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  1. When it goes to the Western market for Japanese eroge, VenusBlood FRONTIER is one of the most interesting marketing phenomena in the recent past. Belonging to a series that is most known for its corruption theme and related sexual content, it was rather brilliantly rebranded with a focus on its in-depth gameplay mechanics and the morality system which allows players to shape the fate of its fantasy world in various drastic ways. It is also a game I was highly anticipating because of its rare premise – the ability to play as an anti-hero protagonist who can either become a ruthless oppressor, or a benevolent tyrant protecting the world from destruction and terror. All this coupled with a set of goddess heroines that can be either corrupted into obedient tools, or allied with for the goal of protecting the innocent people trapped in the apocalyptic conflict, and destroying those responsible for starting it. The international version of FRONTIER is also a bit more than just a Western release of a classic SRPG – it is, by most measures, the definitive version of the game, with significant improvements and new content added thanks to the localisation project's Kickstarter funding. Its goal was very clearly to attract both English-speaking and Japanese players, which at the same time it makes it even more of a notable treat for the non-JP audience. High-budget games of this type very rarely appear outside of Japan, and even less often reach Steam, but the Western release involving significant improvements rather than just cuts and localisation-related glitches is borderline unheard of. This doesn’t mean that the road onto the biggest PC distribution platform was without hurdles: the final version, released in late January 2020, had to make some concessions when it goes to suggestive content and language, deviating from the initial “all ages” version the studio created. However, the full 18+ version is, in the old-school fashion, available for Steam players through a free patch, and what's worth pointing out, even that version gives a convenient option for opting out of all explicit content. Just by selecting the “skip extra scenes” option in the settings you can avoid h-scenes completely, making the whole game pretty approachable to players that would rather skip the porn and focus on the core story. And in my experience, even the most “compromised” Steam version is a complete-feeling and satisfying experience. But, what exactly it has on offer and can Ninetail really hope for it to get the attention of more "normie" crowds? Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
    2 points
  2. Romance is a sign of immaturity, lol. More seriously, you've just repeated the scream of about 80% of all heavy VN addicts (those who have passed 100 played, at the least) in the US... everybody kind of wants the high school settings and high school romance to sort of fall by the wayside for a while. Unfortunately, most JVN companies make most of their money off this type of VN. It is only recently that the market for high school sol has begun to slump enough that the fundamentally conservative Japanese industry began to take notice. You can see this in the lower overall numbers of releases over there as well as the increase in attempts to make games that go past just providing the fake high school romance experience. The breakdown in traditional methods of finding a marriage partner in Japan (arranged marriages, omiai, etc) and the rise of romantic marriages in Japan is one of the prime reasons for the collapse of the birthrate. Romance in marriage was a concept that was virtually nonexistent in Japanese culture until the twentieth century, and even now, marriage meetings/omiai (parents arranging for their children to meet and see if they are compatible) are pretty common in Japan. There is a belief that 'romance' in the sense we think of it, only really happens in high school and the early twenties. Edit: The other reason for the fall of the birthrate is an increasing number of younger people just thinking they can't afford to have kids.
    2 points
  3. Wow, you're like the ~3rd person I've ever met who's watched Chuck. As for Toradora I do want to say that I think the melodrama worked in it as at that age things tend to feel far more significant than they actually are, especially when it comes to emotions. Feel free to link those threads, but I'm pretty new to anime and I've basically not read any manga, so it's distinctly possible I won't be able to speak to any of it.
    1 point
  4. That's a bit tricky as I actually don't tend to look for romance these days. I also can't really pin down exactly what does or doesn't make for good romance. Looking for examples from other media, the first thing that comes to mind is Toradora (thank you other thread on this site for bringing that to the front of my mind.) For the most part, I found the romance in books to be generally more compelling than in VNs, though it's been a while since I read a regular book and any example I have from those may or may not actually hold up with me today. One more unusual example I have is the TV show Chuck; while it didn't contain many romance scenes, the ones it had tended to just work so well. I also perhaps should specify that I think many VNs tell love stories well and it is specifically the romance aspects of those stories that VNs tend to fall short on.
    1 point
  5. it's from the same creator, right? I love Golden Time, so I second this Gosick is love, Gosick is life. Prepare to cry a lot!
    1 point
  6. Yuuko

    Something like Toradora

    golden time
    1 point
  7. 1 point
  8. DarkZedge

    VN with after story

    Not sure if this counts or if it is the kind of thing you're looking for but Sharin no Kuni has it's own FD with epilogues for all the routes.
    1 point
  9. Utawarerumono is my choice here. Might not like everything about them, but they are bloody magnificent. I just couldn't stop playing them.
    1 point
  10. You have fine taste in anime my friend! Aside from Gosick. The Book of Bantora is also a underrated and a anime that is almost unheard of... Its a story of people dying and turning into books instead of dead bodies... Pretty Interesting Story... And when you read someone's book, you'll able to witness someone else's memories.....
    1 point
  11. Good choice! That anime is such an underrated gem really worth watching for its engaging narrative, lore and character development.
    1 point
  12. Hmm... Why don't you try Sakura Sakura I think it has a built in sequel or after story of sorts on the routes that you played/chose... And it has 2 protagonist for different scenarios. Princess Evangile is mostly romance but tackles some issues on gender integration and it has a Fan Disc too! My Girlfriend is The President is more comedy oriented, a Parody of Obama and Putin in their Female versions. And it comes with a Fan Disc too! Fureraba is a pretty decent high school romance Eroge! Has its own Fan Disc as a DLC for the after story.
    1 point
  13. Likewise. I have a bit of experience with VNs in the past and would like to share that experience with people here.
    1 point
  14. littleshogun

    Birthday thread

    Happy 38th birthday to our mod @Clephas there, and I hope you'll have a good year ahead.
    1 point
  15. Maybe you should read NTR or vns with scat to get a fresh breath of air.
    1 point
  16. I hilariously ended up getting more into the "high-school-romance-genre" after going through the Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side series and knowing the struggle of saving up money for a yukata or patiently waiting for a flea market sale in order to get nice clothing for cheap, so every time a moege girl shows up in a yukata or in nice casual clothing for a date i go all "YEAH YOU GO GIRL".
    1 point
  17. The height of SOL sales in JVNs was 2008-2015. Since then, there has been a gradual decline in the numbers of such games produced, their sales, and their quality. This is due to a change in demographics as well as changes in the average consumer's financial situation. The increase in the sales' tax has also induced otakus to be more careful about which games they buy this last year or so (though this is a marginal effect overall), meaning that the more borderline SOL-only companies have gone silent or are producing only slowly with contractor employees only. Companies that have a more varied lineup seem to be doing fine, but the companies that only do SOL high school romance aren't doing well. Edit: As a side-note, more and more, you have companies with no real writing talent that try to make plotge or add plot to their SOL games... and it tends to be wince-worthy. Edit2:... because they don't follow through.
    1 point
  18. I agree with the sentiment, I stopped reading teen based romance vns because of that. in all honesty it takes forever and it's filled with tons of pointless banter that comes off as filler and tires the reader out.
    1 point
  19. Utawarerumono or Psycho-Pass I'd say both are pretty good, I only played a bit of Shibuya Scramble and it seemed to be decent but never got around to finishing it.
    1 point
  20. I'll make a prediction here, so read once you've finished:
    1 point
  21. 428 is GREAT. Just go fo iit, you'll not have any regrets
    1 point
  22. This can be from whatever angle you want: Physical Traits, Body Type, Personality, etc. Just whatever just the character(s) that specifically appeal to your personal tastes and why. There are a lot of characters I like but if I had to narrow it down to my type I'd say Kotori from Rewrite, Naruko from Bokuten, and Rina from Fureraba. Some traits between the three I like are: * All are generally energetic carefree characters and know how to give and take jokes pretty well. * At the same time, they're clearly are smarter/down to earth than they seem and know when to be serious when needed. (Many energetic characters end up being too immature, dumb, or loony) * All 3 are childhood friends or some kind of childhood friend equivalent. While Himari was the true childhood friend of Fureraba, Rina eventually took her place and knew the MC well before the story started. In all 3 cases, I liked the bond the characters were able to create and show before the story starts. Kotori and Naruko in particular have very deep relationships that are more interesting the more you learn about it. * I like their casual clothes/general fashion sense is fairly simple but still looks pretty/cute. * Outside Kotori and Naruko being brunettes none of the 3 are that similar in terms of physical traits. One of the main reasons I liked Kotori a lot from the start cuz... basically all her physical traits are stuff I really like. Naruko and Rina still look nice but Naruko is maybe a bit too smol and Rina a little too thicc.
    1 point
  23. Dead waifu, best waifu. ^^ EDIT: I guess I should contribute in a meaningful way too. This thread made me think a bit and I still came to the realization that I less have favourite types as much as I have those that don't work for me, like most airheaded heroines for example. Also, maybe it's my perspective being warped by yuri, but I usually see romance through pairings more than just heroines. A good romance arc and chemistry with the protagonist will be crucial on whether I care about the girl in the end. Although, if I had to pinpoint something, I'd say that my favourites are more mature/reliable heroines and those that are cold/hostile at first but show decent depth and warmth further down the line. Using the reliable template of Fruit of Grisaia, Amane and Yumiko are my types way more than all the other heroines in the series. If we go into visuals, I guess my main hooks would be dark hair, glasses and slim figure. Thus, probably the heroine everyone but myself hates, Flowers' Rikka Hanabishi, would be as close to my "ideal" as I can think of right now. I also adore the pairing itself, but once more, I'm probably the only one.
    1 point
  24. Hyun-ae is the best VN character, because she isn't a one-dimensional trope turned into a person.
    1 point
  25. This VN is pretty old, but certainly fits the bill - Kotori Love Ex P (English) It's a combination of Kotori route from Da Capo, her fandisc stories and after story that you are looking for. Basically you don't need to read original Da Capo game, and you can ignore IF (Innocent Finale) alternative route since it's drama oriented and meaningless. Hani Tsuma (Jap) is good too, although after stories is not that long.
    1 point
  26. Stolen from Scientific Diagrams that Look Like Shitposts
    1 point
  27. Noratoto - 18+ Restoration Project 1. VN Info 2. Synopsis 3. VN OP 4. Project Introduction 5. Staff 6. Recruitment 7. Progress
    1 point
  28. Clephas

    Senren Banka

    Before I go into this VN, I should probably bring up a few facts I’ve noticed about Yuzusoft VNs in general. First, while most Yuzusoft VNs have a central story that is vital to the heroine paths as well as the common route, the degree to which that central plot effects the heroine paths varies pretty wildly. In some cases – such as with Nicola in Dracu-riot – the effects of the main plot are almost nonexistent, and in others – such as Miu’s from the same VN – the effects are dramatic and integral to the progression of the heroine’s own story. Another aspect is consistency… or rather, the degree to which heroine paths are consistent with one another. Generally speaking, Yuzusoft games don’t strive for absolute consistency. One reason is because most charage writers (and Yuzusoft writers are mostly charage writers) are not nearly as good at managing the numerous ‘threads’ of their stories as a chuunige writer has to be. To be blunt, Yuzusoft games tend to eliminate the need for consistency as much as possible, limiting ‘contact points’ between the heroine routes wherever they can. Unfortunately, there are always minor details that slip through the net, so you can’t really expect perfect consistency in any charage. Another aspect of Yuzusoft VNs is that they still utilize the concept of ‘heroine salvation’. The idea that a heroine needs to be ‘saved’ by the protagonist on some level used to be integral to virtually all VNs that tried to charge the emotions of the reader, but it fell out of use over time as the emphasis shifted from story to characterization in most cases. Yuzusoft is somewhat ‘old-fashioned’ this way, as they focus strongly both on the actual ‘stories’ of the heroine paths as well as the characterization aspects. As a result, for those of us who get emotionally invested in the characters, the inability to ‘save’ the heroines you didn’t choose is always a bit… troubling, lol. I know that sounds weird coming from a self-proclaimed pragmatist like me, but that is one of the few areas in which VNs are still mostly games, rather than just reading material. The act of ‘choosing’ a heroine inevitably invests you just a little bit emotionally in the heroines, barring a kusoge experience, lol. Yet another thing to keep in mind about Yuzusoft games is that the company, even after all these years, is still experimenting with the ratio of ichaicha (lovey-dovey flirtation in the girlfriend/boyfriend part, such as dating, visiting one another’s houses, h-scenes, etc) to the actual story and character development. Most of their games tend to have long (in terms of text) dating/lovey-dovey/sex periods, which can be unbelievably annoying in a VN with a good story, lol. Last of all, Yuzusoft games tend to have longer heroine routes on average than most moe-VNs. I’d say by about one and a half to two times, depending on the other developer. Now, having gotten that over with, enjoy my comments on this VN, as I plan to go into more detail than usual. PS: I don’t intend to bother with the two sub-heroines, Ruka and Koharu. Common Route The beginning of the VN is somewhat fantastical, and with a little effort, they could have easily turned this into a light chuunige (I’m actually wondering why they didn’t, considering how suited many members of the cast are for that type of VN). One of the most fortunate aspects of this game is the fact that very little time is spent dwelling on school life… in fact, it is probably the least relevant portion of the game, outside of the character setting of ‘gakusei’. In my experience, the more reliant a VN is on school life for character development and story progression, the less likely it is to be interesting from beginning to end. The basic story is that the protagonist, having drawn the sword from the stone (lol) by breaking it off at the hilt (viva, self-repairing holy weapons! Haha), ends up engaged to and living with the himemiko, one Tomotake Yoshino. He’s also together with a bodiless loli who presents herself as the guardian of the sword calling him her master, and a ninja who does all the cooking and cleaning around the shrine. Apparently, in order to cleanse the taint left by an ancient curse on Yoshino’s family and prevent disaster, he has to help them fight dog-monsters in the mountains around the town, so that their taint doesn’t build up enough to cause natural disasters and other tragedies. The common route is consumed by the quest to free the Tomotake bloodline from the ancient curse and the characters’ travails in the process. For better or worse, the central story of the VN is nearly completely resolved in the common route, leaving the heroine routes for those heroines’ personal issues. This does mean that the tie-in to the central background story in the heroine routes is weaker than in some of Yuzusoft’s other games, such as Dracu-riot. However, the common route itself is actually one of the better ones I’ve seen from this company, and I enjoyed the process immensely. The downside is that the transition feels a bit awkward, sadly. Murasame Murasame is the overseer of the holy sword Murasamemaru, and Senren Banka’s resident loli. In a lot of ways, she embodies the archetype of the ‘outsider/exile from life as we know it’ heroine archetype that has popped up occasionally in VNs like this one. Favorite, in particular, is a company that loves this heroine archetype, utilizing it for the true heroine of every one of their games, and a disproportionate number of the heroines of this archetype are lolis (somewhere around two-thirds, starting with Ilyasviel from FSN). This is probably because a childlike heroine who suffers from that kind of isolation is more likely to strike at our hearts. She started out as a common village girl, and when a sacrifice was needed to become the guardian of the sword, she gave up her humanity to stay with the blade (this isn’t really a spoiler, since they tell you this early on and it is in the character profile, lol). Murasame comes across as your typical ‘loli who hates being treated like a child’ most of the time, but her speech and manner in more serious scenes shows at least some of her experience… and her path rakes her over the hot coals of her own personal darkness and insecurity. Hers is a path that is all about salvation through love, and it is one that can’t help but resonate with romantics in general. I should know… I cried several times in the course of this path. I honestly felt that this path represents Yuzusoft at its best, and for this path alone I would have been willing to play the game… and I’m not even a lolicon. Mako Mako… is the descendent of a ninja family that serves Yoshino’s family (Yoshino being the white-haired hime+miko heroine). While she is deadly serious about her duty to protect and serve Yoshino, her personality is generally friendly, cheerful, and easygoing. She is also more than a little… motherly in the sense that she loves to take care of people. This tends to express itself in the common route through her devotion to never letting Yoshino or her father do anything around the house outside of their duties as a priest and miko at a Shinto shrine (and Yoshino’s duties as the sole descendent of her mother’s family line). To be honest, her path is significantly more boring than Murasame’s, in that her personal worries are ‘classic’ worries from the archetypical ‘raised to serve’ heroine who is suddenly free to do what she wants, along with the fantasy worries unique to her path. It is still a good path, even touching at times. However, since they fell back on what amounts to a ‘normal’ love story with a half-humorous twist, things were significantly less interesting from my point of view. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have its high points… but most of those are toward the end or involve the fantasy elements. I’m sure the people who adore the junai (pure romance) that is the staple of most VNs will lap it up like their favorite flavor of ice cream, but for someone like me who has been fed that stuff until he feels like a foie gras goose… Yoshino The structure of Yoshino’s path is something of an exception, looking at charage with a serious element in general. Most of the time, the serious element is focused at the end of the path, with the ichaicha part making up the early parts of the path, during and immediately after the formation of the relationship. In this case, the dramatic part happens immediately after the formation of the relationship… and the rest is essentially endless ichaicha and sex. The path has impact, but I honestly thought that the latter part of the path dragged on. However, the ending is pretty touching, and I was honestly happy for them afterwards. Overall Yes, I have no plans to play Rena’s path immediately. To be honest, just two paths in this game takes up ten hours, and with the common route, this game could easily hit thirty hours if I played all the paths… and I don’t have the energy for dealing with an airhead heroine right now. Overall, this VN is one of the better Yuzusoft games I’ve played (considering that I’ve yet to encounter a Yuzusoft game that wasn’t at least worth consideration for a VN of the Month, this is a definite compliment). It definitely beats out Sanoba Witch, both in terms of raw quality overall and in terms of the design of the setting in particular. While the game itself doesn’t escape a lot of the clichés of the fantasy charage with story sub-genre, it carries them out well enough that I didn’t find that irritating. The biggest downside of the game is the downside to just about all of Yuzusoft’s games… the ichaicha is far too extended and there is usually a lot of runaround before they get to the point. PS: By far, Murasame's path is the best... which probably means I should have played it last. For better or worse, after seeing Murasame's path, it felt like a betrayal not to choose her over the others, simply because of her situation, lol.
    1 point
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