I think it should be obvious, but I’ve joined the Blogging Crew „OWLS“. We’ll conquer the floating islands across the different skydoms, enjoy the fun times, and suffer together during the UnF party! Ok, I got a bit offtopic here, so let’s get down to this month’s theme „grotesque“.
In honor of Halloween, we will explore what we find vile and ugly in pop culture. For this month’s topic, OWLS bloggers will be exploring characters or aspects of the grotesque in a piece of media and how it is a metaphor or allegory for society, human nature, or some other philosophical or humane idea.
I decided to write about Wonderful Everyday ~Diskontinuierliches Dasein~ (I’ll call it simply SubaHibi), a visual novel by KeroQ. It’s available in English on Steam.
This is a 18+ Visual Novel which includes themes of suicide, psycho horror, and murder. Not for the faint of heart.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Long story short: SubaHibi is one hell of a visual novel and it’s impossible to talk about it in length without spoiling it. This is why I’m only going to talk about the first two chapters Down the Rabbit Hole I and Down the Rabbit Hole II.
Nothing is what it seems to be in the beginning. SubaHibi is utilizing suspense, mystery, detective, and horror while unfolding the complex world of philosophy in a 6 chapter long visual novel. There is also a lot of Wittgenstein, classic literature, and references to pop culture.
The first chapter is intentionally poorly written. Most of it is slice of life with snarky comments from Yuki and how she is teasing her friends. We are also introduced to Zakuro, a rather quiet girl who starts living with Yuki. Ayana who knows a lot more about what is going on than she admits, the Wakatsuki twins aka Yuki’s childhood friends, and Takuji.
The sudden shifts in tone are something that took me more than once by surprise. This is also the first time that a normal visit in an amusement park that kept me on the edge of my seat. And the end of the first chapter is something out of a dream.. or you may call it illusion. But this brings a certain question up.. what is real and what is not?
In Down the Rabbit Hole II, Yuki meets a girl named Zakuro who she can’t really remember even though Zakuro seems to know Yuki. The next day the starts with a weird atmosphere hanging over the school and it is revealed that Zakuro killed herself. This triggers the real plot of this chapter and introduces us to the now completely different Takuji. His personality changed a lot due to the suicide.
This chapter turns into a detective story with a lot of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat and a decent amount of psycho horror to fix your craving for the horror genre. I have read a lot of visual novels and light novels, and I can tell you that the writing in SubaHibi is definitely on another level. The mystery is a lot more of philosophical nature and finding the truths might not give you always the same answer.
It is up to Yuki to figure out what the hell is going on, but it is not just about Zakuro’s suicide. There are more deaths involved, shady ghostlike creatures, and The End Sky. Takuji is talking about a prophecy of the apocalypse and Zakuro’s death was the start.
It is not that rare to see paranoia used in a horror story, but you don’t often see the birth of a cult out of the fear and how the fragile mind of a human works. You start to believe in something even though you would’ve never believed in it. Horror, traumatic experiences, and a series of events are truly powerful when it comes to change a human being.
The highlight of the second chapter is without a doubt the ending. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the culprit was, but it was one hell of a time to see how it was done and how the other mysteries may have a different answer depending on your philosophical views, beliefs, and life experience. So this is nothing more than the start and nothing less than a wonderful visual novel.
And once again, I realised that I have so much trouble trying to avoid the land of spoiler.
Next up is good old Lita on the 27th.