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MaggieROBOT

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  1. Thanks
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Thank you all for coming along for this ride! (Indefinite Hiatus)   
    Hey there all!
     
    I will start with saying  that I really treasure my time spent writing this blog and interacting with various people involved in the EVN community. You guys were awesome company in this journey and despite the obscurity of this project, I feel like it benefited me personally in many ways and maybe even helped people appreciate the value within the non-JP visual novel scene. I'm really thankful to all the people that read my blog, the devs that offered me their time and gave me their games for review – they all made these 2+ years into something special.
    When I started this project, there were two main things that motivated me. The first one was the frustration over dismissal of EVNs which is still common sense in the large parts of the VN fan community – belittling of the very games that made me fall in love with the visual novel formula. I wanted to create a space that is fully dedicated to discussion and promotion of EVNs as worthwhile and significant part of the genre. The second part was even more personal – my personal struggles with video game addiction and other issues, my ambition to shift my focus into a more challenging and creative activity. In many ways, I consider both my goals relative successes. While slowly, the perception of EVNs is changing and the scene evolving in interesting ways – while it shares pretty much all the suffering of other indie niches, with PC gaming in general being oversaturated and hard to navigate, I feel that it at least established itself as a significant formula that is attractive for story-oriented devs and appreciated by a significant audience. In other words, EVNs are here to stay and in time fewer and fewer people will be able to easily dismiss them as poor imitations of Japanese games. Whether my work had any impact in this regard? Apart from a bunch of people on Fuwanovel that I know I influenced in personal interactions, I honestly have no idea. I want to think there was some minor impact, but I had enough fun in the process and learned enough that I don't mind either way. I did my best and changed a few things about myself, which was the most important part for me.
    Of course, I'm in no way saying that I'm putting the blog on hiatus because my job here is done. The real reason is much more prosaic – I just can't keep up with it. The last month was particularly devastating in this regard, with very little time for me to either read or write. And while an obvious answer would be to just work at my own pace and publish stuff whenever I'm able to, it's not really something that would work out for me. Missing deadlines, thinking about future projects, it all became a source of stress rather than a source of fun, and I feel it would only get worse with time. While I really wanted to keep the project alive, I don't want to do so at any cost. I feel burned out. I barely read VNs for fun. I don't watch anime for a few months now. I need a change of pace and ability to rediscover my love for these hobbies. The blog, sadly, became a prime obstacle in this.
    So, what's going to happen now? The blog will cease to get updates, unless something special happens. I might still do game jam summaries, as those are something I massively enjoy. I might also publish something on Fuwanovel from time to time – I'm theoretically still an editor there. The one part of the project that's definitely here to stay is the Steam Curator account. The devs that sent me their games deserve to at least get a Steam review and, generally, an evaluation of their work. I will also use my Twitter to publish updates about new games listed on the Curator account. The Steam reviews themselves will likely be a bit more polished – not that much though, I don't want to jump straight into the same burnout-inducing rabbit whole.
     
    So, once more, thank you for sticking around and I hope my project gave you some amusement. And, of course, see you around – I'm not giving up on EVNs and the community around them any time soon.
  2. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Aseret for a blog entry, [Review] Shingakkou ~Noli me Tangere~   
    Before I read this 2011 game from Pil/Slash, a developer infamous for doing weird shit, I heard several people in the BL community say that this game is like the kamige of BL games. Sure, I took it with a grain of salt, since fanbases in general hyper-inflate scores like no tomorrow. Even the most popular Nitro+Chiral BL games are good but nowhere near kamige level. I accepted it and started this game, one that felt very different from your average BL right from the start.
    Turns out that they were right about the kamige-tier thing.

    The cover with our heroes.
    Written by Kusaka Matsuri, same scenario writer of Black Cyc's Gore Screaming Show, Shingakkou tells the story of Michael, a boy enrolled in a boarding religious school going back home for Christmas Eve... only to find his family murdered, an inverted cross painted with blood in the wall and the entire house burning down. And all of this is like, ten minutes into the game. With only his twin brother Gaby by his side, Michael turns his back on God and go back to the school only to get his revenge, because is there that the possible culprit is hiding, along with a secret cult that worships the devil.
    Despite the anti-religious feel of the prologue, and good part of the common route where Michael mocks internally all his old habits that he's only reproducing not to be expelled, the message of the game is really one of love and forgiveness, a journey where Michael needs to learn to believe in God, other people and himself again. It's really incredible the amount of development he goes through the novel, I was almost shocked when I went back to the common route after finishing a route and saw irritable Michael again. And fortunately, said development isn't just him growing a spine, because he have one from the start. And I'm not a religious person myself, but even then I found the message (and the endings) extremely beautiful and touching, and not a propaganda of sorts, like some exorcism themed movies.

    Gaby is the one on the left, Michael on the right.
    But! Before we can go to those positive messages, we have to pass some horror stuff. And with "horror stuff" I mean: bizarre surreal images flashing, unknown sounds interrupting the conversation, jumpscares, cute (but in the end not really) laughing coming from nowhere, tons of allucination sequences, have to hear a character called Lucifer say things he wasn't supposed to know and even the music stops when he does so. Remember to play it in bright places! Seriously, the slice of life parts are the calm before the storm and you'll feel it. There's always that sense of dread after the story takes its turn for the worse so Michael (and you) is constantly unease. So the balance SoL/Plot is handled pretty well. And of course they have to turn it up the horror part for the bad endings, making Michael goes insane with some supernatural brainwashing, showing us all types of surreal scenarios. And when you're feeling all down for failing the choices, the Devil even appears on screen to laugh at you. My first bad ending was almost a traumatizing experience.
    Speaking of the supernatural, lots of occurrences are blamed in the "powers of the Devil" and, lacking other explanations, Michael and you're kinda forced to believe that it exists and it can totally screw you over masterfully. If you're looking for a story where every single occurrence of mysterious shit is explained, better look elsewhere. Although I could argue that explaining stuff here would kinda ruin the atmosphere...
    A thing worth mentioning is that the game have a "grotesque switch" to censor the worst CGs (even if there's nothing really gory here, just nightmare inducing). But this also blurry the text of said parts, so for the sake of the experience, bear it and leave it on.

    Speaking of jump scares... This screams really pierces your ears.
    Now to the routes. We have five guys to choose, but only three are available at start. My recommended order of the first three is Leonid (long white hair), Cecil (short brown hair), then Neil (red hair). While I agree the last two should be locked, forcing you to play all of the first three seemed a bit too much for me. Finishing the game once is enough. Sure, all of the routes offer you something nice to read, but this VN is not a multiple routes mystery. There's one culprit and he's correctly guessed in every single route. So why this huge lock is in place I have no idea. The first routes can be a bit slow, especially if you go with my recommended order, but the game REALLY picks up when you reach Neil's route. There's some repetition even in the characters routes, but this game features one of the fastest skips I ever saw. But at least the game provides you with some choices that you can pick whatever you want and see some different scenes (that are very far from the choice itself, and not just some "different hero reaction right afterwards") that don't really affect the outcome of the story.
    So why did I put the two slower routes first? Because Leonid's twists works better if you read his route first. Cecil is a nakige-like (there's still horror parts, it's not all fluffy, but it's full of feels) route that can be read at any point. And Neil's the one most strongly connected with the main plot. So it feels a lot better to read all the plot at once, since the last two routes are also super plot heavy. And weird. Good weird stuff.
    The relationship between the characters moves in a pleasant pace, with their romance gradually kicking in. There's plenty of time for them to know each other and the sex scenes are usually located in the end of each route. It's nice to see the romance actually growing and not starting out of nowhere leaving you to believe that the heroes fall for the MC at first sight. Maybe some of those interactions are kinda overlong, but nothing in an annoying level. And since the boys grew in a religious school and the story happens in the '50s or so, expect them to be a bit torn about liking other boys, "this is a sin" is a sentence you'll see multiple times.

    Aaaaaaaaw...
    Sex scenes are divided in three categories: vanilla, rape and weird shit. They aren't thaaat important to the plot so it's safe to skip them, just remember that they happened, but I must add that at least the ones in the weird shit tier (one in a character's route, another in a bad ending) are completely disgusting and involve some non-human beings (just allucinations, but still horrible to look at) and should definitely be watched for nausea reasons. Disclaimer: I'm a bit weak so maybe it's not that bad...
    The vanilla ones are kinda charming since they are a bit awkwardly cute. Unlike most VNs that I read, the boys are a bit confused at how sex should goes. And that's perfectly normal, since they're innocent 16 or so years old boys that lives in a seminary with pretty much zero exposure to anything sex related (of course, because they're all goody two shoes, but the deliquent Neil is a completely different story and he actually have some experience). In one particular scene, the kissing just stops and Michael even wonders what he and his partner should do next. And also, you can pick who's the one that will be on top, a fine addition that pleases both people that want the MC to have the upper hand in the relationship and people that thinks it's weird tiny and cute Michael to top his tall senpai. And for sensitive people, look at these guys. Half of them are kinda girlish (Cecil is the most), so no excuses! Imagine some flats and play the damn game!
    The rape scenes... In fact, this game have a rapist route. I had pretty low expectations for this route, since one thing I really hate is rape-turned-love (when brainwashing and drama are NOT involved). But this game surprised me yet again because the rape scenes were handled with the necessary seriousness. Some particular scenes were disgusting to see and a bit painful to hear the voice acting (and it wasn't because it was bad acting). It was very very heartbreaking to see the victims confused, avoiding other people, feeling guilty and crying of shame. So when the victim decided to actually end the relationship because there's no love in it, my opinion of the route improved greatly, because sadly this development is incredibly rare. And this route's ending is so beautiful, bittersweet and satisfying that was one of the best endings of the novel, even better than the true ending.
    Another thing worth mentioning is that this game also contains incest. Twincest, in fact. And the excuse they gave to it is nothing like "but they're not blood related" (well, they're twins, that wouldn't work) or "it's fine because it's true love" and it was weirdly good for me. Just be prepared for some surreal, dream-like sex scene.

    Cecil is asking who should top. And after this question they tossed a coin, seriously.
    The art is a bit old shoujo manga style, and that maybe isn't for everyone, but it grew on me kinda fast. The sprites have lots of facial variation and even some minor characters have sprites, which is a plus. And we also have corpse-like-people sprites for some allucination sequences. It's super creepy.
    The music are all very good, using chorus to some great effects, be to sound solemn or creepy. Except the ending song, that is some upbeat thing that have nothing to do with the game, except maybe the routes that end very happy, but oh well. Voice acting was also very good, everyone is full of emotion and even the side characters do a nice job. Michael is probably the best, but damn, that principal was two times more annoying because of the voice acting. Lucifer's chilling voice is another worth mentioning, since the secret society parts wouldn't be as terrifying without him.

    Quote aside, this is the kind of CG that keeps flashing.
    Without spoiling too much, I need to share a few words about the ending(s). The villain was fearsome, I liked who they choose to be the culprit and see his plan working left me at the edge of my seat. But his motivation is really hard to get. His character as a whole is a bit hard to understand. The game gives you lots of backstory, and what happened to him over the years, for you to think about, but the workings of his mind was a bit beyond me. Of course, read with the possibility that maybe I'm a bit dumb.
    In the end, Shingakkou was one of the best visual novels I ever read and I really wanted to find another that packs such a powerful punch. It was pure when it was supposed to be pure and scary when it was supposed to be scary. The characters were amazing and the plot was good not only comparing it with the other BL titles I read (that would be an overkill for them), but even with other bishoujo eroges I played. BL titles are a bit niche, I know, but I can't recommend this game enough.
    Read it if you like horror and mind fucking in general. Avoid it if you dislike long novels (some parts drags a bit), incest, pedophilia and some questionable religion talk (Lucifer is the worst offender, obviously).
  3. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, The End of an Actress (Western VN Review)   
    Human beings are contradictory creatures, whose behaviour is rarely as consistent as we would like to see and whose motivations are often complex, to the point they’re not fully understood even by the specific person themselves. This fact is often minimized in fiction, which instinctively strives for clear narratives and characters that are ultimately possible to fully understand and assess according to some kind of moral standards. At the same time, there’s undeniable value in exploring the ambiguity of the human condition and ebi-hime is one of the EVN authors that do it with a borderline-painful consistency, often creating harsh or melancholic plots and populating her stories with deeply flawed, realistic-feeling characters. And her latest release, The End of an Actress, definitely do not break this trend.
                    Released on Steam in late February 2020, this new title by ebi is loosely based on the last years of Marie Antoinette’s life, where she was imprisoned by the revolutionaries and eventually executed for her perceived crimes against the French people. It transfers these core events and many features of the queen’s biography into a fictional setting, closely resembling 18th-century France, but without any pretences for full historical accuracy. However, instead of a grant political tale, what plays out on this stage is a very intimate drama involving the deposed queen, Liliane, and Marcus, a revolutionary who led the assault on her palace and unwittingly became her jailor. In isolation and hopelessness, the relationship between the two will be redefined in a few possible directions, fluctuating between naïve fascination, hate and, possibly, mutual understanding and affection, making for a rather captivating literary experience and one of my new favourites in ebi’s catalogue. But what makes it this special?
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  4. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Mr Poltroon for a blog entry, Togainu no Chi + DEMO is out   
    JAST Blue is slowly but surely releasing Nitro+ CHIRAL's catalogue in the west. While these games had their patch long ago and every person with a passing interest in BL probably already read them, these releases certainly made it easier for fans of physical versions, HD CGs, uncensored dicks, merch or just our good old users of windows 10, as the original have a hard time to even run properly in our favorite OS (N+C did release compatibility versions, but it's not like the old patches even work with those).
    This year it's Togainu no Chi's time, N+C's very first game and the most edgy of the bunch. I DID review this game in the past but huh... it REALLY doesn't do a good job at promoting the game...
    Okay, so, if I didn't like this title in the first place, why am I even here? Because I really feel it's worth mentioning the demo of the game (you can grab it here (JAST) or here (Steam)) contain one whole route for free and it's most likely porn-free even, so if you ever get slightly interested in this but not enough to spend money, hey, today is your luck day! It's only the third best boy, but they can't be THAT generous now, can they?
    Is this a good game to get into the BL side of Nitroplus? Well, if you ask me, no. But I won't pretend parent Nitroplus isn't edgy af too and this game is actually pretty popular to this day, even among Japanese fans, so maybe I'm the one with shit taste here!  
  5. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Togainu no Chi + DEMO is out   
    JAST Blue is slowly but surely releasing Nitro+ CHIRAL's catalogue in the west. While these games had their patch long ago and every person with a passing interest in BL probably already read them, these releases certainly made it easier for fans of physical versions, HD CGs, uncensored dicks, merch or just our good old users of windows 10, as the original have a hard time to even run properly in our favorite OS (N+C did release compatibility versions, but it's not like the old patches even work with those).
    This year it's Togainu no Chi's time, N+C's very first game and the most edgy of the bunch. I DID review this game in the past but huh... it REALLY doesn't do a good job at promoting the game...
    Okay, so, if I didn't like this title in the first place, why am I even here? Because I really feel it's worth mentioning the demo of the game (you can grab it here (JAST) or here (Steam)) contain one whole route for free and it's most likely porn-free even, so if you ever get slightly interested in this but not enough to spend money, hey, today is your luck day! It's only the third best boy, but they can't be THAT generous now, can they?
    Is this a good game to get into the BL side of Nitroplus? Well, if you ask me, no. But I won't pretend parent Nitroplus isn't edgy af too and this game is actually pretty popular to this day, even among Japanese fans, so maybe I'm the one with shit taste here!  
  6. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, VenusBlood FRONTIER International – Steam Version (JP VN/sRPG review)   
    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
  7. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Maggie's top 10 reads of 2019   
    Okay, so it's halfway through December already, a New Year is approaching, so it's damn time for one of those generic and nostalgic lists where you reminisce about the good shit that went down in the year that's coming to an end. And since this is a VN forum, I'll refrain from talking too much about how much I liked Devil May Cry 5 (best action game alright, well deserved) or how many hours I wasted in idol anime (you know, seeing DMC5 and idol anime in the same sentence is both weird and amusing xD), so let's focus on my list of the 10 best VNs I've read this year (out of 31*). Note that not all of them were really released this year, but I should consider myself luck to even be able to read them before 2035, Sumaga's release date, considering my slow reading speed. Then...
    *Disclaimer: those 31 only include VNs that last more than 15 minutes so I can actually write a full paragraph on my impressions about them.
     

    10) Karasu to Lion
    Okay, I wasn't expecting to start the list of some random doujin I pulled from the corners of VNDB. I admit I just picked this one because it's short, every vote cast before mine was a 9 and Ryou looked kinda as cute as any other dark-haired-blue-eyed anime boi www  So KtL or "Blushing boys: The VN" (bless) is a very cute and fluffy slice of life romance between a shy senpai and a head-over-heels-in-love kouhai, at least it was until the not so good porn and the weirdly dark bad ends came, and that's why this isn't ranked higher. It was actually more entertaining when nothing of "plot" was happening and it was just moege scenarios.

     
    09) Steam Prison
    One of the few PC japanese otome releases of the year, Steam Prison had one interesting world and society going on there and some good plot points, but I feel the execution could be a bit better. The story had all the potential to create huge disasters, but it always solved them the fastest or easiest way possible. The cast is pretty solid though, and they had some fun banter going on at times, I really liked Ulrik and Adage (even if the latter can be very emo on occasion ww), both route and hero.

     
    08) No, Thank You!!!
    I've start this in the end of 2018 but only properly finish it in January 2019 so it counts, right??? The common route is pretty funny and interesting and the twist is quite good, as it changes the way you look at the story as a whole. As such the first and the second route were each a different experience, but I felt the effect kinda worn out a bit on the remaining routes. It does have your share of surprises, but it's not really the same as the initial big twist. The porn was a bit of a drag on most occasions and I just wanted the plot to keep going and, even if I know it would be a bit out-of-place in this story in particular, I would appreciate a bit more (or rather the existence) of actual lovey dovey romance. I loved Hiroshi, love me too, Hiroshi.

     
    07) Heart of the Woods
    A VN that makes that assumption that "every EVN is low quality or a cheap imitation of the japanese ones" all but an unfunny meme. Very high quality art, good characters, nice ero content, and not only a main but also a side couple for us to cheer are all its strongest points. If I really have to nitpick something, I would say the plot is just okay, never doing anything really ground breaking or highly memorable. But hey, it's still worth every cent as it's one hell of a cute read! If the lack of voices bother you, a voiced version is underway soon tm. Justice for Morgan!

     
    06) Hashihime of the Old Book Town
    I still can't stop thinking about this game. The setting, the themes, the cast, the emotions, the style. And surprisingly it was pretty much done by one person (yeah, I notice I love everything that strikes my doujin bone wwwww) I really adore Hashihime's world and these past few days I started collecting every other piece of trivia the author shared outside the game itself. It really pains me that the mess that is the last route REALLY bring it down to 6th place when it could be an easy top 3. I even went back to writing reviews specifically for this game. I want to hug Kawase, but he's a germophobe, so I don't know, he can step on me then I guess.

     
    05) True Remembrance
    Hey look, another doujin! Think I should rename this top. I've read this way back on February 2019, many years late to the Insani patches party. Blame my late introduction to FSN. But now I corrected that mistake and had one very good time with it! The incredible setting, the relationship between Black Iris and La, each unique episode/chapter, it's short but it knows very well how to best use its duration. Maybe it could be a tiny bit longer, it would help me remember that I read this, something that inevitably longer novels have the advantage.

     
    04) Death Mark
    Not only of doujins Maggie lives, but also horror games. Movies can give me some thrill but the fear of your character turning a wrong corner and finding a powerful indestructible spirit? Yeah, that shit is my jam and the feeling of being constantly on edge out of fear of the unknown and committing mistakes are two things this game delivers. Add to that some detective work to defeat the spirits in the most efficient way (you can defeat them in two ways: the easy way nets you some bad conclusions but the game doesn't end there and you can even reach the normal end down the line. The smart way gives you the True End) and you have one easy recipe to hook me. Not that every puzzle/question the game threw at me was well done or made sense at all, mind you. But damn, I still remember that weird chanting from the Kanon Soldier chapter. It's replaying in my mind right now. Mashita is superior.

     
    03) Lemures Blue no Gozen 2 Ji
    Or Gay Angst: The Game. Well, the angst don't really come from the fact they are gay for once, but boy, how many tragic backstories, tragic present stories can a short game have??? Even if there's plenty of supernatural stuff throw in, most of the sad stuff comes from bullying, suicide, grief and abuse, very mundane and real things, that made it all the more emotional for me. But it does have a lot of pure love, friendship and self-love themes that makes your heart warm after all. The romance is actually very soft as, if I recall correctly, we only get as far hand holding here. And can I really really praise how beautiful assets, be it the sprites or soundtrack, it managed to pull for a free game? Top doujin stuff and highly memorable. I kinda love everyone, I can't pick one boy >.<

     
    02) Nie no Machi
    Another "cheat" entry, as I've read one (and a half?) route in 2018. But boy, this VN is mostly slice of life, but I didn't get bored with it once. I just didn't read this faster because my japanese reading speed is even crappier than my english one (well, I don't need a hook + dictionary for english). The "hotel between life and afterlife" setting probably helped in keeping things fresh and interesting and every hero and even the side character had something to add to the experience... for better or for worse xD But in every route our protagonist Hisora help the heroes reach their happy ending and oh I so love uplifting stuff. It's actually impressive how my first impression of the heroes get almost completely reversed by the time their routes rolled in, and grumpy Asuku ended up with the best boy prize, someone I didn't feel much for in the common route. Just be careful as this also have its share of really tragic backstories and very gory and graphic bad endings (no guide mentioned this about the bad endings so let's say I got traumatized). Bonus points for being one of my favorite games when it comes to coloring, its color palette is so very pleasant to look at, not blinding white + high brightness pastel nor MS Paint levels of vibrant nor your generic boring Adobe tones, only soft goodness!!!!

     
    01) Sweet Pool
    And here it is. My favorite VN that I read in 2019. And the VN that is currently sitting as my second favorite VN ever. A great horror story similar to Saya no Uta in some good ways, it tells the tale of Youji, whose daily life was quickly disrupted by the weird changes happening in his own body... and the creepy ways his school mates react to it. The fear of not knowing what's happening with yourself, the contrast between human reason and animal instinct that drive the characters' actions, the whole somber atmosphere and color palette (yeah, you probably noticed how coloring is important to me wwww) and the soundtrack that's sometimes ambient and others dissonant (in a good way) are all the highlights of this beautiful game. It's definitely not for everyone (some plot points can be... weirder than Saya's), and a romance that's more on the "licking each others wounds" side won't win everyone over for sure, but for me this is another win for Nitroplus in my book and peak Nitroplus CHIRAL by far. I just wish Youji all the happiness in the world as he suffers too much and he doesn't deserve it, my heart.......

     
     
    And that was my 2019! Overall, I think it was a very positive year for localization choices and my own picks, so guess I'll stick with this weeb hobby for one more year  Here's hoping 2020 will be even better! My wishlist is filled with enough reading material for 5 years, which ones will be the gems? I'm soon to hit 100 read VNs too, maybe I'll return with another top. Until then! o/
  8. Thanks
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Leonor for a blog entry, A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!   
    Taisho x Alice was sadly remembered in the western otomege fandom for one of the worst otome localizations disasters. It read like garbage, had several bugs and it featured amateur english voice acting as if reading engrish wasn't enough. It failed so spectacularly the localization didn't even get past episode 1 out of 3. Well, thankfully tbh. Still, the damage was there and for a long time we believed we would never see a proper localization of this cute fairy tale reimagination in the west.
    Until now.
    Primula (TaiAli developer) decided to give english audiences one more chance, complete in a multilanguage package with japanese and chinese options to boot! Rejoice folks as Taisho x Alice episode 1 is now available on steam with a proper translation (translator this time around is our precious verdelish and from what I read from her previous VN translations it's likely top notch)! Episode 1 have only 2 heroes but they have full proper routes. The rest is in episodes 2 and 3, coming soon if episode 1 sells well enough. It's not always we get second chances in VN localization scene so let's say one huge thank you to Primula and support if you can and if you dig cute otomes! *points to strong female protagonist tag in VNDB, hint, hint*
     
    DISCLAIMER: sadly I wasn't paid for this promotion, I did it out of hype alone.
  9. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Mr Poltroon for a blog entry, A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!   
    Taisho x Alice was sadly remembered in the western otomege fandom for one of the worst otome localizations disasters. It read like garbage, had several bugs and it featured amateur english voice acting as if reading engrish wasn't enough. It failed so spectacularly the localization didn't even get past episode 1 out of 3. Well, thankfully tbh. Still, the damage was there and for a long time we believed we would never see a proper localization of this cute fairy tale reimagination in the west.
    Until now.
    Primula (TaiAli developer) decided to give english audiences one more chance, complete in a multilanguage package with japanese and chinese options to boot! Rejoice folks as Taisho x Alice episode 1 is now available on steam with a proper translation (translator this time around is our precious verdelish and from what I read from her previous VN translations it's likely top notch)! Episode 1 have only 2 heroes but they have full proper routes. The rest is in episodes 2 and 3, coming soon if episode 1 sells well enough. It's not always we get second chances in VN localization scene so let's say one huge thank you to Primula and support if you can and if you dig cute otomes! *points to strong female protagonist tag in VNDB, hint, hint*
     
    DISCLAIMER: sadly I wasn't paid for this promotion, I did it out of hype alone.
  10. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Dreamysyu for a blog entry, A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!   
    Taisho x Alice was sadly remembered in the western otomege fandom for one of the worst otome localizations disasters. It read like garbage, had several bugs and it featured amateur english voice acting as if reading engrish wasn't enough. It failed so spectacularly the localization didn't even get past episode 1 out of 3. Well, thankfully tbh. Still, the damage was there and for a long time we believed we would never see a proper localization of this cute fairy tale reimagination in the west.
    Until now.
    Primula (TaiAli developer) decided to give english audiences one more chance, complete in a multilanguage package with japanese and chinese options to boot! Rejoice folks as Taisho x Alice episode 1 is now available on steam with a proper translation (translator this time around is our precious verdelish and from what I read from her previous VN translations it's likely top notch)! Episode 1 have only 2 heroes but they have full proper routes. The rest is in episodes 2 and 3, coming soon if episode 1 sells well enough. It's not always we get second chances in VN localization scene so let's say one huge thank you to Primula and support if you can and if you dig cute otomes! *points to strong female protagonist tag in VNDB, hint, hint*
     
    DISCLAIMER: sadly I wasn't paid for this promotion, I did it out of hype alone.
  11. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, A second chance for Taisho x Alice!!!   
    Taisho x Alice was sadly remembered in the western otomege fandom for one of the worst otome localizations disasters. It read like garbage, had several bugs and it featured amateur english voice acting as if reading engrish wasn't enough. It failed so spectacularly the localization didn't even get past episode 1 out of 3. Well, thankfully tbh. Still, the damage was there and for a long time we believed we would never see a proper localization of this cute fairy tale reimagination in the west.
    Until now.
    Primula (TaiAli developer) decided to give english audiences one more chance, complete in a multilanguage package with japanese and chinese options to boot! Rejoice folks as Taisho x Alice episode 1 is now available on steam with a proper translation (translator this time around is our precious verdelish and from what I read from her previous VN translations it's likely top notch)! Episode 1 have only 2 heroes but they have full proper routes. The rest is in episodes 2 and 3, coming soon if episode 1 sells well enough. It's not always we get second chances in VN localization scene so let's say one huge thank you to Primula and support if you can and if you dig cute otomes! *points to strong female protagonist tag in VNDB, hint, hint*
     
    DISCLAIMER: sadly I wasn't paid for this promotion, I did it out of hype alone.
  12. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Soundless -A Modern Salem in Remote Area- (Western VN Review)   
    There were few EVNs in the last few years that I’ve seen seriously hyped up by other VN fans and brought to my attention through multiple recommendations and positive reviews – particularly beyond titles by a handful of relatively well-known and respected creators such as ebi-hime. The game I’ll be writing about today, Soundless -A Modern Salem in Remote Area-, is one of such exceptions, enthusiastic opinions about which intrigued me to a major degree, even though it ended up being two years before I finally picked it up. And this is not where the curious and unusual things about it end: this freeware visual novel was released in late 2017 by a small circle under the name of Milk+ and is heavily influenced by the denpa subgenre of horror – one reliant on distortion of reality and chains of bizarre events, true meaning of which is usually hidden under multiple layers of mystery. It mimics extremely well the visual style and climate of the early 2000s’ Japanese games, offering a now rarely-seen call-back to parts of visual novel history highly nostalgic to many fans. And thankfully, there’s a lot more to it than just the interesting stylisation and riding on memories of the past…
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  13. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Mr Poltroon for a blog entry, [Review] Hashihime of the Old Book Town   
    Well, this blog is... quite unused lately, but I had to come back to talk about this game. The one that effectively reignited my enthusiasm for VNs that was waning a bit for some months. The one that made me sit and only think about reading it for all weekend when I was reading best boy's route. Yes, the long-awaited psychedelic artsy and moody historical game, the latest BL game by Mangagamer Hashihime of the Old Book Town. From the introduction, you can see it was totally worth my time, but was the entirety of the game such good? Details below. And before anyone asks, Hashihime is a water yokai.
     

    Me, writing about my thought on this game in an epic manner
     
    This piece by the little developers ADELTA tells us the story of Tamamori, an incredibly lazy and somewhat self-centered aspiring writer, and his two childhood friends, the quiet bookworm that sometimes is a bit too focused on reading Minakami and the completely ruthless and sharp-tongued clean freak Kawase, living in the district of Jinbouchou in 1922, after moving from the countryside to attend the Tokyo Imperial University, a feat that only our poor protagonist failed to do. So he starts to work in a mysterious used bookstore and meet all kinds of weird people, except some of them are all but his delusions as he have the habit to daydream quite a lot. But when things start to get real weird and supernatural and his friends start dying, Tamamori suddenly goes back in time, only three days to be more precise, but it's enough of a chance to undo his friends' deaths. But will someone actually believe his story?
    The beginning is incredibly strong, doing a great job transporting us to Japan's Taishou Era with a lot of attention to detail. There's a ton of cultural references, most of them highlighted so you can click on them for a glossary explanation to pop up with on-screen on the go (although you can make them highlight only on the first time the word appears or disable it entirely). The world it's trying to build is our own, but it feels actually charming and make you curious about the era rather than a storm of unknown terms and explanations that makes you wonder why the characters are explaning something they should know. It flows really naturally, just the characters talking about what was "in" in their time. The main references, especially in the first few routes, are japanese authors of the era and, while my experience wasn't diminished at all for not having read a single one of those books, I do wonder how I would perceive the story itself, or catch even more subtle references, actually knowing the multiple times quoted Dogra Magra by Yumeno Kyusaku, or some less quoted works by Kuroiwa Ruikou or Ozaki Kouyou.
    The story is mainly a mystery, so your peaceful historical slice of life will turn into an irrational scenario when you're least expecting, and the mood shifts went all well. You and Tamamori will progress through the story in confusion more often than not, but keeping in check everything you learned until now can offer some fun theory crafting along the way and very satisfying "I knew it!" moments when some answers finally reveals themselves. That worked most on small details for me though, since some twist are very hard to see them coming. The time travel plot is used mostly effectively too, draining poor Tamamori's mental health with each failed loop. That also allowed for several bad ending scenarios to take place even with each route having a single ending, leaving you constantly in the edge of your seat because you never what, how or when things will go south.
     

    We have these cutouts instead of regular sprites, but they have quite some variations in clothing and expression
     
    There are a lot of good themes explored in this game, but the strongest ones all revolves around our three childhood friends (the group is actually composed by four people, but the fourth one is meh at best). Only after the story takes a weird turn that Tamamori notices but since they moved to the capital they all started growing apart somewhat, and it all may have started way back in the countryside. Their relationship, and most relationship between the main cast, stem from negative emotions such as loneliness, guilty, obsession, pity or even hatred, so Tamamori's journey through time for trust, love and to mend their friendship is one of my favorite aspects of the story, and the hardships he faces along the way were heartbreaking and emotional, turning him into a very memorable protagonist, even if he starts the game as one big good-for-nothing (and he is well aware of that).
    Let's remember though that the game sells itself as psychedelic so this journey will be full of CGs in weird and vibrant coloring, very magical parts, talking animals, delusion sequences, a lot of insanity overall and some explanations that makes very little sense the first time you read them. While not excessive to turn someone off entirely for being too bizarre, it can make people unsatisfied as some plot points only have weirdly metaphorical explanations... while others I still have to think about where to look at in the game to understand their answers. It's definitely food for thought though, one that can definitely make people who likes rereading things excited as there's several clues and foreshadowing all over the place that are only possible to catch a second time around.
    The story structure is a very simple one. The game have an enforced playing order and the only choices you have are to get into the routes. First time around you only have chapter 1 (as the game calls it, but it's Minakami's route) unlocked, and it'll look like this is a kinetic novel. After clearing it, the choice to the chapter 2 reveals itself, and after clearing it the choice to chapter 3 appears and so on. There are 5 chapters in total, all of them branching off the "main path", in a "bus stop" like fashion with Minakami's ending as the last stop if you didn't let off before. Each chapter focus on a different hero, and that's where the enforced order makes it annoying. Only 2 heroes interested me at first, and I ultimately only enjoyed 3 routes, but I can't even suggest to others to skip one chapter entirely because it's right in the middle of the game and you need it to unlock the next one. I can see why lock Minakami's route as the first one, as the others works best if you have some knowledge about the supernatural lore, but chapter 2, 3 and 4 could probably be read in any other or even skipped without losing all that much.
     

    I think the VN itself says Minakami keeps his eyes open only a few millimeters to read xD
     
    On the characters and routes themselves. Minakami is our first boy and, in my opinion, the best route of the game. Yeah, right off the bat to hook you on. According to the scenario writer herself, each route have a literary genre as base and Minakami's is "romance". And indeed, it was one sweet ride to save him. It's the longest route, but you'll find out very soon why this route will make you cry a lot. I can also add there's one good mini arc about a transgender side character here where the fact she is transgender is actually pointed out for once.
    Chapter 2 is for Tamamori's second friend Kawase. His theme is "mystery". And indeed, this guy is full of them. His abrasive personality, that is downright cruel on occasion, may make people not like him much, but he ended up being my best boy, help. >.< Some of his banter with Tamamori is really funny and the few glimpses of positive emotions he lets through his evil mask are genuine, or even cute if you're a fan of gap moe effect (like me). His route is very nice and its narrative complements quite well Minakami's route, and the support cast here is a really interesting bunch, so I think there's something to enjoy even if you're not the biggest fan of his character. Oh well, he never goes full well nor even a half nor a quarter deredere (romance is Minakami's theme after all), but his rudeness is a spice that's part of his charm ;p
    Chapter 3's hero is Hanazawa, Tamamori's third childhood friend, one that's 3 years older than him and one that our protagonist doesn't see in 8 years. Yeah, he's the meh guy I mentioned earlier. AND the route you could skip I used as example of why the enforced order is a bad idea. His theme is "adventure", but it's more a character theme than a route theme. His route is so short and thus underwhelming, adding literally nothing to the story nor exploring the character. So I don't even have much to say. The ending will meme you hard though, I warn you.
    Chapter 4 is for Hikawa Kijuurou aka Professor, the used bookstore faithful costumer and a massive dork. I'm not even fan of the blindly obsessed types, but man is it impossible to hate this guy. His dumb reactions, cute giggles when he "scores" very little with Tamamori like learning his name or his knees failing at the audacious idea of becoming friends with his crush will either leaves you laughing or going aaawww as the guy is a social failure but a very moe one at that. His theme is "sci-fi". The route does takes a weird turn by the end, even by the game standards www, that can considered a bit of a "cheat", but it was pretty nice overall, raising some interesting questions that are often ignored in time travel stories.
    And then there's chapter 5. Oh boy, chapter 5. Theme is "bizarre thriller" and bizarre is, indeed, the right word for it. It takes a completely different approach to the plot as a whole, moving the story in the totally opposite direction with different themes, lessons and motivations. Unfortunately it's less like Fate Stay Night's Heaven's Feel and more like a glorified bad ending. And the game even forces you to go for it last so you can end it all in a low note, instead of the sweet endings of most of the other routes. It's quite a short route too, far too short to explain most of it, but its main twist have such massive destructive power you'll either just brush it off as "just one of many routes, I will focus on the better ones instead", have the whole VN completely ruined or find it a really smart, shocking and amazing ending, depending how you take it. I can't say more without spoiling, so I'll just say I'm with the brush it off camp, and I would have rated the game higher if not for this one route.
     

    Professor reading the next section of this review.
     
    Sex scenes are your average VN stuff, just to show their relationship is going to another stage, but are safe to skip without losing much. In fact, I think the all-ages version that supposedly would be released on Steam would be real good for this one VN. It would make recommending it to mystery/historical fiction lovers easier www. And frankly, it would get rid of 2 h-scenes that are really awful context-wise (one is a rape scene and the other is... concerning). Although I must say you'll miss some funny banter that happens during the normal h-scenes if you skip them, like one of the heroes chanting sutras to get rid of his everlasting boner and Tamamori not moving and then demanding another hero to say "please" before simply hoping into a different position. Each hero get one scene, usually in the end of their routes. And if you really must know, Tamamori is always the bottom, but 2 heroes did volunteer to be on the receiving end, but our MC simply didn't agree. Oh man, why. Worth to mention too that the Mangagamer version is fully uncensored, so you can see Tamamori's impressive average size. To be fair, he is a rather short guy (5'3"/160 cm tall), but without looking like a shota, bless, we need more non-shota short boys in VNs.
    Art is simple but have that "doujin charm" that I love (it's hard to explain what that means wwwwww). This VN have quite an impressive number of CGs, 159 in total not including variations. Characters are mostly really really normal, with normal hair colors and haircuts, it was almost refreshing! Every mob character made just to populate backgrounds is a shadow though, but there's some eeriness to it. Speaking of backgrounds, the game have both gloomy, cool colored ones and bright, vibrant colored ones, that kinda goes well with all the mood shifts the VN goes through. The music also helps to set the mood, be it calm, tense or one of relief, and the jazzy tracks in particular were quite pleasant to listen to. You can also play back the opening/ending songs in the main menu, but sadly only those. Voice acting is well done, there's no big names in the cast or anything, but they conveyed pretty well the characters' personality and emotions.
    I did have other minor grips with the system in general, like noticing the area where you could click in the system buttons are a loooot smaller than their actual size, some random line breaks in the middle of the text box for no reason mainly on Kawase's route and a handful of lines that advanced by itself, but nothing that renders the game unplayable.
     

    I refuse to provide context for this CG
     
    In conclusion, Hashihime is one hell of an addition to the small pool of localized BL VNs, a truly unique experience, and a great bizarre and artsy plotge in general (are there other games in this category www? maybe Inganock??? both have a lot of literary references too hmmm). The 3 good routes are very high quality for me, but sadly it gets dragged down by 2 subpar routes when you rate the game as a whole. The last route is highly divisive but you'll definitely have something to appreciate in this adventure, be it the ending route itself or anything else despite the ending route. Well, Minakami would probably like all routes regardless. According to Kawase, "that guy enjoys anything as long as it's written. He would even enjoy reading the diary of a tuberculosis patient" (exact words).
  14. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Emi for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  15. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Zander for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  16. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Dergonu for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  17. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Zakamutt for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  18. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Mr Poltroon for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  19. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Dreamysyu for a blog entry, Yes, I'm still among the living   
    Heya, people! It's such a long time I don't see you guys, I almost forgot my password to this forum. Guess Fuwa is still alive and kicking just like me, huh. First of all, sorry I disappeared from the face of the Earth and if I disappointed any fans I might had in this site (silly me). Since last time I posted back in February, a lot of things happened so if anyone's curious (maybe the aforementioned imaginary fans of mine) about what the hell's been happening with me, do keep reading. I talk about VNs, anime, and other disgusting weeb things, but it does include some personal shit. Well, a blog is a blog.
       1) Maybe I mentioned this a huge while ago at some point, but I'm pursuing a master's degree in the structural engineering field. All was going well and good, but now it came the time for me to write my thesis. Oof. So yeah, that's the main reason I became a ghost as my weekday free times went down the drain along with my hopes and dreams. It doesn't help my thesis requires some programming knowledge that may be more than what I can chew, sasuga me (whining aside, it's coming along fine as of now, let's hope I can keep it up).
       2) Not only my free time evaporated but also my attention spam. I'm honestly having a hard time staying focused for more than 40 minutes in the same task. When that happens, I usually take a short break to relax before going back. Except I move on to something else, oops.
       3) Related to the problem mentioned in 2, I fearfully discovered a new wonderful world that's now high in my interests list: gacha games. Their content is usually bite sized (except in events, but I don't play all that seriously... I think), I can auto play to grind, and I can play on the train going to uni. No huge time investment at once required, so what can possibly go wrong (dramatic zoom on my face)? Fortunately, I'm still keeping my two accounts (yep) free-to-play and I feel that I grew a lot on the self control department because of this www. Seriously though, never invite me to a casino trip, I may have an undiscovered gamble addiction and I don't want to open that door. But yeah, if anyone else plays Opera Omnia or Shining Live send me a friend inviteeeeeeeeeeeeee!
       4) Even with all that going on, I still find time to at least watch my anime and read my VNs, surprisingly. Thank God for weekend. Guess cutting yourself off of social media truly does wonders too, huh. Not that I check Twitter on occasion to look at art or anything... Soooo about that weeb shit...
          4.1) La Squadra was right all along
          4.2) I'm still a proud BL trash. From what I recently finished, the highlights are Sweet Pool and Nie no Machi. Both are really really amazing games, both scored higher than 9 in my book, and I definitely want to write a review for them at some point. Spread that love, Maggie!
          4.3) I'm actually a bit slow on the otomege department, sorry >.<  I did get Steam Prison and read both of the Prisoner Routes, but I'm not in the right mindset to keep going with it. I wouldn't enjoy it if I force myself through it. Eltcreed and Ulrik were striking my fancy, so I want to savor them. ......Okay, that came out wrong.
          4.4) EVN ftw, I always find some time to read them. Nanoreno gave me some nice short experiences, the highlight being Monochrome Blues despite the ending kek. Oh, and read Heart of the Woods, people. It's an order. High quality shit right there.
          4.5) Also I keep stumbling upon horror games and I'm okay with this. Recently I played Death Mark. As usual, I went without a walkthrough, solving every mystery by myself. Totally worth it. And it also have very good sound design. Mashita best boi.
          4.6) It does sounds like a lot, but there's nothing much more than what I mentioned wwwwww
          4.7) Did I mentioned La Squadra? (<-- edit that bit out, I totally did, as I should)
       5) Now, about my Fuwa life. I'll probably remain on indefinite hiatus, but every time I find the file I wrote some ideas for Dank a Ronpa, I feel sad. "How could I write such a shit story?" Jokes aside, I can try to maybe finish it at some point when Derg finished his battle royale. Such a rude, I gave him such a brutal death in my story and I didn't even debut on his smh. But yeah, I accept suggestion of what to do with it? Give it a Berserk treatment and finish it soon TM? Write all the bad ideas I had for it and let you guys fill the blanks yourselves in a very lazy way? Make each one of you write a chapter, put everything together, approve it as canon and call it a day? Decisions, decisions. Actually, I'm actually paying a homage to it in this post, as I'm not proof reading anything, hope you spot the reference.
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it, I guess. For all of you that reach this line without pressing page down 3 times in less than 3 seconds, a big thank you. Please smash that like button and subscribe to someone's channel that's more active than me. Love, peace, and hope to see you all eventually when I get my degree! Until them!
  20. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Mr Poltroon for a blog entry, Playing Wargroove   
    Just a video of me playing the puzzle mode of this game. I plan to do more of them, but I won't make a blog post for each one. Instead, they'll be replies on this one, probably.
    That said, I do plan to make something in this game involving the Fuwa community at a later date.
  21. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Flutterz for a blog entry, Reading Ginharu Very Slowly #14   
    I've gotta live up to the name of the blog, ya know?
    Actually I recently found about about the Hoshi Ori patch that's being worked on right now, and that made me want to revisit Ginharu. I was considering just reading it on my own without updating the blog but that felt wrong. I'll probably end up disappearing for another year after a few entries, but we'll see. In the meantime, I'll probably have fewer screenshots and more summarization because I'm lazy.
    Also it turns out that I never even published the previous entry in September of 2017, so here it is I guess
     
    Now onto the stuff I read recently and not over a year ago
     
  22. Thanks
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Formlose Gestalt for a blog entry, BL terms and their use in the west   
    Hi, ladies and gentlemen! Today, I bring you a bit of history and information about the origins of some BL related terms. Of course, I'm not the supreme autority in japanese BL culture, very far from that, in fact I did a lot of research for this post, so feel free to correct any mistakes, I would love to learn more about it!
     
    Let's start with the main one. What's Yaoi? In the west, is the most generic term to describe works that have romance and usually sex between two males. By now, you must have noticed that I never use this term, be it in this blog or around the forums. Why's that? Because it's a short for the expression "YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi" that roughly translates to "No climax, no ending, no meaning". Pretty much our classic "porn without plot". It was a term used by two manga artists in the '70s to dismiss poor quality doujinshis, and this was appropriated by early BL authors when the genre started to go beyond fanfiction of popular shounen series. Yeah, sure, the low quality and no plot parts are pretty much true for tons of male on male doujinshis I found around in the internet, but BL as a genre now is a lot more than just this! It's natural to distance itself of this old label now. Even if the fans accept it by learning how to laugh at themselves... I still prefer a serious label any day. Japanese sites that sells games and manga magazines all tag those works as BL now, so yaoi is way less used over there, except for refering to parody doujinshis and such. Here in the west, on the other hand, I see the term all the time used by either long time fans that didn't bother to switch out the term they got used to or by people outside the fanbase. Looking around here on Fuwanovel or VNDB, places where the bishoujoge fans far outnumbers the BL fans, like pretty much any other VN discussion place, I see the yaoi term being used quite a few times. Okay, in VNDB maybe it's because the tag is named like this and it could be too much unnecessary work to try to change it now, so they're forgiven for now.
     
    Now now. What if a work have romance between two guys but no sex? Yaoi was for porn without plot, but what should we call the works that don't have porn either? Are you guys familiar with the expression Shounen Ai? Here in the west, that's exactly how we call these kinds of work! Well, too bad it's not exactly right. You see, Shounen Ai was a term to describe manga that were inspired by tanbi literature. These stories (both Shounen Ai and tanbi) were about the pursuit of beauty in the form of romance between a older man and a pure and innocent younger one (read as: teens, late teens or young adults. Younger than this is shotacon), with flowery language and unusual kanji. Meaning, the term Shounen Ai in Japan actually refers to pederasty (and that means "love of boys" in greek). Sure, these manga didn't exactly have any porn in it either, but the association of "no porn" and this term was never a thing in Japan. And they don't even use this term anymore, since this is pretty much a dead type of manga style anyway, much like tanbi. They call everything BL and the rest of the tags that gives away if it have porn or not.
     
    But what about Bara? The even-more-niche gay romance works, usually created by gay men for a gay audience, full of very masculine guys? Are they also known by the name of BL in Japan, even if they are so different of their female oriented counterpart? No, they aren't called BL... and not Bara either. Bara probably comes from the name of a early popular gay magazine (that's not sold anymore) called Barazoku (translates to rose tribe). But that magazine didn't focus only in manga, it also contained news, short stories, interviews, pornographic pictures and even some space for personal advertisement to search for a romantic partner. It was the first gay magazine to be sold in popular bookshops of Japan, so that's maybe why the association was made. Hey, even BL was once called June, because that was the name of one of the earliest magazines for BL works! Well okay, that was some milestone, but guess japanese publishing industry don't use the association. So, what are more masculine guys romance games/manga called? Guess... ML, or Men's Love. Yep. Although, for manga, they also use Geikomi (as in gay comic). So yeah, if you ever want to look for this type of content in japanese sites, you know what you need to look for.
     
    Not BL, but still interesting to mention, maybe the origin of the Yuri term... was a column of Barazoku that tried to appeal for lesbian readers named Yurizoku no Heya (Lily tribe's room) back in the '70s. And yes, Shoujo Ai is used in a similar manner than Shounen Ai, to refer to works that deals with pedophilia (I never saw a yuri manga with a lolicon girl though... but I'm still a yuri noob, there's still much for me to see). Unlike all other BL terms though, Yuri is vastly used in Japan, but GL (or Girl's Love) sometimes pops up here and there.
     
    And now, to wrap things up, what's my opinion about all this terms mess? Frankly, I'm a bit torn... I really dislike the misuse of the terms, but how can little me do something to change such widespread terms in the west at this point? I'll also not even try to correct every single person that uses yaoi instead of BL, but now you know that it kinda annoys me a bit. The most important thing is that we can understand each other, even if we use different terms, but at least I tried to raise awareness so you don't embarrass yourself in your trip to Japan. Cheers!
  23. Like
    MaggieROBOT got a reaction from Sayaka for a blog entry, BL terms and their use in the west   
    Hi, ladies and gentlemen! Today, I bring you a bit of history and information about the origins of some BL related terms. Of course, I'm not the supreme autority in japanese BL culture, very far from that, in fact I did a lot of research for this post, so feel free to correct any mistakes, I would love to learn more about it!
     
    Let's start with the main one. What's Yaoi? In the west, is the most generic term to describe works that have romance and usually sex between two males. By now, you must have noticed that I never use this term, be it in this blog or around the forums. Why's that? Because it's a short for the expression "YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi" that roughly translates to "No climax, no ending, no meaning". Pretty much our classic "porn without plot". It was a term used by two manga artists in the '70s to dismiss poor quality doujinshis, and this was appropriated by early BL authors when the genre started to go beyond fanfiction of popular shounen series. Yeah, sure, the low quality and no plot parts are pretty much true for tons of male on male doujinshis I found around in the internet, but BL as a genre now is a lot more than just this! It's natural to distance itself of this old label now. Even if the fans accept it by learning how to laugh at themselves... I still prefer a serious label any day. Japanese sites that sells games and manga magazines all tag those works as BL now, so yaoi is way less used over there, except for refering to parody doujinshis and such. Here in the west, on the other hand, I see the term all the time used by either long time fans that didn't bother to switch out the term they got used to or by people outside the fanbase. Looking around here on Fuwanovel or VNDB, places where the bishoujoge fans far outnumbers the BL fans, like pretty much any other VN discussion place, I see the yaoi term being used quite a few times. Okay, in VNDB maybe it's because the tag is named like this and it could be too much unnecessary work to try to change it now, so they're forgiven for now.
     
    Now now. What if a work have romance between two guys but no sex? Yaoi was for porn without plot, but what should we call the works that don't have porn either? Are you guys familiar with the expression Shounen Ai? Here in the west, that's exactly how we call these kinds of work! Well, too bad it's not exactly right. You see, Shounen Ai was a term to describe manga that were inspired by tanbi literature. These stories (both Shounen Ai and tanbi) were about the pursuit of beauty in the form of romance between a older man and a pure and innocent younger one (read as: teens, late teens or young adults. Younger than this is shotacon), with flowery language and unusual kanji. Meaning, the term Shounen Ai in Japan actually refers to pederasty (and that means "love of boys" in greek). Sure, these manga didn't exactly have any porn in it either, but the association of "no porn" and this term was never a thing in Japan. And they don't even use this term anymore, since this is pretty much a dead type of manga style anyway, much like tanbi. They call everything BL and the rest of the tags that gives away if it have porn or not.
     
    But what about Bara? The even-more-niche gay romance works, usually created by gay men for a gay audience, full of very masculine guys? Are they also known by the name of BL in Japan, even if they are so different of their female oriented counterpart? No, they aren't called BL... and not Bara either. Bara probably comes from the name of a early popular gay magazine (that's not sold anymore) called Barazoku (translates to rose tribe). But that magazine didn't focus only in manga, it also contained news, short stories, interviews, pornographic pictures and even some space for personal advertisement to search for a romantic partner. It was the first gay magazine to be sold in popular bookshops of Japan, so that's maybe why the association was made. Hey, even BL was once called June, because that was the name of one of the earliest magazines for BL works! Well okay, that was some milestone, but guess japanese publishing industry don't use the association. So, what are more masculine guys romance games/manga called? Guess... ML, or Men's Love. Yep. Although, for manga, they also use Geikomi (as in gay comic). So yeah, if you ever want to look for this type of content in japanese sites, you know what you need to look for.
     
    Not BL, but still interesting to mention, maybe the origin of the Yuri term... was a column of Barazoku that tried to appeal for lesbian readers named Yurizoku no Heya (Lily tribe's room) back in the '70s. And yes, Shoujo Ai is used in a similar manner than Shounen Ai, to refer to works that deals with pedophilia (I never saw a yuri manga with a lolicon girl though... but I'm still a yuri noob, there's still much for me to see). Unlike all other BL terms though, Yuri is vastly used in Japan, but GL (or Girl's Love) sometimes pops up here and there.
     
    And now, to wrap things up, what's my opinion about all this terms mess? Frankly, I'm a bit torn... I really dislike the misuse of the terms, but how can little me do something to change such widespread terms in the west at this point? I'll also not even try to correct every single person that uses yaoi instead of BL, but now you know that it kinda annoys me a bit. The most important thing is that we can understand each other, even if we use different terms, but at least I tried to raise awareness so you don't embarrass yourself in your trip to Japan. Cheers!
  24. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Highway Blossoms: Remastered (Western VN Review)   
    Since being published by Alienworks in mid-2016, Highway Blossoms earned its place as one of the highest-rated yuri VNs on VNDB and could easily be considered as one of the most successful Western visual novels to date. The game from the very beginning stood out through its unusual setting, plot structure and high production qualities, seemingly appealing even to the more demanding or JP-focused yuri fans. It wasn’t a great surprise then that Highway Blossoms’ authors, despite their second title, The Human Reignition Project, being stuck in a development hell, decided to further capitalize on their previous success and create an updated version of HB, with features such as partially reworked art and full voice acting (the initial release had none). The Remastered edition was released on May 18th 2018, two years after the game’s premiere, with quite a lot of fanfare and became available as a free update for both existing and potential owners of the game. So, how that does the enhanced version of everyone’s favourite yuri EVN presents itself, and does it live up top the hype? Spoiler: it does. Kind of...
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  25. Like
    MaggieROBOT reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Episicava Vol. 1 (Western VN Review)   
    Chuunige is one of the visual novel genres that are barely present in OELVN scene, at least to any “serious” capacity – among the more popular and high-quality releases there’s very few that would even loosely fit the “fighting VN” formula, or especially effectively replicate the unique feel of this particular current in Japanese fiction. Recently, however, a fledgeling studio under the name of Epic Works decided to remedy this sorry state of affairs by creating a content-rich, Fate-inspired EVN called Episicava. The first volume, of what was apparently planned to become a longer series, was released on Steam in April 2018, in a slightly disastrous state – full of graphical bugs and various technical issues, the game made a rather poor first impression. However, since those problems were mostly fixed with patches in the months after launch, it’s a good moment to look at Episicava and ask the most important question – did it manage, in its improved state, to capture some of the magic of Fate/Stay Night or Dies Irae in a downscaled, low-budget form of an EVN?
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
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