I don’t remember where I heard about Sekien no Inganock, but when I was trying to figure out which visual novel to play next, Inganock jumped out because of how different its premise was. I mean, the last few visual novels I read before it were Cross Channel, Tsukihime, Sharin no Kuni, and Muv-Luv and all of those started off with high school shenanigans and even if they did end up in very different places, all of the principal characters were a guy in high school and other high school students.
Sekien no Inganock is set in a steampunk city inhabited by half-human, half-animal people and is about a travelling doctor. He goes around healing people with, uh, math, I guess? So you can tell that I like this guy a lot already. Besides that, he’s fairly calm and unmoved and his brand of snark is pretty deadpan.
Anyhow, I really love everything about this visual novel. Yeah, the story is kind of obtuse, especially once it gets close to the end. And yeah, that internal monologue system is convoluted and impossible to beat without a walkthrough. But everything else? Fantastic.
The art is stunningly gorgeous, even the character sprites. All of the landscapes are great, but it’s the monster event CGs that are amazing. It’s one of those games that I probably don’t want to see as an anime because an anime will never be able to capture the art (kind of like how the Steins;Gate anime can’t retain huke’s texturing). The music is really fantastic. I really liked the voices, whenever they were present. All of this adds to the great atmosphere and setting. This is something that’s shared amongst all of the games in the What a Beautiful series and this alone is enough to get me to pounce on the rest of them if I ever get the chance.
What separated Inganock from Sharnoth was the characters. I already mentioned our travelling doctor main character Gii. He’s great. But the other character that I thought was awesome was Ati. She’s a catgirl tsundere bro, kind of like Ami from Toradora. Regarding Gii, she waffles between the line of friendship and romance. They help each other out in various business ventures and get drinks at the pub. She’s more of the street smart one, since Gii is kind of a nerd, being a doctor and all. These two really made the game for me and when I got to the end of Ati’s story, well, I mad.
A lot of people complain about the repetitiveness of the story. I guess that aspect of it reminded me of Star Driver because it wasn’t too long after it had finished and we all remember all of the people complaining about how Takuto always wins. Well, it’s the same thing here. We get an encounter and Gii figures the monster out, so he stretches out his right hand. And then after Porshion, who we are assured is not human, burns the monster up, we cut to some dudes with a clock or watch trying to climb some stairs. This is the sort of stuff I enjoy.
I didn’t go in with the expectation that it would answer every question I had and I didn’t really have a desire to understand everything I didn’t get. It was just a really nice thing to experience and I was quite satisfied with having gone through it once I got to the end of it. Well, not quite satisfied in that I’ll be jumping at every bit of news of more WAB games getting translated.