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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

 

Do you like Japan?

This is a question I wonder if many people here have asked themselves... do you honestly like Japan, as a country (whether you've visited or just look in from the outside)?  My own feelings are... mixed.  Japan has a pretty fascinating culture that is essentially a scrapbook of various elements drawn from cultures that contacted it that were then evolved based on what the people of a given era wanted/needed.  However... the country itself is pretty problematic looking at it from the outside.  Po

Clephas

Clephas

 

How Adorable Heroines are now just Generic

How many of you started reading VNs, manga, or watching anime solely because the girls were so adorable?  I wasn't one of those (I began with Record of Lodoss War, lol), but Ai Yori Aoshi and Love Hina introduced me to the concept of the 'moe-heroine'.  Whether it was their way of speaking, their looks, or their attitude, moe heroines became an integral part of the otaku experience at some point (well, the male-oriented one anyway), and I actually don't have any problems with that.  I have lots

Clephas

Clephas

 

Weabooism: The experience, its causes (in Westerners), and tempering it with doses of reality

Hello, my name is Clephas, and I am/was a weaboo.  *snickers at the AA reference*  I'm mostly posting on this matter to give those otakus who aren't necessarily weaboos an idea of what it is like to be a weaboo (ignoring social problems, for the moment, haha) and just why we exist in the first place.  First, to correct a common misconception... not all weaboos are solely obsessed with Japanese culture/history/etc.  In fact, most Western ones are or eventually become interested in all Asian cult

Clephas

Clephas

 

A Bit of News for Old Hands

Just a bit of warning for those who are using really old versions of Translation Aggregator... to be blunt, they don't work with the current version of Windows 7 or 8. To be more specific, the way the old versions use the dictionaries causes a bug where the application no longer pastes the clipboard contents. I hadn't updated mine since the 2012 update, so I was really surprised when, after I updated my Windows (on both my work and personal computers) that TA stopped working. I figured out wh

Clephas

Clephas

 

VN Special: Reader's Choice of the Month

I've decided to start a new column called Reader's Choice of the Month.  The concept is simple.  I will post a poll of end of the month releases I don't intend to play, and the readers of my blog will have a chance to pick which one I will play and review.  This column will take the place of VN of the Month in the sense that I will still be playing something for the sake of the readers, but this time I won't be going out of my way to play every obscure charage/moege I find.  This is about p

Clephas

Clephas

 

Weaboos and Otakus: Top Eight most Annoying Questions (Clephas version)

Generally speaking, if you are a weaboo and/or otaku and you reveal your hobby, you generally tend to end up on the receiving end of all sorts of unbelievably irritating questions.  This is my list of the most annoying questions I've heard as an otaku/weaboo. 1.  "Is that a cartoon?"  Almost every anime fan gets asked this at some point, though generally speaking, this is an event that was a lot more common when I first started watching anime.  To be blunt, American cartoons tend to be one

Clephas

Clephas

 

VN of the Month: Just letting yall know

September's VN of the Month is probably going to be a contest between Baldr Heart, Inochi no Spare, and Gin'iro, Haruka.  Why?  Everything else I dropped shortly after exiting the prologue, wanting to puke from the kusoge-smell.  It might not be fair to them, but Ichibun, Yuuwaku, and Triangle Love just aren't VNs that have any chance, with Gin'iro defining the field for slice-of-life and romance.  I can't bring myself to play anymore Gin'iro, but that isn't because it sucks... it is because I'm

Clephas

Clephas

 

Dropped Minikui Mojika

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. 

Clephas

Clephas

 

Signs of a saturated market: Charage/moege

Now... I know you've heard me bash charage/moege before.  That isn't the purpose here, though.  I've played plenty of VNs of the type over the years, and a decent number of them have actually managed to make it pretty high on my list of recommendations, despite the genres' flaws.  I've also mentioned before that VN quality has fallen drastically in the past two years... and I still think that, despite a few seriously stand-out works this year in general and this month in particular. The rea

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

 

The spirit of an older gamer: Why I play games and why other people play games

I've been playing video games more or less constantly for over twenty-five years.  That's a very simple statement that holds a surprising amount of meaning, considering how much video games have changed since I first began playing them. It began with the NES, for me... with Mario, Luigi, and the ducks.  I shot ducks out of the air, I jumped Mario across gaps and on top of turtles, without ever really understanding what was going on.  As a kid, this was fun, seriously.  Understand, this

Clephas

Clephas

 

*sighs* more ladder-style complaints

For those of you familiar with my tendency to bitch and moan about this kind of story-structure, I don't really need to explain... but I'll do so anyway.  The 'ladder-style' story structure is the style used in games such as G-senjou, Aiyoku no Eustia, and Sen no Hatou.  While it does make it easy to fit in a 'true' path (the true path being main street) and breaking things down into 'arcs' makes for a more expansive story, that is at the cost of increasing irritation in a way that would never h

Clephas

Clephas

 

Books: The Malazan Book of the Fallen series

The Malazan Book of the Fallen is perhaps one of the most complex series I've ever read... and that is saying a lot.  It is high fantasy in the sense that it is based in a fantasy world that is unbelievably complex (it makes Game of Thrones look simple at times) and it has the combined moral ambiguity and dark humor of Glen Cook's Black Company series as well. However, where Steven Erikson shines the most is in his world-building... and in his character-creation.  This is perfectly natural, as

Clephas

Clephas

 

Kenseiki Alpha Ride Part 1: Progress report

Due to work and school, I haven't been able to progress as much as I would have liked with this VN, but I have gotten moderately far, so I'll give you a bit of an update on my experiences. Gameplay Comments First, the gameplay... this is a straight strategy rpg in format, but it does have a few twists.  First, the characters known as 'mech-people' and 'sword-people' can become what their name is... literally becoming a mech or a sword, through their pact with a particular character.  In the ca

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VNs: Poll

Right now, while the pain meds are wearing off and my mind is relatively clear (since I don't recall anything I did or posted today before an hour and a half ago) I figured I'd  post this poll.  First, I'm more or less decided on setting aside any more reading for VNs from March, at least for the next week.  I will resume playing at least one more on the nineteenth, so if you want, feel free to vote on the other poll, though I will probably ignore the results from it.  The first VN on

Clephas

Clephas

 

Sengoku Koihime X ~Otome Kenran Sengoku Emaki

This is a partial remake/rewrite of Sengoku Koihime, which was released back in 2013.  It is by Baseson, the makers of the Koihime Musou series, and the protagonist is the nephew of the protagonist from that series.  It is based on the Moeshouden fandisc ending (where the Shin Koihime Musou heroines are all together).  In addition to h-scenes, the text itself has been partially rewritten (it is more noticeable later in the game), and they added on the Houjou Chapters, a ten-hour after story.

Clephas

Clephas

 

*cries* Soshite Hatsukoi ga Imouto ni Naru

... I'm going to be blunt.  It has been a while (think 2014) since any company has produced a nakige that compares to this one.  The characters, their backgrounds, their personalities, and the setting all come together to form a story of deep affection, pain, and tears that had me crying more than a dozen times throughout the VN. In terms of heroines, this VN's imoutos are the best.  Shinobu is the twisted, obsessive half-yandere, super-capable imouto who adores her niisan (with good reason

Clephas

Clephas

 

Inochi no Spare

*weeps hopelessly, his face a mess with tears and other fluids* Inochi no Spare is an utsuge, produced by Akabeisoft3, the conglomerate company made from all of Akabeisoft2's subsidiaries except Akatsuki Works.  I'll be blunt, I didn't know what to think going into this.  It was blatantly an utsuge, right from the beginning... and one that is merciless in its descriptions of the characters' suffering. The disease in question is called Oumon Disease (fictional), which manifests initiall

Clephas

Clephas

 

October 2016: Which VNs I plan to play and what I'm doing now

October is turning out to be a frustrating month, with the VN I was most interested in delayed until December (for some reason, December seems to be getting all the most interesting ones...).  I honestly had hopes that October would break the 'dry spell' I've been experiencing since I completed July's releases.  There is still a possibility of that happening, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Right now, I'm busy with work, trying to open up a nice quiet period so that I can get all of Octobe

Clephas

Clephas

 

Burned out

It's been a while since a single VN burned me out completely, but Silverio Trinity managed it.  That VN had many of the best elements of its predecessor, while being more balanced, having added unique soundtracks, and overall creating a mostly new experience that, while it didn't completely transcend the original, still managed to stand on the same plane. Unfortunately, it was a highly emotional experience, with a lot of excitement along the way... so I know I won't rate any VNs I play at t

Clephas

Clephas

 

My VN slump

Due to work in recent weeks, I wasn't able to play any VNs for about a week straight... and when I tried to pick up Ouka Sabaki to finish Feb's releases, I found I had no urge whatsoever to play a VN... any VN.  Understand, I've been playing VNs constantly since 2009.  I literally have not gone more than a day without playing at least a little bit of a VN (even if it was only a half hour or so) since then.  So, to my shock, I've found I don't have the energy to pick one up for the first tim

Clephas

Clephas

 

Kin'iro Loveriche

This is the latest release by Saga Planets, the makers of Hatsuyuki Sakura and Natsuyume Nagisa.  This, like many of the games by this company, is an emotional game that sort of edges around being a straight-out charage, though it can't really be called a story-focused or a true nakige.  This kind of genre ambiguity is common to this company's better works, so in that sense, it probably wasn't a bad choice, overall. First, I should say I skipped Akane's path.  I played the first three heroi

Clephas

Clephas

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, as of thirty-nine minutes ago, it is officially my birthday (as of the time I checked at the beginning of making this post).  I have a lot of things to reflect on this year.  I am now thirty-six, settling into the beginnings of middle-age, knowing my lifestyle will probably kill me before I hit fifty.  I'm a sugar addict, I love fatty foods, I make my own alcoholic drinks (this year, a mixed fruit wine that actually turned out well and was much easier than the rum and hard root b

Clephas

Clephas

 

Eushully's fantasy world

I love Eushully's unique fantasy world, Dir Lifyna.  Most of Eushully's games, save for a few oddball ones by the subsidiary Anastasia and Fortune Arterial, are based in this world, which began with the original Ikusa Megami (if this gets translated, somebody please smash the skull of anyone who translates the title, because they'll probably pick the worst permutation of it).  The first thing that anyone going into this setting should know, if only for giggles, is that this was never intended to

Clephas

Clephas

 

My Random VN Schedule For July

Normally, I don't finish the VN of the Month games so early (I'd expected to be forced to take more time out for Neyuki, and so I've been left at loose ends). So, I normally just pull a few random VNs out of my massive backlog (mostly stuff I got at really low prices through my friend in Japan), play them, then mini-review them. However, I've chosen to be a bit more ambitious this time around, since I have the time. I'm actually going to make a schedule! 1. Kikouyoku Senki Gin no Toki n

Clephas

Clephas

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