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Fate/Twilight Revolution Review - Top 10 Best Rated Visual Novels Translated in 2023


littleshogun

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Welcome to my list of best-rated translated visual novels in 2023, with the world back to normal after the pandemic. Of course, we still have several translated VN releases, even though the title is not as big as in several past years. But if anything else, seeing Mahoyo being available on Steam means Type-Moon showed an interest in releasing their translated VN on PC, which is quite interesting. Also, I'm sorry if some of your favorite VNs are not on the list because I may be a bit subjective in making this list. As for the rule, the translation must be considered complete by VNDB as of today, April 8th, 2024, and the score for each VN is the score on VNDB today. Oh yes, I almost forgot to say the scores could change in the future.

For the honorable mention, we have Tamayura Mirai (VNDB 7.46), H2O -Footprints in the Sand- (VNDB 7.34), and Ginka (VNDB 7.28). That's all for the honorable mention of 2023.

10. Kunado Kokuki (VNDB 7.46)

I already guess Purple Software has a plan to add translated Kunado in Steam by reducing the number of sex scenes to almost less than half on either Amatsutsumi or Aoi Tori. This time, Purple Software asked Shiravune to localize the game, which makes Purple Software work with four publishers. Even with fewer sex scenes, Shiravune still cut one route for the Steam version before the release. The setting for Kunado is around 1,000 years in the future, with Tekki (the metal that becomes sentient) roaming across the Earth and attacking humanity. Tekki also caused further problems by corrupting all kinds of metal, so humanity had no choice but to revert the civilization to ancient Japan and reduce their numbers. Even so, the humans didn't give up, so they fought against the strongest Tekki and won after one big war with the loss of the strongest warrior. A hundred days after the big war, the amnesiac man (the MC) who knows the civilization from 1,000 years ago woke up from cryogenic sleep. Seeing that humans didn't have any other skill besides fighting, the amnesiac MC decided to teach the humans the knowledge to rebuild the civilization.

9. Walkure Romanze ~Shoujo Kishi Monogatari~ (VNDB 7.60)

In 2011, Ricotta released Walkure Romanze after being successful with Princess Lover. Like Princess Lover, Walkure Romanze has a high-class setting, although they also add jousting sport. While Ricotta themselves is not as famous as Minato-soft, at least they still manage to get some anime VA to voice the characters in Walkure Romanze, such as Shitaya Noriko and Uchiyama Yumi. Ricotta also did their best on the graphic, which made Walkure get the Best Graphic award from Getchu in 2011. In 2012, a fan was interested in translating Walkure Romanze, although the project was going nowhere, so there's no hope of seeing the translation of Walkure Romanze if not for a 4chan user who decided to work on it back in 2021. After two years of effort, we finally see the full translation patch for Walkure Romanze available in August 2023. For the VN, it's about Takahiro, a prodigy in jousting, although he has an accident that forced him to retire. Even so, he still works on jousting as the begleiter (assistant). Being former athletes, many aspiring jousting athletes want his assistance. So obviously, we're going to see Takahiro help the athletes and see his romance blooming while at it.

8. Anonymous Code (VNDB 7.73)

I admit that initially, I thought MAGES did milk Steins Gate again when they made this, especially with the staff saying it has the same setting as Steins Gate. After I see more of the game, I think at least it's not just blatantly milking Steins Gate. Anonymous Code is the sixth Science Adventure VN, and it had six times rewrites. The premise is the hacker MC, Pollon, says he wants to elope with a cute girl, only to have his friend dismiss him. One day, he saw his imaginary girl, Momo, in danger. Being the nice guy and engaged with Momo in his mind, Pollon tries to save Momo even though it's dangerous. Then, Pollon finds the strange app that allows him to Save and Load. Yes, Save and Load like in the video games. So, Pollon use the app to find a safer way to rescue Momo. After escaping the danger, Pollon finds many dangerous people who want to capture Momo, so Pollon decides to do his best to fight the chaser using the mysterious app. Anonymous Code didn't have character routes, which may be good if someone has a problem with the character routes. It also has the English dub, unlike past Science Adventure VNs, so it has the usual translated video game feel.

7. Clover Day's (VNDB 7.77)

In 2014, Astro wanted to express his love for Clover Day's VN, so he established a translation project for it. Time passed, and it was going well until he had to stop his translation activities in 2018. In 2020, Nekonyan announced this as one of their licenses, with the new translator, Ittaku, working on it. Unfortunately, it was not smooth sailing, seeing Valve decide to ban Clover Day's VN. In 2023, Hikari Field submitted the heavily edited VN to Valve, and they finally accepted it. Afterward, Nekonyan released Clover Day's VN in August 2023. The setting in Clover Day's VN is nothing special, especially if we compare it to the other Alcot VNs, such as My Girlfriend is the President or Tokyo Hero Project. The premise is about Yuuto, a half-Japanese who spent his time in an orphanage in England. One day, a businessman from Japan picked Yuuto as his stepson. At first, Yuuto had difficulties getting along with the other children, but then he managed to do so. Ten years after Yuuto came to Japan, Yuuto started to experience romance with one of his childhood friends. I forgot to mention the staff showed their interest in twin heroines, with four heroines being two pairs of twin siblings.

6. Nukige Mitai na Shima ni Sunderu Watashi wa Dou Surya Ii Desu ka? (VNDB 7.93)

Back in 2020, Nukitashi was almost ready to be released in English, only for the chance to blow up thanks to the publisher issue. Thankfully, Shiravune did pick this title, and now we managed to have Nukitashi in English. It's also worth noting that Shiravune cut most of the content for the Steam version, resulting in the Steam version having less than an hour of gameplay, which is quite extreme but understandable if we see how Valve banning works. In Nukitashi, we have the MC Junnosuke return to his hometown in Seiran. When he came back, he saw his hometown turned from a backwater town into a sex paradise thanks to the law that allow people to have sex whenever they want. While this sounds good on paper, he feels that there's something wrong with the state of his hometown, especially when it becomes a police state with civil servants forcing people to have sex. To fight back against the situation, Junnosuke revolts against the system while backed by a mysterious sponsor. As it turned out, Nukitashi's focus is not really on sex like the title suggests (nukige meant sex-focused VN), but instead on the deconstruction of the setting that allows the people to have sex as much as possible.

5. Tokyo Necro (VNDB 8.01)

After Muramasa and Totono, in 2016, Nitroplus released Tokyo Necro with them experimenting with it, notably showing the fight in 3D animation. In Tokyo Necro, the world in 2199 facing the second Ice Age and still reeling from the most terrible war. As if the situation is not bad enough, there are living dead (also known as zombies) roaming in the open, and some people capable of making the zombies do their bidding called Necromancers. Thus, we had two protagonists, Souun and Ethica, working hard fighting the zombies. Even though both are capable of combating the living dead and have an interest in women, both have many differences, such as fighting style, personalities, and gender (Souun is male while Ethica is female). One day, Souun and Ethica do a mission to rescue the VIP person kidnapped by one of the Necromancers. After fighting against the Necromancer, Souun finds the mysterious girl who forgot everything except her name, Ilia. Afterward, both Souun and Ethica started to search for information about Ilia while investigating more about the Necromancer they fought. Eventually, their investigation uncovered multiple secrets connected to Ilia and the world around them.

4. Tsui no Stella (VNDB 8.23)

Tsui no Stella is one of KEY VN. For information, while their more famous work is quite lengthy, they also like to make several short VNs, with those VNs usually having robot characters (a trend they started way back in 2004 with Planetarian). This work is not different from those short VN, with the single heroine, Philia, being an android. The premise for Tsui no Stella is Jude, the MC, is the Courier who worked a dangerous job as the delivery man to deliver the cargo. As for why the job is a dangerous one, it's because Jude lives in a world where humanity is almost extinct with the machines roaming around. One day, Jude received a request to deliver some unusual cargo, and that cargo was Philia, an android who is not hostile to humans. After Jude met with Philia, Philia decided to ask Jude to escort her to the place where she could turn into a human. Seeing no choice, Jude decided to deliver her to her goal. In the journey, Jude and Philia develop their relationship, although in this case, it would be like father and daughter rather than in a romantic sense. The writer for this VN is Tanaka Romeo, who also wrote one of the long KEY VNs, Rewrite. 

3. Meikei no Lupercalia (VNDB 8.24)

In the past, I saw a post about voice acting in Lupercalia, so I read the post. Of course, I did hear the sample of the voice acting, and the VA went all out to voicing the character (said character is supposed to be the best actress in the setting, Orihara Hyouko). With good voice acting, I did think it could be good to have it translated, although I knew the chance back then was almost none unless a publisher somehow decided to pick the license. However, one fan decided to take the job of translating the VN alone. After months of hard work, he released the English version with the English title Lupercalia of the Silent Accord. In Lupercalia, we have Tamaki, formerly a child theater actor who quit acting, invited to see Lampyris Troupe performing Hamlet. Curious, he watched it and found out the performance was good. Afterward, Tamaki tried to enter the troupe with his childhood friend, Futaba, only to find out they must pass a test. Seeing Tamaki still has cold feet from acting, he took the director's role to direct Futaba's first play. For the VN itself, there'll be some harsh stories about the theatre and how it'll affect the people in it, with some having tragic ends.

2. Rance IX - Helman Kakumei (VNDB 8.29)

Unlike when there was an 11-year gap between Sengoku Rance and Rance Quest English version releases, we only have a two-year gap between Rance Quest and Rance IX releases, so good job for Mangagamer. For Rance IX's premise, our selfish Rance goes to Helman to seek the secret item in Helman's Royal Treasure. However, seeing Helman is in turmoil, there's no way for Rance to get it. Enter Patton, the former prince of Helman, asking for help from Rance to start the revolutionary army. Rance agrees with some conditions that he must be the one who leads the revolution and has the freedom to have sex with as many girls as possible. Patton agrees with Rance's conditions, and from there, both start to change Helman with revolution. In Rance IX, Alicesoft decided to rehash the gameplay from one of their older VN, Mamatoto (translated by the same translator, Arunaru), with both VNs having several similar soundtracks. Rance IX is the penultimate game of the Rance series, with Alicesoft writing up how Rance will take care of the problems in the oldest human country before going all out to wage war against the Monster Army in Rance X.

1. Tsukihime -A Piece of Blue Glass Moon- (VNDB 8.76)

In 1999, Nasu made a VN with the vampire heroine (Arcueid) called Tsukihime. Seeing that he was still new, he didn't have a big publisher to back him up, so he could only sell it at Comiket in 2000. In 2008, Nasu announced his plan to remake Tsukihime and started its development in 2012. Soon after, Nasu was busy with Fate/Grand Order, so much so that the development halted in 2013. The work resumed in 2017, which still needs some years to finish because Nasu decided to insert new ideas into the remake as much as possible. Finally, after all of years in development, in 2021, we see the release, but only for the first part because the second part is still in development. The premise for Tsukihime is the same no matter which version, with Shiki (who can see the death) murdering Arcueid by impulse. Afterward, Shiki sees Arcueid revived because she's a vampire, and then Arcueid asks Shiki to help her fight because she's weakened after being revived. We had the fan translation patch released first before Aniplex announced this at AX, which made the Aniplex version redundant, especially since they don't say it'll have the PC version (it is only available on Switch).

That's all for my list of translated visual novels released in 2023. Overall, what I can say last 2023 is more or less the same as 2022, only with no exciting Fan Disc release. I can say that Shiravune is getting more aggressive with the releases, even though most of their 2023 catalog is not exciting to me, so I hope they'll get more good work in 2024, together with Nekonyan. Mangagamer does release some good titles, with JAST still at their usual pace, and let's say that I hope Sekai will get the better title in 2024. So yeah, I'll wait and see regarding those three publishers, and hopefully, they can bring some surprises.

PS - Since I made the parody of Fate when Tsukihime Remake translation was released last June as Fate/Twilight Night, I'd reuse the title by changing "Night" with "Revolution" from Rance IX English title, The Helmanian Revolution, so we have "Fate/Twilight Revolution" as the title.

Edited by littleshogun

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