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Everything posted by Clephas

  1. lol, I almost said something cruel unintentionally to that... but even if you learned enough Japanese to play the average VN, Muramasa - in fact most Nitroplus games - is probably going to be beyond your abilities. Jingai Makyou, Muramasa, Dies Irae, Vermillion Bind of Blood, and Kajiri Kamui are the top five hardest games to read I've played since I began to devour VNs in Japanese (note that three of those are from Light and two from Nitro+). This is not only because they are long but because they frequently use huge sentences, archaic phrasing, and/or complex wording that requires a very specific grasp of the grammar to decipher. In addition, Muramasa is made harder by the fact that - like all the truly great Nitroplus games - it is part utsuge. If you aren't ready for a constant stream of horrible occurrences with no relief or even signs of relief in sight, then you probably shouldn't play the game. The five greats of Nitroplus are: Demonbane - the first one -, Muramasa, Jingai Makyou, Phantom, and Saya no Uta, and all but Demonbane are near-utsuge or at least have ambivalent endings for the most part. If you want some Nitroplus action, I'd suggest playing Phantom, though I should warn you that the localized version is a DVD, non-ero game that has a horribly designed playing system that requires you to use codes to get back to key points of the game rather than a system of saves. The upside is that the game is fully-voiced in Japanese (save for the protagonist) including the narration of the story, and it is much better than the anime from a story standpoint (for one thing, what the main characters do during the story is entirely within human limits, rather than them being supermen without a weakness to kryptonite, and the endings aren't horrible).
  2. lol, what's 4chan? But seriously, taking a bunch of permatrolls seriously is a waste of time and energy. Even if you are jaded you should make an effort to be a decent human being. I don't join major social networks, as a personal policy. My primary reasons are my belief that the human brain degenerates when it is exposed to large groups of people as opposed to conversations with a smaller group and my distaste for people who can't bring themselves to look at reality. Not only that, obsessing over other people's opinion of you - in the form of kudos, thumbs ups, etc. - has a lot of bad effects on an individual's mental health. Cynicism and constructive criticism are one thing, but being poisonous without making a legitimate point is a habit far too many people are into on the net.
  3. This game is huge. I can't see it getting a translation any time soon, regardless of who does it. It took me three days of marathon playing to finish it, and I can finish most games in a single day of free time. Not only that, but the archaic Japanese utilized at many points would make it impossible for the average fantranslator.
  4. Yeah, a lot of jrpgs would be considered to be chuuni, especially the ones of the PSX era, when protagonists began to take a more active role in the stories, encouraging players to see the games through their eyes. Chuuni essentially plays to young people's desires to be more than they are. It isn't a bad thing most of the time, but it is easy to lose your connection with reality at that age.
  5. I've played hundreds of VNs, but I've yet to come across one that is similar to Wanko except on the surface. Many have similar elements but none try to do what that game did.
  6. I wasn't bashing, I was saying that since he already knew about vndb, he should have searched for it using the tags first. Common sense where tags are available. Unlike a blog site, where even with tags, searching is frequently a pain in the butt, vndb is highly organized (as long as people bothered to mark the VNs with the tags) and easy to search. There aren't that many sites that are as intuitive as vndb to search. If he had asked 'is there a VN that you have played with a bodyguard protagonist that you could recommend to me?' I wouldn't have felt a need to say any of that. In that case, I could have given a list and reasons why certain ones are worth the effort to play (Akatsuki no Goei, Noel) and others are lumps of dog dung (Angelguard). List of ones that really are worth playing (incidentally, Yuuji in Grisaia isn't a bodyguard, really): Akatsuki no Goei series Noel (if you don't mind a really gory yuri game with really dark tones) Para-Sol (like most of the games from this company, it's a very weird game, but it is also good) Unival (lots of hilarity, but no better than decent story-wise) If you just want games with action that aren't complete fantasy or excuses for rapefests (there are more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head): Sinclient (pretty good espionage/Illuminati) Izuna Zanshinken (protagonist is a vigilante killer working for a yakuza family) My personal pet peeve in action VNs is for games where the main character is basically a helpless idiot, so I can assure you that none of these games are that type.
  7. If it is a localized version of a VN I prefer to have the Japanese voices with English text (though I prefer to play the Japanese versions over localized versions). My main reason for this is quite simple: English dubs are so hit and miss in comparison to the more stable Japanese voices that it isn't even right to compare them. Of course, Japanese VAs have their crap moments - in particular the excess of high-pitched voices in cute girls - but English dubs still have a bad habit of being either awkward, awful, or both. A lot of this is because Japanese just doesn't translate well into spoken English. The struggle to balance translation with speakable English tends to create abominations that offend everyone, rather than just one side of things. Worse is the bad habit - illustrated by such infamous characters as Welch from Star Ocean 4 - of voice directors to want to imitate or surpass the high-pitched voices of the Japanese version. To be blunt, a lot of those characters voices grate so badly I feel like I'm listening to fingernails being dragged across a chalkboard. For lower-pitched voices, there are good English VAs... the only problem is that good VAs cost money and money is what localization studios don't have for VN or anime localizations. They cut corner after corner, until the result becomes something that just isn't quite right. Good dubs are so rare that I have almost never encountered them, and most of the ones I encountered were - quite ironically - before the professional English voice-acting community was well-established, rather than after. As an example of a series that was hurt badly by dubbing: Code Geass. The anime was not nearly as good in dubs as it was in Japanese. The melodrama of the anime was one of its biggest draws, and they somehow managed to ruin that in a lot of the key scenes. I gave up watching dubs for anime altogether after that...
  8. There is a bodyguard protagonist tag on vndb. Search it in the tags section, then click on it, after which you can reorganize the list by date of release, popularity, or ratings. Rather than asking this kind of question here, it's best to go looking for the answer yourself.
  9. There are plenty of people who never get into the chuuni genre. The main reason I like it is because violent melodrama is just fun to watch for me. Basically, it's a matter of the degree to which your imagination is developed and whether you have the ability to suspend disbelief for the time it takes to enjoy it. Plenty of people - even anime fans - quite simply can't suspend disbelief when it comes to fantasy crap after a certain age. The earlier you reach that stage, the lower the possibility you'll have interest in the genre later on in life. I mean, if you are the type that can still get into Star Wars and its mythology as an adult, you'll probably love chuuni anime and games, simply because it is the same kind of junk food (unless you are the type that despises attempts to make animation as a medium into something 'serious'). I grew up with anime and video games and went through that transition stage in which the stuff I enjoyed only months before suddenly became embarrassing... and then came out the other end a few years later with the realization I still loved the stuff. I simply had a different attitude about it and had gotten over my megalomania. If you lose interest early on, there is very little reason why you would enjoy the genre later, lol.
  10. Perhaps one of the weirdest niche genres in VNs and anime is that characterized by the reference to 'chuunibyou' the self-obsession and sudden surge of egotism that occurs in teenagers around the ages of 14-16, where they tend to develop an overblown sense of and desire for their own importance. This genre is generally characterized by one thing overall... melodrama. Main characters in chuuni games and anime resurrect from the dead, become powerful overnight, and are inevitably somehow 'special'. Now, the reason why this genre tends to be avoided by a lot of people is this... it is a genre that is most enjoyed by the two main types of people who enjoy it - those who take this kind of thing seriously, and those who know how to sit back and 'enjoy the show' without being embarrassed about the fact they like it. Extreme examples of chuuni include Code Geass for anime and Dies Irae for VNs. In these games, characters ruminate on their own personal philosophies and frequently pursue extreme courses of action for reasons that are frequently abnormal or just plain psychotic, appealing to the tastes of those who enjoy that kind of thing. Oddly enough, both Code Geass and Dies Irae are only one extreme of the genre. More 'youthful' versions include mahou shoujo crap like the infamous Sailor Moon, and a more recognizable type would be certain Gundam series (Wing, Seed, and 00 to differing extents). Wordiness, long explanations as to motivations, and a seeming inability to get to business without some kind of side drama are all signs of 'chuuni' entertainment. For those who are classic anime fans, Dragonball Z is one of the most famous examples of the genre. Now, perhaps the most problematic aspect of this genre is the fact that after a certain age, people tend to start feeling embarrassed about the fact they like this type of entertainment. This is a natural reaction, as after a time we inevitably outgrow the delusions of our youth, that we might obtain superpowers or that we have somehow come to understand a reality others haven't already... so the question comes, just why do some people fail to stop enjoying the genre after that stage? The answer to the question is fairly simple... you learn to simply enjoy it for what it is, taking pleasure in the sheer unreality of it and the suspension of disbelief involved in enjoying such material. Once you can do that, don't be surprised if you start finding real value amongst the glittering fool's gold that litters the genre. The genre tends to attract writers who want to express themselves in ways other genres don't allow or would consider to be absurd. Further, there is no other genre where one can pursue philosophy as a pleasure rather than as a boring, dusty academic exercise. Chuuni tends to use philosophical themes in a rather blunt manner, and it isn't uncommon to find that a writer has actually managed to create a unique and interesting thought exercise in the process of entertaining you. Chuuni is a genre where the absurd is normal and where concepts we would laugh off in real life are pursued with a seriousness that would seem absurd to the uninitiated. In other words... it's an acquired taste for those of us who have somehow managed to become adults, lol. Edit: Star Wars is a rather familiar example of the US's own 'chuuni' culture, hahaha
  11. Kokoro from Evolimit and Rusalka from Dies Irae (besides the obvious ones like Ilyasviel from FSN).
  12. Like I said, this game actually does have good writing and escapes being a normal nukige by having a good set of characters as well. If I had to compare it to something in terms of its balance, maybe Sarasarasara? The only serious downside is that this game has a lot of focus on the characters' llibido, but it manages to do so without it becoming completely absurd. The great weakness of a nukige is that it literally only exists to give you an excuse to masturbate, but this is more like a moege with a nukige's amount of h-scenes.
  13. It's halfway a nukige, halfway a moege. It is saved by actually having a decent premise and good writing, but it does have a lot of h-scenes.
  14. There is very little a VN can do that cannot be done in another video game genre - though most gamers would not even consider VNs to be games at all. However, if there is one advantage VNs have that no other medium currently existing has... it is the greater leeway some companies give to their writers (outside of moege and nukige) thus allowing them to create stories that would not be allowed in other mediums either because they don't have much mainstream appeal, are socially unacceptable on one level or another, or take on issues no one wants to admit exist. It's precisely because the medium isn't taken seriously that it can get away with all of this, which is one of the ironic aspects of it. Akatsuki Works games, for instance, always have a philosophical theme that they frequently approach from a point of view that would be considered cynical or anti-social, and they do it in a way that would most likely never have been allowed in another medium. To be blunt, this is just my personal view of the value of VNs... most people probably wouldn't agree. Understand, I mean that amongst the 'visual' mediums (anime, movies, tv shows, video games, manga) in Japan, VNs are the most likely to do something with a story that none of the others would even consider otherwise. Anime series like Fate/Zero would never have been allowed in such an unadulterated form if FSN and Tsukihime hadn't 'gone there' and proven there was a demand for such works even in the current age of moeblob and brainlessness. PS: Japanese paper novels are my other passion, for similar reasons. Where Americans have stagnated, there are still some seriously good new insights there.
  15. Dies Irae, Kajiri Kamui, Vermillion - bind of blood, Zero- Devil of Maxwell, Jingai Makyou, Devils Devel Concept, Comyu, Yurikago yori Tenshi Made, Ayakashibito, Bullet Butlers, Evolimit, Tokyo Babel, Shinigami no Testament, Ikusa Megami Zero and Verita... Also, if you don't like G-Senjou no Maou's story structure, don't play Eustia. Good high fantasy series (the elves and all that) are rare. Most of that type are plain moege with no decent fighting, are lame, or are nukige/rapegames...
  16. If you live in Texas below Waco, you either believe in global warming or you spend too much time watching Fox News. To be blunt, if we want to talk about lies or misdirection in media, those who speak against the reality of climate change are those the most detached from reality. They should go speak to the Inuits in Alaska or the people living on the coasts in Southeast Asia if they want an honest opinion about the matter. When you have to face moving your entire village fifty miles inland because your ancestral home is going under water, your concern isn't how the government chose to use propaganda on the matter, it's whether your kids are going to die because a bunch of people couldn't bring themselves to support the elimination of the internal combustion engine. In other words, just because it is propaganda doesn't mean it isn't true. Propaganda is a tool, not an evil in and of itself.
  17. I can see why you would see it that way. However, to be quite frank... most people who do this are doing it on a whim or at least start out that way. In addition, groups that don't form a strong leadership from the beginning tend to dissolve in mid-project or stall for months or years at a time. While I loved working with various groups in a friendly 'no one is in charge even in name' atmosphere, things tended to collapse the second someone who formed the core of the group dropped out. Exceptions are those where the group has taken on a life of its own over several 'generations' of members like m.3.3.w. (fansub group specializing in relatively minor series that would otherwise go unsubbed), but for every group like that one there are a dozen or more that collapsed early on or after a single burst of activity, when a core member burned out. I'm aware that I'm a cynic, but I also care about those who get involved with a given project. No one wants their efforts to be wasted, and all too often, that is exactly what happens with this kind of thing. It's immensely frustrating to find you can't help while things sort of fall apart around you. Worst part is, I'm aware that I am not suited as a leader. I find the tasks of organizing others and making long conversations on what needs to be done at any given moment to be tedious enough to drive me to suicide, and I hate nothing more than repeating myself. Worse is that I found myself in a leadership position early on in my translation career (when I formed a fansub group of my own) and had to give it over to someone else when I realized I didn't have the right type of personality to manage it without driving everybody else insane or burning out from holding my frustration in. Imagine translating an entire series of anime, then seeing that translation sit around doing nothing for a year, simply because nobody is running things and you don't have the right skills to manage a team. An immensely humbling situation, to say the least. Making it worse is that translators - including me - have an excessively high opinion of themselves once they have a few projects under their belt. Thus, frustration actually wears the average new - but somewhat experienced - translator down more than a newbie or someone who has been around long enough to get over themselves, relax and take things as they come. I simply don't like seeing people repeating the same mistakes over and over without someone who has seen it previously making an effort to inform them of the pitfalls. My model is primarily designed to reduce the stress on individual members to the minimum, while giving them the freedom to go at their own pace without disrupting the project as a whole. Ideally, this reduces the vague sense of guilt a translator or editor feels when they realize real life is going to force them to give up their translation work while at the same time giving the enthusiastic the leeway they need to push things forward at their own pace. The leader's job in coordinating isn't so much to order people around as to ensure people aren't duplicating one another's work and keep them aware of the fact that the others are working, thus making certain they don't feel isolated, even if they aren't necessarily communicating directly with the rest of the team.
  18. My main reason for saying a leader shouldn't be in one of the other positions is fairly simple... the main reason most projects fail is mental and emotional exhaustion due to overwork, aside from getting the disease otherwise known as 'real life'. Translating, editing, and translation-checking are all positions that eat up time and energy, leaving little extra for other pursuits such as convincing other people to keep going in the face of their own exhaustion. To be blunt, translation and editing fry the brain. Someone with a fried brain isn't up to the clear thinking necessary to keep up with coordinating a project. Not only that, increasing stress factors unnecessarily makes it that more likely that the individual in question will experience 'burn out'. This is all the worse for the project if the individual in question is a translator or a tlc, both of which are hard to recruit in the first place. Editors as leaders is slightly less problematic, but the same problems pop up, if at a later date. Hackers are out of the question as leaders, not because they can't do it but because most hackers are moonlighting numerous projects already, and adding to their burdens unnecessarily is not exactly an intelligent choice. Last of all, it is quite possible to be enthusiastic for a project even if you haven't played the game in question. Testimonials and reviews by those that have played the games, as well as the lust of those who don't know Japanese for more VNs in the genres they prefer lead to a degree of enthusiasm that frequently surpasses those who - like me - have no need for English patches.
  19. This is the model I proposed: Project Leader: Is a member not involved with any other step of the process. Primary jobs are recruitment, staying abreast of the gist of his members rl situations (just generalities), making decisions about what parts to assign what people, finding own replacement. Must have at least basic organizational skills and good communication skills (in other words, be able to talk to your fellow members without being annoying and keep them motivated). Preferred number is one, as projects with more than one leader are committees, and nothing gets done in a committee. Raw translator- Basic job is simple, to translate basic Japanese into essentially corresponding English (or whatever other language they are translating to). Requires solid grammar (a weak vocab can be made up for with access to a dictionary but weak grammar is fatal to translation efforts). Preferred number (varies on game) but at least three. Five or six if you have a project the size of Grisaia or larger. Editor- Transform the inevitably flawed translated text to real english that doesn't sound awkward inside a person's head as they read. If you can manage this while retaining the meaning of what the translator put down, you've done your job. Preferred number is two, but there should be roughly two for every three translators. Translation Checker- Fix any translation mistakes without ruining the editor's work (including those caused by the editor's work). Requires translation skills in excess of those possessed by raw translators, must have english skills at least on par with editor. Ideally, same number as editors, but in practical terms the necessary skill-set for an effective translation checker is so rare that most projects will have to settle for one or two. Hacker- Required personnel to extract text files, organize them, then use them to create a translated patch. Preferred number is one... obviously. Basic process is hacker(extraction)>translator>editor>translation checker>hacker (patch). Ideally someone should do a few test runs of the patched game to make sure it isn't bugged beyond salvation. Never put editor after tlc, the results are... unfortunate.
  20. Balancing fantranslation with the demands of real life is not always possible, a fact that had never occurred to me before the beginning of summer. Before this, whenever I got involved with a translation, I was able to make time to do my part. However, due to the conditions I'm currently working under, it is not practically possible for me to fantranslate. This is not a particularly unique experience, from what I've seen. Lots of those involved with fantranslations eventually have to make the choice between real life and their work as fantranslators. The model I put up for working a fantranslation, where the project is designed to render any single individual as a replaceable part, was my logical recognition of this reality. The unfortunate part is that I didn't realize that real life could come up behind me with a lead pipe so quickly. I'm glad that it seems the others are continuing the project without me, but as always I can't help but feel guilty that I don't have the time or means to help at present. After all, I am the one that proposed the project in the first place. At the same time, the most vital member for maintaining a project - the project leader - went absent almost from the beginning, a fact that left me somewhat at a loss, since replacing a project leader is supposed to be that leader's job (by picking a replacement before or as he has to distance himself from the project). Unlike a translator, an editor, or even a tlc, a project leader requires someone with decent organizational skills who is willing to NOT get hands-on with the project itself. In other words, his job isn't to be a quality control freak but to keep the members motivated and keep recruiting new people in to help with the project, even if there doesn't seem to be an immediate need for them at a given moment. In addition, his job is to assign parts for each member - what scripts for an individual tl or editor is to work on and the like. Currently Rus is working that role in a sort of de-facto state, but considering that he has a rl job and is moonlighting with several projects under his normal role as a hacker, having him in that role departs greatly from the original purpose of having a dedicated project leader with no other role but being the project leader. In other words, people should take the current state of the project as a lesson about how vital it is to be able to replace any single member, no matter what his skill-set is. Fantranslator work lifespans are not generally long, and it isn't unusual for one to last less than six months before real life or general frustration makes him quit. For that reason, a warning to those who take on the role of project leader - you are key to the running of the project but you should be able to replace yourself and make the effort to do so. If you don't have the motivation to continue in your role, find someone who can. The continuance of the project itself should be more important than any single individual member. PS: I'll probably have some translation time around the middle of August, but that doesn't lessen the importance of the object lesson of my experiences. You never know what life will throw at you, so don't assume you'll be able to continue until the very end.
  21. That really is nothing compared to either my backlog or the ones I've played so far... especially considering how little free time I've had since the middle of May.
  22. lol, just to be clear, translation-checkers have to be even or BETTER than the raw translators. There isn't any point in having someone less skilled go over a translation looking for mistakes. If your Japanese skills are inadequate, I'd advise you to go for editor if you have college-level english skills (can write a comprehensible essay with no or few grammatical mistakes that doesn't sound awkward) Edit: I don't mean to sound elitist, but TLC is not a job that can be done by someone less skilled than the original translator. It is much better for the raw tl to be done by a less skilled translator and the polishing - after editing - be done by a more skilled translator. TLC is less demanding of a translator's time, but in exchange it is also a job that can afford fewer mistakes than raw translation as the product is linguistically 'finished' after the tlc's job is done. At the same time, ideally a TLC should be good enough to 'train' other tls by taking down notes on why a particular translation is inaccurate or inappropriate within the context. This accelerates the rise in quality of translation in general by teaching new translators where they are going wrong and encouraging them to think critically about how Japanese might be transformed into English. Also, ideally a TLC should be able to function as a high-level editor, as one of the basic requirements of their work is to fix tl mistakes created by editing without ruining the quality of the editors' work by making lines sound awkward. It is for these reasons that I consider TLC to be the most difficult position to fill. When it comes down to it, what is required of a raw translator is basic grammar in Japanese, a dictionary of nouns and verbs (to aid in vocabulary comprehension), and the patience and willpower to slog through the trenches of a translation. What is required of an editor is an accurate comprehension of English grammar and the ability to edit lines so they don't sound awkward. When considering whether you can fill one of these positions, you should consider whether you fulfill these very minimal conditions. I'll repeat this because it is important: Grammar is more important when translating then having a large vocabulary of individual words.
  23. Also, it isn't that good as Minori games go. I'm not fond of Minori games in the first place, but meh.
  24. It was one of the ones I considered starting a project for, but I crossed it out for a number of reasons. 1) Difficulty level: This game's linguistic difficulty is amongst the highest of any game I've ever played that doesn't use archaic Japanese. 2) Narrow Appeal: This game is niche within a niche. It appeals to a very small crowd of people that like psychotic, murderous characters who think of that as being normal and a world that doesn't reject that way of thinking. This game shows off Akatsuki Works' Nietzschian philosophy and general cynicism far more blatantly than their other games. There are others but those are the big ones from a translator's point of view. Highly difficult and has narrow appeal (not to mention that the game itself is very long) and thus it is a bit too much of a hurdle for most translators.
  25. This game is one of my favorites, for the sheer abnormality of the characters. The characters have a different perspective on life that is oddly mixed with a normal perspective, making it all the more fascinating to read.
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