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  • Kaguya

    Fabulous on Fuwa - February!

    By Kaguya

      Introduction
      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.    By @Zakamutt.   Threads   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.   By @Arcadeotic and @EastCoastDrifter.   Blogs 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! 
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Our community blogs

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

     

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    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.

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    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.

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    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:

    https://youtu.be/XgdjGFUt4mM

    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:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/629430/The_Last_Birdling/

    Just one week to go my friends. Thank you :vinty:!

  2. Foreword - No VNTS again, so time for another my own VNTS Review here. I hope that you'll enjoy my VNTS Review here, and once again I would hope that someday we'll gonna have VNTS as well.

    Welcome to this week VNTS Review even though I'd write this on Wednesday here so I'm quite late for this, and seeing that we did have Mangagamer's Otakon announcements at last Saturday I'll comment about the announcement in this review as well. As for the title, I'm sure that some of us would recognize it as Esperanto language, but let's see what we updates that we have at this week beforehand (I'll explain the title in PS later). For this week, seeing that we have Otakon announcements from Mangagamer, I would say that this week is definitely a good one. Other than Otakon announcement, we also have sizeable updates from the fan translation section compared to the last week, and not so favorable news from Sekai as well. With that done, let's see what I can write for this week as well.

    Yesterday we have surprising news from Sekai, which unfortunately is quite a bad one namely that Sekai fired off all of their marketing staff. While understandably they probably in dire need of money so they think that they should be able to do the marketing be themselves fine, unfortunately seeing the former CEO bad reputation I wouldn't be so sure if it's would be the good decision from Sekai or not. Anyway, it show that Sekai perhaps have some problem inside of the company itself so maybe some of the their partner would have doubt on Sekai. Enough my assumption here for now, and apparently Sekai did assure us that the projects will do fine for now so there's that. Now that Sekai did have some scandal here, they also list off some of their ongoing project at their site here, and out of all those updates the only thing that shown some clarity was Rewrite with the retranslation progress was at 35% (To me it's redundant project though). Let's just hoping that everything will work out somehow, especially for the projects that wasn't listed at the post (ie Majokoi, Harukuru, and Baldr Sky).

    We did have Your Diary+ release back at last Friday on Steam. While the graphic for Your Diary itself is looking good, unfortunately the translation for that is pretty awful and there's no H scenes for that. As for my opinion here, I can try to tolerate the translation there but lack of H scenes will surely wouldn't do much favor to the people there. Oh and as for the translation, according to Pabloc back at VNDB it's worse than Konosora initial translation and for the note Pabloc himself was the one who retranslated Konosora, so if I may say here it would be need more than five years if one want to retranslate Your Diary (Konosora retranslation need almost five years to be finished). As for the removal of H scenes, while we knew that there's console version of this, Hobibox still don't have the excuse to only released all age version without 18+ patch because in Japan we also have Your Diary+ that was have the H scenes as well, and more importantly Hobibox could do it like the publisher nowadays (Did they didn't know either Fakku or Mangagamer?). In the end, I guess it;s a shame that we did get not so good release of Your Diary, considering that I find that the graphic itselves were quite nice to see.

    Fan Translation

    A week after starting the project, the translator for Summer Pocket did have a plan to release the trial patch for that at 26th later. While obviously it wouldn't cover the translation up to the endings, at least it should be enough if we want to see of what kind of the translation that Summer Pockets will have. For the VN itself, I'll try to talk more about it later but let's just said that it's more or less could be treated as a tribute to KEY's past VNs with many similar plot points. As for Summer Pocket's progress, the common route translated line count was at 2,810 lines while for others 1,446 lines were translated, bring the total translated lines was at 4,256 lines (Out of 111,484 lines, so the percentage for translated lines of Summer Pockets was at 3.81% translated).

    Other than Summer Pockets, we have Pure Pure was at 80.25% translated with Hibari's route was at 20.56% roughly translated, 264 out of 268 lines from Oreimo Tsuzuki were finalized, Eustia was at 49.76% translated along with 40.06% edited and 39.08% TLC-ed, and Harugi's was at 12% translated for the overall progress with Tonoko's route was at 31% translated along with Branch was at 23% translated (With additional progress was at 8% edited). We also have a word from Musumaker project in which apparently they already finished with the engine issue for inserting the text, so at least from there hopefully it should be easier if we talk about Musumaker engine work (Also interesting to note that the team will remove the mosaic for Musumaker). From Loverable, the translator himself say that the team will revised the translated scripts from the start and they'll remove the honorific from the translation later, so let's wait for the further news here. As for the current progress for Loverable, right now it was at 82.33% TLC-ed. I think that's all for the updates in regard of fan translation, and obviously we didn't have Otakon announcement for this section lol.

    Mangagamer

    Before going to Otakon announcements from them, let me say congratulation for the release of short nukige Sweet Switch back at last Thursday. And of course seeing that Mangagamer like to announced the exact date for their next release after the current release for most of the time, this time obviously Mangagamer did announce the exact date for the next release. As for the next release in question, it is Tsui Yuri in which it'll be released at September 6th later. So congratulation of mod Dergonu in regard of the release here, and if you've been waiting Tusi Yuri for more than two years, take a note of the release date.

    The first announcement from Mangagamer Otakon panel is shoujo ai VN Kotonoha Amrilato, which I'll like to call it Amrilato from now on. As for the premise, it was in regard of a girl (Rin) who mysteriously transferred to the another world where the sky that did have the eternal sunset color. After that, Rin obviously want to know what was happened and from there she met another girl (Ruka), in which the usual trope that everyone spoke Japanese even in another world didn't happen because Ruka only understand Japanese a tiny bit with her dominant language was the unknown language (Juliamo). Obviously with that circumstance both Rin and Ruka wouldn't be able to communicate very well, and of course the only solution is that Rin learn Juliamo. What make this VN unique is not the isekai premise, but rather Amrilato allow us to learn Juliamo language along with Rin in order to understand the world by ourself. While Juliamo language here is a fictive one, actually it was based on a real language called Esperanto in which some of the word in Juliamo should be familiar if one been learning Esperanto. I'll hope that the translator able to translate this properly, because it would be hard if one want to translate this properly if we'd looking from learning the foreign language aspect.

    The second announcement is otome 18+ VN from Kalmia8 Horny Magical Princess (Or I'll call it Sukehime from now on, with 'suke' was shortened from 'sukebe' which mean pervert). The premise is that we have a cute alien came to the Earth in order to search for her husband, and after landing on the Earth she found two handsome virgin men who the alien think was good enough to be the alien husband candidates (Forget to said that since the alien spoke Japanese as well, there wouldn't be major communication problem between her and two handsome men just like Amrilato lol). Even though it's 18+ otome which in theory is interesting enough, unfortunately this is the least interesting announcements to me for now. But if you've been take a liking to Boukaku from the same developer, this should be an interesting announcement to you. Oh, and the alien girl herself (The MC for this VN) is far more cheerful compared to Boukaku's MC. Almost forget to say that the translator already translated 4% of it according to her Twitter here.

    Their third announcement was surely came off as a surprise, considering that the company in question was already bankrupt. But seeing that I'd been wish the announcement since last year Otakon, the surprise is quite good to me here. As for the third announcement, it was Haretaka in which it was dubbed as the best Chuablesoft VN. The premise is more or less just like MoeNovel sky themed VNs though (Konosora and Miagete, but instead of glider or telescope we'll gonna have rocket here), but at least we knew that this is gonna be better release compared to MoeNovel one because the mere fact that Mangagamer will release it uncensored (ie include the H scenes). As for the progress right now it's been already fully translated and edited, so perhaps we'll gonna have Haretaka did the beta testing in near future. Anyway, while I did say that it's surprising that Mangagamer did announce Chuablesoft title in which as we know is a bankrupt company, Mangagamer did answer that they already have a talk with the new license owner for Chuablesoft, which automatically mean that they should already cleared the license problem for Suki Suki as well. Seeing that Suki Suki was still in beta testing, I hope that it'll be finished in the near future and after that they'll release it. Forget to say that actually it's not a new thing though that a work from bankrupt company released overseas, because in the past we have the examples of that from JAST (Romanesque and more recently Schatten).

    The fourth announcement from them was another Alice Soft VN, and this time it's Escalayer in which we'll gonna have a magical girl going to fight of the evil organization to defend the peace of the town. While the premise is absolutely cliche with the same pattern as Haruka as well (Both Escalayer and Haruka did share the exact same gameplay with slight difference), this VN was obviously Quof's next project because Haruka is more or less a nukige (Interesting to see that this is the second time that Arunaru didn't involved himself in Alice Soft VN), and therefore Escalayer should be the nukige as well. While it might be a nukige here, actually it could be treated as the gameplay VN with merely had high sexual content because the sex in Escalayer (And Haruka) did improve the character status so the sex here is quite necessary. In the end, whether you want to call this a nukige or not is up to each people. As for the difference and the similarities with Haruka, I'll write about that later on.

    That's all for this week VNTS Review, and see you next week.

    PS - As for the title, it should be obvious that it was an Esperanto language. Which in this case of the title, I simply translate the localized title for Haretaka (Farther Than the Blue Sky) into the Esperanto here.

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    Ithaqua Labs, named ominously after a Great Old One from the Lovecraftian Cthulhu mythos, is one of the more unique studios on the EVN scene, not following closely the tropes and aesthetic of the Japanese VNs. While their fantasy and horror games did not really break into the mainstream of the visual novel market, they definitely stand out among the generic romance and ecchi visual novels most often found on Steam. On June 14 this year, the two-man team added another interesting title to their catalogue – Perceptions of the Dead 2, sequel to a collection of 3 short horror stories which was Ithaqua’s earliest VN project, dating back to 2015. Before I go into details of the new release, it’d be a good idea to take a closer look at its prequel (which, by all standards could be considered as a short prologue to the “proper” story told in PotD 2).

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    The first Perception of the Dead is simply the prologue for the „real” story, but does a good job of introducing the main characters and establishing the setting

    Perceptions of the Dead, in the "remastered" version released in late October 2017, contains three horror stories set in the modern-day US, plots of which are brought together in the sequel. While they have a slight Lovecraftian vibe to them, they are nowhere near as grim and suffocating as their inspiration – they’re mostly lighthearted, playing with the tropes of the genre in interesting and amusing ways, but not trying to be genuinely scary. The PotD episodes introduce two protagonists of the franchise – a streamer named Jill, who gets involved with paranormal phenomena by accident while making a Halloween trip to a haunted hospital and Tyrone, a powerful medium who works as a paranormal investigator (along with a substantial cast of supporting characters). While the first of the stories, The Phantom Icecream Truck, is rather clunky and underwhelming, it was also the earliest project by the studio, evidently still looking for their own style in both visual and storytelling. The other two, Jill Count and Perceptions of the Dead, are much more interesting though and tell stories that lead directly into the second game.

              All episodes of PotD share some characteristics that are also very much present in the sequel – distinct, colourful artstyle and good-quality, full voice acting. Both do a lot to make the characters feel alive and likeable – even someone like Jill, who has a slight “bratty social media starlet” vibe to her and could easily be off-putting, feels both believable and fun to follow thanks to her voice actresses’ work and good visual design. The art is sometimes simplified (or even slightly distorted, when it goes to anatomy and various environmental details) but is vibrant and gives the characters a lot of personality in that slightly exaggerated, cartoonish way. For the most part, I absolutely adored the aesthetic of the game and the atmosphere it created, especially after prolonged exposure to cheap ecchi EVNs and their depressingly generic anime art.

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    The game’s artstyle and character designs are its most distinctive features, building a rather unique atmosphere

    The story itself might be, however, slightly more problematic, at least from a certain perspective. While Perceptions of the Dead established the setting and its basic rules, with ghosts, mediums and supernatural threats that will become center of attention in the sequel, even when looking at both games combined, they’re a rather short experience (up to 5 hours of reading) that is only starting to gain momentum and unravel the bigger intrigue signalized in the plot. While the sequel is meant to contain two stories, only the first one of which is already out, it’s hard to believe that the upcoming one would be able, on its own, to give us the backstories of the characters and push the story forward as much as we would want it to – and there are some really interesting pieces of lore that just scream to be explored more, while we also still know very little about crucial characters, such as Ripley, an ancient ghost that got interested in Tyrone’s power as a medium and Marcus, Tyrone’s longtime friend who also possesses significant abilities of unclear nature. PotD 2’s story, so far, starting with Tyrone missing and Jill, looking for help with her own hunting problem, teaming with Ripley and Marcus to look for him, mostly created more questions and expanded the intrigue without resolving anything. At least I can’t deny it left me wanting much more – hopefully, Ithaqua has plans to keep the franchise alive beyond another 2-3 hours long story bit, it would be a real shame for it to end without reaching its full potential.

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    The consistently strong voice acting adds even more life and personality to the whole cast, including most of the supporting characters

    The other complaint I have to share is how linear the whole experience is – both in the case of PotD and PotD 2, the choices are both few and mostly meaningless (apart from literally one optional scene and a single, abrupt dead end). While the gimmick of Jill’s audience giving her direction by comments or voting while she’s streaming was fun and immersive, it doesn’t change the fact that in reality the game gives no agency to the player. The story is also full of popcultural references that give the characters even more genuine feel (especially between Jill and Marcus who are both popcultural geeks), but I can imagine them growing old pretty fast or falling flat if you don’t know the referenced material. Music is rather minimalistic, doing the bare minimum of ambience-building necessary in this kind of story. In the end, though, I see Perception of the Dead 2 as a very positive experience – not really as a horror, but as a casual adventure story with a fun cast and unusual premise. Definitely worth checking out, especially for the modest asking price of less than 10 dollars.
     

    Final Score: 3,5/5

     

    Pros:

    + Great, unique artstyle

    + Great voice acting

    + Interesting lead characters with a lot of personality

    Cons:

    - Short

    - Linear with mostly meaningless choices

     

    VNDB page

    Buy Perceptions of the Dead 2 on Steam

  4. Hello and welcome to my Learning How To Learn Japanese guide series! My name is Kenshin_sama, and today I’d like to go over a basic overview of what these guides will be about. What I aim to accomplish with this series is share some of the observations I made while studying in hopes that they aid you in finding a sustainable method for yourself. While many of the techniques I discuss can be applied to almost any area of study, I’ll be writing these guides specifically for those who want to learn Japanese.

    Guide format:
    After dedicating several hours to writing this guide, I came to the realization that I’ve put in far too much information to consume all at once; and after some deliberation, I decided to break my guide into a series of smaller guides to provide moderate break points and make it a little less intimidating. Each guide will be dedicated to certain lifestyle aspects or learning techniques that can make the process of learning Japanese easier. Every time I create a new guide, I'll add a link to an index at the top of each entry for convenient navigation.

    What you should know before you start learning Japanese:

    Gaining proficiency in any new language is going to require a substantial time investment throughout the entirety your life; make sure you can justify that kind of commitment to yourself before getting started. There are plenty of reasons you might want to consider learning Japanese other than for increased enjoyment of your hobbies, but make sure they’re enough to keep you motivated.

    The key to studying effectively is studying consistently. In the wise words of James Raymond Watkins, “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” If you can spend more time studying, great, but it is imperative that you take the time to study almost every day, even if it’s only for a short duration.

    I’m not sure if this is still a commonly held belief, but I think I’ll go ahead and address this argument in case you get the wrong idea. It is not impractical to learn a completely new language as an adult. You may have heard it said on occasion that the best time to learn any new language is at a young age. I’m not willing to verify the accuracy of that statement since it’s not exactly relevant to this guide (I’m not writing this for 5-year-olds), but I can say with some certainty that it is never too late to get started. I’ve heard plenty of stories about people who’ve started learning their second language in their late 20s or older, and have achieved fluency in that language with enough practice. Just know that it’s perfectly normal to suck at learning a new language at first; your age is not to blame.

    Afterword:
    Thank you very much for reading. It was not my intention to make the introduction post this long, but I wanted to be sure I made some of my points as clear as possible. I'd greatly appreciate it if any of you would be kind enough to share your thoughts on this guide. In part 2, I’ll be going over a certain method of learning Japanese grammar through Anki. I'm almost positive that this method won't take over as the primary go-to for learning grammar, but I figured it'd be worth sharing anyways since it's working well for me and I haven't seen it brought up in any other JP guide (at least the ones promoted on this site). Hope to see you there!

  5. I have to say I apologize to those who voted for Minikui Mojika no Ko... my original instinct not to play this game at all was correct.  This game feels too much like a dark rape nukige to allow me to play it anymore, so I had to drop it.  Not to mention that I hate all the characters and think they should all be tossed into the nearest garbage dump. 

  6. Foreword: Bell-Da as a company has come a long way in visual novel industry, but prior to Liaison there were only terrible macromedia flash tasteless short games. But Liaison managed to turn the tides by presenting a solid story about working adults that kept my attention for over 4 hours till the end.

    Title: Liaison

    Developer: Bell-Da

    Date: 1998-07-16

    VNDB link:https://vndb.org/v8155

    Youtube walkthrough:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dflf6As2eww&index=55&list=PLENAECnNmAq_3TQ0rXcu0n95aygm3PPQU

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    Synopsis: Kusanagi Daisaku came to Tokyo to attend art university with a dream of becoming a painter, but he clearly lacked talent. One day he meets two women in jewelry store and that casual encounter greatly influenced his life and his upcoming biggest masterpiece.

    Structure: No division, but choices determine the path of one of the two main heroines or the side heroine.

    Length: 4 hours

    Game type: Love triangle story with some NTR tilt

    Difficulty: Flags are evident and there are usually only two variants to choose from.

    Character Design rating: 7/10

    Protagonist rating: 5/10

    Story rating: 4/10

    Game quality: 6/10

    Overall rating: 5/10

    Rating comments: Probably the lowest rating among my reviews. The reason is that I felt betrayed by the story. The first two hours were wonderful and it was not clear where it all was going, then the poor plot became evident, but it was too late to turn back. I still rate characters quite high here as they are memorable and have great voicing. 

    Protagonist: Kusanagi Daisaku is a university art department student. The worst thing about him is that he mostly moves with the flow and after one professor tells him he does not have talent, Kusanagi gives up and gets depressed. It's not fun to look at such a hetare protagonist.

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    Characters: So there are three heroines with enging. Long purple hair Jun and short violet hair Minako work at the same jewelry store and compete with each other in sales every day. There's also childhood friend from hero's hometown Shiori who appears only during short stay of Kusanagi at his hometown and also visits him briefly afterwards once. Characters are quite well done as they don't belong to any archetype and are full of inconsistencies and own troubles. When I don't have clear preference I go for the main heroine and that seemed to be Jun since she had the most of troubles from the start. But the most delivering character for me was Kusanagi mangaka brother Naru. He's an egoistic man, but full of surprises and funny moves. He really invigorates the cast.

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    Story: Since I rated the story as low as "4" I don't need to hold back. Kusanagi is an absolute failure as a man and protagonist. The story starts with an already stupid twist that Jun phones him while working on her sales list of customers, but instead of saying clearly what she wants she invites Kusanagi to the building which turns out to be jewelry shop. Cunning! He comes only to be offered to buy diamonds and miserably retreats. Then by a weird twist of fate Jun skips work with her friend to go to a countryside and they meet Kusanagi in person again even though Kusanagi was not shown going on a trip or anything. The next day Kusanagi decides to visit jewelry shop again and noone seems to care that he comes just to talk and never to buy anything. Somehow that ends up with a date with Jun. And Minako is so obsessed with sales competition with Jun that she decides to... stalk on Kusanagi and get him to karaoke to seduce him before Jun does so. Is there any logic in that at all? Of course Minako boasts of that at work to her rival which becomes the source of cheap drama. Then the real drama in the figure of former Jun boyfriend Daimon, SM relations apostate, appears. So it's a pretty normal relations story with cheap drama, drawbacks and restoration cycle. Former lover kindnapping of Jun and its resolution bring an end to the game.

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    Humor: There were quite a lot of funny moments. While seducing at karaoke Minako asked Kusanagi to guess her cup size. There was a variant of "W" to which she says "What? World cup? Stop fooling around already!". 
    CG and Sound: A very good number of high quality CG. There are only few CG that look weird. BGM is solid as well.

    Overall comments: I expected the game to move towards artist profession self-realization and creating of a real masterpiece, but there was not even remotely enough time devoted to art. What I got instead is not sophisticated cheap drama without much basis behind it. Even in this state the game is really entertaining for a good half of it thanks to view zapping between the characters, funny sub-characters and fast pace. Later on it does not get worse, but it gets too repetitive and evident to my liking.

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  7. I recently finished Euphoria so I figured I should make a review of it.

    As for the general story of Euphoria I feel like talking about anything other than the start could be a potetial spoiler so I will refrain from doing so. Euphoria starts with the main character waking up in a white room with a door. As he walks through the door he finds himself in another white room along with six girls. Of the six girls there are five students who are in the same school as the main character as well as one of his teachers. Once they are all gathered a mechanical voice tells them that to get out they need to unlock five doors, these doors are unlocked after the main character has done a sexual act with one of the girls, with him being free to choose who. One of the girls then refuses to participate, everything becomes black and when they can see again she is locked to an electric chair where she is electricuted to death. Now with the five remaining girls the main character need to complete the game to get out of there alive. So the first part here which I have given a short introduction to works pretty much like a nukige in that it contains a lot of sex scenes and that there are many fetishes involved. There are also some questions raised during this part as well as its importance in character building though all in all I would call this part of the VN a well written nukige. As for the later half, which I don't want to go into due to spoilers, well it contains way less sex scenes while doing a much better job at storytelling with giving you more hints as to what is actually going on. The recommended way to go though Euphoria is to read it in this order, Rika, Natsuki, Rinne, Nemu and Kanae, with Rika as the first route and Kanae as the last route. The reason this is the prefered way to play it is that it gives the best experience in terms of piecing together information from the different routes. As for what I think is best to categorize Euphora as I would say it is a mystery psychological horror visual novel.

    Well now that my introduction to Euphoria is over I suppose I can start the actual review of it.

    Firstly I want to talk a bit about what I though about each route induvidually.

    I guess I should start with Rika, well her route is pretty bad. The first part of her route was to me the worst part of Euphoria. The main character came of as an irredeemable evil person and Rika is just really annyoing. This caused me to not really enjoy the sex scenes or any of the other scenes where you interacted with Rika. As for the later half I found it to be much better. I would say this part is pretty decent and the story here is pretty interesting, Rika also becomes much more tolerable and the main character comes of as a much better person than he did in the first part of her route.

    The next route is Natsuki (the teacher), I found her early route to be much much better than the early route of Rika. The back and forth between her and the main character was quite interesting and she is a really likable as a character. Due to her being very good at pushing back against the main character he also became a lot more interesting as his internal strugle became quite clear. As for the later half I liked it quite a lot, her later half I would say is a bit like a horror action story.

    Next up is Rinne, as for her first half I though it was quite good, her sex scenes really did a good job at showcasing her personality and there were also some really interesting conversations with her during the first part. As for the secound part of her route, well I found it absolutely amazing, it was just such a good twisted physological horror story and it had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I remember just being in awe at how interesting this route was. I also think this route is the one that did the best job at implemeting sex scenes, it worked really well with the story and with the atmosphere of the route. Due to this route I got completely hooked on Euphoria and marathoned the rest of it.

    As for the nemu route, well I think she has the best first part. Her sex scenes were quite extreeme, but you don't feel bad for her at all since it is Nemu. Other than being quite extreeme her first part also raises some questions about her as a character showing that there may be more under her surface than what can be seen. As for the secound part of her route I found it really interesting though not quite as good as the secound half of the Rinne route. The route was really cruel, but also had quite an interesting story. 

    Then lastly is the Kanae route. Her sex scenes during the early part is okay, not really that good or that bad. Though the early part does a pretty good job at forshadowing some things.

    As for the secound half of her route I suppose I should split it into two parts since there are two ways her route can play out.

    One is a route that has the main character doing really horrible things and seem to be there mainly for people who really want to see messed up sex scenes. This is a rather short route and doesn't really feel that important.

    The other route is the true ending route. This route was to me the best part of Euphoria. This route start of as a complete mindfuck that I just found extreemly interesting. After that the route then start to explain in details what has actually happened and it becomes a really emotional story that had me almost crying at times. The last part of it was just wonderful to experience and it was just such an emotional roller coaster which at the end left me really satisfied. While this route answered most of the things in the story I was still left with some questions about certain things, though I think those are meant to be left as mysteries. 

     

    As for my final thoughts, well I absolutely love Euphoria. It started of pretty bad with the Rika route and at that point my expectations were a bit low, though as I played through more routes it really sucked me in. I think it did a really good job at mixing the sex scenes with the story and I liked to play it all in its entirety. Even though it has a lot of sex scenes I would still recommend it even if you have no interest in the sex scenes. The story on its own is extreemly good and is definitely the highlight of the VN. While I said the first part of it can be considered a nukige the same can not be said for Euphoria as a whole, the story part take center stage once the first part of the route is done and the later halfs of each route is just so much better than the first part. Most of the time the sex scenes aren't really important to read and it is enough just to generally know what happend which means they can be skipped. As for which sex scenes I think would be most important to read if you are fine with reading them but want to skip most of them, well I think the sex scenes in the Rinne route as well as early Nemu route is the most important ones to read as these actually feel like they add to the characters and story, though I would still say their routes are very good even without going through these scenes.

     

    Here is the cover of the physical edition

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    Here is the back of the physical edition

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    Here is the disc of the physical edition

    Spoiler

     

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    The other side of the reversible cover

    Spoiler

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    Limited time bonus BGM collection.

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    As for my review of the physical edition, well this is a pretty standard hardcopy. There really isn't anything extra other than the BGM collection, which I don't know if still follows with the hardcopy since it is a limited time bonus (I got it when I bought mine in November last year). Since the physical edition is quite standard I would only recommend getting it for people who just want to have a physical edition of their VNs. One thing that I think was quite nice is that the cover doesn't show any nudity, this is nice since it is then less likely for there to be problems in customs when importing it. Also if you want the nudity on the cover you can just turn the cover around and display it that way since it has a reversible cover.

  8.     I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER HOW LONG AGO: Not even time travel saved tymmur, but it's not like Dreamysyu, VirginSmasher and Zander would give up so fast! After finding a whopping amount of 1 (one) clue, our heroes started marching to the court room.

     

        After whatever won the poll, our heroes finally reached a red velvet room, decorated with golden statues and chains. An extravagant atmosphere, that also made everyone dizzy, just like Ranzo's ego. Speaking of the Devil, he just started singing a Velvet Underground song. Back to the room's interior, we could also see a circle of golden platforms in the exact middle of the room, an arrangement that permitted them to see everyone else should they step behind the platforms. Well, not "should", "must", they have to do it, to save America, or whatever other noble reason. Maggiekuma's throne was located closer to the corner, in a higher ground where it was possible to see everything the plebeians bellow were doing. 

        "Sooooooo, you guys are finally here!" said Maggiekuma, savoring some popcorn.

        "And whose fault is it, that we're this late?" we can count on batman to rub salt on other people's wound.

        "Okay, look, I already waste half a screen worth of space with that poll, so let's drop the issue about my lateness! You have better things to discuss!" angrily said Maggiekuma, throwing popcorn at our heroes. Kiri didn't seem offended.

        "Yeah, like, we can discuss how h-scenes are important to the plot!" Dergonu proposed a circle jerking. :ren: 

        "We would stay here all day if we were to discuss that. Instead, shouldn't we discuss... I don't know... about tymmur's death???" Dreamysyu put his protagonism to good use.

        "Oh right, we should honour the bugger." Poltroon said in a dignified way, almost contradicting his behaviour in the last chapter.

        "You say that like we're disrespecting him, but these bunch of lines we're saying that never ends is a nice shout out to the fella." justified Fiddle.

        "Now that's what I call a fantastic homage!" agreed Ranzo, even though deep down they thought that their performance of Fucking Wizard by Reverend Bizarre that was edited out of the story to not split the audience due to musical differences was better.

        "Okay, I... think I can allow that. But can you guys at least, pretty please, babble while going to your designated seats?" not even I understand Maggiekuma's attempts to save time at this point.

        "If I remember right here, we have to find the culprit hiding here and then vote for him here so we can continue to live here." littleshogun made a recap.

        "So what, we just talk and talk about it until the culprit eventually blurts it all out?" Virgin proposed.

        "That wouldn't be half as fun! So let me explain some additional rules to the trial session!"

     

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        Said Zander, with his now healed physical injury and forever persisting mental damage.

        "No need. I microwaved my way through a time where we already listened to the rules before this, so I can tell you guys!" Kurisu saving the day.

        "You could have, you know, looked for the culprit's name..." Or not.

        "Well, in short, we have to talk non stop about the same things over and over again even if they are painfully obvious until someone with half a brain figures the bullshit in our arguments and fire a truth bullet through it. We can add some random babble in the conversation too, to make things more of a chore than harder per se."

        "Putting it like this... god, this game sucks!" everything sucks for you, bats.

        "So, all we gotta do is shoot first, eh?" said Lesiak, firing a bullet that would put Clint Eastwood's characters to shame. Sasuga, Ultimate Westerner. Too bad SeniorBlitz happened to be in front of him, so he ended with a bullet in his skull. Sasuga, Ultimate Westerner.

        RIP.

        "Eeerr... that sounded like Lesiak put a... silencer in his gun." it looked like a very lame and inappropriate joke made by Dergonu, but it was also a nice shout out to Senior's pun habits.

        "To be quite honest, I think this game will be much more balanced now. He was too overpowered with that guide of his." said the guy that claimed he knows everything about the progress of the story.

        "I have to agree with that as well. One should not defy the gods." said the guy that defy the gods himself.

        "Even if we don't like it, you have a point. Now everyone have a fair chance." said the tsun that can time travel. "I'm not a tsundere!" that's not what I said. "A-a-a-a-a-and I'm not just a tsun either!"

        "Well, except the part about killing each other mid trial, even if I don't really care if you guys actually do it, the trial goes exactly like Kurisu explained. So start presenting some proof or something."

        "Oh, I have some!" Kenshin finally got the ball rolling.

        "I also happen to have some." Zander said calmly like this:

     

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        "I also have something to show." Virgin said proudly. Not even Dreamysyu, that was with him had any idea what kind of clue he found.

        "Let's start with mine, since I raised my hand first! Okay, I gathered some pics from the crime scene. Maggiekuma, can you lend me a screen to project those?" said Kenshin.

        "This is really necessary? I mean, we're handling guro material here..." Lesiak asked before I have to rate this fic 18+.

        "Guro..." Dergonu seems to be controlling himself to not say anything else.

        "About guro here, I think I could give my opinion on it, but since I'm not into strangling and tentacle anal rape here, I think I'll pass on this here." littleshogun gave his opinion.

        ".............Not only you're being awfully specific, but no one asked if anyone liked guro either." Ranzo tsukkomied for a moment.

        "Eeerrr, but don't we just looked at the body? Ignoring that it was 2 eons ago outside the story. How 2D pics can be worse than the real deal?" Virgin asked.

        "I'm not sure if this 2D vs 3D argument's going to fly on court, mister Virgin." you guys are already on court, mister Poltroon, but he was so naturally on mood for trials that he didn't even noticed his language quirk.

        "To be honest, the only thing those pics will show is what I'm about to describe." Zander started. "I investigated the body and made a shocking discover: it wasn't the gif that killed tymmur, he was electrocuted!"

        "Impossible. How such a detail went unnoticed by the gods?" bellowed Clephas, making a question that I didn't really think the answer to.

        "His feet were stuck into a bucket full of water together with an electric wire. So it means... that someone entered the scene, probably knocked tymmur out cold, stuck his feet into the bucket, put the wire there, send the gif as a red flag and then fled." Dreamysyu put all the pieces together. "But... when did the culprit find the time to do all that?"

        "He doesn't need time if they can time travel..." Ranzo preferred to chaotic-evilly accuse anyone without proof just for the lulz than actually help.

        "True that, but unfortunately for your lulz, I have some further proof I'm not the killer. Isn't that right, Kenshin_sama?!" Kurisu said, throwing their ace in the moment they judged to be the most dramatic!

        "Why people only present evidence on dramatic prompts and not, like, right at the start?" Danganronpa is to blame, bats.

        "Oh right! The message on the blackboard! I have a pic of it as well!" Kenshin said what they knew. "When both of us entered the scene, we saw this 'Podology services for free!' message written with pink chalk on the blackboard, so maybe that's what baited tymmur."

        "I don't even know what podology is supposed to be, what's your point?" Virgin didn't understand gay speak.

        "I'm not sure either, but maybe... you're trying to say that tymmur put his feet inside that bucket by himself??" dramatic song starts playing.

        "WHATA TWIIIIIIIIIIIST!" not really, Maggiekuma. You're the only one excited here.

        "Wait a moment. If that's true... why we didn't saw that message when we went to crime scene?" Lesiak questioned.

        "Because I eventually erased it to write a differences chart between the anime and the VN version of S;G 0 there." calmly explained Kurisu.

        "Destroying evidence, eh?" Poltroon suddenly became Canadian.

        "To be honest, it made the episode even more fun to watch, building that chart." the order of the words in Kenshin's explanation looks like something poorly translated from japanese. And then, everyone just removed Kenshin and Kurisu from the blame list because I don't want to drag this any longer.

        "Okay, I think it's finally time for me to shine!" Virgin raised from his seat, at least I hope I mentioned they were sitting before.

        "Oh yeah, you apparently had some evidence." Zander trusted Virgin as much as Virgin trusted him.

        "Yeah, and it's that now dead guy's guide!"

        "Wait, isn't this cheating?" Dergonu uphold the rules with seriousness.

        "Not when I'm the one doing it!" said Virgin, quickly turning the pages of Senior's guide. "Soooo, if I got to the right page, I think the way to advance is... to ask Dergonu to hack the system?"

     

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        "Dergonu, care to explain?" Fiddle asked, judging his comrade.

        "Oh riiiiight, I was hacking the system to get access to the monitors early, so maybe I can do it again to check some unusual activity." I'm not sure if Dergonu can even do that, but Kaguya is not in the story so this have to do. After some *insert meme and oversimplified explanation of hacker doing stuff* in a laptop that Maggiekuma lent to them, Dergonu turned back to his friends with a sullen expression. "It's no use, I can't even see traces of Kurisu's magecraft there."

        "Some mod you are." Zander rolled his eyes.

        "☆=(ゝω・)/" Kiri intervene for the first time! "ヾ(`・ω・´)ノ" They said.

        "Can someone localize this?"

        "They're saying that maybe Poltroon or Clephas can try to get access to the system too. They aren't the Ultimate Mod, but maybe their permissions are wacky enough for that to work." Fiddle translated.

     

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        "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN OBJECTING TO?????" Dreamysyu asked themselves if Maggie didn't do that just because she so wanted to use that pic.

        "Did Kiri really says all of that with just that smiley?" batman asked the real question.

        "Yes." Fiddle only nodded, because they know. And somehow everyone just accepted it and the plot moved forward.

        "Well, since batman stole my catchphrase..." not really, Mr. Edgeworth. "I'll hack into this system of yours instead, to finally make a grandiose entrance in this trial." I think it's a fair trade, solving plot problems instead of saying a meme catchphrase. And with that, his fingers danced through the keyboard of Maggiekuma's laptop. "Ohoooo... what is this?"

        "Cut the suspense, did you find out who send the gif?"

        "As a matter of fact, yes. And it was... someone named Dergonu!"

     

        DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!

     

        "Absurd! It's not me!!! Just look into my account activity!!! It was pretty much inactive before Dreamysyu asked for my help earlier this morning!" Dergone yelled.

        "Just for the record, I'm not confirming this piece of information." Dreamysyu threw Dergonu under the bus.

        "TRAITOR!"

        "Fret not, my fellow moderator. I never said it was you that did it. I said an account with the name 'Dergonu' is the responsible for this mess, apparently. And for some reason, this Dergonu is also following your account." Poltroon explained.

        "But wasn't that Dergonu following Dergonu Dergonu themselves?" Kenshin put it in a confusing way, but it was the painful truth.

        "Oh yeah, that's right. So forget what I said about not fretting, Dergonu, please do fret." Poltroon dealt the final blow.

        "Wait, we're not doing that retarded rhythm game from Danganronpa now, are we?" Ranzo asked. Even if he was a music enthusiast, no one deserves that annoying game.

        "No lol, that minigame is stupid, I can go down without that and with my dignity instead, thank you very much." Dergonu explained.

        "So it WAS you the culprit here. You must be quite interested here in how to mouth those obviously delicious and long and thick bananas here to actually commit murder for it here." littleshogun disapproved.

        ".................I think you're the only one that still remembers that was supposed to be our motivation." Virgin felt some degeneration in the air.

        "Nah man, I didn't do it for some dumb book." Dergonu switched to their evil villain personality. For some reason, no one was really surprised.

        "So, why did you kill tymmur?"

        "For the ~~***GURO***~~, of course!" And them they started some chant that looked like a chuuni villain speech. "KILL, PUNCH, STAB, BLEEEEED!!!! Why is this frustrated Derg so mad? I hope you can't answer me, as your brains escape through your ears! Dance, Derg, at the rhythm of the falling severed fingers! Crawl in my direction leaving your intestines in your trails! You can't take your eyes of Derg, so I'll take them out for you maggots!" for some reason, Dergonu started talking about themselves in third person, something as bad as guro.

        "Okay, but where's the sexual part in those things you describe? That's just regular gore." asked Dreamysyu.

        "Well, I'm sexy (/ω\)" Kiri wasn't amused with Dergonu trying to copy them.

        "Is this... the real Dergonu?" Lesiak asked, somehow surprised that he didn't recognize his friend that had a whopping amount of maybe 5 lines in 3 chapters worth of characterization.

        "Actually, now everything is starting to make sense." Really? "They did that... because they wanted to be guroed themselves."

        "mWAHAHAKWAKWA~ mAYBE?! <3" Dergonu's maniacal laugh echoed in the chamber.

        "Well, if that's what this shell of a human being is asking for..." Clephas started a summoning spell. "KILL, PUNCH, STAB, BLEEEEED!!!!..." no, I won't create 2 mantras in a single chapter.

        "HOLD YOUR HORSES! I CAN HANDLE THIS!" said Maggiekuma, wanting to shine in this chapter as well. "The Punishment time is on the house! And I prepared some pretty cool Visual Novel style execution!" Saying that, Maggiekuma took an old grimoire whose cover was covered in a cat's hide. The Legendary Nekonomicon. It seems Senior's soul is still trapped in the courtroom, as the lame puns are out of control. Cutting off one of their finger and pouring the blood over the cursed book's page, Maggiekuma summoned Dergonu's executioner. "Who's better to punish bad Dergonu than the very own Empress of the Banished Lands?"

        In the next moment. The sky suddenly went dark. They were indoors, but they noticed it through a TV that Maggiekuma turned on in that instant or something. But the reason for that suddenly invaded the courtroom too. Wasps. A fuck ton of them. Their buzzing was quite loud, almost looking like they were omegaloling at the characters' misery. The characters that had closer ties with Hell knew what were those wasps. The poster boys (boys is even the right word here?) of the Banished Lands, the symbol of the Queen. And indeed, short after, she appeared. The High Mistress Neko, the Ultimate Catgirl. Clad in a beautiful samurai armor and carrying a giant samurai sword, she was danger incarnate. She also had massive breasts that were in fact just two gigantic spherical bombs just to be even more dangerous. She approached Dergonu with a smile on her face, the wasps flying around her now buzzing a chorus latin song to be even more chuuni.

        "Ahaha, so you're the boy who needs some punishment?" she asked in a voice that almost made you want to be punished.

        "Only if you don't be gentle with me." Well, apparently Dergonu DID wanted to be punished.

        "Desu wa~" said the Neko Queen in gratuitous japanese that didn't really make any sense here. "So, time to...!"

     

        [The content of Dergonu's execution was considered too extreme for Fuwa rules, so I removed it according. I count with the help of fans to restore this content! Thanks for the comprehension! Actually no, fuck you.]

     

        Even if the guroing was lazily cut, I didn't rewrite the scars it left in the other guys that lived and watched everything in horror. Although Ranzo did like the violent style of the High Mistress, so they actually took some notes of things to copy when they eventually tries to kill someone. It will be censored all the same to be honest. Eventually the Neko Samurai walked away with her wasp companions, what left our heroes begging for it to be just a dream.

        "Let me guess, you'll copy that 'Dreamysyu woke up in their usual seat blah blah blah' again next time, right?" now even Dreamysyu is snarking at me.

        

        NEXT TIME: Two more down, thirteen to go. What awaits our heroes next?

     

        "Hopefully not another long ass waiting again!" Virgin released one last drop of poison.

  9. All right, I know advertisements aren't what you normally find in The Freditorial, but what publication doesn't have an ad spot every now and then? But I want you to know, the reason I'm posting this isn't to shill the game, but simply because, well, because I really liked this game and liked working on it, and I'm proud of the work we did on it!

    I think Phantom Trigger did itself a disservice by attaching "Grisaia" to its name. While I have a lot of respect for the original Grisaia trilogy, the Phantom Trigger series is totally its own thing. What's more, you certainly don't need to have read the original Grisaia series to enjoy it. Oh, did that catch your attention? You haven't finished the original Grisaia trilogy yet? Same here, TBH. The games are a serious time investment.

    You know what's not a serious time investment? The Phantom Trigger games! Each volume is short and well-paced, with a good balance of character and relationship building and satisfying action sequences, and each ends with a solid conclusion to the chapter. The first volume starts off a bit slow since it has a big cast to introduce, but each subsequent volume dives deep into one featured heroine while growing the cast a little further. By volume 5, you're looking at this big, crazy cast of quirky, lovable girls. Like Tohka. Oh, man, Tohka.

    Anyway, give it a try!

    Volume 5 is hot off the presses: https://store.steampowered.com/app/871280/Grisaia_Phantom_Trigger_Vol5/

    And if you need to catch up on the series, volumes 1-4 are available in a bundle at a pretty nice price: https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/5497/Grisaia_Phantom_Trigger_Vol_14_Bundle/

    But if you get 1-4, make sure you play them all and then play 5, too, because I only worked on this latest volume, so when you talk about how funny all the comedy is (and lemme tell you, man, it is freaking hilarious), I'm only going to get to take a smidgen of the credit for it on volume 5!

  10. Yuuko, aka the best waifu EOPs will never get if I can do something to stop it. (Looking at you MG be careful!!)

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    Hey what's up guys in this new blog entry I will be talking about the best girl in Hapymaher Kirikoi. Her name is Toriumi Yuuko, the perfect girl if you ask me. Those of you who are playing Hapymaher Kirikoi get cucked. She pretty much only appears in the fan disc that is not translated *insert evil laugh here*. (Wait Kirikoi is not translated in the first place.

    Anyways here is a list what makes Yuuko so good.

    1. Is cute
    2. Has short hair
    3. Has big bobs
    4. Pukes on you
    5. Needs you to protect her
    6. Very wife

    Here is a list of pics of Yuuko being cute:

    Despite her weak body Yuuko is very good at fencing

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    Also Yuuko is a genius piano player

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    Yuuko is also friends with the Scandinavian princesses

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    Yuuko watches movies with her lonely neighbor girl

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    Yuuko knows how to eat very stylish dinner

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    Yuuko can also take the lead when needed

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    Yuuko is a bowling pro

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    Yuuko is also a crocodile

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    Thanks for reading folk. Remember to smash that like and subscribe button if you want more high quality content like this.

  11. As many (hopefully) of you know, I like to read a lot of different things, providing my stomach and the laws of my country allow it. My VNDB list will never reach Clephas level of completeness, so I'm aiming for something different instead: to have the most random, hipster, no prejudice, unlike any other VN list. Of course, as slow as I am, I can only hope to achieve this dream within the next 30 years or so, but hey I'm still young!

    I have conquered otomege, devoured BL, collected EVNs, discovered yuri, threaded in chuuni waters, tiptoed into nakige, read through memeges, tasted horror, and tried my hand with gameplay hybrids. But how can I call myself a Ultimate VN Reader if I never read a single nukige? No, I have to change that. I must to. So I decided to give a chance to the glorious fangame our friendly neighbors Asonn, Arcadeotic, Hanako, HMN, Jptje, Nandemonai, Zakamutt, and other sweeties (because the list is damn long), shared with the West: Maki Fes!

    What were the impressions of Maggie, guaranteed 12% female readership of Fuwa, someone who totally didn't went in for the memes and that totally knew something about Love Live beforehand? Find out now!
     

    Iu3IJAJ.png

    There's a catchy song in the title screen, pretty much the only song I remember from the game.
     

    In Maki Fes!, you play as Matt yourself! The boyfriend (wait, it should be girlfriend if I had to play as myself. Well, I can stick with Matt just fine) of the cute red haired tsundereish Maki! How lucky are you? Nukige convenience is convenient, alright! Not a bad start to be honest, I was expecting something more stupid, but Maki Fes already proved itself as above average intellectual level than my preconceived opinion of what constitutes an average nukige. Anyway, Maki needs to write a song and you, as a good boyfriend, agree to help her get some inspiration. And yeeeeeees, that means lots of porn!

    Maki is pretty much the only character you'll meet through the entire game, since more girl means harem or yuri, right? And that's not what this doujinge is about. And she's fully voiced! The actress does a very good job for most part, except during those background moans that goes like a machine gun shooting fast going "a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a" that got annoying after two loops. The art is also quite pleasant to look at, Maki pouting and smiling are just the cutest. I enjoyed her character, but I don't know the original to say if she's going too OOC.

    So! The game provide you with the following scenarios, and all of them leads to porn. Yes, some of these choices leading to porn is quite creative, I know. The twist would be if the last option didn't, but that's not what happens here.
     

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    Choices, oh choices.
     

    If you don't want to be spoilered, stop reading right here! Not that I consider sexual position a spoiler, but hey, there's weird folks of all kinds out there! So let's go over what I get out of each scenes. And no, it wasn't masturbatory material.

    "Let's recall our first time!": Exactly what it says on the tin. It was quite a sweet scene, where Matt the protagonist was mindful of Maki, and if she was feeling comfortable. Of course, she had to say the typical "you can be more rough, I know you're holding yourself back", but hey, at least they discussed it! Relationship is all about two people understanding and being respectful with each other after all! Another thing that I have to praise this game is that the classic "Cum inside/Cum outside" option only affect the CG right after it, and not the ending, so I could pick "Cum outside" to my heart's content.

    "Wear your maid outfit!": This one was nice too, as far as h-scenes goes. It's a blowjob scene and HEY, it have simple ANIMATIONS (*insert here the face of a surprised girl that never saw a animated VN before)! The translation of this scene was pretty good too, I was amazed with how many different porn sound effects this guy could came (get it? :ren:) up with. It also had a marriage proposal discussion there that I liked, but I can guess 80% of the people that played this game didn't even noticed it.

    "Our good luck charm!": This was one of the last scenes I read, so there wasn't much of my patience left. I think it was something about writing good luck wishes on Maki's butt. Yep. Of course, not with a pen or a penis, but with his finger. Oh yeah, this guy goes on and on about Maki's cellulite free butt but this game don't have a single anal scene. For shame, game, for shame!

    "I'm hungry!": I can only say one thing. How Maki decided she wanted to feed this guy and do it like this???????????
     

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    "Dancing is inspiring!": Probably, but it was the very last scene I read and at that point I just wanted the game to end. Four scenes is my limit for h-scenes one after another. Multiple rounds indeed is a lie. Oh yeah, the scene. I think it was a cowgirl scene and... that's it.

    "Use traditional elements!": Was it on that scene that Maki came with the penetration alone? God, that was dumb. This guy have such lame foreplay skill it's a wonder Maki can even come once. Oh yeah, there's pee in this scene, weird that Zaka didn't work on this. How does her pee makes an arc in the air though? Pretty sure you need a penis to do that...

    "You need some excitement!": Man, this scene have one weird dick. It looked like a fishing hook. Animating it didn't make it any better. But I think this scene had some well crafted puns cumversation, so it was somewhat amusing.

    "I wanna fuck!": (Chorus: FUCK!)* Now that's a scene where Matt truly shines! And Maki as well. How could a forget when she uttered my favorite quote of the game, "My nipples are playing the blues!"? Now that's what I call talented nipples!

    *Joke stolen from ZakaTM 

    After seeing all scenes, you can finally watch the desired True Ending, that I'll not spoil here. That was... tiring to be honest, but also educational (?) to say the least. It helped me to understand some before unexplored corners of the VN fandom. And I can't really doubt that it must be a nice game if used as intended. Should I be ashamed that this was my first contact with anything related to Love Live? Maybe. But now I can proudly (??) say that my VNDB list is one step closer to perfection. And since I already ticked the nukige checkbox, I can safely remove any other nukiges/games tagged with high sexual content from my wishlist!

    ...Wait, that one nukige is BL.

    ...

    Guess I'm making a nukige misadventures part 2.


    Unrelated PS: No, I didn't forget about Dankaronpa, chapter 4 is halfway done. Maybe next week! ;)

  12. I’m so good at writing reviews that my last one was months ago. If I continue like that I’ll eventually beat @Plk_Lesiak on the review count (we all know that is a lie).

    Anyway gonna drop the structure of my last two reviews and freely type, I’ll still go over all of the topics presented there, but without separating them in topics, this way I can freely write what I want without feeling limited to a certain space.

    Also I wouldn't call this a "review" in the literal sense, it is just my spouting my impressions of the game without properly analyzing all the aspects.

    BUT enough rambling, know let’s talk about the matter at hand. 

    soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA -

     You know a EVN is good when our official OELVN hater approves it (this is a joke btw not trying to personally offend him, you never know on the internet :makina:)

    DAMN this game, it is been a while since a story engaged me to such level; I literally read it from start to finish in one sitting.

    Where do I start… okay… this game does Denpa way better than DDLC. Our protagonist, Mercy lives in remote town of Phada (cultist type of town), she is constantly bullied and harassed because of her “cursed” vision which cause her too see a corrupted world filled with red and black beetles. The town’s main figure of worship is the “holy woman” whose purpose is to receive energy and messages from “god”.

    So after the accidental death of such, suddenly two holy women appears at the town, and one of them approaches Mercy claiming that she also has a cursed vision. Mercy finally starts seeing the good side of life with the help of this girl, but…

    Strange things happen, and the girl starts acting out of character….

    The rest you’ll have to discover by yourself. ;o)

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    Some of the CGs are pretty awesome from characterization alone.

    First off, can I say how much I love the presentation of the game, the art and music fits so well and the atmosphere is so perfect, it weirdly reminded me of silent hill with all the red imagery and the unintelligible speech of people around mercy.

    Other thing I have to praise is how none of the characters feel useless, all of them are developed, have their motivations and. The game deals with dark themes like bullying and abuse very well, the tone is consistent and it never feel like the novel is trying to be “edgy”, and it genuinely makes you feel bad for the protagonist, you just feel like jumping into the game and giving her a hug, because you feel like she doesn’t deserve any of the things that happen to her.

    The mystery and Denpa aspects of the game are also incredibly implemented, like I said, the story was very engaging and I couldn’t stop reading it until I reach its conclusion, and the messages it passes with the ending is very beautiful.

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    Some persons just don't know how rude it is to garble a bunch of nonsense from their scribbled faces.

    But I shall say no more, this game is free, not that long and there are no branches, so no save scumming to get extra CGs is required ;o). So, go download it, this VN proves that not all EVN’s are trash and that there are some genuine gems out there.

  13. Nothing special, but was in drawing mood yesterday so started redesigning my fuwa-chan.

    with help from bats to decide on things.

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    just got to lazy to get into more detail.

  14. otomimi_whatigot.png

    Yeah, exactly that.

     

    Title: オトミミ∞インフィニティー (Otomimi ∞ Infinity)

    Developer: Applique -Sister-

    Released: 2011/09/22

    Genre: Social Fiction

    Rating: 18+

    website (overseas IP's are currently blocked because Akabei Soft3 are a bunch of faggots)

    trial version

    Trailer:

     

    Despite being a very popular trope in japanese pop culture, mimikkos don't appear that often in visual novels. Sure - they aren't uncommon as side characters or a single addition to the game's cast, but that's pretty much where it ends in most cases. Games focusing on these are a rarity and it's ever harder to find one that tries to be more accurate and ambitious, rather than focusing on their moe and fetish aspects. I wanted to play one of such games for longer while, so when @Clephas mentioned Otomimi Infinity around a year ago, I couldn't restrain myself from elevating this visual novel to the top of my backlog. And in all honesty, I couldn't chose any better, as the game prove to be far more interesting than I expected at first.

     

    The plot

     

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    This is literally what you're greeted with within the first minute of the game and it doesn't look that cheerful, contrary to the game's cover.

    The story is based on an alternate near-future setting, where vast scientific achievements lead to creation of artificially engineered hybrids, which are half-people, half-animals. The reasons for this are more or less left unknown, but the beast-people (as being referred to within the story) live now amongst humans for a longer while, resulting in at least one or two generations co-existing with each other to a better or worse degree. Sadly - due to many different factors - the relationships between humans and beast-people have been gradually getting more awful as of late, mostly because humans consider them to be inferior and as such, try to limit their presence and rights as citizens. One of the major problems is that humans can actually reproduce with beast-people and many are worried about potential future implications this might bring. As such, relationships between both races are shunned and having a beast-girl or a beast-man as a partner or love interest is considered immoral and perverted.

    Our protagonist - Yamato Sagawa - lives on a remote island (which basically consists of two small islands connected through a large bridge), located somewhere south of Japan, where racial conflicts increase to such point, where a prominent politician figure and the island's currently residing governor - Touchiji Iwahara - manages to successfully and easily pass down a law (which is more or less a martial law, involving the island's peace keeping forces), encouraging actual segregation of beast-people from humans, all for the well-being of two races. Our protagonist, being an actual beast-people lover isn't obviously happy with such turn of events (actually, he's incredibly pissed). Needless, to say he has more fitting problems at the moment, which include constant love attacks from his older sister with a severely-developed brother complex. During one of such events, while he was trying to get away from Chizuru, he is run over by a yankee beast-girl, Ryouko - and somehow, ends up at the shipping company she's the owner of. There's a bunch of other beast-gals living there, each of them with different circumstances. Thankful for rescue and tired of both his sister and family, but without livelihood, he decides to agree with Ryouko's offer and begins working at the company. As it soon turns out, he's a really capable worker, who's genuinely interested in company's well-being, much more than Ryouko herself, which instantly grabs attention of some of the girls working in the company - mainly Kon and Mayoi - and slowly takes over the responsibilities of actual manager. Meanwhile, statute enforced by Iwahara is increasing in power to the point where government decides to slowly enforce it; the only reason it doesn't affect them directly is because they are located within the middle part, which has been considered a "neutral zone" between both races doing business for a long time. Needless to say, Ryouko suddenly disappears one day without a trace, leaving both the company and girls living on it's premises in Yamato's hands. At this point, Yamato decides to stay, take care of both the company and girls and with their help, oppose Iwahara and his government's plan to segregate beast-people from humans.

     

    The cast

    Main characters:

    yamato.pngYamato Sagawa - The game's protagonist. He comes from an affluent family that had a major saying in many aspects of island's life, which he himself considers more of a burden, than a blessing. He is generally an independent, kind albeit cautious, hard-working person (supposedly after his father, whom he actually despises as a politician) with enough common sense to see through people and situations far better than most of his peers and as such, capable to work out solutions in circumstances, others typically fail at. He often complains about his family and how intrusive his older sister is, wishing for a more average, normal life. He is also a huge beast-girl lover (they are his fetish) and unlike many other people, doesn't see them any different or more ridiculous than humans, wishing for humans and beast-people to co-exist in peace.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    chachako.pngChachako Koya - The dog-girl heroine, Chachako is a rather clumsy and airheaded, hyperactive ball of fluff to the point you'd love to hug her for the rest of your life. She wants to be as helpful as possible within the company, but because she often acts ahead before thinking, her efforts utterly end up in disasters, others have to usually clean up after her. Even though she's a bit of a birdbrain and her puppy-like lack of common sense can be staggering at times, her kindness and near child-like trust and acceptance towards others, including humans allow Chachako to easily form bonds with new people she meets, including Yamato. Despite her seemingly flawed personality and childish behaviour, she can be surprisingly sharp at times - even more so than Kon.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    hanemi_s.pngHanemi Kusahara - The pink haired bunny-girl, Hanemi is shy, timid and similarly to Yamato - a hard-working person that often puts the well-being of others above her own. Due to events from her past, she gets lonely very easily, often to the point of suffering from anxiety attacks and feels uncomfortable, when left alone for extended periods of time. Likewise, she's probably also the most reliable girl from the whole bunch and often helps Yamato to run the entire business, including dealing with clients and company's accountancy. Hanemi is also very close to Ryouko, almost to the point they consider themselves sisters. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHE SHOULD BE EVER ALLOWED TO CONTROL ANY VEHICLES, unless you're ready to face the consequences.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    kon.pngKon Miyama - A true "kitsune" in every sense, Kon is a sly and intelligent, mature girl with a good grasp of human psychology and a gift of speech unlike any other, allowing her to easily smooth-talk through most of the problems arising throughout the story and often to company's benefit. Within the Otomimi Transportation, she acts mostly as an elderly sister figure and it's not rare to see other characters holding her opinions in high regard. Unfortunately, Kon has a weak constitution and suffers from illness, which causes her to vomit blood in stressful situations. Due to difference in opinions, she often argues with Tetora and takes great enjoyment from teasing others, especially Yamato.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    tetora.pngTetora Byoubu - The resident tiger-girl of the group, Tetora is a genetically enhanced, hot-blooded baby boomer. She was born with an outstanding intellect making her a tech junkie genius, but also made it more difficult for her to admit to mistakes through pride and as such, resulting in her being very insecure and vulnerable to teasing which she responds to in a typical tsun fashion... and boy, oh boy is she cute when that happens. When she doesn't work or play with her gadgets, you can find her constantly bickering with Kon to the point where people in the company don't use alarm clocks anymore, because these two are typically the first to wake up, haha. In all honesty, I consider herself the hottest female character in the whole story.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    chizuru.pngChizuru Sagawa - Yamato's older sister, who currently manages the whole Sagawa household. She's both reliable and shrewd, but also unforgiving and strict when it comes to business, making her a prominent character in terms of island's political scape and definitely a person not to be trifled with. As adult-like and mature she acts, everything about her changes with Yamato around. Chizuru is an insane brocon, to the point where she's capable to order her family's security forces to stalk Yamato, controlling various aspects of his life through deceit and even waiting for him half-naked in his bed, when he goes back home from school. It's pretty obvious her feelings for Yamato extend far beyond those of siblings.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    mayoi.pngMayoi Suzune - The game's true heroine. Mayoi is a rather solitary and lazy (leisurely would be more fitting) cat-girl with an incredibly foul mouth who dislikes working, gets vexed easily and doesn't care that much for humans, or anyone else in particular aside from those really close to her heart. She's also an avid otaku with a particular fondness for jrpg's and chuuni stuff, as well as cute (moe) anime girls. Completely indifferent and rather reluctant towards Yamato at start, she gradually opens up to him throughout the events of the game, revealing her different, warm side. Her past is tied with events, which ultimately lead to current situation on the island. Personally, she's my favourite heroine, perhaps because I found her the easiest to relate with.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Side characters:

    ryouko.pngRyouko Nagumo - Originally Otomimi Transportation's first manager, Ryouko is a cool-headed and laid back tanuki chick with a troubled past, who's efforts to increase her own well-being lead her to creation of the company and bringing in the other girls with similar life problems. As much as she acts very mature at times (she understands there are circumstances people have no control over and have to live with), she ends up being a completely irresponsible and lazy klutz most of the remaining time, much to Yamato's disappointment. Her past ties many of the characters together; my only gripe is that she didn't got a route of her own she really deserved, not to mention she's definitely the second most sexy character after Tetora, which is a big loss for the game.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ryouzou.pngRyouzou Daikoku - One of the school's teachers, Ryouzou himself is a powerful elephant beast-man and the home room teacher of Yamato's class. He's very much a fatherly figure - both as helpful, as unforgiving and a peculiar example of a beast-person, who doesn't wish bad to humans and understands the circumstances of the entire conflict, which pretty much earned himself both admiration and respect amongst his human peers and students. When not busy with teaching, he's typically found patrolling the school premises bringing swift demise to all sorts of delinquents and troublesome students (including Yamato, who's notorious for entering school through the gate reserved for beast-people, for obvious reasons), fiery temper and bamboo sword included.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    foresto.pngDr. Foresto, aka prof. Hakumi / Hakumi Sensei - The ultimate scientific genius, also being one of the youngest characters within the story. Dr. Foresto is a cute, quirky and cunning (or at least that's what she thinks) owl-girl, balancing between something akin to an evil scientist delivering cheesy one-liners, intellectual recluse and insecure child. Much like an ancient troll, she lives somewhere under the great bridge and ordered her robotic creation - Mio to not let anyone carrying meat through, unless they hand it over, which obviously includes Otomimi Transportation (actually, it pretty much only involves their transports as of late). Considering her intellect and figure, I wouldn't find her gluttonous attitude surprising.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    mio.pngMio (also known as F-30) - Dr. Foresto's creation, Mio is an android driven by high-grade AI prototype, capable of self-thought and learning, as well - as shown within the story - genuine emotions. Despite that, she still falls under the very same pitfalls of all applied AI mechanics, including pre-programmed routines and need to follow orders in a straight fashion (more commonly know as "watch what you ask for"), much to her guardian's annoyance. Her main job is to steal meat from Otomimi Transportation company's shipments, which she always fails in one way or another because both Yamato and Kon find it really easy to trick her, whilst Tetora would love to take her apart to learn how she functions. Despite being rivals, Mio is often found helping Yamato at school, especially whenever Sango's involved. She also self-destructs in a large detonation, when left in severely unfavourable conditions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    sango.pngSango Tomajiri - The shark-girl that also attends the same school as Yamato and rest of characters. A typical girl by day, leader of a notorious gang of shark pirates otherwise - her actions definitely shape a large portion of the story, as she tries to subdue Otomimi Transportation's speed boat, which carries goods between island and mainland. Those events, which almost always end up in spectacular failures for Sango and her gang, led her to treat Yamato both with admiration as the company's manager, as much as hatred to the point of them becoming ultimate rivals. When she's not busy with pirating, she typically stalks Yamato at school, trying to slash him with her sword or shouting how she'll never forgive Yamato, barging inside even in the middle of a class, much to Ryouzou's annoyance.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    iwahara.pngTouchiji Iwahara - The game's main antagonist, Iwahara is a prominent politician figure and current governor of the island our characters live on. His decisions more or less shape the political and social landscape of the entire region. From a personal standpoint, he is a typical representation of japanese politics, including bluntness and far-reaching arrogance (an actual jab from the dev team towards real life Japan politics, in fact). As the story moves on, players will learn there's actually far more behind his decisions to segregate the island's residents than human well-being and aversion towards beast-people... including some, which are both really personal and tied to his past, when he was still a young man.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    akutaa.pngAkutaa - An applied AI module once made by Tetora, found in warehouse trash and stuffed inside a large, hamster plushie. He unintentionally becomes the company's mascot. Akutaa (his name is indeed written with kanji, meaning trash/garbage) is the sole character, which brings hilarity and sexual humour into this game not found in anything I've previously played. A hardcore masochist and pervert the Earth hasn't seen so far, Akutaa's sole reason of existence boils down to either fluster and embarass all the female workers of Otomimi Transportation, or make them step on him with a various degree of success. While his dirty jokes remain super effective against Hanemi and Mayoi, both Tetora and Mayoi retaliate with passion, which nearly always ends up with him being thrown outside the window, stomped, punched or flushed down the toilet. Even so, it's noteworthy to say that despite his constant antics, he's really caring for everyone in the company and an actually reliable AI partner in business. He wins the award for best voice acting in the game.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Thoughts

    There's a lot of things I could talk about, which raise this game above the crowd of many, similar titles and overall sea of mediocrity in visual novels.

    One of them is definitely how writer handled the game's main themes - racism and prejudice against different species. Similar to Bloomkamp's District 9 alien race, beast-people are often portrayed in a very unfavourable position, ranging from being called a burden of society, "dutch wives" in regards to females (this is actually quite relevant in regards with game's premise) to plain subhuman trash. Younger beast-people are often bullied at schools by their human classmates (Mayoi being a prime example and it happens literally in the beginning of the story). They can't feel comfortably outside the streets and it's not uncommon for them to be treated with disdain or contempt. Obviously, not everyone behaves like that, but with time it became somewhat of a publicly accepted behaviour for humans to treat them in such way. Likewise, beast-people aren't without their share of negative traits - by being mostly hot-blooded, they often get easily provoked by humans, which only turns things worse in the process, making them spiral down into sort of situations, where they can be easily jailed. The overall situation on the island is definitely not the best, but certain fragments indicate, there are actually places in the world, where things became much worse, with beast-people being devoid of their most basic human rights. Regardless, the islanders are faced with many problems and their future is left uncertain. Kon even states at certain part of the game that if the segregation law gets enforced, it will become nearly impossible for many of them to find jobs or homes and as such, sustain themselves which might prompt the government to take further measures and it's not hard to imagine what might happen. It's a rather bleak, if not nearly dystopian portrayal of future, which also goes perfectly along with modern day issues we're currently facing in real life as societies, especially in Europe and United States. Thank gods Mayoi's route concludes everything on a rather positive, if not slightly bittersweet note.

    There's something really warm and fuzzy in the way how game managed to portray work at Otomimi Carrying Company, with Yamato and girls struggling hard everyday not only for their own benefit, but also well-being of the whole island they live on. After all, they are not only doing this for themselves, but recalling Yamato's words "The well-being of many companies and people on the island depends on our ability to deliver goods in perfect shape to right places and on time". Who wouldn't want to work in such a nice shipping company, being surrounded by so many cute female co-workers? I presume this sort of idealised image of working environment ca be treated equally to otaku's idealization of youth, prevalent within school settings. In the same way school setting-based visual novels let us relive those most cherished and nostalgic moments of our lives (at least, for most of us), games like Otomimi Infinity with their intricate portrayal of adult labour lets us - older players, who actually became a part of actual society - self-indulge in those dreams of a perfect workplace, while our real life jobs are often rarely as beautiful and fulfilling. I found this particular side of the game really enjoyable, knowing there's this part probably only we - older players - will be able to truly understand.

    This game has a lot of great, enjoyable moments, plenty of laughs as well as plenty of situations, where you will sit on the edge of your seat, which is quite surprising for a game - which despite it's themes - is still being kept in a rather bright tone for most of the time. Some of the fragments made me genuinely feel for the characters and the way the game is made - despite my overall dislike towards ladder-structured scenarios - easily keeps exploring the different angles through each of character routes. I was distraught after Chizuru's route, which can be definitely considered the worst possible ending in the game, while both Chachako's and Hanemi's endings were particularly bittersweet. Tetora's and Kon's endings are more light-hearted, whilst Mayoi's route leads to the penultimate ending - both extremely bittersweet and charming in itself - that will definitely both surprise and leave everyone satisfied.

    Otomimi Infinity presents a particularly high level for a game from the modern eroge period of 2011; It's probably one of the last games, that were presented in an SD format, although the game's assets were already HD. The game's graphics are beautiful - particularly character sprites themselves, backgrounds look very nice and there's lot of panning and additional effects that enhance the visual experience. The soundscape is thick and works well to build atmosphere - everything from small details like characters leaving rooms, closing/opening the car doors (repeated properly by number of characters) to various silly anime sfx are all present and add a lot to the game. The soundtrack is very good - and even if a bit generic to an extent in a typical, anime fashion (lots of instrumental tunes, a bit of electro/trance and even some rock) - provides an extremely good background for all the in-game scenes. The OP song  "Megumira -Megumira-", sung by Marie's bright voice will probably become one of the very few OPs I will actually remember and I found myself already whistling the tune a couple times. Speaking of scenes, the game's direction deserves a particular praise, with proper character placing on screen (there's so many different character sprite variations!), movement and animations - it all creates an unique feeling, not to mention there's so many things going on at the screen in certain moments, you feel the characters might even pop out of your monitor at any moment.

    In overall, this is a great game that shouldn't be omitted by anyone, least by fans of mimikkos or animal anthropomorphism.

     

    Final Verdict:

    Impressive / Highly recommended

    Guilty pleasure

     

    Pros:

    • Mimikkos galore!
    • Protagonist, who's not a donkan dumbass or incompetent hetare crybaby
    • Cast of diverse, colourful characters
    • Enjoyable story, being a well-balanced mix of drama, comedy and action with surprisingly good twist at the end
    • Mayoi's route, which also serves as the true ending of the whole story
    • Great art (character designs!) and soundtrack, good direction and use of sound all deserve praise as well
    • excellent voice acting brings characters to life
    • Akutaa; Seriously, his antics lead to some really hilarious moments
    • Plenty of the h-scenes are hot as damn

    Cons:

    • Ladder-based scenario structure with large portions of the story being either repeated or shared throughout character routes detracts from the overall experience
    • Chizuru's obsessive behaviour towards Yamato can get annoying after a while
    • Some of the work and slice of life portions tend to drag on a bit too much
    • As much as Dr. Foresto's and Sango's fragments are fun in the beginning, they get stale after a while
    • The romance part of the game is mostly neglected; coupled with such lovely characters it leaves you with sense of unfulfilled expectations
    • Love scenes are rather shallow for the most part and there's little to no emotional development. Yes, it's the kind of porn even Yuzusoft wouldn't be embarrassed about
    • People having issues with willing suspension of disbelief will probably get annoyed by plenty of small details, like characters driving vehicles despite still being students or maintaining a difficult business at such a young age
    • Game has one of the longest and most unrealistic orgasm scenes I've seen in my entire life
  15. The Heart of Chuuni

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    My previous blog posts were about analyzing common definitions and attitudes toward the word "chuuni" and the chuuni genre. I was establishing a baseline. But now it's time to delve into the essence.

     

    Background

    Most VN fans have heard an "explanation" of the chuuni genre before.

    "It's stuff like Dies irae"
    "It's hotblooded and over-the-top action"
    "It's about detailed settings with cool characters"
    "It's edgy shit"
    "It's a story with characters who act chuunibyou, except nobody tsukkomi's them"
    "It's people with heterochromia or special powers and victim complexes"
    "It's shounen for adults"

    Whatever you may have heard, there's one thing I'm sure about: it's vague. Most people zero in on a specific element of chuuni that holds their attention or that they like about it, and say, "This is chuuni!"

    In truth, though, chuuni is a broad genre that encompasses many literary mediums, many sources of appeal, many tropes, and many cases where the trope is hard to describe. People are expected to experience a lot of chuuni works, and experience a lot of references to "chuuni" within other Japanese works, and thus by cultural osmosis, form an abstract concept of what is "chuuni".

    But do we really have to settle for that? Can't we precisely say what exactly is and isn't "chuuni", at least in spirit? I believe we can.

    Let's throw out popular perceptions and attitudes, along with all the baggage associated with the word "chuunibyou" that formed the basis of the word chuuni. Let's move beyond the cultural background that has been established in my previous post, discard all preconceptions, and finally... approach the true heart of chuuni.

     

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    .

    The Path to Chuuni

    What follow are largely my own informed inferences. They lack evidence, because there's no easy way to prove a cultural trend. If anyone has an alternative theory, they're free to present it in the comments or their own blog post.

    Early manga was expected to conform to the "common sense" of society. Or rather, there was little market for contrarian works.

    Works that targeted the youth often centered around "heroes" who were expected to help maintain the peace of society, living according virtues such as kindness and mercy, and achieved success and peer recognition as a result. Works that targeted adults, on the other hand, might be more cynical, but they still revolved around adult protagonists who had conformed to society.

    For a parallel outside Japan, look to Western comic book heroes like Superman, who stood tall amid the Comics Code Authority regulations. In fact, the style of early manga was significantly inspired by its Western counterpart.

    But society doesn't stay the same forever. Decades passed, and people's sensibilities changed along with their attitudes.

    ...No one can possibly trace chuuni to its origin point, because there is no such thing. Throughout history, there have always been isolated elements within works of literature that speak to our chuuni hearts. Like, for a fairly "recent" example, everything about the style of Hiei from Yuu Yuu Hakusho. If there is an origin of chuuni as a genre, it occurred when those elements fused together. But what degree of fusion is necessary to birth a "genre"? The only point by which it's absolutely certain a "genre" had come into existence was the advent of Fate/stay night.

     

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    What We Desired

    So, what is chuuni?

    Chuuni is completely pointless from a practical standpoint; it just sounds cool. Chuuni-style nicknames, throwing in random German, or donning a scarf or a cape.

    Chuuni doesn't serve to create a conflict, or add necessary depth in ways typical of fantasy stories. Rather, it serves to emphasize the special coolness of the lead character. Having a "unique infection", wrestling with madness, experiencing an "awakening", or possessing memories of a past life.

    Chuuni depicts the "alternate truths" that contradict what others think and feel. A morality that is not subordinated. Killing to survive, references to the food chain, massacre as self-expression, or a rebellion against the natural order of a hypocritical "God".

    Chuuni reveals the "hidden truths" about society that have scarred the people within it. Conspiracies, cover-ups, or human experimentation.

    At the heart, chuuni is a celebration of the virtue of "chuuni" characters--and the chuuni fans who recognize them--as the true heroes of this world, in touch with a reality the masses can't conceive of, capable of facing harsh truths and shouldering emotional burdens that typical, mundane people would be overwhelmed by--because those people lack character, lack mental strength, and are emotionally weak, capable only of clinging to the foolish perceptions, beliefs, and morals espoused by society. I believe that everything that chuuni has become started from that.

    Young people in society often experience alienation, or some kind of frustration with their inability to perfectly conform. Such people are often tempted by a certain wild idea, and think like this:

    "I feel like shit because no one sees the world the same way as me. But even after I've let myself stew in this rotten emotion, I still can't make myself be just like everyone else... What if everyone else is actually deluded, and I'm correct? In that case, my perception is superior to others, and I'm aware of truths they aren't, AND I had the boldness to stick with my beliefs instead of delude myself and conform like the rest of them. Aren't I quite awesome?"

    People who feel like this, even if it's just a slight inclination rather than full-blown chuunibyou, tend to admire and seek out characters and stories with a chuuni spirit.

    When Fate/stay night came out, it was like a bomb went off. Fate hit just the right note with its moral complexity, the mystique of the rich world it depicted, a lawless secret world of the supernatural, ordinary people depicted as clueless sacrificial sheep, a male lead whose evolution is a condemnation of traditional moralistic leads, and so on. People with an inclination toward chuuni tropes flocked to it in droves, plus everyone else, because Fate/stay night was just that good.

    That said, in the present day, what we (especially VN fans) call "chuuni" often refers more to famous tropes from chuuni works, and what those tropes have evolved into, and doesn't necessarily seek as its audience the sort of person I just described. But it's worth keeping in mind the origin of this genre.

     

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    More Human than Humans

    I'll close with this wonderful piece of prose that truly captures the essence of chuuni.

    They, who wandered and pursued that formless “humanness,”
    who couldn’t see any significance in their existence outside of battle,
    who, because of their hearts becoming akin to blades, didn’t know how to grasp any hands extended to them,
    who never had anyone understand their beauty, and had no choice but to seclude themselves among each other,
    who had no choice but to estrange themselves with fake smiles when with other people so they could maintain themselves,
    who couldn’t pride themselves in anything but destruction,
    who therefore were particularly cynical and were born with inhumane powers, and therefore were continuously called monsters, were, more than anyone and anything else, human.

    -- Excerpt from "Psyren: Another Call 2" by Iwashiro Toshiaki, translated by himetsuri

     

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    I'm not entirely satisfied with this post, so I may revise it later.

     

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    Today, I made the most famous Karaage (から揚げ). I do make this often and today I thought why not start a blog with this delicious content.

    Spoiler: I didn't let my chicken rest enough so it had some excess potato starch on it... but the heck with it.

    Preparation: 

    • Sake
    • Corn/Potato Starch
    • sugar
    • Ginger (just a bit! we will only use the sweet juices)
    • Soy Sauce
    • Chicken ( cut them a bit larger than your normal bites, as it has a lot of fiber so it will shrink when frying)

     

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    Secret frying process: 

    Fry them 3 times. For best results go with 2 min on 190C, then let them rest for 1 minute. fry them again on 190C this time for 1 min, rest 30 sec. and then once again 1 minute on 190C.
    I couldn't be bothered this time, probably also the reason why I have still corn on my finished product. It still tasty af tho. 

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    Tip: use Japanese 7 spice mix (七味唐辛子) on your mayo. 

     

    Here is a video of me actually making it. unedited. (I didn't film the whole frying process as I couldn't be bothered...)

    Enjoy the Cringe : )

  16. The problem

    While spurred by recent events, this essay touches on something that seems to have been a pattern in site moderation for some time now.

    Let me make a claim: if a rule, especially one that is vaguely worded, is not enforced, for a decent amount of people that rule does not exist. This nonexistence integrates into the mental model of the rules that forum members construct, no matter what the formal rules may say. For members using this mental model, beginning to enforce a rule that was previously unenforced is equivalent to creating a new rule. As such, the same procedures as those used to notify forum members of new rules should be applied, possibly with some adaptation on the lines of "we will now actually enforce this rule", as the rule effectively did not previously exist.

    The ur-example of this is the loligeddon of yore. The takeaway from the loligeddon when it comes to this essay is this: mods repeatedly stated that no rules had actually been changed. Yet nevertheless the appearance and subsequent removal of a particularly problematic post sparked sweeping policy changes, a cleanup operation, a tl;dr post by the administrator explaining the changes, et cetera. This should make it clear that changing policy is a big deal, even if no written rules actually change.

    Recent policy changes, however, have been very different from what happened during the loligeddon. Frequently the only indication that effective rules have changed has been moderator action, sometimes fairly strict. In essentially all cases this action has been explained either inadequately or, most commonly, not at all. When this occurs the target(s) of moderation will likely feel that they have been unfairly, erratically targeted by a capricious, uncommunicative bully. What do you do when you get bullied? Well, you could talk to HR, but the mod that bullied you is probably in HR anyway and you might not even know who did it. Another option is to fight back. You annoy me, I pay you back in kind - and if I can get some fun at your expense, sure, why not? You're a bully, you deserve it.[1]

    I do not mean to suggest that we need to have a tl;dr writeup every time a rule is changed, but a simple statement of intent would be appreciated. I estimate that writing this should take no more than 20 minutes. As an example, here's a hypothetical notice regarding the changing of rules on gifs that took me ~10 minutes to write. Note that the policy mentioned here could be reversed or altered to be more specific if it turns out that it was unclear or did more harm than good, which is arguably more difficult to do if the rule has been made official.[2]

    In the light of this, I would like to present some recommendations.

    Recommendations

    When moderating, consider if your action is effectively creating or modifying rules

    Remember: in the minds of some of your users, unenforced rules may as well not exist. If you decide to moderate something that was previously typically not being moderated, this will cause confusion and consternation.

    As such, whenever you make a decision, ask yourself: am I changing the rules? If so, you need to consider both whether your action is actually justified, and how you are going to inform the public of your policy change. You are not a cop, you are a judge in a precedent-setting court. This is especially true due to the (understandable) current policy of supporting other mods' decisions near unconditionally.

    Do not make controversial decisions when following up is difficult

    On some occasions moderators have moderated while on vacation, using their phone, with bad connections et cetera. I strongly recommend against making anything close to a controversial decision in these conditions. You will end up both ruining your vacation and doing a bad job.

    Talk first, shoot later

    If you are performing a moderator action which reasonably should include notifying the target of the action, write up the informative PM or otherwise establish communication before enforcement. You could also consider writing up the notification of intent to change / differently enforce / clarify rules before moderating. Most of the time nobody is harmed much by leaving something up until you can handle it properly. For things that require more urgent management such as a fast-evolving derailment, consider either using a PM template for 1-2 people or making a post stating that you have removed derailing posts in the thread you moderated.

    Make people feel heard

    One key theme of this essay is the importance of communication. This extends beyond just notifying people of changes to the rules. I am under no illusions that your actions will go uncontested or that people won't meme and fling shit at you even if you try your best to communicate as advised in this essay. In part this is due to the frustration some people, and certainly I myself, consider you responsible for creating due to your actions up to this point. However, when hostility meets well-practiced civility its fires often run out of fuel. If you constructively engage with those who would oppose you, you can both soothe their frustration and create better, more precise final rules.

    Obviously there has to be a limit and ultimately you set the rules to follow. But explaining, refining, and justifying your position elevates it from that of a dim-witted bully with little justification for their actions to someone who has a well-grounded but different opinion of what the rules should be. The first one deserves punishment, the second, grudging respect.

    As a personal observation: in general, you should assume that much less of your decisions are obviously justified than you currently think. One man's common sense is another man's borderline acceptability is another man's utterly idiotic rule enforcement.

    Moderation is a hard job

    If this all seems like a lot of hard work to you, congratulations! That's what I thought too when the mod applications came along, so I didn't apply. Any moderators that cannot actually moderate disputes should either confine themselves to routine, uncontroversial moderation tasks or step down from their position. Believe me, nobody will die either way, and you'll get to spend your free time doing something that suits you better.

    Notes

    [1]
    I personally don't consider the mods bullies when I do this kind of thing, but I do consider them deserving of public ridicule. The intention is both to correct behaviour and to extract some entertainment out of people that deserve to be made fun of.
    And yeah, I have no respect for authority. None. I will judge you by your actions alone.

    [2]
    This is an assumption based on my conception of normie considerations like pride, sticking with your decision, whatever.
    Obviously if a rule does more harm than good it should be removed whether or not it was enforced temporarily, but it is probably easier to do so politically if it was in fact considered temporary.
    Look, I'm trying desperately not to kill all normies every day here. Give me a break.

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    https://vndb.org/v11009

    Disclaimer: I played the recent fan translation and from my (limited) knowledge of Japanese, I found it to be quite accurate. I was actually surprised by how the translator made certain sentences work and I can't recall an instance where I thought the translation looked strange. 

     

    When Hajimete no Okaa-san's fan translation came out, it caused a tiny yet significant uproar on certain visual novel related communities. The English idiom that spans over a century - don't judge a book by its cover - could possibly have been created for this very moment. I hope that by writing this review, I can clear up any misconceptions about this novel, teach you to not judge a work by its outward appearance and give you the courage to read a truly touching story. 

    Dealing with the loss of a loved isn't easy, no matter if you're an adult or a child, and even more so if the person in question is an irreplaceable person that you've vowed eternity to or that defines your complete existence. 

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    When our unnamed protagonist, who I will refer to as "Papa", loses his beloved wife to a traffic accident, he is left with the troublesome task of single parenting. Confronting the sorrows of one who has been turned into pure white ash, he finds solace in the one and only person who could understand him and also the one who might be suffering the most - his one and only daughter Chiyori (Chii).

    Hajimete no Okaa-san is a very special Visual Novel. Unlike the disappointing standard of recent releases, it treats both its audience and characters with the respect they deserve. The most significant difference between this novel and the many others is the fact that its willing to portray the characters as real human beings. Please allow me to mention that there exist only eight translated visual novels with the "Widower Protagonist" and likely no other that focuses as deeply on the theme of single parenting.

    The rather simplistic approach to emotions is surprisingly expressive, although one could argue about the emotional depth of a 6-year old, I was able to completely grasp both the personality of Chii through the brilliant performance of seiyuu Amakawa Milk (a respectable veteran in her own right with a wide palette of roles) and the internal monologues of Papa.

    The beginning is rather surprising. The amount of effort that the creators have put into this work is nearly palpable, often leaving one surprised at how nicely written and how well the narrative flows. Starting with ordinary slice-of-life scenes, we're thrown into the daily life of Papa and her daughter Chii. Starting with the smallest things like learning how to write hiragana and her own name in Kanji, the basics of arithmetic, giving up one's fork and knife and mastering the use of chopsticks - they are all endearing moments that help us connect with Chii as a character and reminding us of times long past of our childhood when everything was much simpler. It is this genuine and pure simplicity that initially made this novel stand out.

    In contrast to this feeling, enter "Chii wa kodomo janai!" - Chii is no longer a child. Her own desire to find a way to deal with her own sorrows, all the while supporting the one person she loves most in her world, one of the most satisfying factors of reading through this novel is observing Chii's maturity as a character.

    Despite the more lighthearted scenes, the novel is plentiful with well-timed drama which never for a moment felt excessive or artificial. Papa is stuck in a constant internal moral debate which at times stops him from realising the suffering of those who are right in front of his eyes.

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    As far as storytelling goes, one of the biggest attributes ishow the reader has the freedom to change the course of the story (albeit into premature ends). As for this aspect, I would like to divide the story in three or four parts (I will just say that the forth part is a Web Omake, essentially a short epilogue that portrays the life of our two, now three characters after the events of the main game).

    The first being the first two hours where we accompany the characters until the inevitable H-scene. Here, the reader is given the choice to not go through it at all and completely avoid the H-scene, ending the game prematurely. To not give in to his dark desires and not abandoning one's morals, is too a possible answer that Papa can find. 

    The second part and probably the longest, accompanies our two characters as their relationship develops. The most important aspect that I'd like to bring up is that the whole theme of pregnancy is treated. In many eroge, pregnancy is either completely ignored, allowing our most likely 16-year old protagonist to let out his seed without any worries in the world, or treated as an afterthought, perhaps featured in one last H-scene before the game ends. In this novel, not only do we see their relationship flourish but the passage of time, told by the growth of Chii's belly and change of hairstyle (over five different character sprites!), shows us that this is aspect that is willing to be embraced, often being the case for worry for our protagonist.

    At the end of the second part, the reader is given another important choice: to go beyond mere carnal desires and a parent's desire to protect his child and thus taking their relationship to the next level, or to once again fall into self-hatred and not take responsibility for one's actions. Thus begins the third part: "I want Papa to always be by my side". While perhaps as long as the first part, it's perhaps the one with the most emotional impact. Vowing to combat loneliness, Papa and Chii realise that being surrounded by the people you love is far more important than having a peaceful life. Chii does not become a replacement - she is her own person and the most important thing in the world to our protagonist. As long as two people can love each other, that is more than enough.

    And as long as there is love, there is warmth. A new family is born. The two become three, the warmth keeps rising and it spreads to others around. When I finished reading Hajimete no Okaa-san, I felt a warmth deep inside of me because I realised I had just been through a really special experience. With this review, I hope that I convinced you to read this beautiful story and too come to have warmth in your heart. Thank you for reading.

    https://imgur.com/a/FpPkAxp (This might be a little of a spoiler so I won't post it as an image, but it's the last and most impactful scene of the novel)

     

     

     

    I am open to criticism and would be happy if you could help me improve as a reviewer. 

  17. Ten Yuri Series You Need To Read Before I Destroy You, And Everything You Have Ever Loved

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    Now, I know what you are going to ask, "What is Yuri?" Well my pathetic and childless friend let me answer that for you. Yuri is a...

    Capturefdgdfgfdgfd.png

    I was first introduced to the Yuri genre back in my Sophomore year of High School when I was around 16 years old. I was just getting into anime after having been introduced to the best series ever, Galaxy Angel a year prior. That Yuri series happened to be Strawberry Panic!, and I really loved it. Now that I think about it was of the first romance series I actually sat through. It was several years later that I was introduced to Visual Novels and had my thirst for romance essentially quenched. It was only until recently that I was rediscovered my love of the genre and became the enlightened being that stands before you. Now, before I crush you and everything you have ever loved (along with things you just causally liked) here are ten manga series that you really should read.

    Number 1. Bloom Into You

    By Nakatani Nio

    Status: Ongoing

    https://yurination.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/bloom-into-you-illustration.jpg?w=640

    This is what really kicked jumped my yuri obsession into high gear and it quickly became one of my overall favorite manga series.

    Bloom Into You, tells the story of Yuu Koito a first year high school student and her involvement with the beloved and enigmatic Touko Nanami. What makes it truly wonderful for me at least is the characters and the art. Yuu is a really strong and grounded protagonist and the fact that she is initially incapable of falling in love makes her quite intriguing, given that this is a romance manga after all. Touko is another really great character and I liked that she was a twist on the classic yuri trope of the perfect and mysterious senpai. Bloom Into You also has a large cast of side characters who flesh out the manga with their perspectives and interactions. The core cast all have a tremendous amount of character growth throughout the series and it has been nice to see them grow and change over time. More than simply being a yuri story Bloom Into You is a story about finding yourself and coming to terms with who you are. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone whether they like yuri or not.

    https://s6.postimg.cc/izkr0wrsx/3142fa62-88f0-4927-a671-d64d535729eb.jpg

    Number 2. The Kase San and...series

    By Hiromi Takashima

    Status: Completed (Continued in Yamada to Kase-san)

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cg5bo91UoAE0hJ9.jpg

    The Kase-San and series is one of the warmest, gentlest, and endearing manga series I have ever come across. It positively oozes sentimentality and radiates sweetness. Such concentrated fluffy feelings exuded by the manga ought to be lethal. I'm surprised it's author Hiromi Takashima, has not been brought up on crimes of adorableness. It's really fucking cute is what I'm trying to convey to you okay? The Kase-San series is about the growing relationship between Yamada the one woman gardening committee representative, and Kase a beloved track and field star. It does a lot to make itself truly memorable inside and outside the yuri circle it was birthed in. It really bucks a common trope that the yuri genre is especially guilty of, which is that most yuri series ends with them becoming a couple. Most yuri manga's and VN's usually end at the mutual confession and kiss stage. It's for the most part a very cathartic ending that rewards all the time the two spent pining for each other. The problem with this ending is that you never get to see them as a couple, it's just presumed that they'll stay together forever and that's it. Kase-San is different in this way. By the end of the first volume they have already kissed and became a couple. The rest of the volumes deal with the trials and tribulations that normally spring up as the two try and understand each other. Both the leads are wonderfully sweet and really complement each other well. Yamada is a big ball of manic energy and cuteness and Kase is a big goof whom is utterly enraptured by Yamada. The art is very vivid and cartoony and every character has a huge range of expressions. I was struck by how much of it reminded me of Dr. Seuss' works. The art also has this amazing ability to turn from cute to sexy in a second. It is really quite the feat.

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    Number 3. Octave

    By Akiyama Haru

    Status: Completed

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    Now, I've already covered how much I love this manga in the review so I'll just include a link for it here. It's a great read for those who are sick and tired of high school settings, and hunger for delicious angst.

    Number 4. Nettaigyo wa Yuki ni Kogareru

    By Makoto Hagino

    Status: Ongoing

    https://s6.postimg.cc/fgt4tj3sh/Capturejgjbjbhj.jpg

    That's still the best new pickup line I've seen in a while. I'm not sure of it's effectiveness so you should try it out yourself. I have been in love with this manga since the first chapter. It tells the story of Konatsu Amano who moves to a brand new school, in a brand new town while her father is away oversees. There she meets Koyuki Honami a beloved and seemingly perfect older girl (Are you seeing a pattern here?) and their friendship begins. Koyuki is another subversion of that perfect senpai role as she is just a incredibly shy and awkward girl, with no real friends. Their interactions are very honest and believable and they make such a adorkable paring. There are also fun dads in abundance which is interesting because typically family figures are virtually nonexistent when it comes to most yuri mangas. That subtext tag is making me very nervous though.

    Number 5. Notes From The Garden Of Lilies

    By Suga Atsushi

    Status: Completed

    https://s6.postimg.cc/r8wmf9gdb/notes_from_the_garden_of_lilies_ch02_09.png

    Why do the best things in the world only come in two volumes? This is how I feel about this particular manga. I love the budding relationship between the two leads. Both are characters that I absolutely adored the moment I encountered them and the way they both bounce off each other is fabulous. I wish there were twenty volumes of this but I suppose I must content myself with only two. The world is so unfair sometimes...

    Number 6. The Real Her

    By Imamura Youko

    Status, Completed

    https://s6.postimg.cc/7bb2veaep/the_real_her_ch01_01.png

    ...and so it continues. This great yuri love story is only one volume long which I think is absolutely criminal. The Real Her tells the love story of the hardcore masochistic Moe, and the budding sadist Yuuka. Like Notes From The Garden Of Lilies the greatness in this manga is all in the character interaction. It's delightfully funny, and it really satisfied the sadistic side of me.

    Number 7. Pulse

    By Ratana Satis

    Status, Completed

    Wide.jpg

    Looks like Drama is back on the menu boys! Pulse tells the very adult story about Mel, a beautiful surgeon who is determined to never fall in love again and Lynn, a college student with a life threatening heart condition. It's a very tender story that also manages to be damn sexy. The drama was handled very well and I really liked Lynn much more than I thought I would. I have never been a fan of characters with a affliction because more often than not, they are but a fountain for tears. Lynn never came across to me as being that way and I liked her personality. Mel is also a very strong character and her growth was very believable. If you need a good dose of adult romantic drama then consider this as your prescription covered. Side effects might include lots of tears.

    Number 8. It Would Be Great if You Didn't Exist

    By Carbonara

    Status, Ongoing?

    https://pm1.narvii.com/6702/5742007fe4e04fa849d27fe7eaa93aba97b8fff7_hq.jpg

    The drama train is still at the station and oh boy, is this one a doozy. The basic premise is that Guk-Hwa finds out that her dirt-bag boyfriend has been cheating on her with another woman. When she goes to confront the two of them she is struck by how attractive she finds the other woman. I have not really a premise like it before so I was immediately intrigued. The two leads really complement each other and they are very well developed. The humor which is prevalent throughout the series is also pretty fantastic. However, it would be unwise to let your guard down because this series is great about hammer striking you repeatedly with drama laden fists.

    Number 9. Hana to Hoshi

    By Suzukin Kario

    Status, Completed

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    Looks like it's back to high school, I swear I can't escape it no matter how hard I try. I guess the only way would be to avoid anything remotely Japanese but since I can't do that let's get on with this already. Hana used to be table top champion until she was unseated by a newcomer with scary eyes. Unable to handle her newfound loosing streak she was forced to retire from the sport. Hania plans to start over a fresh leaf in her first year of high school only to come face to face with her former rival. This is another one of those slow burns that is helped along greatly by the fantastic back and forth between the two characters. The story opens up further when a romantic rival appears on the scene. The only unfortunate thing about this manga is that it feels a bit cut short. It's a manga that is only two volumes long but it could have easily been four or five.

    https://s6.postimg.cc/6azn8hnip/Capturesfdsfsd.jpg

     

    Number 10. Fragtime

    By Sato

    Status, Completed

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    Okay, so it was really hard to decide which one would should end this top ten list but I ultimately decided to go with Fragtime. The premise is what really got my attention. Fragtime is about a young woman named Misuzu who has the power to freeze time for three minutes a day. Instead of using her powerful but limited power for evil she instead uses it to look up the skirt of a girl that she has a crush on. (What a wholesome girl) Unfortunately for her this happens to be the panties belonging to the one person whom is immune to her powers. Even though this is such a goofy premise it still ends up being a very powerful and poignant series. I am so lucky I was able to stumble upon it.

    Oh And This Isn't Quite Yuri But I Want It On This List

    Shimanami Tasogare

    By Yuuki Kamatani

    Status: Completed

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    Okay this might be cheating a little bit but this is not in fact wholly a yuri series. Still, it feels almost criminal to not include it on this list so here it goes. Shimanami Tasogare is about a young boy named Tasuku Kaname who is nearly driven to suicide after nearly being outed as being gay. He is stopped by a strange woman named Anonymous who invites him to a tea house frequented by other social outcasts. I included this manga on the list because there is a lesbian side couple that are very well developed and have a meaningful relationship that has more depth than many yuri manga's. In fact, nearly the whole spectrum of the LGBTQA community is represented in this manga. What's more is that it is done in a way that feels authentic and real. It never once felt fake or phony to me. The characters are all very fleshed out and they are not depicted as perfect beings and they all have their own hangups and problems. It's rare to ever see any real world drama in a yuri manga, in fact it's barely touched on if at all. The situation for gay and lesbian peoples is still one of hardship especially in Japan where gay marriage is still illegal. Tasogare thankfully does not gloss over this and instead provides a very emotional and compelling story.

    The Runners Up

    This is all for those that I liked but didn't quite make the cut.

    Prism

    By Higashiyama Shou

    Status: Canceled

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    This was all set to be a really amazing series with a great couple but unfortunately the author was accused of tracing and it was canceled after only six chapters. Truly, it is one of the greatest tragedies of the modern age. Mourn what could have been.

    The Feelings We Must All Endure

    By Amano Shuninta

    Status: Complete

    https://s6.postimg.cc/6yjop7cpd/the_feelings_v01_ch01_006.png

    This is a great manga to read if are tired of uplifting yuri stories and want to read something that is angsty as all hell. I would rate it higher on my list since it is one of the few series that involves College at all, but they do some haphazard character assassination in the last few chapters and I don't like that. Don't expect a good time while reading this manga, expect a bad time. Still, it's set in a goddamn university! Why the fuck aren't you going to read it?

    Girl Friends

    By Milk Morinaga

    Status: Complete

    http://www.sevenseasentertainment.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/girlfriends.jpg

    I really liked this series because the girls portrayed in it felt like real high school girls dealing with the typical high school problems. There was level of authenticity to their concerns about fashion or dieting because high school girls are real superficial. The gradual romance in this manga series is really sweet and wonderful but there is just one major problem I have with this series and it is the abundance of misunderstandings. The couple in this series have so many moments of jumping to the wrong conclusion or assuming the worst that it gets a bit aggravating after a while. It's like you  just want to shake the both of them and scream, "YOU BOTH FUCKING LOVE EACH OTHER, OKAY??" Oh and don't get me started on poorly timed interruptions because this series has plenty of those to spare. Despite those issues Girl Friends is truly a wonderful love story.

    Citrus

    By Saburouta

    Status: Ongoing

    https://i.imgur.com/0cWWEUv.jpg

    Look, I know Citrus is a bit trashy and bit soap opera-y but it's got several really good merits. The first one is that it has Harumin in it and Harumin is the fucking best, okay? She's the fucking best! She's like the reincarnation of Chikaru Minamoto she's that great. She's like a steady helmsman during a raging sea. The second one is the protagonist Yuzu. She's a really strong protagonist with a distinct and interesting personality. Sure, a lot of potential is squandered by her near obsession with Mei but she's still a really great character. The third and final thing is that the series has finally decided to get serious. The problem that I had with the last couple of volumes of Citrus is that the would operate a sort of rouges gallery of girls that would try and break up Yuzu's and Mei's budding relationship. It got a bit stale but thankfully the last few chapters has been a thankful punch in the gut.

    Bright And Cheery Amnesia

    By Tamamusi

    Status: Ongoing

    https://s6.postimg.cc/gi8ztkv0v/image.png

    Really, this image is all you really need to see if you want to know the premise of this manga. It's got a really simplistic plot but it makes up for that with a great deal of warmth and heart. You can't help but read this and not end up smiling like a goddamn fool. It's just that bright and cheery.

    Well anyway there is my list I hope you enjoyed it! Oh and before I decimate your pathetic existence I hope you enjoy these various series and...

    https://s6.postimg.cc/rmsfy8ngh/Capturebjbhj.jpg

  18. I see it in tld VN chats all the time. "I read flowers, I read kindred spirits on the roof and I read half of katahane and dropped it. What gay girls can I read next?" 

    Why, I have just the answer for you. Spend 4 hours reading yuukuri panic escalation then despair at the lack of yuri once more. Also, finish Katahane! 

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    Yuukuri panic escalation tells the story of Rie-chan - a shy, reserved and easily flustered girl with a traumatic(?) past who moves to a christian boarding school, can play the piano and ultimately finds gay love. 

    This might seem similar to flowers to you, but it's not. That would be an insult to this masterpiece. You might think I'm overselling this, but does Flowers have a spiked dildo they call the lance of longinus? 

    I thought not. 

    Rie-chan is a good girl who liked her sensei, but was too scared to fuck him. Then sensei fucked her mom instead and now she's in an all-girls school to get away from this two-sided betrayal. 

    Rie doesn't really know what sex is or how you do it, which is pretty funny given how she's in heat all the time. 

    Random oji-san from mind control harem fantasy game move away, this is probably the horniest protagonist out of any eroge I've read, despite her not knowing what masturbation is. Literally immediately orgasms from seeing two girls go at it for a second, despite not understanding why people do lewd things. 

    It's quite funny seeing her wanting to masturbate but not knowing how to. Poor girl. They use drugs on her at a point, but it makes her reactions no different from normal H scenes, probably because she's a bunny in heat all the time.

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    There are two routes in this game. You can choose to have Rie-chan be dominated by the cool, elegant onee-sama or by the girl the onee-sama normally dominates. The latter is unexpectedly hotter. Sex scenes are all SM, but really mild SM. Still good, though. Protagonist's VA is also great for some reason. 

    Game actually has a lot of plot twists, despite being so short. Finishing every ending should take about an hour and a half. 

    "But Kaguya, what's up with that 80's arcade gameplay you talked about earlier?"

    Well, as you've probably figured out, it's where the rest of your 2 and a half hours will be sunk if you so choose to go that way.  

    See, this game's story doesn't have enough space for all the sex scenes they wanted to put in, so instead they made a whole different side game that has its own story (that is mainly an excuse to put a bunch of random sex scenes together.)

    Characters are all the same, but to reach the sex scenes you must play qix over CGs that lose their clothes as you progress while the girls talk about how good your gameplay is (of course in a very sexual way.)

     

    This is a surprisingly good yuri porn game no one ever talks about (probably because everyone who read it read it 10 years ago. I know I had forgotten all about it until I saw it in my old notebook recently.) 

    Please try it out.

  19. In response to my friend @Mr Poltroon's grammatically-questionable-but-nevertheless-generous patronage, I've decided to utilize my artistic skills and produce a drawing that does justice to his favorite character, Kilometers Edgeworth.

    In short, I labored to reproduce the following piece that I found on an insider artists' hub known as Google Images:

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    (I forgot to replace the transparency in his eyes with whiteness, so please don't use a dark skin or he'll look scary and deformed.)

  20. Magical Marriage Lunatics is an rom-com VN with heavy moe elements bought to you by the same company and scenario writer as the fan-favorite Princess Evangile, and available for purchase at MangaGamer.

    Plot / main theme of the VN is pretty thin; There are a total of 6 Heroines. The protagonist slipped into 4 alternate dimensions when he was a child and each time he met a girl there (btw this part is never fully explained; He simply just slips into the other dimensions in the past and the VN left it at that). Some weak excuse of an encounter happened afterwards and he made marriage pacts with them (The last 2 girls' pacts were made on earth realm). After coming to age, the 6 girls approached the protagonist all at once to make good of the pact made, but he must choose only 1 among the 6.

    First of all, I must say the most important thing to do in order to enjoy this game is to come into it with a blank state of mind and without expectations. I was sorely disappointed with this VN because I am a big P.E fan and I came into the VN expecting something similar in quality. Suffice to say, MML is nowhere near that. The breakdown:

    Graphics - Very moe in nature with hi-res colourful artwork, high contrast (overly so imo), and very cute heroine design:

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    Not much to say here; It's a moe lover's dream come true, while people like @VirginSmasher will hate it :D

    Music - Average in quality. Much like P.E, not bad overall, but nothing particularly memorable or catchy to me.

    Characters - Not bad. The heroines are cute and likeable. The protagonist is written decently but his character is cliche-filled and nothing special about him stood out.

    Storyline - This is the part which disappointed me the most; It lacks depth, and the quality is nowhere near the likes of P.E at all. The biggest issue is the common route is excruciatingly boring. It's mainly just a bunch of random events which was very uninterestingly written and has almost nothing to do with the main theme of the VN; the marriage pacts. The storyline is not structured very well too imo; at the start, you meet all 6 girls and are given some thin backstory on the marriage pacts ---> SoL common route ----> choose a route to go into. End of story. Little effort, too, was given to develop the backstory between the Protagonist and the girls.

    The routes are better, but mainly because the common route is so bad it makes them look so. The quality of the writing here is nothing special and full of cliches. Not even close to P.E standard.

    This title also requires you to suspend your disbelief very heavily as it makes no attempts at all at being even remotely realistic (although I know this is a work of fiction, I still can't stomach the fact a talking bat can just waltz into our realm, talk to normal people, and even go shopping out in the open without causing anything near to a commotion). A lot of the story also makes heavy use of deux machina and feels very random; for instance events that happen inside a particular route (an example being what happened in the incident between the protagonist and Luce's father and his army after he revisited their realm in Luce's route) will go completely unmentioned elsewhere.

     

    Overall, I do not recommend this title even to moege lovers. At 45 USD, it isn't cheap and there are a ton of better moeges out there in the market you can get at this price (or cheaper). While it's not a bad VN overall, comparatively it just can't compete. Only consider this VN if you can come in blank and without expectations. Otherwise, you will inevitably compare it to other (better) titles, notice the flaws, and be sorely disappointed with your purchase.

     

  21. About a year and a half ago, I completed the Suda51 title, Killer is Dead. I honestly am not sure what happened but I will do my best to sort it out. Despite me not knowing really what was happening, something aside from the mediocre gameplay kept me going. It was the aesthetics. I'm done with that bit now btw. 


    Spoilers ahead.

     

    The whole point of this post isn't to discuss the story or the quality of the game Killer is Dead, but rather to examine the art style and how it made me want to complete the game. Killer is Dead is a hack and slash game from the mind of Suda51. Opinions on his ability to craft a good game aside, his art direction tends to be on the more creative side. The art of Killer is Dead is why I set aside my qualms I had for the gameplay and story and found myself continuing to play it to completion. Take David for example...

     

    Spoiler

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    He some sort of king or something living on the dark side of the moon. But what stands out to me isn't his story. It's his god damn gold clothes. When the first major boss of the game looks like this, I cannot help but be intrigued. I honestly remember nothing about David except that the little shit shows up and ruins breakfast at one point in the game while wearing a stupid shit eating grin as shown here.

     

    Spoiler

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    This is a man set on ruining your breakfast. I think he might have been your brother or something but he time traveled and killed your mom at breakfast [citation needed]. But lets take a look at some of the other screenshots from the game.

     

    Spoiler

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    I honestly don't remember what any of these are from in the game, but the actual visuals of the game are what stick with me after all this time. Not the gameplay, or the story, but just the visuals. That leads me to my rambling point that I haven't argued. Graphics can totally be the only thing a game has going for it and that is fine. Killer is Dead is a prime example of this. The gameplay is forgettable, while the story is only memorable because it is driven entirely by the unique art direction of the game. Killer is Dead was entirely worth the time and money I spent on the game for one reason: it was so damn interesting to look at. 

    Now I want to look at a more mainstream example of a game with a strong, unique, direction of art. Persona 5. Now now, I am not shitting on the game right now. That is for an upcoming blog post. But, when we get down into the nitty gritty details of the gameplay of the sequel, it really isn't much of a step forward for the Persona series as a whole. Some interviews from the development team likened to jump from 4 to 5 like the jump from the P2 duology to Persona 3 [citation needed]. What we got, however, was just an expanded 4 with most mechanics renamed and a mild rehash of the story from 4. What makes the game seem as if it is a completely new leap forward for Persona, in my eyes, is the amazingly slick visuals and art direction. The art sets the game completely apart from Persona 3 and 4 with character cut ins and super stylized labels and text. Persona 5, unlike Killer is Dead, has much more solid gameplay that actually does hold up on its own without the eye popping art direction.

    I'm not so sure that if Killer is Dead featured a more bland style of art, that I would remember it, or even finished it. Lets take another Suda51 game as an example; Lollipop Chainsaw. I never could finish the game. The game's poor frame rates and some what repetitive gameplay killed it for me, but what had kept me going was the candy popping colors of the game. Then I got stuck on some part and stopped caring, but before that, the art direction, once again, had kept me going in that pretty mediocre game.


    What is the final point I want to make? Well, that I am a fucking idiot that lets pretty colors dictate what games I finish and what I set aside. Also look at this unicorn from Killer is Dead


     

    Spoiler

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