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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

 

Devils Devel Concept: Heroines

I realized that I've always focused excessively on Sora, the protagonist, when I was describing this game, so I thought (on a whim) that I would go ahead and introduce the heroines to you all.      SPOILER WARNING     1.  Amatsu Kanata https://vndb.org/c8804 Amatsu Kanata is the first heroine in the recommended play order and perhaps the heroine who comes closest to Sora in personality.  Selfish, cold-hearted, ruthless, and in possession of an iron will that wo

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random Translation: Devils Devel Concept Opening scene

(The first few lines of this can't be hooked, and I've never had the scripts extracted, so forgive me for not presenting the Japanese for them) Half of this world is made up of 'evil'.  'Evil' is desire. That which humans spill out as easily as breathing. (Clephas: combination of two lines, due to this VN being NVL style, it is often necessary to translate multiple lines together) That is an unseen crystallization of people's emotions. That is desire. That is 'evil'

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Primal x Hearts

Primal Hearts is a game I have an odd relationship with.  At the time I first played it, I don't think I gave it a completely fair assessment.  The reason why?  I was hitting the first of my many 'charage doldrums' periods.  However, in retrospect, it grew on me... sort of like mold. First, I should note that the game is actually fairly old-fashioned, despite its modern visuals.  The wacky concept, larger-than-life characters, and the sometimes ridiculous 'coincidences' that pop in all hear

Clephas

Clephas

 

Cafe Stella to Shinigami no Chou Part 1?

To be blunt, I might or might not continue playing this game, so I thought I'd go ahead and get my thoughts down now, after finishing one path.  More and more these days, I only play one path of a game before moving on, after all. Shinigami no Chou is Yuzusoft's latest release, and it is more along the lines of its more SOL-focused games like Sanoba Witch, as opposed to its more plot-focused ones like Dracu-riot or Senren Banka.  As such, the ichaicha and H-scenes are a bit overly long and

Clephas

Clephas

 

Clephas' Favorite VNs: Otome ga Tsumugu Koi no Canvas part 1

One of only two games written by Kazutaka, the writer of the somewhat comically-named Doushite Daite Kurenai no!?  Onna no Ko Datte Yaritai no! (incidentally, despite the title, the aforementioned game is not a nukige, which is in itself humorous, lol).  It is also the game that gave substance to Ensemble's quest to define itself as a specialist company in trap protagonist and ojousama-ge.  Ironically, it is also the flat-out best SOL game the company has ever made, which makes it somewhat sad f

Clephas

Clephas

 

Docchi no i ga Suki Desu ka?

First, I should state that I went into this game with a specific heroine in mind from the beginning.  I might go back later and play one of the other heroine routes, but I played this game specifically because I thought the concept was interesting and I liked Hanna's character description.  This game is by Hook Soft, a company primarily known for its combination of lovey-dovey relationships, mild comedy, and surprisingly long paths.  This company generally produces high-quality charage, but

Clephas

Clephas

 

A year or so later: My change in outlook

Since ceasing VN of the Month, I've been slowly recovering from my years of over-reading VNs, the vast majority of them ones I normally wouldn't have taken an interest in.  While I still play VNs regularly, I do so at a slower pace, reading more conventional literature and playing normal games as much as I do them. I recently began to regain some of my VN stamina (though I will never get back to where I was), and I've found that even the SOL VNs I choose to play are far less stressful than

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Boku ga Tenshi ni Natta Wake

This is perhaps one of the few games from my first five years playing untranslated VNs that isn't a chuunige that I remembered vividly.  I decided to pick this up again because I wanted some good catharsis, and I was tired of waiting for Mangagamer to get off their butts and actually release this.  Boku ga Tenshi ni Natta wake is what is called a 'soft utsuge', in the sense that there are no good endings but it focuses more on the bittersweet sorrow rather than the absolute despair of a 'ha

Clephas

Clephas

 

Sorceress Alive

Originally, when this game came out, I bought it, played the first part of the prologue, facepalmed over the protagonist's actions, then dropped it.  I still don't think that choice was a mistake, even now.  That's not to say this is not an excellent game (it is), but the fact is that Kouki being a total doofus at times is annoying as hell.  This game is split into two parts, Sorceress and Alive.  The two parts have significantly different story progression and outcomes, and it would be saf

Clephas

Clephas

 

Some thoughts on Digination and its subsidiaries

As I'm currently playing Sorceress Alive and have played numerous Digination games in recent years, I thought I'd talk about my thoughts on the company and its subsidiaries.  My first thought is that the company is both aggressively pushing the current boundaries of the industry fanbase while also regressing into an older time.  When I first expressed this thought to a friend of mine, he asked me if I was crazy... but this is how I explained my thoughts to him. While charage/moege have

Clephas

Clephas

 

Venting sorrow: I lost my cat today

I love my cat. Let’s get that out of the way from the beginning. Even though she is gone, as of today, I have never, for one moment, believed that I would ever stop loving her. For seventeen years and eight months, this calico wonder has made her home in my heart, never failing to wrap me around her paw and jerk me around by my heart strings. As the undisputed mistress of all she surveyed (all eleven rooms and corridors of it), she has dominated the lives and conversation of our family

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random Translation: Bullet Butlers intro

異なる世界の話をしよう。 Let us speak of another world.    我々とは森羅万象の法則が異なる世界、 違うものたちが生きる世界のことを。 A world where the laws of creation differ from our own.  A world where beings different from us live.    誕生したとき、その世界はただの“無”でしかなかった。 When that world was born, that world contained nothing but the void.    何も存在しないが故に何も起こらず、幾千幾万の時間が経とうとも、その世界は変化することがなかった。 Since nothing existed nothing happened.  No matter how many tens of thousands of years passed, that world continu

Clephas

Clephas

 

Thoughts on Tokyo Babel (a summary after my fifth playthrough)

First, as I state in the title, I'm coming off my fifth playthrough (all paths and endings) of Tokyo Babel.  As such, I am - very obviously - deeply fond of the game.  I'm also a fan of the writer Higashide Yuuichirou (for reference, he also wrote Ayakashibito and the scenario for Fate/Apocrypha).  However, in this post I wanted to address some of the complaints I get from those who play the game.  First, I will address the major complaints I've taken personally from those who read or have

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random translation: Silverio Vendetta's opening scene

This scene is the opening of Silverio Vendetta, and the two monologues (one from Zephyr, one from a spoiler character who isn't named in the scene) define the nature of the game's theme. “勝利”とは、何だ? What is victory? “栄光”とは、何だ? What is glory? それを得れば、何も失わずに済むのだろうか I choose that path, will I be able to live without losing anything? 救えるのか。守れるのか。本当に、幸せになれるのだろうか Can I save what is mine?  Can I protect it?  Can I really find happiness?  問いは切実。なぜなら、勝利というものはとても

Clephas

Clephas

 

Creative Corner: Brainstorming a character

Usually, I focus mostly on the perspective of a consumer when I write in this blog.  I do this because I am and always have been primarily a consumer of material rather than a creator.  However, that doesn't mean I've never created anything... just that I haven't published anything (well, under my own name... ghost writing doesn't count) since some early fiction on Deviantart over a decade ago.  So, since I'm not writing as many reviews, I chose to start a small corner describing the techni

Clephas

Clephas

 

Kimagure Temptation

Kazuki Fumi and Silky's Plus Wasabi's newest game has arrived.  This is the third game in the series that began with Nanairo Reincarnation.  I will say this outright from the beginning... this game isn't as good as either Akeiro or Nanairo.  It does have its high points, but it needs to be noted that this is not on the same level as the previous two games. This game uses the Emote system heavily, with the sole heroine (Annelise) being extremely 'animated' (think constantly swaying boobs) to

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Concerto Note

Concerto Note is a game I bought years ago and stuck in a small box containing my 'rainy day classics' without playing it.  Recommended to me over eight years ago as a classic kamige, I essentially forgot about it until I saw that Cross Concerto was coming out soon. This game uses a 'parallel story' system with a flowchart, where obtaining items on the non-true paths is required to complete the true path successfully.  This particular type of system is fairly rare, but it occasionally pops

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary

Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary is a game made back in 2017 that came very close to being my VN of the Year for that year, for good reason.  Since I've already reviewed this game as a whole once, I'm going to go into more detail about what the catch points are of this game, as opposed to merely assessing it based on a lot of general points. A major plus point of this game is the way Alice, the main heroine, often serves as a sounding board to provide the reader with an intellectual understandin

Clephas

Clephas

 

Wakaba-iro no Quartet

Wakaba-iro no Quartet is the latest mimikko VN from Lump of Sugar, a company that has a huge variance in quality from game to game (kamige one time, kusoge the next, lol).  Lump of Sugar has of late  mostly been doing mimikko games, with the Tayutama sequels/FDs and now two newer IPs having come out in the last four years.  Since I love mimikko (it was my first fetish) this is a happy thing for me. In the setting of this game, the mimikko come from an isolated mountain nation and are basica

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Yurameku Kokoro ni Michita Sekai de, Kimi no Yume to Yokubou wa Kanau ka

Yurayuka was released  in 2017 by Cube, a company that I never got around to messing with (mostly because their other games were nukige, for the most part).  I chose to put this one in my 'rainy day' archive for a time when I wanted something to play that I hadn't read before but wasn't a charage (most games I set aside are charage, since there is only so much virtual sugar I can consume without getting virtual diabetes).  From the very beginning, this game makes its 'time loop' concept obv

Clephas

Clephas

 

The problem with reviews and reviewers

Anyone who has read one of my reviews knows I'm something of a cynic and a pessimist.  I try to think the best about every VN I go into, but my first impulse is to see what is wrong, rather than what is right.  Whether it is optimism and rose-colored glasses or pessimism and cynicism, and excess of either is often a negative influence on the quality of a review.  Generally speaking, I usually make an effort to find something I like about a VN's concept before going in, then I start the VN t

Clephas

Clephas

 

Ren'ai, Karichaimashita

To be honest, I wasn't intending to read this game... then I happened to catch a Japanese review and immediately purchased a copy (that arrived two days ago).  This game has surprised me by being the first comedy SOL VN to make me laugh this year (comedy VNs being small in number in the first place making this worse), so just starting this game up was enough to satisfy me that I hadn't wasted my money.  ASa Project is a company that has long produced standard charage of various levels of quality

Clephas

Clephas

 

Ryuusei World Actor

Ryuusei World Actor is the latest VN by the up-and-coming plotge and chuunige specialist company, Digination, under its subsidiary Heliodor.  This company's games so far have been somewhat unpredictable and unbalanced in my experience, with a great deal of ambition and not quite enough talent to pull things through completely.  I say this from the point of view of a long-time chuunige/plotge addict, and from the perspective of a person that has played two of their games to the end and sampled tw

Clephas

Clephas

 

Kokorone Pendulum

This is the latest game by Clochette, a company known mostly for four things:  It's decent stories, it's excellent characters, a tendency toward fantasy and sci-fi settings, and the forest of oppai heroines that spring up in its wake.  lol Clochette is straight out my favorite plotge/charage hybrid company, mostly because they understand what they do well and don't try to do anything but develop from that perspective.  The result is that I can depend on their games being enjoyable.  Some pe

Clephas

Clephas

 

Book Series: The House War

The House War series is one of three co-existing (to some extent, each of the series co-exists in time, often with the same characters) series written in the same universe by Michelle West, a half-Japanese, half-Canadian writer who first came to my attention when I was stunned by the first book of the Sun Sword series. The universe created in the three series (the Sacred Hunt duology, the Sun Sword series, and the House War series) extend across over thirty years of time in-series and invol

Clephas

Clephas

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