Saya no Uta
|Saya no Uta|
|Genre(s)||Visual novel, horror|
Saya no Uta (沙耶の唄?, lit. Song of Saya) is a Lovecraftian horror visual novel by Nitroplus with erotic content. The original plot is written by Gen Urobuchi. In 2009, an English fan translation patch was released. Later, in 2013, JAST USA released an English localization using an improved version of the fan translation.
Fuminori Sakisaka is a young medical student, whose life is changed when he gets in a traffic accident which kills his parents and leaves him heavily injured. Fuminori undergoes experimental brain surgery to save his life, but the surgery has an unintended side-effect - it creates a form of agnosia, causing his senses to become "warped". He perceives the world as a hellish nightmare with a black sky and buildings covered in pulsating flesh, where all the streets and building interiors are splattered with blood, giant organs and cartilage. Ordinary people appear to him as grotesque, giant grub-like monsters with a hideous stench, and even food that he used to like now tastes utterly disgusting.
As he contemplates suicide in the hospital, Fuminori meets a beautiful, human-looking girl among the flesh-covered walls. She introduces herself as Saya, and is apparently looking for her father. Fuminori does not want to be separated from Saya, and asks her to live with him. She agrees.
However, just as Fuminori sees normal things as monstrously twisted abominations, ordinary observers are able to see that Saya is actually a hideous creature not from Earth. She is rarely ever seen by anyone but Fuminori, and those that do see her are immediately killed and consumed by her, usually after being driven insane by her hideous appearance. Though her true form is never directly shown, it is described in text, and she is similar in appearance to the misshapen blob-like monstrosities which haunt Fuminori's world. She likens herself to a dandelion seed landing on a desert - the meaning of her life is, in her own words, to make the desert blossom. She learned everything about humanity from her "father", an eccentric bio-medical scientist named Masahiko Ogai, the first person to interact with Saya. She finds out the motive of human reproduction is "love", and the process is carried out by females. Consequently, she considers herself as a girl, looking for "love" to prepare for the final reproduction. However, because of her grotesque appearance, she had no chance to succeed - until she met Fuminori.
After her first contact died, she stayed in the hospital to continue her study and to look for the next relationship with a human being, which unfortunately results in a local urban legend about haunting in the hospital. Fuminori's experience also provides her the chance to learn the skills of modifying brains and bodies of human beings.
The truth is revealed when Fuminori comes home to see Saya eating the slime-covered corpse of Omi, a girl he knows which appears as a yellow-green jelly-like thing in Fuminori's eyes. The smell and texture was described by Fuminori as "herb-like scent, looks like a variety of succulent fruits". When he tries it, he actually finds the human flesh delicious due to his twisted senses.
There are three endings to the visual novel, depending on the choices that the player makes during the course of the game:
- Ending 1
- Saya helps Fuminori return to normal, but suddenly leaves because she does not want to reveal her true form to Fuminori. Fuminori contacts the police, is charged with murder, and becomes confined in a psychiatric hospital for the rest of his life. Saya visits Fuminori once and, refusing to let Fuminori see her and hear her real voice, communicates using text messages in a cell phone passed through an opening in the door. Fuminori confesses his love and promises to comfort her at any time. Saya leaves to search for her father, whom she believes could help her "go back to where she came" (possibly alluding to the other dimension from which Saya came), and Fuminori continues to wait for her eventual return in his cell. It is implied that the two never meet each other again.
- Ending 2
- Fuminori accepts what has happened to him and decides to remain the way he is to stay with Saya. To keep what has happened a secret, Fuminori decides to kill Koji by pushing him down a dried up well at Masahiko Ogai's abandoned house in the mountains. However, Kōji is saved by Dr. Ryoko Tanbo, and they discover Ogai's logs with information of Saya. Koji returns with plans to kill Fuminori in vengeance, and Ryōko offers to help him. After getting Fuminori's location by blackmailing him with information of Saya, the duo enter to kill Fuminori, and in the ensuing struggle Koji kills a hideously mutated Yoh while Fuminori mortally wounds Ryoko. Before dying, Ryoko, using liquid nitrogen, inflicts a fatal wound to Saya. Realizing he is going to lose Saya, Fuminori loses all will to live and commits suicide. Saya uses her last strength in order to crawl to Fuminori's body while being repeatedly hit with an iron pipe by Koji. She dies soon after reaching with him. After everything he went through, Koji's mind shatters: he is left with delusions and paranoia, constantly plagued by nightmares of his deceased friends and vivid hallucinations of Ryoko. He purchases a single bullet for his revolver, implying that if his nightmares become unbearable he will commit suicide.
- Ending 3
- The events in this ending are similar to the previous one, except Koji does not receive help from Ryoko and attempts to kill Fuminori by himself. Without Ryoko's interference, Saya and Fuminori kill Koji together. Afterwards, it turns out that Saya has reached the last stage and ultimate goal of her life: reproduction. Saya releases a spore-like matter into the atmosphere—a mutating agent aimed at humans, created by researching the human genome obtained during sex with Fuminori. The agent is spread across the globe by updrafts, slowly turns the entire human population into members of Saya's species. The end of the story is seen from Ryoko's perspective, and it is implied that Fuminori will see beauty in the world once again since it will be filled with her kind.
- Fuminori Sakisaka (匂坂 郁紀 Sakisaka Fuminori?)
- Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (credited as Hikaru)
- The protagonist of the game. A medical school student, he suffers a near-fatal traffic accident which kills his parents and leaves his perception of life permanently altered. As he wades through a "world gone berserk" of flesh and blood, he seeks the affection of the only thing he sees as normal — a mysterious girl named Saya, whom he falls madly in love with. Over time due to Saya's influence, Fuminori views normal people with apathetic disdain and becomes willing to kill others without remorse with only Saya and later, Yoh as exceptions. Over the course of the events, he gradually becomes a villain of the story: ruthless killer and cannibal, finding human flesh delicious through his twisted senses. In the American comic book release, he is known as Josh.
- Saya (沙耶 Saya?)
- Voiced by: Naoko Takano (credited as Midori Kawamura)
- Saya is a being from another dimension who materialized in this universe for the sole purpose of reproduction. She has no memories of where she came from and is guided only by her instincts. Due to Fuminori's condition, he perceives her as a little young girl in a white dress, but in actuality she is some sort of amorphous, tentacled, fleshy abomination that emits a putrid stench. She preys on creatures of all sizes, from cats to human beings, typically killing them by snapping their necks or disembowelment through some unknown means, and then feasting on their internal organs. She is apparently capable of projecting a strong acid which she uses to partially digest her food before consuming it, and, in one case, to infiltrate a house by melting the glass of a window. Her true form is never fully revealed, as she immediately kills and consumes any third-party observers and notably because her visage is incomprehensible to humans, rendering them insane. The small amount of information regarding her actual form is gleaned entirely from in-game descriptions, which themselves are rather vague and never go into detail.
- Koji Tonoo (戸尾 耕司 Tonoo Kōji?)
- Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (credited as Dajitoro Kataoka)
- Fuminori's friend. After Fuminori's accident he has been trying to help Fuminori's life get back to normal. However, after Koji is almost killed by Fuminori and learns the truth of Fuminori's new character, Kōji directly confronts Fuminori's actions and attempts to kill him.
- Omi Takahata (高畠 青海 Takahata Ōmi?)
- Voiced by: Hyo-sei (Credited as Erena Kaibara)
- Kōji's girlfriend and Yō's best friend. Since Fuminori's accident she has become worried for Yō's sake. After Fuminori blatantly rejects Yoh, Omi goes to Fuminori's house to confront him, but is killed by Saya there and her dismembered remains are stashed in the refrigerator as food for Saya and Fuminori.
- Yoh Tsukuba (津久葉 瑶 Tsukuba Yō?)
- Voiced by: Mio Yasuda (credited as Izumi Yazawa)
- A friend of Fuminori who has a crush on him. Since his accident she has been worried and heartbroken at his sudden change of attitude towards the world. When she goes to investigate the disappearance of Omi, Yoh is captured by Saya. Yoh is subjected to an experiment by Saya and becomes genetically altered into the same type of creature as Saya after over 20 hours of hideous transformation. Fuminori was then able to view Yoh as he originally did afterwards. However, the change caused Yoh unbearable pain and she begged Koji to kill her later in the story. Koji's mind snaps from the sight of her monstrous form and he beats her to death with a rusty iron pipe in his horror and confusion. As the first ending takes place before Yoh is captured and mutated by Saya, Yoh is not mutated or killed in that ending.
- Ryoko Tanbo (丹保 凉子 Tanbo Ryōko?)
- Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (credited as Makoto Sato)
- The physician in charge of Fuminori's condition. She becomes suspicious that Fuminori has been hiding something during his routine checkups after he recovers from his injuries.
- Masahiko Ogai (奥涯 雅彦 Ōgai Masahiko?)
- Former professor at the university hospital who disappeared after an incident at the hospital. Both Saya (who calls him "father") and Ryoko had tried to find him in the past, to no avail.
Made by ZIZZ STUDIO.
- "Spooky Scape"
- "Song of Saya I"
- "Song of Saya II"
- "Scare Shadow"
- "Silent Sorrow"
- "Song of Saya" (沙耶の唄 Saya no Uta?), sung by Kanako Itō
- "Shoes of Glass" (ガラスのくつ Garasu no Kutsu?), sung by Kanako Itō
Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku observed the game as being "known as one of the most messed-up games ever released", but praises how the game makes the player sympathize with the villains — "But perhaps the most fascinating thing about The Song of Saya is that somehow, in the middle of all the horrors it presents, it manages to make the abominable, beautiful."
Gen Urobochi noted that the popularity of his later work Puella Magi Madoka Magica rekindled interest in Saya no Uta in 2011, so much so that Saya no Uta "made at least as much money as if it's a new game."
- "Android版『沙耶の唄』配信開始！" (in Japanese). Nitroplus. April 17, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Manning, Shaun (March 4, 2010). "Liatowitsch & Ocvirk Sing a "Song of Saya"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- THEoDEAD (April 22, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Interview With 'Song Of Saya' Team Daniel Liatowitsch And Todd Ocvirk PLUS A 5 Page Look At Issue #1!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
- "Song of Saya Has its Own American Comic Book (And It's Not Very Good)". Kotaku. May 21, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- "Saya no Uta — The Song of Saya: The Kotaku Review". Kotaku. May 21, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Kajita, Mafia (June 17, 2011). 「鬼哭街」から「沙耶の唄」「魔法少女まどか☆マギカ」までミッチリ質問攻め！ [Very hard barrage of questions from Kikoku street, Song of Saya to Magical Girl Madoka ☆ Magika!] (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Saya no Uta - Song of Saya (English product page)
- Saya no Uta at VNDB.org (English)
- Saya no Uta at the Internet Movie Database