Amaterasu Blog

4Feb/1123

Saihate no Ima Review

Romeo returns with a bigger budget, a more complicated plot and perhaps even more insanity than you remember.

The consequences are, in fact, staggering. This time the mind screw is much harder to follow than it was in Cross Channel, and the writing does a phenomenal job of giving out *just* enough information to drive you mad wanting more without allowing you to guess anything important in advance. This is in part because the very plot structure of the game makes no sense until the second to last scene.

Stylistically speaking, everything you'd expect from Romeo is here: very complicated characters spending a lot of time together on nigh-incomprehensible comedy in-between pieces of actual plot. However, while in Cross Channel everything was fundamentally character driven, this time it's much closer to being plot driven, if only because character motivations won't make much sense until the end.

But sadly, it was not perfect this time. Sometimes, there was simply too much unnecessary text between major plot points, or a random link to an amusing but also unnecessary infodump would kill a scene's momentum. Still, although many parts of the game felt like a slog to get to some answers, this never lasted for very long and it always felt worth it since almost every significant question gets an explicit answer somewhere.

Score: 9.5/10

Polarization: (-2.5)

It's hard to read, hard to understand, and if you're not a fan of mind screws and metaphysics it may be difficult to even finish this game. But everyone should at least enjoy some of the comedy/action/pseudoscience even if they're not following everything.

Routes/Endings Played: I laugh at how meaningless those terms are now. But yes, all of them.

P.S.: If you're considering playing this, remember to click on every single link no matter what. You'll hate yourself at first, but trust me, it's better that way.

Comments (23) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I love this eroge so much. So very much.
    There are a lot of pretty useless links, although enough of them are interesting or amusing enough to be worth reading them all.

    Funny how the best Romeo Tanaka protagonists tend to be pretty much robots, though.

  2. You will never translate Baldr Sky, will you? :D slash :\ slash :P slash whatever

  3. After ML/MLA I will have had more than enough of mech stuff for a long time, so expect to be waiting years. But if no one’s finished it by then, it’s definitely good enough that I’ll work on it.

  4. Now I understand why there wasn’t a review from you for a long time. You just were reading Saihate no Ima). Amazing vn, though it’s much harder to read and understand, I liked Saihate no Ima more than CC.

    Btw, why you not added Shinju no Yakata in your Romeo marathon?

  5. Fuck yes, Ixrec. This review pretty much offset’s my sadness at the delay we’ll be seeing for MLA’s release.

    Do you think you have the skills required to translate SnI now? I’d love it if you translated that after Forest. It’s been my most anticipated VN since you released Cross Channel.

  6. @Amestor: Because the Romeo marathon isn’t about reading *everything* Romeo’s ever written (if it was I’d be reading http://vndb.org/v1094 too), but all the ones he’s written which anyone seems to care about.

    @ZeroBlitz: I’m definitely capable of translating Saihate no Ima. It will be very hard, and of course I don’t understand every last detail, but like Cross Channel it’s pretty much a certainty I won’t botch anything that actually matters. I doubt I’d do it right after Forest though. Those two games are hard for much the same reason (plot is confusing/abstract as fuck) so I’d want something easier in between.

  7. “Because the Romeo marathon isn’t about reading *everything* Romeo’s ever written (if it was I’d be reading http://vndb.org/v1094 too)”

    You should at least read Katana’s route.

  8. Er, to elaborate on that because I can’t edit my comment, if the Romeo marathon was about reading everything he’s ever written, you’d be reading Chanter, Otaku Masshigura and Daughter Maker too. Shinjyu no Yakata and Hoshizora Planet don’t come under that because they are good, worthwhile eroge in their own right.

  9. I’ll keep that in mind. And in case you’re seriously suggesting I add those two now: That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that either of them are any good, and more importantly the first time anyone (who’s read them) has ever mentioned them to me period, so they don’t count this time around. Some years from now when I’ve read most of that “high priority” list I’ll probably get to them.

  10. Well, that’s the tricky thing, really. There’s so many different tiers of ‘good’ in eroge. I could name hundreds of eroge I consider ‘any good’. If you want to clear out all the decent Romeo Tanaka titles I’d definitely add Hoshizora Planet and Shinjyu no Yakata to your list because they are definitely Romeo Tanaka and if you want more of his distinct style of writing you could easily do worse than to read those. If you want to play as many good eroge as you can whether it’s by Tanaka or not, well, certainly there’s lots of things I’d recommend above those two. They’re good eroge but they aren’t five-star 90%+ drop-everything-and-play-these-immediately eroge.

  11. Yeah, I’m mostly after “good” eroge for now, I’ll get to the “decent” ones years from now once I’m truly informed about everything.

    Which I probably won’t be until I read 200+ games.

  12. @Ixrec

    Isn’t that thinking a little flawed though, I mean the only reason Kana and YMK are talked about so much is because they have localizations unlink the other romeo games listed (Especially sicne Romeo didn’t actually write YMK).

  13. Yes, for the time being I’m mostly reading games that other people in the English community are familiar with. Either it’s something they’ve read and it’s worth me having an opinion on it, or they want to read it and it might be worth translating. In each case odds are we already have enough of an idea what it’s quality is that I’m not taking a complete stab in the dark.

    Whereas with a game no one here knows about, not only is it very likely that it’s a complete waste of my time, but no one will care what my opinion is on it unless it turns out to be worth translating. So unless someone convinces me that some game no one knows about really is a diamond in the rough, it’s just not cost-effective for me to try finding them myself yet.

    However, once I’ve read the lion’s share of what the English-speaking community is familiar with, then I’ll make some more serious efforts to branch out on my own. Just not yet.

  14. He really didn’t write YMK? Source?

  15. He wrote the plot outline, not the actual text (I forget the exact term used in eroge credits for this but I’ve seen the OP and it’s there). I don’t know whether that counts as writing or not writing it, but that’s one of the things I’m curious to find out when I read it myself.

  16. Yeah, like with Setsuei, Kuro no Toshokan and Piano*, Tanaka came up with the story for Yumemiru Kusuri but didn’t actually write the scenario, instead leaving it to sub-writers.

    *Setsuei isn’t too bad. Don’t play Kuro no Toshokan or Piano, though, they are awful.

  17. The mystery Japanese word in the YMK OP is 企画. (/huge revelations commence)

  18. Mind blowing eroge? Me want :P

  19. Ohhh! How I wish I could read japanese text! Romeo is my favourite VN author, my personal favourite is YMK (Shiraki route, I love girls with a little madness). I can only read the translated VNs (at least for now) but his works are the best.

    Thank you for Cross Channel, you are the best, please translate his work in the future too!!!

  20. Would you believe when I saw the first line of that comment I thought it was gonna be someone sarcastically gushing only to turn around and say we’re all pretentious gits for thinking Romeo is a genius?

    Incidentally, thank you, and I will translate Saihate someday. Don’t hold your breath though.

  21. So considering its been 4 years now, is it alright to abandon all hope and assume you no longer hold any interest in translating Saihate?

  22. I’m definitely still interested in it. But there are a lot of VNs that I’m interested in, and each one takes many months (or longer) to translate, so it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to all of them. The strongest statement I can confidently make at this time is that Saihate is one of my top four candidates for future projects.

  23. I’ll still keep a small shred of hope alive, then.


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