Our community blogs
Hey everyone! I have uploaded The Last Birdling’s soundtrack onto Steam. This soundtrack will be released on September 1st alongside the core game. There are 19 tracks in total, but since some of their names may contain spoilers, let’s leave it at that for now.
The Last Birdling’s composer is Efe Tozan. Efe and I have worked together since Cursed Sight, and he is also the composer for Without Within 1 and Without Within 2. Every time we catch up for a new project, I can tell Efe has improved. This guy is passionate about music, and The Last Birdling is easily his best performance yet. Today, I would like to talk about how these tracks were put together.
We often begin with the character themes. First, I will send my character profile documents over to Efe, and along with that, I also suggest what type of feeling we should convey with each track. A picture tells a thousand words, and you know, a track also tells a thousand words, so the best way to communicate mood is via an example. Once I find a list of suitable tracks that fit our criteria, I will pass those YouTube links over to Efe.
At this stage, we have our tracks list, mood references along with relevant documents such as character profiles and early drafts. With these materials in place, we let the expert do his thing. Once Efe submits his samples, we improvise from there. Sometimes, it turns out a track is a poor fit for situation A, but it matches situation B perfectly. In that case, we simply swap the filenames around.
We must also take context into account. Some tracks sound great as standalones, but they have beats that distract players in a game context. In those instances, we would balance the volume, change instruments, whatever it takes. Also, no track exists alone in a game. With stories, we have the “emotional rollercoaster” cliché. The same concept applies to our music, so we must ensure these tracks cover a broad range of emotions.
Once the soundtrack is complete, I do my best to serve as a “second ear”. When you are close to a piece of work, even obvious mistakes will become hidden. I promise you, I have read through The Last Birdling many, many times. Despite this, the first test reader still managed to spot three spelling errors. The closer you are, the more blind you become.
And music is the same way. We can have a stunning five-minute track, but if we catch a single glitch in the audio, our experience is ruined. Whenever the track plays in-game, your ears will anticipate that dreaded pop. When you listen to the same track over and over, these flaws can become even harder to spot. It is my responsibility to listen for those unwanted spikes.
The last point is volume balance. When one track sounds louder or softer than the rest, that too can lead to a poor experience. As someone with no musical talent, I used to just compare the waveforms, but I soon learned that would not suffice. You must listen to each track with your ears to truly know. Whenever Efe completes a soundtrack, I would put it on my phone and listen to it on loop for several days. On top of this, we also listen to the tracks on different devices, since that too can have an effect.
To finish up, with kind permission from Efe, here is The Last Birdling’s main theme:
You will find some of these beats being repeated throughout other tracks in the game. This is one of the techniques we use to tie the soundtrack into a coherent package. Humans have a natural love for patterns, and when you catch a certain beat being replayed with a different instrument? We all know a thing or two about those goose bumps.
As usual, I hope you may consider wishlisting and/or joining our Steam community:
Just one week to go my friends. Thank you !
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Foreword: I have a difficult history with Liar-Soft. Their games amaze me, but I usually get really confused by them as well. Like I really liked Forest, but it's so overburdened with meanings and layers that you never know if you grasped it all or not. But Hiragumo-chan that's probably the closest thing to our game disappointed me both times I tried to play it. All I knew that Gyousatsu being the second game of the company (it does not mean first one was not crazy) was already crazy. Crazy good or crazy bad?
Title: Gyousatsu♥Shinsengumi Hitokiri Bishoujo Adventure
Synopsis: End of Edo period, Kyoto.
Hero becomes a part of a newly-formed Shinsengumi unit. He is to protect Kyoto from the evil hands of Kinno (Kyushu) and develop relations with squad female members such as Hijikata and Okita.
Despite the real historical period, events are mostly comical and beyond time limits. For example, heroines often appeal to human rights protection. Depending on the value of real "absurdity" parameter in the game you can get rid of the great devil coming to Kyoto with a 88 mm cannon, cyborgs or panda samurai.
Structure: No real structure
Length: One route took me two and a half hours. But there are a lot of characters and routes.
Game type: Samurai theme bakage
Difficulty: Very easy, apart of quizzes. Could not answer even the easiest level question which rank Adolf Hitler had during first World War. I would not call that an easy question!
Character Design rating: 7/10
Protagonist rating: 6/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 6/10
Overall rating: 7/10
Rating comments: Truth be told, game turned out to be better than I expected, thus the score. It's not just a bakage. Main character and heroines are solid enough. There is a good mix of absurdity and story, and most of jokes are based exactly on absurdity elements. I actually found myself smiling four times during one route, and that's a good result. Character route I played surprisingly had quite satisfactory love story elements. It really made me ask myself - wow, I wonder what the other routes are like. There's a neat epilogue that tells the further story based on your choices. Considered the number of characters, the good and bad endings and different degrees of absurdity for the ending, the replayability is great here.
Protagonist: Shimada Makoto is pretty cool as protagonist with his carefree attitude, but I don't know what historical figure served as his prototype, so he was no special for me.
Characters: Again, I only remember three members of Shinsengumi - Hijikata, Okita and Kondou, so they made the most sense to me. I choose Okita, of course, since she was supposed to be the captain of the unit and because she had the biggest problem of the characters. Okita story was nice and tender, but the epilogue surprised me even more.
Story: Hero comes to Edo from Kyoto without money, but luckily he stumbles upon Shinsengumi unit and becomes a recruit there. For some time he just goes on patrols with the member he prefers the most, and then it's time for the clash with enemies who oppose the Shogunate and want to obstruct elections.
CG: First let's say that there aren't standing sprites in the game. Instead, there are squares with faces. It does not look good generally, but here there is a lot of interaction expressed by movement of these squares - squares clash, chase each other etc, so game feels really lively as you see all the actions happening through squares movement. On the other hand there are few CG because of that since a lot of stuff is possible to show just with square movements. But those CG that exist are quite impressive for me.
Sound: I know there is BGM in game since there is an Omake in game with 20 compositions, but my sound card failed to play it on any Windows version I tried from Win98 to Win10. I was not sure if the trouble was on my side or not, and I was half a way through the game when I recognized there 100% must be BGM. Could have done it on a tablet that usually is much better with sound in old games. Voicing is really partial... only for important events. Was not quite enough, but at least we know how each girl sounds.
Humor: Here are couple examples that made me laugh. First time was when hero was sent to buy juice for everyone in vending machine outside, and there was even a dialogue line "What, a vending machine?!", but I did not want to raise absurdity level for my playthrough. The second time was when hooded monk Benkei appeared as one of the more powerful enemies. That was really funny for me since those historical figures are about seven hundred ages apart.
Overall comments: This game is just nor for a Westerner. It has tons of specific humor that tackles specific situations from Japan history. It was a nice experience though, a gulp of fresh air compared to other visual novels from the first half of 2000.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
For those who suffer from any sort of mental health issue, you are probably going to have the worst time staying committed to studying. But with the right kind of mindset and a practical approach, you may find yourself well within reach of your goal. While this guide is not a suitable replacement for real treatment from a specialist, it may give you a few ideas on how to deal with your own issues. But everyone has their own unique issues and complications, so there isn’t a single correct answer for everybody.
Oh and be very careful about self-diagnosing these types of illnesses. Mental health is a complicated subject that requires a lot of training to make the correct judgment, so please seek confirmation from a professional before you decide to take on that kind of baggage. Sadness and fear, even on a regular basis, are normal human emotions. It’s only when they affect you in an abnormal way (which, again, needs a proper diagnosis) that you need to be concerned.
Okay, so some of you may have noticed I’ve been severely behind on updating my blog. Well, as it turns out, the solution I had in mind for anxiety didn’t pan out very well. I had gone through another bout of anxiety, lagged behind on my homework, and was left with virtually no time to put out another post. But I’m actually really happy I delayed it since I’ve gained so much valuable knowledge about anxiety since September.
When I initially started writing this entry, I had written about the success I was having with positive self-talk. At the time, I was extremely focused on repeating a single line to myself in order to stay motivated, and it was working for a good while. But see, once the idea had lost its novelty after a couple months, I wasn’t getting any kind of benefit from it. I did feel a sense of confidence I hadn’t felt in a long time, and it was making me more productive, but it wasn’t the answer I was looking for. What I’ve learned since then is that I need more than false confidence to drive me forward, and I think I may have come up with a more reliable way of coping with my emotions. I’m still using positive self-talk in order to combat negative thinking, but I’m doing so in a much less specific way.
For my most recent episode, I was unable to pull myself out of it, but I had managed to escape after two whole months of misery by focusing on the more crucial flaws with my mindset. I happened upon a simple, yet insightful comment on Quora that helped me ground my thoughts and properly outline my path to improvement. One of my key takeaways from this was to focus on what could happen rather than what has happened already. If your mind is stuck in the past and all you can do is think about is how much you haven’t accomplished, you won’t have much to look forward to. Additionally, you need to accept the problems you have in front of you and see them more as opportunities for growth rather than as barriers. If you can find a solution to the problem at hand, then you’ve exercised the part of your brain that solves problems. And if you can’t find a solution, then your accomplishments will be much more meaningful because you had to jump through extra hoops to succeed.
Another issue I’ve had the most difficulty with is blaming my problems on everything. I can’t get good sleep because of my noisy surroundings, I’m not losing weight because of all the sweets around the house, I can’t concentrate well because I’m under a lot of stress, I’m unhappy because I can’t afford to support my emotional needs, my life sucks because society sucks, my parents are the reason I’m not that smart, and so on and so forth. I was always thinking about how much crap I had working against me, and yet I never wanted to see myself as the source of my misfortune. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to preach personal responsibility or anything as mundane as that. I do understand that the human mind is easily susceptible to influence, and that we aren’t in full control of our decisions or circumstances. However, I do think there is something to be gained by taking ownership of your problems. What this does is take you out of a state of hopelessness and entrapment, and empowers you to pursue your goals further. When you decide to take life into your own hands, you can then mold it into something you want it to be.
Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned is to accept myself for who am. I am a nervous wreck. I freak out whenever I set out to do any kind of improvement. Having to make major life adjustments always puts me on edge. I will panic even as I’m handing in a homework assignment, terrified of how the professor will grade it. And my response to these dilemmas has been to either pretend the fear isn’t there, convince myself that I can’t keep living this way, or beat myself up when I let my nervousness get the better of me. But instead of just working against my anxiety, I decided it was time I started working alongside it and let it be. What I’ve come to understand since then is that fear hurts my motivation a lot more than it does my performance, so I don’t even need to acknowledge it as an obstacle. I eventually came to the conclusion that it’s better to focus on resolving issues that I have immediate control over rather than the ones I can’t do anything about. There is still chance I’ll be able to find a fix eventually, but I have no way of knowing what that is at this very moment. And you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.
And to wrap things up, I’ll jot a few quick tips you may have heard about already, but are still important to know. There won’t always be an ideal time to get something done; do it anyways. Try to focus on what went right rather than the opposite. Don’t be afraid to work hard; working hard will generally give you advantage over others. Finish what you’ve started, even after it loses its novelty. Don’t ever feel discouraged if you can’t solve a problem in a timely manner.
So, did anyone miss me at all? Yeah, this one was a real doozy. I was putting myself through even more stress trying to find time for this blog during college, but I wound up having to wait until Winter break to finish writing this entry. Thankfully I won’t have any more classes to take until next year, so I’ll have all the time I need to keep this blog up and running… and to get caught up on all the dust I’ve let accumulate in my room and bathroom. Oh and I started my Japanese studies back up again yesterday too! I’ve been kinda behind on them up until now due to excessive stress (to the point of neck injury) and my scramble to get homework turned in on time, but I’m 50% sure I’ll be fine in the near future.
Next week’s topic will be on living a healthy lifestyle. Once you’re able to find proper coping methods, the next step toward building momentum is figuring out how to best optimize all the other factors that impact your brain’s performance.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Fuukan no Grasesta is the latest release from Eushully, the company responsible for Kamidori Alchemy Meister and Ikusa Megami Zero. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is based in a unique fantasy world based off of the idea that a futuristic version of our world got fused with a world of demihumans and gods who granted magic in return for faith.
Fuukan no Grasesta's basic system is that of a dungeon-crawler... with a few twists. First, the party shares an HP bar, which signals the party's destruction if it hits zero. Each character currently recruited or hired has a basic HP stat that adds to the bar, with the protagonist, Judar Schwarka, having the largest (his hp is about five times the next highest character's addition). This is necessary, as the game has numerous points where Judar is the only fighter. Judar himself is a straight-out warrior/barbarian type, with the ability to wield swords, greatswords, and warhammers. His natural element is darkness, and his attacks, which range from a row to an all-enemies on a single platform attack, are generally powerful, albeit useless against some enemies (there are a LOT of dark elemental enemies out there, but it is great for wiping out regular enemies).
Active skills in this game have a certain amount of uses each, rather than the game utilizing an MP system (which would make more sense, considering that magical energy is required for all powers and special abilities in the setting). This makes traversing the dungeons a serious pain in the rear, especially since items are expensive, levels gained have little effect on stats (seriously... think maybe one stat going up by one, or three stats going up by one at the most, with Judar's HP going up every level). This isn't as much trouble as you'd think, most of the time, simply because the enemy don't have huge gaps in strength based on level either, but it also makes grinding excessively unattractive, because there are minimal returns.
When you leave the dungeon, all items found inside, save for those used to power up 'container' items (special items that can take in usables and stock them for future use without taking up space in the inventory) or weapons, or weapons that have to be assessed to find out what they are. You are given a pittance of money based on the value of what you found (seriously, it is shit money), and, if you are willing to spend what little you gained, you can get at least the most important ones (weapons and armor, usually) back... though it makes me wince every time, since money is generally scarce, no matter how far I get into this game.
Upgradable weapons and armor are usually the most valuable, and it is usually good to have weapons of multiple elements on each character so they can switch as needs must, since elemental attacks make things a lot easier at times.
Early in the game, my advice is hurry up and get your party wiped out once, use money to restart, then go back and use the Hetares Dungeon from the append to quickly level your characters up (after you hit about level 15 it slows down, and that is about the point you should stop using it to level up) and get coins that can be turned into money. Early in the game, this is pretty much the only way to keep afloat, as demands on your money are constant, and grinding in the main dungeon is generally inefficient.
Now, about allies... allies in this game are mostly recruited by hiring people you've gotten access to through the story/talking to them in the streets. The expense for them differs... and they only stay with you for a set number of days. My advice is that you keep all available hires recruited at all times to keep your hp bar up, then only deploy the ones most effective for a given dungeon in the actual battles. Having people vulnerable to the common element of a dungeon (vulnerabilities CAN be changed based on armor, but armor is much less plentiful and full of variety than weapons) in your formation is a good way to get slaughtered, and there is little point in pounding away with an element that doesn't do crap to the enemies in a particular part of the dungeon.
As you hire them over and over again and see their scenes, eventually (between chapters 4-6 for most) you'll be able to permanently recruit most of the characters, but this often requires some extremely hard battles or really persistent use of the said characters. So far, I'd say Mikuri and Aguna had the hardest recruitment issues (though Aguna was worth it, since her fire magic is powerful and her hire cost is the highest by 2X). Excel and the dwarf girl who looks nothing like a dwarf take the longest but are relatively easy to take in (though Excel's quirks are... a bit strange). The two healers of the party are Ririka and Excel, and without them you are pretty much screwed in boss battles.
Throughout the dungeon are enemies called Disasters, demons of immense power who are usually dramatically more powerful than even the bosses of the areas they are in. Since most of these have seriously badass area attacks, you'll have to pick which characters to fight them carefully and expect to lose at least once on many of them (especially since they are usually about twenty levels higher than the enemies around them and have proportionately higher stats than everything around them). On the other hand, the rewards for beating them (in items, experience, and money) are generally worth it. Until chapter 5's latest dungeon, I'd say it is barely possible for an adequately leveled party to take them down, given some luck and a good strategy. On the other hand, at that point, the most recent one I ran into was having three turns for every one of mine and was using an all-area attack on at least one of those... and healing himself from the drain effect of his passive skill. Annoying, to say the least.
It probably says everything about this game that I never really felt like I was anywhere near the head of the curve until I hit the fifth chapter, despite my experience with jrpgs and dungeon crawlers. While the system isn't as quirky as that of some of Eushully's other games, it is still nontraditional enough to through me off at times.
I'll keep comments on the story to myself until the final review, but these are my impressions of the gameplay so far.
Edit: Sorry, forgot to comment on skills... In this game, skills do not automatically level up with your experience. Rather, you have to spend money in the menu to level up the skills related to your character's use of weapons, puzzle-solving skills, and others. I suggest you max Judar's Lone Wolf skill as early as possible, as it makes him an ungodly powerhouse when forced to fight alone... when the skill doesn't bug out (which it does surprisingly frequently).
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Foreword - Currently admin Tay is atill missing, so obviously it mean that the font page is still not fixed and therefore no VNTS. So here's another VNTS Review from mine, and I hope that you'll enjoy it.
Welcome to this week VNTS Review, and as for the title I'm simply parodied Romance of the Three Kingdom that was the main inspiration of Koihime Musou franchise (Albeit loosely one at that) into 'Romance of the Three Queendoms' simply because we have Shin Koihime Musou was fully translated, and the Queendom part should be obvious because in Koihime Musou we have almost all Chinese historical figure were genderbent into woman. And by 'almost all' I mean all except one character in which that one character only was a naked muscle man, although he's not the king though so the Queendoms part should still applies even though the game not said that. As for this week, other than another fit from Steam there's not much news here other than regular updates, so if I may blunt here this week is kind of dry. That said, let's see what I can write for this week as well.
As for Steam's fit, this week we have HGB was removed from Steam page and banned, in which it proved that my worries was right that Steam may change their policy after allowing 18+ VNs to be added into Steam store. To make it worse, the version of HGB that was added was supposed to be wouldn't have any sex scenes also at least the work should be safe to be added at Steam, even with the fact that 18+ patch will available later. While granted that the deletion was might be just personal matter of taste from the one who reviewed and deleted HGB store page, it's still shown that Steam is not free of censorship and to make it worse it's not clear what kind of the game that would be not allowed on the store page. In the end, what I can say is that while Steam is good platform to market the VN, it would be better to not depending on it too much considering their inconsistent policy (Sorry for going a bit emotional here). If anything at least HGB release was already decided at January 25th later (Good that it's still on time for summer release if you live in Australia) which mean that at least the Steam ban didn't affected the release, and as of now Nekonyan did try to port HGB into their new engine for Englsh release later.
Like I say earlier, we finally have Shin Koihime Musou was finiased the translation progress after a lot of translation works. That said it didn't mean that the work for it was fnished though, because there'll be a lot of editing work in which currently it's at ~28% so easy to say it would need some times before finally we can play Shin Koihime Musou in English. Other than Shin Koihime Musou, we have Eustia was at 60.35% translated along with 44.65% edited, Harugi's overall was at 34% along with Miyabi's route was at 69% translated, Watamasu was at 35% translated, Loverable was at 51.68% edited, Pure Pure was passing 90% mark translated with the current progress was at 91.15% translated for overall with Tobari's route was at 85.05% translated, and Yoigoshi was at 87% translated. Other than those usual updates, we also have Rhapsody's update in which the translator was already finished with Chapter 8 of Lavirie's route translation and currently working on Chapter 9 with around halfway of the chapters were already translated. Other than the update, we also already got the editor for Rhapsody's project so at least it should help the translation. For last update from fan translation, we have Tsurezure did managed to almost halfway translated Rikka's route with the current progress was at 49.51% translated, and with that it bring overall Hoshiori translation progress to 45.12% translated.
For additional update, just in case you already have PSV and been looking forward to London Detective Mysteria otome, be happy because XSEED already announced that they'll release it at 18th later. While for PC version, apparently they work on that version so that the PC player will have good experience, and therefore they still not determine when there'll be PC version release. In that case, then hopefully it mean that they'll take care the porting very seriously.
That's all for this week VNTS Review, and see you next week.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Two years ago, Warner Brothers released an adaptation of their highly controversial graphic novel, "The Killing Joke", and there was an additional scene previously non-existing in the book: Batigirl fucking Batman. Yeah, fucking Batman. Let's just call it what it is.
Of course, with the kind of relationship both characters previously had towards each other (a father and daughter kind), the Internet went crazy. America went crazy. It was treated as disgusting and highly inappropriate. The film received mixed reviews and was harshly criticized.
Fast-forward to 2018, when I posted my thoughts regarding Swan Song and its unnecessary sex scene. And that got me thinking about the voice-acting process... What if Tara Strong (voice of Barbara Gordon in the aforementioned film) was asked to similarly voiced a sex scene like that? Think about it. Think about the reactions of American voice actresses. "What is this? I didn't sign up for pornography." And yet, thousands of Japanese VAs have willingly put so much effort into voicing cringeworthy sex scenes for very serious stories like "The Fruit of Grisaia" or "G-Senjou no Maou".
It's rather interesting how the two culture treats sex as a taboo (or not). I've always known Japan was more promiscuous when it comes to sex, being rather open-minded to it. But this comparison got me wondering about the kind of thoughts VAs must be having voicing serious dramas while still being asked to moan in orgasm. Must be an interesting voicing session.
Edit: 10 minutes after writing this, I stumbled onto another sex scene in Kara no Shoujo. It's as if you'll accidentally trip into a sex scene just wandering around Japan.
Welcome to the second part of my Yuri Game Jam 2018 summary! Just like the last week's article (if you haven't read part 1, check it out now!), this post will offer you a short overview of visual novels that entered the event this year, this time with the focus being solely on fully-released titles. While in the previous post there were very few surprises (with mostly the two titles I actually expected to deliver quality experiences standing out from the crowd), this time there were a few unexpected latecomers to the event and games that genuinely surpassed my expectations – Scrambled: Syd City being probably the most notable one, and quite possibly the best VN in YGJ this year. It will also make a small trip outside of the VN sphere, but what that is exactly about, you'll see at the end of the article... Enjoy!
This story about two colonies of anthropomorphized ants and two simply workers that brought those together despite the distrust and differences between them is one of the most charming and compelling stories in this year’s YGJ. Thanks to its relatively longer script (it takes around 2 hours to fully read through), A Game About Ants manages to not only convey an amusing “love beyond prejudice” main plot, but also set it in a pretty elaborate "political" context of a clash between the aforementioned ant nests (heavily inspired by actual species of ants, with their specific appearances, habits and social hierarchies). The end result is a really intriguing and visually pleasant experience, also featuring probably the most sensual scene of antennae “kiss” you’ll ever see in a visual novel... And, quite likely, anywhere else. Do you really want to miss out on that?
Final Rating: Highly Recommended
Team ANPIM, veterans of YGJ, managed to deliver one of the more traditional and touching love stories in this year’s event – a kinetic novel about a high school girl who finds herself in borderline life-threatening trouble and is saved by an unassuming kouhai from her school, only to fall in love with her despite their different backgrounds and personalities. It’s a simple, cheesy piece of yuri romance (around 2 hours long, with only a handful of CGs and photographic backgrounds), but drawn and written well enough to give all the cute and fuzzy feelings you’d hope to get from this kind of game. The lead couple is simply adorable and the conclusion was good enough to nearly get a few tears out of me, and while I’m a sucker for this kind of fluff, I believe it’s as good of a recommendation as I could even make – give it a try!
Final Rating: Highly Recommended
Magic Mirror Hall is another tiny, but beautifully stylized and interesting VN, telling the story of Alex, a magic shop owner ending up at the center of their dear friend’s relationship problem – one that manifests themselves through supernatural events (or two be specific, dangerous and uncontrollable outbursts of wild magic), but is rooted in the lack of communication and understanding between the girls. Depending on protagonist’s choices and advice they give, they might help resolve the issue, or risk it turning into a genuine tragedy – and for Alex personally, struggling to keep their business afloat and find meaning in the job they inherited from their grandmother, there might be even more at stake.
Final Rating: Highly Recommended
Another Yuri Game Jam VN that feels much more like a teaser or an exercise in using game creation software than a standalone title of any sort, Like Sisters provides an interesting setup (a young writer coming to the US to visit an old friend of hers after hearing that she struggles with depression) and a promising pair of lead characters, and… Does literally nothing with them. While this could have been a start of a fun story and the writing is arguably quite decent, the 15-minute experience is just as empty as its CG gallery – but I’d definitely not mind seeing a “proper” release from this author in the future.
Final Rating: Not recommended
Team Rumblebee, responsible for stylistically-unique and enjoyable YGJ VN Loan Wolf, this time decided to give its own spin to the theme of superheroes. Just like their first game, it features a struggling protagonist (C-List superhero with invisibility powers, who chose an unfortunate nickname “Scrambled”) and two romanceable heroines (an ex-hero turned small-time villain, and a veteran hero on a path of revenge against the former). Unusual character designs, solid writing and high attention to detail (with fun gimmicks heavily-stylized nametags for all the “super” personas), all make for a very satisfying experience. Also having probably most content from all this year’s entries (2-3 hours of reading), Scrambled could be easily justified as a commercial product, and as a free game, it's pretty much a must-read for anyone who enjoys yuri and EVNs with actual personality, that don’t just stop at copying Japanese aesthetic and storytelling tropes.
Final Rating: Highly Recommended
While visual novels were the main focus of my coverage, it wouldn’t feel right to ignore some of the titles in other categories, similarly focused on telling interesting stories and created by experienced authors, who should be familiar to many EVN fans out there. Because of this, I've decided to give the spotlight to a pair of RPG Maker games that weren't tagged as visual novels, but should still be interesting to anyone interested in yuri VNs, or quality GxG content in general.
Dreaming Treat by NomnomNami is the fifth in her series of RPG-maker games about a lonely wolf trying to find a place for herself in a world that holds little more than contempt for her kind. It once more does a very good job of combining the themes of discrimination, love beyond prejudice with Nami’s lovely artstyle and writing, making for a satisfying experience (and evolving into what most likely is the only truly heart-warming polyamorous story I’ve seen to date). Also, don’t get fooled by the JRPG formula – this game is focused purely on storytelling, with map movement and interactions serving no other purpose than presenting the plot and immersing you in its world. And it’s a kind of story that most VN fans should find enjoyable.
Final Rating: Highly Recommended
Npckc is an author known for creating small, rather cute games in VN and RPG-maker formats, that tackle minority issues in relatable, subtle ways. Lilac, while very similar to those earlier project, might actually be the weakest of them all, simply missing on opportunities to tell a slightly deeper story – the premise, with a girl that literally lost her colour and is turning everything she touches grey is excellent and her first confrontation with a witch, who makes a surprise visit to her house and ends her isolation is very promising. After this, however, not very much happens and while the resolution is not unsatisfying, it never tells us anything about the source of the protagonist’s depression or the future that might await her. While I always liked the minimalistic style of npckc’s stories, here there’s simply too little of everything and while the experience of playing lilac & her light is still a positive one, it’s nowhere near as memorable as this author's earlier work. For the more dedicated YGJ fans.
Final Rating: Recommended
And this concludes by YGJ coverage for this year! To be honest, at the beginning this edition of the event looked pretty bleak when it goes to VNs – most of the really interesting entries arrived late, often literally making major updates past deadline. The end effect, however, was a highly amusing set of free games, including some really memorable titles, that didn't stand out negatively in comparison to previous iterations of the Jam. While it might be a while before we see something as brilliant as The Sad Story of Emmeline Burns or Once on a Windswept Night again, some of the games on this list came pretty close – and from my perspective, that's already pretty damn awesome.
This will be updated until the end of december as news comes out and will have (ongoing) in the title for that period.
Still waiting to hear anything substantial from Frontwing regarding their kickstarter physicals. Wonder how many years it will take for anything to be shipped out.
Nekonyansoft has recently started talking about potentially kickstarting their physical releases. While many, myself included are a bit annoyed at VN kickstarters in general due to how FW and SP has handled things, I can see that it might be rather risky to do physical releases without one. So while it might not be the prefered way it is understandable in my opinion and whether it turns out good or bad will depend on whether or not Nekonyansoft will be able to deliver their physicals within a reasonable timeframe.
Jlist is currently selling Jast USA holiday box set which is a bundle of 3 VNs from Jast USA for $60.00. As for the value of these titles they mention that it has a value of at least $100.00 so it seems like a rather decent sale. The downside however is that you don't know which VNs you are going to get which could result in getting VNs you already own or that you don't care about. Personally I am not really a fan of these types of mystery boxes as I like to only collect VNs that I think seems like something I will like.
Denpasoft is selling Nekopara vol 2 and 3 for a $5 discount which puts vol 3 at $20 and vol 2 which has a small extra artbook at $35. Not really a major sale but figured it was worth mentioning since Denpa rarely has sales for physical copies.
Here are a few titles that may be close to getting sold out or have a limited time left for pre-order.
Physicals for Hard Work might be limited to the pre-order, not really sure how Denpasoft does it regarding physical releases.
There is also a limited amount of physical copies for Clannad: Side Stories at sekaiproject, it seems to be leftovers from the original kickstarter.
On PS vita the physical edition of Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternate is being sold over at ricedigital and I am pretty sure that it is a limited run.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Source: https://j-addicts.de/kokuhaku/ (shameless self-promotion xD )Source: https://j-addicts.de/kokuhaku/ (shameless self-promotion xD )Kokuhaku or “confession” is a short VN developed by a company called Song Wing which mainly work in sound design, casting actors etc basically all related to sound and music and this is their only work as game developers.
The plot, uuggghh.The plot in this VN is nonexistent and plain bland.
The main character is your typical super popular guy and all the girls are in love with him. Why? Who cares, they just are! The game is more like a kinetic VN but lets you choose which girl you want to pick at the end. Throughout the painfully 1-2 hours of reading, each one of the bland and boring heroines will confess their love to the main character without much explanation and out of the blue. These girls are the cliché of the cliché,
Childhood friend? ☑.
Shy girl? ☑.
Interesting and well-developed heroine?☒.Once all the girls confessed their love you will reach the end, there you recall all the confession at once and that’s when you get to pick which of those confessions you take, thus picking a certain girl and confess your love back to her. Then a crappy CG shows up and it’s the end. Luckily there is no harem ending.
And no I didn't omit anything, you read 10 min and a girl confess her love without warning then the other and so on and that's it...
(She confessed her love out of the blue in the middle of a class O.o)
If you want to put it bluntly, there are 4 cockroaches and you are a stinky piece of meat and for no reason at all the cockroaches want that putrid meat no matter what. If you think this analogy is in bad taste, GOOD! Then you understand how playing this VN feels.
It’s also an all ages so you won't see any type of eroge or sexual innuendo at all.
(Pick your ending)
Music and Art.
The music while not outstanding it does the job same as the art, it’s a bit on the unique side but nothing that will make it stand out.
The redeeming factor.So you are probably wondering why the hell is this review for then? Well, as I said earlier the company that made this VN works in the sound industry and here is the catch and what makes this VN partially redeemable. You can choose the voice acting of each heroine from 4 voice actresses when you start the game, which are (IMO) some of the best in the industry itself.But that’s not the most impressive thing, the best part is that you can choose only 1 heroine to do the voice acting of the 4 heroines.
Basically this game was more like a technical concept to show how an actress can interpret several roles at the same time, it’s more like a demonstration project rather than a game but it was sold as a proper game... the question is why they didn't bother to write a decent plot rather than this bland abomination if they were doing it anyway... Also, the writer is not a nobody without recognition in the industry so it’s really mind boggling why they approached this project in this particular way...
Regarding the voice acting itself it’s actually pretty good and the concept itself works amazingly well. Playing the game with the same actress doing all the voices is interesting, to say the least.
So as a concept this is really interesting at least on a technical level. Having 4 heroines and 4 actresses letting you mixing up whatever you want, theoretically there are countless and countless of hours for you to enjoy by playing with all the variations (You do the math)... but in reality after 1 time you will want to throw this game in the garbage bin and let it rot forever there where it belongs.
Final score.Now, saying how much of a technical accomplishment something is where you can only tell by listening it would be unfair so I recorded a demonstration so everyone can judge for themselves.Here it is, rejoice (I recommend watching it in full-screen):If you want to read more reviews like this one check out: https://j-addicts.de/
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
I recommend reading this one on my blog as forum formatting makes tables look like shite. Your choice though.
I’ve mentioned earlier that I think one of the reasons there haven’t been a lot of translation blogs on Fuwanovel is that a lot of advice the editing blogs are peddling could equally well be applied when translating. But how would that look? In this blog (and maybe series, but me and regular effort don’t tend to get along), I’ll try to show you the process of translating with an eye to using the structure of English writing rather than following the Japanese.
The great thing about being the translator rather than the editor (or editing while knowing Japanese, but that’s a luxury) is that you don’t have to go ask the translator if the structure of the Japanese prose, when copied, looks weird. You can just make the adjustment yourself, without worrying that you’re distorting the original meaning too much.
This post is primarily aimed at translators, but should hopefully be useful for editors as well. It is probable that some of the patterns shown here could just as well have been picked up by an editing blog; the main difference will be that I can also show how it looks in Japanese.
I am by no means perfect, and any comments or suggestions are appreciated.
In the spirit of leading by example, I’ll be quoting my in-occasional-progress translation of 私は今日ここで死にます (Watashi wa Kyou Koko de Shinimasu; ‘This is where I die today’). Me and Asonn have settled on the shorthand “shinimasu”, but the author’s comments actually use わた死 (“Watashi” with the last syllable using the kanji for ‘death’ that appears in “Shinimasu”). Thus the title.
Let’s start with three lines from the very beginning of the novel. Our protagonist 京介 (Kyousuke) has just seen a girl jump off a bridge, gone after her by jumping himself, and managed to get her out of the river and onto land. The reader doesn’t know this yet, however – the start just talks about what you’d do if you saw someone about to kill themselves.
Japanese Literalish translation Adapted translation 「入水自殺、か」 “Suicide by drowning, huh.” “Tried to drown yourself, huh…” ぽつりと呟きつつ、腕の中でぐったりとしている“それ”を見る。 While mumbling a few words in a staccato manner, I look at “that” resting limply in my arms. I look at the girl resting limply in my arms. まだあどけない顔をした少女だ。 It is a girl with a face that is yet cherubic*. Face innocent as a newborn babe’s.
The adaptated first line is based on trying to get nuance right. While I mostly did it on instinct, we can motivate it more logically. In English, the literal version feels like something you’d say when starting to talk about a topic – I’d expect Kyou-boi to expound on the subject of suicide by drowning afterward. But in context he’s commenting on the specific act the girl in his arms has attempted. Another consideration is brought by the second line, which shows that Kyousuke is looking at said girl while saying this. So we’re looking for a line that sounds reasonable spoken to a person that can’t hear it. Which is a weird category now that I think of it, but not entirely uncommon. The ellipsis is questionable, especially when cutting ellipses is something editors do all the time in j>e translation, but I have a reason; it’ll be in the next line analysis.
The second line features a thing frequently found in Japanese visual novel writing that doesn’t really agree with English style conventions at all: describing speech after it’s already been said. Frequently this is entirely redundant information in a visual novel due to speaker tags, but in some cases it will contain some kind of judgement or opinion of the viewpoint character that you might want to preserve. These kinds of redundant lines is a good reason to ask whoever’s doing technical work on your translation if you can just plain remove lines (for example, they might be able to program something that detects the translated line being exactly “SKIP” and cuts those lines.) However, it should be noted that cutting these redundant lines will change the flow of a text. If it’s frequently used in a passage, you may end up with a very different feel than the Japanese ― perhaps this is worth it, but it’s something to take into consideration. わた死 doesn’t do this that frequently, however, so we probably don’t need to worry.
This gives a bit of motivation for adding the ellipsis in line #1; it makes the line more mutter-y in a way that doesn’t make it look weird. This is one strategy for dealing with structural incompatibility: move the piece of information where it does fit.
There’s more. The line doesn’t mention “that” being a girl, revealing this in the next line. I’m not sure why the author did this －maybe the lines read better in Japanese that way, and Japanese lines in succession often depend on each other － but the technique just looks weird in English. Thus, we move the information from line 3 to line 2 in our adaptation.
The third line is annoying because while we technically do have a word that fits あどけない fairly well, cherubic － angelic, innocent, and youthful － few people are likely to know it and it doesn’t really fit the register the Japanese word uses. As such I’ve tried to reword it, though honestly I’m not really satisfied. I’m also not entirely sure if I’m missing a nuance of まだ (yet in the literalish translation) I should be getting; it’s probably just consonant with あどけない as “still looking young”, but it could also be referring to her state of unconsciousness causing it or something. The next line that I’m not showing talks about her looking young for her age though, so we can at least use that. The other thing of structural interest is that we’ve moved the “girl” piece of information to the second line, as mentioned.
…Man this took a while and I only did three lines. I think I’m just going to post. Like, comment, watch the Shinimasu translation progress here, design a double-sided daki with both Yukas on it for me if you’re feeling generous.
As a bonus, have a few other examples of describing things after-the-fact and how I’ve currently handled them:
As you can see the pattern isn’t limited to just speech. Here I decide to go IN and use context to write a line half new.
Another thinking version.
And here’s one with 返す. Also this has mixed speech and narration, which I’ve tried to work into the English as well. Though I’m going to go change this to present tense now since I picked that later, fuck.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
With Date A Live: Rio Reincarnatio being confirmed for an english release I figured I should make a review of it.
Date A Live Rio Reincarnation is actually a collection of two Date A Live VNs that released on PS3 as well as a new story that I think can kind of be seen as a fandisc. The two PS3 VNs are Date A Live: Rinne Utopia and Date A Live: Arusu Install while the extra story is just called Date A Live Rio Reincarnation. For this review I will focus on each individual part on its own.
A quick summary of Date A Live Rinne Utopia
Date A Live Rinne Utopia takes place sometime after the first season on the anime and includes the characters introduced in the first season. Other than this there is also a new character Rinne a mysterious girl who seem to be Shido's neighboor as well as his childhood friend (they were never reunited, she was always there). Other than this there are some other odd things going on, for instance there is a huge tower in the middle of the city that only Shido finds odd and he has these dreams of a spirit appearing before him. During the common route there are of course also date events where you can choose between Kotori, Origami, Kurumi, Touka and Yoshino. After some of these date events you get into their routes and get an ending with them. After having gone through all the different endings you then unlock Rinne's route where I would say the meat of the story can be found.
For my opinion of it I would first like to say that I think this is a really good Date A Live VN. It takes full advantage of the setting of Date A Live and I think it does an excelent job both telling a large impactfull story while also giving lots of nice moments with each of the different heroines and pretty satisfying endings with each of the heroines. For the heroine routes there is always something going on whether there is an internal conflict for one of the girls or it is something else going on, because of this it felt like each of the routes managed to carry themselves as their own story and also make the romance between the heroine and Shido feel satisfying. For the overarching plot I think they do a good job building it up throughout the VN during the different routes and I think the story it tells is something that works perfectly within the setting of a VN. Rinne's route at the end then works as a great climax for the story with lots of epic as well as emotional moments.
A quick summary of Date A Live Arusu Install
Date A Live Arusu Install takes place sometime after the second season on the anime and as such also includes Miku and the Yamai twins. The main setup of the story in Arusu Install is that Ratatoskr has made a new dating sim for Shido to practise on which is a fulldive experience that has a recreation of the city they live in as well as the people living there. There Shido is supposed to go on dates with AI's with the same personality and looks as the spirits. However early in the game he meets an odd girl called Arusu, that he has never seen before and shouldn't exist in the game, she ask him what love is as she is curious about it and don't understand it. As this happens Kotori who has been talking to Shido when he was in the game loses contact with him and the people on the outside are unable to get him out of there, meaning he is stuck within the game. This then makes all of the girls hook themselves up to the machine to enter the game so that they can save Shido. This means that they are all stuck in a replica of their city going to the same school and living in the same house. So this means that it is essentially as if they were in the real world other than the fact that side characters are npc, they are forced into roles that fit a dating sim and there is Arusu using her powers to make special date events that happens in the dream of Shido and the heroine that puts them in special suituations with the aim being for them to get closer so she can learn what love is.
As for my review of Date A Live Arusu Install I guess I should start with the begining. I think that the way they use the setting of Date A Live to set up the story is really cool. Referencing my little Shido with the fulldive machine is really fun and I think it is a really smart way of getting the characters into suituations they otherwise wouldn't be. Other than this it also sets up a nice overarching mystery with Arusu and them being stuck in the game. Also because of the game's setting there are lots of things that are able to happen that wouldn't otherwise make sense and this is used to make lots of different scenarios with the girls. This I would say works well as fanservice for the girls not necessarily sexual fanservice, but more so seeing them in lots of different suituation like magical girl Kotori or shrine maid Origami which also provides some nice interesting artwork. A problem with this though is that these scenarios don't really do any job with building a good emotional story for the girls or get you connected to them, it just feels like pure fanservice with no substance. This made the routes for the individual heroines seem quite hollow, something that really hurt my enjoyment as this is the majority of the VN. The true route I feel does a good job on the emotional side and just in general having a pretty good and satisfactory story. So overall I would say that the setup and the true route are really good, but that it suffers from the other routes feeling empty only offering hollow fanservice that mainly just show different suitations with the characters in what seem like what if scenarios, though they do have good art and I would say some are quite enjoyable (magical girl Kotori is one that comes to mind).
Date A Live Rio Reincarnation works pretty much like a fandisc for both of the previous VNs. I don't think I can really go much into it without spoiling things from the other VNs, but what I can say is that they meet a small girl named Rio who looks for the most important thing (she doesn't know what it is just that she is looking for it). As for the content of Rio Reincarnation it features a few nice scenes with the heroines as well as give a bit more of a proper ending for each of the VNs. I very much liked this addition as I really liked the different endings in it as well as the story it told in general being interesting.
Just some quick remarks about the visuals, the visuals are really nice looking, which is to be expected as the artist is Tsunako, the artist behind the Neptunia series and Fairy Fencer F as well as being the illustrator for the original Date A Live light novel. However I found some rather annoying problems with the PS4 CGs. While most of them were as they should be, some of the CG variations had parts of the art that had been missplaced by a pixel or two or there being a difference in colour between two parts of the CG put together. Under are two examples with some red circles added just to show the area you need to look at. While these aren't really that noticeable I found it annoying as I like to screenshot all of the different CGs and have them on my PC to look at later and I don't want them to have these kinds of flaws.
Cover of the limited edition
Back of the limited edition
Everything included with the limited edition
Cover of regular PS4 edition and regular PS vita edition
Back of regular PS4 edition and regular PS vita edition
Side of limited edition and regular PS vita edition
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Live footage of rare JOPs hearing the bimonthly autistic EOP scream over some license
Today I got to know that my blog's reader base has been very sad that my blog has been so quiet for a long time so I decided to do a little update. This time I'm gonna list you some reasons why you might want to learn Japanese! (Start it today or you will never start it just like this blog post)
These reasons are not in any order (are)
Can play Idol M@ster Shiny Colors (or any other idol game but Shiny Colors is the best one)
Number 2: Kotose. Can become a true believer of the true god
Can get all the Yuuko goodness (get cucked!!) Have a meme I made earlier this week but got deleted for """derailing""" CoC
Get to know the difference between Keyakizaka46 and Keyakizaka46!! There is a difference trust me.
Other idols in general such as Nogizaka46 and AKB48
Can watch all the idol bingos. Always wanted your favorite anime to have 10 seasons??? Well idolbingos do have more than 10 seasons and are of the same size as anime seasons!
No more shitty scans or subs. Only godtier real source material. (Eats all your money but who the fuck cares just work a little and be rich xD)
Make bad memes
Get vampire GF
- Can make shit lists like this
Did this motivate any of you my lovely readers? I hope it did! Now smart ones of you might have noticed where is all the eroge!??? Well to be honest eroge is not worth it. It fucking sucks and so does the community. Idols, soshage, anything, is better than eroge. Don't do eroge kids. Peace out!
- Can play Idol M@ster Shiny Colors (or any other idol game but Shiny Colors is the best one)
Staggered by fan backlash over its censorship of President Yukino, Kagura Games has partnered with JAST and MangaGamer to provide uncensored releases.
- Read more...
- 0 comments
Ten More Yuri Series You Need To Read Before I Destroy You, And Everything You Have Ever Loved
And welcome to yet another top ten yuri reading list. This is where I attach a arbitrary rank to something based on my general enjoyment of it.
This time around I want to focus more attention on relatively obscure yuri series that might have been passed up or forgotten. This is for people who are tired of the old standard yuri tale and need something different. So, on that note, here is 10 more yuri series that you should read before I destroy you and everything you ever held dear. (Oh and if you haven't check out my first yuri list here.)
Number 1. After Hours
by Yuhta Nishio
Statues: Complete, with two volume released in English
If there is one thing that the yuri sub genre needs more than anything else is a change in location. For so long most yuri mangaka have been content to only ever set their creations in a High School the most boring setting of them all. Not only that but they were for the most part all girl schools with nary a male in sight. After Hours is a different beast all together and features actual adults in actual adult situations doing adult things. It is nothing short of a revelation. After Hours is a manga about the adventures of two women in Kei and Emi in the vibrant nightlife of Tokyo. Emi, a 24 year old unemployed young woman meets Kei at a nightclub after being ditched by her friend.
Emi ends up going home with Kei that night and they begin something of a interesting relationship. One of the most striking things about this story is how plausible it all is. The fact that she meets Kei at a club and goes home with her sounds so realistic. Emi's struggle in trying to find her footing in the world also feels more relatable since it is coming from an actual adult instead of some high school girl. Many times the world that a yuri story takes place in seems so far removed from our world. They exist in some fantasy version of Japan where no men exist except in a few crowd shots. After Hours goes a different route and feels connected to the real world even if it is still a work of fiction. Not only that but it features a diverse cast of characters other than the two leads and they are each unique and distinct. So many times in manga and anime in general the only difference between certain characters are their hairstyle. That is not the case with this cast and they strengthen the story and help give it shape. The combination of all those factors make After Hours into a rewarding and engaging read.
Number 2. Pieta
By, Haruno Nanae
There are some manga series that come along that are true gems that deserve to be noticed. Pieta is that sort of manga, it is beautiful and impactful. Named after the iconic statue by Michelangelo Pieta tells the story of the budding relationship between Sahoko and Rio. One thing that is striking about the manga is its melancholy nature and it seeps through the pages. Haruno is unafraid to tackle tough topics like depression and handles it in a way that I haven't seen in other similar series. Many yuri series feature so called damaged girls that have gone through trauma of some nature, but something about it seems a bit unreal.
Pieta, on the other hand is completely grounded and has characters actually talk about their emotions and troubles. Pieta also has a physiologist couple who provide an even stronger framework around the series. This really makes it stand apart from the crowd and gives it a character all of its own. The art is very unique as well and add to it's bittersweet charm. Like a cherry on top, Sahoko is one of the strongest and most emotionally mature protagonists I've encountered in a story. There really needs to be more stories like this one.
Number 3. Yuunagi Marbled
by Momono Moto
Personally, I think the one thing every so called great story needs is a strong protagonist. It is not always provided and unless the plot or other characters are able to do some series heavy lifting the story will fall apart. For the yuri genre a lot of the protagonists have not deviated much from the blueprint set out in the first yuri ever Shiroi Heya no Futari. They are usually very angsty indecisive and are often easily jerked around by the quintessential dark haired beauty that every yuri are court ordered to have. This particular manga is different however and it is also the reason it is so high on my list. All of it has to deal with the strength of the protagonist. One evening Enna is walking her dog down a strip of coastline when she spots a forlorn dark haired girl standing in the shallows. She is initially confused as to why she is there and wonders if it might be a suicide attempt. They lock eyes and Enna goes on her way.
The next day at school she and her class gets ready to greet a new transfer student that just so happens to be the mysterious beauty she encountered the other day. Enna increasingly finds herself drawn to the lonely girl named Mshio without quite understanding why. What makes Enna so great is that she acts completely opposite to how we assume typical yuri protagonist would act. She is self assured and proactive and unwilling to be consumed with angst and indecisiveness like some other protagonists I could mention (you know who they are.) With a great degree of care and sweetness she sets to work on her "broken girl" and begins the healing process with seconds to spare.
This story could have easily have lasted over ten volumes if it had any other protagonist helming it but with Enna in control it lasts for only two very satisfying volumes. There were so many times in the manga where Enna would break from the established angsty norm in exciting ways.
For example, when Mishio kisses Enna for the first time Enna pushes her away but not because she is disgusted or shocked by the idea that two girls are kissing. No, it is because she simply doesn't know how to breath while being kissed. It is so unlike Moto to write a story like this since some of her other yuri manga's feature some of the most angsty protagonists around. The glory of Enna should definitely be witnessed first hand.
(Behold Enna, the Breaker of Angst)
Number 4. Cirque Arachne
By, Saida Nika
I've never been to the circus though I did want to go just to see how it was, and a part of me thought about running away to the circus like every young kid. If it is anything like Cirque Arachne then I've been really missing out. This story named after the weaver cursed by Athena into becoming the first spider is about love found on the tight rope. Teti is the principal star of this tale and she takes center stage and shines all the more brilliantly for it. She is a traveling performer who finds a welcome home at the Cirque Arachne.
There, she meets the lovely acrobat Charlotte who is a very driven woman determined not to let anyone into the little world she's created for herself. They are partnered together and inevitably the two become closer. Now, they must determine what to do with their complicated feeling intermingled with their differences. What really makes this story stand out from the crowd is the absolutely beautiful artwork. It is visually stunning the way it flows and how fluid their movements are. The term poetry in motion is thrown out a lot but it is very applicable here. The story is another standout and it is told skillfully with a great degree of warmth and sincerity. It deserves to be read.
Number 5. Qualia the Purple
by Tsunashima Shirou and Ueo Hisamitsu
One of the flaws of many yuri series is their narrow scope, narratively speaking. They are primarily concerned with the development and fruition of the relationship between two women. Now, there might be an underlying story and conflicts that may come between them but for the most part it is chiefly about romance. The problem with this is the that it causes the genre as a whole to seem somewhat static and predictable. Many series hit familiar story beats you've seen time and time again, and are forced to rely on the strength of their characters to make it stand out from the pack.
Qualia the Purple is such a different story from what we view as the norm that I have no comparisons to make, at least in the yuri genre. Qualia the Purple was originally a light novel by Ueo Hisamitsu that was then made into a manga with artwork by Tsunasima Shirou. This utterly unique story is very hard to explain and is honestly something that should just be read for yourself, so I won't go into much detail. The basic rundown is the odd friendship between a average tomboyish young girl named Hatou Manabu and her odd friend Marii Yukari. Yukari is a purple eyed girl who claims that people are robots instead of humans. While she just seems to be at first to be nothing but a bit of an oddball, until things soon start to happen that puts her in a different light. Surprisingly, this is at its core a deep and complex science fiction story and later on the revelations and new developments come fast and hot. Expect the unexpected with this story.
Number 6. Clover
By, Otsu Hiyori
Otsu Hiyori is probably one of my favorite manga authors around and she has a distinctive style all her own, from her stories to her characters to her writing. The characters in the stories are normally very unique and quirky and the art style is wonderful. Clover is an interesting story about the relationships of one specific family. It is told in a different style that forgoes typical chronological formatting and tells each story out of order.
It starts with a story about the youngest daughter of the family and goes up the oldest before bringing it back to the second youngest again. Each story is self contained and deals with the daughters relationship with different women. It serves as an good introduction to Otsu Hiyori's work.
Number 7. Silver Gymnasium
By, Hiruno Tsukiko
Silver Gymnasium is by far one of the most beautiful and just sad entries on this list. It is unique as it is set in an orphanage for young girls, and follows the trials and tribulations of several girls that reside there. It is often at once achingly and also extremely depressing.
The writing and art style contributes to its melancholiness. I was really hit hard by it because I didn't see it coming. It is cold and bleak as the winter snow but carries with it the promise of spring. Just, remember to bring a tissue.
Number 8. Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep
By Mizutani Fuuka
Do you believe in fate? Personally, I've never been one that ascribed to that particular belief. I think the only thing I'm really fated to do is be buried in the ground when I've reached the ed of my days. Still, fate makes for some pretty good stories including this one, Lonely Wolf, Lonely Sheep. This somewhat unusual story concerns two girls who meet one day in a hospital. Not only are their names both Imari Kakimoto but they are in the hospital for the same injury.
In fact, the only thing they don't have in common is that their birthdays are a day apart. Due in part by this extraordinary happenstance they become friends, however, both are harboring secrets that could put their relationship in jeopardy. This story while being short rich and dramatic, and also has one of the best character reversals I have seen. Read it, and you might start believing in fate as well.
Number 9. Honey Crush
By Asu Tsubaki
Like a kick in the shin and a sock in the mouth from your best girl, here's another angsty yuri story set in a high school! Wait, where are you going? No, this is really great I swear! This one is about a ghost! Okay, good you stuck around. It would have been a shame if I had to drag you back by force.
Honey Crush is a quirky story about the misadventures of Mitsu Amemiya who harbors a deep unrequited love for a girl from another school. She's also a bit of a stalker as well, but the cute kind okay? Like the kind that watch their crush from afar and wish them nothing but the best, not the ones that dig in through their trash, and plot detailed kidnapping simulations in their spare time. On one of her stalking escapades she crosses the street and this happens to her...
When Mitsu comes to she realizes that not only is she dead but that she is also a ghost. Anchored to this world by her unrequited love and without any hope of becoming a spirit detective, Mitsu now must content herself with watching over her crush like a young Swayze. However, her plans are throttled yet again by the arrival of a new transfer student who not only has a prior relationship to Mitsu's crush, but is also the only one who can actually see her! This is a really heartwarming story that at times can be sweet, sad, and funny all at once. It has got a lot of charm to it and it will squeeze your heart in a vice grip while your not looking.
Number 10. I decided to fake a marriage with my junior (♀️) to shut my parents up
By Kodama Naoko
I started with adult yuri and by God, am I going to end it with adult yuri! Okay, so the name basically says it all, isn't that nice when that happens? Like the title said, this short series is about a adult woman named Machi whom is convinced by a friend to marry her so she won't be bugged by her parents anymore. While this has the longest name on this list it is also the shortest.
What makes this unusual is that I am completely fine with it! If you know yuri at all then the name Kodama Naoko is one that you have at the very least a passing familiarity with. She's well known for her twisted characters and soap opera like drama, with NTR: Netsuzou Trap being her most infamous creation. What makes I fake married my junior(I'm not going to type in that long a title every time I reference this) so great is that it is completely different from her other works. Machi is another one of these rare specimens who can break through angst and make clear and decisive choices when called upon. Gone are the indecisive protagonists that are only dragged along by their femme fatales. It is time for a new day, and the dawn brings Machi!
Well, there you have it folks, I have gifted you with some quality yuri handpicked by yours truly. Now get out of my sight. You disgust me. Oh, and by the way...
(making it a blog post because i don't think this would get any activity as a thread)
I think this time period from 2011 to 2016 might have been the "golden age" of otome games because those were the years where a lot of the most notable otomeges were released. Just looking at high-rated otomes on VNDB:
2011: Amnesia Memories, Shinigami to Shoujo, Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari, Arcana Famiglia
2012: Black Wolves Saga (both parts), Dandelion, Koezaru wa Akai Hana, Cinders
2013: Ken ga Kimi, Nameless, Norn9, Arcana Famiglia 2, Getsuei no Kusari (and fandisc)
2014: Code Realize, Ayakashi Gohan
2015: Taishou x Alice, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, Re Birthday Song, Yoshiwara Higanbana
2016: Collar x Malice, Mystic Messenger, Nightshade, Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, Code Realize Future Blessings
I can only attest to the quality of a few of these VNs but for those that are more into this genre, i would like to raise this discussion.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
It all started on 4chan's /vg/ board in its regular visual novel thread:
The twitter account has some vague cyber-y tweets related to loading and then the trailer linked in the 4chan post. The unlisted video has English subtitles so some effort was put into it, though the "summer 2018" part is probably not happening. Also is it just me or is the tl of the "you betrayed me?!" line weird based on the voice clip? Like she doesn't sound surprised. oops getting tangential here...
So what does it all mean? well, SteppenWolf is apparently a team within the baldr series or something, and TGL is a company which has Giga, makers of baldr, as an imprint. But of course anyone could have made the twitter account and the 4chan post and incorporated just the right references to make things interesting. All in all until we get something more official there's no way to tell if this is a hoax or not; I would recommend not getting too hyped.
Okay zaka but where's the realdeal silly speculation at?
Very well, dear rhetorical-questioner-kun. So like you know how Aroduc was fan translating baldr sky and then sekai project licensed it and then negotiations broke down and it was basically
typical sekai projecta terrible fracas? The outside guess is that instead of actually quitting tl like he seemed to when he dropped off the scene he's been working on this. It even matches up with things I seem to remember him mentioning about baldr force being better but people wanting sky or something. Anyway take this with more salt than a room containing solidbatman, originalren, astro, steve, and itsangetime, but it's like, maybe possible. Maybe.
Y u no make forum thread?
I want to feel like a special snowflake. Also I figured this'd be a decent water-testing opportunity for this kind of content so here I go.
NEW INFO 17:00 swedish time 15/9:
Two new videos have been posted in /vn/ and on the twitter account:
I haven't posted anything particularly editorial in a while, nor have I landed a new FuwaReview in a while; I've been busy with one thing or another, and also I just haven't had that much to write about. However, today I finished reading new shiny new Kokoro Connect: Hito Random release, and when I finished, I knew I had to write something up about it.
I first watched Kokoro Connect way back when I didn't know who to ask for recommendations and was still finding my way around anime. I was mostly just going through things that were highly ranked on AnimeNewsNetwork's overall rankings, that were accessible without pirating, and that sounded interesting. But I didn't pick it up without some trepidation. Back then, I was a little put off by fanservice in general, and the show's description was selling the perverted body-swapping angle really hard, so I was concerned it was just some shallow fanservice show. Still, I decided to take the plunge anyway, thinking there had to be more to it given the show's reception, and boy was I ever glad I did.
Nothing pushes my buttons like Kokoro Connect. The story it tells is as closely tailored to my own preferences as anything I could ever ask for: coherent and interesting characters, immensely human drama, realistic romantic development, clear story beats and plot arcs accumulating to bigger themes, and a little spritz of magic to grease the wheels of the plot. Hell, the anime even got a great dub, featuring the immensely talented Luci Christian as best girl Inaba. It's an all-time favorite for me, something I can happily recommend to anyone.
One of my favorite elements of the show is that each arc feels so complete. In 3-5 episodes, a new twist emerges, a plot unfolds around it, the characters grow in response, and at the end it resolves fully, always in a satisfying way. The one season and the OVA together had four such arcs all together, and while I was immensely satisfied with where it ended after each one, when I finished the last OVA, I still thought to myself, man, I wish there was more of this. What I eventually learned, when I finished the show and went to read about its origins, was that the reason for the tight storytelling was that the show was based on an existing series of light novels, of which the show only covered the first four out of ten (eleven of you count a volume of short stories). There was a whole lot of content out there I hadn't seen yet! Except, it wasn't available in English...
And that brings us to today, when I got to read the first English volume of the English release. And let me tell you guys, it is gooood. The translation is fluid, natural, and well-written. The characters pop right out of the page, and the narration is consistently solid and occasionally beautiful. Props to the localization team on their work here! I do have a couple minor gripes, of course: leaving people's heights in centimeters, which is totally bizarre in an American English translation (sure I can do the calculation, but talk about kicking you out of the immersion. Fortunately this only happened once); and not translating the per-volume titles ("hito random" ain't exactly my idea of a punchy title).
So how did it hold up, revisiting the material again after all these years? It's still awesome! I had to stifle my laughter a few times so I didn't look like a weirdo laughing out loud in the middle of a plane flight. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I felt tears welling up in my eyes at a couple of particularly touching scenes, and had to fight just as hard to hold them back.
And while there's nothing major that's new here, versus what you'd see in the first five volumes of the anime, there are little bits and pieces that make it worth the time, especially in the narration, something inherently missing from an anime.
So what are you waiting for? There's a criminally neglected property out there finally getting a great English release, and it deserves your attention. Go out and give it a try! https://j-novel.club/v/kokoro-connect-hito-random
I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER HOW LONG AGO: Not even time travel saved tymmur, but it's not like Dreamysyu, VirginSmasher and Zander would give up so fast! After finding a whopping amount of 1 (one) clue, our heroes started marching to the court room.
After whatever won the poll, our heroes finally reached a red velvet room, decorated with golden statues and chains. An extravagant atmosphere, that also made everyone dizzy, just like Ranzo's ego. Speaking of the Devil, he just started singing a Velvet Underground song. Back to the room's interior, we could also see a circle of golden platforms in the exact middle of the room, an arrangement that permitted them to see everyone else should they step behind the platforms. Well, not "should", "must", they have to do it, to save America, or whatever other noble reason. Maggiekuma's throne was located closer to the corner, in a higher ground where it was possible to see everything the plebeians bellow were doing.
"Sooooooo, you guys are finally here!" said Maggiekuma, savoring some popcorn.
"And whose fault is it, that we're this late?" we can count on batman to rub salt on other people's wound.
"Okay, look, I already waste half a screen worth of space with that poll, so let's drop the issue about my lateness! You have better things to discuss!" angrily said Maggiekuma, throwing popcorn at our heroes. Kiri didn't seem offended.
"Yeah, like, we can discuss how h-scenes are important to the plot!" Dergonu proposed a circle jerking.
"We would stay here all day if we were to discuss that. Instead, shouldn't we discuss... I don't know... about tymmur's death???" Dreamysyu put his protagonism to good use.
"Oh right, we should honour the bugger." Poltroon said in a dignified way, almost contradicting his behaviour in the last chapter.
"You say that like we're disrespecting him, but these bunch of lines we're saying that never ends is a nice shout out to the fella." justified Fiddle.
"Now that's what I call a fantastic homage!" agreed Ranzo, even though deep down they thought that their performance of Fucking Wizard by Reverend Bizarre that was edited out of the story to not split the audience due to musical differences was better.
"Okay, I... think I can allow that. But can you guys at least, pretty please, babble while going to your designated seats?" not even I understand Maggiekuma's attempts to save time at this point.
"If I remember right here, we have to find the culprit hiding here and then vote for him here so we can continue to live here." littleshogun made a recap.
"So what, we just talk and talk about it until the culprit eventually blurts it all out?" Virgin proposed.
"That wouldn't be half as fun! So let me explain some additional rules to the trial session!"
Said Zander, with his now healed physical injury and forever persisting mental damage.
"No need. I microwaved my way through a time where we already listened to the rules before this, so I can tell you guys!" Kurisu saving the day.
"You could have, you know, looked for the culprit's name..." Or not.
"Well, in short, we have to talk non stop about the same things over and over again even if they are painfully obvious until someone with half a brain figures the bullshit in our arguments and fire a truth bullet through it. We can add some random babble in the conversation too, to make things more of a chore than harder per se."
"Putting it like this... god, this game sucks!" everything sucks for you, bats.
"So, all we gotta do is shoot first, eh?" said Lesiak, firing a bullet that would put Clint Eastwood's characters to shame. Sasuga, Ultimate Westerner. Too bad SeniorBlitz happened to be in front of him, so he ended with a bullet in his skull. Sasuga, Ultimate Westerner.
"Eeerr... that sounded like Lesiak put a... silencer in his gun." it looked like a very lame and inappropriate joke made by Dergonu, but it was also a nice shout out to Senior's pun habits.
"To be quite honest, I think this game will be much more balanced now. He was too overpowered with that guide of his." said the guy that claimed he knows everything about the progress of the story.
"I have to agree with that as well. One should not defy the gods." said the guy that defy the gods himself.
"Even if we don't like it, you have a point. Now everyone have a fair chance." said the tsun that can time travel. "I'm not a tsundere!" that's not what I said. "A-a-a-a-a-and I'm not just a tsun either!"
"Well, except the part about killing each other mid trial, even if I don't really care if you guys actually do it, the trial goes exactly like Kurisu explained. So start presenting some proof or something."
"Oh, I have some!" Kenshin finally got the ball rolling.
"I also happen to have some." Zander said calmly like this:
"I also have something to show." Virgin said proudly. Not even Dreamysyu, that was with him had any idea what kind of clue he found.
"Let's start with mine, since I raised my hand first! Okay, I gathered some pics from the crime scene. Maggiekuma, can you lend me a screen to project those?" said Kenshin.
"This is really necessary? I mean, we're handling guro material here..." Lesiak asked before I have to rate this fic 18+.
"Guro..." Dergonu seems to be controlling himself to not say anything else.
"About guro here, I think I could give my opinion on it, but since I'm not into strangling and tentacle anal rape here, I think I'll pass on this here." littleshogun gave his opinion.
".............Not only you're being awfully specific, but no one asked if anyone liked guro either." Ranzo tsukkomied for a moment.
"Eeerrr, but don't we just looked at the body? Ignoring that it was 2 eons ago outside the story. How 2D pics can be worse than the real deal?" Virgin asked.
"I'm not sure if this 2D vs 3D argument's going to fly on court, mister Virgin." you guys are already on court, mister Poltroon, but he was so naturally on mood for trials that he didn't even noticed his language quirk.
"To be honest, the only thing those pics will show is what I'm about to describe." Zander started. "I investigated the body and made a shocking discover: it wasn't the gif that killed tymmur, he was electrocuted!"
"Impossible. How such a detail went unnoticed by the gods?" bellowed Clephas, making a question that I didn't really think the answer to.
"His feet were stuck into a bucket full of water together with an electric wire. So it means... that someone entered the scene, probably knocked tymmur out cold, stuck his feet into the bucket, put the wire there, send the gif as a red flag and then fled." Dreamysyu put all the pieces together. "But... when did the culprit find the time to do all that?"
"He doesn't need time if they can time travel..." Ranzo preferred to chaotic-evilly accuse anyone without proof just for the lulz than actually help.
"True that, but unfortunately for your lulz, I have some further proof I'm not the killer. Isn't that right, Kenshin_sama?!" Kurisu said, throwing their ace in the moment they judged to be the most dramatic!
"Why people only present evidence on dramatic prompts and not, like, right at the start?" Danganronpa is to blame, bats.
"Oh right! The message on the blackboard! I have a pic of it as well!" Kenshin said what they knew. "When both of us entered the scene, we saw this 'Podology services for free!' message written with pink chalk on the blackboard, so maybe that's what baited tymmur."
"I don't even know what podology is supposed to be, what's your point?" Virgin didn't understand gay speak.
"I'm not sure either, but maybe... you're trying to say that tymmur put his feet inside that bucket by himself??" dramatic song starts playing.
"WHATA TWIIIIIIIIIIIST!" not really, Maggiekuma. You're the only one excited here.
"Wait a moment. If that's true... why we didn't saw that message when we went to crime scene?" Lesiak questioned.
"Because I eventually erased it to write a differences chart between the anime and the VN version of S;G 0 there." calmly explained Kurisu.
"Destroying evidence, eh?" Poltroon suddenly became Canadian.
"To be honest, it made the episode even more fun to watch, building that chart." the order of the words in Kenshin's explanation looks like something poorly translated from japanese. And then, everyone just removed Kenshin and Kurisu from the blame list because I don't want to drag this any longer.
"Okay, I think it's finally time for me to shine!" Virgin raised from his seat, at least I hope I mentioned they were sitting before.
"Oh yeah, you apparently had some evidence." Zander trusted Virgin as much as Virgin trusted him.
"Yeah, and it's that now dead guy's guide!"
"Wait, isn't this cheating?" Dergonu uphold the rules with seriousness.
"Not when I'm the one doing it!" said Virgin, quickly turning the pages of Senior's guide. "Soooo, if I got to the right page, I think the way to advance is... to ask Dergonu to hack the system?"
"Dergonu, care to explain?" Fiddle asked, judging his comrade.
"Oh riiiiight, I was hacking the system to get access to the monitors early, so maybe I can do it again to check some unusual activity." I'm not sure if Dergonu can even do that, but Kaguya is not in the story so this have to do. After some *insert meme and oversimplified explanation of hacker doing stuff* in a laptop that Maggiekuma lent to them, Dergonu turned back to his friends with a sullen expression. "It's no use, I can't even see traces of Kurisu's magecraft there."
"Some mod you are." Zander rolled his eyes.
"☆=(ゝω･)/" Kiri intervene for the first time! "ヾ(｀・ω・´)ノ" They said.
"Can someone localize this?"
"They're saying that maybe Poltroon or Clephas can try to get access to the system too. They aren't the Ultimate Mod, but maybe their permissions are wacky enough for that to work." Fiddle translated.
"WHAT ARE YOU EVEN OBJECTING TO?????" Dreamysyu asked themselves if Maggie didn't do that just because she so wanted to use that pic.
"Did Kiri really says all of that with just that smiley?" batman asked the real question.
"Yes." Fiddle only nodded, because they know. And somehow everyone just accepted it and the plot moved forward.
"Well, since batman stole my catchphrase..." not really, Mr. Edgeworth. "I'll hack into this system of yours instead, to finally make a grandiose entrance in this trial." I think it's a fair trade, solving plot problems instead of saying a meme catchphrase. And with that, his fingers danced through the keyboard of Maggiekuma's laptop. "Ohoooo... what is this?"
"Cut the suspense, did you find out who send the gif?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. And it was... someone named Dergonu!"
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!
"Absurd! It's not me!!! Just look into my account activity!!! It was pretty much inactive before Dreamysyu asked for my help earlier this morning!" Dergone yelled.
"Just for the record, I'm not confirming this piece of information." Dreamysyu threw Dergonu under the bus.
"Fret not, my fellow moderator. I never said it was you that did it. I said an account with the name 'Dergonu' is the responsible for this mess, apparently. And for some reason, this Dergonu is also following your account." Poltroon explained.
"But wasn't that Dergonu following Dergonu Dergonu themselves?" Kenshin put it in a confusing way, but it was the painful truth.
"Oh yeah, that's right. So forget what I said about not fretting, Dergonu, please do fret." Poltroon dealt the final blow.
"Wait, we're not doing that retarded rhythm game from Danganronpa now, are we?" Ranzo asked. Even if he was a music enthusiast, no one deserves that annoying game.
"No lol, that minigame is stupid, I can go down without that and with my dignity instead, thank you very much." Dergonu explained.
"So it WAS you the culprit here. You must be quite interested here in how to mouth those obviously delicious and long and thick bananas here to actually commit murder for it here." littleshogun disapproved.
".................I think you're the only one that still remembers that was supposed to be our motivation." Virgin felt some degeneration in the air.
"Nah man, I didn't do it for some dumb book." Dergonu switched to their evil villain personality. For some reason, no one was really surprised.
"So, why did you kill tymmur?"
"For the ~~***GURO***~~, of course!" And them they started some chant that looked like a chuuni villain speech. "KILL, PUNCH, STAB, BLEEEEED!!!! Why is this frustrated Derg so mad? I hope you can't answer me, as your brains escape through your ears! Dance, Derg, at the rhythm of the falling severed fingers! Crawl in my direction leaving your intestines in your trails! You can't take your eyes of Derg, so I'll take them out for you maggots!" for some reason, Dergonu started talking about themselves in third person, something as bad as guro.
"Okay, but where's the sexual part in those things you describe? That's just regular gore." asked Dreamysyu.
"Well, I'm sexy (/ω＼)" Kiri wasn't amused with Dergonu trying to copy them.
"Is this... the real Dergonu?" Lesiak asked, somehow surprised that he didn't recognize his friend that had a whopping amount of maybe 5 lines in 3 chapters worth of characterization.
"Actually, now everything is starting to make sense." Really? "They did that... because they wanted to be guroed themselves."
"mWAHAHAKWAKWA~ mAYBE?! <3" Dergonu's maniacal laugh echoed in the chamber.
"Well, if that's what this shell of a human being is asking for..." Clephas started a summoning spell. "KILL, PUNCH, STAB, BLEEEEED!!!!..." no, I won't create 2 mantras in a single chapter.
"HOLD YOUR HORSES! I CAN HANDLE THIS!" said Maggiekuma, wanting to shine in this chapter as well. "The Punishment time is on the house! And I prepared some pretty cool Visual Novel style execution!" Saying that, Maggiekuma took an old grimoire whose cover was covered in a cat's hide. The Legendary Nekonomicon. It seems Senior's soul is still trapped in the courtroom, as the lame puns are out of control. Cutting off one of their finger and pouring the blood over the cursed book's page, Maggiekuma summoned Dergonu's executioner. "Who's better to punish bad Dergonu than the very own Empress of the Banished Lands?"
In the next moment. The sky suddenly went dark. They were indoors, but they noticed it through a TV that Maggiekuma turned on in that instant or something. But the reason for that suddenly invaded the courtroom too. Wasps. A fuck ton of them. Their buzzing was quite loud, almost looking like they were omegaloling at the characters' misery. The characters that had closer ties with Hell knew what were those wasps. The poster boys (boys is even the right word here?) of the Banished Lands, the symbol of the Queen. And indeed, short after, she appeared. The High Mistress Neko, the Ultimate Catgirl. Clad in a beautiful samurai armor and carrying a giant samurai sword, she was danger incarnate. She also had massive breasts that were in fact just two gigantic spherical bombs just to be even more dangerous. She approached Dergonu with a smile on her face, the wasps flying around her now buzzing a chorus latin song to be even more chuuni.
"Ahaha, so you're the boy who needs some punishment?" she asked in a voice that almost made you want to be punished.
"Only if you don't be gentle with me." Well, apparently Dergonu DID wanted to be punished.
"Desu wa~" said the Neko Queen in gratuitous japanese that didn't really make any sense here. "So, time to...!"
[The content of Dergonu's execution was considered too extreme for Fuwa rules, so I removed it according. I count with the help of fans to restore this content! Thanks for the comprehension!
Actually no, fuck you.]
Even if the guroing was lazily cut, I didn't rewrite the scars it left in the other guys that lived and watched everything in horror. Although Ranzo did like the violent style of the High Mistress, so they actually took some notes of things to copy when they eventually tries to kill someone. It will be censored all the same to be honest. Eventually the Neko Samurai walked away with her wasp companions, what left our heroes begging for it to be just a dream.
"Let me guess, you'll copy that 'Dreamysyu woke up in their usual seat blah blah blah' again next time, right?" now even Dreamysyu is snarking at me.
NEXT TIME: Two more down, thirteen to go. What awaits our heroes next?
"Hopefully not another long ass waiting again!" Virgin released one last drop of poison.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
As many (hopefully) of you know, I like to read a lot of different things, providing my stomach and the laws of my country allow it. My VNDB list will never reach Clephas level of completeness, so I'm aiming for something different instead: to have the most random, hipster, no prejudice, unlike any other VN list. Of course, as slow as I am, I can only hope to achieve this dream within the next 30 years or so, but hey I'm still young!
I have conquered otomege, devoured BL, collected EVNs, discovered yuri, threaded in chuuni waters, tiptoed into nakige, read through memeges, tasted horror, and tried my hand with gameplay hybrids. But how can I call myself a Ultimate VN Reader if I never read a single nukige? No, I have to change that. I must to. So I decided to give a chance to the glorious fangame our friendly neighbors Asonn, Arcadeotic, Hanako, HMN, Jptje, Nandemonai, Zakamutt, and other sweeties (because the list is damn long), shared with the West: Maki Fes!
What were the impressions of Maggie, guaranteed 12% female readership of Fuwa, someone who totally didn't went in for the memes and that totally knew something about Love Live beforehand? Find out now!
There's a catchy song in the title screen, pretty much the only song I remember from the game.
In Maki Fes!, you play as
Mattyourself! The boyfriend (wait, it should be girlfriend if I had to play as myself. Well, I can stick with Matt just fine)of the cute red haired tsundereish Maki! How lucky are you? Nukige convenience is convenient, alright! Not a bad start to be honest, I was expecting something more stupid, but Maki Fes already proved itself as above average intellectual level than my preconceived opinion of what constitutes an average nukige. Anyway, Maki needs to write a song and you, as a good boyfriend, agree to help her get some inspiration. And yeeeeeees, that means lots of porn!
Maki is pretty much the only character you'll meet through the entire game, since more girl means harem or yuri, right? And that's not what this doujinge is about. And she's fully voiced! The actress does a very good job for most part, except during those background moans that goes like a machine gun shooting fast going "a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a" that got annoying after two loops. The art is also quite pleasant to look at, Maki pouting and smiling are just the cutest. I enjoyed her character, but I don't know the original to say if she's going too OOC.
So! The game provide you with the following scenarios, and all of them leads to porn. Yes, some of these choices leading to porn is quite creative, I know. The twist would be if the last option didn't, but that's not what happens here.
Choices, oh choices.
If you don't want to be spoilered, stop reading right here! Not that I consider sexual position a spoiler, but hey, there's weird folks of all kinds out there! So let's go over what I get out of each scenes. And no, it wasn't masturbatory material.
"Let's recall our first time!": Exactly what it says on the tin. It was quite a sweet scene, where
Mattthe protagonist was mindful of Maki, and if she was feeling comfortable. Of course, she had to say the typical "you can be more rough, I know you're holding yourself back", but hey, at least they discussed it! Relationship is all about two people understanding and being respectful with each other after all! Another thing that I have to praise this game is that the classic "Cum inside/Cum outside" option only affect the CG right after it, and not the ending, so I could pick "Cum outside" to my heart's content.
"Wear your maid outfit!": This one was nice too, as far as h-scenes goes. It's a blowjob scene and HEY, it have simple ANIMATIONS (*insert here the face of a surprised girl that never saw a animated VN before)! The translation of this scene was pretty good too, I was amazed with how many different porn sound effects this guy could came (get it? ) up with. It also had a marriage proposal discussion there that I liked, but I can guess 80% of the people that played this game didn't even noticed it.
"Our good luck charm!": This was one of the last scenes I read, so there wasn't much of my patience left. I think it was something about writing good luck wishes on Maki's butt. Yep. Of course, not with a pen or a penis, but with his finger. Oh yeah, this guy goes on and on about Maki's cellulite free butt but this game don't have a single anal scene. For shame, game, for shame!
"I'm hungry!": I can only say one thing. How Maki decided she wanted to feed this guy and do it like this???????????
"Dancing is inspiring!": Probably, but it was the very last scene I read and at that point I just wanted the game to end. Four scenes is my limit for h-scenes one after another. Multiple rounds indeed is a lie. Oh yeah, the scene. I think it was a cowgirl scene and... that's it.
"Use traditional elements!": Was it on that scene that Maki came with the penetration alone? God, that was dumb. This guy have such lame foreplay skill it's a wonder Maki can even come once. Oh yeah, there's pee in this scene, weird that Zaka didn't work on this. How does her pee makes an arc in the air though? Pretty sure you need a penis to do that...
"You need some excitement!": Man, this scene have one weird dick. It looked like a fishing hook. Animating it didn't make it any better. But I think this scene had some well crafted
punscumversation, so it was somewhat amusing.
"I wanna fuck!": (Chorus: FUCK!)* Now that's a scene where Matt truly shines! And Maki as well. How could a forget when she uttered my favorite quote of the game, "My nipples are playing the blues!"? Now that's what I call talented nipples!
*Joke stolen from ZakaTM
After seeing all scenes, you can finally watch the desired True Ending, that I'll not spoil here. That was... tiring to be honest, but also educational (?) to say the least. It helped me to understand some before unexplored corners of the VN fandom. And I can't really doubt that it must be a nice game if used as intended. Should I be ashamed that this was my first contact with anything related to Love Live? Maybe. But now I can proudly (??) say that my VNDB list is one step closer to perfection. And since I already ticked the nukige checkbox, I can safely remove any other nukiges/games tagged with high sexual content from my wishlist!
...Wait, that one nukige is BL.
Guess I'm making a nukige misadventures part 2.
Unrelated PS: No, I didn't forget about Dankaronpa, chapter 4 is halfway done. Maybe next week!
I’m so good at writing reviews that my last one was months ago. If I continue like that I’ll eventually beat @Plk_Lesiak on the review count (
we all know that is a lie).
Anyway gonna drop the structure of my last two reviews and freely type, I’ll still go over all of the topics presented there, but without separating them in topics, this way I can freely write what I want without feeling limited to a certain space.
Also I wouldn't call this a "review" in the literal sense, it is just my spouting my impressions of the game without properly analyzing all the aspects.
BUT enough rambling, know let’s talk about the matter at hand.
You know a EVN is good when our official OELVN hater approves it (
this is a joke btw not trying to personally offend him, you never know on the internet )
DAMN this game, it is been a while since a story engaged me to such level; I literally read it from start to finish in one sitting.
Where do I start… okay…
this game does Denpa way better than DDLC. Our protagonist, Mercy lives in remote town of Phada (cultist type of town), she is constantly bullied and harassed because of her “cursed” vision which cause her too see a corrupted world filled with red and black beetles. The town’s main figure of worship is the “holy woman” whose purpose is to receive energy and messages from “god”.
So after the accidental death of such, suddenly two holy women appears at the town, and one of them approaches Mercy claiming that she also has a cursed vision. Mercy finally starts seeing the good side of life with the help of this girl, but…
Strange things happen, and the girl starts acting out of character….
The rest you’ll have to discover by yourself. ;o)
Some of the CGs are pretty awesome from characterization alone.
First off, can I say how much I love the presentation of the game, the art and music fits so well and the atmosphere is so perfect, it weirdly reminded me of silent hill with all the red imagery and the unintelligible speech of people around mercy.
Other thing I have to praise is how none of the characters feel useless, all of them are developed, have their motivations and. The game deals with dark themes like bullying and abuse very well, the tone is consistent and it never feel like the novel is trying to be “edgy”, and it genuinely makes you feel bad for the protagonist, you just feel like jumping into the game and giving her a hug, because you feel like she doesn’t deserve any of the things that happen to her.
The mystery and Denpa aspects of the game are also incredibly implemented, like I said, the story was very engaging and I couldn’t stop reading it until I reach its conclusion, and the messages it passes with the ending is very beautiful.
Some persons just don't know how rude it is to garble a bunch of nonsense from their scribbled faces.
But I shall say no more, this game is free, not that long and there are no branches, so no save scumming to get extra CGs is required ;o). So, go download it, this VN proves that not all EVN’s are trash and that there are some genuine gems out there.
The Heart of Chuuni
My previous blog posts were about analyzing common definitions and attitudes toward the word "chuuni" and the chuuni genre. I was establishing a baseline. But now it's time to delve into the essence.
Most VN fans have heard an "explanation" of the chuuni genre before.
"It's stuff like Dies irae"
"It's hotblooded and over-the-top action"
"It's about detailed settings with cool characters"
"It's edgy shit"
"It's a story with characters who act chuunibyou, except nobody tsukkomi's them"
"It's people with heterochromia or special powers and victim complexes"
"It's shounen for adults"
Whatever you may have heard, there's one thing I'm sure about: it's vague. Most people zero in on a specific element of chuuni that holds their attention or that they like about it, and say, "This is chuuni!"
In truth, though, chuuni is a broad genre that encompasses many literary mediums, many sources of appeal, many tropes, and many cases where the trope is hard to describe. People are expected to experience a lot of chuuni works, and experience a lot of references to "chuuni" within other Japanese works, and thus by cultural osmosis, form an abstract concept of what is "chuuni".
But do we really have to settle for that? Can't we precisely say what exactly is and isn't "chuuni", at least in spirit? I believe we can.
Let's throw out popular perceptions and attitudes, along with all the baggage associated with the word "chuunibyou" that formed the basis of the word chuuni. Let's move beyond the cultural background that has been established in my previous post, discard all preconceptions, and finally... approach the true heart of chuuni.
The Path to Chuuni
What follow are largely my own informed inferences. They lack evidence, because there's no easy way to prove a cultural trend. If anyone has an alternative theory, they're free to present it in the comments or their own blog post.
Early manga was expected to conform to the "common sense" of society. Or rather, there was little market for contrarian works.
Works that targeted the youth often centered around "heroes" who were expected to help maintain the peace of society, living according virtues such as kindness and mercy, and achieved success and peer recognition as a result. Works that targeted adults, on the other hand, might be more cynical, but they still revolved around adult protagonists who had conformed to society.
For a parallel outside Japan, look to Western comic book heroes like Superman, who stood tall amid the Comics Code Authority regulations. In fact, the style of early manga was significantly inspired by its Western counterpart.
But society doesn't stay the same forever. Decades passed, and people's sensibilities changed along with their attitudes.
...No one can possibly trace chuuni to its origin point, because there is no such thing. Throughout history, there have always been isolated elements within works of literature that speak to our chuuni hearts. Like, for a fairly "recent" example, everything about the style of Hiei from Yuu Yuu Hakusho. If there is an origin of chuuni as a genre, it occurred when those elements fused together. But what degree of fusion is necessary to birth a "genre"? The only point by which it's absolutely certain a "genre" had come into existence was the advent of Fate/stay night.
What We Desired
So, what is chuuni?
Chuuni is completely pointless from a practical standpoint; it just sounds cool. Chuuni-style nicknames, throwing in random German, or donning a scarf or a cape.
Chuuni doesn't serve to create a conflict, or add necessary depth in ways typical of fantasy stories. Rather, it serves to emphasize the special coolness of the lead character. Having a "unique infection", wrestling with madness, experiencing an "awakening", or possessing memories of a past life.
Chuuni depicts the "alternate truths" that contradict what others think and feel. A morality that is not subordinated. Killing to survive, references to the food chain, massacre as self-expression, or a rebellion against the natural order of a hypocritical "God".
Chuuni reveals the "hidden truths" about society that have scarred the people within it. Conspiracies, cover-ups, or human experimentation.
At the heart, chuuni is a celebration of the virtue of "chuuni" characters--and the chuuni fans who recognize them--as the true heroes of this world, in touch with a reality the masses can't conceive of, capable of facing harsh truths and shouldering emotional burdens that typical, mundane people would be overwhelmed by--because those people lack character, lack mental strength, and are emotionally weak, capable only of clinging to the foolish perceptions, beliefs, and morals espoused by society. I believe that everything that chuuni has become started from that.
Young people in society often experience alienation, or some kind of frustration with their inability to perfectly conform. Such people are often tempted by a certain wild idea, and think like this:
"I feel like shit because no one sees the world the same way as me. But even after I've let myself stew in this rotten emotion, I still can't make myself be just like everyone else... What if everyone else is actually deluded, and I'm correct? In that case, my perception is superior to others, and I'm aware of truths they aren't, AND I had the boldness to stick with my beliefs instead of delude myself and conform like the rest of them. Aren't I quite awesome?"
People who feel like this, even if it's just a slight inclination rather than full-blown chuunibyou, tend to admire and seek out characters and stories with a chuuni spirit.
When Fate/stay night came out, it was like a bomb went off. Fate hit just the right note with its moral complexity, the mystique of the rich world it depicted, a lawless secret world of the supernatural, ordinary people depicted as clueless sacrificial sheep, a male lead whose evolution is a condemnation of traditional moralistic leads, and so on. People with an inclination toward chuuni tropes flocked to it in droves, plus everyone else, because Fate/stay night was just that good.
That said, in the present day, what we (especially VN fans) call "chuuni" often refers more to famous tropes from chuuni works, and what those tropes have evolved into, and doesn't necessarily seek as its audience the sort of person I just described. But it's worth keeping in mind the origin of this genre.
More Human than Humans
I'll close with this wonderful piece of prose that truly captures the essence of chuuni.
They, who wandered and pursued that formless “humanness,”
who couldn’t see any significance in their existence outside of battle,
who, because of their hearts becoming akin to blades, didn’t know how to grasp any hands extended to them,
who never had anyone understand their beauty, and had no choice but to seclude themselves among each other,
who had no choice but to estrange themselves with fake smiles when with other people so they could maintain themselves,
who couldn’t pride themselves in anything but destruction,
who therefore were particularly cynical and were born with inhumane powers, and therefore were continuously called monsters, were, more than anyone and anything else, human.
-- Excerpt from "Psyren: Another Call 2" by Iwashiro Toshiaki, translated by himetsuri
I'm not entirely satisfied with this post, so I may revise it later.
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
Today, I made the most famous Karaage (から揚げ). I do make this often and today I thought why not start a blog with this delicious content.
Spoiler: I didn't let my chicken rest enough so it had some excess potato starch on it... but the heck with it.
- Corn/Potato Starch
- Ginger (just a bit! we will only use the sweet juices)
- Soy Sauce
- Chicken ( cut them a bit larger than your normal bites, as it has a lot of fiber so it will shrink when frying)
Secret frying process:
Fry them 3 times. For best results go with 2 min on 190C, then let them rest for 1 minute. fry them again on 190C this time for 1 min, rest 30 sec. and then once again 1 minute on 190C.
I couldn't be bothered this time, probably also the reason why I have still corn on my finished product. It still tasty af tho.
Tip: use Japanese 7 spice mix (七味唐辛子) on your mayo.
Here is a video of me actually making it. unedited. (I didn't film the whole frying process as I couldn't be bothered...)
Enjoy the Cringe : )