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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

Princess x Princess and Kurogane Kaikitan

Princess x Princess is the sequel/extension of Rishia's route from Shuffle 2.  Essentially, it begins with Rishia enthusiastically searching out extra wives for Raito while he has difficulty adjusting to his girlfriend's values.  However, this quickly expands into a game that, to some extent, can actually be called a sequel rather than a fandisc.  This is similar to how the original Shuffle's 'extras' functioned more like true additions to the original game than fandiscs. I'm going to be bl

Clephas

Clephas in VNs

Recommendations: VNs with Psychotic characters

I love 'psychologically challenged' characters, whether they are heroines, protagonists, or antagonists.  That said, I don't mean those cookie-cutter 'villains' and 'serial killer' types when I say this.  I mean characters who are twisted up inside and as a result have a completely different outlook on life or appear inconsistent on the surface as a result.  Villain and serial killer types, who just cause harm because they want to, just aren't that interesting.  Here is a shortlist of good VNs t

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Clephas in VNs

Random VN: Death End Re;Quest 2

Let's first get this out there... I did not play the original game.  The reasons?  Well, mostly because it was supposedly horribly buggy and I have no patience for bugs and glitches.  The other part was that it didn't sound that interesting to me.  It sounded like an occult take on SAO.  However, I decided when this came out that I would buy it and later play it.  Why?  Because Touyama Mai is a much more interesting protagonist than Shina or Arata. The game begins with Mai being driven to m

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Clephas in VNs

Ryuusei World Actor Badge and Dagger and Dies Irae Interview with Kaziklu Bey

Ryuusei World Actor Badge and Dagger I'm going to be blunt, I'm not fond of what was done with the previous game, and I felt like this one was a repeat of the same mistakes. That's not to say there aren't a lot of good points to this game and its predecessor. Kinugasa Shougo is an excellent writer (as VN writers go) with a great skill in characterization and scenario design. However, just like the first game, this one cuts off without completing the story.I'm not nearly as angry this time,

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Clephas in VNs

Madoi Shiroki no Kamikakushi

This is the latest kemomomi VN from Lump of Sugar, whose best VNs all have kemomimi girls, lol.  In this one, the protagonist Takuto and his little sister Shiina are transported to the world of the gods, where human perceptions of the world, mythology and legends come to life.  As a game, this story feels a lot like a 'gentle and slow nakige'.   To be blunt, the first thing I think most people will note upon getting past the prologue of this game is... that Roka is the most moe-moe heroine

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Clephas in VNs

Random VN: Ojousama no Hanbun wa Ren'ai de Dekiteimasu

This game is a peculiar one.  This is the third time I've played the game, and the second time I've posted on it.  If you want to see my original review, please look here:    I'm going to focus here on coloring in some of the details of why I like this game and think it is underrated amongst Western readers of untranslated VNs.  First, the factors that lead to it being underrated. 1) The protagonist takes on a man-whore role through large swathes of the game and isn't a pure-hear

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Clephas in VNs

Random VN: Yome Sagashi ga Hakadorisugite Yabai

This is the second game in Hulotte's Yabai trilogy.   It is also, by far, the highest quality of the three.  Like the other two, it is a harem-ge/charage with slight rom-com elements.  Where it differs from more modern charage/moege is that it is more of an issue of 'who' he picks rather than falling in love in the normal way.  The why of this makes sense (and not in totally forced way) within the setting and story, so that isn't necessarily an issue. The protagonist, Ashihara Daiki, is the

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Clephas in VNs

Random VN: Raillore no Ryakudatsusha

Raillore is 3rdeye's  most recent chuunige, made back in 2019.  At the time, I tried to play it and dropped it after the prologue, for a number of reasons.  The primary reason was the lack of narration in combat scenes... For some reason, 3rdEye has almost no narration in this game, comparative even to charage.  Instead, battle scenes are done using CGs, brief animations, and sound-effects.  Unfortunately, this means you generally have no idea of what is going on, due to the limitations of such

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Clephas in VNs

JRPG: Saga Frontier Remastered

Saga Frontier is one of the most oddball rpgs to have been released on the ps1, and the ps1 was long considered the 'era of classics' for all jrpg-dom, with remakes of the earlier major names and innumerable newer classics being released for the system.  The Saga series in general is something of an acquired taste, due to the sheer opaqueness of the leveling mechanics and odd, often nonsensical experimentation with random game elements.   In terms of game mechanics, Saga Frontier is easily

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Clephas in JRPG

Random VN: Ryuukishi Bloody Saga

Ryuukishi Bloody Saga might very well be the best unique work Akabei Soft 3 has created in the time since ABS2 forced a bunch of subsidiaries to merge to create it.  It is a work I also come back to every few years simply because it holds a unique place in my heart.   Ryuukishi is the sequel to Ryakudatsusha no In'en, a Clock-up style super-violent H-horror VN written expressly for the purpose of setting up things for Ryuukishi.  As such, to understand this VN, you have to understand the ev

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Clephas in VNs

VNs and Me Today

I've had numerous comments from people who were asking, 'Do you still play VNs?' in the last year or so because I hardly post anymore.   When I do, it is usually litrpg, random commentary, or maybe one game a month.  The short answer is yes.  The full answer is a bit more complicated. First, I should note that a lot of this is about timing... to be slightly more specific, a confluence of factors that created a singularity of me just not posting anymore.  The events in question are my increa

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Clephas in VNs

Random VN: Duelist x Engage

Duelist Engage is one of a number of VNs I was pretty sure I underrated relative to my time doing VN of the Month.  The fact that the VN stuck in my mind even almost a decade later says that this supposition was most likely correct.  Thankfully, after replaying it (after so long it was mostly new to me) I found that this supposition was correct. Before I dig into story and character issues, I need to note that one way this VN stands out over modern charage is the expressiveness of the heroi

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Clephas in VNs

Waga Himegimi ni Eikan o

This is the newest game by Minato Soft, the makers of Majikoi.  As per usual, I'll be straight with yall and say that I thought this would end up essentially being a slice-of-life failure like a lot of Minato Soft's non-Majikoi VNs.  However, this game is actually much closer to a chuunige in nature than I anticipated.  In the end, I gave this one of the highest ratings I've given in a long while, but there are some issues, which I'll mention farther along. Wagahime's protagonist is a young

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Clephas in VNs

VNs I still Remember, no matter how much Time Has passed

This might seem like an odd choice for a blog post, but it should be noted that, after more then twelve years and seven hundred VNs, remembering each and every one is impossible.  In fact, I hardly recall roughly 70% of all the VNs I've played, and less than 10% are memorable enough that I consider replaying them once in a great while.  I'm somewhat infamous for my lists, but I figured one more wouldn't hurt.  Remember, these are the VNs I still remember to the point where I can state almost eve

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Clephas in VNs

The problem with translated and weabooist Xianxia

While reading litrpgs, I sometimes come across ones that stray into the realms of Xianxia or are simply Xianxia mislabeled as litrpgs.  Xianxia is a genre of Chinese-origin, creating a system of magic and abilities based off of Qigong practices.  Technically, stuff like Naruto and Hunter X Hunter would fall into the realm of Xianxia, given its use of many of the same concepts. Xianxia books have a number of common issues, in my opinion.  Some of them are quite enjoyable, but even the enjoya

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Clephas in Xianxia

Litrpg series: Apocalypse Gates and Alpha Alpha World

Recently, I've been devouring anything written by Daniel Shinhofen, the writer of the Binding Words series I recommended in a previous post.  Shinhofen is a harem specialist that can vary from having non-existent ero to full-on BDSM in his stories, but a common element to all of them is that all his protagonists end up with a harem and that harem is happy (for the most part).   Lest I make that sound like he scrimps on story, the very reverse is the case.  Every one of his series is extreme

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Clephas in Litrpg

Senkou no Clarias

It was remarked by Veshurik recently that it seemed like I wasn't really around anymore... but that isn't really the case.  I still play VNs, but the fact is, I don't play many new VNs that I haven't already blogged about yet.  I simply can't muster enough interest to play most of the new stuff that comes out, simply because there just isn't that much that looks interesting coming out at any given time.   Senkou no Clarias, by Team Baldrhead, was the game I thought would break through my boredom

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Clephas

Litrpg: Everybody Loves Large Chests

Everybody Loves Large Chests (the series) by Neven Iliev is probably the most horrifying dark comedy fantasy I've ever read.  I laughed almost constantly throughout the first five books (what I've read) of this series... simply because it is just so far out there that it insulates you from the sheer horror of what is going on. This series is focused on the antics and life of an aberrant, sociopathic, homicidal and ever-hungry mimic (yes, the treasure-chest monster) named Boxxy T Morningwood

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Clephas

Akatsuki Yureru Koi Akari

This is the third game in Crystalia's series based on a world where a sport has grown up around using spiritual swords and a prequel to the original game, Kizuna Kirameku Koi Iroha.  For those who haven't played the other games, I can say that you might or might  not get more out of this game by playing the others first, as playing the original spoils you on the winner of the tournament and a few other issues.  On the other hand, this game also fills in a lot of gaps on characters from the origi

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litrpg author: William D. Arand

The Litrpg genre has a bunch of subsets, from the gamelit (characters are actually in a game) and portal fantasy  (go through a portal to a game-like world) to Wuxia/xanxia style cultivation and anime-style harem setups. William D Arand is an interesting writer...  He is definitely on the harem side of things, because all of his protagonists end up with a harem of women who are both devoted to him and end up running his life, as well as being deadly, amoral and more than a little crazy.  Mo

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Clephas

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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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