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Everything posted by Clephas

  1. Shiranui Yoshikazu of Evolimit (I play this every two years, lol). A brave pervert incapable of feeling sorrow who pushes on through even the worst of situations.
  2. The key to making a truly good 'bad' ending is including a level of conclusiveness to it in the greater context of events. Bad endings which are basically random are generally useless (make one bad choice and all of the sudden the MC dies, for instance). However, if you include at least some progression after the choice or set of choices that creates the route to the bad ending, you can bring it to life in and of itself. Essentially that is what utsuge do. The best of them create a conclusive narrative that makes sense within the greater narrative as is defined by the 'true' ending. A lot of writers - particularly the ones that use the ladder-style choice structure - botch things here by creating a true route that invalidates all other endings due to setting elements included. Aiyoku no Eustia is a classic example of a botched attempt at a true ending, as the true ending completely invalidates the story of the other endings. This isn't much of an issue if you read slowly (those who read a single VN over the course of months or a year), but for someone who finishes an average-sized VN within a week or a month, it is a glaring flaw. Even small inconsistencies and setting clashes standout in that case, and it is glaringly obvious in the case of VNs with true endings or grand routes. In Akeiro Kaikitan, while there is a true ending, no single ending is neglected. All of them are somewhat bittersweet and some are downright bad (Youko's ending comes to mind, as it is the result of literally everything going wrong). My favorite path in the game, the path for the tochigami twins, is a classic example of how a bittersweet ending can leave an intense impression that overshadows the true ending. As cathartic endings go, it is pretty close to the ideal. Another game that can be considered mostly extended bad endings is Jingai Makyou (by Nitroplus). Even the single 'happiest' ending in the game is an ending where the protagonist casts aside his humanity, for instance. Even then, it is a matter of interpretation, as some would find the alternate endings for the same path to be 'better' depending on their outlook, even if it cost the characters deeply in the process. Yet another approach I experienced in the past is the one used in Ore no Tsure wa Hitodenashi. In this one, the endings are separated into 'blue' and 'Happy' endings. The happy endings are just that, straight-out happy endings. However, the blue endings are endings where the inhuman heroines follow their darker desires and things go in a completely different direction. This utilizes the drastic contrast to enhance the experience both ways. It also built up the characterizations in a way that was surprisingly effective.
  3. It's better if I give an example here. The example I'm offering up is Houkago no Futekikakusha. Houkago no Futekikakusha is undeniably an incredibly brutal utsuge... but the true ending can be considered a 'good' ending... if you ignore the fact that in all the alternative timelines, those horrible events still happened. The main difference between a nakige and an utsuge is that nakige always result in a 'good' ending, even if it is a bit bittersweet, whereas an utsuge's endings will mostly be sad or despairing endings (a single ending can be an exception, but anything more than that and it isn't quite an utsuge). That should answer most of your questions, but I'll go ahead and put up another example... in this case, a chuunige. Chuunige generally have bittersweet endings, with truly happy endings being relatively rare. The one I want to mention is Silverio Trinity (second in the series). Spoilers below: Because of this, it fits your condition of a single ending being 'good' while all the others are bitter or sad. This particular tactic, which is usually used to enhance the emotional response of the reader to the final 'good' ending, can have great results or horrible ones depending on how that last ending is handled. To be blunt, I've read VNs where a writer took this tactic and ran it into the ground because he couldn't write a sufficiently standout good path to contrast with the bad ones. The most effective tactic in this case is to path-lock so that one can only reach the good ending by experiencing all or at least one of the bad endings, then making the good ending highly detailed and emotionally impactful (made even moreso by the experience of the other paths).
  4. It's not an unusual concept. To be blunt, Sunao's ending in Semiramis no Tenbin is basically a bad ending that happens if you miss the flag for Ami's ending. As for bad endings that are longer than the good endings... less common but also something that happens regularly in utsuge in particular. Sora no Baroque comes to mind, for instance. However, you have to ask yourself... do you really want a bad ending to be the one thing people remember when it is all over? Because the longest and most detailed endings are the ones people remember the most. In good VNs, the true ending generally is never shorter than the other endings and is often longer many times over for this precise reason. It is also why - if a heroine exists for the true ending - picking a poor quality heroine for the true ending usually damns the game to the kusoge pile.
  5. Cowboy Bebop- Umm... does this need an intro? Lost Universe- Slayers in space, basically. Fun to watch if you liked the Slayers and you like sci-fi, but otherwise not of interest. Lodoss War TV- OVA was better, both animation-wise and story-wise. Very Dungeons and Dragons style and so atypical of anime of this type. Trigun- Ditto to Cowboy Bebop thanks to Toonami. Weiss Kreuz- Halfway decent vigilante justice anime. Doesn't do anything special beyond that. Nazca- Never could figure out what they were trying to do with this one, and I watched it to the end. Queen Emeraldas- Another of those series that has way too many relations (like Tenchi). The various series based in this world/universe don't make much sense, but they are often fun to watch. Cardcaptor Sakura- Very typical of Clamp's works... in truth, Cardcaptor Sakura was the anime that set the standard for Clamp's works with innumerable spinoff series, of which Tsubasa Chronicles was the best. Though I also liked xxxHolic Neo Ranga- Like most mech anime that weren't Gundam from this era, it makes very little sense. Still, wasn't bad visually. Legend of Basara- Decent for early-era samurai action, but not that good in comparison to today's anime.
  6. Looks like it might not contain the contents from Superior. It does contain Mitori and Hishia's routes though. Superior is a non-heroine path that branches off the events of Saku's path.
  7. Amatsutsumi definitely is more slice-of-life focused. The only route that is a real exception is the Hotaru route. I really suggest you play the complete edition of Hello, Lady (including the materials from Superior), as it contains a non-heroine true route that is excellent. Also, the extra routes for Hishia and Mitori are worth playing simply because Mitori's provides a lot of insight into some of the background noise of the other paths and Hishia's path gives you more background on Shinri.
  8. My top ten VN soundtracks Evolimit Komorebi no Nostalgica Hapymaher Silverio Series Akeiro Kaikitan Ikusa Megami Zero Draculius Kitto, Todoku Sumiwataru Asairo Yori Mo Yami to Hikari no Sanctuary Devils Devel Concept
  9. Perfect Blue was the anime that made me not want have anything to do with the entertainment industry. I hated it and hate it to this day. Outlaw Star doesn't really need any intro for people who began watching anime near the turn of the century, since it was one of a small minority of anime that made it onto cable television.
  10. Vampire Princess Miyu- I liked this series when I was younger, but to be honest, it hasn't aged well. It was part of a sub-genre of horror anime that involved mysterious young girls in ambiguous moral situations. This included Miyu, Jigoku Shoujo, and a number of others. Berserk- Do I really need to say anything about the original? Those who Hunt Elves II- Identical meh opinion to the first season.
  11. Utena is one of those anime that was immensely popular despite being absolutely awful and making no sense. Such anime became common near the turn of the century, and they have left a legacy of indelible horror and illogic in the minds of formerly rational human beings exposed to them. Hyper Police- I was fond of this anime, if only because the protag was a catgirl and her partner was a kitsune. The image of a world where gods, youkai, and demons were both coexisting with and fighting humans was pretty fascinating at the time. Fushigi Yuugi 2- Honestly, this season turned me off of the series, though I liked the first one (despite its horrors). Haunted Junction was one of those random comedy fantasy anime that made waves before FLCL ruined everything. It is fairly amusing, though the humor hasn't aged that well. Slayers Try- This was the last good season of the Slayers. Or rather, it was the last complete one, lol. It has some decent action scenes, the series' usual combination of slapstick humor and drama, and a few new characters on a new continent. Clamp Gakuen was one of many weird anime Clamp made over the years. It wasn't one of their better moments, but it wasn't awful either.
  12. Twitter and Facebook and all large social media sites are evil. Down with big social media!!!
  13. I actually have hopes for Akuma to Yoru to Isekai to, despite the maker. Primarily this is because the sample cgs don't show any of the company's typical sexual violence and the writer isn't one of their regulars. This might be an attempt to forge a new niche for the company, which would be great for me if it turns out to be a chuunige, lol. I'm waiting for a sale to get ahold of it, as I'm not really up to paying eighty-something dollars for a game from a company whose history I don't trust at the moment.
  14. Those who Hunt Elves is a trash ecchi fantasy series that is fairly awful. Nadesico is a pretty interesting science fiction with a ship's crew going up against alien invaders in a last ditch attempt to save Earth (fairly typical of pre-2000 sci-fi space stories) This time the Legend of Crystania isn't as hurried, but it still stops short of completing the story and satisfying the watcher.
  15. Maze- I watched this one repeatedly when I was younger. The main reason was that it is ecchi+chuunibyou+comedy+fantasy and at the time, I'd watch anything fantasy. I still can enjoy it, but it has definitely lost some of its attraction over the decades. X- Decent apocalyptic fantasy movie. Saw it in the local theaters when it came out (a downtown theater that occasionally had anime movies). Stylistically it is excellent, but the decision to make it as a movie rather than a series made it move too fast for its own good. Slayers Return- A weak movie that fails to fill in the blanks about Lina's meeting with her 'rival' who only appears in later seasons.
  16. Escaflowne- Escaflowne is a classic fantasy and one of the earliest isekai. Typical of early isekai, the protagonist is obsessed with returning home and virtually helpless despite having a mystic ability. The real attraction of this is the nominal love interest, a superhuman prince from a backwater kingdom called Van. Slayers Next- Arguably the best of the many seasons of Slayers with the most impactful final arc. Like all of the Slayers' series, it has a lot of slapstick humor, puns, and silliness alongside a surprisingly good story. Kodomo no Omocha- A good comedy about a child star's daily life. I remember laughing a lot and crying a little, though I never went back once I watched it all. Tenchi Muyou in Love- Easily the single worst Tenchi-related movie/series/episode. Not really relatable, as it is virtually impossible to figure out where it fits in the labyrinthine series.
  17. For those who are interested, the best games by that company are: Baldr Skydive Baldr Sky Zero (alternate world setting, which makes sense if you completed the original, battle system was more clunky than Skydive due to a transition to 2.5D) Baldr Force (has aged surprisingly well, but the visuals, while pretty, are very much yesteryear. Occurs significantly before the development of biological AIs that led to Baldr Sky) Baldr Heart (based a few centuries after Baldr Skydive, when Ark's digital mind transfer tech is in common use)
  18. Baldr Bringer. Baldr Bringer's story is virtually nonexistent, and the combat is awful and slow-paced (the attraction of the Baldr series battle systems' was how fast-paced it was). Senkou no Clarias (the last gameplay game by Giga's Team Baldrhead) was interesting... until it wasn't. The combat system was clunky and poorly designed, though not as poorly as Baldr Bringer's.
  19. SofthouseChara was innovative, but they hadn't produced anything that remained in memory after you played it for years. Heck, nothing at all since before Covid, which probably means they were already in financial trouble before Covid hit.
  20. I played the Baldr series up to the point where they for some reason decided to make the last game a piece of crap (both battle system and story). I still don't get why they destroyed the traditions of the series to create a mindless game obviously designed for mobile phones rather than pc or consoles. Giga has been showing signs of collapse for a while now. The over-production of the 'kiss' series, which was never that popular even amongst romance VN lovers, was another sign of this. In addition, Giga's development costs were always excessive for the genre, which probably made it worse due to the borderline nature of sales of VNs. Harvest Overray was decent, but after that I came to the conclusion that Giga was incapable of producing anything truly superlative outside of the Baldr series. This was confirmed by my first attempt to play a game from the 'kiss' series, which was a total kusoge.
  21. It's on my wishlist, but it isn't a priority. Tbh, I'm considering replaying the entire series from the beginning, so it just adds more time to my Utawarerumono binge.
  22. It should be noted that 08th MS Team is easily the best Gundam up until this point, with it competing very well with the ones that came out later. That was because the makers chose to use an adult protagonist (something that doesn't happen in the other ones), and the actual mobile suit combat was semi-realistic, making it feel like real battles rather than one-sided slaughters with mechs doing unbelievable stuff.
  23. [Hey, your Mom is an evil woman (toxic woman)!] [I... I can't argue with that.] (Move... Move! Move! Move, please! If I don't move now...!!) He tries to move his legs to get away from the three approaching him. However, he can't move. His body won't move an inch. It is as if he's being tied down by an invisible something. (What is this!? What is this!? This is... what is it...? It's as if I'm being enveloped in something...) At that moment, something was reflected in Ibuki's eyes. It was a gigantic translucent tail. It was a gigantic, soft tail with gleaming fur that wrapped around his body. It was extending from in front of him--- to be straight, it was coming from behind the blond girl to wrap around him. "Ah" He was dumbfounded. From behind the girl two more gigantic tails appeared and swept away the other two that were approaching him. Incidentally, the only things harmed by the gigantic tails were the guy and elderly gentleman, and there was no damage to the nearby structures. It appears that she can choose what the translucent tails will pass through. As he was indulging in that bit of escapism... "Eh!?" The girl was right in front of him. She was giving him a sweet smile that threatened to melt his heart on the spot as she looked at him. Slowly, her mouth opened. (What... what is she planning to say? What does she want to ask?) Thump, thump, thump. His heart throbbed hard within his chest. (Ok, come on. Come at me! My vocation is a great youka--) No matter what she says, he will be fine. He will be able to respond calmly and somehow make his way out of this situation. Or so Ibuki thought... "Nice to meet you Ibuki, I'm your mother. I've loved you in every way for a thousand years." His confidence was shattered in an instant. What was expressed was emotions so sweet as to induce nausea. He knows he is not particularly perceptive, but he somehow knows... There was no lie to the words 'I love you' as they came out of her mouth. The problem was the type of love. There is no doubt in his mind that, though she called herself his mother, she was also expressing 'other types of love'. It was frightening, so frightening. It was terrifying beyond belief that her emotions were so obvious and intense that a single word was enough for him to understand. Devilish and monstrous. He couldn't help but understand the girl in front of him was fundamentally different from humankind. "And so, yes... I think I'll state my appeal points." The girl (self-proclaimed mother) smiled like a child while clapping her hands. "... you like this, don't you? This type of girl." In an instant, the childish, innocent smile vanished as if it had never existed and a demonic smile that looked like it would split her cheeks wide appeared. "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know" "I know" That single word echoed in his mind over and over. "Even if I can't become omniscient, I know everything the man I love desires." Slim, white fingers caressed him under the chin. "People say a lot of things about me. Toxic woman, slut, woman who destroys nations... But... oh yes. I can say this even so. Until the moment the man I loves reaches his terrible end, no; even after that, I never let them feel regret that I stole their hearts. After all, there is no other woman as 'convenient' to a man as I am, past, present or future, no matter where you look." Haa her warm breath tickled at his ears. "This is what men seek in a woman: To be at their side like a wife, to connect like lovers, to be spoiled like a grandmother, accepted like a mother, embraced like an older sister, rely on them like a little sister, and adore him like a daughter." Even the Red Comet was a bit more humble... or so Ibuki wanted to say, but... (... She's probably telling the truth.) Looking into those eyes full of certainty, it is obvious. This vixen that calls herself his mother is... ah, he can't avert his eyes. She is most definitely the nine-tailed fox whose name went down in history as a beauty that ruins nations. He didn't have the words to deny the statements of a woman who knows men more than any other in existence. "How pathetic? How selfish? How... How adorable a desire that is..." Her expression was ecstatic, full of scorn and fondness, and a sweet fragrance wafted around him. She was too toxic. Even closing his eyes and sealing his nose, he became dizzy. Even so, he managed to stay upright and listen to his self-proclaimed mother's words. "The only person who can fulfill that desire is me. Precisely because I once toured three countries, indulging in all forms of hedonism and corruption, I can do so. There is no other woman who can love you like I can, you know? I'll love you with everything I am, so you need to love me back, Ibuki?" Smack, she kissed him on the cheek. Even as he was being pushed around by the sensation of his brain going numb, Ibuki couldn't help but think this. (This... what a... egotistical woman.) I'll devote myself to you entirely, so I would be happy if you came to like me too. If you took her words at face value, it would seem like she was saying something innocent and womanly. However, the sentiment there wasn't nearly that cute. (She's pushy beyond belief...!!) Ibuki acknowledged that the nine-tailed fox wasn't incorrect in her statement of a man's ideal woman. However, that was just a reflection of the id revealed when a man's pride and self-control were ripped away entirely. In addition, that desire was most likely so close to an unconscious desire as for there to be no real difference. If not, then all the world's men would be hopeless trash. (It's rationality and pride that make us human." For that reason, though there were differing tastes like large breasts or tight butts... There were very few men who were seeking the type of woman the fox described while sober. Ibuki was the same. He didn't want a lover, nor a mother or sisters. It would be correct to say that in his case, those desires were faded and weak at best. However, the nine-tailed fox cared nothing for his situation. 'You know you like this, don't you?' she said arbitrarily and forcefully while shamelessly asking him to love her. It was the penultimate form of egotism, of trying to force emotion upon him. (However, what's really awful is...) That even with her obvious egotism, she had the ability to force one to accept her. Whether it was the inhuman attractiveness fit to ruin a man's life with a single glance, or the experience she had built up to now in using words and observations to manipulate others. There was no way for a normal person to resist if she set eyes upon him. They would fall into corruption in no time flat. (Even I'm pretty close to the edge.) He knew she was egotistical and pushy, but he couldn't find it in himself to find the nine-tailed fox's existence unpleasant. Rather, he was feeling good about it. For that reason, he told himself over and over again about how dangerous she was. But well... the results were predictable. It was a resistance more unreliable than a candle in hurricane winds. (Hmm, is it already too late?) Was he still sane? Did he only think he was resisting her? Was he not already long-since fallen to her wiles and sinking into a well of pleasure? Ibuki's sanity was being shaved away to the point where he was unsure of the reality in front of him, but... "Nevermind." He let out a deep breath. To put it simply, she simply was on another level. What could a boy that hadn't even lived twenty years do against her? 'They who only have bad ideas might as well be asleep.' Thinking just made him tired, so he might as well rest. Ibuki decided to just go with the flow and let things happen as they would. "... Hmm..." The nine-tailed fox showed a smile different from the ones before. In it were admiration that was exceeded by annoyance, and a lovesickness that far surpassed her annoyance. "Now, self-proclaimed 'mother'. Before you try to show off your appeal as a woman, don't you have something else you should do?" Her name. He told her to introduce herself first. She knew his name, but he didn't know hers. He'd figured out she was the infamous nine-tailed fox, but if she was taking on a humanoid form, she had to have a name for it. "What should I call you? Kumiho? Daji? Tamamo no Mae?" "Fufufu... bzzt, you are way off!" She made an X with her index fingers in front of her face. The gesture was unbelievably sly. It was apparent she was faking it, but it felt so natural it was vulgar. If one couldn't reach that level, there was no way one could be called a siren. "After all, those are the names of women loved by other men? They are symbols with no more value than broken straws, destined never to be used again. They aren't the right name to call myself in front of the man I've loved for the past thousand years and will continue to love until the void takes this world." The name I name myself here has to be for you, for only your sake. Ibuki felt chills go up his spine as she whispered that into his ear, but he gestured for her to continue. "Fufufu, so hasty. That's fine though. Yes, I want to introduce myself as soon as possible. For the past thousand years I thought about it and only recently - six years ago - I decided upon my name." In an instant, she turned her back to him and made some distance beween them, showing only her profile as she quietly stated her name. "Shino." He tried to deny it as a coincidence. "That's because...." He recalled her words 'six years ago'. "It's the name of the only woman to have left a scar on your heart." With a cheshire cat's grin, she ripped the scab off the old wound. "You...!" A Ibuki tried to reach for her in anger, the nine-tailed fox stopped him with words. "'Now you've done it'" A pure as a child. "'You got angry'." As crafty as the most toxic of women. "You directed your attention at me." Shino smiled. "Now there is no escape for you." As if he was paralyzed, he became unable to move. He wasn't tied down with her tails, it was her words that bound him in place. "From now on, whenever you call my name, you will remember your past woman and your heart will throb with pain. No, I made you aware of me this way, so even if you don't say the name, you might feel it just looking at my face." Baring a heart full of rage, hate, and jealousy, Shino smiled. "What will you do? Will you avoid the name and call me Mom? Ah, but the more you do that, the more you might become conscious of it." Tap, tap, tap, she once again approached him, deliberately making sound with her steps. She looked up at him from below after approaching him and stabbed him with her words. "Another choice would be to call me Shino over and over, wouldn't it? Are you going to act as if it doesn't matter while enduring the pain? Ah, but if you get used to the pain, your memories of her might become weaker." She touched his chest with her slim fingertips, caressing him. "When you stop feeling pain, your heart will be painted over with me." As if to aggravate his pained heart. "There won't be any way for a woman from the past to touch your heart... aaaaah!" With an expression of a woman overwhelmed with escstasy, was Shino looking at a future that was certain to arrive one day? "Haha!" In an instant, the front of Ibuki's shirt was torn open and his skin was bared. "How long will it be before the name of your wound becomes mine?" Shino brought her lips to Ibuki's chest and licked it with her tongue. A sensation that was not quite pleasant nor unpleasant went through his body from his chest. "..." "Fufufu, what is it?" "... I just fully realized it?" "Realized what?" "The meaning of the phrase 'toxic woman'." He understood it for the first time after fifteen years of life. No, he didn't want to understand it. Ibuki repeatedly made deep breaths and put his head in his hands. (... what is this?) It was a bit much for his first experience of the World of Illusions. It was beyond hard mode. Did he do something wrong? No he hadn't. He couldn't say he lived a pure and good life, but he lived normally. But this was just too horrible. (Is that it? Is it my parents? My parents blood?) Setting aside Soujou Bou (Clephas: one of his three youkai ancestors), the remaining two bloodlines. The oni who wreaked havoc on Kyouto during the Heian Period, Shutendoji. The toxic woman who spread immorality and corruption across three nations, the nine-tailed fox. Was it revenge for the sins of those two bloodlines? "Uuu...." It would be cruel to blame Ibuki for getting down on his hands and knees. Ibuki was a child that had just graduated from middle school. "There, there, good boy." Struck to the heart, Ibuki was embraced by Shino, who began caressing his head. Her expression was that of an affectionate mother, but it wasn't an expression the source of the problem should have had. (So soft and smells so goood... this is no good!!) He could feel his corruption gauge filling up, so he pulled away from Shino. "Anyway... umm, Mom? I have someone waiting for me. For the moment, umm... just let me take care of this later!!" Right now, he just had to get away from this woman. Making that decision, he tried to use an excuse, but that plan was shattered in an instant. "Are you talking about the guy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? He isn't coming." "Eh?" "Of course, after all your mother (me) is coming to meet you. Don't worry, I made sure to tell them." She quite naturally wrapped her arms around his. "Now, let's go home together... to our new house. Ibuki felt faint at the sight of Shino's smile. (I-I have to live with this...) I have a new family. That phrase briefly went through his head before being swept away into the distance.
  24. Try reading the Ln or the web novel. So far it is pretty close to the web novel, with the exception of skipping over a lot of the school life shit. The details that includes will fill in the characters to an extent. As for Delta and the others, you don't really get to know them until later in the story. Alpha and Beta are the ones who have the most 'screen time' in the story, with Ipsilon coming to life pretty late in the story. Delta is really simple (literally simple)... she's basically a wolf to the bone. If you can beat her up, she's submissive, if you lose to her, she dominates you. Her main interests are food and killing.
  25. Kage no JItsuryokusha ni Naritakute is my gem for this season. Great mix of ridiculousness, melodrama, and story. Beast Tamer is a good harem fantasy. Shinmai Renkinjutsushi is cute but not so cute-focused that it makes me want to vomit, so it is actually watchable. Tensei Shitara Ken Deshita I also like, but my thing for catgirls probably has me liking it more than most would.
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