Visual Novel: Dies irae

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Dies irae is one of the visual novels that is quite highly regarded in English speaking circles despite not having any English translation available yet. (Although there is an English translation being currently worked on so hopefully that changes soon.)

When I first heard of Dies irae a few years ago, based on comments by people who enjoyed it I thought that it was something I would really enjoy, but passed it off as something I would likely not get a chance to read for a very long time due to not knowing Japanese at the time. Now that I’m actually able to read stuff in Japanese, I figured I’d give it a try.

Dies irae is set in the early 21st century. The protagonist, Fujii Ren, gets caught up in a ritual by ex-Nazis which involves one-sided massacres of regular people or deathmatches  between superhumans who have transcended what it means to be human by devouring hundreds and thousands of souls to become stronger.

One of the most enjoyable parts of Dies irae are the battles. To be honest I can’t even decide whether or not the battles are actually good or not. (But I really like them so I guess that’s the most important part.) Basically, battles in Dies irae are all about atmosphere. The writing builds up the atmosphere of the current state of the battle through descriptions, dialogue and cool chants. When the opponent reacts to that with his own attacks, the atmosphere changes again and it keeps repeating like this until the battle is over. Although the actual conclusion to battles are sometimes not satisfying, since it usually ends abruptly with either a sudden defeat (often by a third party), or being interrupted and the battle has to be continued later. (Again this doesn’t really matter because the battles are enjoyable to experience throughout the whole time of reading them.)

Another really good thing about Dies irae is the endings for each of the routes. Considering the plot its no surprise that some of the routes don’t end with all the characters still alive, but every ending is just so perfectly executed and satisfying.

As far as characters go, its one of the strongest parts in Dies irae, but also a weak point. The characters are all very distinct and know exactly what they want which really helps with having the plot flow as well as well as amplifying character interactions and conflicts. On the other hand however, there isn’t much in character development and to be completely honest, some of the characters have some of the dumbest motivations so it can be hard to take them seriously. That doesn’t stop Dies irae from having some of the coolest characters which I’ve encountered in fiction for a while though, (best examples being Reinhard and Mercurius).

Amantes amentes

As soon as I finished Acta est Fabula, I went straight to Amantes amentes to read all the extra content. To be completely honest, I probably should have just switched to Amantes amentes before starting the final chapter of Rea’s route because everything added there is just so good so I just ended up rereading most of that chapter. (Not that I minded rereading it since it was so enjoyable.)

For anyone who is worried about the Dies irae English release that is coming out [hopefully] soon being the Amantes amentes (all-ages) version, I wouldn’t worry too much. The lack of h-scenes doesn’t change the plot at all. In most cases, the h-scenes themselves were just cut out with nothing else being rewritten and the fact that it happened is still obvious. In the few cases where they wrote new scenes to replace h-scenes, to be completely honest I much prefer the all-ages versions of Rusalka’s h-scenes (they also have better cgs). And there is only a very small amount of cgs which were censored because of gore. In any case the extra content added in Amantes amentes is not something you want to miss.

Overall impressions:

Really enjoyable experience reading this. Engaging story, great art, interesting characters, great fight scenes, and satisfying endings. Sure there is plenty of stuff which I could complain about, i.e. a few specific characters that its hard to take seriously, sometimes boring infodumping, fights often being unsatisfying since it was building up to having the best fights in the final route. But it was a really satisfying read and I really am looking forward to reading KKK and Interview with Kaziklu Bey when I get around to it.

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About FabledHunter

Novice Anime Blogger. ask.fm/AnimeAtaraxia

Posted on November 22, 2016, in Reviews and Impressions, Untranslated Visual Novels, Visual Novels and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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