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The Other 4chan VN

Zalor

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Zc7jHIi.png

 

Lesser known than its more popular sister, The Dandelion Girl is another VN that at least started its development by anonymous users on 4chan. And like Katawa Shoujo it's quite good, although very different. And in fact, I think it contrasts quite nicely with Katawa Shoujo.

Katawa Shoujo very intentionally strove to conform to the standard visual novel formula. Hence why it takes place in Japan, in a high school, has branching routes with various heroines, and even included H-scenes. I think the goal of Katawa Shoujo was to make a solid entry in the visual novel landscape within the standards commonly set by the High School romance genre it chose.

The Dandelion Girl on the other hand is not an original story, being an adaptation of a short-story of the same name by Robert F. Young. To me this was a breath of fresh air, as I always welcome VNs that see themselves more as digital books then as games. The early to mid 2000's doujin scene seemed to embrace this mentality a bit with works like Narcissu and True Remembrance, and accordingly the art style of The Dandelion Girl somewhat reminds me of True Remembrance.

In fact as a whole the Kinetic Novel genre/medium seems to be a weird bastard child of VNs that probably would see more success with print novel readers rather than with it's current target demographic of VN readers. Which is probably at least among the reasons that The Dandelion Girl seems to be languishing in relative obscurity. But it is a solid adaptation which really places the reader in the world of the original short story.

Its opening scene where the screen fades into a view of a blue sky with a melancholic piano piece playing in the background creates a strong ambiance which contextualizes the writing quite nicely. Overall the music and visuals do a good job supporting the writing. Never interfering with it by being overly flashy, nor contradicting the mood of the prose. It serves its purpose by distracting your eyes and ears, and allowing your mind to effortlessly focus on the story. And before you know it, you'll be finished with the heart warming tale and left with a cozy feeling inside.

If Katawa Shoujo is nice meal, than The Dandelion Girl is a nice evening snack to accompany your tea.



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It's a nice one for sure. I Kind see it in the same light as other early, notable kinetic EVN –Juniper's Knot, That Cheap and Sacred Thing, some freeware Ebi-Hime projects... Cool short stories that utilize the medium well and tell something meaningful despite their minimalism. It might honestly be my favourite formula, as the large, meandering VNs always lose me a bit over time, even if they are high quality.

Speaking of ebi-hime VNs, I'm really curious what your impression of Lucky me, Lucky You would be. For some reason, I developed an unhealthy obsession with that VN and consider it to be the most underrated one in ebi's catalogue. I'm not sure any other VN author would put out a story like that, but it'd be interesting to see whether a genuine literary buff finds it similarly fresh and thought-provoking. ^^

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1 hour ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

It's a nice one for sure. I Kind see it in the same light as other early, notable kinetic EVN –Juniper's Knot, That Cheap and Sacred Thing, some freeware Ebi-Hime projects... Cool short stories that utilize the medium well and tell something meaningful despite their minimalism. It might honestly be my favourite formula, as the large, meandering VNs always lose me a bit over time, even if they are high quality.

Speaking of ebi-hime VNs, I'm really curious what your impression of Lucky me, Lucky You would be. 

Juniper's Knot really takes me back lol. Doomfest and Dischan was a great combination. I agree a lot that there is something nice and kind of poetic about shorter VNs. They tend to me more to the point and avoid overstaying their welcome. 'Meandering' is the perfect word to describe the bloat that tends to often find itself in longer visual novels (JVNs tend to be the worst perpetrator of this offense too).

As for Lucky me, Lucky You it looks pretty interesting and falls under that nice short length we were just talking about. I'll check it out within this or next week.

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