Digital Devil Story: Warrior of the Demon City, by Nishitani Aya

Fan translation by MeNaSe publications

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) The consequences of summoning demons into the human world have not ended with the defeat of Loki. The Demon Summoning Program has created a link between the demon world and the human world, allowing greedy humans to bring forth the great evil god of ancient Egypt. Akemi Nakajima now has a greater enemy to face, as he tries to protect the woman he loves and the world he lives in, both now at risk because of him.

Thoughts: Second verse, same as the first. Well, to be fair, the second novel in the Digital Devil Story trilogy does more than the first one did, directly continuing the tale where the first book left off, and expanding the mythology and consequences of demon summoning in 1980s Japan. Nakajima returns, undergoes a redemption (reuniting with his mother and working to save the world), and gets the girl.

The girl who, I might add, spends most of the book being used as a sort of battery for Set to manifest physically in this reality so that he can start his takeover. Set, who was introduced at the very end of the previous novel, uses the body of Ohara’s unborn child as a jumping-off point in his plan to manifest. I suppose it’s something of a small mercy that Ohara had been killed by this point, given the rather gruesome way the fetus burst from her body…

Nishitani uses an interesting mix of mythology in this series, drawing from the works of Lovecraft and various real-world myths and histories, as well as throwing his own original interpretations into the mix. The overall feeling is of something quite creative, even if the characters themselves are a little shallow. The length of the novels prohibits a greater amount of development, sadly, and most of the story feels like you’re reading a synopsis rather than a book.

Much like with the first novel, I can’t help but compare this to the series of games that these books inspired. It’s amazing to see the seeds of what would eventually become major parts of the games (the book’s “biological Magnetite” is what started the concept of Mag being needed to summon demons in various SMT games). Fascinating to see, though many of the things that interested me wouldn’t really hold any appeal to those who aren’t fans of the game series.

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