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Memoria of an Alchemist Review - Top 10 Best Rated Translated VNs at 2012

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littleshogun

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Following my list of translated VNs at 2009, I decided to follow up with 2012 translated VNs list. Also yeah I decided to talk about 2012 first even though I'm supposed to talk about 2010 list, because back at 2012 there's some decline in fan translation and yet there's still no increase from the official release, and I think it might be the best if I'm focused on the hard year first. Regardless the different order here, the rule is still the same in that there's no BL (Togainu no Chi), nukige (Monster Girl Quest 2), otome (The Second Reproduction), and fandisc (Tomoyo After (Sort of)) here. As usual let's see what I can write in regard of 2012 VNs list here.

10. Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru aka Otoboku - Maidens Are Falling for Me! (VNDB 6.94)

Yeah this is the first VN in the list that did get average VNDB score at below 7, and it's because most of the better translated VNs at 2012 did come into the categories that usually I tried to avoid like I said above (Although it's more like my taste though admittedly). As for the premise our MC Mizuho that was voiced was told to attend a school by his late grandfather to fulfill his last wish, in that he want to see his grandson attend the same school as late Mizuho's mother. Of course nothing as simple as it seems because turned out that Mizuho's mother did attend all girl school and that Mizuho is a male, although with the help of his cousin (Mariya) there's no problem at all though seeing that she just do a make up to Mizuho and it fit very perfectly seeing that Mizuho is already have female like appearence. And thus begin Mizuho's adventure in the all girl school in that turned he managed to fool almost all students except for one people (Shion who also act as the other Secret Keeper after Mariya), and that he was adored by all girls as their onee-sama. As for Otoboku here granted it's less popular compared to similar title such as Tsukiyori, but it's very nice to see that we can have VN that have trap MC with the female heroines such as Otoboku here being translated.

9. Never7 -The End of Infinity- (VNDB 7.01)

The last of Infinity trilogy to be translated after Ever17 and Remember11, and out of those three VNs it's the most lighthearted one seeing that this is the first part of the trilogy, so it's understandable if someone find that this VN is more leaned toward moege a la Memories Off in the beginning instead even though there's some mystery that was established at the beginning. Although like other Infinity series, this VN did have Arc Number though and in this case it's 7. As for the premise we have our MC Makoto who was attend an extra seminar at the resort island thanks for him being tardy at the university, and that he saw a dream where he saw a girl was dead at April 6th. After he woke up, he realized that the date was at April 1st so essentially Makoto did have five days to figure whether his dream will be really happen at Aprl 6th or not, and if it would be happen what kind of action that Makoto should take to prevent the tragedy. This work was also mark the first work of Lemnisca, in that back then GundamAce also post this translation project back at TL Wiki. As for my comment here, it would be better if we expect this as moege instead of hardcore sci-fi VN so that we wouldn't be disappointed here, seeing that the sci-fi element only appear at the later part of the VN.

8. Period (VNDB 7.17)

Out of all Littlewitch VNs that were translated, only Period here that did have Japanese place setting or to be exact the place setting was at Nagasaki which is very notable because usually their VN did have European setting (ie Romanesque and Quartett). The other matter is that the art here is not very fitting seeing that Littlewitch's usual artist (Ooyarii Ashito) was in charge of the characters design, and let's just say that his design here is not fitting for the Japanese setting despite being beautiful there (And let's not forget that the characters did have Japanese name while at the same time did have Euorpean look). As for the premise, we have our male MC Mitsuki who supposedly did have a boring life and have been seeing vague disturbing dream. At least until one day when he get the key to the observation (Or to be exact Mitsuki was forced to accept it), and after that he did have his fated encounter that was cause Mitsuki's days become more exciting in that he can date one of the eight heroines here. Anther interesting things to note is that we'll going to have angel heroine here, in that the appearance of the angel here is also one of the plot point here. What I can say is that if you didn't like the story here, at least you can play for the art in which it's quite beautiful.

7. Dengeki Stryker (VNDB 7.33)

This VN is a unique one in that it did have two releases and thus two opening. The premise is goes like we have our MC Yamato who is a big fan of the shounen manga (The title drop), and that he formed his personality in that he have a lot of sense of justice. Although too bad that he always fail to protect his childhood friend Haruna so much that he always feeling down because of that. Nevertheless Haruna was always grateful for what Yamato did and she felt so sad when she must move from Yamato neighborhood, and of course Yamato can't accept that. After Haruna announced her move away, Yamato met with the Memory Collector that willing to grant any wish in exchange for his memories, and seeing that he was still a child he decided to make his wish to become the hero of his favorite manga. Thus Yamato became Stryker Zero and at the same time he must fight the enemy that he was inadvertently bring from the manga.

As for this VN, unlike both of Kira Kira and Deardrops this time Overdrive decided to go with write about cliche shounen superhero story, and it show. As for the release, we have two releases in that first we have Dengeki Stryker with only three routes available, and then we have Chou version in that it expand the story by adding three routes (Two of Chou's route did have dating the antagonist routes). Also since Dengeki Stryker here is more or less created like cliche shounen manga, it's easy to forget that this is eroge as well so it's easy to surprised by the sex scenes (We shouldn't focused on that anyway). As for both of the opening, I must say that Masaki Endou here did the good job for both of those and that those two opening really fit the atmosphere of the VN itself (Hot blooded).

6. Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni - Dai Ichi Ya aka Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni - The First Night (VNDB 7.40)

This time our Ryukishi07 decided to create the novel, and turned out that he didn't managed to achieve satisfactory result for that seeing that it was cancelled. After that he tried to adapt it into the manga as well, only to have it cancelled as well. And thus he decided to create the VN of that, which in turn it's the best version here seeing that it did have music and that (Well 07Expansion VNs always did have good OST). As for the art, while it's still not as good as usual VN at least it's not so bad and that it somehow very fitting. For the premise, we have one bullied girl (Marie) was offered to be the 8th youkai at the school, and that Marie was offered by the titular Higanbana who is one of the youkai. From there we'll see on how Higanbana going through the school that did have seven youkai who ruled over The Seven Mysteries, and eventually knowing more about Higanbana herself. As for the release, the VN was divided into two part and the first part was released back at 2012 while for the second part it was released at 2014. Almost forget to say that Higanbana here is more or less a compilation of the short story so we'll going to have multiple MCs here, although Higanbana here is remain the most important character here (Her title and all).

5. Duel Savior (VNDB 7.41)

One of Aroduc's works, and obviously it'll be a gameplay VN. As for the premise, we have our MC Taiga who is also happen to live alone together with his brocon stepsister Mia. One day after both of them going home from school, Mia find out a mysterious book. After that, both of them were suddenly teleported into another world (Avatar) and then one of the people who summoned them tell Mia that he was chosen as the Savior candidate. Although while it's usual that the male that was always the chosen one, this time the people was confused because there's a rule that the savior is always female. In order to resolve the case, they decided to test Taiga in order to determined whether he really fulfill the the criteria as Savior candidate or not, and turned out that he was passed because he can summon his weapon. From there both of Mia and Taiga attend the Savior school in order to prepare them to save Avatar.

I guess we can say that Duel Savior story here would be amounted to be usual isekai story, which is more unique than it sounds seeing that surprisingly the story where the hero was summoned into another world and gathered the harem is very rare in the VNs while it's pretty abundant in the light novel (I can only recall that the same VN that this kind of story are Aselia, Seinarukana, and Koihime Musou). Another thing to note is that for the gameplay we'll going to have fight game, although the fight is easy to understand though. Also like Baldr Force Duel Savior here did have PS2 port too, and that our Aroduc did work very hard in order to bring PS2 voices and contents into PC version, so you can hear Nabatame and Shizuka Ito voice if you wish (Too bad that there's no 'passionate Hitomi Nabatame-voiced love-making' scenes seeing that Nabatame here is voicing PS2 version). As for PS2 opening, at least it's more fitting compared to Baldr Force PS2 OP.

4. Forest (VNDB 7.55)

As for this VN, instead of usual Sakurai Hikaru who usually write for Liar-soft we have Hoshizora Meteor (His works (Kusarihime) was said to inspired well known VN such as Saya no Uta and Cross Channel), and also this VN is the sixth work of Amaterasu while at the same time third Liar-soft VN to be translated. Also apparently this VN did have a lot of Mind Screw and Metafiction or something like that, so you'll need to think a lot when you play this. Even then you may not understand any of that, because there's no exact answer for the story so you must figure the answer by yourself. That aside, at least I can understand the premise in which it goes like there's a phenomenon called Forest that was started to swallowed up Shinjuku. And then there's five people who somehow was chosen to fight back the phenomenon (The five people themselves are fit Five Man Band trope to a degree) and the way to fight it was through the riddle or something like that. There's also some reference from the popular work such as Winnie the Pooh, Lord of the Ring, and the most obvious of all Alice in Wonderland seeing that we got a mysterious girl called Alice here. Another thing to note is that the sex scenes at this VN might be quite disturbing.

3. Deardrops (VNDB 7.56)

To answer the critic Deardrops's writer here is probably like to write in a dramatic way (Apparently he'll carry his dramatic writing into Bokuten), so we can't exactly fault him for using some of (Not clever) plot device. Even with that in mind I'm still mind of Rimu's route though in that to me it's being redundant, although maybe I'll change my mind if I manage to replay this. As for the premise, we have Shouichi (Our MC) who fall into depression after he injured his arm back at Germany, and seeing that he's a violinist it's very serious matter. One day after he's fascinated with the rock show like Shikanosuke from Kira Kira, he decided to form a band with some eccentric talents including the aforementioned Rimu and straightforward high school girl Riho (Who also the main heroine, and that her route is the central focus of this VN). From there, Shouichi started to find a new passion when he play together with his bandmate, and then pull himself from the depression. As for the VN here, Rimu aside this is another Overdrive VN which mean that this VN have more focus on the music like Kira Kira, although unlike Kira Kira this time Shouichi here is a young adult and that he work at the bar before form the band.

2. Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star- (VNDB 7.86)

The first translation was released by Insem, in which it did contained some minor controversy. Namely that he decided to change Mare's sex scene CG into dolphin which is quite reasonable seeing that Mare is like a child and Australian law (Insem was live in Australia) is strictly banned lolicon, and yet quite questionable (Well it's easy to fix anyway). Fast forward to 2017, Sekai decided to rerelease this by using the new translation that was worked on by Akerou and apparently the translation for that was heavily criticized (Well it's another redundant release by Sekai anyway). Controversy aside, the VN premise was in regard of our MC You (Yeah that's his name) that was move to the town where his aunt live and that he's been at the town when he was a child. One day he decided to go to his childhood place and at the place he met a shinigami (Mare) who somehow resembled his missing childhood friend. From there You decided to investigate the shinigami while at the same time enjoying his school life at the Astronomy Club. Anther two thing to note is that the common route is been criticized as a long one, and that the staffs behind the VN (FAVORITE) was said to take a liking to mysterious loli as shown with Mare here.

1. Kamidori Alchemy Meister (VNDB 8.19)

At first I'd read Taka-jun review on this at 2011 (The review in question), and then I decided to forget abut it seeing that it's still untranslated back then. At least until 2012 when I saw this VN was shown at a certain site as being translated in the morning, and after did some research I find out that back then Aroduc released it quietly. Of course seeing that Aroduc was the one who translated this it mean Kamdori here is a gameplay VN, and a heavy one at that. The premise is that we have our MC Wilfred aka Wil who was abut to take a test to determined whether he'll pass as an alchemist or not, and he passed easily. From there Wil established his workshop, and decided to work very hard in order to make people around him smile. Of course he's not alone at this quest seeing that he need bodyguards, and he'd manage to got three girls as his bodyguards not long after he become the alchemist. Yeah we supposed to not put the focus on the story because Eushully here is more famous as gameplay VN maker, and so far only two Eushully VNs that were being properly translated. As for the gameplay, there's a lot to do but basically this is a strategy RPG with emphasis on selling the items (And you can get game over from losing all of the money).

While there's still some good new releases like above there's fewer fan translation compared to last three years though, although to be fair most of well known VNs back then were already translated and Lemnisca was focused on I/O (Ixrec was also focused in Rewrite). To add more problem on that the official is still no aggressive like nowadays seeing that Sekai was still working together with JAST for releasing School Days, so there's still no much release from Sekai (Duh). Still 2012 here is also important year as well in that it bring Kamidori as the first translated Eushully VN along with the completion of Infinity trilogy after we have both of Ever17 and Remember11 being translated, so yeah it's not a bad year here.

PS - As for the title I decided to add alchemist part from Kamidori into the literal translation of Hoshizora no Memoria (Memoria of a Starry Sky), so we have 'Memoria of an Alchemist' as the title although obviously we wouldn't read the diary of an alchemist here.

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