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Girls' Tale Review - Top 10 Best Rated Visual Novels Translated in 2020


Quite a crazy year that we have in regard of 2020, especially with pandemic and all here. Anyway just like previous best rated VNs list I'll list what's translated VNs that we have in 2020 here, and the rules are still the same in that I won't list nukige (So no Fanbag Fantasy Sideboob 2 or Escalayer despite the former surprisingly quite well received for a big breast nukige and I like the magical girl aspect from the latter), BL, fandisc (So no Aokana EXTRA1 and Miagete FD), partial translated VNs, censored VNs (None at this year thankfully) and otome VNs. Let's see what kind of VNs that I'll list below, and I'll tell the meaning of the title at PS below. Also I'm sorry if some of your favorite VNs here didn't available in my list, and I know that each of you may think differently on what's the best translated VNs that we have at 2020. For the scoring, it would be based on VNDB average score at July 16th, 2021 and as always both of the score and the rating can be change in the future.

10. IxSHE Tell (VNDB 7.17)

Back at 2018 when Nekonyan was established, one of their announcements is Melty Moment in that they'd plan to release it in 2018. Of course there's a lot of unfortunate circumstances that caused Melty Moment to be delayed, and thus Nekonyan decided to have a talk with Hooksoft in regard of the matter with the result that Nekonyan will released newer Hooksoft's VN. So we have Nekonyan licensed IxSHE Tell, and we have this released back at August. As for the premise, our MC Hajime manage to abolished a century rule that banned romance in the school after his hard work as student council president. As the result, he become very popular so much that the girls want to go out with him. Soon after that, he find himself surrounded between five heroines who obviously want to go out with him as well. Since our Hajime is too busy to think about romance in the past, naturally he's very confused about his new situation so it's up to the player to help her get his love. As for the VN itself, it's purely moege with a lot of comedy scenes so don't expect much story and enjoy the comedy along with the arts which to say is nice looking.

9. Sakura no Mori Dreamers (VNDB 7.41)

I see a lot of critic in regard of Sakuramori here, whether in regard on how the genre (Horror and charage) didn't really mix together or on how the four heroines are really pale in comparison with one heroine that didn't have route for logical reason (Madoka). For the former since the charage portion did happen after the horror portion ended, at least you can treat the charage as the breather after horror portion that took the whole common route. As for the latter, I can only say that it should understandable if one have been play Evangile and it also happen that the writer (Kure) did write one side heroine (Ruriko) is more prominent compared to the four heroines, and obviously Kure did apply his Ruriko writing by making Madoka more prominent. As for the premise, it's about our MC Shinji who's been in grief thanks to a crazy killer did kill his childhood friend Madoka and so he's been in despair. At least until he was invited by a girl (Kureha) in order to help her with fighting the monsters inside the dream in order to protect the city that have the supernatural incidents occur a lot, and so Shinji decided to accept her invitation in order to move on from his loss of Madoka.

8. Robotics Notes (VNDB 7.77)

Science Adventure VN that is quite unfortunate in that it has been compared with Steins Gate so much that people think it's not good, and the staffs here didn't help at all by released the fandisc that has Steins Gate major characters (Daru) as the second MC which indicate that even the staffs themselves didn't have confidence that Robotics Notes can stand on it's own. As for Robotics Notes itself, we have our MC Kaito who's been childhood friend with Akiho. One day in order to avoid the disband of Robot club, Akiho decided to make a big accomplishment by building a giant robot, and of course she decided to enlist Kaito's help who at first is not quite enthusiastic. Some times after that Kaito find some files called Kimijima Report, and the report did contain a plot that involving the whole world which of course would lead into something big as per Science Adventure VN. Curious about the report, Kaito decided to investigate it while at the same time he gather more allies to help Akiho build the robot. The PC version at first didn't have mouse control support which to say is a questionable decision, but thanks to Committee of Zero who released the improvement patch now we can play this using mouse.

7. Senren Banka (VNDB 7.79)

At July 2017 in AX Sekai did announce this along with several other announcements, and of course back then I really hoping that Sekai will deliver it. Only to find out that Sekai didn't do anything on Senren Banka for around 17 months until when Nekonyan did announce this, and from there we've started to see some progress on Senren Banka. Time passed, and back at Valentine Nekonyan did release this after they did release the trial beforehand. As for the premise, we have our MC Masaomi visiting his grandfather village in order to helping out the ryokan. Before going to Ryokan, Masaomi did see a tourist attraction in which there's a katana was stuck in the stone and he did try to pull it. Little did he know back then that he'll broke the katana and thus it created the commotion, with the end result that Masaomi must engaged to the shrine maiden as form of responsibilities. While at first Masaomi didn't like it seeing that the village is basically out of nowhere, it didn't take too long before Masaomi took a liking to the village. By the way while the story in common route is interesting, in the end it's still a charage so don't expect some epic story in Senren Banka here.

6. Riddle Joker (VNDB 7.85)

Back at January last year, Nekonyan did announce this along with (Redundant) Dracu Riot, which to say sort of ironic seeing that mod Clephas did say that Riddle Joker here is very similar to Dracu Riot. As for what I can say in regard of that, at least I can say that I recommend anyone else to read Riddle Joker first if you still waiting for Nekonyan to release Dracu Riot. Also both works did have it's own pro and con, so to each of their own in regard on which VN is better. The premise goes like we have Satoru who've been hide the secret that he's a secret agent and then he got the mission to infiltrate the school that educate the students with super power. Along the mission, he met the student council president Ayase who find out Satoru's secret and turned out Ayase also has a big secret, and her secret is she wore the pad to cover the fact that her breast is quite small. As both of them known each other secret, they started to get closer with each other and naturally there'll be romance between them (Of course Satoru can ended up with other girls beside Ayase). Lastly I can say that it's nice that we can see two translated Yuzusoft VNs in a year, and thus now we have five translated Yuzusoft VNs.

5. Ryuusei World Actor aka Meteor World Actor (VNDB 7.89)

At first Shiravune (Formerly ShiraVN) want to release this on Steam, but for some reason Valve reject it for three time so that we can't see Steam release for it. After the repeated rejections, Shiravune decided to release it on Johren in which it's their own store (Both of Shiravune and Johren are owned by DMM). For the premise, we have our MC Ruka who work as a policeman and that he's been quite infamous within the forces. One day he got a female elf newbie named Claris, and Ruka guide Claris begrudgingly because he was forced to do that by his superior. Other thing to note is that it's first Kinugasa translated work in that it show he can write good comedy along with good setting in which the other races live together with human (One of those is the aforementioned elf), while at the same time he can't write an ending to his own story because he spent too much time on establishing the setting or to put it nicely he prefer to write open ending that some people may like it. I know currently the sequel is in development according to this tweet, but seeing that Kinugasa still wrote open ending even at Akagoei 3 I don't think that Kinugasa won't write the open ending in the sequel.

4. Gekkou no Carnevale (VNDB 7.93)

I must say that I'm quite surprised with this, especially I did know about this three days after the release (The release day was at Christmas). Moreso if I consider that the one who release this was GHS of all people, and naturally people are skeptical about this seeing that his reputation is quite infamous thanks to his (So-called) badly translated Cross Channel. That said even with knowing his past infamy and that the translation of this is apparently not quite well done, I still say that you should read this to either read more Nitroplus VN or check if the translation is really bad as people says. As for the premise of Carnevale, we have Romeo who work as taxi driver and ironically has a bad sense of direction. However, he has a secret in that he's a former member of a mafia and he himself is a werewolf, and that the mafia where he did belong is pursuing him. Along the way, Romeo pick a living doll that didn't have past memories named Anna, and Romeo decided to live together with her. Of course seeing that Romeo did need to fend off his pursuer along with some new enemies, naturally he'll fight some people and thus Carnevale here has fighting scenes.

3. Making Lovers (VNDB 7.99)

Another Smee VN, and it's the 2nd Smee VN that Nekonyan localized after Fureraba. Since it came from same company along with have same writer, Makeover here also has comedy writing like Fureraba and of course Makeover here is just usual moege. As for the premise, we have Kazuma who is a young adult and live alone. Obviously this time the MC here is not a high school student, but instead Kazuma here is already graduated from the college. Even so, the problem is still the same though in that he want to have a girlfriend. In Makeover here we supposed to help Kazuma to get his girlfriend, although this time instead of small talk like at Fureraba you can just chose the heroines by using the choice like usual VN and there's no much choices so you can immediately make Kazuma to have his girlfriend. As for the girlfriend candidates (ie heroines), this time we have five with the candidates are a tsundere former college friend, a high school model, a stepsister, a weather forecast presenter, and a strange neighbor. Nekonyan also plan to localize the FD of this, although as of now there's still no work on the FD because they've been quite busy with handling many other projects.

2. Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi aka YOU and ME and HER: A Love Story (VNDB 8.00)

As for Kimikoi, at first I was surprised on why Nitroplus here like to make the character drawn like a character from the usual moege. At least until one day in which I watch a certain video, and I can say that I like that Nitroplus did go all out step outside their comfort zone by making lighthearted moege. As for the premise, we have our MC Shinichi who has a childhood friend named Miyuki. One day he find a weird girl named Aoi who like to mutter some nonsense terms such as game, heroine, and the like. Of course Shinichi as normal people would pitying her because it mean that she's not normal so Shinichi decided to enlist Miyuki help. Over time, Shinichi, Miyuki, and Aoi become the best friends and as per moege rule both heroines are fall in love with Shinichi. I see that some people did mention that this VN did resemble Doki Doki Literature Club when they play or review Kimikoi, but I would say that they're totally wrong because there's no literature club in Kimikoi here. I also see some people did compare Miyuki with Monika, but I think they're pretty much different with the only similarities are those their name started with M and both names have six letters.

1. Summer Pockets (VNDB 8.47)

The newest KEY work, and it's their big work after Rewrite. As for the VN itself, all of the twists did resemble some of previous KEY VNs twists here and thus it make Summer Pockets quite fit as first KEY VN to play, or perhaps can also be treated as nostalgia for veteran KEY player. As for the translation, at first Alka is the one who handle this, but later Visual Arts decided to localize this and they released this back at February. With Reflection Blue release, Alka decided to work on that and they also decided to reworking the original version translation seeing that they're not satisfied with the official translation. As for the premise, we have Hairi who experienced some unpleasant incident decided to go to the island where his late grandmother did reside in order to recover. From there he'll get introduced with the four girls who one way or another will have the romance with him. Forgot to say that while Summer Pockets twists like KEY past VNs, the main writer here is Niijima Yuu in which it made Summer Pockets as the second work of him that was translated after Majokoi. As for the opening, I'll use the one from the original version because it has nice 2D animation and Reflection Blue keep it anyway.

That's all for my list this year, and as for my honorable mention I'll name Ouka Sabaki, ATRI, Rhapsody, and Iwaihime. Overall for this year I can say that Nekonyan did being aggressive by releasing several interesting title at once, although I guess I can say that Mangagamer is not so bad considering the year that we have here (If anything else I'll look forward to their Musicus release later). Also this year we have Shiravune which as we know is DMM branch, and as for them even though their VNs lineup is not as interesting as Nekonyan yet I'll look forward to see what kind of feat that they'll be able to do in the future. To conclude this, I'll look forward to what both of Nekonyan and Shiravune can do later along with some potential interesting releases at 2021 later.

PS - As for the title, I combined both of the opening song title from both of Makeover (Girls' Carnival) and Summer Pocket (Alkatale), so we have 'Girls' Tale' for the title here.

Edited by littleshogun

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