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Clephas

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Clephas last won the day on February 22

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  1. Mashiro-Iro Symphony is often mentioned as being the peak of the company's moege/charage era games. It was made during the latter-stages of the 'golden age of JVNs', in 2009 (The 'golden age' is generally seen as being from 2005 or 2006 to 2011 or 2012, depending on who you ask), and it was an example of quality in a time when VNs had only just branched out into distinctive genres and sub-genres but before the templates had been set in stone. As games of the type go, it is an excellent choice for localization.
  2. I was hesitant about Hakkenden because the original story of the nineteenth century novel by Kyoukutei Bakin was a bit too moralistic for my tastes. It was the second Japanese classic novel that I read (after Genji Monogatari). It was also the most annoying to read, since the version I got hadn't been redone in modern language (unlike the version of the Tale of Genji I read), probably because the original version was still readable (barely). Lots of bad memories there...
  3. Basically, UQ Holder is a sequel focusing on the after-effects of the manga-only chapters that led to the end of the original series. The most important remaining character from the original is Evangeline. It is a more action-focused and darker-natured series than the original Negima.
  4. Ragnarok is decent, but it definitely falls a step behind Frontier story-wise. Normally, in Venus Blood games, you are presented with a choice between Chaos and Law (more direct translation being Conquest and Rulership), with numerous available endings on either end. However, Ragnarok is the first game to directly add in the 'Ruin' element to the story. Certain choices in heroine scenarios are presented that can incur Ruin as well as Chaos or Law. In order to get the Chaos path, you have to have a certain amount of Ruin, whereas the opposite is true of Law. Sadly, if you fall short of either, you get a bad ending at the game's turning point. Ruin is generally incurred by choices that would 'break' the heroines (think of it as being similar to the Madness choices in Hypno/Hollow) past the standard 'turn to darkness' level. Generally speaking, the story of Ragnarok would be 'average' for the series as a whole, being better than Empire but falling short of Frontier or Hollow. The gameplay is basically a slight update on Hollow's (and like all new VB games, whether it is an improvement is entirely subjective). Given a choice, I would probably skip to Lagoon, because it is just more interesting, but I suppose they have their reasons.
  5. Death March- Despite it being a rather abortive attempt to put a great LN/web novel series into anime form, there are some good points to this anime. The animation itself is good, as is the characterization. The everyday life parts are first class, and the animation (if not the action itself) in the action scenes is pretty good. The reason most people don't like it is because the story never goes anywhere and it is a bit too much of a slow life anime. This is a hazard inherent in making anime out of incredibly long book series, so it isn't surprising in retrospect, but this was about when they began seriously overdoing isekai, so this series became a victim of the excesses of the time. Grandcrest Senki- Decent action high fantasy anime. However, it never goes beyond being decent. Killing Bites- People have genetically-altered humanoids combined with animals fight each other for entertainment. Generally doesn't go anywhere, though the action is good at times. Beatless is an example of what NOT to do when making a sci-fi anime. The AI characters are too alien to be relatable (including the supposed main heroine) and the protagonist is too much of a simpleton. It makes it impossible to invest emotionally into the story, so the watcher generally isn't interested in the results. Overlord II is more Overlord. If you liked the first season, you'll like the second. Sword Gai- Random sword monster rampages, no real story beyond that. Saiki Kusuo 2- It's Saiki Kusuo. If you like the series' humor, you'll love it, if you don't, you'll fall asleep. I laughed.
  6. Inuyashiki- Honestly, I loved this anime, despite how weird it was having an old man as the main character. Good watch for an out there sci-fi series. Juuni Taisen- Battle Royale full of people with weird talents and abilities. I never managed to invest in the characters, so my opinion of it isn't high. Dies Irae- ... a perfect example of failure in translating a great visual novel into an anime. The first episode is an example of what not to do (such as disrupt the measured revelations that made the game interesting by revealing the most important stuff at the beginning). Because it wasn't intended to be a long series, the developments are rushed, the presentation is weird, and the characters are somewhat off.
  7. No, it is more that nukige that actually have something approaching a romance story stopped existing shortly afterward. The two 'umbrella genres' only became more and more strictly split as time passed. There weren't that many hybrids in the first place, but at some point they just started specializing.
  8. It would be fine to state that... if you had actually watched that anime. While I'll be the first to admit that reusing the same universe/multiverse places constraints on the writers/creators in question, there are plenty of times where a sequel surpasses the original in some aspects. In this case, the only repeated characters from previous entries are ones who only make cameo appearances. All the main characters are unique to this particular plotline... and the fact that you didn't even notice this tells me you are basically looking at the Fate name and saying 'oh, it's Fate, so I'm going to bash it for being Fate'.
  9. Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni- Iyashikei 'easy-mode' isekai series. An early example of the type that was a bit too light. Fate Apocrypha- @kivandopulus This is not a sequel but rather an alternate world with a completely different set of characters and on a timeline that diverged around WWII. Unlike other Fate series, the war is a larger-scale one between two sets of seven Servants, and the resulting battles and stories are of a much larger scale. This series is also known for having some of the best battle scenes in anime, so it isn't something that should be dismissed outright, even if you don't like Fate. Knight's & Magic- This was my first experience with the maker/fighter type isekai reincarnation. This type of protagonist started to appear more in the last five years or so, and a lot of the web novels and light novels of the type are pretty good. This one in particular is a fun watch, as the battles remind me of Escaflowne if they had a mech-obsessed Earthling redesigning them from scratch. Isekai Shokudou- A mostly 'stand-alone episode' series about a cafeteria connected to an isekai. It is basically iyashikei and little else, but it is fine if you want a break from heavy stories and don't necessarily want girl meets boy. Youkai Apartment- Another slice-of-life series, it was one of the few I actually enjoyed in the last ten years. The jokes are pretty old and the story isn't anything to write home about, but I enjoyed it anyway. No Game No Life Zero- @kivandopulus Umm... your misunderstanding is pretty obvious here. This is a prequel to No Game No Life, covering the mythological age before the world became Disbordia under Tet. I need to note here that the translation/localization (all of them) for this movie is abominable. I actually just recommend watching it without subs, because the subtitles will only confuse you. Somehow, they managed to mess up EVERY SINGLE IMPORTANT LINE IN EVERY SCENE of this movie. I was really amazed that it was still possible to mess up a localization this bad in modern times. It made me nostalgic for the pre-crunchyroll age, when if someone put out bad subs, someone would come along behind them and fix them. The dubs are even worse, since they also mess up all the most important scenes, making it incomprehensible. On the other hand, the animation, the story, the characters and the voice-acting for this movie are all top-class (in Japanese). I don't know how many times I've rewatched this movie, crying every time.
  10. Nukige that are also worthwhile romantic-wise: Erect; Sakura Iro Quartet; Prima Stella; Sara Sara Sasara
  11. It needs to be understood that the mainstream of romance/slice-of-life as a genre (often referred to as moege/charage in the case of JVNs) are games that run around ten to twenty hours for a native reader. To put that into perspective, Tone Works games, to complete all the paths, are expected to hit 40 to 60 hours depending on an individual's reading speed. Because of the size of their games (which meant more cg artwork, more lines written, more development time, etc) it cost them more to make them than the rest of the industry. In addition, mainstream readers were not necessarily interested in extensive heroine routes that run well into adulthood. This meant fewer sales and a longer development cycle. Making things worse is the collapse of the JVN market that began around 2019 and was massively accelerated by Covid-19 (and the financial impact it had on the people who normally bought those games) and you have a post-Covid JVN market that has MAYBE three non-nukige VN releases per month (there are times when it is only one)... and most of those are not comparable with games before covid in most cases. To further put that into perspective, at the height of the JVN market, it wasn't uncommon for nine or ten non-nukige VNs to get released in a single month. They wouldn't necessarily be good, but there was usually something worth mentioning coming out. Tone Works went silent shortly after it made its final release (a repackaging of Hoshi Ori) halfway through the epidemic, and it hasn't done anything since. A lot of companies suffered a similar fate during the epidemic, making final releases then going quiet, their sites vanishing or lacking any activity whatsoever as their parent companies likely made hard decisions to cut staff and projects to save money. Edit: There is hope for the company itself, since its parent is still alive. However, I wouldn't hold out much hope for the original staff as a whole, as they were probably let go or redistributed to its other subsidiaries.
  12. It needs to be said that Tone Works is pretty much the only company that has ever done romance VNs as extensive and detailed as their games. It is the reason why they have such a solid following. In terms of artwork, 80% of all slice-of-life commercially-made games have that quality of artwork (it is pretty much standard for the course) post-2012. Except for nitpicking details, there really isn't anything to choose from. Komorebi no Nostalgica comes to mind, for sheer emotional impact and depth of the romance. However, it also has a philosophical aspect that some people might have trouble with, so I'll leave the choices to you. Haru to Yuki is also a good choice, if you don't mind it being generally somber in atmosphere. The romance is highly emotional but if you don't want a fantasy element in the story, you should go elsewhere. (more like this is if you don't mind it, otherwise I won't barrage you with suggestions of the same type) Soshite Hatsukoi ga Imouto ni Naru, Shunki Gentei Poco a Poco, and Love Rec by Alcot are straight-out slice-of-life romances that draw out the emotions. Natsuiro Recipe is 'comfort food' slice-of-life romance based in a Japanese country setting. Any game by Clochette will have good romance and humorous character interactions, with various levels of fantasy or sci-fi depending on the game. If you are in the mood for tragic romance in a unique future setting, Sakura, Sakimashita is an excellent choice. It is based in a future where people discovered how to become ageless using genetic engineering, and where all humans have the right to become so. However, due to the appearance of a planet-destroying asteroid, the previously ageless 'tokoshie' people (including the protagonist and the heroines) are forced to face the reality of their own mortality, while they seek to make the best of the time they have left. Lovesick Puppies Izayoi Fortuna Hana no No ni Saku Utakata no
  13. 明けましておめでとうございます。 Happy new year. @#!%$&$%^*&(#$$#! *returns to his true form and screeches the new year's greetings while waving his billions of planet-wide tentacles excitedly*
  14. Yuzuriha no Uta- I'm playing it, and my opinion is that it is more of a straight out story-focused/plotge rather than a chuunige. There is too much slice-of-life involved, and there isn't nearly enough melodrama for a chuunige. The romance is abrupt and the story is structured so that there is little difference depending on which heroine you choose, which kinda defeats the point of having routes. I'd say it is a very, very old style of game, and not in a good way. Eiyuutan Gaiden- This is basically a fourth route to Shin Koihime Musou. Instead of following one of the three kingdoms rulers' factions, it puts the protagonist in the Han-preservation faction focused on Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu. I don't know if it will be good or not, but it is probably worth playing if you want more Shin Koihime but don't want more meaningless after stories for the original three routes.
  15. Rokudenashi- Great setting, horribly explained. Great action, often with little or no explanation of what is going on. Great characters, whose settings are left hanging for the most part. I had so many mixed feelings about this anime that I could spend hours considering them. However, since I'm getting older, I won't bother. Eromanga-sensei: Comedy with some ero, mostly not. Mostly a fun watch. Seikaisuru Kado: Science fiction/science fantasy where a being from a higher dimension appears in ours claiming to want to uplift the people of Earth. What follows is right out of a science fiction horror novel. Oushitsu Sensei Heine: Commoner protagonist takes on the task of teaching the princes of the country, whether the brats like it or not. Ends on a sour note. Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho: Great fantasy series with prejudice, hate, war, and betrayal. Generally a good watch for fantasy lovers. Clockwork Planet- The idea behind this setting is pretty crazy, where a steampunk god basically stopped the end of the world by rebuilding Earth utilizing clockwork technology. As a result, electronics are illegal, and meisters adjust and make clockwork devices by hand to support the lives and lifestyles of the people. The protagonist is an idiot savant who can tell precisely what is wrong with any clockwork device just by hearing it, but he couldn't explain how he does it for the life of him. On the other side is the genius meister who is at the peak of modern clockwork science. In between is the clockwork android made by the clockwork god who designed their world. Shuumatsu Nani Shiteimasu Ka: Tbh, this is the most memorable series from this season, in my opinion. It begins with a hero fighting a calamity that turns him to stone, only to awaken in an era where humanity lost, the surface of the earth is plagued with disaster and monsters, and the fairies - the only surviving races - rule the skies while quivering in fear of what lies below. They sacrifice the leprechauns, the children closest to humanity, the only ones who can use the powerful weapons humanity left behind. The protagonist decides to settle in as a handler for the girls, all the while despising himself for being unable to help them. Ren'ai Boukun: A lazy and careless cupid who looks more like a shinigami (and has a thing for creating yaoi couples), a hapless protagonist with a poor view of love in general, a psychopathic yandere heroine who would love nothing more than to keep him for herself... lots of comedy antics as a result.
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