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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

 

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

Clephas

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),

Clephas

Clephas

 

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

Clephas

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

Clephas

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

Clephas

Clephas

 

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

Clephas

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

Clephas

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

Clephas

Clephas

 

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

Clephas

Clephas

 

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,

Clephas

Clephas

 

My experience with Fate/Grand Order

Ok, anyone who has read some of my rants about microtransactions will wonder why I decided to play this f2p smartphone game... until you remember I'm also a Nasuverse fanboy. I made the questionable decision of picking this game up about two and a half months ago, and since then I've been left with a lot to ponder.  First, I'll list what I like about this game. 1.  Relatively easy to play for free, in the sense that simply doing free quests and story quests can get you the in-game Sain

Clephas

Clephas

 

Realive

Realive is Purple Soft's latest game.  For those unfamiliar with Purple Soft, they are the makers of Hapymaher and Chrono clock, and their specialty lies in nakige with fantasy and/or sci-fi elements.  As an example, Chrono Clock has the time-manipulation watch, Amatsutsumi has 'kotodama' (the ability to control people and some phenomena with words), and Aoi Tori has divine and demonic powers.  In this case, the characters are drawn into playing an AR game called Alive, which grants them strange

Clephas

Clephas

 

March 2019: What I'm going to play

It appears that March is going to be my first death march of this year (as compared to me doing it every month for the five years previous).  The simple reason is that, for some insane reason, a bunch of companies released a bunch of interesting games all at once this month (it is technically still March). First, we have Alpha Nighthawk, a game by Liar Soft that just looked too interesting for me to ignore (which I normally would have).  My initial impression from the first scene is... that

Clephas

Clephas

 

The Schools of Charage/Moege harems

First, I'm going to state that all charage/moege are harem-ge (with the exception of kinetic novels with only a single heroine).  In all these cases, you have a bevy of heroines that are, at the very least, friendly with or somehow attached to the protagonist.  There are a three standard types of harem that I consider to be general umbrella types.  These harems do not include nukige sex-only harems or the type of harems that pop up in gameplay hybrid VNs, as these often have distinctive story-ex

Clephas

Clephas

 

Spiral!!

Spiral is the latest game from Navel, the company responsible for Shuffle and Tsuriotsu.  This is also based in the same world as Shuffle, albeit a generation later (which is suitable, seeing as it has been almost a generation since the original Shuffle was released).  For those who aren't aware of this fact, the original writer of Shuffle, Agobarrier, died a back in 2016, and it is perhaps inevitable that the world he created would end up looking a lot different once someone else took over comp

Clephas

Clephas

 

Some thoughts: A few Months later

It has been almost six months since I ceased VN of the Month.  I can say now that while I do, surprisingly, miss some aspects of that particular column, the freedom giving it up has granted me is far greater compensation.  When I was doing VN of the Month, I was literally the only person commenting on most of the non-nukige VNs in a given month.  I was driven by a sense of obligation to those who read my blog to continue regardless of what it was doing to me and my life, and I can say now t

Clephas

Clephas

 

Nekogami-sama to, Nanatsuboshi -Imouto no Ane-

As always, I played the one with the catgirls.  lol This VN is a kinetic novel from the makers of Karenai Sekai, Sweet & Tea.  At this point (the third game) the pattern the makers of these games are following has become apparent, though this game is not really on the same level as Karenai Sekai or Kemono Musume.  The protagonist is generally amusing (he is the type that constantly sends conversations off track by saying random crap and then forgetting it ten seconds later), and his sur

Clephas

Clephas

 

Kin'iro Loveriche -Golden Time- [Edited]

First, I should state that I'm avoiding the after stories for now, simply because I'll want to see them for the first time immediately after replaying the original game, rather than over a year after I originally played it, when my memory for details has faded as much as it has right now.  As such, this post will focus on the Ayaka and Mina paths that were added on for this fandisc release. Common Route The common route covers a summary of the events that happened in the first game and

Clephas

Clephas

 

February 2019 Releases

Wow, there are a lot of VNs being released for February this year that aren't nukige... this happens occasionally, but usually it is four or five games.  A few major names got concentrated into this month, as well as a bunch of games by new companies or new subsidiaries.  To be honest, from my point of view, despite the fact that this is my birth month, there isn't much to look forward to.  There is a  new VN in the Shuffle universe here, but with Agobarrier, the universe's father, deceased, I c

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Uso Series (including Full Uso and extra stories)

The Uso series is the original series of kinetic novels made by Campus based in a school campus where magic and mundane exist in parallel.  The protagonist of the Uso series, Sakurai Souichirou, is the head of the Cat's Hand Club, which is a jack-of-all-trades club that will take on just about any request, as long as the individual is willing to pay the price.  However, that is merely the open face of the club, which has the purpose of gathering magical energy from the emotions of those whose re

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Shoujo to Toshi no Sa, Futamawari

For those of you who are curious, I played this VN on a request from an old friend who wanted an opinion before he bought it (I already had the game, just hadn't opened it).  This game is relatively short, being a kinetic novel, but that doesn't detract from the experience at all, at least in my eyes. Now, I was skeptical about the concept of a VN focused on romance between a middle-aged guy and a girl in school... for one thing, it is a theme that has been mostly avoided like the plague ou

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Eien no Aselia

I recently got the impulse to go back and replay Eien no Aselia, which sat at the top (mostly by inertia and alphanumeric reasons) of my vndb votes for so long.  Eien no Aselia was one of the final games I played in English before I took the dive into Japanese untranslated VNs, and I hadn't replayed it since, though I played Seinarukana within a year of entering the labyrinth. Eien no Aselia is one of those few 'oldies' I found hadn't lost anything vital in the years since I last played it.

Clephas

Clephas

 

Sakura, Moyu. -As the Night's, Reincarnation-

Sakura, Moyu is the latest game by Favorite, the producers of Hoshimemo and the Irotoridori series.  For those who aren't yet familiar with Favorite, I should tell you that there are three things this company is known for.  For one, they produce first-class 'nakige' in a unique style full of pastel colors and manipulation of visual and narrative perspectives.  Second, they are known for their excellent stories and characters, regardless of which writer they have on the job.  Last of all, they ar

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Venus Blood Hypno

Venus Blood Hypno is by far my favorite Venus Blood game.  There are a number of obvious reasons.  The story itself is the deepest and most interesting, it is emotionally powerful, and, if you follow the Law route, it is possible to avoid sexual corruption issues entirely. However, the true reason I love this game is because of Leonhardt and Anora. Leonhardt and Anora have one of the most powerful, deepest relationships I've seen in any type of VN, ever.  The emotional bonds between th

Clephas

Clephas

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