Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Senran Kagura 2 Story Analysis: Chapter 2

Before it really begins, chapter 2 ties up some loose ends with its opening mission specifically titled “Hebijo’s Loose Ends.”  Asuka sneaks into the Hebijo training ground to find Homura.  Remember the Super Hidden Ninpo scroll?

That is hilarious in a meta sense because I don’t think anyone remembered.  This is the first time in the entire franchise the scrolls are mentioned after the big battle with Hebijo.  Players and perhaps even Kitajima got so invested in the characters, epic battles and curveballs that the plot device that made it happen became nearly irrelevant.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Senran Kagura 2 Story Analysis: Chapter 1

In my review of Senran Kagura 2 back in 2015, I praised its story, but I don’t think I detailed just how good it is.  Every Senran Kagura game has at least a decent story, but as much as I might nitpick, I would go as far as to say Senran Kagura 2 is Yukinori Kitajima’s magnum opus.  It is a How To guide on writing a good story and I refer to it a lot when it comes to character development, atmosphere, genuine cuteness, drama, consistent themes and character dichotomy, among other things.  The same can be said about the original game too, but Senran Kagura 2 has the addition of being a sequel and thus has an even more extensive list to refer to, like how to build on series establishments, how to please longtime fans without pandering and how to address previous shortcomings.  It takes everything that has made Senran Kagura so good and polished it into one of my favorite stories of all time and my 2015 game of the year.

Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way.  Some people brush off the story entirely or call it decent at best.  Some people play it before Senran Kagura Burst as if the big 2 on the box isn’t there.  Others simply say that it is written around a mundane part of the human anatomy.

I think the story deserves a closer look than that.  As a story buff, I have a lot to sing praises about.  I've played a lot of games with different stories and settings, but few have satisfied me quite as much as the Senran Kagura games.  Instead of simply summarizing what makes Senran Kagura 2’s story so good, I think it's best to analyze each individual story element of the game’s five chapters and why they all come together so well.