Sekien no Inganock

 

赫炎のインガノック ~What Beautiful People~Probably the most famous work of Sakurai Hikaru (桜井光), Sekien no Inganock is a surreal fantasy visual novel set in a somewhat steampunkish dystopian world. A world that is usually lauded as the best part of the work, and steampunk series in general, as its fascinating, otherworldly atmosphere just sucks you in right away.

Unfortunately, despite being on a shorter side for a vn, Inganock has a plethora of pacing issues, as many of its self-consistent episodes in the middle neither have much bearing on the overall plot nor are too interesting. It almost felt like I was watching an anime filler or something. Nonetheless, even though the plot might come off a bit boring in the middle, the fascinating world and its odd inhabitants will likely hold your attention, if not particularly excite you, for the entirety of the vn.

The beginning, the end and a few parts which directly factor to the protagonist’s story in the middle, are quite captivating and intriguing though, mostly due to their inherent strangeness and allegorical undertones. Inganock can be a rather thought-provoking work, though at times I had trouble pointing out about what exactly, as the whole experience feels like a lucid dream resonating with things personal to you alone sometimes. Personally, I think it might as well have been a masterpiece if Sakurai edited out all the superfluous stories to make the work more concise and readable. I still think it’s her best work, though I hope Gakhtun will prove me wrong later.

Recommended for anyone interested in surreal, allegorical works or odd fantasy/steampunk concepts. I’d advise to stay away if you have a short attention span or enjoy your stories simple and direct though.

Positive: Negative:
Beautiful stylish artwork Much of the content in the middle feels redundant
Fantastic music Slow pace and artistically repetitive segments can get boring
Fantastic odd steampunkish setting Most of the content is so surreal it’s easy to completely lose track on what is even going on
Fantastic odd steampunkish atmosphere
Odd, interesting characters
Odd surreal plot
Odd allegorical story
Thought-provoking

 

 

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