May 6, 2022
I'm not sure how to feel about this novel.
Cage in Lunatic Runagate is a collection of 8 side stories, each told from the perspective of a different character during the events of Silent Sinner in Blue. These chapters give you background on the thoughts and motivations of the various participants of the story.
My problem with this novel is that it retreads old ground. For example, during the chapter focussed on Youmu, the characters mostly discuss the tradition around moon viewing and the associated snacks, which was already covered in Silent Sinner in Blue. ZUN likes giving lessons in mythology in his works, but that time
he just repeated the same lesson a second time. Another chapter, this time with Yukari as the protagonist, spends most of it's pages discussing the influence the lunar capital has on gravity and the rotation of the moon.
My favourite chapter was the Mokou one, since it doesn't have much to do with the plot of Silent Sinner in Blue, but instead tells of the events that lead to her stealing the Hourai Elixir. It's a pretty emotional story and made me feel more than all the lore explanations in the rest of the novel taken together.
One thing I'd like to point out is that this novel has wonderful art. It's drawn by Tokiame, the artist for the Touhou fighting game Submerged Hell of Sunken Sorrow. It's drawn in a really unique ink style and well worth checking out, even if you otherwise aren't that interested in the novel's contents.
All in all, this work is okay. If you think about reading it, you are already deep into Touhou canon anyway, so you might enjoy at least some of the elaborations and background motives for Silent Sinner in Blue. The whole thing isn't very long either, so you don't lose much by reading it. If you are curious, go ahead and give it a shot, but don't expect a hidden masterpiece.
What did you think of this review?