Devil Survivor #12: “MC: Waste exactly 3 hours on this tomfoolery.”

(Democracy has worked its magic, and so we’re visiting Ikebukuro first.  As we’ll see later, this decision is actually totally irrelevant.  Just like real life!)

: This is going bad places and nothing good will come of it.

: Aww… how am I supposed to get back home nowww!?

: What’s up with her?  Is she cosplaying or something…?

: Any situation that gives you a reason to use the word ‘cosplay’ is something I want to stay the hell out of.

: Hey… you were staring at me just now, weren’t you?

: Too late, man.  When a chick dressed like an anime says you’ve been staring at her, nothing will stop you from sounding creepy.

: I’m sure I’ll think of someth-

: I hate myself.

: You know, I think I would feel less slimy if you just got upset.

: Though to be honest, I’m really wearing it because there was an event yesterday.

: You should really bring a change of clothes when you’re going places in that ridiculous get-up.

: Please stop.

: I didn’t think I’d get stuck here like this!

: Besides, I didn’t REALLY go all out!  It just looks like extra-cool everyday clothes!

: No.  No it doesn’t.

: ANYways, do you guys know how to get home from here?  I walked all the way from Shinjuku…

: Sorry, but how could we?  Random strangers don’t know where you live.  And it’s best not to tell them.

: I know you think that shouldn’t make this seem sleazier, but it does.

: You guys haven’t found a way out yet, have you?

: This again?

: Huhhhh?  What’s that supposed to mean?

: I swear it’s like you people are living on a different plane of reality or something.

: Ohhh well.  If you happen to find a way out, let me know!

Midori runs off…

: I feel as though a million showers will never make me clean.

: Man, that was certainly… something.  Only in Japan, eh?

: What, you didn’t realize?  I thought you of all people would figure it out, Atsuro.

: Oh?  What’s that s’posed to mean?

: Wasn’t she that famous camgirl?  I think her name’s Dolly or something…

: And just when you think things can’t get any creepier…

: I heard she’s popular even among girls, ’cause she’s not all stuck up.

: Oh, right, sure, you “heard” it-

: Wait what am I doing?

: Famous camgirl, huh?  Maybe I should have gotten an autograph to sell to some desperate nerd.  Easy ten bucks.

: Ugh, I knew mentioning it around Otakuro would be a bad idea…

: Uh, what…?

: Are you sure?  If you put your trust in Shomonkai, everything will be taken care of…

: Did Haru always sound like a man?

: Learn when to quit already.  I’m telling you, I’ll be fine.  Are those ears for show…?

: …I see.  Well, I’ll leave you be for today.  But should you run into trouble, don’t hesitate to rely on us.

: I never thought I’d meet anybody as shifty as Naoya, but here we are.

: My name is Azuma.  It’s been a pleasure meeting you.

After telling Haru his name, the man leaves…

: Who the hell’d rely on you…?

: A particularly gullible goldfish.  Maybe.

: Hmm?  You’re the kids who came to my street show this morning…

: Whoa!  Do you remember every fan who comes to see you?

: Or just the ones with earphones?

: I’m not trying to be rude, it’s just… well, I’m not even sure these things come off.

: Nah, it’s just a coincidence.  Though I’ve seen you in the crowd pretty often, huh…?  You’re usually the only one cheering, but you brought a couple of friends with you today.

: We’re right here, you know.

: Though one of them didn’t seem to into my songs…  Hahaha!

: Come on, Trielo!  A chance to see a free Haru show doesn’t come every day!

: It’s okay.  Everyone has their own tastes, right…?

: …To these ridiculous headphones.

: Trust me, it’s cool.  I don’t mind at all.

: Oh…  By the way, Haru, wasn’t that man just now someone from the Shomonkai?

: What, him?  Whatever…  He came by and said, “we’ll help you if you’re ever in trouble.”

: That’s creepy as hell.  I kind of feel better about myself now.

: If he wants to help, he’ll do something about this blackout.  I can’t write like this…

: You mean in broad daylight?

: Ahaha…  I’m looking forward to hearing what you come up with!

After the introductions, you part with Haru…

(This is the last event that isn’t “look at Yamanote line.”)

: Woah.  It’s like I’m in that painting where everything’s made of dots.

: But it looks like Shiba Park is one of the bigger refugee shelters around…  There sure are a lot of people here.

: It’s placed well for it.  Shiba Park was built to completely surround Zojoji.

: There’s no way that’s a real thing.

: Huh.  I guess it doesn’t hurt that it’s accessible from Tokyo Tower…

: Look at all these people…  There’s nothing any one person can do, so they just hope for the lockdown to lift.  Guess we’re not the only ones having a hard time of things…

: So bad things are bad?  Glad we’re on the same page.

Shomonkai cultists are making a speech before the masses gathered in Shiba Park…

: Man once attempted to create a gargantuan tower in order to become closer to God…  Their arrogance was punished with an ordeal by which their language was divided.

: Short, sweet, and to the point.  We should get this guy to rewrite the whole Bible.

: But through knowledge and technology, man has overcome these linguistic barriers.

: Bilingualism: could it be hurting your 401k?

: The Internet we have today is the embodiment of this triumph!  But now…  Man has again become arrogant, and God has sent us another ordeal!

: God gives the worst birthday presents.

: To withstand this ordeal, we must join hands with one another and stand united!  I implore you all… stand with the Shomonkai and withstand God’s ordeal!

: Whatever.

: You know, this guy’s nuts, but what if he’s on to something?  Another ordeal’s coming down the pike… it wasn’t the demons at Aoyama, was it…?

: God’s ordeals are usually a little more doomsday-flavored than a couple of demons in a graveyard.

: You’re probably right…

: Hm?  Look… that girl…

: You’re creepin’ me out.

: I’m not sure, but I think wearing a miniskirt is kind of missing the point.

She seems to be going around and speaking to some of the refugees…

: Let us stay calm and wait.  Give generously of your effort and assistance…

: That’s the girl from last night!  She seemed weird then, but she’s kinda cute, huh?

: I mean, look at her hat… thing.  She’s like Daisy-Head Mayzie’s older sister or something.

:

: Please don’t do that.

One of the Shomonkai members notices you and approaches…

: As you know, advances in technology have created new forms of mass communication.  As these forms take hold, it is vital that we not lose sight of human contact.  We of the Shomonkai aim to reaffirm the miracle of human contact in the modern day.

: I see.  That is a shame…  Please reconsider, if you would.  Our Shomonkai is…

: I wish we didn’t have text boxes so these headphones could drown you out.

As the Shomonkai member begins her spiel, a familiar woman interrupts the conversation…

: Oh!  Lady Amane…!

: Wow, she must have really botched the evangelizing.

: It’s like she’s such a bad salesperson that the supervisor has to take over and salvage the call.

: I am Amane Kuzuryu, a maiden of the Shomonkai.

: I didn’t know maidens were allowed to show leg.

: Yes, well…  As a maiden, I am she through whom divine voices both good and evil speak.  Man has, as of old, distinguished between supportive gods and rapacious demons…

: Rapacious?  That’s a good word.

: However, the distinction is academic.  At root, gods and demons are both otherworldly.

: So your platform is “bilingualism and outsiders will make God angry at us?”

: It’s not Japan without xenophobia.

: You can hear their voices…  Behold their presence…  Can’t you?

: You wield a COMP, yet you do not sense their existences…?

: Well, everyone else is ignoring the obvious.  I just kinda figured it was time to go with the flow.

: I have a question for you three.  Where did you acquire those COMPs?

: I ain’t no snitch, but I kinda want to see the cultists and Naoya fight to the death.

: Naoya?  He gave these to you?  I see…  I thought that might have been the case.  It was we in the Shomonkai who requested that he create the program…

: …Wait, why’re-

: In any event, I believe we will see one another again.  If you’ll excuse me, Bill Eever…  Farewell for now.

: You hear that, Trielo?

: And more importantly, what’s with the plot bomb out of goddamn nowhere?

: I wondered that myself.

: And why’d she leave right after?  I mean, when you tell someone that you asked their acquaintance to write a program that summons demons, you’ve gotta figure they want a little more explanation, right?

: Yeah.  Like, why’d they want to summon demons in the first place?

: It’s just politics.  Create a fake demon invasion to scare the populace, then take over and start persecutin’.

: I, uh… don’t think they’re Hitler…

: Are you sure?

(I told you about trains, man.)

: Oh, look, another dead end!  Color me shocked.

: It’s so hot!  My feet are killing me!

: Yeah, it’s amazing how much bigger this place gets when the trains are down.

: I want air conditioning!  When’s the electricity gonna come back ooooooon!?

: And I’m hungry!  Atsuro, go buy me something!  I can’t walk another step!

: Did you seriously just say “Atsuro, go buy me something?”

: I’ll be glad to get you something if it stops your bitching.  What do you want?

: I don’t care.  We passed a convenience store earlier.  Just get me something!

: Fine, then.  I’ll be right back.

: Hurry up.  I wanna get this wild goose chase over with so we can all move on with our lives.

: Whaaaa!?  So, you…

: Calm down.  I managed to snag some bread they had left.

: Wow!  Thanks, Atsuro!

: It’s pretty scary if you think about it, though.  We can only get food and water because other places send it into the city, and we’re already running out after just one day…

: I thought video game characters didn’t have to eat.

: How many more useless dead ends do we have to check?

: I’m thirsty.  Let’s go get something to drink…

: We probably should.  I’m really starting to regret wearing long sleeves.

: Let’s see if we can find a park or something.  I’m getting tired of all this walking…

: Even if there’s a blackout, why can’t the buses and taxis be running…?

: The roads are covered with smashed-up cars and rubble, remember?

: Too bad we can’t actually see the roads.  Why show debris when you can just remind us it’s there in a conversation?

: Ugh!  Stupid lockdown!

: Hey, this is your meaningless escapade.

: There.  We’ve finally crossed the whole goddamn city.

: We really are trapped in the Yamanote loop…

: What’s this?  Yuzu finally touches base with reality?  Whaddya know, the crazy cultists were right, there is a God!

: What are we supposed to do?

: Naturally.  Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, you gotta wait through it.

: We can’t just stand around, though!  We have to keep looking!

: God’s a dick.

: It’ll be tough if it’s just us, but I’m sure we can share info with others to help…

: God I’m tired.

(Six events and six slots of time, followed by an unavoidable battle.  By now, you’re probably wondering where all the meaningful decisions are.  So am I.)

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