What’s it about ?
15 of the most promising (and eccentric) of this generation’s high school students, each with their own speciality, have been scouted by this new super-shiny academy… but they learn just after stepping inside that it’s all a trap and they can’t leave unless they kill one of the others.
Adapted from a visual novel that I’ve seen described as “Battle Royale meets Phoenix Wright”, and that sounds about accurate.
THE GAMEMASTER is “Monobear”, an impressively obnoxious bear puppet. You can’t even strangle it for stress relief, as it can self-destruct and it’s got spare bodies.
Makoto, our protagonist, is THE LUCKY GUY. (Or maybe THE UNLUCKY GUY, given the circumstances.) He’s utterly ordinary on every respect and got his place via random lottery. Really, he’s just there for audience projection, and has no personality whatsoever.
Sayaka, THE IDOL, is the one familiar face among the crowd : they attended the same middle school, and for some reason she remembers this complete nobody.
Also of note : Celestia, THE GAMBLER, who’s already trying to game the system ; Mondo, THE
THUG BIKER, who easily goes into other people’s faces ; and Kyouko, who’s only describes as THE ??? and is thus immediately mightily suspect.
(Other participants include THE HALL MONITOR, a guy whose chief talent seems to be obeying rules ; THE FIGHTER, a 8-feet-tall mountain of muscles ; THE SWIMMER, who’s very cheerful ; THE BOOKWORM, always anxious and paranoid ; THE MODEL, a gyaru stereotype ; THE HACKER, who’s adorably cute ; THE FORTUNE TELLER, who, er, yeah ; THE BASEBALL PLAYER ; THE SCION, whose talent seems to lord over everyone ; and the FANZINE PUBLISHER, your token overweight otaku.)
The least you can say is that it’s got a very distinctive style : cooler-than-thou character designs, surrealist colorful backgrounds, and weird shot transitions. On the other hand, it wears its status as a visual novel adaptation on its sleeve, down to the exact camera angles and the characters having stock idle animations. Most of the time, the aesthetic succeeds ; but there are times when it gets a bit awkward.
Look, it’s another “let’s play” of a popular visual novel by the director of Persona 4 ! Not that there’s anything wrong with that ; indeed, this one seems better suited to his strengths, as the jerky pacing suits the darkly comedic tone. And this story sounds like a fun ride : the characters aside from the PC are the right sort of quirky, and I’m intrigued to see where it goes.
Okay, I’m game. Bring it on.