Fluid, Stunning, and Deeply Unsettling
Scarlet Nexus has been marketed as weird and creepy from the beginning, even by JRPG standards, and it really shows in this new opening animation. Most JRPGs use their opening videos to show off the characters, highlight the beauty of the setting, or draw attention with fantastically rendered combat. Scarlet Nexus does all of that, but in a way that leaves the viewer feeling slightly on edge–and they haven’t even shown us the monsters up close and personal yet. The video spends a lot of time dwelling on the imagery of red strings, characters falling or floating, and the two protagonists, Kasane Randall and Yuito Sumeragi, fighting each other. What we can make out of the world is equal parts grim and colorful, high-tech and fantastical at the same time. Static, flashing lights, and glitch effects abound. It’s more than a little disorienting, but we can’t wait to see more of what Scarlet Nexus has to offer.
The video features the song “Dream In Drive” from the Japanese rock band THE ORAL CIGARETTES and was animated by Sunrise Inc, the company that brought us Gundam. It doesn’t reveal much about the game that we didn’t already know–at least, nothing explicit–but it does resonate with the facts we’ve already uncovered from previous trailers. The Red Strings are put in focus once again, as is Kasane’s connection to them. She and Yuito are shown in conflict with each other. Yuito is also seen drawing on the Red Strings’ power, visually represented as thick cables sprouting from his back, while Kasane is not. This raises questions about why Kasane is trying to kill Yuito if they share the same ability. Does she know something he doesn’t?
The rest of the cast is also shown off briefly, though they don’t get a ton of focus compared to the leads. Oh well, we’ll probably get a better look at them in a future trailer. Fingers crossed.
Scarlet Nexus will be released for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC on June 25th, 2021.