Shingakkou’s Trial: Count of Casualty

In post-war Britain, Michael Levi is the idol of his year with a loving family. A nasty little incident on Christmas of all times involving his entire family’s destruction leaves him an entirely different person than the one everyone admired. He has changed into a surly guy who has turned his back on God with one thing only on his mind – revenge.

I wanted to churn out a last minute speculation post before NMT came out, but wouldn’t you know it? The trial came out when I was going to post this. And then instead of putting this entry up, I thought I’d combine a speculation post along with my thoughts on the trial. Superb. I imagined that the school’s cult played a part in the destruction of the Levi family, although before paying the trial I wasn’t sure why. The trial confirmed those thoughts, but I suppose it wasn’t really something too out there to think of. Something obvious, even!

It could have been done to sacrifice the family to their God, or to stir feelings of wrath in Michael for some reason. If that’s the case, then why? Perhaps he’s not exactly human? A reincarnation of one of their Gods? If he is, then it might be a case of what happened in Silent Hill 3. From what I recall, Heather’s father was killed to accelerate her grief and disgust in order for her to give birth to something not quite from this world. The cult could have destroyed Michael’s family in order for his grief to consume him bringing about some sort of change. Or not. Since the cult was around during his father’s (Daniel) time at the school, Daniel himself could have been a part of the cult and perhaps did something shockingly irreversible to it, something which still infuriates its members twenty, thirty years later. The murder of him, his wife, and daughter may have been revenge for what he did.

As bumptious a person as Neil seemed to be from the outset, I had a feeling that there’d be a darker side to him. In the PV he’s shown wearing the same black robes that the cult members wear, and in another scene he has this deranged look on his face. He looks like the kind who’d get close to Michael in order to sell him out. Be kind to him (he is shown offering him a flower in a CG on the website), and then take everything away. After the trial, my opinion of him didn’t change that much. Playful sort of guy who’d mess around with Michael just to get a reaction (their cigarette scene was priceless), but serious and helpful when it comes down to it. He told Michael what he had to do to get into the society, and even warned him that expulsion could await him if he gets found out.

Cecil is said to resemble the angels that appear in religious paintings, so that may be foreshadowing if there’s a supernatural element to the game. An incredibly meek person and devout when it comes to God, how he was admitted to the school is a bit of a mystery. Before the trial I assumed that all  of that seemed to be pointing to him being something otherworldly, as he has a stunning singing voice too. He’s Michael’s dear osanajimi and besides Gabriel, is the only person that Michael seems to trust, and indeed care for. Hasn’t really piqued my interest, to be honest.

But out of the characters we’ve seen thus far, it’s the bumbling good-natured Gabriel that I’m the most interested in. And certainly, for a very good reason! There are countless pieces of evidence piling up which deny his very existence. Yeah. Now I’m not saying that he’s a personality that Michael created himself (one example of this is when that Gabriel says that he’ll cry, since Michael can’t), because there are signs that he did actually exist at one point. Cecil randomly mentions someone or something being like Gabriel, and Michael just sort of goes ‘mmm’, fobs him off, and gazes at what’s outside the window. How suspicious is that? The way he said it was like talking about someone who died, which I am certain is what happened to Gabriel. Sure, he attends school with Michael, but doesn’t seem to interact with anyone else (to be fair, he sleeps in a different dorm). Despite Cecil being Michael’s childhood friend, when the twins arrive back at school after their brief and tragic Christmas holiday, Cecil runs straight up to Michael, and shouts his name and his name only, never even looking at Gabriel. When Gabriel says something, Michael says ‘Gabby’, and all Cecil does is ask did he say something. Now when you’re with two other people, are walking in front of them, and you hear one of them behind you mumbling something you’d assume that they’re talking to the other person. But not Cecil. He asks did he say something. As in, to him. As in, there’s no one else he could be speaking to. Suspicious!

On a more questionable note, since he doesn’t actually ‘exist’ (or so I think!) I wonder if my previous thoughts about twincest are having cold water thrown on them. If he doesn’t exist, how would the h-scenes actually work? Wait, don’t tell me. I’m getting awkward flashbacks of first reading a certain h-scene in SubaHibi‘s It’s My Own Invention involving Mamiya and a table… Ahem. There’s a whole section for Gabriel in the CGs though (along with the other winnable characters), so who knows?

The trial itself isn’t that long, and can be read in one sitting if you’re engrossed enough. Which I was – and eager for more. Eager for how Michael would get more information about the society. Eager for revelations. Eager for characters interacting. Eager for new pieces of the lovely and befitting soundtrack. Eager for how seeing how far Michael would be willing to go to find answers. Despite finishing it a few days ago, it’s still fresh on my mind and I cannot wait to read more.


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