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About MayoeruHitori

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  1. Popular Views on What Defines the Chuuni Genre In my last post, I talked about the most abstract way to understand chuuni (the term as it's used in the "coolness" sense). But at the end, I noted that most people narrow it down further. They say that certain works constitute a "genre". And so, I intend to now gather my thoughts and talk about the major tropes and commonalities between works that people tend to identify, which have given rise to several different conceptions of the chuuni genre. Most of these conceptions, although they approach things from subtly different directions, end up specifying the same works. So maybe to most of you guys, it's not that useful to carefully examine them. I find it interesting, so I'm doing it. Chuuni As Language-Oriented This is the most common way for non-chuuni fans, and some youthful fans of hotblooded works, to look at chuuni. Simply put, this is the view that the heart of chuuni is in its over-the-top lines. Chuuni fans usually view the people who say these lines as extremely cool. And yet simultaneously, it's easy for non-chuuni fans to look at these lines and say, "That's so cheesy!" This duality, this contradiction, is what makes it so easy to point and say, "Prose is the heart of chuuni." Language can be utilized in infinite ways, but in my view, the two major types here are "soliloquies/speeches" and "cultural allusion/deepness". To start, what do you think of this quote from To Aru Majutsu no Index's Kamijou Touma? "I was never fighting because I wanted to. It’s just that I always saw someone holding back tears in some horribly painful situation. Even if they cried and cried, no one would have complained, but they put up with it anyway. ...And I couldn’t allow it to go on. I clenched my fist like an idiot, charged in, and somehow resolved the incident. I didn’t do it to be thanked. I didn’t do it because I wanted anything in return. But overcoming those things increased the number of people around me. I began to think those connections with people had some kind of meaning!! And this is where it got me. I had everything taken from me." Even if you're haven't read Index, it's not hard to form an impression of the situation from these words. Saving people is cool. Especially if they're someone who doesn't dare to hope to be saved--when there's zero social obligation to do so, the action is all the more meaningful. But it's not like what's driving you is some inner urge to save others, either--you have a free spirited attitude and don't have to give a shit about what anyone wants you to do. And as a result of saving people repeatedly, you became super popular, completely not of your own will of course. But wait, someone took that all away from you, and you became a tragic hero! See what I mean? It's cool, but it's also cheesy, depending on how you look at it. That's an example of what I'll call, for convenience, a chuuni soliloquy. Of course, it's not a literal soliloquy in that people DO respond to it (or rather, they can) but it's also a bit of a soliloquy in that... it doesn't matter if they do, does it? Touma's speech stands on its own. Single sentences or lines can also have this same sort of quality, but I think it's easier to make a distinction about it when the length is at the level of a mini-speech. After all, cheesy lines appear in countless shounen manga, but very few people would put all those manga on the same level as Jojo or Hellsing. Next, what do you think of this quote? If you haven't heard it before, you've been living in a cave. "I am the Bone of my Sword Steel is my Body and Fire is my Blood. I have created over a Thousand Blades, Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life. Have withstood Pain to create many Weapons Yet those Hands will never hold Anything. So, as I Pray-- Unlimited Blade Works" The way to sum up this kind of language is that it's DEEP. It references life and death, pain (you know that suffering is cool, right?), the angst of not being able to hold anything (angst is a type of suffering), evokes the image of fire in one's blood, and so on. It doesn't clearly state any ideas. It's poetic, or maybe literally poetry. It involves references to themes that are deep (like death, eternity, justice, and so on), cultural elements that are consider deep (like Alice in Wonderland, the Cthulhu mythos, Norse mythology and Ragnarok, Shinto, and so on), or kanji and foreign lingo that are associated with deepness (like English furigana, 眼/絶/紅蓮, random German, rondo/requiem, and so on). It may exist as an aspect of the writer's narrative prose, or within incantations. Chuuni as Trope-Oriented In a way, people who view chuuni as a matter of language just have to worry about the quantity. The question is whether a work has "enough" chuuni-ish lines to be chuuni. There's no answer to that question, of course. In contrast, if you think of chuuni as about its trope, then the question is quality. That is, is the trope itself chuuni enough? Is there a single trope that makes something chuuni, or is it a combination of tropes? Or perhaps some abstract aspect of the way the tropes are presented that makes them chuuni? When it comes to chuuni, this is where opinions are most diverse. I'm going to go over two major approaches that I'll call the ability battle view and the Fate primacy view. By the way, both of these views are connected more to "jakigan-kei" chuuni (which basically refers to admiring special powers) than other types like "DQN-kei" (which basically refers to admiring yankees). In other words, they're narrower in scope than language-oriented views of the chuuni genre. The Ability Battle View Like "chuuni as language", this is a view of chuuni that people cynical of it often hold. They view chuuni as merely a subset of the ability battle genre ("inou battle mono"). To clarify, what's translated as "ability" (inou) specifically refers to superhuman abilities. The ability battle genre has existed long before the word chuuni was used to refer to works of fiction. Furthermore, most examples of chuuni works could also be considered to be about ability battles. Which is no surprise, because powerful characters who are viewed as cool or admirable tend to have supernatural powers that facilitate hotblooded action scenes. So as a result, people tend to say, "Isn't chuuni just about ability battles?" It's true that a large part of the appeal of many prominent chuuni works centers around ability battles. Similarly, there's no easily specified element of such chuuni works that makes it necessary to call them chuuni works instead of ability battle works. And so, this view exists. The Fate Primacy View I'm extremely far from an expert on Fate/stay night, but I can't avoid talking about it in the context of chuuni. Fate/stay night is a lengthy and complicated work with a multitude of tropes and themes, and it's impossible to say exactly what all its charm points are. However, no one can deny its massive mainstream appeal, as by far the most successful visual novel of all time, which led the way for the Nasuverse to completely dominate otaku culture, dwarfing even Index. I'm not sure exactly how to describe what I call the Fate primacy view, because I could approach it from many different angles. You could say that Fate is so popular that it has simply permeated itself into the public consciousness and rewritten what it means to be chuuni. You could say that it redefined chuuni by virtue of its influence on other writers which has spanned for more than a decade. You could say that it's simply so GOOD that it must have nailed what it means to be chuuni. The bottom line is that one could easily hold the view that a work is chuuni to the extent it copies Fate/stay night. Of course, this is a very narrow view. It marginalizes relatively bright and happy stories like Bleach and Kyou Kare Ore Wa. However, in exchange for that narrowing, you could say that the remaining few stories are "higher quality" on average, in that they're very obviously chuuni. On a side note, some people might have more of a Dies irae primacy view. Dies irae has become very loved (at least, among its fans--its mainstream appeal can never match Fate's, though it perhaps comes closest) and many people perhaps view it as more definitively "chuuni" than its primary influence. In any case, this view reveres tropes and story elements from Fate/stay night which have proven popular like battle royales, human sacrifice and massacres, ability battles conducted in secret, justice and morality, tragic childhoods, magical rituals, magical contracts, the Catholic church, and serial killers. Unlike the ability battle view where people will just outright say it ("Isn't chuuni just about ability battles?"), people who hold a so-called Fate primacy view rarely ever verbalize, "I want my chuuni to be exactly like Fate/stay night!" They may not have even ever experienced Fate/stay night. That's why I said you can approach this from different angles. It's not really a "view" so much as a near-inevitability in our Fate-dominated otaku culture. Also, note that when it comes to jakigan-kei chuunibyou as depicted in otaku media, its associated delusions are easier to formulate when they're closer to reality, such as isekai situations or urban fantasy. Fate/stay night, as an urban fantasy that depicts an ordinary student discovering a hidden world that covertly affects the public, is the sort of scenario that exemplifies such delusions. Whew, I covered it all. After taking care of the basic definitions, I wanted to outline other people's views before talking about my own feelings, which are what I actually care about 'cause I'm the center of the universe FYI.
  2. The Chuuni and Chuunibyou FAQ (自称)

    You make some awesome points! "Transcending the mundane" is a nice way to put it. Simple words like "cool" and "admirable" just don't quite strike at the heart of the appeal of chuuni story elements, because they don't contain any nuance of individualistic-ness or deep-ness. For this FAQ, I personally elected to very broadly define chuunibyou and chuuni, because I wanted to make sure that no one more intimate with Japanese culture could come and say, "You're being naive about the range of interpretations of this word!" Your reply highlights the fact that there really is a lot more to be said, especially about different cultures. It was just easier for me to feel like I was being "objective" about what it means when I contextualized it within Japanese culture, where the word came from. But I do want to think more about chuuni from a cross-cultural perspective in the future--I made this blog for the sake of doing things like that. And I was hesitating on whether to bother publishing my next blog post which delves more into the nuance of chuuni, but I think I'll go ahead and do so later tonight (comments and criticisms welcome always). On a side note, I'm curious, are there really many people who are so into Star Trek and Star Wars that they literally lose themselves in it? I never knew many trekkies, but I remember that when I saw the movie Galaxy Quest which is supposed to parody the Star Trek fandom, there was a fan in it who said, "I knew it was all real!" At that time, I thought, "Hmm, could it be that there are so many trekkies with chuunibyou that the fandom is self-aware of it!?" And I tried to Google to find more info, but I didn't find anything. I expect it can be harder to tell in Western cultures if someone in a fandom is chuunibyou about it, because people are so expressive and joke around so much, and cosplay is so common.
  3. Dir Lifyna

    Whenever I think about Eushully, I feel like I'm staring at the box containing Schrodinger's cat. Are they secretly in preproduction for an Ikusa Megami 2 remake, or are they just going to continue to work on mobage or lighthearted games and never release another Battle Goddess series title? Enough years have passed since Ikusa Megami Memoria that I've started to despair a little, combined with the break in their release schedule this year. Dir Lifyna is a wonderful setting, but I find that I don't care about it in most of Eushully's games, as it's only utilized to provide plot devices on demand.
  4. The Chuuni and Chuunibyou FAQ (自称)

    The Chuuni and Chuunibyou FAQ (自称) Because I wanted to settle the basics first. Q. What is chuunibyou? A. "Chuunibyou" (中二病) is a Japanese word that literally means middle [school] second [year] syndrome. But it's not an actual medical syndrome. It refers to certain behavior. So what exactly does it mean? That depends on who you ask. The person to coin it, radio host Ijuuin Hikaru, defined it more or less as the foolish behavior of second year middle school students, in the context of school life. But the term quickly spread and took on a life of its own. Pixiv's wiki has one popular definition: "a colloquial term intended to poke fun at the behavioral tendencies of pubescent kids stemming from their self-absorption and psychological complexes". ...Personally, I don't like Pixiv's definition. It's too condescending, focusing on psychoanalyzing behavior rather than accurately cataloging what it consists of. I realize that it's hard to pin down what exactly chuunibyou is, so it's tempting to take a step back, vaguely reference a few psychological terms, and declare that sufficient. But that's NOT sufficient, and here's why. This term has long since passed the point when it was just a casual way to talk about how silly kids can be. It's been fully embraced by otaku culture. In other words, "chuunibyou" behavior--in terms of what it stems from, how it's expressed, how others should react to it, what its appeals are, what tropes it connects to, and so on--has been deconstructed and re-evaluated a thousand times over. Here's my personal definition, that I believe to be more modern: chuunibyou is a personality trait that refers to behavior supposedly commonly seen in many second year middle school students. That behavior consists of a person acting or speaking so as to emulate what they consider the cool or admirable demeanor of characters within stories. Furthermore, that behavior is starkly mismatched with what a layman would perceive to be a rational behavioral foundation for that person, resulting in others viewing their behavior as peculiar. The person in question either doesn't notice or doesn't care about the mismatch. Let's run through a couple of quick examples and break them down in terms of character, emulated demeanor, and perception of mismatch. Person considers a character in a light novel who speaks mysteriously to be cool. Adopts mysterious phrasings, even when talking about mundane things. This is viewed as pointless by others, because there is no benefit to speaking cryptically about mundane things. Person considers a character in a manga who has a dragon sealed in his right arm to be cool. Inks a dragon tattoo onto their arm, and covertly shows it off to others, as an approximation of that character's demeanor. This is viewed as silly by others, because the ink on their arm does not actually materially benefit them or affect their life in any way. Person considers a character in an anime who possesses a cursed katana that unleashes it power when an incantation is recited to be cool. Buys a katana prop, occasionally carrying it around, and muttering a personally written incantation occasionally, as a way to mimic the feeling of being that character. This is viewed as silly by others, because the katana prop has no supernatural properties that would respond to an incantation. Person considers a super-strong delinquent or a heroic vigilante in a story to be cool. Begins to dress like and use the slang of a delinquent, act like a tough fighter despite have no real knowledge of martial arts beyond a few tidbits, and occasionally spout rhetoric about justice or strength, out of a desire to emulate those characters. This is viewed as silly or awkward by others, mostly because the person in question can't actually fight and because the lines they spoke about justice and strength just came off as pretentious. Note that I narrowed my definition of chuunibyou in order to make it better match otaku culture. The broader and popular definition of chuunibyou includes people who aren't inspired by stories, such as hipsters. Lastly, I'll note that chuunibyou can be shortened to just chuuni. Q. Aren't people like Hiei from Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Gilgamesh from Fate/stay night also called "chuunibyou"? But they're not delusional middle school students--they actually have special powers. A. Yes, and no. This ties back to what I said about how the term chuunibyou has expanded. You can call them chuunibyou if you want, but for clarity, it may be better to call them "chuuni". I'll explain why in the next section. Q. What is chuuni? A. Remember how I said that otaku culture has changed the term chuunibyou? I already went over the fact that Ijuuin Hikaru's initial meaning was essentially abandoned, and gave my personal definition for chuunibyou in the context of otaku culture. Well, to put it simply, the word chuunibyou ended up having ANOTHER meaning, on top of the more traditional one that describes a behavior. Also, in order to make that other type of chuunibyou distinct from the traditional one, people ended up typically shortening it to just "chuuni". The heart of "chuunibyou" is its source, the "coolness" that makes people behave in a chuunibyou way. And as discerning otaku, people quickly wanted a way to refer to that "coolness". THAT is "chuuni". The "byou" (syndrome) part is cut off the end, so the shortened version of the word fits this meaning well. Stated more formally, the broadest possible definition of chuuni is any story or story element (whether a character or trope) that inspires, or could inspire, a person to behave in a chuunibyou way. In other words, it's whatever a second year middle school student would view as cool or enviable. HOWEVER, people haven't been content with such a broad definition of chuuni. There are many informal, narrower trope-oriented definitions. I say "informal" because few people try to provide any exact list of what tropes are "sufficiently" chuuni. But you can be sure that different people have different perceptions of the word chuuni. More on that in later posts, potentially. Finally, I'll note that as I said earlier, the traditional definition of chuunibyou is also occasionally shortened to chuuni. As a matter of fact, neither "chuuni" nor "chuunibyou" is exclusive to any specific meaning, which can admittedly make things confusing. That's all the questions I can think to pose to myself currently. Maybe I'll come up with more later and add them.
  5. 2018, A Year of Possibility in Visual Novels

    Here's a link to what Niijima said in the context of heavy backlash on 2ch and Twitter. http://us-track.tumblr.com/post/136869669326/ご無沙汰しております-志水です-恋-シンアイ彼女お買い上げ頂きまして I don't think there's much of a chance you'll see a proper ending of Sena's story, sorry.
  6. Why I always play games with nonhuman heroines first.

    This is what Tsukihime is all about. Also, avatar related.
  7. 2018, A Year of Possibility in Visual Novels

    Ugh, I really should have noted that. I was excited about Niijima's role in Sakutoki when I heard it announced, but I haven't consciously thought about it in weeks or months. If you care, Sca-ji also tweeted to confirm that he does plan to release Sakutoki in 2017, just a few hours before I posted this. I was too busy to read his tweets then because I wanted to finish up this post... And yeah, the dearth of top-tier VNs in 2017 inevitably is connected to the surfeit in 2018. Everything is about timing. That doesn't mean I'll stop blaming 2017. *slaps 2017 with prejudice* 2017 was also shitty because it was the year of the rooster, and it's hard to make roosters moe. Thanks, Friendly Commenter! At the moment, I have no such plans...
  8. 2018, A Year of Possibility in Visual Novels [source] ~ Leaving Behind the Old Year ~ Let's face it. 2017 was not an impressive year for Japanese visual novels. Sure, the OELVN scene had a breakout hit in the form of Doki Doki Literature Club. Sure, the VN localization industry amazed everyone with prominent official releases of super-popular titles like Muv-Luv Alternative, Little Busters, and the never-before-translated Subarashiki Hibi, Dies irae, and Chaos;Child, to name a few. But the heart of the visual novel industry remains in Japan. And this year has been fairly mediocre for it. I mean, if you take a look at the numbers on Erogamescape (also known as EGS, it's Japan's equivalent of VNDB), you'll find that Hikari no Umi no Apeiria [vndb], and Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart 2 [vndb] were the only VNs with a median around the mid-80's or higher and more than a hundred votes [EGS source data]. For reference, 2016 had 6 titles at that level: Island, Chaos;Child, Akeiro Kaikitan, Utawarerumono 3, Tokyo Necro, and Baldr Heart. Of course, that data point doesn't tell the full story. EGS is geared toward eroge players; in terms of pure adventure games (also known as ADV, the common way Japanese players refer to visual novels) New Danganronpa V3 [vndb] was very well-received. (V3 is also the only 2017 VN among VNDB's top 100.) The very recently released Kiniro Loveriche's [vndb] reception has been extremely positive, and though it hasn't had time to accumulate votes yet, I'm optimistic it will stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Apeiria. It's not like there aren't an assortment of noteworthy VNs that merely fall short of the top tier statistically, such as Ouka Sabaki [vndb] and ChronoBox [vndb]. Fans of particular studios like SMEE [vndb], Purple software [vndb], and Moonstone [vndb] were also able to get their fix this year. The VN industry is far from dead; if anything, it's evolving to fill various niches. But that's a whole other topic. The bottom line is I'm ready to move on from 2017. And once you see what's in store for us in 2018, I'm sure you will be, too. ~ Ringing in the New Year, Along with Potential Kamige ~ Every year has promising titles. Unfortunately, they often don't live up to their promise. Still, some titles are so promising--the studios behind them so reputable, the staff working on them so consistent, so little room for error--that it's hard not to get excited. There are, in my opinion, 5 such confirmed titles for 2018. ~ Summer Pockets (Key) - June 29, Delay Likely ~ Let's start with this one, because it's the one I'm personally most hyped for. To state the obvious, Summer Pocket is a major ADV from Key. No matter who the staff behind it is, you'd be foolish to underestimate it. Key's complete major titles are Kanon, Air, Clannad, Little Busters, and Rewrite. (I skipped Angel Beats because it's not complete.) Every one of these VNs is resoundingly famous. But let's pretend we don't know that Key, with its reputation for ambitious works that are patiently crafted rather than quickly pumped out, is behind Summer Pockets. Instead, let's take a look at the staff. The heart of Summer Pockets is Niijima Yuu. He's the mastermind behind Hatsuyuki Sakura, a massive hit from 2012. His prose is hilarious, fresh, and really endears you to the characters. With his tendency toward fanservice and lewd humor, and the way it's always hard to discern the supernatural from the metaphorical in his narratives, he has a lot in common with Maeda Jun. ...Hopefully you already knew this because you've read Hatsusaku. Nobody should miss out on that one, whether they're a romance fan, an action fan, a mystery fan, or a FEELS fan. Anyway, the problem with Niijima Yuu is that he can't be allowed too much creative control. If he is, you end up with the likes of his later works Majo Koi Nikki and Koi x Shin Ai Kanojo, where he made creative decisions that alienated many players. When he was with Saga Planets, they reined him in well. When he was with Amuse Craft, they obviously didn't. But he announced a period of self-reflection in response to Koikake's criticisms. And he adopted a very humble attitude in the first Summer Pockets interview from back in December 2016. Furthermore, Key is a company incredibly concerned about its brand identity, and on top of that, Summer Pocket is constrained by Maeda's outline. So I'm confident that Niijima's strengths will truly shine through, like they haven't since Hatsusaku. And my optimism has been boosted further by all the Summer Pockets info released this past week. Not only are the character designs and backgrounds beautiful, but the excerpts of scenes with each heroine are charming and demonstrate that yes, this is Niijima at his finest. On a final note, it's very possible that Summer Pockets will be delayed--hopefully not past 2018--because Niijima's recent tweet indicated that he's not at all confident he'll be done with the scenario in time for a June 29 release. ~ Kimi to Mezameru Ikutsuka no Houhou (Navel) - April 27 ~ I won't say a lot about this one. I'm not a Navel expert; I've watched the Shuffle anime, and read Oretsuba and Tsuriotsu, but that's it. One reason I'm so optimistic about Kimimeza is rooted in the way Navel handles their creative works. A cynical way to look at it is that they squeeze all their works dry with at least one or two fandiscs, often way more than that. A better way to look at it is that they rarely put out a title that doesn't deserve fandiscs. Navel has finally moved on from Tsuriotsu, and I believe they haven't done so casually. The real question, to me, is how much of a creative role Jackson will play. A fair amount of what made Tsuriotsu so special to me came from Jackson (yes, I'm aware of what interviews and such say, and I believe it's deceptive). We know Jackson does miscellaneous work for Navel, but will he involve himself in this new VN? Or will Navel just let Kazuki Fumi do what he wants within a particular framework, and hope for a decent reception? Even if Kazumi Fumi doesn't receive any support from Jackson, Kimimeza could still wildly succeed. He's a talented writer who wrote Gun Knight Girl and Akeiro Kaikitan, among others, and the constraints of Navel's brand identity could help refine the finished product into one that's broadly appreciated. The premise of Kimimeza feels really interesting, not overly generic but not silly or half-assed either--it's the premise of Chobits where a guy finds an abandoned android, except the girl isn't an android, she's disguised as an android but actually a victim of human organ trafficking, plus there are apparently assassins. Although the story seems like it'll be exciting, the fact that there are only 3 main heroines makes me wonder if Kimimeza will be smaller-scale than Tsuriotsu. Still, there are plenty of reasons to pay attention. ~ Rance 10 (Alice Soft) - February 23 ~ Rance needs no introduction, and doesn't lack proponents. The Rance games are always above average in quality, and they always sell well. In case you hadn't heard about Rance 10 in particular, it will be the final one in the series. As the concluding chapter, the big question is whether fans will consider this a fitting end that wraps everything up the way they hope it will. My gut is telling me that it will be. What's also awesome about Rance 10 is that once it's out and the series is over, people like me who aren't into the series will no longer have to feel jealous that they can't join in on the hype. ~ Minikui Mojika no Ko (Nitroplus) - Summer ~ The literary core of the current Nitroplus, and the brain behind many ambitious and unique titles, Shimokura Vio, is making a new eroge. I haven't researched this much, and not a lot has been announced either (maybe more has been mentioned in interviews that I'm just not aware of). The tagline is "I (僕) know your ugliness (醜さ)" and the title is a play on "The Ugly Duckling". "Mojika" is probably a reference to 文字禍 (lit. "letter calamity"), Nakajima Atsushi's 1942 short story about a fatal curse upon an Assyrian king, which originated from a spirit (霊) of written language (文字). I'm not someone who reads classic Japanese literature, so I don't know more than that. In any case, my impression is that it will be another deconstructive work by Shimokura. ~ Sakura no Toki (Makura) - TBA ~ Is it stupid of me to assume that the sequel to Sakura no Uta, of all VNs, will actually come out within a mere year, rather than suffer delay after delay? Probably, but it's being steadily developed and Sca-ji initially aimed to release it in 2017, so the whole of 2018 should be enough time, unless... well, unless history repeats itself. Again, this will be the sequel to Sakura no Uta, the best VN in the last half a decade. And it'll be done by the same writer, and probably mostly the same audiovisual staff (too lazy to check). Although it's possible that it won't be as ambitious as Sakura no Uta, it will naturally feature Sca-ji's writing and have some excellent parts, and probably be rated highly too. I don't have much to say about Rance 10, Minikui Mojika no Ko, and Sakura no Toki, because their staff situations aren't as complicated as Summer Pockets and Kimimeza, as far as I can tell. ~ Other Notable Titles~ Many other VNs will be both announced and released in 2018, so this is far from a representative portion, but here a few other titles that caught my eye. Sorry if I missed your favorites, hypothetical reader. Kieta Sekai to Tsuki no Shoujo on January 26: A collaboration between La'cryma and Hiyoko Soft. I love Kamiya (writer of fortissimo), but although he's involved with the scenario, it doesn't seem like he's personally writing it. The developers announced they'd be deliberately concealing the staff who work on this. I'm also a little afraid it may repeat the mistakes of Lass with an overly dark scenario. But it's worth paying attention to. Butterfly Seeker on March 30: Another Silky's Plus VN, this one is from Unabara Nozomu, writer of Fairytale Requiem and Shinsou Noise. (The writer of Apeiria doesn't have any announced VNs in the works, if you were wondering.) Riddle Joker on March 30: The new Yuzusoft VN. Many moege fans swear by Yuzusoft, and although their VNs usually aren't rated very high, they sell very well. Toishi Hiroki (an apparently decent writer) will also be taking part in this one. ~ Other Predictions for 2018 ~ My wild prediction is that 2018 will be the year that people accept that the eroge industry won't be pumping out kamige like Fate/stay night or Muv-Luv Alternative reliably any more, and won't be standing at the cutting edge of moe again anytime soon, but still has unique worth as a medium and will continue to steadily produce awesome works that rival any popular anime or manga. The big investors and talented writers are mostly gone, but in exchange, studios are getting smarter and playing to the medium's strengths. Maybe we'll also see people categorize less in terms of eroge versus console ADV, and more in terms of (doujin) eroge versus commercial ADV.
  9. Key announced their new title - Summer Pockets

    Yeah, that translation certainly sounds better. It's worth pointing out that the JP (natsukashii natsu ga atta / atarashii natsu o shitta / kono shima de deatta) could be translated literally word-by-word to something like, "There was a nostalgic summer. [ I ] came to know a new summer. [ I ] met [?] on this island." But it flows much better in Japanese. So the Kazamatsuri TL is fairly accurate in a sense, just really stiff and literal. It's also possible to have a more middle-of-the-road TL that approximates the original style but flows fairly well like, "That summer was nostalgic. That summer was fresh. That summer, on that island, I had a fateful encounter." But my experience with most respected VN translators is that they'll prefer to restructure, like the one you talked to did, and they'd probably say that a so-called middle-of-the-road TL is still inexcusably awkward. Preferences are infinite, and it's also not as easy to TL non-literally with little context. But it's just a PV in the end; as you say, the translation of the VN itself is what matters most. We'll have to see what happens with that.
  10. I won't be able to judge how important it is to read the uncensored version over the Steam one until I see how they handle Leyline 3, because that's when everything really comes together romantically. (I've always wondered how the Vita port handled this.) Unless you abhor sex scenes, I don't see any reason to not play it safe and read the r18 version. Creepy because ? I mean, I feel like this exact kind of plot device is extremely prolific, even among manga and anime that target young kids. I have difficulty fathoming why anyone would call it that.
  11. Key announced their new title - Summer Pockets

    At least they got the gist of it. I would personally only use the word translation in quotes to refer to a machine translation or an unapologetic bastardization. Speaking of Kazamatsuri, they also posted TLs of the heroine scene transcripts, along with the raws if anyone hasn't seen those yet and wants to see what the writing will be like. The protagonist Hairi feels to me like maybe a cross between Yuuichi from Kanon, and Nagisa from Natsuyume Nagisa. It makes sense to me that Niijima would end up there when trying to emulate Key's style. Rewrite's protagonist was a little too "Romeo" for me (which I love in a Romeo VN, but not a Key VN) and Angel Beats obviously is a completely different character dynamic, so I'm happy to see a return to a more classic Key where the protagonist is a bum wandering around a seasonal landscape having inexplicable conversations with oddball heroines. I also feel like Key has finally modernized itself. Maybe it's because they got rid of Itaru and recruited the naturally lewd Niijima? The art is sexy without feeling forced, and the heroines' character designs and personalities are interesting without feeling gimmicky. Tsumugi in particular strongly reminds me of Shirokuma, though I won't get my hopes up for Suzumiya Sui.
  12. Is A Clockwork ley-line: a borderline to dusk worth to buy

    The first one (Borderline of Dusk) that just came out is enjoyable by itself, but it's short and light, especially if you don't waste time on the side routes. The second and third ones are much more enjoyable, emotionally gripping, and better rated. You should play it if you like the look of it and feel like doing so, because it's not like it's not a fairly complete and satisfying story by itself. But there's no rush to do so because the second and third one are on the way. As Narcosis said, it's also possible that they'll fix some parts of the script by then.
  13. ChuSinGura 46+1: Is it worth it?

    I'll just add, as someone who also read ChuSinGura in Japanese and loved it, that what I did was look at the Steam reviews and ask myself, "Of the people who read the localization, did they love it for the same reasons as people who played it in Japanese? Did they praise it just as much?" And the answer is... yes. ChuSinGura may have a problematic translation, but what matters to many people is whether it's readable without being significantly disconcerting, and whether it conveys the greatness of ChuSinGura. Bar machine translated crap or glitches that make a game unplayable, most translations accomplish this, and ChuSinGura was no exception. So the bottom line is that if you're not planning to learn Japanese anytime soon (which is definitely an option, because the difficulty of ChuSinGura is overrated, you'll get used to the antiquated inflections) and you want to play a truly epic, intellectual, hotblooded emotional rollercoaster of a VN, you should play ChuSinGura, because you will probably really enjoy it. ChuSinGura is basically Muv-Luv Alternative set in Edo Japan. It has a pseudo-non-virgin heroine (she has a daughter, yet the writer deliberately never mentioned the father so it's like he doesn't exist), was from a completely unknown brand, and is full of competent heroines who constantly show up or berate the protagonist, yet despite that it only barely didn't win 2ch's yearly best eroge poll for 2013 (it lost to Navel's fanbase) and has an extremely high rating on EGS, in the past 5 years it's second only to Sakura no Uta when you consider the combination of sample size and median. The only legitimate reasons to not try the localization are that you're extremely peculiar and cannot make yourself ignore the localization's problems, you already know or plan to learn Japanese, you're just getting into VNs and have yet to run out of better ones, or reading VNs is purely a social activity for you and you don't think your Fuwanovel friends will approve of you reading a censored localization--otherwise why the hell would anyone overlook this knowing how big a hit it is?
  14. Questions about Chaos;Child endings.

    This question doesn't make sense to me. How are you contrasting a game with romantic heroine routes and being forced to pick only one girl? The route structure is Don't read Chaos;Child if you want a stress-free romance. Read it if you liked Chaos;Head and want something similar.