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Animamundi: Dark Alchemist

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Animamundi: Dark Alchemist (アニマ・ムンディ 終わりなき闇の舞踏 Anima Mundi: Owarinaki Yami no Butou) is a Japanese gothic horror visual novel developed by Karin Entertainment and distributed by Hirameki International in the United States.

Story

Many years have passed since Count Georik Zaberisk, once famed as the brilliant Royal Physician of the King of Hardland, relinquished his title and moved to the country to care for his frail sister, Lillith. His life since that time has been that of a normal aristocrat, with little out of the ordinary befalling him. So when one day the King offers Georik a new position as doctor in the capital, he jumps at the chance. However, while he is away from his manor, things take a horrifying turn for his sister when the villagers suspect her of witchcraft and as a result behead her and burn her body. Devastated by the death of his sister, Georik is grief-stricken until he realizes with shock that Lillith's severed head is still alive. Knowing that she cannot live like this forever, Georik tries to restore Lillith's body by transplanting the head from one body to the next, but despite his medical genius, he cannot make her whole again. In the depths of desperation, he stumbles across the secrets of alchemy, secrets long ago forbidden. Seeing no other way to save his sister, Georik has no choice but to start his journey down this dark and dangerous path...

Characters

Count Georik Zaberisk (ゲオリク・ザベリスク伯爵 Georiku Zaberisuku hakushaku?)

Seiyuu: Ryotaro Okiayu

The main character of the game. He makes a contract with the devil Mephistopheles in order to save his sister. A former royal physician and an aristocrat who must resort to using the knowledge in alchemy to restore his sister's body. He later works under Bruno.

Lillith Zaberisk (リリス・ザベリスク Ririsu Zaberisuku?)

Seiyuu: Yui Horie

The sister of the protagonist. Before she was beheaded, she had an affinity for animals and collected gothic lolita dresses. She practiced devil summoning spells at home, which caused the town people to hunt her as a witch. Although she was beheaded, her head was still alive, for Georik once had contracted with Mephisto, who resurrected her when she was almost dead not too long ago. Georik has chosen to hide her head in the basement, where she longs to interact with him again.

Count St. Germant (Germant Cassel) (サンジェルマン伯爵(ジェルマン・カッセル) San Jeruman hakushaku (Jeruman Kasseru)?)

Seiyuu: Akira Ishida

Hardland's greatest inventor and the Secretary of Science and Technology, he is devastated upon news of Lillith's demise, as he was her fiancé before her death. He is a close friend of Georik.

Viscount Mikhail Ramphet (ミハエル・ランフト子爵 Mihaeru Ranfuto shishaku?)

Seiyuu: Hikaru Midorikawa

Another good friend of Georik; loyal and religious. He is the Captain of the Royal Guard.

Bruno Glening (ブルーノ・グレーニング Burūno Gurēningu?)

Seiyuu: Takehito Koyasu

A lunatic alchemist who worships devils and yearns to contract with Mephistopheles, who has no interest in his spirit. He is a foreigner, but nonetheless, with his great knowledge in alchemy, he became the royal physician after Georik quit the job.

Mephistopheles (メフィストフェレス Mefisutoferesu?)

Seiyuu: Hiroki Yasumoto

Devil who was attracted by Georik's noble spirit. He contracts with Georik and so treats Georik as his master.

Jan Van Ruthberg (ヤン・ファン・リュースベルグ Yan Fan Ryūsuberugu?)

Seiyuu: Megumi Ogata

A mysterious fortuneteller and medium, he runs the equally mysterious Golden Goose shop which, for a select few, deals in the tools and equipment of magic and alchemy. He is also skilled in the art of exorcism.

Francis Dashwood (フランシス・ダッシュウッド Furanshisu Dasshu'uddo?)

Seiyuu: Junichi Suwabe

A broker who trades organs or stolen goods and sells fresh dead bodies in black market. He is also the member of the 'secret society' The Hell-Fire Club (worships devil in some sense).

Reception

As has been the case with most visual novels released in America, Animamundi did not attract much attention in the mainstream gaming press, thanks in part to its fairly limited distribution. Several female-focused gaming websites reviewed the novel and were generally supportive, but not everyone was pleased with the fact that some of the artwork from the game had been edited or replaced; primarily the gore and soft yaoi. To atone, Hirameki released some copies of the Japanese official game book, but did not re-release an unrated unedited version of the game. Another well-received factor for the game is that it had only one known bug; a text error that could be activated by clicking a particular series of events in a specific order.

In its review, GrrlGamer.com noted the "beautiful artwork, great musical score composed of symphony and chorus, [and] superb voice acting," as well as the elaborate storyline and dialogue. The review also had kind words for the English language adaptation, noting that "aside from a couple of minor typos here and there... Hirameki has truly done an outstanding professional job in this title."[1] GamerGirlsUnite.com gave the novel a 75% rating, praised the voice acting with particular notice given to Yui Horie's performance as Lillith, and concluded that "... if you want to explore a new gaming genre, you're fond of reading stories and not afraid of getting into a gothic horror adventure, this is the game you need to experience. You won't regret it![2]

References

  1. Didi Cardoso. G R R L G A M E R - Reviews - Anima Mundi: Dark Alchemist. grrlgamer.com. Retrieved on 2007-03-03.
  2. Gamer Girls Unite / Review / Animamundi Dark Alchemist. GamerGirlsUnite.com (April 9, 2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-03.

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