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About alpacaman

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  1. 4th Wall Breaking VNs?

    It's kind of hard to answer this question without spoiling major twists. For non-spoilers, Fault - milestone 2 has one pretty cool 4th wall breaking scene and the Danganronpa series has a lot of 4th wall breaking jokes.
  2. What are you playing?

    I have more or less completely finished Little Busters (including the after-content except for the hidden Saya endings). I really liked it. It has all the things people love about Key like a good cast, funny SoL, a great soundtrack, and a few of the obligatory crying-your-eyes-out-moments. Imo Clannad did most of these things a little bit better, but LB improves a lot on Clannad's weaknesses, primarily the paceing of the common route. The added gameplay and general setting of having a group of friends the heroines are integrated in makes the world seem a lot more lively. It definitely was a good choice to put the routes for the heroines who weren't part of the Little Busters into the after content, so you weren't forced to read content completely disconnected from the main plot to reach the true end like in Clannad, even though in LB's case this means keeping my favourite route (Sasasasasa) as well as my favourite heroine (Saya) out of the main game. LB has one major flaw though imo: nearly all routes have kind of messy third acts, including the true route. In many of them, the conflict/drama of the third act either isn't properly established or doesn't have that much to do with their respective heroine's arc, or the plot device causing the drama seems kind of artificial. In other routes, the resolution just seems rushed. The last part sadly is also also applies to the true route. The big tearjerker twist scene is one of the best Key has pulled of so far but after that
  3. What are you playing?

    Just having finished Little Busters myself I can assure you it does. Not necessarily so much in the character routes which I personally found a bit disappointing for the most part, but Refrain is peak Key.
  4. What are you listening to right now?

    I'm so happy I got a physical copy of this masterpiece for christmas
  5. My top five visual novels for 2018 that I read.

    2018 was the year I really started reading VNs on a regular basis, and it also happened to be a year where I had a lot of time to kill, so I finished about 18 of them (including several long titles), and started a few without finishing them. So my list obviously contains well known ones since so far I mostly read those. 1. Umineko. I don't even know where to begin with this one. Both parts are only sitting at a 9.5 on my vndb list because each one suffers from some minor flaws, but as a whole it's closer to a 10.5. Also gave us Goat-kun and Erika wearing a pirate hat. 2. Steins;Gate. Great in every aspect. It's a shame they had to cut 4°C for the anime adaptation. 3. Muv Luv Alternative. Has the highest quantity of "holy sh*t"-moments ever. And Meiya. 4. Clannad. I love Clannad despite thinking it isn't that good. Has several mediocre routes and heavy pacing issues, but it still got me on a personal level in a way I didn't expect, mostly because I just love 90% of the characters. 5. The House In Fata Morgana. Soo much pain and suffering. As for honourable mentions, I'd pick VA-11 HALL-A and fault Milestone 2 (side: above).
  6. What are you playing?

    I did through sheer luck without even knowing most of the baseball terminology. Got slaughtered the second and third time though.
  8. The way a depression evolves in most cases doesn't lend itself to a three act story structure that well. Light depression either disappears by itself or after a short time of psychotherapy and doesn't make for an especially interesting narrative anyway. Medium and heavy depression either takes several months to years of therapy (sometimes supported by medication) to cure or at least for the patient to be able to handle the illness properly and improvements usually happen incrementally and wavelike so it doesn't fit the typical "something sad happens but it helps the character find their determination" third act. And as soon as you reach a degree where the character has suicidal episodes the author needs to have lots of skill and tact, and in my limited experience being tactful is not the strong suit of most VN authors (at least in Japan). Another thing is that the way characters work in Japanese VNs and anime often follows a rather simple cause and effect logic. The reason someone doesn't act "normal" almost always has to do with some event or circumstances in their past, so either eliminating the cause or or at least changing the character's view on it "cures" them. This might make engaging fiction, but it's not the way depression works. Depression can be triggered by specific events, but you can't cure it by having someone change their view on something or life in general (at least in its more serious forms).
  9. The Different Treatment of Sex Scenes: Japan vs. America

    I think it has more to do with a different approach to fiction than being more open minded about sex. Most western magazines for women below a certain age contain sex advice and some cheap erotica like Fifty Shades of Grey can become a mega-seller in western countries. Japanese culture values personal space very highly and prying into someone elses business is considered impolite, so people don't complain about fiction they are not the intended audience for. And Japanese media seems heavily targeted at certain demographics. So when companies release a game or VN they think more about what the target audience wants than what is socially acceptable. Most Japanese young male shut-ins (as seems to be the way eroge-readers are seen) like porn scenes with their waifus so developers include them because they lead to higher sales and nobody who is not part of the target audience is going to complain, like it would happen in western countries. That doesn't mean there is no social stigma towards these things in Japan, it's just that it affects consumers (by getting socially isolated) of such media, not the creators. As to why some voice actresses do porn scenes, my guess would be that it's hard to make a living in this job in Japan if you don't do it. edit: Reading my post again I think I didn't get my point across that well. What I was trying to say is that in Japan disapproval against certain content doesn't show itself through public outcry since that would mean openly shaming consumers which would be considered overstepping your boundaries. Instead these consumers suffer from social stigma which has more subtle consequences.
  10. What are you drinking?

    It can't possibly be a coincidence I mix my first proper cocktail since god knows when around the same time you decide to return to the forum I'm a bit nerdy when it comes to food and drinks but I'm not a real expert. I'm able to distinguish between higher and lower quality alcoholic drinks and know the basic taste profile of most spirits, but it doesn't go much further than that. That being said, Coors Light is a bad choice period. When you just want get drunk there's cheaper beer that tastes like water as well and when you want to drink tasty alcohol there's way better stuff.
  11. What are you drinking?

    I recently decided to stock up my cocktail bar again. It's not terribly expensive, at least when you're not a heavy drinker, if you can live with being able to mix a limited variety of drinks at a time and if you don't live in a country with a high alcohol tax (thank you, German beer lobby!). I decided to buy one liquor each month, alternating between base spirits like Gin, Whiskey, Rum,... and complementary stuff like fruit or herbal liquors and bitters. This year for Christmas I'm making mustard with honey and whiskey as a present for my dad, so I thought this was a good opportunity to spend some money on a more or less proper US whiskey (since they tend to be more cocktail-friendly than Scotch) and bought a bottle of Bulleit Rye. Rye Whiskey is quite hard to find in Germany and most people only know two US whiskeys (Jim Beam and Jack Daniels) so I was really surprised my local supermarket had it in stock. It turns out Rye goes best with rather specific components like absinth or sweet vermouth (which a don't have at home) but it's still a great base for more simple standard whiskey drinks like an Old Fashioned or a Whiskey Sour. One of my absolute favorite drinks is the New York Sour, which is a regular Whiskey Sour topped with a little red wine. It looks and tastes great as the red wine makes the drink more dry and complex and it's even better when you use spicey Rye instead of sweet Bourbon.
  12. I Walk Among Zombies - Now Mosaic Free!

    Some people don't have a credit card so they need to use a store that supports PayPal.
  13. What other languages do you like

    I just listened to the first minute or so. I don't understand everything but I think it's mostly because of pronounciation. The singer obviously doesn't speak any German, but the grammar didn't seem too terrible. The mistakes were mostly ones even some more advanced learners make, like mixing up genders or constructing side clauses wrongly. Japanese is not that great a first language to learn other languages from since it few phonems when compared to other languages and having every syllable end on a vowel (except for n) makes learning the pronounciation of especially European languages very difficult. To take an example from the song the singer pronounces "er|in|nerst" (hyphenation in German is between the phonetic units (I hope that's the correct term, I'm not a linguist)) as something like "eeanas". While pronouncing an "r" like a muted "a" (or something like the u in "hut", for the English speakers who wonder how to pronounce an "a" in German)) when it comes after a vowel is something that's even done in many parts of Germany (especially in the northwest, where I'm from), she still has to turn it into two syllables thus swallowing the i (pronounced like the i in "hit") to keep up with the song although it's supposed to be the stressed syllable. Pronouncing the "er" at the end of the word like an "a" is again something that's also done in some parts of Germany, but not something you would expect a German professional singer to do. The same goes for dropping the "t" at the end of the word. On a side note: nobody in Germany actually speaks exactly the German you learn in school since there are many regional differences, even when it comes to pretty common expressions. Hochdeutsch or High or Standard German is something that the first countrywide news show after WWII invented because they had to decide when to use northern or southern German terminology and how to pronounce certain letters. And people from Bavaria are still usually not able to speak it properly because they tend to roll the "r" and have a tendency to turn straight vowels into diphtongs. I still don't know why Bavarian is considered a German dialect and not its own language because the difference between High German and Bavarian are not that much smaller than the one between Polish and Russian for example.
  14. What other languages do you like

    I don't speak any languages besides German, English and Spanish. I had Latin classes for seven years and even chose it as one of my final exam topics in high school (you only have to pick four in Germany) but that basically amounted to translating while using a dictionary so I don't actually speak any. Other than that I really like the sound of Portuguese and Dutch since for me it kind of sounds like someone with a throat condition trying to sound cute. Also Basque really fascinates me since apparently it isn't related to any other known language and it is said to be so complicated that it's impossible to learn if you haven't grown up with it. I'm actually surprised that German seems to be a popular language. I heard many people say that every conversation in German sounds like people are arguing. On the other hand a lot of famous authors and poets wrote in German so it has to have some kind of appeal. The Japanese language also has quite a few words they took from German, my favourites being Lumpenproletariat (I mean, obviously) and Arubaito (from Arbeit, meaning work) which for some reason has a slightly different meaning in Japanese since it refers mostly to part time jobs. Also the term Steins Gate sounds weird from a German standpoint beside the obvious language mixing. You would probably say Stein gate. While adding the "s" is not technically wrong since the rules for connecting words in German are kind of loose, it sounds like a genitive implicating posession thus resulting in a meaning like "gate belonging to the stone". Several German cities actually have a place called Steintor ("stone gate"). I know Rintaro playing around with other languages is supposed to be stupid, but it still bugs me for some reason. The term "reading Steiner" is even weirder since the form Steiner for the word Stein doesn't even exist. Steiner exists as a surname though. Stein is pronounced "Shtine" by the way. Something similar goes for the anime Schwarzesmarken (German pronounciation Shvartsesmarken with both "a"s being pronounced like the u in ruffian). It took me some time to understand that it's supposed to mean something like "black marks". But then it would have to be Schwarzmarken or Schwarze Marken.
  15. Hello, Goodbye Steam Storepage Removed

    I looked it up and the child has to be at least partially unclothed for it to be considered child pornography, so you're right. I don't really know how to reply to that, so let's just leave it at that.