カレーまみれ勇者の冒険 Curry Chronicles

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DEMONBAAAAANE

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Nitroplus’ other eroge featuring mechs. My Nitroplus virginity was taken with Muramasa, so I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the two while reading. If Muramasa’s tag line is This is Not the Story of a Hero, and its reoccurring theme of 善悪相殺 explored the hypocrisy in the concept known as “justice”, then Demonbane is Ayane Ichijo’s kind of story. It is the tale of a hero who fights against an organization of pure evil, a defender of justice who protects the weak. Indeed, Demonbane is an eroge that follows orthodox good vs. evil themes with mechs and Lovecraftian elements. It is extremely over-the-top.

I don’t really feel like typing up a full review and forgot a lot of what I was gonna say considering I finished the VN a month ago, but here goes.

Daijuuji Kurou is a university dropout, self-employed detective who gets no cases and is so poor he leeches his meals off of the local church. He once studied in the secret magic course at university, but quit when he went to the basement to find a Grimoire and witnesses what no human should see. His hobo life comes to an end when he is hired by the rich and powerful Hadou group to find a Grimoire, which is required to pilot Demonbane, a man-made giant robot with power that rivals a Deus Machina. He meets Al Azif, the personification of the legendary Necronomicon, and reluctantly becomes her master after some persistence on her side. Together, they pilot Demonbane in order to defend Arkham City against the evil organization Black Lodge, and ultimately defeat Master Therion who is its leader.

The battles are mostly done through giant robots called the Deus Machina, which are powered by magic and can pull ridiculous physics-defying stunts and have attacks that casually bend space-time continuum. The setting borrows from the works of HP Lovecraft, so in addition to giant robots there are also horrifying creatures later down the road. It feels like the setting is trying to do too many things at once, and the battles are extremely hot-blooded with lots of yelling and a protagonist whose fighting ability is directly proportional to how angry he is. That stuff is to my liking, but how straight it plays into shounen action cliches would probably irritate a myriad of other people. Black Lodge is pretty much pure evil and Kurou starts off reluctant but quickly becomes the standard hero who fights for justice, so ultimately the ideal hero vs. villain plot plays out.

There are three routes, and the VN sure would have benefited from an enforced route order. Al Azif’ route is likely intended to be the true one and should be played last, but dumbass me played it first. Al’s route is the most satisfying and also feels the most complete, but the other two routes reveal some pretty important information regarding several crucial characters and also end with the defeat of the same final boss. I expected the other two to have less-than-satisfactory endings or consist of a different final battle, but all three routes’ final boss fights play out rather similarly. The common route is rather long, and even the individual routes have loads of copy-pasted text and very-similar-with-the-exception-of-a-few-lines scenes where the ‘skip read’ function does not work. The three route structure would have been more interesting had each of them focus on a different villain, but the amount of similarity in each route makes reading a good deal of Ruri’s and Leica’s a chore. The fact that there was only one group of very template villains made Demonbane too long for what it is.

The story structure begins off much like an episodic anime with each chapter having an enemy robot of the week before switching it up with more plot-relevant enemies. The early villain is a campy genius scientist named Doctor West and he is more entertaining than the remainder of the villains who happen to be more threatening in ability. They’re all very cheesy and cliched villains, so obviously the one with maximum cheese takes the win. There’s some slice-of-life in between the plot and action, but the slice-of-life scenes are highly exaggerated. This stuff is entertaining for the first two hours or so, but quickly becomes tiring. Kurou is an A+ narrator, through.

Overall I do like template stories about weak individuals gaining strength and standing up against injustice, so I enjoyed the first few chapters a lot with the over-reactive protagonist and campy villain who likes to create mechs with drills to cause trouble. However, Demonbane grows tiring fast as flashy battles with heavy property damage remain interesting for about the duration of one action movie, and the story went into too many directions. Things pick up again at the climax, and the game delves into a final string of battles that is somewhat reminiscent of Muramasa’s true route battles (or the other way around). The chapters in the middle were tedious though, and the ero doesn’t help.

The heroines aren’t very memorable by 2013 standards, but Demonbane is a decade old so I would probably have a strong impression of the them if I played it much earlier. Final ranking would be Al>>>Ruri>>>Leica. Initially the only one I cared for was Al Azif, whose cute design combined with the smartass and prideful “I am 2000 years old, know your place” attitude made for a very entertaining heroine. However, my opinion of Ruri highly improved in her route. Leica isn’t bad per se, but her personality was never the type I cared for in the first place and her lackluster character design did not help. On a side note, the HCGs also look terrifying because Kurou’s dick is ginormous. People weren’t kidding when they compared it to horsedicks.

So my opinion doesn’t extend much farther than “it was alright” since I came in for hot-blooded battles with giant robots and received them. It’s much easier to sit back and enjoy the cheese and over-the-top fights, rather than stand up-close and nitpick.

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Author: awesomecurry

A future engineering failure who likes RPGs and visual novels. At first, I swore that I would only ever like eroge for the stories and not the ero, but a pure person easily corrupts...

7 thoughts on “DEMONBAAAAANE

  1. Demonbane was not one of the VNs I enjoyed. In the end I finished it out of some sort of morbid curiosity for what was going to happen but its completely over-the-top events failed to entertain me.

    I tend to enjoy Nitro+ anime more that Nitro+ VNs.

    • Nitro+ has different writers so they tend to come out with a bunch of stuff whose similarities end at “not slice-of-life.” What other Nitro+ VNs did you play?

      Urobuchi (the guy who went on to write Madoka, Psychopass) wrote Phantom of Inferno, Kikokugai and Saya no Uta way back and is known for dark stuff. Hanegaya wrote Demonbane and Dra+Koi, and Narahara wrote Muramasa and Hanachirasu. There’s also Shimokura Vio who wrote more of the recent stuff and a few others who wrote a VN here and there. Urobuchi is the most popular since he’s also prominent in the non-ero anime industry now, but Narahara is also pretty well-liked because of Muramasa. Nitroplus VNs tend to be pretty different depending on the writer.

  2. From Nitro+ all i’ve played are Demonbane and Saya no Uta and didn’t really enjoy either of them.

    Anime-wise i’ve seen Fate/Zero (though I know they didn’t write the source material) and Madoka Magica, both of which I quite enjoyed.

    • Most people I’ve seen tend to enjoy Saya a lot even though I haven’t played it myself. Not a particular fan of fleshy cosmic horror or Lovecraftian lore, but I might give it a try one day. Saya and Demonbane are rather old for Nitro+.

      Urobuchi, who did Saya no Uta, wrote the F/Z light novel and Madoka so his stuff appears to be taking quite a different direction these days.

      • I know i’m in the minority when it comes to Saya no Uta and I do agree that the concept has a lot of potential, but to my mind the visual novel focused on all the wrong things. I felt that it went for the shock factor (which isn’t a bad thing in itself) to the detriment of the other aspects of the story that could have been explored. I love other morbid games like Dead Space and Corpse Party but Saya no Uta didn’t manage to make the same sorts of ideas entertaining to me.

        Still, that doesn’t mean i’m writing Nitro+ off.

  3. 正義、断つべし!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Being a fan of HPL’s works is the only reason I paid attention to this VN, but the generally “meh” reactions I read about it always discouraged me from ever trying it myself. I’ll sooner read Gekkou, or Kikokugai or Hanachirasu than this, most likely.

    Honestly I loved Saya when I first read it, but that was years ago, and it was also one of the first VNs I ever read, so… in retrospect it was good but probably not *that* mind blowing. And the MC is kinda the villain. And not in the “he’s doing horrible things but I totally feel for him” kind of way like with Kageaki, but rather in a “fuck this guy, he’s insane” sort of way. If I read it now I suspect I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did back in the day. One of its endings is fantastic, though (the one with the gun and the mirror), and feels like something lifted straight out of a Lovecraft novella. I’d say it’s worth reading just for that ending.

    • Pfft.

      Gekkou is also on my Nitroplus to-read list, as well as Hello, World and Phantom of Inferno solely for the fact that everyone and their mother apparently loves the latter whenever it gets mentioned on Japanese message boards. Saya, Kikokugai and the short ones are there as well since I don’t imagine they’d take too much time. I’ve never actually read anything by Shimokura or Urobuchi, despite those two having possibly the highest VN counts in Nitro+.

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