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VN of the Month January 2017

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Clephas

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This month was almost a no-brainer... while there were some halfway-decent charage releases, there weren't any that made a significant impression.  I'm afraid I don't have time to read Giga's newest half-hearted-but-pretty-looking charage (work is busy) and I haven't actually played any VNs since i finished Ninki Seiyuu last week. 

Silverio Trinity is VN of the Month January 2017.  Normally, I wouldn't name a sequel as VN of the Month, on principle.  However, in this case, the game itself warrants it.  Silverio Trinity is one of those rare sequels I could actually conceive of standing on its own, because even when I extracted my prior knowledge of Silverio Vendetta, I still felt that it was an enormously enjoyable VN.  The only point on which it doesn't stand on its own is in background knowledge about the Esperanto and the Great Apocalypse that is only infodumped in incomplete form in Trinity.  Of course, not having full knowledge of the events at the end of Vendetta's path in Vendetta is a handicap, but not as much of one as it would have been with another game, lol.

For those wondering about VN of the Year 2016, I'm still reviewing the candidates... I've narrowed it down to three potential winners: Tokyo Necro; Karenai Sekai to Owaru Hana; and Amatsutsumi.  The most unlikely of those is probably Amatsutsumi, despite its feels (I knocked Floral Flowlove out of the competition last week).  For those who complained to me about the fact that I'm not considering Senren Banka or Gin'iro Haruka, I actually have solid reasons besides personal tastes... I just don't feel like making a wall of text to explain the precise reasons why Gin'iro isn't in the running and I never really even seriously considered Senren Banka, lol.

Edit: Keep in mind that VN of the Year is the competition I spend the most time on every year, using up a minimum of the first two months of the year each year since I started, lol.  Not to mention that 2016 was one of the best out of the last ten years in terms of high-quality releases (though the ones that weren't high quality tended to be singularly awful). 

List of VN of the Year Winners so far

Hapymaher (2013)

Nanairo Reincarnation (2014)

Kikan Bakumatsu Ibun Last Cavalier (2015)

Again, 2015 is probably the single worst year for VNs out of the last ten, and so Kikan Bakumatsu is actually lower in quality than several releases from both 2014 and 2016, so I almost didn't name a VN of the Year 2015, lol.

 

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Not to mention that 2016 was one of the best out of the last ten years in terms of high-quality releases (though the ones that weren't high quality tended to be singularly awful). 

That's interesting  because I keep hearing everywhere how VNs are getting worse and worse in terms of quality each year. :D  (Same with anime. )

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46 minutes ago, granit said:

That's interesting  because I keep hearing everywhere how VNs are getting worse and worse in terms of quality each year. :D  (Same with anime. )

That's not total BS... with anime in particular that feels like it is the case.  Maybe two or three really interesting anime per season, plus a tendency to leave series incomplete.  With VNs, there is a huge variance from year to year.  2014 was a good year but 2015 was an awful year.  2016 was a great year.  While there is a general decline in quality amongst charage in VNs (the most common type of VN other than nukige), there just happened to be a good number of first-class releases throughout the year.

Also, a lot of the companies that helped make VNs into a popular medium in the first place have gone under in recent years... or have lost key personnel.  Right now, companies are trying to excavate or raise new writing and art staff.  As an example, Propeller's popular writer retired from VNs after Tokyo Babel.  The writer of the Tiny Dungeon series died.  A number of other major names also retired or went on to do other things.  As a result, the number of companies producing first class VNs fell dramatically, particularly in 2015.

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Yeah, I agree about anime. It is more like a commercial to the manga/ln. And that's a working business model there so it will probably not change for a long time. 

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 Right now, companies are trying to excavate or raise new writing and art staff.

So after seeing 2016, do you think there is potential for more and more high quality vns in the future? Because what I keep hearing is that it's only going to get worse.  But in my opinion with that much competition between companies, it's their interest to produce works that stand out and reach a certain degree of quality. So I'm optimistic, but at the same time, when I read on Japanese sites things like  "The last good year for VNs was 2011", then I don't know what to think anymore.^^

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3 hours ago, granit said:

Yeah, I agree about anime. It is more like a commercial to the manga/ln. And that's a working business model there so it will probably not change for a long time. 

So after seeing 2016, do you think there is potential for more and more high quality vns in the future? Because what I keep hearing is that it's only going to get worse.  But in my opinion with that much competition between companies, it's their interest to produce works that stand out and reach a certain degree of quality. So I'm optimistic, but at the same time, when I read on Japanese sites things like  "The last good year for VNs was 2011", then I don't know what to think anymore.^^

mmm... I've seen some good signs, some not so good... With this kind of thing, I like to take the long view.  I'm hoping a new generation of good writers will pop up before the last of the first two generations retire, lol.

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