Subarashiki Hibi~Furenzoku Sonzai~

“Live happily!” -Wittgenstein

Subarashiki Hibi is a game by KeroQ (now Makura who currently also publishes games under the imprint Makura) written by SCA-Ji, originally released in 2010, and which got a HD, full voiced re-release in 2018. This review will be base in the HD version, though I don’t think there are any differences in the scenario save for an additional bonus chapter. There is also an English version available in steam.

HP vndb EGS1 EGS2

Review

It’s hard to summarize Subarashiki Hibi (Subahibi for short), in part because as a mystery part of the enjoyment comes from discovering the plot by yourself, in part because the story changes considerably from beginning to end so there is not short summary that could cover everything. A brief summary of the first chapter (that works as sort of a long-ish prologue) is possible but it’d also not very representative.

However, if I were to try I could say that Subahibi deals with several days in the middle of July, 2012, ending in July, 20th, when “something” big is predicted to occur. The game is composed of 6 successive chapters, each from the point of view of a different character involved in these fated couple of weeks.

So, trying to spoil the least possible, let’s talk a bit about what can you expect from Subahibi.

For example, you can expect best girl

First, the aforementioned plot. Subahibi takes the form of a multiple route mystery, each one with its own perspective on the events and shedding light on a different aspect of the mystery.

In this aspect, this game is very good: the story is almost a piece of clockwork in how all the pieces fit together. Questions might pile up faster than answers but everything is hinted beforehand so you never feel like the whole thing was bullshit, and looking back you will see that many scenes you had not given a second thought for actually hinted to something deeper or have a bigger meaning. There is no single moment of infodump either that conveniently explains everything that happened so far, even if the last three chapters, which might be thought of as a single chapter by flow and script size, are heavier on explanation than mystery.

At the same time, quite a bit of seemingly important hints turn out to be red herrings, and you can never rest on your laurels thinking that you got everything figured out because the moment you think that, chances are the next scene will show you how wrong you are (and this continues until the very end).

However, Subahibi is not only (or arguably even mainly) a mystery, and a plot can only take you so far; personally, a good plot can take me indeed very far, but in this case there’s also quite a lot besides just the plot. If anything, one of things I took out from Subahibi is that it is trying to show the whole range of human experience.

After the first half of the first chapter being a rom com, the second half becomes a mystery and the corresponding main character a detective; the second chapter goes down full speed the rabbit hole of denpa-town, and the third chapter becomes the most soul crushing depressive thing you’ll read. After that, in the last three chapters become more focused on explaining what happened and tying up the loose threads; and once it seems like everything fell into place and you made sense of Subahibi world, the third and last ending forces you to reevaluate everything (though if have been paying a minimum of attention you had already noticed there was still one glaring hole left unexplained so it’s not totally out of left field).

But the rom com is yuri so 10/10 game right there*

The characters are three dimensional and pretty different from each other, and this shows in their respective chapters; the strong Yuki gives you a qualitatively different point of view (in style of narration and what actually happens) from the horny Takuji (and boy will you get horniness in his chapter) or the depressive Zakuro.

The result is that this story becomes a veritable rollercoaster of emotions showcasing all kinds of human experiences, from the good to the ugly.

And brace yourself because ugly will you get; this rollercoaster will indeed go low before going up again, and there is a wide variety of gruesome content you will have to endure.

Subahibi deserves a trigger warning, and you will read about and actually see the following: suicide, bullying, rape, torture, bestiality, futanari (I guess this last one is just a fetish). There’s not a lot of each and it’s not gratuitous; being shocked is part of the experience. However, it is there, and if you don’t think you can stomach it you may prefer to avoid this. The third chapter in particular will get pretty dark.

Fun times ahead

From a strict plot-wise point of view, maybe not every chapter or scene is needed, and you could say that the first chapter for example end up not being wholly relevant to the main mystery. However, eliminating it would mean eliminating a possible point of view and thus part of the human experience that Subahibi is showing, making it a lesser work.

This might sound somewhat exaggerated, but I do think that Subahibi is trying, first and foremost, to show the point of view and experiences, which means the world, of many different individuals.

There’s still a lot to say about Subahibi; I haven’t even touched the philosophy that pervades the game, in particular Wittgenstein, who is frequently quoted. I haven’t read him so I am not very qualified to say how well his thought is actually represented in the game. However, that is fine. You don’t need to “get” everything Subahibi is trying to say. You don’t even need to get most of it; even simply as a mystery, it is interesting and engrossing and for the most part fun (well, “fun”) to read.

Subahibi is certainly trying to say a lot; one word to describe it is “sprawling”. And even if you don’t get everything you will probably get, at least, something, and it might give you plenty of food for thought, which I think is the best thing a piece of media can aspire to.

*Yes I know the image is not from Rabbit Hole 1 shut up

One Response to “Subarashiki Hibi~Furenzoku Sonzai~”

  1. […] A visual novels site « Subarashiki Hibi~Furenzoku Sonzai~ […]

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