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Review of Soukou Akki Muramasa

SubjectSoukou Akki Muramasa
Full Metal Daemon Muramasa - Download Edition
ByVote: 8NowItsAngeTime⭐ on 2021-10-22
ReviewIs Full Metal Daemon Muramasa as """kamige""" as people say? I'd say not quite. Is it overall worth reading? I'd say so.

There's quite a number of reviews on this site already, so I'll just try to focus on my personal pros/cons while trying my best not to spoil too much (I personally think marking a whole review as spoilers ruins the point unless you just specifically make reviews to have discussions with people who also read it)

++The Major Characters Are Quite Good

Pretty much have no complaints here. The protagonist is very unique, cool, while still being deep with solid character development. The main heroines all have very different and likable or interesting personalities and bring something to the plot, even outside their routes. Even a lot of the recurring and one-time characters are interesting too.

++Surprisingly Good Comedy

A part of what makes the characters and their banter good is the surprisingly well done naturally put in jokes. There's a mix of sarcasm, goofiness, and occasional typical anime-ish gags. It's done just enough so things don't get too dark and simultaneously doesn't take away from any seriousness that's happening in the moment.

++Pretty good Thought-Provoking Themes

The most stick out thing compared to other Nitro+ VNs, and even some other story-based visual novels. You will get interesting themes related to killing, revenge, politics, love, faith, etc. And it covers both the good and bad sides of both without getting too preachy on either argument for the most part.

++Fairly Unique and Interesting Common Route

There's not too many common routes that have chapter systems (in fact in terms of English translations only Bokuten has a well done chaptered common route). I like the way it was structured, having different characters in chapter with similar but not fully re-used themes. And they're all eventually plot relevant for routes. Also the Affection System is pretty interesting, not what you'd expect to see in a VN like this, but makes perfect sense to have.

++Nemesis and Demon Routes

Nemesis and Demon routes were definitely the standout consistently good routes for me. The featured heroines were my favorite girls, and I thought the routes just always had interesting stuff happen with solid endings.


+-Art/Music/Presentation

Muramasa's art and music are... fine I guess? They get the job done but overall don't particularly wow or disgust me. The UI having vertical textboxes is very weird, but you do get used to. I don't understand why it'll just randomly switch to regular ADV for particular scenes. The best thing about the presentation is Muramasa having the surprisingly rare "Quick Skip" text feature. This VN is very long so having the ability to skip through the choices quickly is very helpful.

+-The Fight Scenes

I'm not really a fan of action scenes in most visual novels. A lot of the fights have really ghetto animated sprite moving and/or relying too much on still CGs. I do think Muramasa is a bit better than most, mostly cuz you'll get much more of a PoV experience than usual. However, it does have an issue where some fights go on a bit long cuz the author clearly was masturbating while imparting his samurai knowledge.

+-Length and Pacing

This visual novel is looooooooooooooooonnnnnng. The character and text count is one of the highest out there. Even as a fairly fast reader it still took me 60 hours, and some of the slower readers took easily over 100. This visual novel gets very detailed on many of its scenes. On a personal level, this made the thought provoking, plot twist, and some drama scenes pretty good since we got more lines. Unfortunately whenever there were random info dumps, or when there minor characters talking about random stuff, or when there are large war scenes with a lot of characters the pacing gets really bad for me and it became drag to read these parts.


--Occasional Preachiness

This is mostly a problem I have with Hero route, but sometimes this visual novel goes a little hard on the KILLING IS ACTUALLY BAD OKAY GUYS. The Hero route has this weird issue where they tried to have this dual argument related to Heroes and Killing and pretending to act 'fair' on both sides of the argument but still very clearly preferring the the KILLING BAD in the actual execution. Thankfully the other routes were a lot more honest/interesting about the theme.

--Typical Edgey Nitro+ Rape Scenes

If you for some reason haven't a read a Nitro+ visual novel, always expect at least 1 or 2 rape scenes. And oooh boy this VN certainly has a handful of them. Personally I think maybe 1-2 of them have story relevance and kind of fit the story. The others imo are clearly just Nitro+ going "we need more token edgey rape, let's throw it in here cuz why not?".

--Bad occasional "gameplay" moments

There are a few parts in the story that get heavily slowed down because of these randomly added "point and click adventure" puzzles forced on you. A few of them require a lot of moving around using choices, and it can be really annoying to navigate. There are little bits of dialogue during it but for the most part it just felt really unnecessary to have. There's also another dumb puzzle clearly meant for math nerds that most people wouldn't be able to solve properly without consulting a guide. Thankfully there weren't too many of these but the ones that were there, were frustrating to do to say the least.

--Conqueror Route plot twists

Easily the biggest flaw I have with the VN, to the point I almost docked the visual novel a whole point for it. So the first half of Conqueror Route to me was good, potentially great even.

However, the twist that really killed this route for me was Ginseigo being so powerful because it's HIKARUS DREAM. I get this is a VN with samurai mechs with magic that lets you rewrite minds and stuff, but there's nothing to indicate there was supernatural to the point that HIkaru could just make herself powerful just cuz she wanted. In that case, why couldn't anyone with strong will a musha do that?

Sadly that wasn't the only plot twist I disliked, there were other dumb ones like Chachamaru not getting a real ending, Apparently the Musha God having the powerful to distort space and force time travel because??????????, The God somehow becoming weak and vulnerable when absorbing a common route villain, Kageaki being casually implied to be Hikaru's blood dad without any of the thought provoking storytelling around it

+++ Conclusion

Muramasa is a fun and thought provoking read, with some decent action scenes and good characters. It has flaws that prevent it from being consistently enjoyable, but I'd overall recommend reading it as long as you're ok with a darker and longer story than usual.

PS Kanae is best girl.

Comments

#1 by gerogero300
2021-10-22 at 20:42
< report >"I don't understand why it'll just randomly switch to regular ADV for particular scenes."

The text box switches from vertical to regular adv sometimes to indicate that the characters are speaking in English. Did you really not notice this the entire time? It only happens when the GHQ characters talk and sometimes Otori or Sayo.
#2 by gerogero300
2021-10-22 at 21:10
< report >I haven’t finished Conqueror yet so I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that you misunderstood the whole Hikaru’s dream thing. She isn’t literally Hikaru’s dream as in some psychic projection, but just Hikaru’s unconscious taking over her brain and therefore her body. She gets stronger because this removes all inhibitions normal people have. This is also why Kageaki can fight a Musha unarmored after having an egg implanted, he is dedicated to a single cause and that removes all doubt and makes him stronger.