Infodumping. It's an aspect in VN that I usually don't like, but put up with it from time to time. If the lore described in the infodump is interesting, however, I usually don't mind, which is why Fate/Stay Night and Muv-Luv Alternative usually get a pass from me.
This time, however, there's a combination of factors that makes Aoishiro's infodumping far more tedious than others. Yes, the untranslated encyclopedia is one of the main factors, and a key factor in fact, since it would be more convenient and the reading experience more comfortable if I have an in-game encyclopedia to refer to. The poor translation of the dialogue is also another factor, since there were many spelling and syntax errors, making the awkward dialogue cumbersome to read and difficult to make out its meaning. This isn't much of a problem if your dialogue involves everyday slice-of-life conversations, but obviously, this isn't the case, since it involves very heavy use of unfamiliar folklore jargon and names.
But more than that, I guess it's also all the Japanese folklore stuff... I don't really find ancient folklore enjoyable or interesting. I don't even like western medieval folklore, and Asian ancient folklore certainly puts me off far more than western ones, despite being an Asian myself. Sigh. Sci-fi jargon is just far more interesting, which is why I also put up with Ever17. Fantasy elements, not my cup of tea. And then there's all this kendo jargon I have to sift through too. What pain...
To put it in another way, I don't really enjoy reading a story that I don't comprehend, which is why I also don't enjoy mysteries and complicated stories delving into philosophical musings and whatnot. It's just a pain to bother understanding what the hell they're talking about. At least with mysteries, everything is explained in the end. In this case, nothing can be explained because nothing is translated in the encyclopedia.
While that's not an inherent flaw of the VN itself, and more to do with the translation (or lack thereof)... mendokusai. Truly mendokusai. Pain in the ass. I kept finding myself Googling terms that I don't know about every hour or two. It's truly an unpleasant reading experience.
Man, Swan Song might not have choices, but at least it doesn't force me to Google what some ancient foreign figure from another country had done 800,000 years ago or whatever. Sigh. Who the hell cares...
The only saving grace, aside from its occasionally interesting branching routes, is Momoko keeping things light with her goofy shenanigans, allowing the more traditional slice-of-life drama to flow in. Everything else thus far is boring, a freaking chore, and a pain to read through.
Chances of dropping Aoishiro is very likely, with the odds increasing by the hour. Such a disappointment. And I had high hopes for it too because of its multiple endings.
I think the key reason this is such a problem is because I wasn't familiarized with the characters before the story dropped me into a sea of infodump. Even Fate/Stay Night bothered to try and get me closer with the characters, maybe even like them as a person before talking about witchery and whatnot. Aoishiro, on the other hand, began its story immediately with a lecture flashback, ended that flashback with another lecture, and then proceeds to dump even more lectures for the next three to four hours of your reading. Jeez... It's like I'm reading a history textbook! What kind of writing is this?