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Genre: Visual Novel, Action, Mystery
Developer: Tail Wind, NONSUGAR
Publisher: JAST USA
Release Date: Jul 15, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger
Visual novels are a medium that allows for creative storytelling, in worlds you couldn’t see outside of them. Throwing in adult content is one way to spice up these stories, as the writers deem necessary, but when these two come together, they make for some inspirational and interesting settings, like in our next review: Trample on Schatten!! – The Shadow Stomping Song – Revolution Plus. Trample on Schatten!! – The Shadow Stomping Song – Revolution Plus is an adult, action, mystery-themed visual novel, developed by Tail Wind and NONSUGAR, later translated and released by JAST USA. This adult novel comes out of left field with its premise and intent, leaving some minor faults with the story but quickly pulling the reader in for an action-filled ride.
Starting from the rooftops, the story of Trample on Schatten!! is told with a point-of-view (or PoV) system, allowing you to see scenes from various characters but keeping a focus on the main character for the bulk of it. This leads to some creative storytelling but often leaves some story points hanging out to dry. We start off our adventure through the eyes of Keziah, a girl who is running across the roofs of the city in a battle dress as a shadow-like creature follows suit in an attack on her. Getting trapped against a wall and pinned between a literal wall and shadow, she takes the awkward leap of faith. We are then flashed back to the actual start of the story, where Aisaku Himehagi, alongside his three male friends and “sister” of sorts Serika, are hanging out in a classroom in school, before leaving and having a run-in with the school uniformed Keziah, who warns one of the three boys to watch his heart before disappearing into the city. After a talk with Aisaku and his friend who had been told off earlier by Keziah, Aisaku goes to the steamy sketch, a local coffee and breakfast place owned by Shunji, Serika’s actual brother, to play darts when a phone call received by Serika triggers Aisaku and the gang to start a manhunt. The manhunt ends with no success and after a few more days of looking go by, the local mall gets cleared out with the knowledge of a “gas leak,” which Aisaku ignores and runs back into the local mall for something he dropped. He finds what he is looking for, along with a shadow being coming towards him, eventually knocking him unconscious. Aisaku wakes up in a hospital room, greeted by a doctor (who seems out of place) who explains the situation of what happened to him, noting that the shadow being that attacked him is a Schatten. Being attacked often turns the victim into a Schatten as well, which is why they had an orb implanted into Aisaku’s arm, to help lower the chance of this happening. A few days pass, and as Aisaku is leaving the hospital, we resume where we actually started, as a now falling Keziah yells for Aisaku to catch her, using his shadow as a way to fight the Schatten in question but leaving our newly unhospitalized hero in a state not intended. I will end the story synopsis here, as the story from here gets very adult and leads to many story spoilers that follow.
As with most stories, even the best works have their flaws and Trample on Schatten!! is no different although the flaws here tend to stem from the multiple PoV story angles. Because of the heavy focus on the PoV system, some scenes are often given two different PoVs, leaving one scene to have an unended scenario while the other PoV wraps it up cleanly. I found these scenes, while not a take away from the overall experience, a misstep. The only other issue I found was pacing, as the story tended to go fast, fast, fast, which left the story in some places where I was scratching my head at what actually just happened.
Before we move onto the Trample on Schatten!! presentation, I wanted to talk about the PoV system in depth and give it some much needed praise. The PoV system provided in Trample on Schatten!! is unique in how the story presents itself to you, giving you the option to view a scene or event from the eyes of another character. These could be the adult sex scenes, scattered about the story and highly worth the read, or as simple as a mini-event in the story that was taking place while another event was going on. There are scenes, however, that will require you to watch certain events to progress the main story or watch the side scene, as marked by the lock symbol on the sphere. These are few and far between, but the scenes you need to watch often fill in a large missing gap where the story left off. This was an amazing touch to a novel and I hope more novels aim for this in the future, as it expands on the story and lore of a novel in a more convenient and accessible way.
Let us not forget about those adult scenes, made just for adult eyes only. The sex scenes used in Trample on Schatten!! came in various places in the story where they felt noteworthy, and the scenes themselves are nothing to shake a stick at. The scenes, while they are not physical scenes, meaning they are pictures but use the game’s facial system and VA’s lines to make the scene come to life, are worth the read, as you can tell immense care went into play for these scenes. You could feel the emotion stand out, something that some of the other lines in the novel did miss on, with facial animations pretty near lifelike, making it feel more real. I will advise that there are a few scenes where tentacles are used, which may turn off some readers.
Bring on the fights!, as the presentation for Trample on Schatten!! brings its own take, anime style, with a few twists that make it different in its visuals as well as its soundtrack. Visually, I want to praise the development team for taking something that can be a tad generic, making it interactive to change the pace. The backgrounds are my only complaint with the visuals, if just because they feel generic in design, ranging from classroom and hospital room to local coffee shop and downtown shopping district, with no signs of real life to be had in them. The character models themselves, if we are going off of the characters on screen, are a tad on the bland side as well but are given new life with the facial system on the side of the text bar. This system leaves a general vanilla model on the forescreen and shows each character’s face as they talk their lines with fairly accurate facial animation to what would be the real-life counterpart. The last visual spectacle I want to talk about is the fight scenes because they brought the thunder with these. These scenes have moving character models, acting the scene out with the various attacks each person would use, like the bullet-filled kicks of Keziah as a great example of what these scenes are capable of.
Swing along, as the soundtrack of Trample on Schatten!!, while not the perfect recipe for a musical score, brings in the feels and the sound effects to bring scenes to life. Musically, I found the soundtrack for Trample on Schatten!! to be a situation of it working when it needs to but has a few missteps along the way. The classical-themed soundtrack with vibrant piano tunes, mixed with winds and some drums in a few sections, strives to bring each scene, from a simple heated talk to a full out brawling battle, to life, and it does for the most part, with a few scenes where the music is either too aggressive or too soft. The sound effects follow this in suit, having just a few missteps that do not work as well, like the oddly placed flute or piccolo effect behind the owl’s hoot in many scenes. The gem of this novel, though, is the voice acting. I don’t find many novels that give the main male protagonist his own voice, leaving the reader to fill that gap, and while I am not against that being done, this novel took a chance with that, firing on all cylinders, and it worked incredibly well. The other VA’s are on point as well, especially the sex scenes, but some lines do feel half-there at times.
Overall, I found Trample on Schatten!! – The Shadow Stomping Song – Revolution Plus to be a nice change of pace, bringing in fun and exciting action sequences, with deep and intimate sex scenes sprinkled in, with only a few flaws to really bring down the tone of the overall novel. The interesting and focus driven story, use of the multiple PoV system to fill in the story gaps, intimate and steamy but refreshing sex scenes, unique facial movement system for the characters, well animated and presented fight sequences, intense music to bring the scene to life with accurate sound effects, and some amazing voice acting make this novel a battle worth getting involved in.
- The interesting and focus driven story
- Multiple PoV systems to extend the storytelling
- The intimate and steamy adult sex scenes sprinkled in
- Use of the facial movement system in the novel’s UI
- The well animated and presented battle scenes
- Use of the classical soundtrack to bring scenes to life
- Amazing voice acting work
- PoV system can leave some open-ended story points
- The backgrounds, while colorful, become generic very quickly
- General fast pacing issues
DarkLunarDude gives Trample on Schatten!! – The Shadow Stomping Song – Revolution Plus a Drastik Measure of 8.6 out of 10.0 (86)
For the price of $34.99 (USD) on JAST USA, I can recommend Trample on Schatten!! to those seeking a good action, mystery novel who want a little more adult content to go with it, as it nails both of these very well as separates and as a whole. I will warn, however, that some of the adult sex scenes may not be for all people.