12 Days of Visual Novel Reviews – Day 12: Ayakashibito
First of all, it is now technically Christmas in Australia, so Merry Christmas to everyone.
Higashide Yuuichirou was until a few years ago a writer for visual novel company Propeller. He might not be that well known among English fans since Ayakashibito is currently the only visual novel translated into English (although Tokyo Babel was picked up by MangaGamer and will most likely come out next year sometime), but he has been the scenario writer for the majority of Propeller’s games so far. It’s also worth mentioning that he wrote the light novel Fate/Apocrypha and is also one of the main scenario writers for the mobage Fate/Grand Order along with Nasu and Sakurai.
In Ayakashibito, there are many humans with supernatural powers known as Jinyou. Most Jinyou live in a Kamizawa City, an isolated city specifically designed to be a generally safe place for them to live relatively normal lives away from the harsh discrimination of normal society.
On an uncharted island there is a medical facility which houses Jinyou that have powers deemed especially dangerous so they can be kept under surveillance and be medicated to stop them from using their abilities. Takebe Ryouichi is the protagonist of Ayakashibito and the game starts with him running away from the facility with a young youkai he calls Suzu.
With nowhere else to go, Ryouichi and Suzu eventually decide to take refuge in Kamizawa City. When they arrive they attempt to live a more ordinary lifestyle by attending school, something that neither of them had done before.
I’ve always been interested in media that are influenced by Youkai from Japanese folklore, so I went into Ayakashibito being hopeful about it might offer. I wasn’t disappointed, as that aspect of the game was in my opinion quite well done.
I did still have problems with the game however. Unfortunately my memory is a bit fuzzy on the specifics of each route so I can’t go into much detail but I think I wasn’t completely happy with how some of them went. It doesn’t matter though, as each route did manage to be a satisfying experience.
My main issue with the game was the characters. I really enjoyed the interactions between Ryouichi and Suzu, but a lot of the other main characters I only felt neutral about (it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t actively dislike anyone though). I also would have preferred if the game had less of a focus on the Hidaka sisters.
Everything considered, I thought Ayakashibito was a decent visual novel that had some good ideas. It may have been a bit unpolished at times but it really did make me interested in the potential of the company so I am looking forward to reading their other visual novels in the future.
- Takes ideas from Japanese folklore.
- Good interactions between the main heroine and other characters.
- Cool storytelling style that makes me want to read more similar visual novels in the future.
- I was slightly unsatisfied with some of the characters.
- The seemingly randomness of some of the h-scenes arguably subtract from the overall story.