1/7の魔法使い|1/7 no Mahoutsukai Review

????????

Magic, it is a power bestowed upon select individuals. An ability once deprived from the God, potential of divine magic to be inherited from Urnir. Up to its origin, the classification fall into three category. One that divested from Urnir — Shinhou, one that is in possession of pure race Nornir — Kami-Mahou, and one that is in hold of human — Mahou. Behind the legend of Urnir’s creation, Nornir who lived above the sky have been looking at the vast ground below and few decided to descend, living there believing it’s alright as long they keep Urnir’s teaching. They on the ground caused disorder, became human and grew exponential. Observer– Nornir couldn’t let them do they please. A war broke and Nornir failed to supressed human, hence they created a “witch” that brought the war’s byname “Kamikakushi”. Human’s defeated, but the witch herself misbehaved and caused another war with Nornir. Human in the meanwhile regrew and once again took control over Earth when Nornir got the witch sealed. Human has gone greedier and planning to live on the sky. They stole floating technology, but Nornir prevented them who drove disorder. Whoever in the wrong, they forced peace and since, keep doubting each other. Come to the world now, Nornir reside on a floating island, Aura, and human as they have been, on the ground. On human side, there are seven Magic Academy in the world. One of them is Maialens Academy, the school where the linchpins of world’s saviour enrolled, the stage where the protagonist produced his ground-breaking achievements as 1/7の魔法使い.

????????

In dated era of magic — traditional one at that — without systematized technology whatsoever, Maialens Academy as one of seven academy spread over the ground said to be a new build with classical ancient architecture the year provided. In order for one registered on such school, they have to pass inborn magic qualification from ability diagnosis and magic selective examination which split into theory and practical one.

????????

Reminiscing of his 10-year-old promise with Ema — his childhood friend — to save the world, Yuuji — the protagonist — soon snapped by Himari — his imouto –, to a view inside a train. It’s the enrollment day of them at Maialens Academy. Yuno soon greet them on their arrival and guide them around the school. That moment, Yuuji by chance found his long anticipated childhood friend stand there. Ema didn’t answer his bewilderment and instead refused him who’s not being the Yuuji she’s looking for.

????????

It was an unusual time in middle between end of first term and start of second term of school period. That was all due to doubt on Yuuji’s practical examination’s score that produced a big gap to his ability diagnosis. Fortunate he’s marked qualified, appeared that he’s not fully accepted as formal student and have to pass Kacourse with other four failures. Those four were his own imouto Himari, his childhood friend Yuno, airhead Manaka, and listless Misuzu. Five of them have to achieve their Magiaju form in break period before the second term starts or expulsion awaits them. Momoki as teacher-acting instructor guided them the basic of magic, handed them the “ring”, and left them after to build required ability on their own.

????????

Kacourse (カコース/更正科) is a class trialled for fixing failure who doesn’t meet practical qualification despite allegedly registered within the academy. It’s treated as remedial class with its own last examination to prove their minimum worth as wizard. The “ring” provides minimum attainment for that and allows them a degree of power amplification to Magiaju. Magiaju (マギアージュ/魔粧) itself is a form after transformation into that wizard’s own unique personification. It changes wizard appearance to look more wizardly as their uniform change to some eye-catching and complicated ones. Calling it a combat-purpose magical optimization outfit might not far from its outlook.

???????? ????????

Magic is not meant to be used in raw, therefore the term spell fits well as it is what actually being cast for. The method is first to draw magic ritual on empty space which acts as spell blueprint. On that drawn magical-formulated diagram, the wizard inject their magic on that which results to spell being activated and launch its effect. All spell are restricted to 6 basic element and not to surpass one step activation. Theoretically all wizards could use all type of magic, but each has their own strong and weakness.

????????

Battle style is divided into two group, one is Magia (魔法士) of which Magiaju put focus into equipment’s strength and excel in swift movement driven by confidence in physical strength. The other one is Magita (魔法師) of which Magiaju focuses in amplifying large-scale attack. Casting big diagram to launch ranged spell contrary to Magia who converge their spell into own’s weapon.

????????

The beginning was about the struggle of Kacourse team practicing their skill to be able to do Magiaju. Excluding talented Himari and capable Misuzu, Yuuji’s helping Yuno gained her confidence through some approach and inspired Manaka her diagram compositions, allowing both of them their Magiaju form. Yuuji himself lastly was able to transform from his renewed determination. By that they managed to pass and rolled in regular class, but another fact became their next blocking wall. Caste system of the school divided students’ category into two batches, Bloom Anourse with high-performing wizards whereas Weed Katouns consisted poor—performing apprentices and maybe some exceptions inside. Needless to say, passing Kacourse only raised them to Katouns class. One way to be nominated into Anourse, achieve victory on Magic Meet.

????????

Magic Festival (魔法祭) is a yearly held festival of the school that exhibits many magic-related events open to thousands outsiders. Magic Meet (魔法武闘会) is one of them where two pairs of wizard fight in a stadium in the like of coliseum. One pair representing Anourse side and the other Katouns side. The pair as representative to their side is chosen through selective duel tournament hold by each side. As of class system itself has no differentiation in treatment. Katouns (カトゥーヌス/下位科) still have same availability of instructor the way Anourse (アノース/上位科) is and fortunately no significant discrimination against each other. Just that student graduate from Anourse could get recruited into military as frontline wizard.

????????

People in Katouns seemed to give up already knowing they’re against Anourse strongest candidate, Ema, even though they’re chosen as representative. Yuuji in other hand determined to win and get Ema answered his questions. Until that point, He once first compelled to deal with moody atmosphere of the class. Fight against challenges of fellow wizards and Benefis demon coming out of nowhere. Also getting involved into another pair of childhood friends quarrel to lastly achieve the first light to his ring descended down before spectacle of friendships.

????????

Getting magic as base thematic environments works across the story in this Regulus first project in unusual set up is the selling point on its own. How they don’t implement troublesome RPG or anything nettlesome of the sort is compelling enough for me to get a load of this. Certainly, feel of a combat a lot more meaningful through one’s imagination rather than pointless time-consuming level-driven stage. To compensate the loss of typical strategic turn-based garbage, CG and intensive flash to sword-slashing trail images are used and of course descriptive narration on how one party moves. Or at least I was expecting more detailed movement, but it’s all depends on one’s imagination after all. It expects me as reader enjoy the zoom here and there, but in the end, I only saw skill after skill being called. How the hell these guy running around wasn’t of any important anymore about half latter the story. The setting adapts a mix of ancient plot and modernity of everyday’s lifestyle without systematic computation technology. Blend of today’s culture with inconvenience of traditionality is weird to be honest. Like, for instance cosplay session from nowhere, or phone call that clearly indicated it’s not really aged after all. It’s good to stick with conventional method but purposely not mention it somewhere sounds quite unnatural. At least someone should said how convenient it is if they have a phone.

???????? ????????

???????? ????????

Well, back to the first point, the plot is weak and dumped too much of cluttered fragments that some were explained implicitly and some don’t even make sense anymore. It’s like there’s attempt to expand the plot’s scope, yet failed and somehow everything turns into big step up and down of characters’ developments story. Fragments of events that didn’t have anything to the plot, yet pointlessly discoursed only for it to fill as weightless preface for the main problem proved nonsense. For instance the talk of going home during school break where Yuuji decided to stay. There’s nothing worth mention of it in the end. It’s just gone away. Also one on Manaka route that talked about school’s guidebook cover. For what crap it’s being mentioned? There’s no single significance of it they might as well go without it. The use of “no comment” and “it’s a secret” in conversations reached a number that it wouldn’t be funny to look at it I didn’t care anymore midway. It’s contagious I think. Might it be part of personality, it’s getting annoying and some later not even stated the idea behind it. As cliche as it gets, the uses of repeating line over one course of dialogues with “I won’t lose next time” were enough to drop the value of it, more less morale.

????????

The worst come to the use of characters at disposal. Whoever I have to blame, this guy treat a character as he want. As if it’s alright to suddenly put new characters on action, then disposed them like nothing happened. Towa’s case somewhat tolerable, but the appearance of Yotsuba, Manaka’s imouto was just like a random talk out of nowhere. Her being might not be a daily role, and to have her suddenly appeared and involved in a part of usual everyday wasn’t all that bad. Unless her existence felt so “add-on” where there’s no more good idea to throw into the story, which was what I feel. Lastly, she’s only became object of decoration in Manaka’s H-scene, which is a bad example of VN that is not eroge I’m calling shenanigan.

????????

Terminology could be as annoying as how cool they are I wish there’s built in wikipedia about those, contenting words and language’s origin that makes the furigana. Because converting them into romanji could be sickening at glance I don’t have any choice but to do it rough. All skills’ moniker mainly are composed of that, with kanji as the main name and other foreign meaningless pronunciation on top of it. I suppose some are from their latin counterpart, nonetheless garbled words that sound cool. To be honest this is my first experience of such skill naming that I couldn’t savour the chill.

????????

Route is decided through some choices in apparent approach. Just pick one at aim and ignore the others and that heroine route is decided without any exception. Decision is likely calculated from numbers of points that heroine is picked. For Ema route have to go with Himari on second choices, which won’t be there unless three of other routes have been cleared.

????????

Ichijou Yuuji (一条勇治), the worst protagonist on VN I‘ve ever known, not just from his looks that resembling a certain cat male character, but as well his whatever-I-care personality and so hetare behavior. He’s good-mouthed and uselessly carefree, and by means of carefree, he just let formal procedure out and ignore problem that might arise from his attitude. In other words, shallow-minded I actually am surprised myself to dare calling a character that. He thought he’s just doing okay, he’s special in some way, and definitely able to overcome any riddle in front of him. This is one of his peculiarity that made people who fought him sensed the “shadow” of his composure. He’s really calm in confronting a problem not because he’s a wiseman, but rather he didn’t take any seriousness of it, underestimate it to the very end. That’s why his arrogance led him to bad end before he finally realized how useless he was without his companions. Though so, his character development was so slow and barely made significant turnover despite his parallel routes recollections toward true route. This most annoying insensitive thickhead (donkan) didn’t know when to stop, seriously. It’s like he needed a reprimand from the others for every single problem related to him, of which the problem itself had been pretended to be unnoticed by him. His friends often directly approach him and get explanation of the matter which he put off without clear solution. They always ended up being the ones who explained where Yuuji went wrong and told him to solve it right away. I pity Himari for having complex on such brother. Of course he had some good points or it’d be disastrous apocalypse worse than the end of the world. He’s diligent and tactical. How he’s able to knead Merfa and Turfa was a result of his hard work on complexifying his own original diagram. He successfully commenced the plan he thought about before by taking advantage of situation and condition ahead of him. Typical to say, he’s kind and considerate. He wear Kingdom Hearts-like outfits in his magia-type Magiaju form and dual-wielding 2 short swords, named Izanami and Izanagi in answer to his advantageous element.

????????

Kirishima Misuzu (霧島美涼), listless yet adorable beauty of an avid reader, as it first appeared to be. More on her side and her listless attitude flipped into impression of a firm character. She didn’t look like it, but Misuzu was a far-thinker and delicate observant she actually was helpful and considerate more than anyone. She looked matters at wider aspect and drew objective deduction from them. That’s how amazing she is, adding it with his low expressive tone and cute way of talking. She’s a valkyrie magita type with water element as her forte. Unique-shaped dual-gun was her weapon.

Her route, including common route, have a really big role concerning her character development. In retrospect, she was the one that undergone the most change. From the way she didn’t care of herself which affected the others to how she positively thought of what she actually wanted to do. Her selfless attitude changed with she took others’ opinion into consideration. She also became more honest to herself and more confident while at it. Her route itself not that impressive judging from the content the same way of others. Rather, the spectacle of her reconciled with Riho on common route a lot more of quality resolution to their problem. The scene of them who once against another then became friends was a heart-warming one.

????????

Shinonome Yuno (東雲優希), also protagonist’s osananajimi acquainted soon after Ema moved out. She didn’t have any particular feature distinct from others, if else, her genial kindness was her main strong point. Due to her indistinct character she’s able to lead others and correct them by common sense. Her character development had gone under prologue during her training to get Magiaju done. She by nature had adequate magic power, but gradually lost confidence in herself from the pressure of being surrounded of highly capable wizards. She lost her resolution before she knew it, giving up easily in expectation that she wouldn’t be able to do it. This over some chances of events finally get her regain his confidence that exceeded her self-addressed limitation. Some matter at later also fiddled around her lack of confidence. In the end, she had to be pulled along and talked over her worry. She pictured well how a problem wouldn’t resolve itself without the help of others. She wear knight magia type with fire element on her advantage. Two-handed sword was her weapon.

????????

Ninomiya Manaka (二宮愛華), an idiot genius and clumsy childish girl. She’s indecisive and seemed unreliable, but really care of her friends and at times she actually gave meaningful advice up the matter. She’s accepted into the school as exception thanks to her formulaic writing that Manaka herself didn’t actually grasped what she’s into about. The flow of magic and the implications from complexity it forms was comprehended as feeling, but for it’s concept and explanation were unknown even to her. “It just works” perhaps the foundation that made up her genius and the same time idiot. Her character development went pretty drastic from clumsy and practically useless into someone who could stand up on their own. Her change shown clearly where she got everything firm after Magic Meet, during partner selection session just like the other two were. Makana’s equipped with cutesy mage magita type and weird staff as her weapon. There were 3 rabbits each holding colored book corresponds to element she’s excel at, fire, water, and wind.

????????

Ichijou Himari (一条陽葵), the protagonist non-blood-related imouto who claimed she just admired her brother in covert of fact that she’s indeed a brother complex. She’s really smart and really high-level at magic. She was even supposed to skip grade, but decided to postpone her enrollment so she could go together with Yuuji. Himari’s priding her brother so much but I still don’t get why. It’s not like they have dramatic experience or something alike. Rather, Yuuji has been quite neglected her since his farewell with Ema. Himari was a cute sturdy imouto who supposed to be the most reliable and extremely heartening. Just that she didn’t get much attention and her role itself simply as big support without her own dedicated route. She’s honest and thight-minded, directly said what need to be said and had influence which able to fix some degree of problem in an instant. It’s adorable to see her suddenly clung crying from trivial bullies, sniffling “Nii-sama, Nii-sama!”.Her Magiaju appearance looks like a pixy, sporting double-edge short lance as light-element magita-type wizard. Because the nature of her weapon, she could shift freely between magia or magita.

????????

Kanzaki Ema (神崎えま), long-awaited childhood friend once moved out due to her father’s affair 10 years ago. This lonely tsundere had many things she did herself in expectation of her true reunion with Yuuji. Granted, Yuuji’s recollection of what had he done in others’ timeline led him to the true route. Ema was outright stubborn and strong-minded from the beginning and those still were with her occasionally. In retrospect, there’s nothing to refer about her character development. She became Yuuji’s partner just opened her heart more honest as a tsundere to be expected. If not, she became friendlier with others despite not so close to actually be called in-friendly-term. Her Magiaju was magia type equipped with berserker-like weapon. The rarest element was her base. This due to the fact that she’s a Nornir.

In spite of being the central heroine, Ema wasn’t that emphasized dramatically. In retrospect, due to romance involved only as side entertainment, all routes have no romantic experience, let alone feel of accomplishment from purposely unfinished ending on first three routes. Heroines’ routes completely focus on the girl’s problem without thrilling climax while the main plot focus on excitement of battle between wizards and saving the world. The former was good enough, but for the latter, frankly I really disappointed with the hard last-boss-esque battle summarized shorter much less than expected. The stimulation wasn’t enough to lift the tension and suddenly the protagonist already threw the last finishing blow. No resistance included. The ending lines were even shorter it’s felt like a bad joke. I just couldn’t get a good impression of it as they left too much mysteries unsolved. Surely this is not a title that ignores inconsistency based by the settings. The satisfactory value at the end is deficiently lacking.

????????

Tsukimiya Towa (月宮叶羽), a sudden new unexcelled best appearance to sum a total of 7 wizards that wlll save the world. This low-voiced airhead girl only underplayed at last and as result, felt like an uninvited party without tolerable involvement to the story despite being one key wizard who contributed on finishing blow end. Her beauty figure is much a waste to only be presented for such brief moments. For this reason also overall impression dropped worse than it already was. Her Magiaju composed of princess magita appearance and casting spell with floating orbs as her instrument. Her demeanour didn’t deceive her dark element ability of being the strongest wizard yet.

????????

Ayabe Riho (綾部凛穂), sub-character who actively involved in the prologue and common route. Somewhat tsundere, but more of cold and harsh. Arrogant at first and really hate to lose that she refused to accept the fact that she lost once. She’s another character that undergone serious character development almost equal to Misuzu. All thanks to her devoted osananajimi that she’s now a sweet and gentle girl even though sometimes she’s not honest to herself. That’s what makes her looks cute though. She used giant hammer suited her fire-element magia type. Why she was fighting Ema at the beginning of the story is still a complete mystery.

????????

Amamiya Mahiro (雨宮真優), Riho’s devoted osananajimi acting the best sub-chara of the story worth the protagonist role. While he looks much cooler and manlier than the protagonist himself, he also had good composure in facing the matter ahead. Differs from such fake, he was a genuine wise and gutsy enough to directly confronting the matter he aware of, even if the problem not outright related to him in case of his osananajimi. The spectacle where he scolded Riho for being wrong harshly was as cool as it got. The second he gripped Riho’s arm and simply said it’s because he put force to his grip that Riho felt pain from it was no less of his bravery. And he even challenged Yuuji for battle in spite of his awareness of his limitation. Mahiro was calm and good at decision-making. Could as well say he had somewhat charismatic personality that rarely to lose himself at any condition. He too had surprisingly sharp intuition to sensed superlunary stir behind the protagonist. His mage type Magiaju sports Grimoire with wind element under his command.

????????

Now a little to get some good points, the story wasn’t all cons. The excitement of skill execution and some of the initial battle scenes were of a one-way thrill. Trick by trick played under each duelist’s sleeves were amazing they pumped good amount of adrenaline. Especially the part where Himari’s diagram was kneaded on with Turfa and beat Benefis in one launch. So left aside the saddening plot and a glint of value, the sole facet to complete awesomeness exists in the presentation of the user interface. The fluid and systematic touch is on one’s fingertips right after the cool splash of title logo. Transition between menu is skipless smooth. Opening load page would zoom the page out. Similar with layout from save page, the load page has clear indication of which page we are now. There’s also 4 column buttons to pick a page — of total 4 with 25 slots each – aside from using small arrow button to change page. The scroll bar works perfectly great with manual click and drag or using mouse scroll. Topping it the ability of hand drag which is usefully powerful, and this feature is implemented across anything that supports scrolling, like CG gallery, BGM gallery, configuration sections, backlog page, and even quick load slots.

????????

This is a new one. Instead of placing some dedicated slots on a section on load page, they put all highly usable slots on confirmation shade the moment quick load button is called. Starting from the left, one slot for autosave – the most beginning of a story segment –, one slot for last choices – to go back and select another option –, and 5 for latest quicksaved data. It’s really convenient in a fresh way though, one tap away for doing a quick way of something. Confirming a load would have this cool channel-changing effect blurred the current screen and swap it with in-game load point.

???????? ????????

???????? ????????

Entering configuration page would opened it in two split-sweep and zoom the page out from middle of it. The sections are divided into 4 parts. Basic, text, sound, and voice, all with minimal, yet complete settings to tweak.

????????

Extra page which unlocked after clearing at least one route would collapse its sub-menu in accordion, divided into memory — H-scene view –, album – CG gallery –, and music – BGM player –. How the page opens up eliminates rigid layout of static gallery with easing over thumbnails pop out. On it separated per heroine of which each change of section would transforms the heroine’s figure by flashy magical effect followed by pop out of magical diagram behind them which keeps rotating. Really like this one.

???????? ????????

Deep inplementation of complete music player on music page is yet another thorough effort that enhance the experience of music listening into another enjoyment. Over the completeness of full-fledged player interface, selecting one track to play would slide the scenery where that music has its top memorable moment to feel and take nostalgia of it. Like how “Hikari no Naka de” shows the road they usually take when going to school, “Kaerimichi” shows afternoon street to their dorm, “Let’s FESTIVAL!” shows a CG of celebration party in the dorm, and so on. Too bad that all the background music aren’t so good for external enjoyment.

???????? ????????

In-game interface is quite average, except cool swiping gesture feature pops up mini interface of menu to select which feature to call. Up to repeat voice, down to open config page, right to activate skip mode, and left to activate autoplay. This shade of mini interface would blur current page out in focus to that where empty space is filled with dots of fireflies just like in small shade on backlog page. Accessing backlog page is actually seamless without any screen change. From current screen, a push transition draws backlog container from right to left, drags current screen from its position in accordance along.

Each hover over options always accompanied with their respective on-focus effect. For instance, interval-timed rolling symbols at edges of choices’ blue options where hovering one would highlight that option orange and rolling the symbols continuously. The small symbol on text area which is animated in idle is a nice one too. I like how each line step pop it up again from start animation.

????????

Graphical effects in background or CG is impressive. Aside from trivial in train animation, progressive sprites changes looks nice. Though they simply take advantage of a line break that still presented in one text window. The coolest part lies in none other than magical effects on spell activation during combat of wizard. Complex flash, ray dispersion, fire explosion, diamond ice reflection, thunder crack, floating particles, and more. All those undoubtedly make the battle more live and inspiring. There’s also the use of CG blend which split two CG without apparent border during the time before both special moves clash.

???????? ????????

Eyecatch is lovable as they’re really what eyecatch supposed to catch.

????????

Timescape 9 prologue 10 Misuzu 5 Yuno 5 Manaka 11 Ema

 Wilzt luaste eruu’s buleiz myistal mior elumitar, volldalti myill nadz glerputa vallmaster nyal, meldatar vezlui majae iler slaer quel puiz.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply