One of the things that anime, manga and any media that is inspired by them don’t get enough credit for is how well-written most of the tragedies in them are. In the current market, darker titles and projects have given way to pure escapism and candy-colored saccharine happiness at every available opportunity. But anime/manga and tragedy have been a productive union giving fans some of the most painful experience in media. I don’t even have to go through a very long list. I just need one name for most anime fans: Maes Hughes. Yeah, you’re welcome for that bout of depression.
Enigma is a tragedy of the highest order: taking the perspective of a young man with a terminal illness who finds himself on a mysterious island after, essentially, deciding to die at sea. What we get from there is a very deep meditation on life that will connect you to nearly every character on screen. It also provides a fascinating mystery centered on a forest on the island that seems to, well, eat people and its minion (for lack of better words) Envirio: the blue-haired kid up there that is very, very interested in our protagonist. One thing that may cause some concern are the endings and the fact that there are nearly twenty of them. But the fact that I’m still going back to get more of the story and explore all of the endings I can two years later says a lot about Enigma’s quality.
With those in particular and all of the visual novels I’ve covered here, there are plenty of options for those looking for a visual novel to play this month. But where does that leave this one? After all, I was asked if I was participating this month and I do plan to. My long-time readers know that I am partial to the darker side of fiction and there are several titles I can think of that are both philosophically dense and thematically dark (bloody is the word you’re looking for JP). However, this time around I think I’ll place nice.
After all, there is one VN I know I need to finish….although I’m pretty sure I’ll end up blushing to death as a result.