Without being at all passionate about Japanese culture, there is something that fascinates me their character and their current habits. The feature to which I am referring is that overwhelming obsession with work, with the exercise of a physical and mental wear and tear which they seem to have more value by itself as the compensation received after; the effort that the salary is more valuable because they perceive their work as a form of spiritual and personal cultivation. I don’t know enough Japanese literature as to know if the structure of his stories has been impregnated by this absolute dedication to work as most social value, but yes I have noticed it in a product so eminently Nippon as the visual detective novel. The most recent example I’ve found is The Silver Case, an adventure graphic format indebted visual novel in many sections, and saved with it an important narrative parallelism: becomes very, very difficult to understand the meaning of what is happening from the beginning of history until the end of the story is revealed to us a fact that gives meaning to the rest. It is as if the author of the screenplay decides to do work in our brains during all the adventure, trying to figure out what the hell is going on, even knowing that it is impossible that the parts fit until at the end you reward that effort continued with the final piece of the puzzle, that seals on logic of what happened on the screen.
Of course, the visual novels about crimes aren’t entertainment for everyone, especially in the context of Western culture. But The Silver Case has an extra accent in their ability to skip all hint of order and concert that makes that experience sometimes rubs surrealism, a fact that changes everything: is the work of Goichi Suda, that wonderful crazy.
And does any work, eye: The Silver Case was the first game developed from the Studio he founded the own Suda51, Grasshopper Manufacture, and one made from the inspiration and the freedom of a Japanese director who never has been considered part of the creative school in his country. And the truth is that not reason is missing: is, along with Hideo Kojima, one of the few who can boast to author games, extravaganzas littered with titles and various chifladuras that mark their identity and make easy to identify who is behind. The Silver Case, however, is a work of transition. In 1999 the Goichi friend was still to become that guy with halo of star of punk that now surrounds him. It is a game that illustrates the history of one of the most interesting directors of his generation, a kind of rarity that was in fact never stepped on Western soil even despite the success of Suda51 in coming years with Killer7 and No More Heroes. It is a game that everyone should at least take into account cultural hygiene.
Even the greatest virtue of The Silver Case, the way in which its interface based on windows and FMV videos exhibits a nearly excessive dynamic and continuous change in their systems and their ways of communicating, they end up be linked with arbitrary course and history to finish making a kind of paste ludo-narrative that one does not know or where to attack.
It is clear that with The Silver Case there is a risk of the syndrome of the Western analyst, that denies any peculiarity that is alien, that do not understand the Japanese idiosyncrasy and he decides to see anything wrong in what only is different. I hope not to fall I on this topic: the feeling is that Suda51 game knows perfectly how to catch us and fascinate us with their particular staging and willingness to peer into the depths of the human evil in a world so violent that the police needed to create a unit of heinous crimes. But also of the subversive and revolutionary spirit of Goichi Suda had not been yet modulated by the colorful beauty and the sense of humor that would balance their way of making games. Of until the hyperactive child discovered the plastidecor and Ren & Stimpy.