Saya no Uta review

Since this week I had a lot of free time, I decided to try out Saya no Uta.

...yes, I am a slowpoke. Saya no Uta and its translation has been around since years ago, but I had to muster all my courage for it. Why? Because it is guro and ero. Honestly, I don't feel very comfortable playing erotic visual novel because it somehow hurts me as a innocent girl. Really, that was a joke. I am actually pretty pervy but I somehow don't really like to play eroge. Maybe it is because, I am still living with my parents and it would be hard to explain if they caught me playing eroge, or on top of that, eroguro game like Saya no Uta.

The visual novel is pretty popular and I saw in VNDB that a lot of users have given 10 out of 10 for this VN. Even JAST USA have licensed it and will release it... in the distant future, maybe? The popularity made this VN got adapted into three bundles of comic books. Yes, comic and not manga. I will put some review around the comic as well.

Let's move on to the basic information, easily found in wikipedia or such.


Saya no Uta 沙耶の唄 (lit. Song of Saya) is a visual novel released by Nitro+ in 2003. There was an unofficial fanmade English patch released on 2009, but they soon took everything off as JAST USA bought the rights.
The scriptwriter of this guro visual novel is Urobuchi Gen. His name alone brought the image of 'gore' in my head. He is pretty well known for his awesome work on Fate/zero and Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and much more but for now I can only think of those two.
And before Saya no Uta, I have played Chaos;Head before. I wasn't very horrified with the gore in C;H, so with that thought, I think it will be fine to play Saya no Uta.


Okay, let's start the review and watch out for spoilers. This is gonna be a long read, even though the game itself is pretty short, it took me only a day to finish it.
The first scene of the VN wasn't very pleasing. I actually had my nerve tickled to the core. The scene was indeed grotesque and disgusting. And then, jumbled words hit your ears and your eyes. Right. I thought I got a broken game, because WhiTH wrITngS LiEK HtIS, it hurts your eyes, isn't it? It was even worse when you can hear the voice.
Fortunately, the protagonist started to narrate and I was relieved that at least the game was not broken.

The protagonist started to give a rough explanation about what's happening to him. Sakisaka Fuminori, the main protagonist, has been living through this hell for months (if I'm not mistaking it) after a traffic accident that snatcher his parents' life. He was lucky enough to survive, but not very lucky to left alive with strange things happening around him. The normal world looked very insane and sickening. The walls, table, buildings, car, everything, look like a pile of pulsating flesh and blood. Even the friends he used to hang out with him look very inhumane and monstrous. Their voice even sounded so creepy and definitely irritating. Yes, all the humans look like that in front of his sense. Everyone is a monster.

Everything is indeed just happening inside his wicked head. After he had the neurological surgery to save his life, he started to hallucinating like that. Creepy indeed. It has driven his mind to insanity. But, as a medical student himself, he knows that admitting such things to his psychiatrist will make him a brand new guinea pig for the future of medical technology and such. He tried his best to look 'normal' in front of his friends and shouldering all the living nightmares in his daily life.
Actually, there were times when he wanted to commit suicide. But then, a clear human voice came to his ears, and when he looked up, a beautiful cute young girl was there.

The little girl looked like an angel to him. She was like a salvation to him in his crazy world. The girl was pretty surprised that he wasn't scared of her. The girl, Saya, is the only one he can talk in ease, the only one he can see as beautiful.
Saya was visiting him around 3 in the morning, and Fuminori wondered if she is just a ghost or something. But he can definitely feel her and touch her.

Saya told him that she was looking for his father, so that is why she was in the hospital. His father (Professor Ougai) seems to be missing for a long time around.
And when Fuminori was about to leave the hospital, he asked Saya to live with him. Saya didn't give him a clear answer at the time. But at the tomorrow morning, when he returned to his house, she was there sitting in the center of the room, asking if she really can stay.

Basically, Saya is the only reason for Fuminori to stay alive. Saya is the only one that keeping him alive in this distorted world. Fuminori also stated that living with Saya feels like newlywed. Of course, the two had coitus, and surprisingly Saya is a little girl with a big lust (which made Fuminori pretty worried).

Apparently, Fuminori doesn't look very normal in his friends' eyes. A girl, Tsukuba Yoh confessed to him before the accident and hasn't yet received her answer. Yoh mustered the courage to ask him. Of course Yoh in Fuminori's eyes now is just merely a horrifying creature, so he rejected her in a very jerky manner.
Yoh's friend (and also Fuminori's friend) Takahata Oumi and Tonou Kouji, watched the whole scene. Oumi went to Fuminori's house to complaint, but instead, she was petrified by the insanity of Fuminori, reflected on the abstractly colored room and all the weird stench inside his house. Then she was attacked by a seemingly grotesque creature.

Fuminori came home and he caught Saya was eating something... fruit jelly like. It was his first time to see Saya eat, and the food even look appetizing in front of his twisted vision. Saya was worried at first, but then she glad that Fuminori found something he can eat.

Oumi's disappearance made her boyfriend, Kouji, worried sick. Yoh didn't know that Oumi came to Fuminori's house and she didn't even suspect that at first. Knowing that Fuminori must have been involved, he followed Fuminori who entered an abandoned house of Ougai Family. When Fuminori left after a long day, Kouji entered the house, which he found very disturbing, with bones of small creatures inside a bathtub and such. Fuminori caught him stalking on him, and he warned Kouji not to get any closer to him.

When Fuminori came home, he couldn't find Saya anywhere. He waited so long and so worried sick about her. She came at late night and she brought (stole) Fuminori's medical record to study his disease.

Kouji finally decided to have a talk with Fuminori's psychiatrist, Ms. Tanbo Ryouko, together with Yoh. Kouji then reveals the possibility that Fuminori has something to do with Oumi's disappearance. Kouji also mentions about Professor Ougai, which caught Tanbo's interest. Tanbo stated that Professor Ougai has no relatives (which implies that Saya is lying) and everything about Professor Ougai is kinda top secret of the hospital. She also said that Fuminori's medical records were stolen from the hospital last night. In the end, they exchanged number to keep the information running.

The next day, Fuminori returned to look for any information leading to Ougai. He found some photos of seemingly scenery of some sort (of course it is still pretty hard to tell when he has that wicked vision) While Saya paid a visit to the neighbor.
Mr. NeighborwhichIforgotthename was 'modified' by Saya, so his senses work like the current Fuminori. Of course he was terrified, and even killed his family who appeared like disgusting beasts. She found Saya as a cute girl like what we believed until now, and in that wicked sense he raped Saya. Fuminori found Saya was raped by that disgusting monster, and he immediately killed it in deep hatred. Saya told him that it's all her fault. Saya then begin to explain that she has the ability to 'modify' human, and the neighbor was a lab rat that gone mad because of the side effect of the experiment.

She finally told Fuminori that she can return him to normal. Then, what do you want to do? Do you want to return back, but perhaps you will see some unimaginable truth? Or do you want to continue living in this wicked world as long as it is with her?

The ending will be split from this point on, depending on what option did you pick.



First, I picked to stay the way it is. In this state, Fuminori realized that he already killed someone (and the fact that the corpse looked appetizing is enough evidence that he also had committed cannibalism), so he can not return back anymore. He knows that in reality Saya perhaps will look inhuman and monstrous because she's the only one that looks 'normal' in his twisted mind. He just doesn't want to lose Saya anymore that he is willing to throw away sanity.

Fuminori asked Saya, what kind of creature she is. Saya just stated in a very abstract way. 'Dandelion seeds drifted far away from the home. And what if the seed reached some place where it couldn't grow, like desert? There is only one thing that can keep the dandelion grow, and even turn the desert into grass field. It is love. Even just a love from a single person can give it strength to live on.'

Fuminori asked Saya about the photographs he collected from Ougai's house. She told him that she had been in the place of one of the photos. Tochigi (CMIIW), 3 hours from here by car. Fuminori decided to investigate the house, but Saya doesn't seem to care about 'her father' anymore, and also revealing the truth that Ougai is not actually related to him. Saya also asked if Fuminori would like someone else to talk with, like family or friends. Fuminori, of course, said he would be happier. The more the merrier.

The next day, Fuminori asked Kouji to drive him to resort house of Ougai in Tochigi. Kouji felt something strange with Fuminori, since he was smiling, perhaps the first smile after the accident. The smile, however, had a malicious aura. Thinking that it might be a good chance to get him better, or to investigate Ougai more, Kouji accepted.

In the other side, Yoh received text from Oumi's cellphone. The contents of the mail was indeed intimidating. Yoh was asked to come to Fuminori's house by herself. Suspicion was all over in her mind, but she tried to overcome the fear by thinking that it could be just a sick prank by her friends. In Fuminori's house, she was attacked by tentacle thingie (which is obviously, Saya).

Fuminori and Kouji arrived at the desolate Ougai's resort house. Both of them immediately look for any information regarding to Professor Ougai. While letting Fuminori went according to his own, Kouji found a well on the backyard. He called Dr. Tanbo to tell her that he's with Fuminori in Ougai's resort house. Damn voicemail, but he had no other choice. He was worried about Yoh, who was left alone. He called her and he found out that Yoh was in mortal danger. Yoh told over the phone that she was turned creepy, or at least ugly, saying that her ear and fingers melted and such. While Kouji panicked over Yoh, he didn't notice that Fuminori was there, pushing him to the bottom of the well.

Fuminori, feeling satisfied to kill another human, returned home. There he found that Saya has prepared a gift for him. It was Yoh, who appeared and sounded human in Fuminori's senses. Saya told him that she modified Yoh to please Fuminori, after all Fuminori would want to have friends and family. Yoh was treated like a family pet for Fuminori and Saya, if it is a better word for 'sex slave'.

Later then, Kouji was saved by Dr. Tanbo (I will call her Ryouko from now on). Ryouko stated that she had been there before, to investigate about Ougai. They found a secret path in the well and they discovered something pretty eerie done by Ougai (personally I think it is some satanic ritual or some sort). Ougai was there, but he's already a corpse. Ryouko collected a lot of data and papers from Ougai's secret hideout while Kouji slowly losing his consciousness.

When he came back to his senses, Kouji found Ryouko's investigating on Ougai's document and told him that Fuminori has gone mad, at least if he had been in contact with 'Saya'. Ryouko also want to kill Fuminori so she 'won't make the same mistake for the second time'. Kouji was suggesting for police action, but Ryouko bluntly telling him that such thing is futile. Kouji then decided to come to Fuminori, at least to give him a nice smack to his face. Ryouko gave him a revolver containing four bullets (which she collected from Ougai's corpse)

Kouji called Fuminori to intimidate him. Fuminori was surprised that Kouji was still alive. Kouji told him 'I know everything about you and Saya', such hollow threat, because he didn't really understand anything about it. He also asked where's Yoh, while Fuminori had his shaft licked by his 'pet'. Before he could face Fuminori, Kouji cried and tried to relax himself, thinking of what his best friend was like, and how much he has changed.

Kouji then checked Fuminori's house, where he can confirm Fuminori's sanity. Fuminori, Saya and Yoh were already escaped somewhere (thanks to the warning), so he couldn't find anyone there. He opened the refrigerator, where the remains of his girlfriend were left.

Another choice here. If you were Kouji, what would you do? Would you call Ryouko for assistance, or would you call Fuminori to settle things?



I chose to call Ryouko, because it is wiser in my opinion.
Ryouko was still in the resort house, investigating and arranging documents from the late Ougai. She told him to wait for her until she finished deciphering all the written evidence. She learned about 'Saya', which is probably a creature from another dimension, which Ougai named and tutored, perhaps like his own daughter, or cat.

Ryouko had rendezvous with Kouji at some cafe, where she explained about Saya, and what caused her to have an urge to kill Ougai and Fuminori. Ougai's documents were more like a science fiction literature than a science study, but that is indeed a truth that cannot be taken easily. Ryouko also had prepared a flask containing liquids to kill Saya.
Fuminori, who has prepared himself to kill Kouji once again, called him to come to a desolate mansion by himself. Ryouko hid in the car trunk, while Kouji entered the mansion, with a gun on his hand.

Yoh, in a very distorted physique, called Kouji. Even though the voice didn't sound human, Kouji knows that it's Yoh. In the deep darkness, Yoh begged Kouji to kill her. When he lit upon the creature, Kouji panicked and immediately killed that creature with the entire bullets he had. Running on the bullets, he reached a steel pipe and smashed that wicked creature to pieces.

Fuminori was there, ready to attack Kouji with an axe. It was a pretty intense battle, let's say. Kouji managed to hit Fuminori, and when he thought he seized his victory, a slimy creature reached his foot and trapped him. Fortunately, Ryouko immediately came and shot Saya. She passed the flask to Kouji, and he immediately pour the liquid (which I think is very obvious, liquid nitrogen) to freeze Saya. Ryouko laughed like she was possessed by a demon.
Fuminori was enraged and chopped Ryouko's left shoulder, while she was having a trouble with the old bullet. But, instead of killing Fuminori who was right in front of her, she grinned widely while pointing her shotgun to where Saya is.

The frozen Saya was shattered, and the shock of losing Saya was too much for Fuminori, that he committed suicide with axe on his face. Saya, still half alive, crawled to Fuminori's dead body, even though Kouji had smacked her again and again.

First ending
Kouji woke up after a creepy nightmare. When he woke up, Ryouko was there with her left arm was still hanging on her shoulder. She told him that he should have taken her advice to back off that day. The Ryouko he was talking with perhaps is just a ghost or his delusion.
Kouji, still alive with such nightmare, kept the revolver with just one bullet, for an obvious reason.


Back to the previous option.

Another choice here. If you were Kouji, what would you do? Would you call Ryouko for assistance, or would you call Fuminori to settle things?


If you decided to go all your way alone, then so be it.

Second ending
Kouji came to the mansion by himself, and the different part is, when Saya caught his feet, Ryouko wasn't there so he got caught and killed.
Fuminori was pretty satisfied that he finally killed Kouji, but then he felt something weird happening with Saya. Saya grew weaker and weaker, as she told him that she will give birth as a final gift for Fuminori. Bud of flowers grew from her back, like fairy wings.
In the end, Ryouko explained that 'Saya' was pretty weird for her species, because while the others just do their duty for reproduction, she feels that love was needed, as she became aware of human emotions. Saya thanked Fuminori for loving her, and she left the world, telling him that there will be time so they can be together with no objection whatsoever. Fuminori would be able to see the beauty of the world once more, when Saya spread the spore to the entire world. (This is pretty complicated.)


And, return to the previous choice of previous choice.

She finally told Fuminori that she can return him to normal. Then, what do you want to do? Do you want to return back, but perhaps you will see some unimaginable truth? Or do you want to continue living in this wicked world as long as it is with her?



Third ending
Of course Fuminori wanted to return to normal. But before that, he knew that he would lose Saya. He tried to tell Saya how much he loves her, but Saya kissed her before he could, until he lose his consciousness.
When he woke up, he found his senses work normally. He also found his neighbor's dead body, but he couldn't find Saya anywhere.
Fuminori was later arrested for killing his neighbor family and Takahata Oumi. He was confined in psychiatric hospital for the rest of his life. Then, he sensed that something's crawling, coming to his cell. He knew that it must be Saya. Saya slid a cellphone (probably Oumi's) with texts, because she doesn't want to let Fuminori hear her voice. Fuminori told her that he doesn't care about such thing, he just want to see her and touch her. Saya, told by texting him, 'Let me stay the Saya you know'. Fuminori then told her by text, the confession that was interrupted. Saya left, telling that she will look for her 'father' so she could return to his dimension. Fuminori told her the last thing, that he will always be there waiting for her.



Overview
While I think this VN is great, I don't really understand how people can give such high score. I won't give 9 or 10 for this. I think it is pretty overrated.

The story is indeed awesome and mind blowing. Honestly, I can imagine myself being one of them. I mean, in the ending where Kouji is the protagonist, I put myself on Fuminori's POV and I found it really sad to imagine the little girl Saya pierced by bullet. Even though there is no image of Saya crawling to Fuminori's dead body, I can definitely imagine it and I found it really romantic and heart breaking. Even the scene where Mr. Neighbor killed his family was really painful and unbearable. Just imagine his little daughter telling him to stop in tears.

The characters were awesome in my opinion. Honestly, if you put yourself in their shoes, you will definitely understand. My favorite character is Tanbo Ryouko, which I found really hot and badass. You can imagine how hard she had been living on hell, to the point that she doesn't even care about her family or others anymore. Kouji was really awesome too. Despite of hating and having intent to kill Fuminori, he kept the monster Saya away when she tried to approach his dead body.

The sex scenes, unlike most eroge, is actually pretty important to the story. Because, Saya's ultimate goal is to copulate with someone she loves, and it is not just sex, it is making love.

There are things that can tickle your mind, though. I immediately think about what kind of creature Saya is, because it's obvious when she's the only one that looks normal, which implies that in reality she perhaps looks gruesome. When she had sex with Fuminori, I immediately think of tentacle rape, the essence of hentai indeed.

Saya's true form has never revealed in the visual novel. Let's just say that she's perhaps tentacle alien or chtulhu or whatever. Just remember, Saya wants you to let her be the Saya you believe.

My complain is on the endings. Open endings. I don't really like it when there's no definite conclusion. In my opinion, there is no good ending or bad ending in this game.
Perhaps, the best one is when Saya reached her ultimate goal, which is reproduction. But, when you think about it, is it really good? Saya filled the world with her kind of beings, but to think about it, then for the people other than Fuminori, isn't it kinda scary?
And, in the ending where Fuminori returned to normal, I honestly thought of the worst possible outcome ever. That Fuminori would immediately kill Saya in her true form, just like what Kouji did to Yoh. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

While people say that it is a horror game, I think it is a romance game, but a complicated love indeed. It is a story of a twisted love. And honestly I think it is not very guro for me (I guess I am also in the point of no return, huh?)

Score
Story : 80/100
Music : 85/100
Characters : 90/100
Voice : 80/100
Art : 80/100


And, the comic book review!


Honestly, my head hurt when I read these comics. Perhaps I am not used to read American comics or whatever, but the comics sure are bad adaptations.
Instead of Fuminori, we have Josh as the main character (basically the same though). I think Josh is older than Fuminori.
So, this Josh proposed to Carly (is it? The counterpart of Yoh) and this bitch Carly rejected him in front of public, in front of his family and friends. While his parents carefully driving in the snow and consoling him, the accidents happen. Blah blah blah, I don't really want to talk about it.

Let's just head to the differences.
In the comic, Saya is not a loli but a young girl. It's not like I'm a lolicon, but... well, let's say that I am, having Saya as a little girl and a young lady sure has the impact. As a loli, Saya was shown of having lust and capability and resolve to kill easily, which increased the mysteriousness of this little girl. When she's a young lady, having lust or killing people is much more acceptable and considered normal.

Marcus, the counterpart of Kouji, is a jerk. Honestly he's like a clown to the story, unlike Kouji. In the comic, he doesn't have any gf, which is why he was trying to get laid so bad.

Carly, Yoh's counterpart, is a bitch. Yoh is the type of woman I don't really like because she cares too much. While in the comic, Carly is the type of bitch I want to kill in front of my eyes. She is damn annoying.

I think that Saya's first encounter with Fuminori happened really early and, Boy, that escalated quickly, they had sex not long after they know each other. Moreover, they decided to draw Saya's true form in the middle of sex scene. Isn't that... lovely, my ass?

Instead of having Ryouko, they have the middle aged lady doctor named Erin Tanner who is seemingly evil. There is also another doctor which is also evil, so basically it's Josh vs Evil Scientists. This is also some part I don't like in the comic, that they separate 'good' and 'evil', while in the VN, the matter of 'good' and 'evil' should be considered by yourself.

There is some background story around Saya and his 'father' Dr. Ojai (instead of Professor Ougai. Very clever. *monotone*) where it is said that she was summoned by Ojai to replace his dead daughter. Nice story, but I still prefer to let Saya's origin left unknown.

Blah blah blah, there are a lot of stupid things in the comic, but in the end, Saya flew away while spreading the spores that turn things 'normal' to Josh.

Honestly, sometimes I even think that Josh didn't have much problem adapting to the crazy world, because he didn't show any sign of disgust like Fuminori.


Overall... yeah, don't read the comic, it is not worth reading.