As always, I took a ridiculous amount of time considering candidates for VN of the year, this year.
The final lineup of candidates were:
Bakumatsu Jinchuu Houkoku Resshiden Miburo (I determined that it, to an extent, stands on its own enough to be considered)
Haruru Minamo ni
Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary (lost to Aoi Tori)
Kanojo wa Imouto de Tenshi de (lost to Haruru Minamo ni)
Oni ga Kuru (lost to Kin'iro Loveriche)
Ojou-sama no Hanbun wa Ren'ai de Dekiteimasu (lost to Suisei Ginka)
While those five candidates made it to final consideration, I have to say for the fanboys that I never really seriously considered Kin'iro Loveriche for the final selection once those five candidates popped up. I reviewed my experiences of each VN individually, then compared them in my mind. While Kin'iro Loveriche is an excellent game, it just didn't match several of the other VNs on the list. If I split this into candidates by genre, though, I would consider this the nakige of the year.
Miburo falls off for a different set of reasons... in fact, it probably wouldn't have made it to the finals at all if I wasn't a weaboo and a Japanese history freak. It is good, it is detailed, and the bloodshed is awesome... but if you asked me if its raw quality is at the very top of the list, I would have said 'In another year, maybe.'
Suisei Ginka was a great game. I'll say that before I go through why it failed to make it through the final selection... actually, it just fails to get there because it just isn't good enough. Oh, the story is interesting and enjoyable, but truth be told, Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary was better in its limited battle scenes, and I honestly found the antagonists to be too weak for a chuunige. Great bad ending though.
Haruru Minamo ni is definitely my pick for charage of the year, if Loveriche is nakige of the year, lol. I'll state it outright... no other charage this year got anywhere close to Haruru Minamo ni. That isn't a surprise, because Clochette's formula (if not the boob obsession) is probably the best established one for the genre. However, it just didn't make it there.
VN of the Year 2017
Now, you've probably already figured it out from my explanation above, but Clephas VN of the Year 2017 is Aoi Tori. I probably could have picked any of these in a year with no other equivalent candidates and been satisfied with them as VN of the Year, but, after four 'layers' of consideration (I've been filtering candidates since March last year) this one was the one left over, having barely eked its way past the other VNs above. Any of the VNs that made it past the filter back in December really had VN of the Year levels of quality, which is unusual. 2017 was a good year for quality VNs, even if I didn't choose the one you wanted me to, lol.