Shuuen no Shiori isn’t just a horror-ish tale about four people who got themselves in a dangerous game. No. Actually, the Book and Bookmark is a mere background or maybe even, a side plot. The real story revolves around four characters with their own personal issues that are unmasked and twisted by the game. The true Demise Game is a battle between themselves, a horror-ish tale about four people who lost it upon encounter with their fears and insecurities.
First is A-ya, a boy who proclaims himself as a pessimist. Finding the world boring, he indulges himself to the occult, something that goes against the world’s routine. Before, he was like any other kid who dreams becoming a hero or a genius, but this changed as he grew up and realized a lot of terrible things in reality, thus, gaining the title ‘pessimist’, someone who sees only the negative in every situation. Because of this, he fails to see the beauty of a mundane life and the value of people who truly cares for him. He’s similar to everyone out there who tries to find meaning in life’s normalcy.
Next is B-ko, a girl who grew up with two personalities: one is her outer mask that does nothing but to impress people, and the second is her true face that is actually an impulsive, hot-headed person who only cares about how she’ll impress people the next day. Because of this, her world revolved around nothing but herself that she is unable to see the value of the people around her, like A-ya. For me, ger story is the most relatable as each one of us wears their own mask and tries to keep up with everyone’s expectations.
We have C-ta next, whose life is almost the same as B-ko’s, except that he found a person who he could focus his attention to besides himself. That is, A-ya. But, his simple caring evolved to an obsession that he is unable to spend time for himself or find his true identity to the point that his world revolved only A-ya’s universe, which isn’t really his thus, a loss of identity.
Finally is D-ne, who’s a mixture of the three; a pessimist who is unable to see her own beauty and traits, an impostor who hides her fickle nature with a smile, and a person whose life revolves around another person. As someone who desires perfection, not only she couldn’t see the her own beauty, but other’s as well. She’s the kind of person who looks in others’ appearances and compare herself to it despite being a totally different person. Because of this, she is unable to view herself as what she truly is, ending up someone who merely dreams from afar.
The main conflict of ShuuenPro is silence. That is why the Demise Game is such a lonely game as said in Common Heroes. When each received a letter or the book or both, they didn’t told the other when all four of them are involved in the game. A-ya preferred to follow the ritual (representing his decision to choose his obsession over his friends), B-ko chose to hide (hiding her true fears from the others), C-ta chose to act on his own and kill the culprit (for his fear of losing the A-ya he thought he knew too much), and D-ne ended up selfishly using all the wishes for herself (to reach her own dreams). In truth, all of them are culprits. Most of them had been selfish, which D-ne’s arc had blatantly executed: A-ya’s hidden excitement towards the despicable game and C-ta’s possessiveness. In truth, their demised ends resulted from their own errors that they have been denying ever since.
Finding life’s meaning, keeping expectations, searching one’s identity, lack of self-confidence and more; these are one’s struggle as they face every day. Each character represents something that we may all be familiar with, which is why Shuuen no Shiori caught my attention upon realizing how close their stories were to my anyone’s. Though not as extreme as they ended up, I think Shuuen no Shiori accurately translates an adolescent’s twisted views in life that are either influenced by their environment, their personality, their beliefs, and more.
But then, Shuuen no Shiori offers a moral, that is, to treasure every day and enjoy even the simplest things in life. Actually, A-ya summarized this in one simple gesture and B-ko realized this while crying out one name. Too bad they were too late.
And that, for me, is Shuuen no Shiori.