In the ever-dynamic virtual reality and world of MMORPGs, Aneko Yusagi, made famous by “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” presents a novel that vitiates time frames and redefines an identity. Entering shelves in the third quarter of this year is “Dimension Wave,” which segregates itself from the rest of the VRMMO books by promising an experience less martial than most in this genre.
The novel is set in a VRMMO game where one day in reality carries over for several years in the virtual world. A young boy who receives an invitation to this game from his siblings walks into this digital universe and suddenly undergoes a transformation that no one can ever imagine. Due to the playfulness of his sister, he has been transformed into a cute girl called “Kizuna † Exceed.” From this position, one can trace an interesting story about self-discovery and having adventure.
“Dimension Wave” more narrates than describes combative adventures which are intrinsic to most VRMMO stories. Kizuna, accepting this new phase of his life, spends the rest of his days with a sense of peace and introspection that he finds when he fishes. The shift from traditional plot directions to one that is more sedate provides the base for an exploration of themes such as identity, escapism, and indeed the very nature of life itself within a virtual reality.
Yusagi does well to enrich the storyline through a set of diverse cast. The older sister of Kizuna – Kanade and Tsumugi and new-found friends like Shouko, a girl oozing with the charm of traditional Japan, and Yamikage, who claims himself to be a ninja – make up for odd ensemble. In doing so, depth and humor are provided by their interactions and dynamics in this VRMMO world of the story.
Although “Dimension Wave” carries elements from the main series and recognizable characters for fans of “The Rising of the Shield Hero,” Yusagi states that it is not a spin-off. This is not a bonus tale but an independent story placed in its separate setting that runs parallel to GR. This split brings out the dexterity of Yusagi’s writing when it comes to different worlds through stories that carry in isolation their individual flavor and appeal.
“Dimension Wave” takes a different dimension in escaping the virtual reality type of storyline. It is a story that will make the reader think of the life that he has always dreamed of in an online world, where passing through various battles with abnormal beings and habitat as nobody else but himself may be enlightened even by the mere contemplation to oneself, free from everyday life’s stresses.
For connoisseurs of Yusagi’s creativity, as well as for those who have not yet had the opportunity to get acquainted with this genre – “Dimension Wave” is a fascinating journey into an unknown but at the same time suspiciously close future – it is worth reading and thinking about.