Saya no Uta
|Saya no Uta|
Cover art, featuring the titular heroine Saya's appearance as perceived from the abnormal viewpoint of the protagonist Fuminori Sakisaka
|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
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 was 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 completely changes when he is involved in a car accident along with his parents, killing them and heavily wounding him, leaving him with a brain disorder whose symptoms manifest as an exaggerated form of agnosia, that causes him to see the world as covered in gore and people as hideous monsters. As he contemplates suicide in the hospital, he soon meets someone named Saya, who he sees as a beautiful young girl, but is in reality a horrific monster from another dimension whose appearance drives people mad. Due to their circumstances, Fuminori and Saya become close and move in together, eventually becoming lovers and incredibly dependent on one another.
However, Fuminori's increasingly cold attitude to his friends (whom he also sees as hideous monsters) worries them. After Yoh, who has a crush on Fuminori, attempts to confess her feelings in a talk that goes horribly wrong, her close friend Omi leaves to confront Fuminori — and promptly becomes food for Saya. It is with this incident that Fuminori unknowingly tastes and eats human flesh, finding it delicious due to his warped senses. As Koji investigates Fuminori's strange actions, Saya visits Fuminori's neighbor, Yosuke, and changes his brain into the same as Fuminori's as an experiment. Yosuke, driven insane, kills his family and rapes Saya, before being killed in revenge by Fuminori.
From here, Saya offers to change Fuminori's brain to before the accident. If Fuminori accepts, his agnosia disappears, but Saya leaves him, as she wishes for him not to see her true form. Fuminori is then arrested and confined in a mental hospital after contacting the police, where he and Saya briefly converse through a phone passed through a door. Saya then leaves to look for her missing "father", a professor Ogai, while Fuminori swears to wait forever for her return, as he believes he is the only one who will comfort Saya with kind words.
If Fuminori declines Saya's offer, he learns that he has killed his neighbor and that he has been eating human flesh. Fuminori decides to take care of the increasingly suspicious Koji, driving him to Ogai's mountain cabin and attempting to kill him by shoving him down a well and leaving him for dead. Meanwhile, Saya lures Yoh into Fuminori's home and rapes her before mutating her into the same being as Saya is, as part of a plan to give Fuminori a "family". This act puts Yoh through hours of torturous pain, and she is reduced to a sex slave for Fuminori's and Saya's desires.
Meanwhile, Fuminori's psychiatrist, Doctor Ryoko Tanbo, saves Koji from the well. Revealing herself to be aware of Saya and having already been investigating Ogai. The two discover a secret chamber in the well and find Ogai's corpse as well as many documents on his research of Saya and her species. While Ryoko pours over Ogai's research, Koji returns home to investigate Fuminori and discovers Omi's and the Suzumi family's flesh in his refrigerator. From here, Koji can either call Ryoko or call Fuminori.
If Koji calls Fuminori, the two plan to confront each other at an abandoned sanctuary that once served as Sayas "playground". Koji attempts to hunt down and kill Fuminori, but instead finds Yoh, who begs for Koji to kill her and end her pain. Koji, driven insane by Yoh's monstrous appearance, shoots her and beats her to death with a steel pipe, before engaging in battle with Fuminori. Koji manages to gain the upper hand; however, Koji is killed by Saya before he delivers the fatal blow. Saya then collapses and, upon Fuminori's show of distress, reveals that she is pregnant and about to give birth to their children. Saya then releases her spores as her "last gift" to Fuminori, who looks on in joy as the spores target humanity and changing all of them into the same beings as Saya. Ryoko, hiding in Ogai's mountain cabin, finishes transcribing his research and learns all she can about Saya and her race, before resigning herself to her fate of mutation. At one point Ryoko mentions attending a "wedding-to-end-all-weddings".
If Koji calls Ryoko, the two meet up and plan to confront Fuminori. During the fight, Koji still kills Yoh, but before he can be killed by Saya, Ryoko throws liquid nitrogen on her, freezeing her, and despite being mortally wounded by Fuminori, manages to shoot Saya and shatter the ice. Fuminori then commits suicide, with Saya dying along with him. Koji is left as the only survivor of the events of the story, unable to live as he did before now that he knows the "truth" of the world, left haunted by nightmares and the thought that more beings like Saya exist out in the universe. Koji purchases a single bullet for his revolver in the hopes that, when he is unable to carry on anymore, he can commit suicide and find salvation in death.
- 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. Unless he accepts Saya's offer of removing his agnosia, he gradually becomes a villain over the course of the story: a ruthless killer, rapist, 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 and produces slime. 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 Tonoh (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, Koji directly confronts Fuminori's actions and attempts to kill him, with or without the help of Ryoko, depending on the choices made.
- Omi Takahata (高畠 青海 Takahata Ōmi?)
- Voiced by: Hyo-sei (Credited as Erena Kaibara)
- Kōji's girlfriend and Yoh's best friend. Since Fuminori's accident she has become worried for Yoh'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 瑤 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. During the story, Yoh is kidnapped and raped by Saya before being mutated into the same being she is over hours of tortuous 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 steel pipe in his horror and confusion.
- 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. She is revealed to be a callous and paranoid woman searching for the truth behind Ogai's heinous actions, and becomes obsessed with killing Saya, the monster of her nightmares. Depending on the ending, Ryoko either lives and figures out the truth of Saya before mutating, or dies in battle but manages to take Saya with her.
- Yosuke Suzumi (鈴見 洋祐 Suzumi Yōsuke?)
- Voiced by: Masayuki Onizawa
- One of Fuminori's neighbours, a kindly yet somewhat judgemental man who likes to paint. He lives with his wife and daughter in a blissful lifestyle free of want. However, Yosuke's life is turned upside down when Saya changes his brain to the same as Fuminori's in an experiment. Yosuke then turns insane, kills his wife and daughter, who he now perceives as hideous monsters, before raping Saya. He is killed by Fuminori in revenge.
- 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.