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Published January 13, 2013
So, the beta for Sakevisual’s Yousei is out! Which means it is safe for me to begin wildly predicting some of the things that will happen in the JMMS’ third chapter. Now, if you were around for the Kansei Top 3 or the Cinders Top 3, allow me to give you the rundown. The Top 3 is a little feature here where I talk about three things that I think will either happen in an upcoming EVN OR give three reasons why an EVN should be noticed. And yeah, that logically means that there will soon be a Bottom 3: you have been warned.

Anyway, last year I was 2-3 in my Kansei predictions with Aki Mizutani not being quite as malevolent as I thought she might be…yet. Until then, come with me gajo as I peer into the EVN crystal ball and give to you three things I expect you will find in Yousei. Oh yeah; spoilers ahead.

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3. Blood is Thicker than Coffee

Let’s have a personal conversation for a moment here: just you, me and whoever else is reading this. Before you get defensive of Naoki’s blushy-blushy embarrassment face and Aki’s kickass attitude, let me ask you a very simple question: are the Twins good? Okay, I kind of have this reverb in my ear now from so many people shouting ‘YES!!!’, so allow me to retort: you’re wrong. Don’t confuse caring for each other for overall goodness…because they’re two different things.

As we learned in Kansei, the Mizutanis have been grifters and conmen before becoming assets for the government (more on that shortly) and the only reason they became assets for the government was to avoid jail time…and the only reason ANY of that happened is because Aki likes to abuse the ever-living crap out of their kanseis. In the bit of history that we know of them, we know that they will do whatever it takes to protect each other, even at the expense of others: their ultimate loyalty is to one another not to any greater sense of right and wrong. That means seem like a small point that doesn’t make a different, until you reach the end of that grey road is that no loyalty to a sense of right and wrong leads to NO sense of right and wrong.

That doesn’t mean I think Aki and Naoki are bad guys and yes I am well aware that they’re orphans and that plays a large role into their psychology. However, it also means that you cannot fully count them as allies, especially when the first instinct to get something done is to try and manipulate the outcome with your freaky mind waves. I don’t trust them and with all of the intriguing and money floating underneath the dead bodies we’ve found so far, it would be very naïve to say that the choice will never come up where it’s Aki or Naoki choosing between their sibling and the random guy who has yet to tell them his name and just so happens to have similar abilities. The only question, as far as I’m concerned, is when.

In my original review of Kansei, I called the Mizutani Twins a distorted reflection of Kangai and his sister and in repeated playthroughs that opinions has only grown stronger as it’s clear their stories could very easily be switched and you’d still be playing the same game…only with Naoki addicted to coffee and Kangai embarrassed every time he gets brought into a conversation (You may fan art this parallel universe now Sake-fan girls…I know you want to). The point is that neither Aki nor Naoki have any real loyalty to Kan and if he was still in Edgewater when they showed up, they would’ve been directly across the legal lines from each other. And unless something radically, radically changes inYousei (-insert your favorite Mizutani here- gets saved by Kangai from certain death, for example) they will be. I predict that during the course of Yousei, one of the Twins will be forced to betray Kan in some form or the other gets harmed and when that happens Kan will be on his own again. I doubt the Twins will go as far as a straight-up fight with Kan who can hold his own, but mark my words my friends; the Mizutani-Kangai partnership is not made to last.

So, who would try and force such a twisted ultimatum to the Twins? Well, probably the same people who killed Kan’s sister. NEXT PREDICTION!

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2. A Battle You Can’t Win

Here’s a question for the JMMS fandom: what was Kangai running from before the events of Jisei?

In Kansei, the reasoning seems to surround the murder of his sister. Detective Gurski flat out accuses him of cowardice in not staying behind and trying to help catch the person who did it. However, we know a bit more about the situation than Miko does; specifically that Kan can see the final moments of a person’s life. Between his detective skills and his Blessing of Suck, it would be a stretch to say that he has absolutely no idea who’s responsible for the crime. At the lowest possible end of the spectrum he has a faint clue of who did it, which would explain why he ran from Edgewater as soon as Lil’Sis was knocked: whoever did it wouldn’t be punished even if he came forward with what he knew.

Sounds like someone with a ridiculous amount of influence…but who would ever fit the bill?

There has been an extraordinarily ominous story running through the background of this series and at each turn there is some sort of governmental involvement. The government funded the human experiments of William Auten and Shen Guan. The government was most likely the sponsors of Kangai and his sis in their juvenile investigator days and are the ones overseeing the current batch of kansei-wielding detectives. I’m not sure exactly what role the government plays in Li Mei’s backstory, but if my theory on Aki’s assassin story and Li Mei’s backs tory being one and the same is correct then there they are again. Every dark corner of the game seems to have federal fingerprints all over it and it seems to get dirtier and dirtier the deeper you get into the games.

This brings me to the mysterious Schultz. Go back and replay the conversation between Gurski and Kan. Clearly this was the last person he wanted to know that he was in town. Err, why? At pure face value, this was the woman that made sure he and his only family was taken care of instead of roughing it on the streets like the Twins. What exactly did she do to make him want to avoid her like this? Could it have something to do with why he left the only home he knows right after his sister was brutally murdered?

‘Beating around the bush much JP?’ Very well, the Third says this. Someone of Kan’s moral fiber doesn’t back down unless he knows he can’t win and there is only one group of people who could scare him off from finding out what happened. Those are the same people who he once trusted and knows he cannot stop no matter how badly he wants to, so instead of fighting he ran. Schultz or someone under her command killed Kangai’s Sister. Why? Well, that’s where playing the game comes in…if I’m right of course.

Well, this has been a pretty dark Top 3 so far. Betrayal, corrupt government intrigue; outright murder. But I haven’t quite gotten into my darkest prediction. So pull out the popcorn kids: this is going to be a fun one to think about.

1.  There Will Be Blood…have tissues handy

This is the tough one because no one will want to hear this prediction, but if you follow M. Beatriz Garcia’s tumblr then you’ve seen a lot of the ideas going into the different Ending graphics. Here are a few for you to fully understand what I’m about to say: someone is going to die. Okay it’s the Jisei Murder Mystery Series, so a dead body is a given. I’m not talking about the initial victim. I mean by the time you get to the true, canon ending I believe someone in the main cast will be dead.

The big hint towards this direction is those Ending sketches I showed you. Look at them carefully and you see a pretty somber mood in them all. Looking at them, you cannot shake the shadow of death from all of them. In fiction, especially visual arts, those effects only come into play when someone is about to step off the stage as it were. If I’m right (and I’m right 2 out of 3 times) this is important for the series on two fronts, the first being that it would create new personal challenges for the heroes that remain. It was briefly glossed over in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, but you can use your past as motivation for only so long. Human nature dictates that eventually pain, no matter how deep, will begin to heal as a part of the life process. So if you wish to keep someone like a Bruce Wayne active and fighting the evils of the world, The Joker needs to blow Rachel Dawes up and burn off half of Harvey Dent’s face.

Similarly, at this point our intrepid, caffeine-addicted guy with the Kans has very little reason to fight the good fight. He hasn’t actively searched out crimes to solve and help people; bodies just have a way of falling in front of him. He has no real interest of taking back up the detective mantle and that must necessarily change if we, the audience, are to stay invested with him through the next two chapters of the series. Death is a lot of things and it certainly forces a change in the ones the deceased leave behind.

The second reason why this would be important is that it would make the actual villains an active threat instead of an overall threat. For the past few games, along with the side characters, we’ve gotten a pretty decent understanding of just what Kangai and the others are up against. Shen Guan, for all intents and purposes the Big Bad of the series, has spent the last two games quietly moving pieces in the background using his son Liam and lover Chance as his proxies. The ultimate question, of course, is why? What end game is he working towards? It is simply impossible to know because there are too many pieces moving.

These can only be answered by Guan or Chance or…nah we’re not going to see Liam I think, so it can only be answered by Guan or Chance. And nothing clears up what a bad guy has in mind than a little collateral damage…ask Cedric Diggory for proof of that.

So then, the final question is whose canon death would have the most effect on the surviving cast members, especially the main character, and put a strong focus on fighting the true villains? Well, let me answer that question with a question: who have the ending sketches focused on?

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As the subtitle says, keep those tissues handy for this one. JP3: Out.