Fantasia: Realm of Thanos. Here’s a visual novel that owns some really odd online real estate. Most of the visual novel market, as least as far as I’ve seen, doesn’t pay much mind to it, but on certain segments, certain forums? People are absolutely fanatical for it. There’s something that draws people there. What is it, exactly? Is it that it really emphasizes its anime-style bad boys, and that’s just what all these people are into? Is it that the main character’s situation, being a stranger in a world completely foreign to them, strongly resonates with today’s disaffected youth? Does being pushed to enter the world of romance and finding all your options to be total jerks and losers feel so familiar to so many people? In our special, exploratory edition of Visual Novel Theatre, I pack my best shorts, make myself a sandwich, and head deep into the bushes of Fantasia to find out.
In Fantasia: Realm of Thanos, you’re behind the wheel of Hammercles Von Chunkmeier, or whatever weak name you decided to give your main character instead, a 15 year old girl whose parents died in a plane crash and who apparently has literally no one else involved in her life at all. So, you’re going through your hard knock life, doing whatever things it is that 15 year old girls do, when all of a sudden some random woman shows up, and tells you that there’s another world out there and it’s going to be destroyed unless you go out and get some loving from a guy whose life sucks as much as yours does. Of course, you agree to that right away, because this wouldn’t be much of a story without it. So off you’re whisked to the land of Fantasia, to go all big pimpin with four messed up mammajammas in the hopes that one of them will love you enough to produce a magic key that will save the land from the invading realm of Thanos somehow. I don’t even know. I think the author lost a little steam there. Anyways, that’s the gist of it. New world, gotta save it by getting some guy with a screwed up life to love you.
Fantasia ROT is a homegrown effort by AzureXTwilight, and it’s obvious the author put a lot of thought into it. Well, into certain parts of it at least. There’s fifteen endings, plenty of branching paths, and a lot of character intertwining. I do want to lead with this. Whatever I may say about the rest of the visual novel, that’s something that always stands. It feels like I’ve been given a little peek into an imaginary world that the author’s been spending a lot of time in, and that’s a really special thing. It reminds me a lot of all my own imaginary worlds, stories, and people that just never made it out of my head. That’s something that’s just so great out of all these amateur and indie releases we’re seeing now in the information age, that is lets people share these experiences that would normally be locked away, so valuable to one person yet invisible to all else, and that is truly on great display here.
That said, I didn’t like it.