Room 208

Elaborate Burn

Posts from #io

Some stuff about names in the I/O visual novel

I spent a lot of time groaning at these, so I figured I’d get it all out of my system by slamming it all into a blog post. Yeah, spoilers.

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I’ve presented names here in the original order, because that makes it easier to talk about the wordplay involved.

Hinata, Mutsuki, and Sakuya

Let’s start with the obvious dualities here. Hinata is the sun; Mutsuki and Sakuya are the moon. Hinata is the day; Mutsuki and Sakuya are the night. Both of the girls’ names reference beginnings, incidentally. Mutsuki (spelled 睦月, as opposed to the I/O character’s 夢月) is the traditional name for the first month of the lunar calendar, and Sakuya (as explained in the game) refers to the new moon or the first day of each lunar month on which it falls.

Isaiah Nagy and Izawa Nami (Ereshkigal)

The pronunciation has been beaten with a stick in Isaiah’s case, but it’s not hard to spot the reference here to Izanagi and Izanami, two of the chief deities of Shinto. Nami’s name has the added bonus of sounding like the Japanese for “and now, a wave,” which is funny considering all of the flood myth stuff that goes on in the middle of the VN. Maybe I’m reaching. Then again, maybe not.

Izumo Tsukasa (Enlil)

Japan’s old Izumo province was known as “the land of the gods,” while the name Tsukasa refers to one who is in charge of or responsible for something. Fitting, given Enlil’s imperious nature.

Igarashi Kousaku (Nergal)

Written with the more usual characters 工作, kousaku can mean either “workmanship” or “maneuvering” (think politics). Nergal does plenty of both throughout. The common surname Igarashi is written with the characters for “fifty storms,” and that man also does have a temper…

So it’s got a lot of problems with its information hierarchy, but I like the visual impact of I/O’s pause menu. The continuously-ticking game timer is a nice nod to the game’s technology-centered plot, even more so when you see it at 60 frames per second instead of the 10 I had to downsample to for this GIF.

“then who was lp0??”