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VN of the Month January 2009 - Amber Quartz

kivandopulus

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Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai - Under the Innocent Sky. and Amber Quartz are the only masterpieces this month. I'm reviewing the latter. micchi has all the same titles, plus some delayed and one nukige.

1. Saiki Kanpatsu Saishoku Kenbi no Kimi-tachi e 才気煥発才色兼備の君たちへ [090122] Applique -Imouto-
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There are two schools adjoining each other. They are big rivals and often have a fight. In the schools, there are four girls admired by other students. Though they have special ability, they are a little bit peculiar. The main character is Yuki. He has an old friend, Nanatsu, who is one of the admired four girls. "I'll become prime minister in the near future!" "Oh, you're great." He gets involved in various troubles, but he enjoys his school life with his positive personality...
It's a school story that lacks excitement. Game tries to be a moege, but heroines are just not likeable. Heroines are proactive while protagonist hardly shows signs of existence.

 

2. Amber Quartz アンバークォーツ [090123] Cotton Soft
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There used to be a group of friends. They really trusted each other and their relationship never seemed to end. However, they gradually split up as time passed. Seven years later, Subaru now enjoys his school life with his friends and classmates. But when his old friends appear in front of him, his old memories come back...
Despite appearances, it's actually a battle game that supposedly has references to Reconquista, so I'm sold here for review.

 

3. Kikouyoku Senki Tenkuu no Yumina 輝光翼戦記 天空のユミナ [090123] Eternal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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"The Student Council Election is your only hope. Fight, win, and change your destiny!"
Midorishita Yumina is a junior at the prestigious Jinbu Academy. Far from being a model student, Yumina skirts the precarious line between barely passing and failing hard. One day, a young man named Akashima Ayumu transfers into her class. Ayumu claims to have been sent by his father, an eccentric and possibly delusional man who ordered Ayumu to find and protect Yumina, whom he believes will one day save the universe.
Ayumu and Yumina are at odds from the moment they first meet. They bicker endlessly, day after day, until finally Yumina goes too far and starts a fight just before a critical test. Her failure dooms her to repeat the year.
But just when it seems all hope is lost, a mysterious girl named Kurokawa Kirara appears and invites Yumina to run for Student Council President.
According to Kirara, whoever wins an Election War and becomes President will have the power to change any school rule he or she likes. Realizing that this is her only hope of becoming a senior, Yumina agrees to join the race, and drags Ayumu along for the ride!
Thus begins an epic tale of love and friendship in which youthful passions run high and debates shake the foundation of the heavens.
Who will emerge victorious!?
RPG is localized and has English reviews.

 

4. Kokoro Hokenshitsu ~Kimi to Naisho no Counseling~ ココロ保健室~キミとナイショのカウンセリング~ [090123] Custard
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There is a boarding school in the town. It is well-known as a prestige school, but most of the students have complicating family problems. Yes, the school was actually founded by the government for those students. One day, a transfer student comes to the school. He is quiet and polite, so he soon becomes friends with other classmates. As a matter of fact, he is an efficient counselor sent by the board of education. He acts as a student outwardly, but he secretly starts counseling to the girls in trouble....
It's actually a concealed nukige since first choice leads both to choosing a girl and H scene with her. Very simple approach.

 

5. Mystereet ~Other Side of Church~ミステリート~アザーサイド・オブ・チャーチ~ [090123] Abel Software
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Akito, who has a special ability, is in pursuit of Rei, a mysterious girl. One day, he is told a shocking fact from a mysterious thief called Sapphire and he decides to work with him. Sayaka, a private detective, also joins them and they try to solve a huge mystery and find another fact...
It's another mystery solving game in Mystreet universe to such an extent that full picture won't be understood without playing Fukagyaku Sekai no Tantei Shinshi.

 

6. Tokino Senkaトキノ戦華 [090123] Studio e.go!
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Tokiwakoku. It is located at the southern edge of Toki no Kuni. They are now at war against Honohara no Kuni. Honohara just tries to get a precious stone called Tokigane, which exists only three in the world. Princess Ruri owns one of them, Soun, king of Honohara, also has it, and the last one is now missing. Soun tries to collect all of them to prove himself as a unifier of the continent. Most of the territory of Tokiwakoku is invaded by Honohara and the main base is about to be destroyed. Their one and only hope is Tokigane Ruri owns because there is a local legend that the stone will save the country when it is in danger. When she uses it, a convulsion of nature happens and a boy appears in front of them. "I don't know. I don't remember anything except for my name, Hayato." Like this, Hayato's battle starts...
RTS

 

7. Akimaho!あきまほ! [090130] Klein
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Кazumi lives near Akihabara. One day, he gets involved in an accident and becomes a magical girl!? His mission is to save Akihabara?! This is a story of love and courage in Akihabara...
It is a doujin level game about flirting in Akihabara. Weird bakage about otaku culture appeal.

 

8. Maou to Odore! 2 ~Change of the World~魔王と踊れ!2~change of the world~ [090130] catwalk
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There is Libfar Kingdom located at the center of the continent. It is a small country surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains. The country is between two big countries, but they keep balance and peace using clever diplomacy. The main character is Soron, a soldier of Libfar. He is an old friend of Marie, a princess. He is not satisfied with his life recently. "Am I on the right track?" He decides to leave the country and go on a journey. But one day, an evil religious group invades Libfar. Soron tries to stop it with Marie...
RPG

 

9. Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai - Under the Innocent Sky.俺たちに翼はない ―――under the innocent sky. [090130] Navel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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This might just be a "what if" but,
A certain day, Gretagard's pure white sky was overrun by winged ones.
Now, the sky extends just about anywhere and everywhere, right?
So no matter how far you run, you can't escape those white wings of theirs.
And that's why the people without wings went looking for a sky of their own.
Their prayers were listened, and they are now listening to "Jingle Bells" in a calm country---
This might just be a "what if" but,
What we will tell you about now, is such a fairy-tale.
There are English reviews.

 

10. Pygmalion ~The Dark Romance~  [090130] Stronger 1 
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Johann, a doll artist, lost his fiancee, Gulietta, due to illness. He is now extremely depressed and stays in his studio all day. In the studio, he secretly creates a doll... that resembles his deceased fiancee, Gulietta. However, the doll never heals his sorrow.... "I'll give anything if someone gives life to this doll!" A girl, Bell, suddenly appears in front of him and says, "I'll do it for you. However, you'll need to give me "the ties of friendship with your friends" in return." He has nothing to lose. He doesn't care what will happen to the world as long as Gulietta comes back.... Like this, a tragic rondo starts now....
There is an English review.

 

11. Shukufuku no Campanella 祝福のカンパネラ [090130] Windmill Oasis 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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The story takes place in Ert'Aria. The city is called "the city of treasures" and people are now busy preparing for a harvest festival. There is a mysterious power called Ale. If you gather Ale and crystallize it, it turns into a jewel. Once in every seven years, the harvest of Ale increases. The main character is Leicester. He is an item engineer and belongs to an adventurer group called Oasis. He also looks forward to the festival. A group of shooting stars fill in the sky in the year when the harvest of Ale increases. Yes, today is the day. Carina, Leicester's old friend, can't wait for it, so she takes him out into the town. At night, when Leicester and his friends have a party, a shooting star comes towards them! It passes them and falls down nearby. They rush to the venue and find a secret room. The room is filled with mysterious atmosphere and a girl sleeps in the bed. When Leicester looks at her face, she wakes up and says, "Oh, you're my father!" Her name is Minette and she leads Leicester and his friends to an adventure...
There are English reviews.

 

12. Suzunone Seven!スズノネセブン! [090130] Clochette 1 2 
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There is a prestige school called Suzunone Magic School in the world where magic is established as one of the energies. However, the school has some dropout students. The worst seven students are forced to take part in a studying camp called Suzunone Trial. They take exams and they will be dismissed from school if they fail. It's time to decide the worst seven again...
There is an English review.
 
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1. Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel ~Maboroshi no Shoujo~ 快盗天使ツインエンジェル ~幻の少女~  [090101] Kuroneko-san Team 1
Cheerful and energetic, but sloppy childhood friend Haruka and young lady Aoi transform into twin angel thieves of justice at night to regain precious stolen treasure.
Fandisc
 
2. Mikuri Makuri みくりまくり [090123] Hooksoft
Fandisc of Fairly Life focusing on the heroine Takaoka Miku.
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3. Heileen: A Trip to Bavaria  [090129] Tycoon Games
Heileen: A Trip To Bavaria tells the story of a trip Heileen did for her 16th birthday to a small village in Bavaria.
There she will met Magdalene and they will become very good friends, but… what are Magdalene's real intentions?
EVN


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Not reviewing OreTsuba is probably for the best, since it doesn't seem like your type of VN at all (focus on character interactions, very little plot). Yumina The Ethereal is probably the VN i overrate the most, but i still consider it a classic for having the greatest approach to multiple routes i've ever seen on a VN-JRPG hybrid.

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OreTsuba almost certainly gets into the end of the year poll as untranslated skipped masterpiece (unless there are over 5 skipped masterpieces that are all more suitable for me), so there is still a solid chance to witness its appeal for me. Looking back at poll history, main consideration is not my feelings, but something that would make a nice video to watch sometime. That's totally fine, I'm just somewhat stressed about finding remotely praising words for that extra review.

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Suzunone Seven was the first of Clochette's good oppai charage and still considered a classic by many readers.  Having replayed it last year, I can say it has aged well, and while the story isn't great, I liked the protagonist well enough.

 

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I see that we started to get more well known VNs, so let me comment on what I can say in regard of January 2009 although I only know three works though.

Yumina - Both of Ayumu and Yumina resembled Kazuma (Bonus point for same VA) and Aqua respectively, Kirara here is the exact opposite of Darkness, and Ai didn't have Explosion as her attack skill. Yeah half of the quartet did resemble Konosuba party, and that they have a lot of comedic moment. The premise itself is quite absurd in that we'll going to have tournament in order to chose student council president, with the debate must be done through fighting using sci-fi technology and that the voters chose which candidate that have more convincing argument (Or in this case the winner of the fight). Of course you'll obviously not going to assembled the debate material, but instead the quartet must go through dungeon to grind or take care of opposing campaign party by fought them (Well this is a gameplay VN). There's also the second part which to say quite hidden for first time player, and let's just say with Yumina ability to sing remind me of Macross which is an anime that been famous with the insert songs in the middle of space fight. Forgot to say that it's been available in English and JAST is the one who publish the English version.

Shukufuku no Campanella - Apparently RPG like VN, although I don't exactly know on how the gameplay goes though. I did try to search about this VN on Youtube, only to find out that it only have anime video which to say apparently quite mediocre. As for Windmill themselves, I guess it's easy to say that their specialty is moege/charage with unique setting as shown with this, Witch's Garden, Sakura Celebration, HHG, and Hatsukoi Sankaime, which to say quite charming on it's own so I hope that we can see more of their VNs in English. That said, it's just too bad that three of their VNs are under Sol Press in that they still search the employee for HHG and Witch's Garden, so we need to wait before the release in English. Campanella here is also have it's trial translated, and the translator said that he'll considering the full version translation if many people ask him to translate Campanella.

Oretsuba - One of two more well-rated Navel VNs series, and speaking about Navel it's just too bad that we got the weaker series (Shuffle) in English instead of this and Tsukiyori. That said, I won't deny though that I can know more VN thanks to my experience playing and finishing Shuffle (I even did open the Gamefaqs because I always stuck at Kaede's route while I want to get Primula's route, and turned out I need to finish Nerine's route first). As for Oretsuba, I did hear that there's a lot of praise on how the writer (Ou Jackson) manage to write very interesting character developments and that Moogy did classify this as being hard to translate. It's hard to talk about the spoiler here even though I know the deal behind this, so let me just say that Oretsuba is definitely not a harem VN lol. Nishitama art here also show that she can't jump out of her character drawing, although I didn't remember that I have much problem with her art back at Shuffle. Lastly I hope that we can see this being translated, even though it's impossible seeing that Navel did separate themselves from Mangagamer and this is one of their well known series.

That's all for what I can comment in regard of January 2009 VN releases.

Edited by littleshogun

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1 hour ago, littleshogun said:

Oretsuba - One of two more well-rated Navel VNs series, and speaking about Navel it's just too bad that we got the weaker series (Shuffle) in English instead of this and Tsukiyori. That said, I won't deny though that I can know more VN thanks to my experience playing and finishing Shuffle (I even did open the Gamefaqs because I always stuck at Kaede's route while I want to get Primula's route, and turned out I need to finish Nerine's route first). As for Oretsuba, I did hear that there's a lot of praise on how the writer (Ou Jackson) manage to write very interesting character developments, and that Moogy did classify this as being hard to translate. It's hard to talk about the spoiler here even though I know the deal behind this, so let me just say that Oretsuba is definitely not a harem VN lol. Nishitama art here also show that she can't jump out of her character drawing, although I didn't remember that I have much problem with her art back at Shuffle. Lastly I hope that we caan see this being translated, even though it's impossible seeing that Navel did separated themselves from Mangagamer and this is one of their well known series.

The thing is that for a proper translation for OreTsuba, the translator would have to do good research on lingo for japanese youth, THEN do good research on lingo for english-speaking youth to keep the same spirit in the dialogue. Unless the translator is an obsessed fan doing a major passion project, he would probably have to request twice the regular pay.

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Then I suppose it'll be very hard to do if someone didn't understand the lingo then, although localizing it may also cause some controversy as well. I doubt that even the obsessed fan would willingly to do this passion project, especially after I see Arunaru did try to request Mangagamer to up his payment in regard of Rance X translation work (From what I know Arunaru himself is Rance's big fan). I guess I shouldn't expect any translation project for Oretsuba then, although it's not like we lack of translated VNs nowadays now that I think about it (At least it's better compared to what kind of translated VNs that we have in the past).

Edited by littleshogun

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