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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 !
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Mirai Nostalgia is the game that turned Purple Soft around. After Ashita no Kimi to Au Tame ni, the company produced a number of middling and poor quality games, and it looked like Purple Software was going to fade into the background, like a lot of other companies that prospered during the 'Golden Age'. Then, all of the sudden, they released this game... and they regained the hearts of their followers, leading to a series of high quality releases, including Hapymaher, Amatsutsumi, and Aoi Tori.
Mirai Nostalgia follows an extensive cast of characters... a group of friends centering primarily around the protagonist Youichi and Uta (called Hime by the rest of the group). Like most high quality VNs with a lot of SOL, the interactions with the friend characters and non-heroines are lively and vitally important to fleshing out the setting and characters as a group and as individuals.
Kudou Youichi- Youichi is a lazy young man who is utterly incompetent at all forms of housework. He lives alone (at first) with the ancient bakeneko Kuro (who has apparently been alive for over a thousand years) and is a weak esper, possessing telekinesis and an unstable teleportation ability. In obedience to his family traditions, he keeps his powers hidden from all but those few others around him that also possess powers. Youichi is, by nature, a very calm, accepting individual who instinctively puts others first, often disregarding his own well-being if faced with the needs of others. He is also generally on the lowest rung of the family ladder (even the cat is above him), and he spends a lot of his time accommodating the females in his life (Shizuku and his little sisters especially).
Kasuga Iori- Iori is a traditional black-haired beauty and a miko... with an airgun and immensely powerful telekinetic abilities (think being able to erase someone from existence with pure kinetic force). She is also constantly threatening Youichi's life, for reasons she declines to mention to him, and her temper is almost always sharp-edged. She is definitely S by nature. Despite this apparently violent nature, she also has a deep capacity for love and compassion, and she is quite capable of forgiving a lot from those she cares about (though Youichi apparently pushes her over the edge).
Hatori Uta- Youichi's osananajimi, the daughter of the CEO of a large electronics company, and the spiritual center of the group of friends that lies at the center of the story. She definitely marches by her own drummer, living life as she wants to live it and ignoring inconvenient realities completely. All of the group of friends can't help but love her, and she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She is a heavy gamer and loves nothing more than beating the shit out of Youichi in competitive gaming.
Kudou Nono- The older of Youichi's twin stepsisters, a genkikko who does the vault in track and field. She loves to exercise, loves to eat, and loves her oniichan (not necessarily in that order, depending on her priorities at any given moment). She always has a smile on her face and can make friends with just about anyone.
Kudou Hina- The younger of Youichi's twin stepsisters, a sharp-tongued beauty with glasses who rules the Kudou family with an iron fist. A natural dictator, she openly states that her goal is to become the next student council president and enslave the student body to her will. She adores her niisan, but she doesn't let that stop her from insulting him constantly and prodding him into doing what she wants him to do. Where Nono is the type that wears her heart on her sleeve, Hina is the type that has quiet depths beneath the surface.
Anna- Anna is an esper who has traveled from the future to the past, in order to change the timeline she came from. She states that the future Youichi denied her confession of love, and she also presents herself as the most powerful esper in existence. She is generally a prankster, playful and easygoing, taking endless pleasure in teasing Youichi. However, she is quite obviously hiding a lot of things from him... She is also the true heroine.
The Other Characters
Hatori Ei- Uta's elder brother, a rootless wanderer who travels the world for years at a time. His generally irresponsible nature makes him the butt of jokes for most of the group of friends, and he and Shizuku are rivals for the position of 'elder caretakers' in the group.
Hoshikawa Shizuku- The all-powerful student council president, Youichi's cousin, an immensely powerful clairvoyant, and the 'elder sister' of the group. Most of the group's members have resigned themselves to being her slaves, and when the whim takes her, she drags them all into her schemes and plots. She cares deeply about the other members of the group, but her position as an elder sister often puts her in the position of having to think of what is best for everyone.
Sanada Kanata- The waitress at a local cafe, one of Youichi's osananajimis, and an infamous dojikko. She shines the most as the butt of jokes or when being dragged around by Shizuku or caught up in her schemes. Everybody teases her, but they all love her, too.
Kase Touya- An unfortunate young man who finds himself in the same position as Kanata most of the time (the butt of jokes and getting dragged into trouble by Shizuku). While he is good-looking, because of his overly eager manner, most girls don't take him seriously, and he has yet to manage to get a girlfriend. He and Youichi often commiserate about their treatment by the girls in the group.
Kuro- A thousand year old bakeneko (youkai cat) who has advised the Kudou family for generations and is one of the 'people' who raised Youichi. Once an immensely powerful youkai, time has taken its toll, and now he only retains the ability to speak mentally to those who possess esper abilities. Immensely dignified, wise, and gentle by nature, Youichi's trust in him as an advisor is absolute. While Kuro will advise if asked or if he thinks it is truly needed, he doesn't believe in 'holding the student's hand' (figuratively speaking) and is perfectly willing to sit back and let Youichi make his own mistakes.
Kasuga Haru- Iori's mother, an easygoing nurse and sometime coach to the track and field team, she is an immensely strong person (mentally and spiritually). Her capacity for love is as deep and strong as her daughter's, and one can see the results in Iori's private interactions with her. She does share Iori's S side though.
Mirai Nostalgia's story begins with the protagonist's first contact with Anna, the supposed 'girl from the future' and the return of his twin imoutos, Nono and Hina after several years apart. Soon after, he encounters Iori, and his peaceful life is suddenly overturned as a result. This is a nakige, much like the other games Purple Soft has made soon, but its style is more 'traditional' (closer to the format Key pioneered, albeit with a stronger central story). My suggested play order for this game is Hina>Nono>Uta>Iori>Anna. The reasons are pretty obvious if you play the game, but I'll go ahead and outline them here. I basically put them in order from 'least relevant to the central story' to 'most relevant'. Hina's path is by far the weakest of the five, which is probably inevitable in retrospect (Hina's character is hard to grasp as a heroine). Nono is a bit stronger as a heroine, but the events leading up to the climax of the story felt forced in comparison to the events that led to her and Youichi becoming lovers. Uta's path is a bit more fantastical in some ways, mostly because of an unexpected turn of events caused by Uta's dependent personality. Iori's path... is emotionally powerful, not the least because it reveals the biggest reason why Anna returned to the past. Anna's path... is a cryfest. I cried through roughly a third of Anna's path both times I played this game, simply because it was just that good.
This game's music is slightly above the standard quality for commercial VNs, so it is noteworthy in that sense. However, this was also the VN where Purple Soft began to seriously typecast the company's favored voice actors (Kazane in particular), and so you can pretty much tell the personality of a Purple Soft character by the sound of their voice, in a generalized sense, lol.
The first time Purple Soft used Koku for their visuals was in this game, and for those who have played Hapymaher or Chrono Clock, the style will be familiar by now.
This game is a nice nakige with a strong mix of humorous slice of life and powerful emotional moments. If you want a good nakige to sit down and read through that is less moe-dependent than a Key VN, this is an excellent choice.
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It have at least a female protagonist though!Serious now, this short title developed by Alice in Dissonance, and published by Sekai Project, was released back in February and since it's not moe enough and it didn't have any h-scene or censorship, it kinda slip under everyone's radar, myself included. I find it randomly when I was looking for short novels on Steam, but I'm thankful for the amount of adorableness I found in such tiny gem.
Both Mhakna and Fairy Bell from the title
Mhakna Gramura and Fairy Bell tells the story of Mhakna, a young girl that prays for a Fairy for happier days, just to have her wish granted and then carried to the beautiful and magical Enles Land with her best friend Sebiarno. But there's one condition, they must promise they'll give up on growing. The story is presented in chapter format and each one show a different adventure of the two kids in a fairy tale setting. It made me remember Sekien no Inganock structure but with more hope and less repetition, or a RPG Maker game named AliceMare but happier.
A thing worth mentioning is that, according the developers, Mhakna Gramura is a fairy tale written by Alissyn Rievegh, a Sanne'Ajrizdia-language (a fictional language) author in the world of Fault Milestone, Alice in Dissonance more known series. So it's a story inside a story. I know absolutely nothing about Fault and that didn't hinder my enjoyment one bit. But Mhakna does have some fictional language going on at times, probably the one mentioned above, but it's not hard to distiguish what's supposed to be a greeting and what's supposed to be food. Although halfway through, you get furigana (yes, in english) for some words. But if the idea of having furigana in english hurts your elitist soul, you can switch the the entire game language to japanese in the main menu! You also unlock a glossary by the time you finish the game, but for me it was a bit too late, I barely remember where each word was used.
Protect these kids' smiiiiiiiiiles
The chapters themselves are pretty short, ranging from two to ten minutes long, 20 chapter total. It really is a very short reading, but unlike the aforementioned Sekien no Inganock, each new side character you met along the way comes back at least once so you get to understand their side of the story and what made them pray for Fairy Bell. More explanations and backstory are also unlocked in the glossary, for anyone that could feel unsatisfied. Of course, nothing is all sunshine and rainbows in this VN so be prepare to be hit with some feels. One chapter in particular was quite sad, and that's also thanks to its well written children characters, who actually act and think like children for 95% of the time.
The art is incredibly good. The game doesn't have sprites, instead the background image transitions along with the lines, enhancing the story book feels. Some parts of the images have very simple animations (like when we can see Fairy Bell moving up and down when she's hovering, rain and tears falling, etc), and that added a lot of charm and uniqueness to this experience. The coloring is very pretty as well.
And even the music! The tracks are a mix of relaxing and lively tracks, but the music for sad and weird moments also do their job well. Everything in this novel, art, music and story blended together really well. There's no voice acting, but the game is short, so it'll be over before you starting missing voice acting.
Even the side characters are so adorable...
After playing and seeing a lot of dark and gritty games or VNs where sex is your only reward, a innocent, pure and a bit childish game like this was a nice breath of fresh air in between longer reads. Even if it's pretty short, it's well worth its 5 USD price. If you're a sucker for fairy tale inspired stories, like me, this VN is satisfying!
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Foreword: There is a negative English review, but VNDB voting shows a decent 6.72 score atm and this is Silky's story oriented work, same Silky's that I praised multiple times for Kawarazaki-ke no Ichizoku, Reira Slave Doll, Ushinawareta Rakuen and Koihime. So I decided to make it to the end of Jack ~Haitoku no Megami~ no matter what.
Title: Jack ~Haitoku no Megami~
Synopsis: You are Jack Martin, a drunken, selfish, sex-driven bastard of a detective. You recently received a job to capture the inter-galactic terrorist "Phantom". The Phantom has been confirmed to be heading toward a galactic convention on a transtellar shuttle. This is where you come in.
Structure: One route with four Bad End branches.
Length: 3 hours
Game type: Command selection adventure
Difficulty: Branching is difficult and following walkthrough is advised in order not to waste time on meaningless endings.
Character Design rating: 4/10
Protagonist rating: 5/10
Story rating: 6/10
Game quality: 6/10
Overall rating: 6/10
Rating comments: Pretty high score still. The introduction was very shallow followed by meeting meaningless characters having meaningless talks and then I entered the wrong branch where Jack just dozed off after drinking session at the bar oversleeping the important meeting and missing the whole murder case at the ship bridge... then there were some random girls encounters and then just something hit him in the head killing him after over 2 hours of play... wow, I felt really miserable at that point and that first impression really hurt evaluation. Then I followed a walkthrough and finally remotely understood what was going on. Other complaints are to be touched in corresponding sections.
Protagonist: Saying Jack is a bad protagonist is saying nothing at all. He's horrible. He does not have a single plan. All that he's doing is drinking in the bar and then drinking in his room occasionally having other girls drinking with him in the bar or in his or their rooms plus occasionally meeting some faces in the corridor. And if he drinks with the right people the story manages to unwind by itself...
Characters: Characters are my biggest complaint in this game. There are a lot of girls, but they just flash here and there, throw a few dialogue lines and disappear in order to reappear in some spontaneous even leading to a H scene. Reni is the main heroine of the game, Jack's partner. She's an island of sanity in this asylum, but there's an impression that she just sits in the room all the time, so she never actually follows Jack. She does provide some insight, but apart of that she ain't much supportive.
Story: There's little in the story department. Main heroes hunt for mysterious Phantom, then a murder happens and they start investigation which does not bring any results, really. At some point Phantom just pops up and a swift resolution follows. I was greatly misleaded by the line about the dragon in the English review - actually it's not a normal dragon, but a space dragon that hatched from a huge space egg, so there's no shift in the setting.
CG: Nice, but few'ish - but lots of HCG. Colors are kind of dim like in Reira while I'd prefer something more bright like Ushinawareta Rakuen.
Sound: Tracks are pleasant, but there are some 8 of them which is not enough.
Themes: Ok, this game actually does not have a symbolic theme, but why not mention couple repeating features
1) Oh, what time is it? Let's check the watch. It's 14:10. There is still a lot of time left. Those lines with slight variations are repeated so often, but I don't think there was some deadline ever so all that talk along with the clock integrated in the interface have little meaning.
2) The throat's got dry. I want to drink alcohol... Those lines are repeated over and over at those rare moments when Jack is not actually drinking. At the culmination point of the game in the mids of battle with Phantom he repeats the very same lines... That might be a nice feature of a cool protagonist, but Jack is not cool. He's rather miserable.
Overall comments: I seem to be bashing the game in every section, so I'd like to focus on good sides in conclusion.
1) First of all, the game plays as a contemporary visual novel with just clicking through and occasionally picking lines of choice.
2) Secondly, the constant drunkenness of protagonist opens up new opportunities like distorted consciousness and free flow of thoughts.
3) There are some nice to observe archetype characters like a homo, an obviously super suspicious mechanic, an esper.
4) Jack himself actually gets some character depth by the end of the game - we get to know the circumstances that caused him to drop from an elite military unit and start to drink.
5) The SF setting is quite interesting, actually, with postwar spies hunt and mysterious space events like that space dragon.
So it's not a masterpiece level game, but a solid Silky's experimental game. I like works with an SF touch Silky's is smart enough to provide an entertaining product. I'm looking forward to reviewing their next game Fermion ~Mirai kara no Houmonsha~.
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So I recently finished playing "Tales of Berseria" (JRPG game by Bandai Namco) and I thought I would round up my thoughts about the game here (the review should be mostly spoiler free, otherwise notify me and I'll change it).
The story tells the tale of young Velvet Crowe and her adventurous crew (surmounting to 6 by the end of the game) who set out to put an end to a trauma of Velvet's past by all manner of means, ranging from fishing and cooking to straight up fighting. Well mostly the latter. You see while you might be fooled by an early cutesy introduction the meat of the game is truly in its dark undertones which, for a game with a age rating of 16, is a fair amount of the content.
I found also that the content was fairly philosophical at times (perhaps not in the amount of some VNs though). In the game you namely find yourself fighting between different values, ideas and perspectives, something the game manages in my opinion to do with fluidity and better than most games and VNs. This philosophy comes from the intimite and delicate relation the game places between cutscenes, extra dialogue (dialogue you can choose to straight up never open) and world building in which you get to take a part of not a straight up philosophy lesson but instead a smaller amount of nit picks of philosophy. In this regard I found the game interesting above the brute force gameplay and story (we will get to that later) and found myself able to enjoy not skipping every single dialogue line, something I admittedly find myself doing all too often in games.
The story is very good and interesting throughout the whole game, if somewhat trope-ish (what can one expect from a JRPG game?) and while the story never managed to grab me to the point of tears it certainly has its moments for both the ones liking darker and (somewhat) lighter storylines. Is this good? Well, perhaps. I personally did not really enjoy the sudden shift the game took towards the end to become so light namely and I sort of wished the story had stuck purely to the largely dark undertones it held in the beginning, since this shift sort of opened up the door for it being trope-ish for the (in my opinion good) ending. Did this largely influence my enjoyment? Certainly not, but just something to note for those not able to stand JRPGs love for tropes.
In terms of voice acting I can not speak for the English side but with Japanese voices the dialogue is very nicely voiced.
The fighting (which is 50%> of the game in my opinion) is focused on different, so called, artes (attacks basically) which have different effects, elements, level upgrading (..., I was literally still getting new tutorial messages for fights 1 hour before the, ~40-ish hour, game ended). If you are like me however you will notice the little blue bar (so called "souls") next to people's faces and that is, truth be told, the MVP meter, 80% of your time will be spent waiting for this to go up to three bars and then pressing R to do some, so called, break soul ability, which is basically code name for stun lock, invincibility frames and damage central (if you want some NG+ level fighting, I am not your guy, I am the R spammer). If you do not have this bar filled you will be in the living hell mode, where you can get stun locked into the next century and can get absolutely destroyed by different AI unless you run around in circles (blocking does exist but did not work very well in my experience compared to dashing away) and wait for your blue bar (basically working as a stamina bar) to refill by attacking with basic artes and running.
Is the fighting enjoyable? Yes. Is it repetitive? Yes, especially if you need to farm for levels where your life basically becomes turning down the volume to next to nought to not have to use hearing aid in the near future due to the EXTREMELY loud battle sounds (one reason I cannot really speak for the music) and getting perhaps slightly bored of seeing the same cat on a wand for the 30th time. Personally I would have perhaps liked some other battle system (with an lessened focus on stuns and the "souls" (stamina bar) and an increased focus on leveling) but I can also see the enjoyment it brings when you absolutely destroy your enemies with OP and nice animated powers. Beware however, the AOE stun of doom is real in this game so if you screw up your blue bar of destiny you are a bit in the toilet when an enemy does an AOE of half the battleground and you can neither run away, get up your souls (since it takes forever to do so) or attack (due to the extreme damage some bosses do).
In terms of bosses the game too offers a wide arrange, though arguably they are later on narrowed down in terms of difficulty to their AOE attack size and ability to stun lock you and your AI friends (which are actually pretty good in my experience of not needlessly dying), since in my experience that is where the real trouble late game comes up and minor changes in attack patterns become minor.
The characters are also really enjoyable and funny, making me chuckle more than once and not making one character that one guy which is boring compared to the others. The relations between the different antagonists and characters later on get really interesting too, tying in nicely with good story overall.
In terms of graphics the game is generally really good, if perhaps somewhat randomly pixely at some points (I laughed when an antagonist got an 144p background randomly smashed up behind himself while he kept the same quality as the rest of the game). Out doors the quality stays pretty good too and most of the views of the game are pretty nice if looked from afar, if somewhat dulled out if you get close up.
Though focusing (perhaps too much) on the the battle system, Tales of Berseria is something to truly enjoy for its story and characters, which is something that brought me back to game and made the experience all the more worth it.
Ah, Assassins Creed, when did it go oh so wrong? Did you tire out your welcome with new entries to the series coming out every single year? Was it the repetitive missions and game play that carried from one game to the next? Or was it just because it wasn't interesting anymore? Could be all of them. Well, they're still making money with every new major Assassins Creed game so what do I know? I do know that after Black Flag came out in 2013 for the 360 I began to really not care about the series. I mean, Black Flag was the high point of the series. You played as a pirate with all the Assassins Creed mechanics plus new ones for the ship combat and movement. But the game itself has no real replay value because of the fucking insane amount of trailing missions the game throws at you. I don't remember these being an issue when first playing the game because I was an idiot but now it's so painfully obvious that this game can have the pace of a snail race in molasses on a cold winter morning. The pacing for the player feels forced as most missions rely on the pacing of others. You can't just jump down on people and say "HEY! Give me what I want or I will kill you!" NO! You have to tail the guy/guys until they reach their destination while also not being spotted in the process. One of the first missions in the game is fucking chasing someone and you will not catch them until the game wants you to.
Then you have the modern day stuff going on as you play a faceless nobody playing a simulation of a real world event. At least with Desmond the guy had some kind of arc going on. He was beginning to slowly understand he was having a bigger role in the world to saving it or destroying it. I actually like the real world events in Assassins Creed back in the day. It was a hell of a lot interesting than some faceless mute being told what to do every step of the way by either some voice in a headset or by that chick from Jurassic World
I wonder if Ubisoft was aware of what they were doing when creating the faceless muted character that you control from a first person perspective? You have no input on the events happening around you, you just go along without question. You literally have no voice for this big corporation and mindlessly play a game on a computer. Well, the jokes on them since my computer is such a piece of crap, I PLAYED ON THE 360! Take that, Ubisoft!
So you play a pirate name Jack pr something in a time when "Pirates are just looking for freedom." I mean, sure, there was a slight tad oppression on the people from the governments but don't try and spoon feed me shit about pirates just wanting to be free. You know, pirates? The ones that sailed the sea from port to port pillaging and killing anyone and everyone along the way. Those guys? Yeah, they were just looking for freedom from their understandable oppressive government.
But anyway, you play a man named James who impersonates an assassin and travel to where he was supposed to go in his stead because he will get money somehow. I forget what the point of this was. I do remember that when asked why he can climb stuff so well, Jake responds with "A true fisherman has each individual be as strong as a fishhooks." Sure, that explains everything. So Jeremy goes to the meeting and er... does a thing... and then gets a ship! The details are pretty fuzzy but Blackbeard is in it. I remember he died very differently from in real life... for some reason. No clue why. Maybe it was just so Juan can see him die. Well, Cleopatra is a sex symbol in Origins so it seems Ubisoft doesn't actually care about historical accuracy. Even though they claim these stories to be inspired by historical events.
Details are fuzzy, characters forgettable and overall, I just don't care about it anymore. I haven't played an AC game since this one for good reason. Even if they changed everything about AC I wouldn't care.
Finally we have on time VNTS for this week, although in turn this time my VNTS review is quite late. As for the title, you may find it quite strange, although in fact it's just another role association from me here because the seiyuu for the image header girl was also voicing Makoto back in Chrono Clock, who as we knew is the yakuza. For peace loving part, it's to adapt with another name of Supipara Chapter 2 in which it was called Peace Story, and especially it was because the 'Pi' part from Supipara is stand for Peace. It's pretty ironic though that the girl in image header (Hotaru) was supposed to the main girl of Peace Story, and yet she's quite a tsundere who managed to say 'kill' five times in a conversation with MC lol. With that done, welcome to this week VNTS Review which is to be very frank still quite anemic although at least we have two major updates from Mangagamer (One release and one planned release), so at least this week it's slightly more active. Let's see what I can write for this week as well.
As for Sekai, no notable update will be very appropriate for them. For the update, we have Loveduction was fully translated and need some engine work. Other than the only update, we have Sekai revealed three additional secret projects. What I know is that we still didn't have info for that project, so I guess we better just wait and see later. However, the most probable guess would be those three projects would be another lesser known VNs considering that those three VNs were almost ready for release, and more if we knew that it's just revealed today. But even so, I will be happy though if those three secret projects turn out to be very well known VNs, almost impossible as it is. For secret projects progress roundup, the 1st project was in QA, 2nd project was fully translated and 99% translated, and 3rd project was still waiting for the third party (According to the tracker it's almost ready for release).
As for fan translation once again it's only just regular updates, although this time we have Pure Pure have a break though because the translator was busy at the university. For the roundup we have Musumaker was at 52% translated, Eustia was reached 40% mark (40.06%) translated along with at 24.82% TLC-ed, Harugi's prologue was at halfway translated along with 28% TLC-ed and 16% edited (The overall progress was still at around 1%), Higurashi Tsukiotoshi was almost completely translated (At 99% translated), Shin Koihime Musou was at 26% edited, and Witch Garden was at 44% translated. Still no news from Tsurezure yet although perhaps they're quite busy lately, so that's all for fan translation section.
This week we also have Punchline VN release news for both of PS4 and PSV at this summer later, although seeing that at the same time we'll gonna have the probable release for both of Island and Shibuya Scramble - by the way we already have another Island anime PV and apparently it'll be released as a part of summer 2018 season, so it mean that there's a chance that we'll get Island VN release at summer later. Back to Punchline, for the info it was created as anime first by Uchikoshi (Ever17, Zero Escape) and the anime have some infamy for showing too much fan service. So the bottom line here is that Punchline announcement was not interesting to me because it was overshadowed, and it was only available for console.
We also have change from Sol Press in which they decided to announced another VN from the same company as Sakusakura (Yotsunoha), and it was quite an old VN from 2000's. From the first look, I just think it was just an average moege but at least it was good looking - also it have OVA as well. As for the translation progress, it was already at the middle and right now it was at 42% translated, 30% edited, and 8% QA-ed. Other than Yotsuhana announcement, we also finally have Sol Press made a new website in which it looks neat. They also made the progress for their two remaining VNs project is easier to navigate, especially in regard of Newton VN in which it was at 85% translated along with 70% edited and 40% QA-ed (At least we didn't need to take not which route was in translation and in editing). As for the release date for those three VNs, they're quite confident to announced the exact release date although keep in mind that they may have delay in regard of the release - for the date, Newton VN will be released at May 25th, Sakusakura at 30th later, and Yotsunoha at July 27th.
From Mangagamer, we have one planned release with the exact date ready. As for the release, it was Fata Morgana fandisc in which it'll be released at May 17th later. Although it could be said as the fandisc, actually it also depict the past of certain characters who said to be the catalyst of Fata Morgana story (I can't say it freely because it was a major spoiler). Go preorder that if you want to see more Fata Morgana.
Other than Fata Morgana fandisc release date announcement, we also have Supipara Chapter 2 (Peace Story) in which it's also the currently last chapter for Supipara. I said currently because Supipara itself was pretty ambitious project that was planned to have five chapters, only for minori to face the financial danger before barely saved (That's why their heroines in VNs after Supipara release have big breast). For Peace Story itself, our focus will be on Hotaru in which once again is a quite tsundere and her connection with Alice the Witch. There's also interesting fact that there's an opening that depict the heroines for the remaining two unavailable chapters, in which it should be a hint that minori did intend to continue their ambitious project, because if not I think there would be no new opening for Supipara even with the reduced cost for that (The new opening is till better animated compared to usual VN opening though). As for my opinion here while the opening itself sounds exciting (I like it), I still have some doubt that we'll be able to see this complete because it'll be need a lot of money so more or less I'm pretty wary about this. In the end, I hope taht I'll be able to see Supipara released with all of five chapters completed, although it might take very long time to achieve that.
I think that's all for this week, and see you next week.
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Hello, Kiri desu.
On this week's blog we will be going over why blonde hair is so bad that I claim it to be.
First on our list is that many blonde girls are gaijins (foreigners.)
First example is Lena from Senren Banka:
She just memes around and uses Nippongo (Japanese) all wrong all the time saying fucked up things. Also look at those massive boobs she has on that pic + that beautiful neck. SMH
Just absolutely adorable. HONTO KAWAII
Second example is our ninja enthusiastic A-chan from FloFlo
Just like Lena she has some wrong (very) impressions of Japan. Here we can listen to her talk. Absolutely cute.
Second on our list is that blonde hair is often related to gyarus or delinquents.
First one of these beauties is girl called Reina from Kirikoi. She is one of my favorite girls. Girls that are always happy and are not afraid to take skin contact and comfort you when you are feeling down are truly precious treasures.
Second beauty is Ria from Kirikoi too. She is a delinquent but actually cares for others efven though she doesn't show it. Very good.
Third and last thing on our list is that some of them are TSUNDERES. Tsunderes are literally the best thing that has happened to the humanity (after blondes.) No other explanation needed.
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Ebi-Hime is one of the very few OELVN developers who managed to establish themselves as a reliable and respected creators even among the JP-centric visual novel fans. Having released over 20 titles since 2013, both freeware and commercial, she is probably best-known for her yuri titles, such as Asphyxia and The Sad Story of Emmeline Burns, and impressive horror stories, such as Sweetest Monster and The Way We All Go. Most of her work stands out through unusual, western settings, deep connection to English culture and literature and art that diverge in various ways from generic, anime-style illustrations you can find in most western VNs. Blackberry Honey, Ebi-Hime’s latest commercial VN, is both a very typical title for her – with its yuri themes, Victorian England setting and unusual stylization – and an unusual one, as it the first project of her's to include explicit sexual content, through an optional 18+ patch. So, how did this first venture into the world of eroge turned out for the OELVN scene’s star creator?
The game has its share of interesting and surprising moments, but the overall pacing is painfully slow and predictable, even for a romance
Blackberry Honey follows the story of Lorina Waugh, a young, poor maid that starts working in a rural residence of Bly, after being sent off in disgrace from her previous job, in unclear circumstances. Being mistreated by some of the older maids in the estate and Lady Constance, the young daughter of the owners, she struggles desperately to hold to her position, so she can financially support her mother and sisters. After being hurt while performing a pointless chore for Constance, she stumbles upon the Bly’s unusual, foreign-looking parlour maid, Taohua, sparking a relationship that will completely change her life.
As the game is a kinetic novel, the story is completely linear and follows a fairly predictable romance formula. It’s definitely not lighthearted, being very thorough in pointing out the social injustices of XIX-century England (and disturbing details of Lorina’s especially miserable circumstances), but being even more depressing than I’ve expected is probably the only way in which it managed to surprise me. Pointless cruelty, represented most by Constance (and to a lesser extent, by Pauline and Isobel, older maids that bullies Lorina), is constantly present and creates some heavily uncomfortable developments, putting the protagonist in absolutely hopeless situations, only sometimes mitigated by Taohua’s interventions. The positive support characters, such as other maids sympathetic towards Lorina give the whole story a more realistic feeling, but are completely ineffectual for the main storyline – all this makes much of the story pretty tiring to read.
The fairly small support cast is well developed and fairly interesting, but most often adds very little to the main story
All this is made even more problematic by the game’s pacing – the mundane, everyday hardships of Lorina’s life definitely dominate the story and while some of it was definitely necessary to establish her character and express her situation well enough, the actual plot progression is extremely slow – it feels like 5-6 hours of good story was diluted over 10+ hours of reading, with really interesting moments few and far between. Ebi’s very high-quality writing is maybe the sole factor that makes the slower portions of the game bearable – as always, it offers enjoyable prose and most often ads to the character development (for example, showing some reasons behind Constance’s cruel behavior), too often however without any real purpose or connection with the main intrigue. Also, when the game introduces some intriguing developments or gives some kind of spin to the secondary characters, more often than not it leads absolutely nowhere (the most egregious example of that I can’t mention to avoid spoilers).
The lead couple salvages the situation to some extent, mostly thanks to Taohua and the mystery behind her origins and peculiar position within Bly. Her backstory, revealed very late in the game, was definitely my favourite portion of the whole VN and something I was waiting for since her introduction. Lorina, while having some admirable features, can’t be really called a compelling protagonist because of her constant powerlessness and sometimes maybe even unreasonable unwillingness to stand up against her abusers. Her forced passivity translates to some extent into romance scenario, in which Taohua, being both older and having much higher social standing, is definitely the dominating figure. That also, before the pretty sweet ending, added to the feeling of discomfort and frustration that rarely fully left me while reading Blackberry Honey.
While the protagonist’s hentai-like design feels out of place, the game’s peculiar artstyle is generally enjoyable
The game’s visuals are fairly unusual in style, especially when talking about sprites and CGs – it is however very consistent in quality and all elements of it, from backgrounds to UI design, compliment the general atmosphere of the story pretty well. The hentai-like design of the protagonist, with absurdly large breasts, is slightly unsettling at first, but definitely, something you can get used to, while the relative lack of variety of poses and expression of the characters is noticeable, but not severe enough to ruin the overall effect. The erotic segments, which the game advertises itself with, were also among the more enjoyable straight-up yuri h-scenes I’ve seen, never taking unreasonable amounts of time or becoming overly explicit. Some porn tropes were, of course, present – I didn’t know that XIX-century maids, especially young virgins, shaved their pubic hair – but as I’m not the intended audience for such content, I’ve at least had fewer problems with it than usual. The scenes also seem pretty safe to skip, without breaking the flow of the game, which I always consider a plus – the 18+ patch really is optional. Music as usual didn’t manage to catch my attention most of the time, but when it did, it felt both pretty lovely and appropriate for the setting.
I can’t hide the fact that in the hindsight, Blackberry Honey was definitely a disappointment for me, even though it never actually crossed the line to being a bad game. The after-credits note by Ebi gives some hints of the sources of my main complains – the game was first though out as short nukige, more or less devoid of any real plot and over time grew into a fully-fledged VN idea. It was also re-written a few times, with elements being added out of order and the story changing in major ways – it’s not surprising, in these circumstances, that the end product lacked focus and had serious issues with pacing. Still, while my review might feel overly negative in tone, I don’t think Blackberry Honey is not worth your time – it’s simply a very slow game, that is best approached with an abundance of free time and willingness to wait for the more intriguing parts to show up. And especially if you enjoy yuri sexual content, it will ultimately prove rewarding.
Final score: 3/5
+ Well-implemented, western setting
+ Interesting artstyle
+ High-quality prose
- Extremely slow pacing
- Stories of side characters go nowhere
(Have you ever had it blue?)
Growing up I never did much with my summers. Other than the requisite family trips I spent most of my summers indoors engaged in watching TV or playing video games. I had no real desire to ever go to summer camp or anything like that. That might have been to my detriment now that I think about it. I could have had a wonderful time and forged some lasting relationships or some shit like that. Of course, if you want to go by horror movie logic I spared myself from being cut down by some ax wielding maniac, or subjected to some R.L. Stine twist. Thinking about it realistically, I probably just spared myself a few pen pals I would never write to, and the usual bug bites and poison ivy misadventures. I'll just pack that in the things that I regret not doing when I was young like playing the guitar, taking theater, and learning ventriloquism. For Osanai Shouko, it is doubtless that her summer camp trip will change her life forever, if she can survive it that is.
(Welcome to Camp Nightmare)
It's summertime and for second year Osanai or (Osa as she is normally called) that means it is time for the annual summer training camp with the rest of the Seijou Girls’ Academy Kendo Club. The location for the training camp is Shoushinji, a Buddhist Monastery that is famous for the island that is across from it Urashima. According to the lengthy prologue that is delivered to you in the beginning, Urashima was the location of a fabled battle with demons several hundred years ago. Being the dependable kendo club captain she is Osa is more concerned about the itinerary of the trip and how well the rest of the team performs than some old legend. Despite that, something about the monastery seems awfully familiar to her. It feels like has been there before somehow even though she is sure that this is her first time. Something relating to an event that occurred eight years ago, a event that she can barley recall. What does it all mean? The story in Aoishiro has competent mystery that is interesting enough that it held my attention throughout and kept me wanting to play. What Aoishiro can truly take pride in is a smorgasbord of intriguing and diverse characters that you encounter over the course of the story.
(Get ready to be familiar with this scene because these girls love to eat. )
This is truly Aoishiro's main selling point and it's something the Visual Novel truly excels in. Most notably one of the best characters happens to be the protagonist herself Osanai Shouko. She is a very dependable and grounded character and even though she is just human she can still hold her own when the proverbial shit hits the fan. It's very rare to find a truly great protagonist in a Visual Novel so I was quite delighted to find that in Osa. The rest of the cast are all extremely well developed as well and really add to the legend, and the story. They are all drawn to the monastery at the same time and at the same place because a storm is approaching, and a secret ritual is about to begin at Urashima. Some of these characters include,
Aizawa Yasumi: She is the manager of the kendo club and a very determined girl even though she doesn't have much stamina and gets weak pretty easily. I was a little bit leery of her initially as she reminded me of a certain dango obsessive character but she turned out to have quite a few surprises up her sleeve.
Kyan Migiwa: She is a strange girl that you meet in the beginning of the game at Shoushinji. She is not apart of the kendo club though she is the same age as Osa. Migiwa is initially very secretive about what she is doing at the temple, and why she insists on keeping watch over the forbidden stepping stones that are the only path to the island. She is very carefree and loves to tease and is consequently one of my favorite characters.
Nami: She is another mystery girl that literally washes up at the beach one night. She does not seem able to speak and her memory is gone as well. What a winning combination. She is strangely well adjusted despite that ludicrous setback.
Kohaku: The mystery girls keep appearing one after another! She is a small odd woman dressed in a very old outfit with one eye perpetually closed. Hm, I wonder what that could mean?
Secret Character: This very characters existence is a mystery!
Each of the main characters drastically change how the the story plays out and they give a very different insight into the events. Like many visual novels before it you have to play in a certain way to unlock all the heroines and the final grand route. Since they are all pretty great it was not much of a hassle. The grand route by itself is definitely worth unlocking since it is the route where Osa get's to truly shine. On top of that Aioshiro boasts a large cast of side characters which is a quite unusual but not unwelcome addition. They are,
Akita Momoko: An intensely energetic girl that is also a ravenous carnivore.
Sakurai Ayashiro: The Vice President of the kendo club and a very dignified lady from a rich family.
Aoi Hanako: The teacher and advisor to the club, she is a exposition monster and enjoys the odd drink.
And finally, Suzuki Yuukai the chief priest at Shoushinji and another of the exposition monsters. He is a big beer and kendo enthusiast.
(I don't know man moments like these just happen)
My Two Cents
I truly enjoyed my time with Aoishiro even though my first few moments were agonizingly slow thanks to a bug. After I figured out the cause my experience greatly improved. That is not to say that my whole time with it was amazing. I was reminded a lot by Fate/Stay Night while I was playing both in a positive way and a negative way. On the positive side the production quality is through the roof. From the highly detailed visuals to the great voice acting and the wonderful soundtrack. This is coming from someone who almost always plays my own music while I play so you know the music has to be great. On the negative side there are quite a few characters who seem to take a sadistic pleasure in barraging you with copious amounts of info dumps on the lore and legends of the area. There is a supposedly handy in game dictionary but unfortunately that part of Aoishiro was untranslated. The amount of names and events eventually fused together in a impenetrable mush. I was not sure half the time what was traditional folklore and what was the in-game lore. I was able to get a handle on it eventually but it led to some tedium. Speaking of tedium there are numerous times where we are treated to lengthy feasting scenes. They all but grind the story to a halt though they do provide some nice character interaction. Thankfully after the first route is complete it is possible to skip through a lot of these scenes. Those were really my only real gripes with the game. Also like Fate there are also a lot of bad ends that you could unwittingly end up in if you aren't careful. It's more of a Shoujo Ai than a pure yuri game though there are quite a few suggestive moments. Aoishiro turned out to be very spectacular especially in the grand route that you unlock in the game. The strength of the protagonist and the rest of the cast, the visuals, the story and finally the music all come together in a cohesive whole. I really liked it is what I'm trying to say.
This post will contain mild spoilers (though nothing really happens in it, so it's not really spoilers) for the common route section. Because of the large amount of screenshots, I've decided to make Hiiragi's specific events their own segment. I might even divide it between her events and the talk conversations. And I think I'll leave my screenshot spam at that.Spoiler
Next day, we go walk the neighbour's dog, Sashimi, in the park. Unfortunately, he seems to be a bit... hyperactive, so to speak.
When we get to class, though, we are introduced to a concept hitherto unheard of.
Truly mysterious. The teacher agrees, though.
You don't say?
But class starts and a question is posed. Should we give up or seat on the bus or the train for an old lady? Well, of course we-
Ahh! Now this REAL morals. Debating ethics and issues on more than a superficial level.
What an orator.
Look at him successfully converting people to the dark side.
Including the teacher.
Crap! We're being called out on our BS.
Not a problem. We must simply change our argument a bit. What if
And so morals class ends with everyone praying these hypothetical situations never come to pass.
Next day, our dearest friend Genki tells us he's thinking of sneaking out of school to buy food outside. And we place our order...
What a mysterious currency. Since we obviously cannot pay in that foreign coin, let us devise a plan... A plan so sly you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.
Later on, it seems Genki trying to get someone to give them a picture. I wonder what he could want them for...?
Well, if the pretty boy can't help, it's up to us, I guess.
We are, of course, a master of the art.
Some other day, Momo seems to be looking for a job. What would he need a job for?
Ah. But of course.
No. It's our turn first. But thankfully, a teacher comes by before a murder does take place, and he gives us a healthy done of reality. Good for reducing privilege.
Working in a convenience store:
Reality is harsh.
Later on, Genki seems to be lamenting about something.
Incidentally, I am looking for somebody to 'have a blast' with.
We then go to the arcade with some friends, and it's on our way there we realise,
We really how much to learn, especially about the English language.
Nah, just kidding. It's actually
Next day, the boys have awakened to stay-at-home dads are all the vogue, so they talk about raising children. Thankfully, the ever-helpful teach is there to tell us like it is. His wife after the first child:
Ohh. It's like he's a real teacher all of a sudden.
After school, we go with Momo to visit a store. Turns out Hiiragi was there.
She will make a 'delicacy' out of you. You need to install a filter between your brain and your mouth.
Which doesn't mean you're wrong, of course.
On the next day, we have a touching show of friendship.
Same tbh (Is that how the cool kids type these days? I went with 'ez' up above, too).
But the day goes on even without money. That's just our reality.
Desperate times call for desperate measure, I guess.
By next morning, though, desperate times are not yet over. We're running late.
But I no hot guy that never stress
Thankfully, we have a cunning plan before the disciplinary council member.
What a vile creature, this Genki. Attacking innocent pedestrians, and, more importantly,
...engaging in plagiarism!
But the day goes on and it's time for lunch.
That's mildly inconvenient.
Worse still, we had part-time after school.
Adult wisdom for our playboy.
Also, have some random screenshots I had no idea where to put:
The stuff would be gone. Yes it would. It would indeed.
Or maybe, by the time you get there, it will be gone.
Yes, yes. Very backed up, those shows.
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Chapter 3: Madness
The mastermind behind the Fuwanovel death game watched the two screens on the desk before him/her with a wicked smile.
"Seven dead already, heh. This is going well."
The video from the past two weeks of the battle royale had been playing on the screens in a loop for hours, with the faces of the four picked for the current week displayed on a different monitor above.
"Hehe. Now, let's see, what kind of arena should I put these four in?"
"Mind if I handle that?"
Taken completely aback by the presence of someone else in the control room, <??> nearly fell out of his/her chair.
"How the hell did you get in here?!"
"Hmph. You think your weak magic can control me? Please. I was bored, so I figured I'd join in on this weird game you have going on. So, with that said, I'll be taking over for a bit, heh."
With that, Clephas devoured <??>, trapping them in one of his stomachs.
"Now, let's have some fun. Hmm, these four, huh? Alright. Let's begin."
Using his powers to summon the four members from their cells, Clephas devoured them all in an instant.
The First Stomach - alden_0023 & Thatcomicguy
The first thing Thatcomicguy noticed was the smell of blood. Opening his eyes, he could tell that he was no longer in his cell.
"Come on... Was I picked again?"
Getting off the floor, he shook his head in frustration. He had fought for his life against another Fuwanovel user in the death game just two weeks before. He was hoping he would be able to avoid being picked again for at least a few more weeks. But, he had no such luck.
"Where the hell am I...?"
Looking around in confusion, he could tell he was in a classroom. The windows in the room were shattered, and the walls were riddled with holes and cracks. The floor was also badly damaged, covered in claw marks of all things.
What on earth had happened there before he woke up?
Noticing some rustling coming from the other side of the classroom, Thatcomicguy gripped his spear and got ready for a possible fight.
"Ugh, my head..."
Alden_0023 rubbed his forehead, slowly getting to his feet. The moment he spotted Thatcomicguy standing in the other side of the classroom, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
Then, in the next moment.
Drawing his bow with incredible speed, he sent an arrow flying through the room. Barely managing to block the arrow with his shield, Thatcomicguy started running through the room towards the door, trying to escape.
Another arrow flew towards him, barely missing his neck before digging into a nearby desk. Having reached the door, Thatcomicguy kicked it as hard as he could, making the door fly open. His hands were full because of his weapon and shield, and he had no time to spare, as Alden prepared another arrow.
But, the moment the door flew open, both men suddenly froze in place. It was a natural reaction. Anyone would be shocked by the sight that waited on the other side of that door.
A group of six small figures sat hunched over a corpse, happily chewing at its flesh. They had already eaten a great deal of the corpse, and their small bodies were covered in fresh blood.
"Wh-What... the fuck?"
The group of small girls suddenly stopped eating, and turned towards the two men in the classroom. While they might have looked like normal young girls at first glance, they had two features that no human child had. First, their teeth. The mouths of the girls were covered in shark like teeth, each tooth about ten centimeter in length. As a result, it was impossible for the girls to even close their mouths. Their eyes were glowing in a bright red color, and their pupils were completely gone. The entire eye was simply covered entirely in the red light.
"Cannibal... lolis... Seriously?"
Thatcomicguy uttered in a voice dyed in confusion and dread.
Realizing the situation was quite dire, Alden lowered his bow, and ran towards one of the broken windows along the classroom wall, then leapt through it.
"HEY! ARE YOU LEAVING ME WITH THESE THINGS?!"
Ignoring Thatcomicguy, Alden performed a forward flip in the air, then prepared his body for the fall. It seemed like the school they had woken up in was quite big, and they were on the sixth floor. But, contrary to his expectations, Alden's body did not fall at all. Instead, he was pulled up, flying towards the roof of the school.
"What in the..."
Soaring up past classroom after classroom, Alden reached the roof of the building, but his body showed no signs of stopping. He was literally falling upwards.
Clicking his tongue, Alden grabbed a hold of the railing covering the school roof, managing to stop his "fall" in the last second. Pulling his body towards the roof, he gripped the railing as he slowly moved towards the fire escape leading back into the school. The moment his foot moved inside the school building, he force pulling him upwards let go.
It seemed like moving outside the school was out of the question. The bizarre arena was nothing like the arenas used the previous weeks.
"What on earth is going on..."
"AHHH, get away, get away, get away, AHHH!"
Thatcomicguy screamed, as he ran as fast as he could through the dark hallways of the school. Just a few meters behind him were five of the six small girls, giggling as they chased him.
He had managed to kill one of them with his spear in his escape from the classroom. This did not seem to anger the rest at all, as they chased happily after Thatcomicguy. It seemed like the girls had the ability to retract their teeth, and were now humming and laughing. Still, their eyes glowed. It was clear that their eyes were filled with bloodlust. If he stopped for just a moment, they'd probably rip him to shreds.
"Tehehe, I love playing tag."
"We're gonna get you, we're gonna get you ~~"
"GO PLAY WITH SOMEONE ELSE, AHH!"
Still screaming, Thatcomicguy kept running at full speed down the hallway, until...
He reached a dead end. The stairs leading down to the floor below were blocked by a massive pile of rubble. The roof above had collapsed, also covering the stairs going up in the process. In other words, he was trapped.
The small girls were now just half a meter away.
"Tag. You're it!"
The girls opened their mouths, and their fangs once again sprouted out.
Preparing for what would most likely be his final battle, Thatcomicguy took a deep breath.
"I'm naked in front of a group of lolis, pointing a spear at them. That's a headline for yah."
A sound coming from above made Thatcomicguy look up towards the roof, and soon after, a big chunk of the ceiling came crashing down, landing on top of two of the girls, squishing them.
Sitting on top of the rubble was Alden, his body covered in small cuts. Or, were they bite marks?
Realizing what that meant, Thatcomicguy looked towards the hole in the roof, and sure enough, peeking down from above were even more of the rabid lolis, looking at Alden like he was a delicious looking plate of food.
"... Sorry dude, looks like this isn't your day."
With that, Thatcomicguy stood completely still, as the hoard of cannibalistic lolis swarmed Alden, biting through his flesh and bones like it was nothing. The sight was horrifying, making Thatcomicguy look away in disgust.
Taking advantage of the situation, he quietly snuck past the hoard of killer lolis, covering his eyes the entire time. He then started making his way down the hallway, leaving the little monsters to their dinner.Spoiler
Thatcomicguy, Status: Alive
Alden_0023 - Dead End
The Second Stomach - xGreyHound & Jazid-Kun
A jungle of mysterious plants in all sorts of colors stretched as far as the eye could see. A nearby river was filled not with water, but lava, and the sky was dyed red, not blue.
In the middle of this impossible jungle stood Jazid-Kun, looking around him with a smile.
"What a fitting stage for bloodbath. Heh."
Striking a cool pose, Jazid spoke in a dramatic tone of voice. Wearing a black school uniform and with an eye patch covering his left eye, Jazid did not exactly look like he belonged in the strange jungle. If not for the two large swords in crossed sheathes on his back, he would have just looked like any other high-school student.
"Chaos shall rain! Today, we dine with death himself!"
"... The hell are you on kid?"
xGreyHound sent Jazid a confused look, gripping his AK-47 firmly. He was on guard, prepared for the worst. The arena he had been placed in seemed even crazier than any of the previous ones.
GreyHound did not have it in him to kill a kid like Jazid, so he had approached Jazid with the suggestion of an alliance. Jazid accepted, though now he was going on some kind of chuunibyou rant, which made GreyHound instantly regret his decision.
"Please kid, be quiet..."
"Let the curtain fall on this blood drenched play! Let the games begin!"
Jazid shouted, stretching his arms up towards the red sky.
"... I swear, I will smack you over the head if you don't quiet down."
"Hah! A mere mortal like yourself? You wouldn't be able to lay a finger on me."
A nearby plant started stirring. GreyHound quickly pointed his gun in the direction of the sound. Another plant started to move, then another. Before long, every single plant in their vicinity had started to move. At first, GreyHound thought the movement was caused by something moving through the plants, but... that wasn't it. The plants themselves were moving.
Clearly a little weirded out by the moving plants, Jazid moved a few steps closer to GreyHound.
"I, uh... I shall protect you, mortal!"
"Yeah, whatever, just draw your weapons at least."
"Kukuku. You mean these?"
Jazid gestured towards his swords.
"I cannot simply draw them out of their sheathe without the proper chant. They are sealed by a powerful—"
GreyHound pushed Jazid to the side, as a giant vine shot out from one of the strange flowers. The vine was covered in strange spikes, reminiscent of teeth. It slammed into the ground mercilessly, making its sharp spikes dig into the dirt.
"Y-You cannot scare me, for I am... I am..."
"Shut up and run!"
GreyHound turned around and darted into a clearing, as several more giant plant monsters approached the two.
Following suit, Jazid ran as fast as he could after his teammate. Just a second after, five more giant veins slammed into the place he had been standing.
"Wh-What are those thin—"
Interrupting Jazid once again, GreyHound shouted a command and pointed his gun toward Jazid's face. Doing as he was told Jazid quickly ducked down, and the massive mouth of a bizarre plant closed right above him, catching some of his hair in its massive jaws.
GreyHound fired several rounds into the head of the strange plant, making green goo fly everywhere. The plant let out a deafening screech and backed up a few steps, hissing at the two. It's mouth was layered with more teeth than a shark, each one at least five centimeters long. In addition to its killer bite, it also had several long vines covered in spikes sprouting from its body. It was the height of a human man, and moved incredibly fast.
"Over there! Run to the lava!"
"L-Lava? Are you crazy? I-I mean, lava would have no power over my immortal body, of course, but you are just a normal human, so it would surely be in trouble."
"Just shut up and run."
Turning back towards the way they had come, the two started running towards the strange lava stream, about fifty meters away. The stream was no more than one meter in width, but if GreyHound's theory was right, it would do.
"We're jumping over that. Get ready."
Not waiting for his ally to reply, GreyHound leapt across the lava stream. The intense heat from just being in the vicinity of the lava made even just breathing hurt, but it was better than being devoured by flesh eating plants the size of humans.
Jazid made it across the lava soon after GreyHound.
"Kuku. Looks like our plant friends were not so smart after all."
At least twenty of the killer plants tried to follow them, but they all let out loud shrieks as they approached the lava, and took several swift steps back. They were clearly not fond of the heat.
"We have no time to waste here. There could be more. Come on."
As GreyHound turned his back on the plants and started to walk in the other direction, several of the strange creatures sent their vines flying towards the two humans. It seemed like there was no real limit to how far the vines could stretch, and they approached GreyHound's back with great speed.
But, just moments before they were about to tear GreyHound to shreds, the vines themselves got cut into tiny pieces.
"Hmph. To think you'd make me take off my eye patch. I'm surprised you'd push me this far."
GreyHound turned around to see what had happened. Sure enough, Jazid's eye patch was gone, revealing an eye with a different color from the other. He had also drawn his swords, which were covered in green goo from cutting apart the vines.
Jazid had somehow managed to remove his eye patch, draw his swords, then cut several vines within a matter of seconds. GreyHound could not help but be amazed at the spectacle, and thanked his teammate for saving his life.
Something started moving in the leaves behind the killer plants, and Jazid stood rooted in place, watching whatever it was intently.
"Come on kid, more of those things are coming from the looks of things. We gotta go."
GreyHound did not wait for a reply, and started to walk away from the lava and the plants. But, Jazid did not move.
"Kid, I will leave you, I swear! What are you even... looking... at..."
GreyHound's voice began to falter, as he too laid eyes on the creature on the other side of the lava. It took the form of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. She wasn't wearing a thing, and on top of her head were two pretty cat ears. Wagging back and forth behind her legs was a fuzzy tail. It was, without a doubt, a catgirl. An incredibly beautiful one, too.
Being fans of visual novels and the likes, both men knew very well what she was. While she appeared harmless, the fact that the plants were not killing her was a clear warning sign in GreyHound's mind.
"We gotta get the hell out of here, now!"
Jazid did not respond, but instead started to move slowly towards the catgirl, dropping his swords on the ground.
"Wait, what the hell are you doing!"
Jazid showed no interest in GreyHound, and kept on slowly approaching the catgirl, who looked back at them with an enchanting smile.
"Dude, this is not the time for your weird ass fantasies! We have to get out of here. Guh?!"
GreyHound tried to reach out for Jazid's hand, but he had gotten so close to the lava, the heat made GreyHound jump back in reflex.
There was nothing GreyHound could do but watch, as Jazid slowly walked into the scorching heat of the lava, seemingly under some kind of spell cast by the mysterious catgirl. He did not even blink at the pain from having his foot melted by the incredible heat. All he did was watch the catgirl on the other side of the lava stream, with a smile on his face.
After a few seconds, Jazid's body had been completely consumed by the lava.
"Y-You bitch, what did you do to him?!"
Pointing his gun at the catgirl in anger, GreyHound's body shook in terror. The creature simply returned a brilliant smile, and started to walk back into the depths of the strange jungle. The flesh eating plants followed suit, leaving GreyHound alone with nothing but the smell of burning flesh, and a sense of dread.Spoiler
Jazid-Kun: Dead End
xGreyHound: Status = Alive
Dead This Week:
#2 Mr Poltroon
"Unfortunately, media in our niche is targeted at teens and harcore otaku." The man types on his membrane keyboard, lightly sighing. "That's what leads to this abundance of shitty moebait. It's ironic, really. Companies want to play it safe and must rely on those people to survive, but that is what causes them to ultimately fall and crash." He mentally scoffs at all the weirdos that allow his hobby to go on. "Visual Novels will never reach their full potential until they kill that mentality" The man yawns, looking at the clock marking 11 PM. "And finally start valuing good storytelling."
Now that you're pissed off, sighing or smirking at the post above, let me try to drag you into this narrative before I make my point.
When I first started consuming otaku media, there were two things I was really into: cool guys with swords and cute girls into cool guys with swords.
I'd say that's fairly normal. I think there's an inner desire most men have of being a cool strong guy that can do whatever he wants and is stronger than everyone, as well as having all of the hottest girls around be all over your dick. Specifics differ from person to person, as well as what age you really started doing weeb stuff, but I would call this the standard teen male otaku starter pack, nowdays probably coupled with a spice of pokemon/dragon ball/saint seiya/whatever you didn't even know was anime during your childhood.
As I grew up, however, my tastes changed, something also very very common. No longer could I enjoy just stories about being a cool guy with a sword that gets 7 girls over his dick for little reason. I started requiring character development and well paced stories and some type of theme to think about and even dynamic, interesting directing (despite not knowing I was into directing.) That's when I had contact with Kubrick movies and was absolutely mindblown by them, and when I started liking different anime. No longer would I praise those silly shows to the heavens. A new Kaguya was born, a Kaguya that would only enjoy ~good~ shows, such as Death Note, Gurren Lagann and Cowboy Bebop. As time went on, that philosophy would stick, and maybe I would experiment with things like Psycho-pass, Steins;Gate and Hunter x Hunter.
Storytelling was, after all, about execution, not concepts. And what better than tightly paced exciting stories with probably strong character development and some nice themes for me to mull over? Westerners would be into their breaking bad and game of thrones but I unfortunately had acquired a preference for anime aesthetics. Araki was my Tarantino and Urobuchi was my edgy Kubrick.
Today, now over a decade since that phase started, I can only say about my old tastes: "What a fucking normie."
And I dislike to use the word since there's nothing inherently wrong with being normal, but it's very effective in our circles, since otaku have the tendency to pride themselves masters of the niche and unknown, even if they don't want to say it because they're embarrassed, but I digress.
Last year, I watched and got really into Saki, which led to me following the manga (which I still do.)
Saki isn't very well-paced, not particularly smart, not very stylish or well directed and it doesn't really have strong character development. It's about gay girls playing superpowered mahjong. And it was really enjoyable because I'm really into shy girls, female protagonists and lengthy sports tournaments. What really pushed it over the edge though, was that I decided I wanted to play some mahjong, and in the end I got really into mahjong.
I then rewatched saki and was minblown by it too, despite being well aware that the show wasn't any better.
A lot of things happened there. First of them was an accurate showing of my otaku level, if anything. I liked Saki initially because it had a shy girl protagonist, was basically a sports anime and had gay girls in it. Now, I'm incredibly into shy girls, sports and yuri shows, so all three together made it an enjoyable experience for me. 1
"But Kaguya" the imaginary reader that's duller than the average person I have created just now says "that doesn't make sense. Didn't you have ~good~ taste now? What about execution over concepts? What about pacing, themes, character development, directing?"
To that, I only have everyone's favorite normie meme as an answer
Which brings us to the second part.
Because I got really into mahjong and I was breathing, eating and talking mahjong, and the show already had all of my favorite things in anime with a gay shy girl protagonist and a longass sports tournament, the quality of it really didn't matter.
Saki can't be better for me by changing stuff like that. None of it matters, because dumb as it was, the show spoke to me on a personal level. What was happening onscreen was perfection, the ultimate combination of all the things I cared about put together. For the first time in my life I was able to experience a show as a hardcore otaku would, despite their overall miserable rep. And it was pretty good! It feels great to care strongly about media.
Now, Saki isn't a very good story, but it made me open my eyes. European/American storytelling are fundamentally different from Japanese storytelling. Saki, a not very good story, was the starting point that made me get actually used to japanese media, and understand that a lot of what people criticize as bad storytelling in that media isn't even actually bad storytelling, just storytelling based on different values with different priorities because it had a different fountain of knowledge to drink from. Such "good" storytelling rules completely excludes genres that aren't supposed to abide by it in the first place. Iyashikei are slow-paced atmospheric shows with little conflict that calmly draw you in and benefit from carefully crafted ambiance to show their strength. In fact, any sort of storytelling not based on the traditional western idea of conflict as the driving force of the plot would be labeled as bad under those rules, even if following them would only make the story worse.
At the same time, it gave me a newfound respect for traditionally bad stories and otaku media in general. As you consume more and more media, the more your tastes diversify and the more you find your own specific niche that can appeal to you on a higher level than normal media can.
A lot of people will never get to that point, but a lot of people will actually reach it, but with other types of media. Maybe music. Maybe a sport. Maybe amateur blog posts. Who knows. The sky's the limit.
Lately I've made a bunch of posts defending moe. In truth, I'm not the right person for it. I'm just not a giant moe guy. But moege are exactly one type of game that's retarded judge by western storytelling standards, and yet I only see people talking about them with those standards.
I have a bone to pick with the type of person who keeps spouting that stuff, wanting to wipe out 90% of all VNs and force their western normie taste down everyone's throats. If you're spending your time basically talking about how your japanese media not following western standards is wrong, you are the problem.
As for the actual otaku, you keep being you. It's because you drive this medium that it can manage to be such a diverse, wonderfully odd and unique art movement, despite all of the bad publicity you guys get. Ultimately, it's probably the same for all types of media. Comic book nerds were awful outsiders, the butt of all jokes and prejudice just a few decades ago, but now those comic books drive mainstream media blockbuster films. Funny how it works.
This goes for all art movements, but those outside the wheel are the vanguard. Experimentation, the willingness to dive deep into things everyone else mocks and isn't even willing to give a shot to - That's what will create the mainstream in its medium later.
But hey, at least you get to experience superior media before everyone else.
Wow! Another review blog? So fucking creative, I’m right? But yeah, I decided to create a blog about… stuff?
I was actually going to do a Lamento –Beyond The Void- review, but, I have yet to finish Bardo’s route, so I choosed the next best thing…
YU-NO… I was really interested in this game since it created one of my favorite genres and also because it has similar themes to the Zero Escape series.
So, during my vacation I got around to
marathoning the shit out of itreading it. So without further ado…
(Remake's cover art)
0. The Premise:
The story begins with the disappearance of the protagonist’s father, which were an eccentric historian and a really bad father figure. xoP
One day, he mysteriously receives a package from his (supposedly) dead dad (Pun intended), containing a bunch of strange objects and whose purpose were yet to be discovered.
After wandering around town he arrives at a local landmark “Triangle Mountain” where he finds a strange blonde woman who abruptly kisses him, and disappears.
Things only go downhill as he is suddenly confronted by a former friend and colleague of his father named Ryuuzouji, his step mother Ayumi, while one of his colleagues Kanna is watching them (it makes sense in context).
When Ryuuzouji pulls out a gun and demands the package that he gained from his old man, thing suddenly turn bizzare as space time seems to distort itself and he suddenly finds himself alone at the base of Triangle Mountain.
Takuya (Aka the MC) runs home and after rummaging through the package he discover that one of the devices included was actually some sort of dimensional travel that allowed him to jump between alternate dimensions with the usage of special jewels.
Takuya decides to use the device to look for answers…
1. The Plot:
The story is really good, the routes branches out pretty early, and they each build off of each other to create a really nice mystery with sci-fi elements. Most of the characters are pretty nice; Takuya’s perverseness can get really annoying sometimes though.
There are a total of six routes in the game, one for the Teacher Mitsuki, a kind hearted woman that works as an assistant for the director Ryuuzouji, she seems to have a past with Takuya and Eriko, a delinquent-ish school nurse who doesn’t really care the ethics of teacher, she goes for walks during her worktime, smokes without a care in the world, things that you would expect a teacher not to do; His step-mother Ayumi a hardworking woman that have been taking care of Takuya after his father disappearance; Mio which is the best girl one of Takuya’s classmates, she acts pretty cold towards him and mostly spend her time investigating the mysteries of Triangle mountain; Kaori a reporter whose intentions are very unclear, Kanna a mysterious girl who seems to be related to Takuya somehow, and the True route.
Another plus is that the routes are pretty unique on it, Mitsuko/Eriko’s have you investigating a murder, Ayumi’s a scheme against her, Mio’s the secret of Triangle Mountain, etc. They are all pretty nice. One thing that was really annoying was the excessive use of panchira during event CGs even in more serious events.
The way that the device is implemented in the narration is pretty neat; sometimes you’ll need items from other routes so you can properly advance the story, though this pretty much makes this a guide game, so have a walkthrough by your side.
The gameplay consists of a point-and-click, so you’ll spend most of your time clicking around, doing some puzzles, collecting items, etc. There is barely any direct choice making; you’ll mostly chose where to go which trigger certain events that will lead you to new branches.
(The Divergence Map / Flowchart)
There’s a flowchart to keep track of which paths you have already explored and whatnot, you can use it with the jewels (that are pretty much “checkpoints”) so you don’t have to replay everything from the beginning.
3. Art and Music:
YU-NO’s art is extremely pretty, there is a lot of detail to the even CGs and some even has animated details. The backgrounds and character appearances are very distinct and unique, no complains here.
(Mio Investigating the mountain)
The music is also really great, the tracks are fitting and not repetitive, each of the heroine also have their own BG theme. "Bonds" and "Touch" are one of my favorites.
I really liked all routes in this game, though I wish there was more backstory revealed about the heroines, since Mio’s and Eriko’s are mostly implied…
(Event with Kaori during one of the routes)
Mitsuki/Eriko’s: This route is mostly centered around Ryuuzouji and urban legend related to his house. The route only properly starts after an event with Takuya and Mitsuki in the school Lab Room (nothing dirty silly :yumiko:), it is an introductory route, some terms and info here will be used on other route. Also this Arc doesn’t have the most positive of endings…
Ayumi: Her route is focused on a scheme that her co-worker seems to be planning against her. Takuya spends the majority of her route trying to convince Ayumi that she is in danger and her naivety can make you cringe a little. This Arc should be played second.
Mio: Probably my favorite route, Mio is a really nice character; her route is centered on the secrets of Triangle Mountain, so Takuya spends most of his time with her investigating and looking for clues. This Arc takes from both Mitsuki’s and Ayumi’s respective routes, so this should be played after them.
Kaori: Her route is mostly here to explain a plot point, and is also the shortest route. Though I really liked Kaori’s character, she was very mischievous and cunning.
Kanna: Her route should be played before the true route, since it reveals a lot of important info about Takuya’s father. She shares a branch with Kaori for a while, so things mostly get interesting in the end of the Path.
True Route: Very hit-or-miss, the game takes a turn to whole different genre and it seems like a totally different, unrelated tale for a while. There is a lot of info dump that comes by the end of it which doesn’t make things better.
After finishing the routes, you’ll unlock bonus content like side stories, CG gallery, extended endings for Ayumi, Mio & Kanna, which is always a plus (Though 100% the game can be a chore).
Overall, YU-NO is a pretty good game that becomes very hit-or-miss during the final path, though I’d still recommend you check it out for it's value and contribution to the VN world.
Special Thanks to @MaggieROBOT for the help!
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Popular Views on What Defines the Chuuni Genre
In my last post, I talked about the most abstract way to understand chuuni (the term as it's used in the "coolness" sense). But at the end, I noted that most people narrow it down further. They say that certain works constitute a "genre".
And so, I intend to now gather my thoughts and talk about the major tropes and commonalities between works that people tend to identify, which have given rise to several different conceptions of the chuuni genre.
Most of these conceptions, although they approach things from subtly different directions, end up specifying the same works. So maybe to most of you guys, it's not that useful to carefully examine them. I find it interesting, so I'm doing it.
Chuuni As Language-Oriented
This is the most common way for non-chuuni fans, and some youthful fans of hotblooded works, to look at chuuni.
Simply put, this is the view that the heart of chuuni is in its over-the-top lines. Chuuni fans usually view the people who say these lines as extremely cool. And yet simultaneously, it's easy for non-chuuni fans to look at these lines and say, "That's so cheesy!" This duality, this contradiction, is what makes it so easy to point and say, "Prose is the heart of chuuni."
Language can be utilized in infinite ways, but in my view, the two major types here are "soliloquies/speeches" and "cultural allusion/deepness".
To start, what do you think of this quote from To Aru Majutsu no Index's Kamijou Touma?
"I was never fighting because I wanted to. It’s just that I always saw someone holding back tears in some horribly painful situation. Even if they cried and cried, no one would have complained, but they put up with it anyway. ...And I couldn’t allow it to go on. I clenched my fist like an idiot, charged in, and somehow resolved the incident. I didn’t do it to be thanked. I didn’t do it because I wanted anything in return. But overcoming those things increased the number of people around me. I began to think those connections with people had some kind of meaning!! And this is where it got me. I had everything taken from me."
Even if you're haven't read Index, it's not hard to form an impression of the situation from these words. Saving people is cool. Especially if they're someone who doesn't dare to hope to be saved--when there's zero social obligation to do so, the action is all the more meaningful. But it's not like what's driving you is some inner urge to save others, either--you have a free spirited attitude and don't have to give a shit about what anyone wants you to do. And as a result of saving people repeatedly, you became super popular, completely not of your own will of course. But wait, someone took that all away from you, and you became a tragic hero! See what I mean? It's cool, but it's also cheesy, depending on how you look at it.
That's an example of what I'll call, for convenience, a chuuni soliloquy. Of course, it's not a literal soliloquy in that people DO respond to it (or rather, they can) but it's also a bit of a soliloquy in that... it doesn't matter if they do, does it? Touma's speech stands on its own.
Single sentences or lines can also have this same sort of quality, but I think it's easier to make a distinction about it when the length is at the level of a mini-speech. After all, cheesy lines appear in countless shounen manga, but very few people would put all those manga on the same level as Jojo or Hellsing.
Next, what do you think of this quote? If you haven't heard it before, you've been living in a cave.
"I am the Bone of my Sword
Steel is my Body and Fire is my Blood.
I have created over a Thousand Blades,
Unknown to Death,
Nor known to Life.
Have withstood Pain to create many Weapons
Yet those Hands will never hold Anything.
So, as I Pray--
Unlimited Blade Works"
The way to sum up this kind of language is that it's DEEP. It references life and death, pain (you know that suffering is cool, right?), the angst of not being able to hold anything (angst is a type of suffering), evokes the image of fire in one's blood, and so on.
It doesn't clearly state any ideas. It's poetic, or maybe literally poetry. It involves references to themes that are deep (like death, eternity, justice, and so on), cultural elements that are consider deep (like Alice in Wonderland, the Cthulhu mythos, Norse mythology and Ragnarok, Shinto, and so on), or kanji and foreign lingo that are associated with deepness (like English furigana, 眼/絶/紅蓮, random German, rondo/requiem, and so on). It may exist as an aspect of the writer's narrative prose, or within incantations.
Chuuni as Trope-Oriented
In a way, people who view chuuni as a matter of language just have to worry about the quantity. The question is whether a work has "enough" chuuni-ish lines to be chuuni. There's no answer to that question, of course.
In contrast, if you think of chuuni as about its trope, then the question is quality. That is, is the trope itself chuuni enough? Is there a single trope that makes something chuuni, or is it a combination of tropes? Or perhaps some abstract aspect of the way the tropes are presented that makes them chuuni?
When it comes to chuuni, this is where opinions are most diverse. I'm going to go over two major approaches that I'll call the ability battle view and the Fate primacy view.
By the way, both of these views are connected more to "jakigan-kei" chuuni (which basically refers to admiring special powers) than other types like "DQN-kei" (which basically refers to admiring yankees). In other words, they're narrower in scope than language-oriented views of the chuuni genre.
The Ability Battle View
Like "chuuni as language", this is a view of chuuni that people cynical of it often hold. They view chuuni as merely a subset of the ability battle genre ("inou battle mono").
To clarify, what's translated as "ability" (inou) specifically refers to superhuman abilities.
The ability battle genre has existed long before the word chuuni was used to refer to works of fiction. Furthermore, most examples of chuuni works could also be considered to be about ability battles. Which is no surprise, because powerful characters who are viewed as cool or admirable tend to have supernatural powers that facilitate hotblooded action scenes. So as a result, people tend to say, "Isn't chuuni just about ability battles?"
It's true that a large part of the appeal of many prominent chuuni works centers around ability battles. Similarly, there's no easily specified element of such chuuni works that makes it necessary to call them chuuni works instead of ability battle works. And so, this view exists.
The Fate Primacy View
I'm extremely far from an expert on Fate/stay night, but I can't avoid talking about it in the context of chuuni.
Fate/stay night is a lengthy and complicated work with a multitude of tropes and themes, and it's impossible to say exactly what all its charm points are. However, no one can deny its massive mainstream appeal, as by far the most successful visual novel of all time, which led the way for the Nasuverse to completely dominate otaku culture, dwarfing even Index.
I'm not sure exactly how to describe what I call the Fate primacy view, because I could approach it from many different angles. You could say that Fate is so popular that it has simply permeated itself into the public consciousness and rewritten what it means to be chuuni. You could say that it redefined chuuni by virtue of its influence on other writers which has spanned for more than a decade. You could say that it's simply so GOOD that it must have nailed what it means to be chuuni.
The bottom line is that one could easily hold the view that a work is chuuni to the extent it copies Fate/stay night.
Of course, this is a very narrow view. It marginalizes relatively bright and happy stories like Bleach and Kyou Kare Ore Wa. However, in exchange for that narrowing, you could say that the remaining few stories are "higher quality" on average, in that they're very obviously chuuni.
On a side note, some people might have more of a Dies irae primacy view. Dies irae has become very loved (at least, among its fans--its mainstream appeal can never match Fate's, though it perhaps comes closest) and many people perhaps view it as more definitively "chuuni" than its primary influence.
In any case, this view reveres tropes and story elements from Fate/stay night which have proven popular like battle royales, human sacrifice and massacres, ability battles conducted in secret, justice and morality, tragic childhoods, magical rituals, magical contracts, the Catholic church, and serial killers.
Unlike the ability battle view where people will just outright say it ("Isn't chuuni just about ability battles?"), people who hold a so-called Fate primacy view rarely ever verbalize, "I want my chuuni to be exactly like Fate/stay night!" They may not have even ever experienced Fate/stay night. That's why I said you can approach this from different angles. It's not really a "view" so much as a near-inevitability in our Fate-dominated otaku culture.
Also, note that when it comes to jakigan-kei chuunibyou as depicted in otaku media, its associated delusions are easier to formulate when they're closer to reality, such as isekai situations or urban fantasy. Fate/stay night, as an urban fantasy that depicts an ordinary student discovering a hidden world that covertly affects the public, is the sort of scenario that exemplifies such delusions.
Whew, I covered it all. After taking care of the basic definitions, I wanted to outline other people's views before talking about my own feelings, which are what I actually care about 'cause I'm the center of the universe FYI.
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Welcome, fellow Fuwamembers, to the FuwaRecognition thread. Starting this March, we’ll be highlighting some of the best contributions made by our members each month. From snazzy blog articles to delicious forum threads, and perhaps even a few things more on the shitpost part of the spectrum, we'll keep an eye out for the cream of the crop. And then we'll gather them here. Just for you.
*holds up giant APPLAUSE sign*
A-hem, so this is the first time we're doing this and it might be a bit rough; next time will be at the end of March. Anyways; without further ado, let's get to our highlights.
Our first highlight on threads comes from two Ask Me Anything topics posted in the span of this month: from our dear provisional Tay, @Kaguya, and from the anti-moege task force founder himself, the saltlord himself @VirginSmasher.
It’s now Kags’ fifth year on these dear forums, and members of new ’n old had a lot of questions, climbing over to 50 comments, almost unheard of in this day and age of lacklustre forum interaction. Even after the glory days of lolis long passed, Kaguya still swears close to his heart how they indeed are the master-race that rule over this weeb-dom, mostly in nukige form. Charming.
@VirginSmasher’s AMA, on the other hand, is mostly an appreciation of past glory and his good friends, met before he died out, but he also remembered some newer members who are already becoming an integral part of these forums of today. Quite a lot of internal banter and jokes flew here and there, but it is quite touching to see even older members returning from long breaks of apparent irremovable death.
As you might have seen, we have a new EVN on the horizon, or rather, KickStarter: One Last Crane, developed by @Blissful-Works This visual novel is being developed by an Indonesian team with some members over at Tokyo, Japan, and it has a an odd goal amount of 10,052 dollars, though this is due the publicization of the project being handled from Japan, which also makes the whole project page ask all money in yens. A risky play, let’s see if it pays out for them.
The novel is planned on being released for four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese, and Indonesian. Quite the amount for still quite a small goal, but we’ll have to see how it pans out in the end, at least they are in no shortage of ambition.
While the art-style itself is quite generic, it does look modern and does its job as presentation well enough, not to mention that the KickStarter page itself is quite stylish, but only time will tell how it’ll go over. All we can do is wait.
@EastCoastDrifter has done something unique on the forums that no one would even think of. He loves space, and he has extended his love to the members of the Fuwanovel community by creating a Fuwanovel Solar System. Using a program called Space Engine, Drifter has taken the liberty to name all planets in this system after very prominent Fuwamembers. It’s a great tribute to the community and you should really check it out. Furthermore, Drifter says he’s not done, and has plans to create more Fuwa solar systems to feature more members in the future. If you want a planet named after you, feel free to post in the linked thread or contact Drifter personally.
Hi I'm Zaka and I'm the only one that cares about blogs on the team. Maybe. I didn't actually ask the other guys. Shit. So uhh, here's my recs...
@Clephas writes accessibly about (for the most part) untranslated Japanese visual novels. This time, we have some posts about the recently released third VN in the Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru series, of which the first actually has a translation by MangaGamer. Unfortunately, the second is where people think it actually got good. We start with a more general note on the series, then move on to a review of Otoboku 3 itself.
While Clephas has been writing for quite a while, @MaggieROBOT is a bit newer to the scene. She focuses on Otome and BL VNs, and for this post we'd like to show you her post on an upcoming BL visual novel (fresh from the pot, baby. That thing is probably the first blog post to come right after this one. Oh yeah. That's how we roll. - Kaguya) as well as her review of the robot-romance Otome VN Sakuya. Go ahead and look for her post complaining about a trap in a moege not having a route if you like things on the more humorous side of the spectrum
Just For Fun!
During the process of writing this post.
Well you know I’m all about that nepotism baby. That's right, this is just for you. Rising 1.8% female readership (thanks Maggie) local GM and blog post connoisseur Kaguya here. To close the blog review section up, we’ll be highlighting the post where I wonderfully delve into the mind of writer Setoguchi Ren’ya, explaining his past and his involvements with the little-known work The Shawshank Redemption as well as how that work affected the VN industry, finishing things with a bang as I explain his history and the hidden messages within Swan Song.
And finishing things off in a suitable grand scale, much like a writer who traps himself into writing continuously larger powerlevels until his shounen manga gets to a point where it doesn't even resemble the original, we will be looking at two posts made by Fuwanovel's current closest figure to Jesus, @Kiriririri (Who unlike our creator, did revive. How about that?)
He died for our sins as he bravely made two deep posts about the current state of the VN community that were completely hidden by the evil staff... Until now. Gaze upon them and marvel, this is the true work of a genius!!
February is over. We bled. We sweat. Friendships were broken and renewed, and old members revived from their graves and mingled with the new pringles to take us where we are now. And the community persists, as glorious as ever.
March is here. And in this rewind, I declare FebruaryFuwa absolutely Fabulous!
Alright, we're back to Cupid with bumblebeary, and we're going to finish up chapter one today!
Turn on some music; stretch; dance; do whatever makes you feel good, and let's get started.
Intermission: You get so into the story that you totally forget that you're stretching, moving, and working your body. Over time, this just becomes a pleasure for you, and you'll find that you look forward to some relaxing exercise. It makes you more alert; helps you sleep better; and it's so easy to do just a little bit every day. And you want to watch the VNs!
Okay, so a lot happened before that was over.
So many new characters. Let's get started!
We learn that the little girl is named Catherine, and that she's a musical prodigy.
We meet the Marquis, whom bumblebeary does not trust. You can tell she has had some experience with men like this before (both in and out of VNs). Everything he says is suspect to our adorable streamer, and it so much fun to watch the play between the VN and our hostess!
But the Marquis is playing everyone, it seems.
Catherine's father is a widower who melts for the Marquis. Fine wine, a stipend, patronage for Catherine, and a new piano; however--as our lovely bumblebeary points out--gifts are rarely free.
We meet Catherine's older sister, Emilie and she's very interesting. Nearly married, and living in the house of another family, she wants to suspect the Marquis of so many foul things. She's heard the rumours, that the Marquis is a seducer and a viper of the heart, but he seems so sad. We know that he's just amazingly manipulative, don't we, bumblebeary? But Emilie gets a few lines in before she starts to literally fantasize about having the Marquis future babies. Oh, he wants to settle down? Was he looking at me when he said that?
The major plot twist comes when Catherine decides to adopt poor Rosa. Her father doesn't quite like the idea, and the Marquis doesn't enjoy being put on the spot. But what can you do? Kids, right?
The Marquis plays it well, neatly arranging for all the girls to spend time at his manor. It seems like he wants to put his greedy, slutty fingers into all the pies.
As bumblebeary put it (and I'm probably paraphrasing here), "Eeew, please don't make me hate you, Marquis!"
End of chapter one!
This is a good place to check out another streamer, who does great voices. I'll have a new link for you tomorrow. I do know we will be back to bumblebeary before we're done, though. There are not a lot of great playthroughs of Cupid, and bumblebeary has been fantastic so far.
So say goodbye for now, and please make sure to thank her by Subscribing to her channel and Liking her videos.
We'll be back with her soon enough!
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The Shawshank Redemption is a critically acclaimed visual novel that was of huge importance to the VN industry today, made by writer Setoguchi Ren'ya together with the FlyingShine staff team, who would later go on to produce Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami one year later in 1995. Setoguchi is unfortunately more well-known for his work on swan song and as that one guy who chose to burn your waifu to death in kirakira, but this was his first work, and it's very hard to describe how important this work was to Setoguchi's career and, I dare say, to visual novels as a whole.
Today I am here to talk about this oddly forgotten masterpiece and uncover exactly why it's not talked about in VN circles. Before getting to the big stuff, I would like to first uncover the personal mystery related to it. Why do people not list Setoguchi as a writer for this anymore? Why did he wait 10 years to make another visual novel after Redemption's release? Well, I believe the answers to these questions are hidden in Swan Song, and we are going to finally blow the cover on this conspiracy once and for all.
Right off the bat, the similarities between these stories are obvious. The Shawshank Redemption is about a banker, Andy Dufresne being wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit and being sent to prision to serve two life sentences, while Swan Song is about a man named Amako Tsukasa unwillingly having to deal with a snowy apocalypse. Both are dramatic stories about men who had their worlds collapse around them, and now have to deal with a new world, a world that completely shows mankind's ugliness, with both stories not shying away from heavy acts such as murder, rape and corruption.
And yet, there are crucial differences between them. One is the difference in symbolism and imagery in the two works, and while some people might attribute that to Setoguchi's growth as a writer allowing him to more easily tackle abstract storytelling, the conclusions I have reached after analyzing this shocking tale instead lead me to believe that he did not have a choice. The messages in Swan Song are hidden not because Setoguchi wanted to hide them, but because he was forced to. More on that later, though.
The second difference is in the conclusions to these stories. If The Shawshank Redemption is ultimately a story with a hopeful ending and escaping the prision you were put into, Swan Song is a story about the absolute despair when that escape is not possible anymore. But what turned the previously dark but hopeful story into this?
And what of the elephant in the room? Autism. Andy Dufresne was a weirdo, and while Tsukasa is arguably odd as well, you get the feeling he doesn't want to communicate with people, instead of Andy, who clearly doesn't know how to, as shown by the numerous scenes where people fail to understand his intentions or he puts his life in danger due to miscommunication, such as when a guard almost throws him off a roof for making fun of him while Andy was simply trying to help the man with his bills.
Well, Swan Song does also have an autistic character, and one that stays by Tsukasa's side at almost all times, being around since the beginning of the story as well, Aroe. Andy dealt with both his sadness and his autism, but here he's been split into two, with one half of him in Tsukasa dealing with the sadness and the other half represented by Aroe dealing with the autism. Further proof is in the actions these characters are subjugated to - while Andy Dufresne was raped, Tsukasa is spared from that, as Aroe is subject to the vile sexual assault instead.
I believe these characters are both a representation of the author itself. When Setoguchi released The Shawshank Redemption, he was a 17 year old boy, and being a weeb, had a rather nebulous future ahead. Andy represented his struggle to indulge in his autism while dealing with his sadness, and the hopefuly conclusion he expected to lie ahead. Shortly after The Shawshank Redemption's release, however, he was forced to drop his otaku hobby and pursue a normal career. After dealing with depression for 10 years, however, he decided to go back to being an otaku, but now his being was split. While one half tried to childishly indulge in his autism, the other had to constantly suffer the pain of it. Andy fought against his sexual assailants, and sometimes managed to beat them, but when Aroe is violated she doesn't even understand it's happening to her, an obvious reference to how otaku around the world close their eyes to how their habits hurt them.
This becomes even clearer when he would write kira kira later, burning the main heroine to death as an angry, rebelling move against the moe shackles that bind him and ruin his life.
The staff didn't let him write Swan Song as clearly as he had wanted because it was dumb and gay, so he had to carefully sneak those messages in there. Because fans of edgy stuff like swan song are usually 12 and they hate doing anything other than reading new releases and watching seasonal anime, none of them have been able to understand the messages hidden in swan song... Until now.
Detective Kaguya, out.
As a Japanese Otaku, I, was hugely affected by VNs/eroge in my youth, have wanted to organize what I experienced on VNs and the culture around them in Japan. There are some critical texts on VNs and their history much better than mine on the Internet or books, but sometimes personal view like this could be useful, so I'm writing this now.As you might already know, a thinker or critic Hiroki Azuma actively was writing on Otaku culture from around 1993 to 2007, and he was surely in a central position of criticism about some kind of modern Japanese popular culture. Simply putting, he is a Postmodern theorist studied under other modern Japanese thinkers. As for me, I was a late teen and interested in contemporary art or paintings (I liked Jackson Pollock and Gerhard Richter) at that time, knew about him around 2004-2005 through researching Takashi Murakami, a famous Japanese artist. Those days, maybe because Azuma was impressed by the advent of a VN (Shizuku, by Leaf, 1996) and its rapid growth of narrative and structure (e.g., YU-NO, ONE, Kanon, Tsukihime), he published one book referring VNs from a renowned publisher Kodansha in 2001 and two self-publishing books only about VNs in 2004. I used to read his book and website repeatedly then, and inevitably, fascinated by old school VNs that had a queer, immature yet beautiful allure.Sadly enough, the golden age can't last forever. Around the end of 2005, Azuma said that the VNs' craze ended, and started concentrating on social criticism. When I think of it now, he might lack a responsibility to the culture he led in some sense. I was able to figure out what he meant, however. Around that time, Type-Moon changed into a company from a doujin circle, CLANNAD was released without adult contents, Leaf/AQUAPLUS gradually became interested in the all-aged console market. If I might say, VNs grew into a full-fledged genre of Otaku culture, and at the same time, it had to lose verdant attraction that only a growing genre can have. (I must say I would prefer modern VNs at present, and modern VNs tend to have great quality - especially graphics quality.) Anyhow, I needed to find my own criterion of what VNs are great for me, since I almost relied on his opinion, in other words, I had to stand on my own feet as an independent Otaku.In the end, what criterion have I found out? In short, I regard a character design as important, in particular, cuteness, glamour, and how to paint characters (not only drawing). I like paintings after all. The technique of Bishoujo pictures (Moe-e) surely has a fashion, and I have been wondering where cuteness and the modernity of Bishoujo girls arise from. Um, I'm being derailed a little, so, I will stop droning on. When I get a definite idea about something, I would like to write again. Thank you for reading!
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Despite there being a few good editing blogs on Fuwanovel, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of translation blogs. I think part of the reason for this is that editors in the fan translation scene are often doing things the translator could very well be doing themselves, often to the detriment of the final product. Look at, say, the “big back” entry Fred wrote. Now tell me why this issue couldn’t be avoided back at the translation stage.
There are two reasons why you would do this: one, you don’t know Japanese well enough to understand what is actually meant, so you put down whatever it says literally. In this case, the sane way to handle the issue is to ask someone who knows Japanese better than you for advice. Two, you’re just lazy. Who actually thinks “the date changed” sounds right in English? An edge case of this is prioritizing speed; Ixrec and MDZ* both prioritized speed and neither had very good results to show for it, but they did complete things. Personally I still think this is ultimately lazy; it is significantly more simple to translate literally than to try to actually write well. In this case, ask yourself if you really want to produce a shitty translation.
What I’m trying to get at is this: if you actually want to produce something good, you can’t just leave writing the thing up to the editor. Editors are not miracle workers; they have to deal with what they’re given. Furthermore, many editors working on fan translations, and well, translations period, are not very good at the job. Any time you leave something bad in, there is always the possibility of it sticking around in the final product. I’m not saying you have to be perfect. I’m saying this: for the love of visual novels, try.
If you ask me, before you hand your script to the editor, you should have already done an editing pass on it. Or two. The lines should connect with each other rather than float like islands in a sea of prose, there should be at least an attempt at character voice, and all ugly stock translations should be kawari-fucking-mashita’d, much like the 日付 at midnight, with extreme prejudice.
Sometimes you’re still going to come up short. Sometimes it just won’t sound right whatever you try. That’s when you should pray that your editor knows better than you – leave a note at the line explaining the problem, move on, and hope to hell that your editor is actually good enough to work it out. That’s what the editor is for. The editor should not be translating from weeb to English. The editor should not be doing your job.
*Its not just the fan translation scene that does this, by the way – there are companies, like Aksys, which demand its translators write a colorless literal translation to be punched up by superstar editors later. Unsurprisingly, they’ve put out some real stinkers; I have a lot of respect for Ben Bateman’s work on 999 for this reason.
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Hey, what’s up. This is Bee, or better known as Barry. So far, my activity on this forum has been limited to just spam troll comments and threads, and while that is, for the most part, funny and entertaining, I thought that I should make a serious post about something just to counter the not-so-serious ones I’ve been pumping out so far.
I decided to start this blog with a series of posts, which I have named “New Companies: Good or Bad?.”It’s a series in which I’ll “analyze” and, hopefully, try to convince people that might be interested in supporting these companies to at least give some thought to where they’re getting their money into. Since this is a very broad subject I’ll be splitting this up into a series, in which I’ll be taking on the different companies and also give some of my opinion in general of them in every aspect that concerns localizations, such as meeting deadlines, having professional PR/workers and so on and so forth.
Disclaimer: In these blog posts I’ll be reviewing the newer companies (although I might go over the old ones as well) detailing their pros and cons contrasted with my opinion. Remember that I am VERY biased and that my opinion is as worthless as anyone else’s, so take it with a grain of salt.
Anyways, without further ado, I’ll start this episode talking about the newer company that has risen from the depths of hell (moe hell, to be precise), and this one being NekoNyan
NekoNyan seems to be the newest company that has appeared in what I’d call the “Massification of VN’s” era, one in which people are just spawning new companies in an attempt to compete against the current monsters that gobble the industry, being MangaGamer and Sekai Project primarily (I’ll leave JAST and FrontWing aside because I do not consider them being very relevant in the market at the moment.)
NekoNyan seems to follow the same pattern of thought as SolPress, this being their “core beliefs” if I’d call it like that.
- “We believe that we’ve learned the mistakes other companies have made.” - This is a general phrase that these new companies have been selling us; they assure that they’ve learned from past mistakes companies like Sekai Project have made (a fair example would be the latest releases of Hoshimemo and Leyline). Very strange that they’re saying this, because the main two members of Hoshimemo’s disaster (Akerou, CEO & Translator of NekoNyan, and Chuee, Editor at NekoNyan as well) are working in that company in the first place. I mean, I believe in the fact that people can change, but to be completely honest those two (especially you, Chuee) don’t really give me the good vibes. Especially from someone who is not critical about himself and refuses to improve his work. In summary, they seem to have a better scope of things, but I don't see much difference regarding other companies. How about being more open about what you do? *Daily reminder that Hoshimemo’s disaster was not because of these two alone, but they were part of the problem.
- “We strive to bring Japanese culture and to connect fans with developers.” This sounds awfully close to what Sekai Project says in their website. It’s not inherently a bad thing, but as far as I’ve grasped they’re using the same method of team compositions as Sekai Project. Hopefully their project coordinator (whoever that is) either exists in the first place (SP has none afaik, at least not a good one) or knows his shit, because otherwise prepare to see fiestas like Leyline.
- This is a very difficult and broad subject to touch but I find it funny how these people pride themselves for being professional at what they do. I don’t think that’s the case, though. One of the many definitions of professional by the cambridge university says as follows: “having the qualities that you connect with trained and skilled people, such as effectiveness, skill, organization, and seriousness of manner,” aka, you have to have the skills in order to be a professional, it’s not only about being paid for translating or editing something. I’ve been paid numerous times for working on the English department in some Light Novels, does that mean that I’m automatically a “professional”? Not in my eyes, at least. Working on SakuSaku and Hoshimemo doesn’t mean you’re up for professional work, neither does having your edits released by Sekai Project. I’m not going to debate here whether the rest of the staff is up for it or not because I have yet to see something from them (not all, though, I genuinely believe that some of their staff is good) but before something comes out I’m going to say that the final product won’t be anything outstanding and won’t break any expectations compared to other companies. This talking about a translation quality standpoint, in the case of PR, Project Management and coordination we'll have to wait and see.
- About the choice of games they went for; to be honest I can’t blame them. Moege is, in my eyes, insufferable trash, but it’s what sells and what Steam users usually prefer. Not all of them seem like full moege/slice of life stuff, but in a general sense they’re more focused on a selling standpoint, meaning that they won’t take risks and will probably go after moege, which is what sells. What does this mean? Even though this means more VN’s getting localized, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be good. In fact, I dare to say that they’re just going to oversaturate the market (it’s already saturated IMO, but even more now).
To sum things up;
Do I think NekoNyan will be the “saviour of VN’s and have a “unique personality” compared to other companies, like say, MangaGamer? No. Their choices are bland, most of their staff seems the same staff that every other company has (let’s remember that the same people are always the ones working for every single company) and my general distrust towards some of the staff members just doesn’t make it up for me. As for unique personality goes, I don’t think they’ll be any different than SolPress, for example. ALthough their focus seems to be specified on VN’s only (maybe they expand to LN’s and Manga like everyone else in due time, we’ll have to see.)
Are their practices better than Sekai Project’s, for example? As far as consumer-focus goes, a very big yes. They appeal to a broader audience and they seem to have taken some very important steps in order to make things generally better and not bring shame upon themselves (thank god they’re not kickstarting their projects, that’s a big plus and deserves respect). As far as internal focus goes, we’ll have to wait and see. Same goes with PR, so far, nothing wrong. Hopefully they’ll hire someone actually competent at that job instead of random people.
Should people instantly follow them like lambs and praising their work even if they haven't even read an excerpt of what they've translated? No. This is a recurrent problem nowadays, when people see something new they always tend to think it's better. And the matter of fact is that that's not the case, at least here. Companies like SolPress are already being labelled as the "saviours" of translations, when, as far as I've seen from their work it's nothing different compared to a decent translation work made by MG or even SP. Hopefully people will be more skeptic about new companies like these ones, but that's obviously not going to be the case and droolers will start appearing sooner or later. Tldr: they're nothing different from what we've seen so far.
Unrelated to the post;
- Please leave your opinion on the format of the post and the display of topic in general: Did you like it? Would you add more info or less info? Would you like more company “reviews”? Was I too harsh? Constructive criticism so I can improve my blog posting is very appreciated.
- Since this is a very new company with no games released yet I retrained myself about commenting about other elements that are core when translating VN's, I'll probably make a more detailed post about NekoNyan in the future, once we've seen a full scope of their intentions and quality.
- Before someone raises the question: “Then who do you consider a good professional?” I’ll answer with people like: Conjueror, Garejei, Makoto, Koestl and Ambigravity for example, there are more but these are the better known people in my book.
- Another thing I need to reiterate: this is not a hate thread towards certain people (some will get the wrong idea reading "1."). If I mention names I just want to be clear about my intentions: I'm not here to hate on anybody.
- Thanks for reading so far (if you actually did).
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This is my first ever review, so I would love feedback on this or even general advice on review writing!
Danganronpa is a murder-filled mystery told over six chapters. Fifteen students are gathered at a school (ironically named Hope’s Peak) by an emotionally unstable teddy bear (Monukuma). The only way to leave the school is by playing Monukuma’s twisted game - to commit murder, without being caught. If the murderer is caught, he is brutally executed, if he succeeds he is set free while the remaining students are executed.
Chapters are divided into three parts, Daily Life, Deadly Life and the Class Trial.
Daily Life is where you the initial character development takes place. In this phase you can walk around and talk to other people, advancing the plot. You are also given “Free Time” where you can get closer to specific characters, which then unlocks power-ups that can be used in the class trial mini-games. The “Daily Life” period usually ends once a murder occurs. The nature of the game, makes most of these murders of the “whodunit” type. These tended to be fun and lasted around an hour each.
Deadly Life is the investigative period. You explore your murder scene and examine items as you look for clues to help solve your mystery. This holds several similarities to “Phoenix Wright” investigations.
The Court-Trials were basically the final showdown in each chapter where you solved the mystery. These were fast paced and interesting. The trial-system itself was horrible though. It was littered with some of the most irritating mini-games of all time. Several obvious statements that can be inferred from the evidence, have to be explicitly found through multiple mini games. On the other hand, the comic-style closing arguments was done very well.
The PC port was horrible. The controls were not mapped out well at all, and to advance text, you are forced to use your mouse rather than the enter key or spacebar. This was very irritating and definitely affected my overall experience with the game.
The BGM is very catchy, the kind that ends up sticking in your head for a while. While not all of it is amazing, there will probably be at least one or two tracks that you will enjoy.
The CG’s and graphics are beautiful and the video-clips are well made. One thing that could have been better was the gore. All blood and wounds, were a bright pink color. If it actually looked like blood, a lot of the gruesome deaths would have impacted me a bit more.
Danganronpa starts of very strong. The very first case tries to drive home that anyone can die. I enjoyed the first two cases the most. The third and fourth cases were good as well, but by then the number of people remaining had reduced making it easier to identify the culprit. The last two chapters, were basically the same case. While I enjoyed them a lot some things have still not been explained.Spoiler
the tragedy, what has happened in the outside world-
. Overall several good mysteries with innovative solutions. Also Danganronpa is Kinetic in nature. If you are given a choice, you either advance, or it loops back until you pick the right choice. The epilogue doesn’t really conclude the story well and is very open/teaserish in nature. (Most Spike Chunsoft games seem to do this, like 999)
Most of the characters were strong personalities, the kind which would naturally end up being the center of their groups. Gathering them all in one place would naturally cause conflict. Most of them exemplified a single quality to an exaggerated degree, almost to the extent where their whole personality could be built around it. Each character was unique and interesting, which lead to interesting motives as well as murderers. While I could never support the murderer, I found myself understanding and sympathizing with the killers as well as the victims in some of the cases.
Well explored characters
Fun investigations/Large World to explore
Court System/ Case Arguments
Pink fake blood/gore
Some plot points left unexplained
Court System/Bullet Time Battle (This had no purpose but to infuriate anyone playing the game)
Verdict – 9/10
There are a lot of ways to start a written piece that would have been more stylish than starting by complaining you couldn't find a way to be stylish enough, but this will have to do for now.
After all, this is the third or fourth time I've attempted to write this -- and I'm not even really sure why I'm doing it, since this isn't really needed or welcome. It's gone through the stages of an apology letter, a comeback statement, a continuation of something (like the pursuit of Western genres for visual novels) as if nothing had happened and now it's even past the stage of a dismissal of itself, although it may not seem so for its first two paragraphs but should seem so due to the fact that it's being published here at all.
Well, I'm convalescing, I think. This is probably a sign.
I vanished from this website and from the internet at large last year. I crumbled too hard, too fast, and left everyone behind. Didn't leave everything -- you can't stop, after all -- but I did leave Fuwanovel in general and the reviews team in particular. During a tough time and in a position where I should be doing things, even. So, to the reviews team, yes -- I should be apologizing. So, I'm sorry. At the very least, for not writing reviews in the past months. Also, for still be using dashes instead of parentheses after all this time if I can help it. I can still help it.
The visual novel I'm making broke me down. I was not, and still am not prepared for a project this large. However, all aspects of my life became entangled with it - it's my final project for University, I have a contract with the government that legally forces me to finish it and make it a source of income both for me and for my team so that we're revealed as the city's new gamedev talents and I put so much personal stuff in it that making it is now both the one place I run to when I have something personal to talk about and the only place I have to run to. Which, as you maybe can spot as a positive feedback cycle, has made me consume myself using it. So there you have it. Visual novels finally brought me down, because I wasn't prepared for them.
Not that I'd ever give up on it -- rather, it's the one thing making me give up on everything else, including friends and other things I like, including -- which is ironic, considering -- Fuwanovel. I won't talk about the process here, this is not an ad. I'd just like to tell you I'm convalescing, I'd like to apologize to the Reviews Team and if any of you every wondered where I was, it was the place furthest away from visual novels I could: the innards of one.
As I still am.