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Attack on BETA: Junior High Review - Top 10 Best Rated VNs Translated in 2011

After 2010, the next year is 2011 so obviously I'll cover 2011 releases. As for this year, it's still more calm here (Ixrec's debacle with Mangagamer in regard of age and Liar-soft aside) although there's a lot of very good VNs here so it's another interesting years (I remember that when I idly browse TLWiki and suddenly find out that Little Busters patch was released, and back then it's one of highly anticipated VN). The rule is still the same in that there'll be no nukige, BL, and otome here. So let's see what releases that we have for 2011 here below.

10. Katahane (VNDB 7.37)

At first we can see this as GL VN, although turn out that there's male and female relationship so Katahane here is not full GL VN. As for the premise, we have Wakaba who write a play based on a well known history, only that she decided to portray a well known traitor as someone who love his country. Seeing that she would have hard time to search for the actors, she decided to tag along with Cero who have his own business to do the journey. After that they began the journey and along the journey they met new people such as Belle and Angelina, and in the journey they may learn something about the real truth of the history. As for the art, to me Angelina here is good looking and the background is also good as well thanks to minori. Almost forget to add that Katahabe here have multiple MC, and the POV will change a lot. We also will have JAST release this at fall later, and as for the version that they chose they'll release the updates version. Although seeing that apparently there's no new story (They only have new opening and graphic update), I think I can say that Katahane release will be redundant here. Granted that the new opening of Katahane here is not bad, although it's not like the older one is not sufficient here. If anything, at least people can get Katahane legally if JAST really will release it later.

9. Zanmataisei Demonbane aka Deus Machina Demonbane (VNDB 7.42)

The second Nitroplus title to be officially translated after Phantom of Inferno, and also the first Nitroplus title localized by JAST. As for the premise, we have our MC Daijuuji Kuruo who drop his study university and after that he work as private detective with less than ideal income. One day he suddenly got a girl client (Ruri) and turn out that Ruri is the heir of mega conglomerate, and Ruri hire Kurou to find a grimoire because the town face a threat from a villain called group called Black Lodge which consist of Master Therion together with his cadres. When Kurou did his investigation, he stumbled upon a little girl who called herself as Al-Azif aka Al. Suddenly one of Black Lodge cadre goes attacking the town using a giant robot, and obviously Kurou is run away. At least until he stumbled into a giant robot which turned out to be the titular Demonbane and Al urge Kurou to pilot it. Seeing that there's no choice, Kurou board the Demonbane and Al reveal that she able to control Demonbane because she herself is a grimoire called Necronomicon. After ward away the cadre, both of Kurou and Al decided to work together to fight Black Lodge. It's worth to note that there's a lot of Cthulthu element in here, in which it's already prominent with the aforementioned Necronomicon.

8. Shikkoku no Sharnoth -What a Beautiful Tomorrow- (VNDB 7.58)

The second Liar-soft VN to be translated by Amaterasu (ie Ixrec), and also the second 'What a Beautiful' Steampunk VN to be translated as well. As for Sharnoth's setting here unlike Inganock that was a fantasy one and not based on the real life location, this time we're going to have slightly realistic setting with alternative London at 1905 with the dark sky thanks to smoke and all. Sharnoth here is also notable with our MC here in which it's a female one and that her name is Mary Clarissa Christie, or in her real life she's more well known as Agatha Christie. Of course seeing that it's Steampunk VN we wouldn't see on how Mary brainstorming the idea for her detective novels, but instead we'll see on how suddenly she trapped in another world that was infested by monster and on how she'll need to constantly escape from the monsters with a help from a mysterious man called M who is quite enigmatic himself in that he might be connected to the monsters. This VN is also notable for the translation, in that it's using British English which only logical seeing that the setting is in London. Also like other Steampunk VN, Sakurai here is still like to write Strictly Formula so you need to prepare for that. Almost forget that like Inganock, Sharnoth also already have Full Voice version already translated as well.

7. Corpse Party BloodCovered (VNDB 7.67)

As for this VN, it's too bad that only PSP version that have well known seiyuu while for PC version we have less known seiyuu. I guess they also need to deal with the license cost as well if they want to port PSP voice so there's not much that we can do, and besides the rereleased PC version did have missing chapter that was unavailable at the PC anyway so the PC version is more or less better feature wise. Anyway the premise here is we have a bunch of high school student did tell the scary stories to each other, and scaring one of them to a degree. When they abut to going home, suddenly a mysterious earthquake strike and suddenly the students find themselves at a ruin of an elementary school. To make it worse, turned out that there's some ghost who sought the revenge and she'll kill the students. So there's no choice for the students other than try to survive and hopefully escape from the ruin, which easier said than done. Almost forget that this is horror VN in case you didn't catch it from the title, and that it was created by RPGMaker so you'll see some sprite movement in the VN (You may reminded older SNES RPG if you see the sprite). Apparently Corpse Party here is quite popular, so much that it spawn several sequel so good for the creator there.

6. Galaxy Angel Eternal Lover (VNDB 7.71)

I'll talk about both of Moonlit Lover and Eternal Lover (Or you may treat those two as the first and second fandiscs for Galaxy Angel respectively) here, because both of those were released at the same year by Aroduc (So obviously we still have the same RTS gameplay). In Moonlit Lover, Tact was clearing the remaining prince's rebellion and more importantly gaining new member of the Angel Troupe Chitose (Who was butchered in the anime adaptation). As for Eternal Lover here, our Tact here will face the of a new enemies that was more dangerous compared to the previous villains. For the routes, in here Tact will chose one heroine and the heroine will be Tact's partner throughout the VN so no harem route. As for the route selection here, while it have flaw in that all the routes is the same save for some routes exclusive scenes, actually I prefer Galaxy Angel approach when it come to the trilogy so at least it can be consistent here (Which is what Grisaia trilogy lack). For the design, once again it remind me of some magical girl group in which apparently Kawamura (YPC5 duology, SmPC, and HugPC character designer) realized as well, so much that apparently she design some of her PreCures based on Galaxy Angel heroines (It's just assumption for now though, although it might be surprisingly true).

5. Kara no Shoujo (VNDB 8.06)

Back at 2010, a group that translate this VN at TL Wiki got C&D notice from Innocent Grey. One year later, the group got confirmation that Innocent Grey would willingly work together with Mangagamer to localized Kara no Shoujo. Although too bad though that the release did have problem, namely the voices is missing because apparently it's too costly to add. At least there's fan patch to alleviate the problem, and sometimes later Mangagamer did rerelease this with the voices available. As for the premise, it's quite depressing with our Reiji face his wife's death at the hand of crazy serial killer. One day, he accept a request from a mysterious girl that asked him to find her true self. After that, he also accepted two jobs in regard of a disturbing serial killing and the disappearence of all girl school students, so Reiji decided to work as the teacher while at the same time investigate the serial killing case. At the school Reiji met the mysterious girl who then introduce herself as Kikuchi Touko, and then two of them become friends despite the difference in age. As for the ending, seeing that we already knew that Reiji was down at the beginning of the sequel (Kara no Shoujo 2), it should be obvious that this VN ended on a bitter note so poor Reiji can't catch a break in misfortune here (Hopefully his end will be better in Kara no Shoujo 3).

4. Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo YU-NO (VNDB 8.43)

Graphically wise I prefer the graphic from the older version of this sci-fi VN, because at least it's not as bad as When They Cry original graphic. I understand though if some people did prefer the newer graphic and that they wait for the remake to be released at October 1st later, although it's not like it's necessary to get the remake if you already content with the older graphic seeing that the gameplay did have almost zero change. As for the premise, we have our MC Takuya who one day before the summer vacation Takuya got a mysterious package which a mysterious device from his late father. Seeing that there's something fishy behind it, Takuya decided to investigate it and hopefully will be able to untangled the mystery behind it. I also like to note that both of the director and composer of YU-NO were already passed away (My condolence to both of them), so obviously there's no way that we can get the new story from the original creator in the remake. As for the remake, while I didn't agree with the seiyuu change in that there's no 17 years old step mother heroine in the remake (Kikuko Inoue did provide Ayumi's voice at the older version, and Ayumi here is Takuya's step mother) even though there's might be a valid reason for that (Such as the contract matter), I still agree that the new opening is quite good so I'll post it below.

3. Little Busters (VNDB 8.59)

In his childhood Riki (The MC) lost his parents, and one day a cool boy (Kyousuke) ask him to join his gang and introduce the gang as Little Busters. From there our Riki was enjoying his days together with his friends up until the high school, and one day Kyousuke decided to do baseball. Seeing that Little Busters only have five members and baseball team need nine people, it's up to Riki for searching the rest of the member which consist of the heroines. Of course seeing that it's KEY VN, nothing as happy as it looks even though there's a lot of funny moments in the common route. We also have this rereleased back at 2017, although in this case it's not as redundant as previous examples seeing that the new release did add the additional routes that was available in the 18+ version (Originally Little Busters is all age VN). Granted that the rerelease version didn't have sex scenes, but it's not like it's a big loss anyway seeing that it's KEY VN and we know on how incompatible KEY VN with the sex scenes. I also like to note that Kyousuke seiyuu here is Midorikawa Hikaru, and his roles is usually handsome man. One thing for sure Kyousuke here is surely almost as cool and handsome as Sakamoto (Same seiyuu), so much that some people lauded him as the main heroine even though he's obviously male.

2. Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru (VNDB 8.78)

I know that Umineko's ending here was not quite satisfying for majority of the people, although it's very surprising to see though on how harsh the score was dropping in Erogamescape for EP8 alone (At 58 average score compared to the previous EPs which usually at around more than 80 average score). What I can say is that at least the ending is not as inconclusive as Remember11, and that there's the manga which solve the remaining mystery of Umineko here. The premise here is simple though, in that it continuing Battler struggle with his family murder, only this time he got some new perspective from the witch's side along with the arrival of new antagonists. For comparison with Higurashi, there's a reason on why Chiru here is called as Core arc instead of Kai which is called as Answer arc, because there's no clear cut answer in Umineko and that the reader must figure out the answer by themselves. As for the anime, DEEN only adapted the first part which obviously left the anime inconclusive so much people call it bad adaptation. Mangagamer was also rereleased this as well, but it's a redundant one anyway seeing that we already can play this with PS3 graphic and voices as well.

1. Muv-Luv Alternative (VNDB 9.14)

One day Takeru was suddenly find themselves go back to the time before the whole world was destroyed, and that he remember the world that he was in was invaded by the scary alien (BETA) leaving the Earth population to only a billion. Seeing that there's no choice, he decided to go to the military base in his town and use his past knowledge to fix the problem. In case you have the hard time to understand the premise, all of that was happened in the prequel (Muv Luv) so it's necessary to play the prequel to understand the premise (If you're not spoiled) in which it might be very time consuming. But it's worth it though seeing that Alternative here is the best VN that currently was ranked first in Bayesian score at VNDB, and it's also very well received in Japan seeing that very well known Attack on Titan franchise was inspired by this. We also have this rereleased back at 2017 in that it's a redundant one unless you prefer the newer translation, although at least it have Gallery menu in that somehow age manage to forget to put that on the older version. Speaking about age, honestly I mind it very much that age was milking Muv Luv too much and that they can only make VN that was pretty much a fandiscs of Alternative. Although seeing that there's a lot of bankrupt VN companies, perhaps it's the smartest strategy to survive.

That's all for my 2011 list, and in this year we have JAST being more active with Demonbane release here. As for the next list, I'll combined both of 2013 and 2014 lists seeing that some releases did overlapped between those two years. I hope that you'll like my list here.

PS - For the title, I decided to parodied yet another Attack on Titan spin-off seeing that Alternative here is the VN that inspired Attack on Titan writer (Ishiyama Hajime), and this time it's 'Attack on Titan: Junior High'. I know that it would be more fitting to use 'High School' here, although we already have high school setting at original Muv Luv anyway. So instead I decided to just change 'Titan' to 'BETA' in the original title for a very obvious reason, which somehow still fitting anyway seeing that one of Corpse Party main characters is a junior high student.

Edited by littleshogun


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