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Plk_Lesiak

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Everything posted by Plk_Lesiak

  1. unconventional hi

    Hello and welcome to Fuwa! I hope you'll feel comfortable enough to post a bit more at some point, we're not very scary as far as I can tell.
  2. Wholesome yuri reccomendations?

    Outside of those already mentioned (all really good games), I'd recommend Lonely Yuri and Stralight Vega.
  3. Fan Translations Are Nearly Dead?

    VNs in general are doing fine, but yeah, the fan translation scene is running out of steam fast. I'd consider it a natural evolution of things - most dedicated fan translators worked to create the official VN market and now they're mostly working there, or moved on with their lives and can't afford to put in hundreds of hours in free labour anymore. They won, in a sense, creating the foothold that now proffessional companies stepped into and while the official scene might not be all hearts and flowers, it puts out more quality content that an average person can ever hope to read through.
  4. Any good VNs for Android?

    I've started a short discussion about it a while ago, listing most of the worthwhile VNs on Google Play. In the meantime, the MangaGamer app appeared and I could also add Locked Heart, Wanted: Dragon and Kusoge to the list of somewhat-readable, free stuff on Android.
  5. Hello and Greetings!

    Welcome to Fuwa! That's some admirable ambition you have there and I hope our little community can help with it. This is like fourth new person making introduction in the last few days? Haven't seen this kind of traffic around here for months. :3
  6. Hello everyone! I'm new!

    Welcome to Fuwanovel! So, have you read Katawa Shoujo in full yet? If you did, I could recommend trying some other freeware VNs, like Lucid9, Cupid or One Thousand Lies.
  7. Dharker Studio is one of the better-known development teams on the EVN scene, active since early 2015, but also one that quickly became rather infamous due to their low-quality, fanservice-filled titles. Games such as Sword of Asumi or Divine Slice of Life gathered a lot of attention, as they were released on then still quite barren EVN market and quickly found their way to Steam, but were also quite harshly rejected by reviewers and poorly received by many VN fans. Later down the line, the company focused on purely erotic titles, with much-telling titles such as Army Gals or Battle Girls – admittedly with slightly more artistic(?) success. While most of those games followed a very standard formula, with faceless self-insert protagonists and number of females to “date”, there are also two notable yuri eroge by Dharker: Negligee, released in late 2016 and Galaxy Girls, published a year after that. Today, as the appreciator of yuri that I am, I’ll take a closer look at those two girls’ love-themed games, both of them quite curious examples of commercial success despite many, many problems they suffered from. As a "bonus", I'll include the Negligee's prequel, Love Stories, in the article – the game that earned the unexpected honour of being the first uncensored, fully explicit eroge accepted by Valve for Steam release. While this game's content is mostly straight hentai, it has one notable yuri subplot and features all the girls from Negligee, being worth a closer look from everyone that enjoyed the first title in the series. So, let's get this thing started! Negligee While writing the two dozens of shovelware reviews over the last 6 months I've noticed that ecchi EVNs seem to work better with casual, more or less realistic settings – there are few things more painful than mediocre-at-best writer trying to create a fantasy or sci-fi setting with the use of kitsch, exaggerated characters and all the most overdone cliches, just to give an excuse for persistent close-ups on anime boobs and a few hentai scenes. The game we're talking about now, thankfully, chose a rather simple and straightforward premise and made a pretty decent use of it. As the player, you control the actions of an assistant manager in a lingerie shop (titular Negligee), that is suddenly forced to take over for her boss (who runs away in mysterious circumstances) and find some new employees. Soon, three candidates show up and as they all seem reasonably fit for the job, we have to take our female protagonist (who is, by the way, a quite gorgeously-designed, busty redhead) through a week-long trial with the girls and decide which one of them she should hire. And, as I probably don’t have to explain, the store’s sexy merchandise will find many, many uses throughout the whole experience. And also quite often it will be falling on the floor... While, obviously, the premise might have relatively little significance here in comparison to fanservice and h-scenes (although, surprisingly enough, those are mostly bonus content, served to you after finishing the main plot),the game offering a serviceable story, with the possibility to properly present the characters and get the reader at least a tiny bit emotionally involved is something I always appreciate. While some of the mechanics Dharker used here, like the large number of bad endings, make relatively little sense within the formula (I don’t think many people bought this game for unexpected drama-filled, negative conclusions that don’t even feel that connected to the choices you made), the heroines are likable and get just enough character development to make the whole thing fun to read – and nice to look at, as art is admittedly of very nice quality, just as you would hope in a quasi-nukige. In the end, however, it's just a bit too short (it takes only around 4 hours to 100% it) and shallow to prove truly satisfying, especially for the base asking price of $13. Because of this, I don't think I can give it a rating higher than Rabbit Poo, although, if you find it on deep sale, it’s still a reasonably enjoyable piece of yuri smut, definitely worth it for the fans of the genre. Final Rating: Rabbit Poo Negligee: Love Stories Negligee's prequel already claimed a place in PC gaming and VN history, regardless its quality, but in my opinion, it turned out to be a positive surprise not only by heralding the end of Steam's strict anti-porn policies. Love Stories, which contains four short, separate episodes, explores the backstories of the three main heroines from the first game and the paths that led them to working in the titular lingerie store, along with the story of Loren, the Negligee's old manager. It does a very solid job of expanding on the very basic characterisation the cast received before, placing all of them at the center of some decently-written drama. Every episode has a clear theme (like sex addiction for Sophie or failed marriage and cheating for Loren), with choices that can either lead you to the resolution of the conflict and a positive, canon ending (which also awards you a short epilogue) or a negative, "dead end" one. Interestingly enough, hentai scenes are quite often connected to the "bad" choices, with more narratively compelling resolutions being connected to characters rejecting sex or at least being reluctant about it. This makes an impression of a nukige that actually tries to tell a story and cares at least somewhat about the consistency of its narrative – a pretty rare occurrence, especially in the low-budget EVN scene. Interestingly enough, Love Stories' flaws spawned a substantial amount of criticism towards the game, making it barely stay above "mixed" ranking on Steam. And there are definitely some problems there: the choices often don't affect the story in meaningful ways, sometimes literally being followed by 2-3 unique lines and only making any difference when it goes to the ending you'll get. The episodes are also short, with the whole VN ultimately having a similar completion time as the first Negligee and most likely only feeling compelling to those familiar with the original story and interested in exploring its characters further. Out of context, it will only be a decently-drawn, short nukige, but if you're familiar with the original game and enjoyed it, both titles supplement each other really well and create a rather enjoyable experience. Not one deep beyond what you could reasonably expect from porn VNs, but pretty high up there in its own category – and I see no reason why we shouldn't appreciate that. Final Rating: Golden Poo! Galaxy Girls Galaxy Girls is a game with a somewhat complicated history, but one aiming at simple goals. It’s a remake of the Reine Works’ Blossoms Bloom Brightest, a free Yuri Game Jam title, which Dharker expanded on, and added h-scenes and fanservice, pretty much completely absent in the original. While keeping the general structure of the plot and even much of the dialogue, they added a fourth character (the story follows a small group of women stuck together on an involuntary, one-way space mission and having to cope with their situation), replaced all the artwork and, ultimately, shifted the tone of the whole experience from drama to porn (including some seriously out-of-place fanservice scenes, especially the solo ones in the common route, featuring the protagonist, who acts as the ship’s captain). Even the character designs, while clearly similar to the original ones, feel much less mature and are visibly more “sexy” (it’s hard to miss Kotoha’s sprite magically going from B cup to D+). While all these modifications are rather understandable, considering the Dharker’s history and the kind of content their fans might expect, things that weren’t changed are more puzzling. BBB’s story begged for major reworking, with its rather one-dimensional characters, messy plot progression and the main intrigue going nowhere, but all its biggest flaws are completely intact in the remake. Addition of the extra character, Emilia, is also done in a very poor way, as she’s inserted into a story definitely constructed around the original three girls and their interactions, so throughout the common route she barely has any role to play and literally nothing meaningful to say, to the point it’s rather hilarious, while the choices that lead to her route rarely make any sense. A DLC episode, added months after the game’s release, give us some insights into her character and her backstory, but it’s definitely too little, too late to salvage her as a meaningful addition as anything other than fanservice fodder. The game, obviously, has a decent amount of hentai – as someone who cares little for anime porn, as usual, I’m not the best person to assess it, but its variety and quality of the art are definitely on a very decent level. Still, the trainwreck that is Galaxy Girls’ story did little to get me excited about the sex and romance in it and that’s never a good sign, even if you want to treat this game as a nukige (and I think it’s less of a porn game than Negligee, considering its much longer story and the hentai once more being mostly at the end of every route). It’s definitely not the worst thing ever, probably not even close to some games covered in this series, but even considering it’s more reasonable when it goes to price/content ratio (especially including DLC episodes, there’s quite a lot of reading and quite a lot of porn in there), I see few reasons to recommend it. Only for those really starved for some hot yuri action (although I would still suggest saving your money and investing into something like a SonoHana game or the recently-released Sisterly Bliss). Final Rating: Rabbit Poo ----------------------------------------- And this, for the time being, concludes the topic of Dharker Studio’s yuri games and marks the beginning of a short hiatus of Shovelware Adventures. It, however, doesn’t mean that Dharker is already off the hook – when the series comes back, it will quite likely be their titles, especially the very early ones, published under the AJTilley.com label, being torn apart. These games are especially interesting to me, as they’re all quite important parts of the history of the whole EVN scene, even if rather unfortunate ones and I can’t way to see whether all my negative assumptions and knowledge about them will be proven right. For now, I hope you all enjoyed our little journey through the world of visual novel shovelware (and, maybe, even other parts of my humble blog). Until the next time!
  8. My gaming addiction, and how it affected me.

    Well, gaming/internet addiction was one of the constant elements of my life since early teens. Directly, it never went into truly destructive territories (I've managed my everyday duties and spending habits pretty well), but led me into this super-asocial way of living, social anxiety and failing the second year of my studies really hard (not from not trying, but just from how overwhelming some of the tasks before me were, like doing field surveys - I'm much better nowadays when it goes to interacting with people, but I know it would be still a huge challenge to try to get interviews from strangers in the way we were asked to do it back then). Thankfully, it was all within context of free higher education in Poland, otherwise it might've had much more severe consequences. I guess I never really lost myself in gaming, but I was spending pretty much every free moment on it since I've got a computer of my own, only having it not make me fail in school etc. through a complete lack of social life. Last year, I decided things have to change and started slowly removing games from my life, with a single exception of VNs and promise to myself that I'll keep my otaku activities creative, never regressing to spending countless hours of lonely, mindless grind in strategy games and RPGs. In the end, I've started writing reviews of anime and VNs, then the blog and this led me to the current place - one in which I pretty much stopped playing any games outside of VNs and finally started working on myself a bit (I'm even exercising every day, something I never thought could actually happen). It might not look that different from the outside (I'm still spending A LOT of time reading VNs and producing content), but it's way more satisfying and connects me with people rather than isolating me from them, even if it's mostly online contacts. Anyways, thanks for sharing your story and I hope you stay strong. These things are not easy to deal with and removing the temptation is sometimes indeed the best idea (after all, I've eventually done so myself - after getting rid of WoW a few weeks ago I literally don't have games on my relatively high-end computer that aren't 2D anime slideshows, with the sole exception of Darkest Dungeon :>). I think VNs are, in the end, way more intellectually stimulating and easy to manage than most traditional games. Good luck and I hope they'll serve you well on your new path.
  9. Hello there, ugly old person outside of my area! Glad you found the strength to register and I hope you'll have fun with your newly-found posting powers.
  10. How many people cares for physical copies?

    Aye, similar case here, minus the laws (they're not as strict and no one enforces them). I couldn't possibly afford buying physical copies most of the time and I have no space for them whatsoever. Plus there are actually very few VN for which I could possibly want them (just Flowers and Yurirei probably). In general, I'm very happy with the conveniences of digital releases and would quite likely keep everything on Steam if I could, neetly sorted, reviewed etc.
  11. Hi, I'm new, hi.

    Welcome! If your game is a VN, there's no problem with promoting it here. If its not... Well, there might be place for it too. Hope you'll have fun around, our Forums is rather chill and hopefully will not stress you out.
  12. I guess in practice it's EVNs + specific niches (yuri). Not really that I ever meant to limit myself in such a way, but after I've started writing the blog, I pretty much don't have time to read anything more. '^^
  13. Fall 2018 Anime Discussion

    So, the fall is here, both in our calendars and our anime lineups. TBH, I had relatively little time to research this season and have no idea what to expect from most of the shows. I'll definitely follow Bloom Into You and that slime isekai (I mean, how could I skip on another one of those... ), but have no idea what to watch apart from that. Maybe I'll do some catching up on this year's earlier shows or watch some classics? What are your picks and insights, good people of Fuwa? PS @Mr Poltroon, could you do the honours and switch the pinned threads? ^^
  14. Birthday thread

    All best wishes to @Kurisu-Chan! For no reason, of course. It's not like I like you or anything...
  15. I've just wasted an hour (which I really shouldn't have done today ) writing a rant on why everyone should support the Frontier kickstarter so please listen to my advice and do it already, so we get that demo retranslation and no one can complain at launch about the inconsistent quality. ;p
  16. Fall 2018 Anime Discussion

    I think they were right, if the second episode got more of that stuff I would most likely drop it. I'm not scared of super violent/disturbing content, but the show communicated what goblins are and the fate of the team that stormed the fortress well enough. Any more of that would be pretty much just guro and if I looked for that, I would go on some hentai site or read a clock-up VN.
  17. Fall 2018 Anime Discussion

    Wow, just, what exactly was censored there? If was still griddy as f***, does the manga show explicit sexual violence and gore? And, well, I can see this season being disappointing for someone looking for darker stuff, but it's not bad overall. Pretty much everything I saw so far felt above average, including Goblin Slayer... At least if it introduces some overarching intrugue/threat soon, because it has done enough of plain character introduction already. Oh, and I saw the first episode of Bloom Into You, it was quite sweet, though just as melodramatic as these "pure" yuri media tend to be (not a problem with me, but I imagine some people might find it to be a bit "too much"). I wonder, is Maria-sama ga Miteru similar in tone? I was always keeping it high priority on my to-watch list, but lately I was never able to find time to catch up to older stuff. Maybe I should finaly make it right and watch it whole, after this season is over and I absorb all of its yuri goodness. :3
  18. HI guys!

    Welcome to Fuwa! So... What brought you to our quiet little Forums? What kind of VNs do you read?
  19. Hello!

    Welcome to Fuwa! Hope you'll have fun around here. ^^
  20. Show yourself off (RL picture thread)

    Sooo, a few weeks ago, during my university's Science Festival, I've given a public lecture about the rise and "fall" of VN fan translations to an impressive crowd of 4 people (+ my girlfriend and event moderator - the time of the day and awful weather made us no favours that morning). At least, the audience was pretty attentive and my GF took a few photos with her "vintage" phone - while you can barely see anything on them, I quite like the moments they captured so I've decided to share regardless. :3
  21. Starting a blog about western VNs and VN developers?

    If you missed it so far, I have some exciting piece of content for you: an interview with one and only ebi-hime, one of the most talented and highly appreciated creators in the EVN scene. It's a bit of a crown jewel of my VN "journalistic" career and I would be super thankful if you decide to check it out! So, without further ado:
  22. Hey there lovely people, I've mentioned in my introduction thread that I'm a bit of a graphomaniac - I most likely spend unreasonable amounts of time writing reviews on Crunchyroll and Steam, writing those might be a hobby of mine just as much as watching/reading the stuff I write about. Before I registered on Fuwa, an owner of a certain obscure otaku website noticed my "talent" and invited me to write articles for him - while I quickly realized that it was pretty much a waste of time and only delivered a few texts, that experience gave me a few ideas on content I could create for the benefit of my favourite western VNs and their authors. While looking for an outlet that would be interested in my writing, I actually found this community and later decided to get involved (regardless on whether it could help me with sharing my compulsive creativity). Now while I rightfully gave up on the idea that anyone would want something of mine published on the Fuwa frontpage, there's still this nice little blog functionality available here. I could use it to produce two kinds of content I had in mind earlier: 1. Reviews of Western VNs that were not caught by FuwaReviews team or any blog included in the Reviews portal (possibly even polemic reviews when I'm done with "undiscovered" stuff). 2. Interviews with notable western developers about their games and all things VN-related (should be doable, considering that they're often one-person studios or tiny indie teams desperate for positive exposure). I know that western VNs don't receive much attention/aren't highly regarded here and we're a fairly small community anyway. So the question is: would anyone here be interested in reading the crap I've described above (if you want to know what my writing looks like, you can check the Steam link next to my profile picture or my Crunchyroll account - obviously the blog would have longer, more detailed entries). I will appreciate all honest feedback, I won't be doing much about it in the coming two-three weeks anyway because of RL commitments, but I would love to see whether there's any demand for what I had in mind or should I just crawl to a shady corner and not bother anyone with my weirdness. ;p Cheers!
  23. Love Ribbon (yuri VN review)

    Incest is not a rare theme in visual novels – many titles, even very serious ones, have romance routes involving protagonist’s sibling in various different configurations, while nukige are full of taboo sex in every conceivable form, including that between family members. Still, this topic is very rarely done in a deep, compelling way, usually leading to a cliché conclusion like “we’re not blood-related after all, we can be together” or simply ignoring the deep social stigma connected to it and delivering an unconvincing happy ending. Even pieces of Japanese media that tried to get away from these tropes, like Oreimo, authors of which wanted to lead brother/sister romance to its logical conclusion, were cut short by the producers wary of negative reactions such story development could gather. Love Ribbon, a yuri visual novel developed by Razzart Visual and published on Steam in January 2017 is a rare exception to the trend I’ve described above – it not only offers a rather unusual sister/sister romance scenario, but also gives its full focus to the theme of an incestuous love affair and explores it in interesting and rather realistic ways. It’s also an example of OELVN that offers very explicit erotic content, but implements it as an optional feature that fits rather well with the story content, but isn’t in any way essential for experiencing it and doesn't affect the "SFW" version of the game in negative ways. Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  24. For the last month, we were going through the impressive catalogue of free VNs by ebi-hime, one of the most celebrated creators within the Western VN scene. As a conclusion to this series, it’s my great pleasure to bring you a short interview with none other than ebi herself. During our conversation, I’ve focused on the dominating themes in ebi’s works and topics directly connected to the freeware titles I was reviewing lately – if you want a more general overview of her inspirations and questions connected to her other work, consider reading the interviews done in the past by The Yuri Nation and Sekai Project. Also, if you’re not familiar with ebi’s free VNs, check out my previous posts about them (Part 1; Part 2) – they should give you the context necessary to understand what we’re talking about in the more context-specific questions. So, here it comes – hope you’ll all enjoy it! --------------------------------------------------------------- Plk_Lesiak: Thank you for accepting my invitation! I don't think there are many Western VN fans who wouldn't be familiar with your work, but can you share something about the person behind the ebi-hime label? ebi-hime: I’m ebi and I like cute things, maids, and magical girl anime... And that’s about it! Honestly, I’m not very interesting. PL: As you talked about your inspirations and interests in other interviews, I would like to focus on the dominant themes in your games. You're one of the few EVN authors that frequently set their stories in the West. Do you have a favourite setting to write about? ebi: I think England is probably my favourite setting to write about, because it’s the country I live in and I’m reasonably familiar with it (though I don’t know everything about England, of course). It’s easier to place my characters in a setting I know relatively well, as I don’t have to do as much research, and the end result feels more ‘authentic’. I also like setting stories in Japan because I got into VNs through reading a lot of Japanese VNs which were (what a surprise!) set in Japan. I also watch a lot of anime, and I went through a period where I exclusively read Japanese crime fiction, so I’m fond of Japanese settings! If I don’t feel like setting my stories in England or Japan, I’ll usually pick a European country I’m somewhat familiar with, like France or Italy. PL: Much of your work is yuri-themed, including some unusual setups for f/f romance. How did Samuel Taylor Coleridge become a woman? ebi: I love Romantic poets (especially Coleridge) a lot, and I really, really, really wanted to write a VN featuring him as a character, but dropping a real, historical figure into a fictional story felt kind of weird. Changing him into a cute girl made him feel distant enough from the real person that I could write about him without feeling too awkward. Turning male historical figures into cute girls is also pretty popular in VNs, so I thought I might as well! Girls are cute! Although I think the real Coleridge you can see in his personal letters/diary entries is cuter than Samantha… PL: Girls are cute indeed, but especially in Asphyxia, you ended up creating a really “heavy” story with a very cute exterior. Was this contrast something deliberate? ebi: I wanted a very soft, almost doll-like art style for Asphyxia because I thought it would complement the mannered, flowery writing style. The character designs themselves are quite cute, but I think they’re drawn in a style that’s enough of a departure from a more traditional ‘anime’ style that most people would realise Asphyxia is not a ‘moe’ VN based on the screenshots? I wasn’t trying to use the art to trick anybody, or make the story seem cuter than it is. I chose the art because I thought it enhanced the story’s gloomy atmosphere. Asphyxia PL: Still, Yuri romance is also pretty commonly associated with something light-hearted and a bit saccharine, like Kiss for the Petals series for example. Were you worried about the reception of your early yuri titles, considering how much they deviated from this formula? ebi: The first yuri story I ever read was the manga Gunjo, which is very grim and dark and lots of horrible things happen to all the characters, so maybe that’s where I drew some of my initial inspiration from. Initially, I wasn’t worried about the reception Asphyxia might have because I didn’t intend to release it. I wrote it solely for myself, and I made the prose as pretentious and the content as depressing as I wanted because I figured nobody else would have to suffer through it. Then, I stumbled across SillySelly’s art, and I thought it would be so perfect for Asphyxia I decided to commission her. I still thought about keeping the story solely to myself, but I thought her art was so gorgeous it would be a shame not to release it and share it with people. My reasoning was, even if people hated the writing and the story, they would probably still like the art! PL: Even beyond Dejection and Asphyxia, many of your protagonists are writers or poets. Do they reflect your personal passion for writing, or is there something else that draws you towards this archetype? Have you done much writing beyond visual novels? ebi: The characters in Dejection and Asphyxia write poetry because they’re all based on poets. I’m pretty terrible at writing poetry myself, and I don’t like doing it. Moreover, my interest in the Romantic poets mostly stems, not from their actual poetry, but from their lives and their personalities, since they were all very melodramatic (apart from maybe Wordsworth) and they did a lot of ridiculous things. I’ve written a few original characters who are authors (Blake from Where the Sun Always Shines and Eiji from Six Days of Snow are the best examples) because I like writing, so it’s a hobby I can understand and talk about somewhat credibly. Still, I try not to make all my protagonists writers, or even interested in literature, because I’m afraid it might get boring. I used to write my own ‘original stories’ in my notebooks when I was about six or seven, and I wrote a lot of fanfiction between the ages of 12-18, so I did a bunch of writing before I got into VNs. Unfortunately, most of my old writing is awful, so I’m not going to share it! PL: Another prevalent theme in your work seems to be depression and mental illness, with a culmination of sorts in Lynne and its gruesome portrayal of teenager's anxiety. What makes this topic attractive to you as a writer? ebi: They’re interesting themes to write about, and I imagine a lot of people have experience with these issues, but perhaps don’t always feel comfortable talking about them? I’d like it if some people could read my stories and relate to some of the characters, and maybe feel a little bit less alone with their worries. The Sad Story of Emmeline Burns PL: And one more notable trope – ghosts and afterlife, including lovers, doomed in life, being reunited after death. It seems that most of the romances you write can only ever work out "on the other side", if at all… ebi: I don’t think I agree with this. I’ve written a lot of sad/depressing stories, but I’ve also written several cheerful stories, too! Strawberry Vinegar and Blackberry Honey have happy endings! I also don’t view my romance stories where people die and reunite as ghosts as particularly ‘tragic’. Emmeline Burns and Windswept Night were both intended to have uplifting, optimistic endings, even if the characters suffer a bit to get there. I know people can’t really come back from the dead to reunite with their loved ones, but that’s why writing scenes like that in stories is so satisfying. It’s nice giving couples in stories closure even after they’re dead, especially because it’s not possible in reality. PL: Visual Novels are often a medium of escapism and wish fulfilment, quite akin to the trashy romance novels you sometimes ridicule in your writing. Yours... Rarely so. Do you ever feel like you should spoil your reader's a bit more, giving them more control and a chance for happier endings? ebi: Well, I don’t know if the first statement about VNs is entirely true. There are lots of really, really good VNs there that aren’t all about escapism and wish fulfilment. The first VN introduced me to the medium was Umineko, which is pretty… not like that. And there are VNs which have fanservice and sex scenes that still tell interesting stories, like the Kara no Shoujo series. I don’t really think the stories I write are all that different from many existing JVNs, with the exception that I set a higher percentage of mine in Europe. Though some of my characters poke fun at ‘trashy romance stories’, I have no real problems with them myself. Generally, I think people should be free to like whatever fictional media they like. I know there’s a scene in Empty Horizons where Lyon makes fun of Mireille for reading Totally-Not-Twilight-But-It’s-Actually-Twilight, but the scene concludes by saying there’s nothing inherently wrong with wish fulfilment stories if they’re not harming anybody and they make people happy. Anyway, with a lot of my kinetic stories, I have a very clear idea of what I want to happen in the story and how I want the characters to act. If giving the reader choices gets in the way of the story I want to tell or the message I want to explore then I won’t include any. Conversely, if experiencing multiple possible outcomes is the ‘point’ of the story, then I’m fine writing that too (like The Way We All Go). Really, it depends on what I think is best for the story I’m writing. Sometimes I think a story benefits from having multiple routes and different endings, and sometimes I don’t. And sometimes I think a story benefits from happy endings, and sometimes I don’t. PL: One of your VNs I've personally enjoyed greatly, and which surprised me a lot was Lucky Me, Lucky You. Are we going to see other queer stories in a modern setting from you, or was it more of a one-time experiment? ebi: Oh, I’m glad you liked it! I really enjoyed writing Nanami’s character – she was a lot of fun. Her ‘voice’ is also really different than most of my other main characters, since she’s more abrasive and assertive (but still kind of a sweetheart deep down). Lately, I’ve been pretty fond of writing historical stories because I feel like I can get away with being more exaggerated and melodramatic with my vocabulary, but I want to write more modern stuff too! It’s fun to experiment with different styles. Sweetest Monster PL: In other interviews, you mentioned that you have many ideas for light-hearted, cute stories. Still, very few of them turned into actual games. Will there be more of those in the future? ebi: Well, hopefully! I’m sitting on a bunch of scripts in various states of being finished right now, and some of these are very light-hearted and goofy. I’d love to make them all into VNs at some point (especially my very cute magical dog girl story, which is a full 26 episodes long!), but I don’t have enough time or money to develop too many things at once... PL: A few months ago you wrote on Twitter that you'll most likely stop making freeware games, as they drain too much of your time and resources. If that really happens, should we hope for more frequent commercial releases from you? ebi: I hope so, but I doubt it. Like I said, I’m sitting on a lot of scripts for unreleased projects in various states of completion. I’d like to release these more quickly, since I’m very fond of some of these stories and want to share them with people, but it’s not always possible. I’m not the only person involved in making my stories, and the production can sometimes get slowed down by various factors beyond my control. It also doesn’t help that some of the scripts I’ve finished are quite long, have a lot of characters, and I haven’t started looking for artists or composers for these stories yet. I’d really like to release 3 commercial stories a year, but I doubt it will be possible this year. I’ll do my best, though! >_< PL: Is there anything you would like to share about your current plans and the projects you're working on? Will we learn more about the yuri with bunnies in near future? ebi: Well, my latest VN, A Winter’s Daydream, will be releasing soon! It’s quite a light-hearted slice of life/comedy story set in Japan, that features an elderly grandmother being magically transformed into a cute girl. I was inspired to write this story after stumbling across the ‘grandmother x grandson incest’ tag on VNDB. I was surprised this tag existed, and I thought it was funny such a niche fetish featured in enough VNs to warrant a content tag in the first place. After looking through some of these VNs, I saw that the grandmother love interests looked rather young and good-looking for grandmothers, and I thought, ‘what if I wrote a story where a more traditional-looking grandmother transforms into one of these impossibly cute “anime” grandmothers overnight? How would her grandson react to that?!’ Some of my ideas are kind of weird, I guess. :I In the end, A Winter’s Daydream ended up being a little more serious in tone than I originally intended, though it still has some goofy moments. I’m quite fond of it, and I hope other people enjoy it, too! (Sadly, while the grandmother character is the main heroine of the story, in the sense that she’s the female lead, she’s not a love interest. I hope this doesn’t disappoint anybody haha…) As for the ‘yuri story with bunnies’ I mentioned on twitter a while back… I actually finished writing the first draft, but I’m not sure when/if I’ll release it. It’s quite a cute, fluffy story (I suppose it’s similar to Strawberry Vinegar in tone), but I have other scripts I’d rather work on before I get around to polishing this. PL: Thank you for your time! ---------------------------------------------------- And this concludes my ebi-hime series, for the time being. I want to give my utmost thanks to ebi herself, for putting up with the somewhat-prolonged process of preparing this interview and some of my purposefully-annoying questions. It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with her on this and I'm extremely happy that I can share her insights with all of you through this article. Obviously, this is not the last time her VNs are present on my blog - in two weeks, you'll see the first part of my Yuri Game Jam retrospective, which couldn't possibly be complete without mentioning Ebi's work. Also, I'll definitely work on covering more of her commercial titles in the future, both the old and the newly released ones. So, I hope you've enjoyed this content and will join me again in my adventures through the world of EVNs. Until the next Friday!
  25. Fuwanovel Updates (releases, interviews, etc)

    [redacted] - I guess I was in bad mood when I wrote in this thread, it's nice that things are going to change, even if just a little bit. Maybe hoping for a bigger breakthrough is also not that pointless? Would hate to see the site die and that's exactly where it was going this summer. After Tay's brief appearance and promise of changes things got slower than ever, at least on the outside...
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