YMMV: Saya no Uta

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Fuminori lives, and has been living, in the hell of his perceptions, for some time, and although he hates everything because it disgusts him, he goes a long while before even seriously considering doing anything wrong. And if Saya cures his madness, he suffers no ill effects. This raises some questions about Yosuke. He loses his mind after literal seconds and turns immediately to violence against the monsters (his wife and daughter) and quite violently and sadistically rapes the only other human he thinks is in the the world, who appears to him as a prepubescent girl. Considering he was a sensitive homebody who liked his peace and quiet, was he really just a calm everyman, or did Saya trip over a psychosis that had been bubbling under the surface and got more than they bargained for?
  • Crosses the Line Twice: There's a hilarious aside where Fuminori mentions Saya's favourite food; spare ribs.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Ryoko gets one of these when she shoots and shatters the frozen Saya while an axe is sticking out of her shoulder, wearing a pretty damn impressive slasher smile on her face as she does so.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Shoes of Glass". Incidentally, that was from the same composer who did School Days...which tells you something right there.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Or Americans love Saya no Uta rather; Nitroplus CEO Takaki Kosaka seemed genuinely surprised at Anime Expo 2014 that this game had American fans. He also went on to say that the title didn't sell well when it was new, but since then, it has become one of the company's most consistently best-selling titles over a 10 year period.
  • Hell Is That Noise
    • "Scare Shadow", plus pretty much any music or other sound heard through Fuminori's perspective.
    • The warped voices of other people in Fuminori's perspective, and Saya's and (post-mutation) Yoh's warped voices in others' perspectives.
  • It Was His Sled: One of the first things anyone hears about is that Saya is actually a monster.
  • Les Yay
    • Yoh and Omi have quite a bit of subtext, if you squint. There's Omi's anger at Fuminori for being a jerk to Yoh, Yoh's and Omi's texting habits where the two share personal secrets, Yoh desperately wishing for Omi to be there whilst at Fuminori's house...
    • Yoh and Saya, though it's got hefty amounts of disturbing material: Saya essentially kidnaps Yoh, gropes her, tells her that "she's pretty" and her breasts are "so big and soft", before raping her while saying "[we'll] love you to death". While Saya does do this to give Fuminori "family", the text makes it clear she's also doing it because she's jealous of Yoh, even though she has no real reason to be, as Fuminori makes it clear he wants nothing to do with Yoh and everything to do with Saya. A slightly later scene also has Saya joyfully engaging in raping Yoh along with Fuminori, which may or may not count.
  • Memetic Mutation: Mentioning this game on some image boards will result in spam of "Turns out your octopus girlfriend is a big nag with curlers in her tentacles, huh?"
  • Moral Event Horizon
    • Happens when Fuminori decides he's fine with eating human flesh.
      • Accentuated by the fact that, right before, Saya gives him the opportunity to cure his mental illness. He'll end up in a mental institution for all the murders, but least he won't be in a constant living hell anymore. Refusing that marks the point when Fuminori officially discards his humanity.
      • Some would put it a little later, when Fuminori brutally rapes Yoh. It's not his first heinous act, but some of his actions before that were mostly in response to the really bad hand life had dealt him. Raping Yoh, though, that's pure sadism. Especially since Saya altered her so he that sees her as a normal person, so he definitely has no excuse.
      • One of Fuminori's earlier actions — attempting to murder Koji, one of his best friends, just to get him out of the way — could also count.
    • Saya essentially kidnapping and then raping Yoh, before turning her into the same being Saya is, an action that causes the victim severe, unending pain. Saya does this not only for Fuminori but baseless jealousy. The fact that this comes so soon after Saya herself is raped makes it plain stomach-churning.
      • An earlier scene of her altering Yosuke's brain as an experiment may also count.
    • Yosuke's sadistic rape of Saya. It makes his brutal death at Fuminori's hands pretty well-deserved.
  • Narm
    • As mentioned in the Funny Moments section, Koji's nightmare in one of the endings can be a little too silly to take seriously.
    • The sex scenes, thanks to the cheesy voice-acting, cliched and almost melodramatic description, as well as the weird expressions and anatomy.
  • Unfortunate Implications: This liveblog points out a few, mainly regarding the game's depiction of mentally ill people, and how the gruesome actions of the two main protagonists are handled.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The game would really be a lot more touching if the two main characters weren't monstrous, monstrous people who are all too willing to throw away everyone else in the world for the sake of their "love", going from torture to cannibalism to attempted murder to horrific rape, even to people they once considered friends. There's only so much callousness one can write off with "horrific brain disorder", after all.
  • Vindicated by History: As stated above, Nitroplus CEO Takaki Kosaka was surprised about both the game's American fans and the fact that despite initial bad sales, it went up to become one of the best-selling Visual Novels in the company's history.
  • The Woobie
    • Yoh probably takes the cake: the poor girl undergoes heartbreak by her now-jerkass crush, loss of a very close friend that she becomes convinced is her fault, brutal rape, hideous torture and body horror, unending pain thanks to her new body, becoming a sex slave to two borderline sociopaths, before being brutally beaten to death by another close friend.
    • Yosuke. Has a loving wife and a daughter, and paints in his spare time. He's practically the ideal family man. All seems right and blissful with his life... until Saya comes in.
    • Koji. He just wants to help his friend become normal again and he pretty much saved the world in one of the endings. His thanks? His friends are dead and he can't sleep knowing there's more of Saya out there somewhere.