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About this blog

This is a blog primarily focusing on but not limited to VNs.  It is primarily designed to express my opinion on otaku media (jrpgs, anime, manga, LNs, VNs, etc), individual VNs, and otaku community issues.   Most of the posts are related to my VN of the Month and Random VN columns, originally started in threads in the forums. 

As of March of 2017, I'm also looking for people to help with VN of the Month.

Entries in this blog

 

Ren'ai x Royale

This is the latest game by ASa Project, a company that rose up during the Golden Age of VNs, making a name for themselves as solid comedy charage makers.  To this day, their style hasn't changed significantly, but in some ways that gives them an advantage over modern charage, which tend to be less comedy-focused (actually, most newer charage makers don't seem to know how to make the readers laugh anymore).   This game is focused on the harem of a young man named Hirotaka.  The situation is,

Clephas

Clephas

 

Top Ten VN/Anime/video game villains/antagonists

In action stories, often the story's quality is determined by the quality of the antagonist as much as the quality of the main characters.  The antagonist acts and the main characters react, creating the drama that pulls at our heart strings and excites us.  The more complex the story, the more likely the need for a strong antagonist will exist, at least in modern fiction.  I decided to put down my top ten and my reasons for making them my top ten here.  These are my top ten, but there isn't a p

Clephas

Clephas

 

Shiranui's Journey (Evolimit): The Tale of a Hero

Be warned, this is full of spoilers for one of my favorite VNs, Evolimit.  Shiranui Yoshikazu is one of my favorite protagonists of all time, and I thought it would be good to just lay out why I loved the guy from beginning to end.           Shiranui's past   The Disaster (MAJOR Spoilers.  Don't read this part unless you have finished at least Kazuna's ending) Even entirely ignoring the events of the main story, Shiranui's story is one of quiet he

Clephas

Clephas

 

Litrpg series: Emirillia Chronicles

The Emirillia Chronicles by Michael Chatfield (incidentally my favorite litrpg author), the writer of the Ten Realms series, is one of the more fascinating ones I've come across.  Unlike the Ten Realms, which is fairly unfocused due to Erik and Rugrat's generalized motivations based on their personal ethics, desires, and whims, Emirillia has a somewhat clearer goal for the characters.   In the series, humanity was defeated by an alien empire called the Jukal, but the Jukal almost lost every

Clephas

Clephas

 

Drapri Guu-Ta-Life

Really, the name of this game says it all... 'A Dragon Princess's Lazy Life'.  This game centers around Takeru, a young martial artist NEET who will do anything to avoid real work, his osananajimi Suzuka, and the dragon he picked up off the street, Haru.  I'll be honest, this game is pretty similar to Nekonin in length, if not in quality (it is slightly better), and I mostly enjoyed it because the double-boke of Takeru and Haru is so hilarious.  Neither Takeru nor Haru has anything resembling co

Clephas

Clephas

 

Steam: Silverio Trinity append stories

A few weeks ago, I picked up the Steam versions of Silverio Vendetta and Silverio Trinity.  My reasons in the latter case were pretty self-explanatory... I wanted to read the append after story that Light so cavalierly and cruelly only included with the all-ages version previously only available on the Vita.  Considering that the after story append serves as a bridge between Trinity and Ragnarok, as well as giving you what amounts to a four to five hour extension to the true route... I can say i

Clephas

Clephas

 

Litrpg series: Project Crysalis

Since I'm still messing around with Cabbit's new game, I thought I'd drop a short review of a litrpg series I just finished reading. Project Crysalis is based in a future where Earth has been abandoned (not because it is ruined anymore, but because the first non-Terrestrial human nation forced people to leave) in favor of living in colonies all across our solar system.  The main political and scientific power in the first three books is Lunar, a nation built on the Moon that began when a pr

Clephas

Clephas

 

Deciding the VN I WILL play this month

I haven't decided which of these VNs I will play this month, but I thought I'd let yall in on my thought processes. Basic Impressions (based off of previews, official pages, and Getchu pages) Hamidashi Creative- This looks like a solid charage, just from the way they actually decided to handle the intros. https://vndb.org/v27449/chars?view=2S-7Nx23xHY#chars 1) No protagonist intro- Speaking from experience, when the protagonist doesn't even have a brief introduction on the officia

Clephas

Clephas

 

Reflecting on my Otaku Origins

I took my first steps onto the road of the otaku in 1992, when I watched the poorly dubbed (all dubs were godawful back then) Record of Lodoss War Volume 1 OVA VCR tape.  Now, I was already a heavy fantasy addict, having been introduced to the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance in 1990, and my obsession was at its peak at the time.  When I watched Record of Lodoss War, I saw the typical 'elven maiden with human hero' romance in a new way (incidentally, this is a pretty typical romantic theme in th

Clephas

Clephas

 

Seishun Fragile

Seishun Fragile is the latest of Purple Software's VNs.  Purple Software is famous these days primarily for powerful nakige/borderline utsuge like Aoi Tori, Amatsutsumi, and Hapymaher.  However, they also are responsible for Chrono Clock and Mirai Nostalgia which, while having an actual plot, are closer to charage than their more plot-centric brethren.  This game is much closer to Mirai Nostalgia in style (based on a few comments inside the story, it is probably based some years after the latest

Clephas

Clephas

 

Getting back into VNs after time away

For most people who play VNs, taking a break is a normal thing.  Even taking a hiatus of a few months or a year seems to be standard for many in our little community. For ten years, for me, it wasn't. My new addiction to litrpgs succeeded in breaking me of my compulsive VN-reading for the first time in a decade.  While some might consider this a bad thing (and have told me so), others have said that it was a good one.  Personally, as I've started playing Purple Soft's latest game, Seis

Clephas

Clephas

 

Litrpg series I've liked so far

I have only recently 'discovered' the litrpg genre (for those unfamiliar with this, the most similar examples I can give are Overlord, SAO, and Log Horizon) of novels.  As such, I'm not going to presume to review things like stat systems and how the stories 'played'.  It would be ridiculous for me to do so (since I'm not a min-max freak who loves all that math), and it would also be boring as hell to listen to here, lol.  I will note some classic tropes:  Protagonists who jump to wrong conclusio

Clephas

Clephas

 

Why I haven't posted recently? (a new addiction)

Needless to say, when I hit my latest speed bump in the form of another partial burnout on VNs, I was left wondering what to do with all that free time.  For about forty hours of that time, it was Ghost of Tsushima, but when that was over, I accidentally picked up my first litrpg on Kindle Unlimited... and oh god, I almost wish I hadn't. The problem, when I analyze it in retrospect, is that my fondness for anime like SAO, Log Horizon, and Overlord had primed me perfectly, my addictive perso

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Baldr Sky Zero

Baldr Sky Zero is an entirely different animal from Baldr Sky Dive. I say this as a warning for those who are looking for a complete duplicate of the experience. Baldr Sky Dive was very much like a post-apocalypse apocalypse story in some ways, with a bunch of revenge thrown in. There is much to recommend to both duologies but they are fundamentally different in some ways. This review is of the first half of the Zero duology, which covers the Sakura, Kei, and Fran paths. I chose to review i

Clephas

Clephas

 

Nekotsuku, Sakura

*pukes a river of sugar* *wipes his mouth clean* Ok, I'm better.  This game is very much what you would expect if you came in knowing nothing of Lump of Sugar's past works and only knew the name of the company itself.  It is sugary sweet, adorable, and generally interminable to someone who likes a nice balance between the cuteness and ichaicha and other aspects of a VN. That's not to say it doesn't have good points... the common route is pretty funny, if you are a cat lover, and I

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Komorebi no Nostalgica

Yes, it is another Takaya Aya game... to be specific, his joint work with Morisaki Ryouto (known for his sci-fi bent and work with Applique).  This work is also considered to be one of his penultimate masterpieces, which is ironic, since the company he created got bought out almost immediately after this game was released, hahaha.   Anyway, Komorebi no Nostalgica was one of two contenders for my VN of the Year 2013 and lost out to Hapymaher.  However, given how Hapymaher has proven somewhat

Clephas

Clephas

 

Clephas' top AI/robot/android/etc heroines

This is a list of my favorite artificial (non-magical) heroines.  The reason I thought this up was because I am currently replaying Komorebi no Nostalgica, which is pretty much the top for an AI-focused VN.   Emmy from Akabanzu  https://vndb.org/c42670 Akabanzu itself is an unusual game in that it is a charage focused on a protagonist being forcibly rehabilitated from game addiction.  The AI in this game, Emmy, focuses on a support role, which makes for a surprisingly interesting (and

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Semiramis no Tenbin

Semiramis no Tenbin is a game by Caramel Box, best known in the West for the Otoboku series but who is more generally famous in Japan for being the home of Takaya Aya, one of the better writers in the industry.  This game... is unique.  I say this outright because there literally is no other VN like this.  It isn't the characters or the themes that make it unique (though those are part of it), but rather the sheer impact of Takaya Aya's 'side trip into thinking like a chuunibyou patient' as he p

Clephas

Clephas

 

Why I dropped Tenmei no Conquista

Normally, considering how far I got into this game, I would have just kept going (I got halfway through, literally).  However, it needs to be said that I only kept going in hopes the game would get more interesting as things went on. The answer was no. This game uses a system that draws partially from the early Fire Emblem games, partially from the Disgaea series by NIS, and partly is drawn from other Eushully games.  The Fire Emblem elements include the basic 'flow' of strategy rpg ba

Clephas

Clephas

 

Secret Agent Kishi Gakuen no Shinobi naru Mono

This game, is to some extent, a redemption of my hopes for Ensemble.  I say this from the beginning because I will inevitably be critical in a familiar way about some parts.  However, this game was far closer to Ensemble at its best than we've seen in the last six years. The story is set in an academic city in a school that has a weird setup where individuals who want to get involved with student government join the Knighthood, with Chevaliers and apprentices serving in roles from librarian

Clephas

Clephas

 

Shuffle! Episode 2

To be honest, I had great hopes for this game, based on the fact that Agobarrier wrote up the drafts for the story before his unfortunate passing.  I thought I'd see the peculiar humor, the deredere-MAX heroines, and the wacky antics that I associated with the original game.  I expected running jokes (frequently used as accents to various scenes), and I hoped that Navel would finally regain some of its original 'magic'. Unfortunately, it seems that those hopes are a bit too high.  Perhaps i

Clephas

Clephas

 

Draculius Characters

Ogishima (Brandole) Jun The son of Id Brandole and Yukari of the Ogishima family.  He was raised as a human by his mother, who sealed his vampiric nature on a regular basis since early childhood.  While he seems mild-mannered on the surface, he has an incredible capacity for rage and ruthlessness in defense of those he considers family.  He is highly intelligent, even brilliant.  At the beginning of the story, Belche arrives to inform him that, if she thinks he is fit to rule, he will take

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Ou no Mimi ni wa Todokanai

Ou no Mimi ni wa Todokanai is one of my favorite games by AXL, which has consistently made high-quality games since the middle of the last decade.  Ou no Mimi is based in a medieval fantasy village in a nation that is still recovering from a war that wasted most of an entire generation of young men's lives.  The protagonist, Cactus (generally called Cas), lives his daily life as a self-proclaimed bodyguard for Baree Village while skipping out on working in the potato fields and taking long naps

Clephas

Clephas

 

Silverio Ragnarok

The final game in the Silverio series enters with a whimper and exits with a bang. First, this game absolutely requires that you have played the previous two to appreciate.  Too much of what is going on requires understanding of concepts that aren't reintroduced but constantly referenced throughout the game.  This game is based only a few years after Trinity in Canterbury, the theocratic state ruled by a Japanophilic religion based on seeing old Japan as a sort of El Dorado.   I should

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Kanojo-tachi no Ryuugi

Kanojo-tachi no Ryuugi is a game made by 130cm back in 2006, during the 'golden age of VN innovation'.  Like many of the games made during this period, it is far less bound by convention than you see in modern VNs, which has its ups and downs (as most games from this era do).  In this case, the most striking element for modern VN readers would probably be the fact that the protagonist is fully voiced.  The second is that, in most of the H-scenes (of which there are plenty), the females are the d

Clephas

Clephas

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