Keisuke reacted to Fiddle for a blog entry, A Tribute to Tiag
In response to my friend @Mr Poltroon's grammatically-questionable-but-nevertheless-generous patronage, I've decided to utilize my artistic skills and produce a drawing that does justice to his favorite character, Kilometers Edgeworth.
In short, I labored to reproduce the following piece that I found on an insider artists' hub known as Google Images:
(I forgot to replace the transparency in his eyes with whiteness, so please don't use a dark skin or he'll look scary and deformed.)
Keisuke reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, The worst and most poorly-used Tropes in VNs
I've raved on tropes before. Many times. However, as I have also said many times before, tropes and stereotypes do have an important place in fiction of all sorts. The important part is to balance the use of tropes to create something interesting and unique, rather than just using them to copy a previous work or works.
1. The 'standardized' voiceless protagonist- For better or worse, there was a long period of time when VN protagonists outside of chuunige were forbidden by industry custom (unspoken, unmentioned) to have a personality beyond the standard 'nice guy, dense, harem-building' protagonist with no voice-acting. I'm going to be straight with yall... this kind of protagonist is a long-standing attempt to create a convenient means for self-insertion into a situation, because his personality is nonexistent, he has no voice of his own, and in some cases you can even name him. Obliterating the individuality of the protagonist became a common tool in VNs around the turn of the century, even as story-focused VNs became more and more distinct from their nukige and moege brethren. This protagonist is an outdated, absolutely worthless relic of a time where people had forgotten the cardinal rule of interesting fiction... a boring point of view makes for a boring game.
2. The osananajimi heroine- Unlike the standardized protagonist, this particular trope is not evil in and of itself... it is simply misused on a massive scale in VNs. When used properly, the osananajimi heroine frequently becomes the most attractive of the heroines, her depth of character far outweighing that of even a well-designed protagonist (Kagome from Comyu, Selma from Bullet Butlers, Suzu from Ayakashibito, etc). However, when misused, an osananajimi heroine is simply an excuse for laziness in character development. I don't know how many times I've run into osananajimi heroines who had an easy relationship with the protagonist but absolutely no depth of character, no past episodes of interest, and no really deep connections to make you want to make them the protagonist's lover. I'm sorry, but a decade of hidden puppy love is not sufficient for me to take an interest in a heroine (incidentally the most common osananajimi heroine setting). Moreover, such heroines almost always have that stupid 'transfer from friends to lovers' issue pop up... and it is basically a similar issue to that of the sister to lover one, on a smaller scale (and without the delicious fragrance of immorality to make it interesting).
3. The 'week-later' ending- This is a type of ending/epilogue that pops up that ends a very short period of time after the climax of a path or story. Charage in particular tend to use this type of ending, because they want to be able to put out a FD to milk the fanbase later if the game turns out to be popular. These endings fail to provide the closure the reader desires, and it leaves you at loose ends in the wake of the story. If you love the characters of a story, don't you want to see what their lives are like down the road? I hate to say it, but by the end of the average charage, the reader is generally bored of school life and wants to move on. This type of ending is always a huge let-down, especially for readers like me.
4. Slice-of-life as an end rather than a means- Slice-of-life is something that has become inescapable in non-nukige VNs, for the most part. That, in and of itself, is not that much of a problem. If you want to get to know a character, there is nothing like seeing a bit of their life outside a stressful situation to give you an idea of who they are. However, there is nothing more boring than a game that doesn't have any conflict, which is slice-of-life from beginning to end, with no rough spots or speed bumps to make things a bit 'spicier'. My problem with this is that slice-of-life for the sake of slice-of-life has become a trope in and of itself, which means there are enough VNs out there of that type to make it easy to consider it to be such.
5. The TSUNDERE- Yes, I went there. Despite the efforts of an entire decade of otakus, the tsundere still hasn't died. The tsundere is a character who acts negatively on the surface toward someone but cares for them underneath, to put it simply. Around the turn of the century, tsundere heroines became a huge boom in anime, manga, and VNs, starting with the violent tsundere and moving on to the Taiga-chan 'barking dog' style, then finally into more and more varied types that plagued otaku media like a virus. My problem with tsunderes is that more than ninety-percent of them literally don't have a reason - personality-wise or otherwise - to be tsundere. These characters unnaturally react to the protagonist or other characters, and they don't have a reason to do so. To be blunt, this type of behavior pattern got old long ago... and yet otaku media creators inevitably include a tsundere in almost everything produced.
6. Teenaged characters- Primarily due to the moege genre and its influences, better than ninety-percent of VNs made today consist entirely of young people as main characters. I have to say this... I'm seriously tired of every protagonist and heroine being a kid. At the very least, I'd like to see a larger percentage of youthful adult protagonists, for a change.
7. School-life setting - Sorry, I'm tired of having to experience kids wasting their youth. In particular, my biggest bone to pick with a lot of protagonists is that happy-go-lucky tendency to forget about planning for the future. School-life consists a very small portion of the average human's lifetime. It might be a time many are nostalgic for, but I honestly can't take an interest in it anymore.
There are others, but these are the ones that come to mind immediately, lol.
Keisuke reacted to Fiddle for a blog entry, Use the Oxford comma in speech, too.
Recent events have compelled me to contemplate the Oxford comma to an even greater extent than usual, so let me share a story to convince you that, in addition to using the Oxford comma in writing, you should enunciate it in your speech.
I was getting pizza some time ago. But I must note that it was one of those pizza places where they make little quadrilateral pizzas for a single person ("single" having two meanings, probably). I normally wouldn't concede to the expenses associated with such a bourgeois establishment, but the meal is quite cheap when one orders a full-sized square pizza―probably because they aren't meant to be eaten in one sitting―and, most notably, the meal comes with a free side order.
As such, the cashier asked which side I would like, and I will transcribe this in such a manner as to accurately represent her enunciation: "You want bread chips or carrots?"
I cannot think of how to tell this anecdote without now giving away the catch, which the keenest among you may have already ascertained: The sentence was actually, "You want bread, chips, or carrots?"
But I am not the keenest among us, and the fact that there was no pause between the "chips" and "or" suggested, in my mind rightfully accustomed to the Oxford comma, that there were only two items: bread chips and carrots. I sought to confirm this, asking, "Bread chips?"
And she, wielding the apathy of an employee who unwittingly tempts the manager into automating all the cashiers, recited the items with the selfsame cadence or lack thereof―"Bread chips or carrots?"
This corroborated my confusion, and I thought to myself, I have no idea what bread chips are, but I know I don't want carrots. So I said, "BREAD CHIPS."
She replied, "Chips?" And then I might have said "BREAD CHIPS" again―I forget―but apparently I conceded to chips eventually, and went to await the production of my comestibles thereafter. Not even at this point had I come to realize the situation, as my friend labored for some time to explain it to me.
The Oxford comma was not the instigator in this story; it was a reluctant spectator, a single tear running down its cheek. I implore you to take this experience to heart.
Keisuke reacted to Clephas for a blog entry, Pragmatic VN gaming: Some common sense
For better or worse, the VN localization industry in America and other Western nations is expanding rapidly, primarily due to the efforts of aggressive localization companies such as Mangagamer and Sekai Project, but also due to the increased interest on the part of at least some Japanese VN companies in making a few extra bucks through localization.
I say 'for better or worse' because the increase in localizations has actually begun to outline what some of the biggest problems with VNs are, for those living in the West. What I've put down below is basic guidance... not all of which I follow myself, but which is mostly common sense (which a surprising number of new Fuwans seem to be ignorant of).
1. Piracy- To be blunt, prosecuting consumers of pirated games is a waste of time, and most companies are quite well aware of this. So, most of the fallout for this kind of thing is going to keep hitting the websites and individuals who promote the distribution end of things. A few examples will most likely be made of outspoken pirate consumers (the idiots, in other words), but the problem here is almost entirely ethical for most. Tell me, do you think it is right not to pay for content if you happen to have the money needed to pay for it?
2. Lolicon content- Seriously guys? When I saw that Maitetsu was getting a localization, even though it was an all-ages one, alarm bells went off in my head. Someone is inevitably going to put up an h-patch for the game, and that is going to cause a huge amount of controversy later on that could be a huge blow to the industry, in the short run. Loli content is one of the two nuclear bombs of Japanese eroge, and it is the one that honestly bothers me the most personally (not so much morally, as in a pragmatic sense).
3. Rapegames- I'm going to be blunt... considering the degree to which Western culture has come to consider rape a mortal sin, do you really think games focused around rape and extreme sexual situations (ie the entire Maggot Baits game) are safe for the industry to localize, if you consider their potential to backfire? There is no conceivable way that these games could be considered anything other than obscene by any reasonable critic (not a community one, in other words), and in the long run, games like these have an enormous potential to castrate the localization industry.
4. School-based games- Sadly, the excuse that 'all the heroines are over eighteen' is only going to take you so far in some countries... to be blunt, a judge is unlikely to listen to that kind of protestation if, for whatever insane reason, you end up dragged into court.
Common sense issues
1. I don't think anyone has any business telling us we can't import Japanese games, including VNs. However, as a matter of common sense, you should probably avoid importing anything with a lot of content linked to the numbers 2 and 3 in the section above. I don't mean to piss on your bonfire, but if you are going to buy something with that kind of material, at least have the sense to use digital download purchases and/or don't display the packages for that type of eroge where casual visitors can see them.
2. Figurines and other side-junk- Within reason, there is no reason why a fan of a particular bit of otaku media shouldn't order figurines, statuettes, oppai mousepads, etc to decorate their room or gaming space. However, keep it within reason... I've seen otaku friends of mine go insane and overpurchase, even going into debt, over buying swag. If you aren't rich, have the sense to focus on the main material first, then expand at a reasonable pace into the swag. To an extent, the same can be said of the games themselves, considering the costs of the actual purchases plus import costs.
3. Anonymity is your best friend. Don't pull stupid crap like linking your Facebook profile to your dlsite or getchu account... for that matter, don't link them to your Fuwanovel account, if you are a fan of 'deep' eroge content. Leaving that kind of data around for casual skimmers to find is just plain stupid.
4. If you are a fantranslator, number 3 applies emphatically unless you are about to go 'legit' by handing your translation to a localization company.
5. During scandal times (like when the media is making a big deal over an eroge-related issue such as during the infamous Rapelay incident) have the sense to take cover and avoid conversing on rapegames and lolige publicly.
6. Know the difference between being open about your libido and being excessive *remembers Steve*
A final comment
Needless to say, almost all the issues above revolve around controversial sexual content. Part of that is that many people, both inside and outside the VN fanbase, have trouble marking the difference between fiction and reality when it comes to otaku media (an insanity that I can understand but am long past). As a legal argument, it (as in the argument that figments of an artist's or writer's imagination, as opposed to real women, cannot be considered underaged and cannot be considered victims in any way, form, or fashion) actually has a lot of merit... but that doesn't mean that they'll rule in your favor, in the end, lol. The West is prudish, to the extreme. There is no telling when religious interests will slip a noose around our necks, and general moralists are just as bad. I'm not perfect about taking my own advice. I'm a VN junkie, and I really don't have any morals when it comes to my search for good VN stories. I might be disgusted by some content, but that won't prevent me from experiencing the story, lol. However, a lot of the people around me seem to be utterly unaware of the risks of being an eroge reader... and I felt I had to put this out there, for the 'public' good, even though I'm certain I've already pissed off the anti-censorship and pro-piracy parts of the community, lol.
Keisuke reacted to Fiddle for a blog entry, Butter packets are so uselessly small.
You'd expect them to be of a size adequate to fulfill the role of spread on a particular food, but I can't think of any widely consumed product that would require this little butter. This is inconvenient especially because I don't know how many butter packets to take when I need to use them in the future, which is exactly their intended purpose. How am I supposed to know how much butter something warrants when the amount of butter in the packet isn't set to any standard? If it were set to cover a regular-sized slice of bread, then I'd say "I'll just take two" when I intend to apply the butter to a bagel. But no, I cannot fathom any metric justification by which the mass of butter abides. The size of these packets serves no righteous ends. By that I mean that they may be convenient for those who have power over their specifications, because some companies profit liberally by excessive packaging and other iniquitous forms of mass production. But viewing the situation from a zero-sum perspective, this obviously isn't beneficial to the general population. That extra packaging probably costs small companies an additional marginal sum, which adds up to a lot across the board. And it certainly doesn't help myself and other consumers who want larger package sizes.
Keisuke reacted to astro for a blog entry, taypls 6
*** astro has shared contact details with Joe. ***
Joe: Hi astro, I'm wondering can u pls translate Aiyoku no Eustia?
Me: sorry I really don't have time to take on more projects right now
Joe: But it's a rly good game
Me: I'm sure it is. look, I hope that you're not asking me to do it for free at the very least - I don't even know who the heck you are
Joe: Well how long will it take u to do it? I can pay u $2000 at most depending on how long it takes
Me: ...Do you have any idea how long the game is?
Joe: No idk japanese so I've never played it before
Well, this isn't really Tay's fault, but my rule of thumb is to always blame Tay. taypls