|In the dim and distant past, Tanabe Eiji was a promising young writer, well-known for his poem Fireworks, which detailed the beginnings of his youthful and idealistic romance with his wife, Sachiko.|
Twenty years later, however, Eiji's life has lost much of its shine. His poems, save for Fireworks, have fallen into obscurity, while his first (and last) novel was critically panned for being too depressing. Worse still, his relationship with his wife has started to stagnate.
In a desperate attempt to rekindle his lost creativity, Eiji embarks on a journey to the snowy mountains of Hakuba.
During his six day stay at the Azami Inn, an old and lonely building in the middle of nowhere, Eiji meets the inn's proprietress, the stern and indomitable Miss Kakiuchi, and her unwordly daughter, Reiko.
Eiji isn't sure why, exactly, but something about Reiko catches his attention. Though he tries to resist, he finds himself drawn to her charms all the same.
Could Reiko be his muse, who will inspire him to pen another masterpiece? Or will his obsession with her ruin the both of them?
|Stop me if you've heard this one before. A middle-aged male writer is tired of his mundane life and mundane wife. He meets a young woman who instantly sets off a spark in him taking him away, even if for a moment, from the banality of the life of a middle-aged author...|
This type of plot is easy to mess up, in part because it's been done so often, and a lot of times it's just a thinly-veiled fantasy on behalf of the author (who desperately wants to be away from his wife and wants a younger woman to dote on him). That isn't the case in Six Days of Snow, and it's a more interesting read as a result.
The protagonist, Tanabe Eiji, is (intentionally) incredibly pretentious. He makes it very clear that there's no reason for him to not want to be around his wife; she is, by most accounts, the perfect spouse. There's nothing wrong with Eiji's life, but he's still dissatisfied. He's selfish.
That's where Reiko comes in. Reiko is the teenaged daughter of the owner of the secluded inn where Eiji is staying. In a less interesting story, they would fall in love with each other, immediately have a steamy affair, and then find a way for Eiji to divorce his wife and spend the rest of his life with Reiko.
Spoiler alert: That doesn't happen here. Eiji and Reiko's "relationship" is doomed from the start.
While Eiji is the protagonist of the story, Six Days of Snow is much more about Reiko than it is about him--which is all well and good, because she's a more interesting character than he is anyway. She's like a caged bird desperate for more than the life that her mother has given her; she desperately wants someone who can take her away from that, and Eiji seems to be that person. But both of them know that can't happen.
The art is beautiful but a bit uncanny--the characters look a bit like dolls rather than people. That may have been unintentional, but it adds to the uneasy feeling that permeates the story. The music is excellent and complements the VN perfectly.
All in all, Six Days of Snow is a thought-provoking read and worth a look even if you're sick of stories about middle-aged writers becoming obsessed with younger women.
|lunaterra - 22 September 2018|
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