Truth be told, I was very surprised about this game mechanics. It has been a while since I have played a rather short visual novel, but even its short length does not make it a bad work. There is so much that one can take out from this little work that it is hard to summarize just how I feel about it, let alone give this a stand-alone summary. Saya no Uta really is a masterful work, and I have to give credit to Urobuchi Gen for writing this work as well as the accompanied artists and music directors.
Saya no Uta is set around a man named Sakisaka Fuminori, a college student caught up in an accident that heavily altered his senses. Seeing the once normal world covered in flesh, blood, and rotten meat, it is a surprise that he could be sane after seeing all of this. What is keeping him from killing himself is a mysterious girl by the name of Saya, the only one who appeared “normal” to him in this rather twisted world his mind is seeing it as. While it was clear that she was of another world, Fuminori did not mind, as he sees her as a means to relieve his stress from the filthy world he lived in. Due to his interactions with her, Fuminori would fall in love with her, not minding what kind of being she was as she was the only person who would love him the way he wanted to be loved. In the end, this feeling would be reciprocated as Saya “gives birth to their children” by scattering her spores all over the planet. It is implied that Fuminori will finally see the normal world that he had always wanted to be in, now that the promise between Saya and him were met.
Truth be told, I was quite afraid to play this as I am not a big fan of horror works. Now that I have played the game straight through, I am surprised about how scared I was in the beginning. The well-written plot allowed be to look over the horror element and see this as a masterpiece of a story. You can feel sympathy for mostly every character, and it is hard to point a finger on someone for one’s bad deeds. What I am trying to say is that even though Fuminori is the protagonist and where the majority of the narration comes from, he neither takes the role of a good or bad archetype. Sure, he comes out as a cannibal when his warped senses make human flesh the only thing he can eat without feeling disgusted about it. Yes, he could have asked his friends for help and told him about his situation, but chose to keep it to himself and become cynical towards those whom he cared about. Yet, if we looked through his eyes, I could assume that many others would have gone through the same mentality that Fuminori was in. This is not a bad thing, but more of a natural reaction for one to have: living with what is in front of you and keeping it to yourself.
Easily, the biggest development of character had to be from Fuminori. For a man who was thinking about ways to kill himself, seeing Saya was his ticket of relief, a place where he can go to and act naturally towards. While we know his mind was twisted, he still behaved like a human being, caring about Saya, wanting to protect her, and eventually fall in love with her. While his actions to protect her may raise an eyebrow to some, Fuminori was acting by himself. Even when he returned to normal, he still cared about Saya, no matter what she looked and sounded like.to him. While his actions led him confined to a hospital, whether one likes him or not, one has to at least acknowledge that he has as much reason to be seen in a positive light rather than a negative one, an anti-hero of sorts.
Saya also takes much of the credit herself. She was created in this world with no knowledge of it. She was taught by her “father” who took notes on her actions and the things she does. She was apparently highly intelligent, able to solve the mathematical mysteries of the world by just looking at a few problems. Of course, the doctor’s main purpose was to grant her the knowledge to live in a normal life setting. But, how could she when she looked drastically different from everyone else? However, when the subject of the human anatomy and sexual reproduction were introduced to her database, that is when she figured out her purpose here: to reproduce her kind like many other species, using human semen as her catalyst. However, with her father missing, Saya must search on her own, but is obviously unable to due to her appearance. That was, of course, until she met Fuminori. While everything may have been an experiment to her, there was no doubt that she harbored human emotion as well as the ability to genuinely love someone. Instead of someone who pulls pranks on mentally unstable patients out of entertainment, when Fuminori saw her as a beautiful girl, that was when she knew she finally had a place to stay. In retrospect, Fuminori was her sanctuary, her caretaker, and her lover.
I think what Gen is trying to show is that not everything turns out beautiful in our lives. Sometimes, even the most normal of things can actually be hideous things that our own minds are not grasping for us. Gen wants us to look further into an object, be it beautiful or disgusting, and look at the deeper message encompassing it. Gen wishes for us not to base our actions and perception on things merely on looks. Because sight is the most prominent sense that we use for judgement, many things can be perceived poorly through looks. Even so, ugliness can also have beauty in it as long as one is able to see what natural elements lie within it. Indeed, looks can be deceiving. One just has to analyze correctly how to perceive what is going on around them, and it is much easier said than done.
Overall, this is a very great work. I love nearly every aspect of the visual novel. The artwork was beautiful as well as grotesque. The background music fit very well with their respective scenes. The plot, as I have stated before, is a complete masterpiece. Urobuchi Gen, you have won me over once again with your amazing work. I highly recommend anyone to play this game. It is short, but very meaningful.