Visual Novel Review: Saya no Uta


Fuminori Sakisaka has a traffic accident which kills his parents and leaves him heavily injured. When he has a brain surgery to save his life, his perception of the world changes: everything he sees becomes blood and guts, people's looks and voices seem like monsters, and food that normally appeals to him tastes disgusting.

As he contemplates suicide in the hospital, Fuminori meets a beautiful girl among the flesh-covered walls. She introduces herself as Saya, and is apparently looking for her father. Fuminori does not want to be separated from Saya, and asks her to live with him. She agrees.

otometwist saya no uta review visual novel


Name: Saya no Uta
Developer: Nitroplus
Date: Dec. 26, 2003 (JP), May 6, 2013 (NA)
Genre: Horror

This is one long overdue review. I don't even remember when I first drafted this review, as it has been a long, long time since I first played Saya no Uta. I think I was still in high school back then, and that's pretty much a long time ago!

otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

This is one of my favorite Japanese visual novels. It's not very long; if I remember correctly you can finish it in around 3-5 hours maybe? But it's definitely up there in my list of Japanese visual novels that you must try if you're a fan of VNs.


The story begins with the protagonist, Fuminori Sakisaka, waking up after a car accident that killed both his parents and left him with a brain disorder. The brain disorder makes him see the world differently, far from what things actually are in reality. He sees blood and gore on the walls when they are otherwise spotless. Instead of people, he sees horribly disfigured monsters, making him pull away from his own friends when they try to talk to him. The whole world has become a terrifying place for Fuminori, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

Just as he was about to commit suicide, however, he sees a young girl, literally the only beautiful thing in his now hideous world. She becomes like a beacon of hope for him, and soon enough, he falls in love with her and lets her move into his home. This is where all the horror starts.

And I’m not kidding when I say ‘horror’. I’m a huge fan of horror, be it movies or stories, so this is not new to me. However, visual novels are definitely the scariest medium for horror to be delivered in, at least in my opinion. See, in books, there’s no art or music to aid your imagination. In movies, you can cover your eyes if things get too scary and still know what’s going on. But visual novels? Oh no. You have to sit through the whole thing and actually read it, at your own pace. There was a lot of murder, rape, torture, and all kinds of horrible things in this visual novel, and they’re all very graphic. And I had to read through all of that.

otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

Nevertheless, I did like the story very much. I’m not sure if I can use the word ‘enjoy’ or even ‘like’ properly considering the story, but let’s just say that I don’t think this was a waste of time. The story was quite gripping and the writer/s did a good job of keeping Saya mysterious enough for me to grit my teeth through all the horrid things just so I could know the actual story behind her.

Most of the visual novel was written in Fuminori’s perspective, and it was obvious to see just how messed up his character was. In a way, Fuminori is the real monster here. But you know, I can’t blame him. In his world filled with nothing but horror, the only beautiful thing he could see, literally, was Saya. Now, I can’t say I would do the same if I were him, but I do understand how he would do whatever he could, even if that meant he had to kill, in order to keep her in his world.

There are some choices in the game, but they’re very few and far in between. What I like the most is that they actually affect the story in big ways, so you have to think clearly before making your choice.


otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

The art wasn’t as good as other visual novels I’ve read, but it was okay. I think what really stands out here are the blood and gore-filled backgrounds that show us Fuminori’s messed up view of the world. The CGs too were pretty horrible content-wise, but like the backgrounds, they did a good job of showing us all the horrors of the world in Saya no Uta. 


otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

Saya no Uta is a pretty old game, so the GUI is understandably not as sleek-looking as the more modern games. Nevertheless, it was alright.


The music was quite good! I think most Japanese visual novels have good soundtracks, to be honest. I like the theme song, Song of Saya. One other thing that I liked is the sound effects. The gurgling sound that the 'monsters' around Fuminori make when they're talking make me want to gag.

Speaking of talking monsters, there's actually voice acting present in this game, and they're very well done. I don't normally listen to the voice acts when I play visual novels, but nevertheless, they're a good addition to any game... if they're good. And the voice acting present in Saya no Uta was definitely good.


To tell you the truth, it’s been a while since I played Saya no Uta, but I still think about it from time to time. Who was the real monster in the story? Until now, I still can’t give a proper answer to that, because I simply can’t figure it out. Was Saya the monster? She was the literal monster, but does that make her the monster in this Fuminori's story too?

otometwist saya no uta review visual novel

The words of Richard Eisenbeis, a reviewer at Kotaku, resonates with my own thoughts, “perhaps the most fascinating thing about The Song of Saya is that somehow, in the middle of all the horrors it presents, it manages to make the abominable, beautiful.”

Nine out of ten strawberries for this Lovecraftian horror visual novel.

You can buy this visual novel for $24.99 at JAST USA.

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