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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

 

Venus Blood Lagoon part 1: Main and Law Route

First, I should note the reasons why I keep playing Venus Blood games, despite not being fond of tentacles in general and rape in particular.   The first reason is that the story and characters in each game have been exceedingly interesting, which is a good enough reason in and of itself.  However, the second reason, and the one that makes this series stand out, is the sheer depth of the gameplay most games in the series since Frontier have displayed. I played Empire and Abyss first, and, t

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN Assesment: Hatsugamai

Hatsugamai (or Soshite Hatsukoi ga Imouto ni Naru) is one of my favorite nakige from the last four years.  Feeling in the need of some emotional catharsis, I finally went back to it a while back, and I was blown away a second time by just how powerful the emotions this game brings out are. First, it should be noted that Alcot Honeycomb, the subsidiary of Alcot that produced this game is known for two things... that it is a low to mid-price and budget company and for the fact that they have

Clephas

Clephas

 

Why I still haven't given up on VNs.

After ten years playing VNs, you would think I would have completely lost faith in them by now, especially considering just how many I've played (744 not counting most of the nukige, replays and incomplete/dropped ones).  Most VNs that aren't nukige are SOL-fests that exist solely to promote nostalgic fantasies about life in high school and getting into bishoujos' pants... not that that is an entirely horrible goal, but it isn't something I want to see five hundred times over. The romance i

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost was the first game in Masada's/Light's 'Shinza series (Paradise Lost>Dies Irae>Kajiri Kamui Kagura).  For the sake of those who read Dies Irae but still don't understand how this universe/setting works, I'll explain it in a spoiler box at the end of the post.  Paradise Lost is based in the ruins of a city once called Sodom, now the Quarantine City, a city full of poisonous miasma that causes death and mutation in its inhabitants, a city sealed from the outside world by a

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: love, Vampire Flowers

This game is on a short list of VNs from 2015 that I am pretty sure I underrated.  As a result, I decided to take a second look at it and see if my impressions changed.  To an extent, they did.  I was much nicer to it this time around, if only because I had better perspective after having taken a few steps back from VNs in general.  This game is focused on the Gardening Club of a Protestant boarding school in Japan.  The protagonist, Haruto (real name Hartviche or something like that) is a

Clephas

Clephas

 

Clephas' 2018 VN recommendations

This is a list of VNs I think are worthy of playing, regardless of my vndb vote (no VN of the Year, since I don't do VN of the Month anymore).  While I haven't been playing much since September, the fact remains that I still played a large number of VNs this year.  Feel free to object, but I have no obligation to listen anymore *whistles cheerfully as he juggles the flaming skulls of those who have opposed him in the past). Fuukan no Grasesta Mirai Radio no Jinkou-bato Haru to Yuk

Clephas

Clephas

 

My new relationship with SOL

If yall haven't guessed (or just read my previous posts) my primary reason for giving up VN of the Month was being buried in SOL... well, that and the fact that playing that many new VNs a month took up too much of my time and left me none for any pursuits beyond work.  My immediate realization afterwards was that I quite simply couldn't play SOL games at all for the first few months.   After years of constant overdosing on saccharine fake romance and meaningless conversations that exist on

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Prism Recollection

Prism Recollection is a more recent release by Clochette, with a less fantastical setting than Kamikaze Explorer's or Suzunone Seven's.  Prism Recollection's setting is in a future Japanese town that is being redeveloped by corporations using it to test cutting-edge technologies and techniques for comprehensive economic redevelopment (as opposed to the piecemeal redevelopment that is normal in most cities).   From the fact that most stores require people to use digital money to the AR holograms

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Kamikaze Explorer

Kamikaze Explorer was the third game from Clochette I played, and even today it remains in my memory as one of the most well-balanced charage/plotge hybrids I've ever played.  I say 'balanced' because most games don't achieve hybridization at all.  Most charage are essentially character development, light romance, and SOL with little else.  Plotge, on the other hand, often tend to go for 'efficiency' on character development, romance, and SOL (exceptions exist), and true hybridization of the gen

Clephas

Clephas

 

Commentary on Hino Wataru's chuunige

Over the last few weeks, I've gone back through all of the chuunige Hino Wataru was responsible for, and I came up with a number of common points that exist in each of his games, that define his overall style.  At the same time, I thought I'd also mention why I usually recommend Comyu to people despite the translation being such a disaster. Hino Wataru patterns Hino Wataru has a number of unique patterns that define his style of writing chuunige (some of it spills over into his SOL gam

Clephas

Clephas

 

Hello, Lady Superior Entelecheia

This is essentially a bundle release of all Hello, Lady related games/scenarios.  As such, normally I wouldn't really see much of a need to go back over it... but there was enough material added here to make it worth a further assessment. Hello, Lady The original game, Hello, Lady, is unchanged from its original version.  That's to say, it is the last truly great Akatsuki Works game.  For those who have never read my long-past review of the game, it occurs during the same time per

Clephas

Clephas

 

Fuukan no Grasesta: Story and final impressions

Now that I've completed the main game, it is time to post about the story... which is the most important part of any VN, hybrid or not. The story begins with Judar Schwarka, a Rovari (race of nomad/barbarians who are the source of prejudice due to their physical attributes) mercenary and his employer, Eutre Hyte, heading out to ambush the supply train of a Telphion Federation army besieging the Belgrad Empire forces in a fortress.  Judar, flat and uninterested in anything except the job, is

Clephas

Clephas

 

Fuukan no Grasesta: gameplay as of Chapter 6

Fuukan no Grasesta is the latest release from Eushully, the company responsible for Kamidori Alchemy Meister and Ikusa Megami Zero.  As I mentioned in my previous post, it is based in a unique fantasy world based off of the idea that a futuristic version of our world got fused with a world of demihumans and gods who granted magic in return for faith.  Fuukan no Grasesta's basic system is that of a dungeon-crawler... with a few twists.  First, the party shares an HP bar, which signals the pa

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

 

The two ways to view the Akagoei series

Akatsuki no Goei is something of an oddball if you ignore the existence of Grisaia, but they share some major traits.  Both have a relatively 'peaceful' (if dramatic) first game that involves romantic paths that are mostly irrelevant to the third game.  Both have a psychologically-scarred, killer protagonist with a criminal past.  Both have a quirky sense of humor that is mostly generated by the protagonist's abnormal actions... I could go on, but I'll move on to my point. The most blatantl

Clephas

Clephas

 

November 2018 Releases

While I won't be playing everything anymore, I thought I'd list here the non-nukige up for release and my impressions based on the Getchu and official pages. Definitely will play Fuukan no Grasesta: https://vndb.org/v23199 This is the latest Eushully game... and it also shares a writer with the last few entries, which were a somewhat mediocre set of games.  As such, my hopes aren't high... but I can't resist playing it.  I mean, the protagonist is a sociopathic mercenary in a city

Clephas

Clephas

 

Clephas' Translated VN recommendations

As you can imagine, I got a lot of requests for a similar list over the years, but the thing is, I don't play VNs in English that didn't start out in English.  As such, my recommendations are based entirely on my experience of the Japanese versions of these VNs, rather than the localization.  As such, don't hold me responsible for your personal experiences, lol.  I'm going to split these by genre so I don't have to answer questions along those lines.  For the purposes of fairness, I won't includ

Clephas

Clephas

 

JRPG: Growlanser IV

The Growlanser series is one of those weird, hardly known jrpg series that died out after the ps2 era (mostly because its gameplay was too traditional, but also because the transition to 2.5D sprites failed so miserably in V and VI, along with the derivative, predictable story).  However, before its death, it produced four first-class games, three of them linked in a single chronology.  IV, also known as Wayfarer of Time, is the exception in the series as a whole, being the only entirely standal

Clephas

Clephas

 

Izuna Zanshinken Analysis [SPOILERS]

For the sake of those who haven't played the game and don't want to be spoiled, I will endeavor to keep the worst spoilers in a spoiler box, but since I can't speak of what I want to speak of without spoiling things, I'm going to say right here that if you read any further, I will spoil things for you to some degree.         First, it needs to be said that I usually present Izuna Zanshinken in a way geared to take the interest of someone without extensive experience of V

Clephas

Clephas

 

An Opinion: Grittiness vs Humanity

This is an opinion that has been a long time in forming, but I am coming around to an opinion that the more simplistic viewpoints I've possessed on the differences between American approaches to storytelling and Japanese ones are somewhat off the mark. Note:  This is a rant, it should be treated as a rant, and if it doesn't make sense to you, that is because it is my brain leaking into text on this blog. First, my original opinion: To put it simply, it was my belief that the Japanese h

Clephas

Clephas

 

Deatte 5-fun wa Ore no Mono! Jikan Teishi to Atropos

The first thing most of you are going to ask is why I didn't play Deep One first, given my tastes... but the answer is fairly simple.  An a-hole spoiled the entire story on the release day to me in a PM on another site, and I read it before I realized what he was doing.  As such, my enthusiasm was dampened to almost nothing, and I'm left feeling listless about everything in general.  The commentary about it all over the untranslated VN community only accelerated its trip to being sealed in my ar

Clephas

Clephas

 

An Assessment of the Silverio Series concept [Spoilers]

First, it should be noted that I love the Silverio series, regardless of its flaws.  I see those flaws, I recognize them, then I shrug as I realize I don't give a flying fart about how the critical part of myself feels.  First, lets consider the two games that have come out (so far, given that the setting is so insanely detailed that it would be sad if they didn't make more games) in the series separately.  Silverio Vendetta Silverio Vendetta follows Zephyr Colerain, an unemployed

Clephas

Clephas

 

Random VN: Meguri, Hitohira part 1

Due to work and other stuff, I hadn't had time to really get into this until recently, and with friday signaling the release of October's list of VNs, at least one of which (Deep One) will play immediately, I felt that it would be fitting to go ahead and give you my initial impression  of the game.  My first impression, after playing through the prologue, was that, while this game is pretty old, it is also very... familiar in an odd way.  At first, I couldn't figure out where that impressio

Clephas

Clephas

 

CharaBration! ~Otome wa Koi shite Charabureru~

Let's be clear... I have no reason to try to be fair to charage anymore.  This might sound like a terrible statement to make, but the fact is, I've been a lot nicer than I wanted to be for years when it came to charage.  I went out of my way to look for positive aspects, and when I found one, I deliberately put it in as positive a light I could without overdoing it.  This was because the sensation I got coming out of most charage was fatigue.  SOL, in small doses, is enjoyable and even relaxing.

Clephas

Clephas

 

Revisiting an old memory

Recently, @Dreamysyu liked one of my older posts, and I felt it was worth revisiting three years later, simply because it has become an even more valid post in light of current events. At the time I wrote this post, I was pretty angry.  Why?  I'd had the misfortune to see several fellow otakus who happened to be female being subtly (and not so subtly) denigrated by other male otakus at a small gathering at a local gaming event.  The girls were obviously enjoying their cosplay (it was a cos

Clephas

Clephas

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