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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Clephas

Dead Days

On request and because I am a Kurashiki fan, I decided to play this, despite worries about the concept and the characters... and I came out finding my worries perfectly justified. First, the protagonist Teru... in a standard chuunige, he would be the jackass that gets killed after begging for his life in the opening act after doing something totally scumbag-like.  Worse, rather than being merely a cold-blooded manipulator (which is how the Getchu page presented him), he is actually an irrit

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Clephas

Tasogare no Folklore

I do not regret playing this game. I needed to say this first, because this game has a pretty high level of emotional impact.  The actual characters are quiet for the most part, but the relationships in this game are so twisted that even thinking about them being real would make a saint wince.  This story centers around a young personal servant, Kumagata Arima, and his young mistress, Otobe Supika.  It is the Taishou Era (pre-WWII, late teens to late twenties of the twentieth century),

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VN reading speed, some tips and my own thoughts

I decided to make this post after analyzing my own reading speed and the reasons why it is so fast... but I also wanted to give tips on how to increase your reading speed without hurting your enjoyment of VNs, manga, and books.  At the same time I was doing this, I gradually came to realize that one of the big reasons why my favorite genre is so niche (chuunige) is simply because most people bump into the walls of complex text and give up. Regardless of which language you are reading (Japan

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Clephas

Renran Spirichu

Mmm... this month had a lot of fantasy, so it is probably normal I played more VNs this month than the last few... oh well. Anyway, Renran Spirichu is the latest release from Parasol, a charage-specialist company.  Umm... to be honest, I couldn't bring myself to do more than one path of this game, and the one path I did was Botan's (the catgirl).  This game's premise is fairly terrible, with girl exorcists possessing breasts in direct proportion to their spiritual power.  Not only that, but

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Clephas

Tamayura Mirai

Tamayura Mirai is the latest game by Azurite, the company behind Shinsou Noise and Akumade Kore wa.  Unlike the previous two, it is not a guro mystery.  Instead, it is a fantasy with an extremely similar setting to Monobeno (which had a great setting, even if the lolicon elements were outright disgusting).  It also shares a writer (Touta) with such excellent games as Kin'iro Loveriche, Floral Flowlove, Gin'iro Haruka, and Ojousama wa Gokigen Naname.   Before I go any further, I want to spea

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Heroine wa Tomodachi Desu ka? Koibito Desu ka? Soretomo Tomefure Desu ka?

First, for those who are familiar with me... Yes, I did play this.  Why?  Something about the way it was presented in the Getchu page said that there was more hidden beneath the surface than a standard oppai-nukige.  Thankfully, my instinct was correct, in this case. Now, for those who are curious, this game is a straight-out harem, from beginning to end.  This game's primary attractions are the comedic reactions of the heroines and the way they and the protagonist slowly 'fall'.  It is lik

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Clephas

Stubbornness and Burnout

For those familiar with me, you know I spent year after year doing VN of the Month and that I ritualistically complained about how tired I was of this or that trope or bad habit that plagued the industry or games.  I was asked repeatedly why I could still plow through so many VNs, despite the stress?  The simple answer is that I have always been stubborn as hell.  I've experienced 'burnout' numerous times in my life, mostly because I have a naturally obsessive personality.  Once I start obsessin

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Clephas

Sci-fi Addiction: An analysis of AI-focused sci-fi VNs

Recently, I played (partially) through Missing X-link, and this led me to think of how various VN writers handle the concept of AIs and machine sentience.  There are a number of different approaches, each of which has its own ups and downs. There are minor and major spoilers in all of these examples, and, as such, read them at your own risk.       The argument of the 'emulated human' AI and the philosophically-built AI (Komorebi no Nostalgica)- Komorebi no Nostalgi

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Clephas

Missing-X-Link ~Ten no Yurikago, Togi no Hana~ Part one

I started X-link on a whim, and I was surprised at its quality almost immediately.  This post is basically a composite view of my impressions up through the Chiruouka (bad) ending that lies roughly two-thirds of the way through the game.   X-Link uses the ladder-style structure made popular with G-senjou no Maou and Aiyoku no Eustia, and we all know my general dissatisfaction with this particular structure, so I won't go back over it.  Instead, I'll focus on the parts of this game that exis

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Grisaia Phantom Trigger Part 6

Tbh, there isn't a lot to say about this episode.  For those who were curious about Haruto's past, this pretty much reveals everything (well, since it is non-ero, it doesn't touch upon my suspicion that there was some classic Grisaia oneshota in there somewhere).  It is pretty bloody - again, as usual - and it properly spotlights Haruto and the group of adults who raised him (questionable whether you can really call them adults, though).  That said, it should be noted that this is obviously

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Waka-sama no Zasuru Sekai (and a few other things)

Hi people!  It's been a while since I posted anything (for me, anyway), and I wanted to go ahead and get the March releases explanation out of the way before I started on Waka-sama. Love Commu I played through one route of this game, but it was not really something I could keep going through to all the endings, primarily because the setting is pure nukige while the setup and execution is pure moege.  Don't know what I'm trying to get at?  Well, I'll go ahead and explain.  Essentially,

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