Basic Story Premise: You are Princess Tamayori, a maiden who is responsible for sealing and guarding a powerful sword that has the power to bring about the End of the World. As Princess Tamayori, you have always known that your life is not your own: you live and will die by the sword. But your quiet existence in a small hidden village is threatened by forces who want to take and use your sword for evil. While on your quest for the sword, you find yourself falling in love with the mysterious but gentle fox god with a tragic past. And even though you know that your only purpose in life is to be the guardian of the sword, you slowly start to yearn for a more normal life… a life you can share with Gentoka. Will you be able to successfully guard the sword and prevent the end of the world? What will happen with the ghosts of Gentoka’s tragic past return? Will someone have to make the ultimate sacrifice?
I decided to venture back into the realm of NTT Solmare. I’ve tried them before, many months ago, when they basically only had the ninja type apps. I’m not a huge fan of their some of their art style, and I wasn’t sure if I would like their story telling. As a result, I’ve stayed away from their paid apps until now (and I don’t have the patience for their free apps either!). When I read the free prologue for Scarlet Fate and saw the art, I knew I finally found an NTT Solmare app that I was going to spend my money on. Have you already tried this one? Did you go with Gentoka or with someone else? Please feel free to share your experiences with me; I would love to hear them!
My review with some spoilers, screenshots, and the CGs after the jump.
Gentoka: Gentoka is a fox god who is over 200 years old and has the ability to fight with fire. He also has the unique ability to grant immortality to mortals which, as you can probably guess, makes him really popular. So popular that he is constantly being hunted by humans. Because of his ability, he has a tragic past and a deep-seated mistrust and hate for humans until he meets Princess Tamayori.
I would definitely label Gentoka as a tragic hero: he’s endured a lot of pain and suffering at the hands of humans. He’s done things he’s ashamed of, and in his story he adds meaning to his life by promising to protect the Princess. He does not think he deserves happiness, and he is not really seeking redemption for his past misdeeds. Instead, the Princess gives his life new purpose and he strives to support her at all costs.
My Opinion: This is a remarkable, complex story that I really enjoyed. The MC is a sword wielding, magic casting young woman who is capable of fighting several battles on her own without the men in her life always having to rescue her (and she even rescues them once in a while). And she isn’t your typical, cheerful and naive MC either. She’s been run to the ground with her heavy responsibility and the knowledge that she can never have a normal life. As Princess Tamayori, she had to kill her mother when she turned 7 years old in order to use her mother’s blood to strengthen the seal on the sword. And the MC knows that when she has her own daughter, her daughter will have to do the same to her.
The hero is a tortured god who is trying to escape/overcome his past. Several of the other heroes/potential suitors are also complex and well-developed. There’s your betrothed, who plays the role of the arrogant bossy hero.
And Akifusa, the boy the MC grew up with who has always been in love with her. There’s also another hero, a war god who fulfills the role of the manly man. These men all become allies for the MC. However, they are developed more deeply than your typical group of heros in an otome game: each has his own motives that drive him to what he chooses to do. And they don’t follow the MC around on her quest blindly: be prepared to face one of your allies as an enemy later on in the story.
There are also different layers of villains present throughout this story, and as the reader you are constantly wondering if you should trust the various people you meet. I would even label one of the villains as a tragic villain, just like the hero is a tragic hero: their backgrounds have made them the people they are in the story.
Overall: If you are looking for a story that will make you smile and laugh, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. Gentoka’s story is an emotional roller coaster ride. I would almost label it a tragedy because of all the death, sadness, and suffering involved.
Also, this is a relatively expensive story, but it is a long one. And the plot is well-developed with twists and turns. The author(s) did not take the easy way out: I kept wondering if Gentoka would give the MC immortality to quickly save the day and create an easy happy ending. However, he never does. (And, as a result, they have to endure one hardship after another, after another.)
Another thing to be aware of: the romance in this story is subtle. There are no romantic walks on the beach or dates at expensive restaurants. There are no romantic poems or lusty sideways glances. The MC rides to battle; there’s no time for it unfortunately. If you are looking for a fluffy romance, you will definitely be disappointed. MC slowly falls in love with Gentoka, and by the time the two of them realize their mutual feelings, Gentoka is trying to push the MC away for her own safety.
Also, I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again. Be prepared for death. And not just death of minor characters, but of a hero…
The Endings: There are 3.5 endings possible. Yes 3.5 I say that because during Chapter 12, you are given the option to leave with Gentoka and abandon your responsibilites as Princess Tamayori and guardian against the End of the World. If you say yes, the two of you are able to leave together. But you are awarded with a sad ending. If you refuse to do that, you will progress to Chapter 15 where you will find the typical Sad, Normal, or Sweet Ending.
- Sweet Ending: Gentoka and the MC are able to defeat the villain(s) together. The battle is over, and the survivors return to Kifu. You and Gentoka have your wedding, and you decide to change what it means to be Princess Tamayori. You can live the normal life you always wanted, and the future Princesses do not have to suffer as the previous ones did.
- Normal Ending: Kodonomae and Gentoka sacrifice themselves so that you can defeat the demon and retrieve the sword. You return to your village of Kifu, emotionally broken, but still bearing the responsibility of the sword. Since you and Kuso are no longer betrothed, you marry a different man in order to give birth to the next Princess Tamayori, and the cycle of bloody sacrifice to protect the sword’s seal continues.
- Sad Ending: You stand over a gravely wounded Gentoka, forlorn and directionless. Aterui judges you as unfit to fight by Gentoka’s side, and he kills you.