces the viewer to ask questions about the nature of justice itself, thus it does intentionally leave things unresolved. Even acknowledging this, it none-the-less suffers from questions it raises then leaves hanging, and in my opinion, failing to thread everything together to leave a great impact at the end.

Music - 7/10
Action Scenes - 9.5/10
Characters - 6/10
Art - 7/10
Scene & Setting - 8.5/10
Writing - 6/10
Pacing - 4/10
Ending - 3/10
Enjoyment - 4/10

Comments

#1 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-09-25 at 08:35
< report >I'm not sure why you complain about the true ending in particular. Because the story has a few hours long "epilogue"/"pseudo-happy end", which is then twisted by a bad guy into what we eventually get—an open ending that reflects the philosophy of the whole work. What can be more perfect?
#2 by animecac
2021-09-25 at 09:18
< report >@1 I felt the whole true ending / epilogue to not bring a satisfying conclusion to what I felt were the more interesting ideas presented in the VN.
These would be some of the following questions: Hikaru's strained parental relationship - her "true self", not just her dream self; The resolution of "The Law of Balance" and how it was intended by its maker (explored, but not resolved), The "God" that was found and its true purpose (just an alien power source that gets destroyed, it felt like it was set-up to be a significant part of not only the complication, but also to the resolution; rather than just a plot device to make Hikaru more strong at the end, or to explain the origin of the Tsuguri). I could go on and on. It felt like in the lead up that these plot points were going to dovetail, particularly when the time-travel stuff started. But in the end it kinda just stops with those big world questions left hanging, and it just ends with our MC embracing his nature as a villain. I do understand the philosophical underpinning of this idea. Anyone who kills IS a villain, so he embraces his true self and his actions. Its a cool idea. Still, it felt like everything else in-world was left vague and unresolved.
Last modified on 2021-09-25 at 09:24
#3 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-09-25 at 12:33
< report >@2 I think it's not the problem with the ending itself, but with the unsolved plot threads and I agree with you on that. I also was put off by this whole "killing is bad" bullshit at least there's not so much of it in the true route.
#4 by animecac
2021-09-25 at 12:50
< report >@3 I agree on that. The True route was definitely the best, and I did like the ending fight scene (it was epic) and what they had in the ending was good too. I just felt like what they left out of the ending is what ruined it for me. I felt like the story didn't truly end in some ways. So now I just feel unresolved. I feel like a great narrative should do more than just set up a great question and then continually reinforce the same ideas; I feel like that is what this VN did.Last modified on 2021-09-25 at 12:54