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Please consider taking this survey (Link) and let me know what you want to see fixed/improved upon across the various Fuwanovel sites. Your feedback will determine my work priorities this Summer/Fall. (Forum Post)

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Clephas last won the day on February 26

Clephas had the most liked content!

About Clephas

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    VNs, anthropology, writing, reading, translation, anime, video games, sharp things, firearms
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  1. Why are so many Vampire protagonists self-hating?

    The protagonist hates being a vampire for all of the common route (though he enjoys some of the perks, like getting to indulge in his sexual fantasies) and he resents having to drink blood through a lot of the heroine routes.
  2. Steam Summer Sale 2K18

    Seinarukana and Aselia are also on sale but not listed there. Edit: Tokyo Babel and Dies Irae as well.
  3. Reading VNs on the Nintendo Switch

    Otomege tend to be mass-produced for portable consoles, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of them start popping up on the Switch. I also wouldn't be surprised to see non-ero versions of Light's games make their way over to the Switch as well, along with a generous samplings of other games that can do without erotic content. However, I would be greatly surprised if it goes much beyond that.
  4. Why are so many Vampire protagonists self-hating?

    I can see your viewpoint on the violent urges. In particular, seeing bloodlust as being similar to drug addiction is a comparison often made... though not wholly accurate. From what I've seen, it is an issue of how fast a vampire falls into a starvation state (the state where the need to feed completely overwhelms the ability to think). In Western literature, this tends to be a few days to a week (often varying either mildly or drastically from individual to individual), and in Japanese literature it tends to vary from 'every night' to 'once a month' (a much wider variation, depending on the setting, than you generally see in the West, but most tend to edge toward the 'every once in a while' end outside of horror or chuuni stuff). The issue here is whether the individual in question is intelligent/clever enough and strong enough of will (a questionable idea, I know, considering current understanding) to feed quietly and with restraint or is a messy glutton. A glutton who leaves drained corpses in sewer drains is going to get himself killed fast, whereas a man who sips from a dozen different people in the shadows or uses a ruse to become alone with a target is more likely to survive. Most settings where vampires look less human the more they feed are ones where this happens with age, rather than as a 'youth'. You generally won't see that in a Japanese-made VN (exception is a few individuals in ones like Vermilion, who don't bother to hide what they are since they only show themselves to their own kind), but in the West's literature and media, that is more likely. Older vampires don't seem to age precisely in most settings... it is more that their body language alters drastically and they become less capable of hiding their true nature behind a facade. No, it makes perfect sense that you would feel that way. Even if you logically understand the downsides, the fact is that humans learn their lessons most effectively from experience, not from intellectual/rational understanding. I understand that I would probably come to hate the limitations in a rational sense, but my gut thinks it looks like a great deal. I am pretty sure why I feel that way (I don't like people in the first place, so...) @PalasI can also see where you are coming from... but the fact is, when it comes to these issues, people don't think rationally or philosophically. There are plenty of people out there that would reject the idea purely on religious or moral grounds, outside of fiction (the greater majority, probably). However, a lot of modern humans don't think that way anymore... at all. I never really considered vampires to be an 'evolution'... more like a mutated predator whose existence is entirely reliant on a much larger population of herd beasts (lol). I also don't necessarily see anything wrong with vampires exalting or even being envious of humankind... aesthetically, if you don't look at us on a macro scale, humans can be beautiful in some ways. However, that seems to me to be something that would come up after you'd been one a while. I can see one like Toshirou, who saw his beloved become a victim then became one to be at her side, hating/despising vampires and exalting humans (though in his case, it is more a denial of vampiric transcendence). It makes a lot of sense... but it makes little sense to bewail your own survival to the extent a lot of protagonists do (since most are of the type that would have been dead otherwise). Or rather, I dislike the way they start bewailing it immediately in so many cases. In the case of the protagonist of Vampyr (the video game), it makes sense because he has to kill any human he drinks from, and it also makes sense to resent it in the anime Shiki, because they are basically a vampiric swarm of locusts mass-producing their own kind. However, these are extreme examples... and it makes less sense in the examples that are less extreme (such as Yaneura no Kanojo, where the protagonist would have been dead otherwise, blood-thirst is relatively infrequent and doesn't require killing, and vampiric reproduction requires an act of will). My objections are more focused on those less extreme examples... in fact, entirely so. In VNs, the ones that bothered me the most were Libra and the aforementioned Yaneura no Kanojo, where the protagonist in both refuses to recognize the inevitability of his own needs and obsesses over returning to a humanity that is most likely never coming back for reasons that make very little sense. In Western literature, I've encountered dozens of examples of urban fantasy settings where the vampire protagonist is either young and self-hating or old and self-hating. Some of those were well-justified (SM Stirling's Shadows series, considering the vampires were inherently and actively sadistic as well as predatory) and others were less so. I suppose, looking over what i just wrote, what bothers me most is holes in even the gut-level emotional reactions of characters in these situations. The chain of reasoning and emotion is often full of massive holes. Also, I hate being behind the eyes of whiners. I especially hate vicariously experiencing someone who spends most of the story whining on one level or another...
  5. Sent in my feedback... hope it helps.
  6. How big is Fuwanovel?

    There are still those we consider to be borderline... but as long as they don't cross the line, we won't do anything, lol.
  7. This is a question I've asked myself on any number of occasions (and despite my own thoughts below, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this as well). For some reason, most vampire literature with a vampire protagonist has that protagonist hating him/herself and his/her condition (switching to 'his' after this sentence, for the sake of brevity). Let's be honest with ourselves... if we could gain immortality, immense strength, and the ability to control people's minds in exchange for having to suck human blood and stay out of the sun, the greater majority of us would probably leap at the chance. Humans are selfish creatures, and the advantages seem to far-outweigh the disadvantages on the face of it. One common answer to this is morality. To be honest, I think this is the second worst answer of them all. Yes, in the case of a vampire setting where the vampire has to kill the subject or infects anyone he bites, it makes sense for there to be a moral issue. However, if that is not the case, this one doesn't pan out. Sure, drinking blood sounds evil in and of itself... but if you aren't human, it isn't cannibalism, now is it? Hedonism? Is there anyone in a first-world nation that isn't at least a little hedonistic? Another one is a sense of isolation. Now this one makes a bit more sense as a negative for vampirism... but not for sucking blood. Sure, it might be hard to make friends with your food, but it wouldn't be the first time. No, the issue here is lies. By nature, vampires need to hide themselves, since they are well... scary. I mean, if something essentially eats a part of you to survive and looks similar to you, how can that not be scary in a visceral sense? So yes, the isolation is a good reason to be afraid of your own vampirism if you are a vampire. A sense of normalcy. This is the one you see the most in VNs, and I honestly think that it is an abomination. It is the worst answer. Almost every vampire protagonist in a VN wants to regain their 'normal life', and this often results in them taking their anger out on the people who saved them and/or love them. Sure, you pay a price for your vampirism... if you can't go out in the sun (a rarity in VNs), then it is hard to go to school. If you have to suck human blood, then you can't really be called normal. However, that sense that normalcy trumps everything (no I don't mean the president) is ridiculous. I honestly find this kind of attitude annoying as hell in a protagonist, and it is only the ones who don't linger on it constantly that I'm willing to forgive. Violent instincts... now this one is laughable. 'Vampires have violent instincts!!!' Umm... hello? What race goes around killing people for stupid reasons like religious affiliation, what side of a line on a map they live, and who has a better cow in their barn? *snorts contemptuously* In the end, vampirism in fiction is a trade-off... and self-hating vampires who stay that way without a good reason always strike me as fake (Toshirou from Vermilion has good reason, but most don't).
  8. How big is Fuwanovel?

    Mmm... I dunno about now, but there was a time just a few years ago when Fuwa had a ridiculous amount of influence for what amounts to 'just another otaku site'. A lot of it was that most of the people here were VN or otaku newbies and we had a solid set of veterans who were less interested in looking down on newbies than getting the good word (eroge) out there. Most other VN sites, for better or worse, were dominated by the most jaded type of veteran (unwilling to admit that anything outside their favorite genre is good, categorically rejecting anyone who likes OELVNs, etc). As such, it was easier just to come to Fuwa. A lot of the people doing fanstranslations at least posted here, and there were a lot of helpful people here. Unfortunately, that kind of thing never lasts long... and Tay hasn't been around lately, so there is only so much anyone can do to keep things going. We still have a solid core community, but the ratio of trolls to regular users went up and some people left. A lot of the veterans are ghosts now, and a lot of the former newbies have gone off on their own (becoming veterans themselves). Edit: The main reason Fuwa was so successful was because it was a VN-centric community in a period when there weren't many of those. Once SP, MG, and the others started mass-localizing, it was inevitable that the 'guerilla' atmosphere of the VN community would disperse and a VN-centric community would lose ground to more generalistic otaku communities. The English-only crowd tends to go elsewhere and the otaku crowd tends to head for more generalistic sites. Those of us veterans of the site (as opposed to VNs) that still hang around do so mostly because this is 'our place'. Heck, I post blogs on VNs that I know mostly won't be read until months or years later (I go look later and see a thousand views where only fifty to a hundred people look the first month or so) because this is the place I like to be. I don't have a real presence anywhere else anymore outside of my browsing accounts on Japanese sites, and that isn't likely to change as long as Fuwa is reasonably lively.
  9. This is my fourth time replaying the Light VN, Vermilion Bind of Blood, and to my startlement, I realized that my only commentary on this is is in my ancient VN of the Month Thread on the forums. So... of course I cannot leave my beloved public ignorant of this game (though I've made a habit of recommending it to everyone, like Evolimit). Vermilion was the first chuunige made by Light's second team, and it was my first experience of the team's work. It is also probably that team's single most balanced VN, and it is the only one I call a kamige, albeit with a few reservations. The protagonist of this story is one Kashima Toshirou (who is referred to in the Western fashion as Toshirou Kashima throughout the whole game). He is a former samurai from the era just before the opening up of Japan by Perry's black ships who became a vampire. Now he is a gloomy man who serves as a watcher for the vampiric community of the fictional American city of Foggy Bottom. Toshirou is something of an anomaly amongst vampires in general... and most seem to hate him instinctively (there is good reason for this, though few ever know it). He considers all vampires merely to be an extension of humans, denying the vampire legend that most believe in, and he has nothing but contempt for those who allow themselves to drown in their power and the arrogance born from it. This game has four heroines. They are: Anne Portman- The first heroine. You are forced to play her route first (probably because nobody would want to go after her if given a choice). Unlike the other heroines, who are more or less easy with their lives as vampires, Anne is a timid, kind-hearted girl who is fundamentally unsuited to being a vampire. Her role in this game is quite similar to that of Kasumi in Dies Irae (more as a contrast in the form of a 'normal person' than as a real heroine). While her character is less than inspiring (that she is a heroine is the only flaw I see in this game), her path is actually quite good, though less so than the others in this game. I did and do find the ending worthy of mention, because it is... pleasant in a sad sort of way. It is also surprisingly uplifting, coming back without being tainted by my dislike for the presence of a Victim A heroine in a chuunige VN. Sherryl McGregor- The victor of the heroine polls twice in a row, Sherryl is Toshirou's long-standing partner in both work and the home. Their relationship is a 'don't ask, don't tell' one where they don't talk about their pasts. It is an easygoing relationship, but it is fairly obvious that Sherryl fell for him decades ago. If I were to compare Sherryl to a translated VN heroine, it would be the adult Cal Devens from Phantom of Inferno, albeit with a century and a half of experience under her belt. Sherryl was born in Victorian England, and her experiences in the slums there shaped her base personality. She bluffs, she fights, and she has a temper... but underneath it all, she is as soft as a fuzzy teddy bear when it comes to Toshirou. She is also a talented singer, a skill she shows off at Casanova, the bar near the office. Her path is the most revealing of Toshirou's past (in fact, that is its structural purpose, though that doesn't interfere with its quality), and it is a fun ride... Her ending is actually pretty hilarious as well as touching, because it is probably the only path in the game where Toshirou manages to move on to some extent (Toshirou is very very stuck in his ways). Sherryl also grows a great deal as a character in this path (as a matter of course) and it is a pleasure to watch. Nina Orlok- The Principal (political leader of a Diaspora, which is the name given to vampiric communities) of the Western US Diaspora, a young woman forced into a position far beyond her personal power by her powerful blood father's will after his death. She sees her duty as the only way to repay her father's trust in her, and she constantly struggles with the gap between what she wants to be and who she actually is. That said, she is actually a quite capable political leader (a given, since she isn't dead or imprisoned, despite being a youngling in a position that would normally only be allowed to an ancient vampire), with a core of strength hidden under the girl struggling desperately to fulfill her father's hopes. I sincerely enjoy her path, each time, because her growth as a character is inspiring, especially once she gets past her father complex. Toshirou in her path is probably the most samurai-like (in the classic sense), and the battle that closes out this path is the third-best in the VN (behind two of the fights in the Grand Route). Ariya Takajou- The Jaeger (vampire hunter) White Pile's successor, who has come to Foggy Bottom specifically to hunt Toshirou Kashima. Driven by her desire to prove herself and a latent fear born from her experiences as a child (her family killed before her eyes by vampires), she endured training that would make a Marine recruit run away screaming to obtain the ability to almost match the physical abilities of a vampire (it is something close to inner qigong). She despises all vampires and sees them as inhuman monsters, but her meeting with Toshirou fills her with a personal hatred, as his obvious (to her) difference from other vampires drives her to obsess over him. Ariya's personality (on the surface) is very... twisted. She is probably the single most sharp-tongued heroine I've ever encountered (she makes Kagome from Comyu seem pleasant), quite naturally using insults in a tactical fashion to get vampires to lose their heads and simply because she doesn't like people. In her own path, she also develops a rather... twisted sort of love for Toshirou (and it is love, mixed with hate, gratitude, and intense sado-masochistic lust). I always rofl at the way she changes in this path, and the ending... is actually really really cool. Grand Route- The Grand Route of this game focuses on fighting the antagonist who was the root cause of the conflicts in the VN, as well as dealing with the origins of vampires in general. In this path, Toshirou finds himself facing his past and looking into the future in a way he doesn't in the other paths. This path also has two of the best fights in the game, including the final face-off between the antagonist and Toshirou himself. This path also gives a really significant insight into the mind of a side-character whom I loved... Klaus, the previous White Pile. The ending of this path is bittersweet and faintly sad (as is common in a lot of chuunige true endings), but it also gives you a sense of completeness, closing out the VN nicely. Side-characters worthy of mention Isaac- Isaac is the bartender at Casanova and plays a key role in all the paths. He is Toshirou's one true friend, and his personality is a cross between a hedge philosopher and a boy who never gave up his dream (and never will). His (oddly troubling) life advice frames a lot of the game's key internal conflicts, and his influence can be felt throughout every part of the game, to some degree. Klaus- The previous White Pile, an elderly Jaeger who fights with a gigantic stake (think a log from a log cabin with its edges carved into a spike-like tip and you get the picture). He is a warrior to the core, a man who hates vampires absolutely and has made a living sacrifice of his life to cleanse as many of them from the world as possible. In contrast, his unstinting love for humanity, including its flaws, is awe-inspiring in its strength, and he has an absolute faith in humanity's potential to rise above its own filth. He saved and raised Ariya to be his successor, and she is perhaps the only chink in his armor other than his personal hate (he normally sees vampires not as individuals but as harmful insects to be crushed) for Toshirou. He loves her deeply, in a fatherly fashion, and it is his love that is perhaps Ariya's greatest salvation, though it is also her second greatest weakness.
  10. Anime question

    http://www.cccp-project.net/ Contains all those things and lets you use the old windows media player classic for all video files (much more utilitarian, easier to use, more flexible than the current media player). It is a collection of all the fansub codecs
  11. Shunkyoku no Tyrhhia ~What a Beautiful Dawn

    Romance... romance in extreme situations? Liar-soft doesn't do soft romance, so all the relationships are under stress or are twisted in some way (there are a lot of non-protagonist h-scenes in this game). Edit: As for the routes, I have no idea. I know there are other routes because there are blank spots in the gallery and certain characters just vanished from the stage after the first chapter with nothing happening to them. I know you are supposed to get to other routes by picking different historical events to fill in the blank spots in the intermission. However, since there are three of those choices in each intermission and there is no 'skip to the next choice in an instant' or flowchart function in this game, I am not in the mood to go off and create a walkthrough for myself.
  12. I'm going to be blunt... if it weren't for the urging of one of my online friends, I wouldn't have played this game. For one thing, it is a direct prequel to Gakthun, which I didn't have much fun with (I don't really like Japanese versions of Liar Soft games, for some reason... though I loved the English version of Sekien). It is based in a steampunk world version of one of the most-visited eras of Japanese history in otaku media, the Bakumatsu era. In that era, Japan was opened by British air-fortresses, rather than by Perry's gunships, but the results were pretty much the same up until the beginning of the game (albeit with the usual liberties taken). Since there was no walkthrough out for this game, as of yet, I ended up on a path whose history pretty much echoed rl history save for who died and when (oh and the individuals' motivations, of course). Whether this was a good thing or not, I dunno... but the ending was decent, if bittersweet (not to mention that the last scene indicates that it is the one that heads into Gakthun). The protagonist, Hachirou, is the child of a Shogunate vassal family famous for their real combat oriented sword style. He himself is a bit obsessed with modern steam technology, and his habit of constantly referring to his pocket watch shows off his straight-as-a-yardstick personality. Like a lot of steampunk-series games, this one jumps around between many different perspectives for about three-quarters of the game (relatively little time is spent with Hachirou, considering he is the protagonist), but this game escapes the rather... Steven Brust-style story narration (reference to the Phoenix Guard and its two sequels, which are written in a style that is excessively dramatic and roundabout) that poisoned me against Gakthun and some of the other games by this company. In that sense, this was the easiest Liar-soft VN for me to read. This game has heavy Cthulhu Mythos influence throughout its latter parts, ranging from a rather blatant one in the final battle scene of the ending I got to numerous smaller indications throughout. Is this game good? Yes, it is well-written and interesting to read. Is it a kamige? I can't really judge, since I have no idea how to get the other endings without a lot of trial and error (and I'm too lazy to do that with a liar soft game). I'm giving it a decent rating because I liked a lot of it... but the way the game treated the Shinsengumi was a bit depressing at times (it really, really sucks to be Shinsengumi in this game).
  13. Pretty much, though I have other reasons for being irritated with MML (nerfing non-human heroines always does that to me).
  14. A valid reason... they are pretty much blanket/umbrella terms. However, it is also the only thing that fits.
  15. This is the latest kinetic novel based in the setting created by the 'Uso' series by Campus. The name of this VN says a lot about how it begins - the name means 'How we began our calculating love-comedy'. The protagonist, a young man who managed to pay off his parents' massive debt through hard work after their deaths, comes to Mahoshi Gakuen in order to find a rich girl to marry. This is in part because he is actively suspicious of romantic inclinations due to the fact that his hopelessly inept parents were from rich families and eloped because of opposition from both sides (and he saw his misery as a child being caused by his parents' decision to take love over wealth). Despite this, he is essentially a good person... and intelligent, despite frequently making facepalm-worthy decisions and taking facepalm-worthy actions in pursuit of his gold-digging goal. He approaches Teidou Shirayuki (a younger relative of Setsuka from the Uso series) and is rebuffed harshly... but his experiences in life have left him more than a little psychologically tough, so he decides to continue pursuing her. It is then that he is approached her maid, Sakura Nono, who offers her help in his plans... Just to get this out in the open for people who aren't fans of nontraditional or unconventional relationships (or those who are), this VN is a 3P romance story, and it is typical of this series for bucking the common trends in VN romance in a few little ways (that I won't spoil for you). After I got over wanting to bury my head in my hands over the protagonist's actions in the prologue, I quickly took a shine to the three main characters and their odd little relationship (and it just gets more odd as time goes by). The protagonist's overconfident attitude and endless optimism about his own capabilities (sometimes justified, sometimes not) is frequently a source for humor, and seeing Shirayuki's cold attitude melt away is a true pleasure to watch. While Nono frequently takes on a sidekick like role, she still manages to be a solid heroine in her own right, with her possessing almost as much affection for Shirayuki as she does for the protagonist (this is true of Shirayuki as well). Despite its premise, this game actually manages to be much more believable in some ways than other VNs with a romantic focus, and that is a huge positive, at least in my view. I love the relationship building in this game (both before and after the required and omnipresent 'confession scene'), and I came away from this game feeling some of the built-up negative feelings from playing so many charage with almost identical romances shaved away.