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Everything posted by Clephas

  1. The video below starts in the middle of a side-story where Valzeride (the antagonist and hero of Silverio Vendetta) confronts Gilbert over his ideals. They begin to fight because their ideals, while both based on goodness and light, are inherently opposed. Valzeride ultimately sees himself as inhuman garbage and strives to slay evil and bring happiness to the people of Adler, whereas Gilbert wishes to create a world where people like Valzeride are free of jealousy and judgment of the masses. In Gilbert's words 'A proper reward for hard work and goodness, and a proper punishment for weakness and evil.' In order to incentivize good and hard work, he wishes to create a social system where hard work and good behavior are instantly rewarded, and where there is no way to gain from doing evil or being lazy. It sounds great... if it weren't for the fact that it is predicated on the elimination of all weakness in human society. "It is my victory. Let us walk into the future together." Having lost his weapon and any chance of escape, the zealot's powerful sword is thrust through Valzeride's body. Torn, crushed organs, a blow that should instantly have ended his life. However, he was absolutely sure that the miracle in man's form in front of him would definitely survive. If he didn't strike with the intent to kill him one hundred times over, it wouldn't even be possible to make him take a knee. For that reason, Gilbert had no mercy. He twisted the handle of the sword piercing Valzeride's body and gouged his body vertically with the blade's edge. The wound was forced open, his organs, already pierced, further ripped apart. His perfectly trained muscles were ripped open and blood flowed like a waterfall. It was over. Having most of his major organs destroyed and lost this much blood, even the hero should be unable to continue fighting. Gilbert gained a certainty of his victory from the sensation of the sword in his hand. In truth, it was just as he thought. The moment the challenger of light threw aside defense to strike, the duel's outcome was decided. Gilbert had not failed in any respect. Every move he made with his deep insight and brilliant brain created a brilliant outcome at this moment. However... "No, I will absolutely stop you here. I now know you to be the most dangerous man I've ever met. For that reason, I will crush you, no matter what... I will not let go. I will be the victor!" So this was it, a retaliatory blow that should never have been released smashed into Gilbert's face. It was an impact equal to a direct hit from a meteor. An impact sufficient to make him think heaven and earth had been reversed resonated from Gilbert's jaw to his brain. "Guagh!" The true form of the meteor was reflected in Gilbert's startled yes... a fist. Yes, the hero continues to fight as if nothing had happened. Undying, standing, his knees not even bending, ignoring the sword piercing his guts and the organs spilling out, as if to say it was not nearly enough. And this was with him disarmed of his catalyst, his body back to basic standards... Valzeride retaliated with the force of his will and bare hands alone. This was, of course, not a measure of last resort taken on the edge of absolute defeat. From the very beginning, with the belief that where there is a will there is a way, he aimed for that moment when his enemy stepped within range to finish him off. The combo that came after was unbelievably fast, accurate, and perfectly calculated to shake and crack Gilbert's skull. If the fists were unleashed just a little bit too fast or slow, Gilbert would have been able to avoid them. This truth illustrated the fact that this retaliation was a part of pre-established harmony. No matter how well Gilbert used his Elysium's Astral to control the fight, to deal the final blow, he would have to step within Valzeride's range. At that moment, no matter how well-planned his chess moves were calculated, he had no choice but to take a risk. For that reason, he had thought he took all precautions... or so he thought... but the King of Light easily and bravely trampled upon his preparations. With burning, brilliant fighting spirit. "I fully understand your ideals. You bewail the fact that the world makes it so that pursuing justice has too little reward. In this current world, there simply aren't any benefits to walking the straight and narrow path. That's what you wanted to say, wasn't it?" To Gilbert as he wavered and was defenseless, Valzeride threw words instead of fists. To use this opening to deal a fatal blow and bring things to an end would be easy. However, as he was a hero who could not forgive evil, he explained his comrade's mistake to him. With the sword still piercing his belly, he calmly, with hawklike eyes, looked down upon Gilbert. "I understand. It is true that the world being full of evil at present is a matter of course. This is because good is painful, hard, and has little benefit. Even if someone puts their nose to the grindstone to walk the correct path, there is in truth no guarantee they will be rewarded. People seek perfection from hard workers, after all." The absolute victor acknowledged the words spoken by the warrior of the transient world. It was easy for evil to prosper in the current world. That the world's very structure, the nature of creation made it so. "In this state, those with the ability to do so wouldn't even consider walking the correct path. Lifeforms, without exception, try to take the most efficient actions to adapt to their environment. This is no different for humans." Plants grow upward to take in more sunlight. If there are multiple sources of sustenance, even slime mold will stretch itself out in the most efficient path to reach it. It need not be said that animals - humans in particular - were the same. Even in the world after the Casastrophe, they managed to adapt over the course of a thousand years. They adapted to their environment and recreate themselves to gain more food. That is the true nature of life. Then... "For that reason, humans staining their hands with evil and indulging in laziness is quite natural. The reason is that one can merit more efficiently by doing so than walking the straight and narrow. If one tries to balance good and evil, it is only natural they will slip toward evil. This is just a grave reality, and it is incorrect to ask whether this is right or wrong." "For that reason, seeking to make hard work and justice equivalent to one another and create a society where, as long as you work hard, you will be saved, is a quite natural way of thinking." It was a goal that lay on the other side of a labyrinth that would benefit the race as a whole more than the individual. Simply place rewards on the correct path and punishment on the incorrect ones. If he did that, then as a matter of course, all humans would walk the path of collective prosperity and evolve into a terrifyingly correct race... that was Gilbert's logic. "However..." At that instant, the pressure on Gilbert was multiplied. A shudder made its way through Gilbert's body, even though he had yet to recover his sight. He staggered as he tried to step back and evade, grasping at his fading consciousness. To step back into the territory of Elysium, where his impact manipulation still functioned. However, at the moment he tried to take a step back, his body shuddered to a stop. Rather than stepping away from him, he moved closer to the hero's side. This was because Valzeride grasped the large sword piercing his body and thrust it deeper into his body. The blade would not come out of Valzeride's terrifyingly powerful spinal muscles, and as a matter of course, Gilbert was pulled out of the paradise controlled by his star. The next blow of the fist shattered his cheekbone. When he staggered, his head was grabbed in one hand, and in the next moment, a knee strike slammed into his face. "Guagh...!" "What you are lacking is self-awareness." He desperately kept his brain, which was trying to shut down from the impact and pain, using the sound of Valzeride's austere voice as a guide. "Understand this, we are madmen. For that reason, no matter how much we offer up correct logic, it isn't a madness the common people can follow. We must first acknowledge that truth and strongly admonish and restrain ourselves." From agove the collapsing Gilbert, his voice rained down. To his messed up sense of hearing, that voice sounded many times bigger than it was, and it was as if it came down from a place far above. In addition, he was kicked so hard in the belly that his organs liquified. While he was still bent over, a combo of meteoric blows struck him, the destructive actions continuing. "Those that can bear true correctness are extreme fools like you and I. This is no joke or metaphor... your ideals will ruin humanity." Sure punishment and reward. Karmic justice. That beautiful order would drive humanity to extinction. "Urgh... Not... yet...!" The words of judgment were accompanied by a rain of fists. Even facing that baptism of fire, Gilbert refused to collapse. Every bone in his body was broken, his organs pulverized, and his consciousness was cutting out moment to moment. Still, the apostle of Light continued to stand through force of conviction... However. "Understand this. We are the true disciples of contradiction. The sinners who should be punished beyond good and evil are none other than heroes who known not darkness." However, at last, his broken hands fell from the grip of his sword, and his star of white night faded. "That future is a hell masquerading as a paradise. Ally of justice? Howl all you want." Valzeride took hold of the grip of the sword piercing his body and ripped it out. He threw the sword with overwhelming strength, causing the blade to pierce through Gilbert's body. His body, thrown off its feet, was slammed into the opposite wall with the force of a meteor. "Urgh... ga...!" The seeker of ideals was crucified with his own sword, shards of metal flying from the point of impact. From his lips came a groan of pain. His voice refused to come out in the face of this absurdity. "What you desire is a universe composed only of stars... it not only denies darkness but all those stars that don't shine. In paradise, there is no place for the common people." Yes, Gilbert's paradise denied those who fell outside the rewards of justice. Of course, this included in that were those who weren't correct but were not truly evil. There are those in this world, of course, who neither hold onto the past nor aim for the future, just trying to live peacefully in the present. Those who stood between night and day, on the line of twilight were the same. Most people in the world were neither good nor evil but those who dwell in the between. For that reason, this conflict was inevitable. For the ally of justice's ambition was a future that the enemy of evil could not tolerate. "I will say it again, be aware of your flaw. To create a society where correct logic is carried out absolutely is to cut off all those who are not correct." Before the pathetic loser, the hero nonetheless walked forward without letting down his guard and picked up his twin katanas. What moved him forward was invincible force of will. His body should have been in critical condition, but he had yet to even stagger. "I will absolutely bring light to the people of this country. For that very reason, I can't acknowledge an ideal that discards the majority of them. I will give evil the appropriate punishment, but I have no intention of denying those who have yet to take a step forward. I am willing to be enough of a hypocrite to watch over the late-blooming flowers." Valzeride took a stance with his sword, as if to say 'if you still want a fight, come!'. "... if you seek to be the protector of a heaven that exists not on this earth, then call yourself Rhadamantis." At that moment, the oracle was spoken, and the man's fighting spirit surged. For he knew that to correct the man driven to madness by looking at the hero was his responsibility and atonement. "But, even so!" Gilbert forcefully pulled the sword impaling him on the wall and once again activated his Astral. Even in a hand whose bones were broken, his nerves were still connected, his muscles alive. Then if he just ignored the agony and grasped the grip, then it was still possible to wield it. As such, he fiercely defied reality. Without the plug keeping it inside his body, blood gushed forth. From his severed major arteries and punctured major organs a massive spray of crimson spread through the air. It was apparent that this was enough blood loss to endanger the life of even enhanced men like them. Even without that, he was wounded all over and his arms and legs betrayed him. However, he... no, he as well displayed unbelievable strength of will by forcibly keeping his consciousness awake and showed the stubbornness of the Light. "I want to see a world where those who shine are rewarded...! Yes, I want those such as you to be rewarded!" He cared nothing for the consequences as he enhanced his body. He forcibly moved his broken arms and legs, running straight at the hero. That was the true feelings of the zealot of Light. It was the fruit born of the roots of his ambition. His insight showed him the future awaiting the iron hero. He saw the end where the hero shaved away at his life, threw everything away, and without any thought of reward offered himself up as a sacrifice... for the sake of the unseen masses, a story of self-sacrifice and death. Gilbert was enraged at that pre-determined future. The heroic story of a noble being must not be a tragedy under any circumstance. At the end of the path followed by the Light, there must be paradise... At that moment, that was all Rhadamantis the Judge desired and offered up to the shining star he saw as the ultimate. 'I want you to find happiness', the cry of his soul screamed. "Don't make me laugh!" In response was the ferocity of the hero. Valzeride awaited the approaching swordsman with composure, a katana in either hand. The destructive light of his star enveloped his sword blades. "I need no salvation whatsoever. I will go to hell of my own free will. I will live and die for someone else. Know that it is only for that reason that my heart beats." Stepping forth from the shattered steel of the floor, the hero swept toward his opponent like a tornado, his weapons glowing with the aurora of judgment. "Come into being, oh starlight engraved upon the heavens, for we are a shining falling star." He drew the divine blade. Oh Rhadamantis, surrender to the fires of heaven! From here on, the results really don't need any words, now do they?
  2. "I have no regrets whatsoever about the fate I chose, bore, and walked to its end." "The reason is that I had only to but bear the burden alone. It was a situation where the madman known as Valzeride was the only one that needed to suffer to the end." "If offering up the Monster of Light as a sacrifice would bring my homeland prosperity, then there need be no hesitation. It truly was a perfect exchange. As I desired, I ran through the infinite hells to their end." "Believing to the end that, beyond the holy war, a shining future where someone would be able to smile awaited..." "My vow to fight using my willpower is unchanged even now. Even though I have fallen and become a Demon Star, I still feel that I must protect the goodness and peace of others." "For that reason, be at peace, Horizon. Oh young man who is worthy of respect and the name of 'hero'" "Ruin will not come to you even in the final battle in two days. As, if it is a matter where I alone must suffer, if the Lightning Emperor of Slaughter need only but suffer to the end..." "... if at the end, I am able to stop someone else's tears, then, as always, there is no need to hesitate." "The garbage known as 'the enemy of evil' is as foolishly invincible as ever." "I know. That is why I wish to show you my answer." "I wish to prove it to my great predecessor." "I find that answer to be bright... no. That's right." "I'll look forward to it."
  3. Lodoss is definitely a classic swords and sorcery fantasy, with a style that resembles D&D settings. It was easily the most popular anime of that year in America, and it showed off the incredibly high quality possible even with a mostly hand-drawn style.
  4. Bastard was another early anime I watched as a kid. Like a lot of anime from that era, there was very little distinction between erotic anime and normal anime, so it had slightly hentai aspects. Tenchi Muyo should not need an intro, as it is one of the most famous science-fantasy series of all time. I will say that the later series are actually better than the initial one (because most of the initial series is love-comedy with violence), but if you like the later series, you can probably enjoy the original. Ushio to Tora is another 'classic' that eventually got a remake. I honestly wasn't that fond of it, but I know a lot of others were.
  5. Clephas

    A few WNs

    I'm not willing to put down money for the LN version of a web novel I got sick of half way through... I'll probably grab the english version of Kansha and Fukushuu if they become available though, to support the author. About the only LN versions I've purchased outright are Black Summoner, Death March, Arifureta, Yondome, and Mojitsukai. Mojitsukai and Yondome are the only ones I own in Japanese, whereas I purchased the rest on my kindle.
  6. A few good VNs by Konno Asta Duelist Engage Amairo Islenauts The rest was mediocre though
  7. Clephas

    A few WNs

    Isekai Tensei ni Kansha wo This is a warmhearted isekai where an elderly gamer with diabetes and other health problems gets reincarnated while playing a full-dive VR game. In his new youthful body, he sets out to be an adventurer using the skills he purchased at the beginning of the game. In the process, his kind and wise nature draws in a lot of people and eventually results in his first romantic relationships in his life. Overall, this story is easygoing and warm-hearted from beginning to end. A large reason for this is that the setting is one where the constant threat of monsters and the lesson of how monsters destroyed civilization when people got obsessed with fighting each other has pretty much ended nation vs nation warfare. For those with a fondness for fantasy adventure but don't want the political conflicts that are usually endemic to isekai, this is actually a pretty decent choice. The protagonist himself is a gentle and wise man, while having the strength of will to do what is necessary. Fukushuu wa Tenbatsu o Yobi, Majutsushi wa Poyapoya o Tanoshimitai https://ncode.syosetu.com/n8216dt/ This one is a bit of an oddball series. In this case, the protagonist, who just took revenge for his wife and daughter's death at the hands of a rich boy's hit and run, is about to turn himself into the police when a meteor falls on his head. His soul is ripped from his body and forced through the void, gaining power along the way until it accidentally enters the soulless body of a dying young boy named Ricardo. A lot of this story is about the protagonist pursuing various lines of sorcerous research and teaching others with short periods of intense action. The protagonist was a teacher in his previous life, so he has a good deal of general knowledge (better than the average isekai protagonist) as well as the advantage of a growth ability that other people can't access. Throughout the first two-thirds of the story, I wouldn't call him overpowered, though some of the devices he develops are. However, late into the story he basically stops being on a human level and becomes more powerful than the rest of the human race. There is mild romance (slow-burn romance with a younger woman), nepotism (the businesses he starts are mostly dropped in his family's hands), and lots of obsessive research into magic and magic devices. All in all, it is a pretty balanced story, with no single aspect being given too much time. There are a few points where the story slows, but those periods are relatively rare (compared to other isekai that get over 100 chapters). Kurono Senki, Isekai Ten'i shita Boku ga Saikyou nano wa Bed no Ue Dake no you desu This one never got completed, so don't take this as a recommendation for it. Sadly, I can see why the author dropped it toward the end, as it drags on and there is a lot less insight into characters and character motivations as things go on, making it obvious he was just putting one foot in front of the other for large periods of the story. Kurono, the protagonist, is a young man who gets transferred to another world that is full of war and is taken in by a former mercenary turned aristocrat with a military bent. Kurono himself has no real talent for the military, but he has the usual wide and shallow spread of modern knowledge from his high school education. At the beginning of the story, he fights a desperate battle after his superior ran off and left him in charge of the demi-human soldiers (who are considered disposable). He manages to achieve a costly victory and as a result becomes a noble in his own right, where he starts making reforms based on his knowledge of Earth. He also takes a LOT of mistresses along the way, most of them elves and half-elves who were abused earlier in life. His taste for women only gets stronger as the story goes by, and it is probably the reason for the weird title. I will say that the periods where the action intensifies are first-rate, but the periods in between drag on for what feels like forever. There is far too much time spent on other perspectives and his sex life (I won't call it romance, because the only ones he seems to truly love from his heart are Layla the half-elf and the elf twins). Overall, it is an interesting story that never really lives up to its potential because the author kept losing motivation in the middle.
  8. 3x3 Eyes is a classic, though it shows its age pretty severely. The problem is the story itself isn't complete, so watching it is depressing. Teito Monogatari is one of those anime that makes no sense, because the points in the anime are so disjointed. The fact that it is still fun to watch means that it doesn't matter as much as it does for later generations of anime. Arslan Senki was a nice bloody fantasy in a period of my life when I'd just gotten addicted to anime. Unfortunately, like a lot of the best anime from this period, the story is incomplete and a bit disjointed.
  9. RG Veda was one of the first anime I knowingly watched (I didn't know Voltron was anime until much later, though given how fragmented the story was, I should have guessed). While yes, the story is both rushed and stops before it goes anywhere, it is immensely fun to watch for lovers of combat fantasy. That said, I can't help but feel sad they never bothered to do justice to the setting.
  10. I played Gore Screaming Show approximately three months after I began playing untranslated VNs, so - oddly enough - I remember most of the important bits. At the time, it was already considered a classic by the English-speaking, untranslated-playing community, but I think it was considered so more because it had all the iconic elements of a good Japanese horror story. At the time, the style was mildly popular in the JVN community, with Sabae no Ou and others still being produced quietly in the background for the fanboys. However, the genre pretty much vanished after 2013, with most horror taking a different tack afterward. Gore Screaming Show, like a lot of the horror VNs of the time, involves a lot of tentacles, a chaotic evil true heroine, and sudden bursts of horrific blood splatter. There are also several bad endings with story, including one that branches off the true path.
  11. First, I should note that this game suffers from what are likely budget constraints. I say this because some of the VA choices are... questionable. Ragou's VA in particular is something of a disaster, with a discordant mismatch between the voice and the characterization. This stands out even more because other choices like Kaen and Diran's male VAs are actually really awesome matches. I failed to properly articulate what the music in this game resembles at most sometimes... and that would be Persona 5. Something about a number of the tracks resembles the ones seen in that game enough that, in combination with the horrible color choices, made me feel like something was off at a lot of points in the story. Common Route The common route of this game is not particularly long (the game as a whole is not nearly as long as any of Light's other games), but it does serve its purpose. In introduces the primary antagonists, the heroines, the side-characters, and the protagonist while setting the stage for future conflicts. It is functional, more than anything else, and if it weren't for the excellent characterization for Mizuri, Shion, Amane, and Tsubasa, it would be considered bland. Ragou and Kaien, for pure chaotic evil characters, are pretty amusing to watch, despite the fact that they are doing horrible things to people. My complaint is that there is too much time spent on SOL for a Light game. Yes, there is a sense that you need to know what the characters are losing for it to be poignant when everyday life is disrupted, but the ratio is a bit skewed for this game, considered the golden ratio of SOL to plot and action in any good chuunige is 1:4:3. Tsubasa Tsubasa is a weird heroine... not the least of which because she is a TS heroine who was once a guy. However, in opposition to this, she tends to be the sexiest of the three heroines due to her characterization (it was intentional). She is also the most 'classic' onmyouji of the two human heroines, using some familiar onmyouji techniques and preferring the bow as her weapon of choice. Her story is, at least in part, a confrontation with her past, and the primary conflict - for her, at least - is internal rather than external. While there is some buildup to a major confrontation toward the end, it needs to be said that the whimsical nature of the antagonists makes the shift to the final battle somewhat abrupt. In addition, it felt like this path didn't really have the sheer drama I'm familiar with from the company's usual works. It isn't a horrible path, but it does feel more like a Millie path than a Chitose path. Amane Amane is Hayato's adopted older sister who was raised by his grandfather with him. She is a total brocon and constantly clinging to Hayato when she is with him. However, the best way she can be described when she is away from him is 'cold and competent'. She is a master of kenjutsu and a 'power type' onmyouji, using techniques that fall into the 'open path' style of direct combat rather than the more roundabout styles like Houjutsu (which is basically a preparation is everything), Fuujutsu (the art of binding and sealing), or Injutsu (the art of curses and turning ties against an opponent). It makes sense, since the protagonist takes a lot of his inspiration from her. Her path is more involved with Kaien, as opposed to the way Ragou was the prime antagonist for Tsubasa's path. You'll discover this during his first appearance, but Kaien is the kind of absolute evil that just deserves a good superhero punch to the face. He likes to make people suffer above all other things, and he finds the hatred people direct his way to be pleasurable. The irony is that, rather than the confrontation with him, Amane's inner conflict with her yandere nature is the bigger draw point of this path. To be blunt, if you played the common route, you'll have noticed the signs of yandere in her actions, and this path brings them out in a big way midway through. Uncharacteristic of Light's usual style, it isn't taken to its logical conclusion, instead being solved with the power of love *vomits*. Shion Shion's path is far more typical of Light's style, in that it is long, highly-detailed, and has a lot of twists and turns. Now for some explanation. Amongst the Magatsu, there are thirteen called the Thirteen Demonic Generals, who both possess a humanoid shape and intellect, as well as the ability to touch on one of the Seven Aspects of Creation and use them in a spell that matches their desires. Shion, also known as Saikakou Nue, is one of these. In the distant past, she was sealed away by the founding onmyouji of the Isurugi bloodline (Hayato and Amane's ancestor) during the Heian era. Shion herself is one of the few of her kind that is capable of coexisting with the human race, for reasons that are only illuminated in her path. She is a contrary individual, being something of a tsundere combined with someone who puts on arrogant airs and brags about her abilities to any and all that will listen. To be honest, I was a bit startled at the huge difference between Shion's path and the other two. While the first third is mostly SOL, almost the entirety of the remaining two-thirds is pure plot and action. There are plenty of good action scenes toward the end (the last two chapters of her path are almost entirely battle scenes), as well as background for Kaien (whose origin story is unbelievably sad) and Shion (whose origins are equally sad, which seems to be typical of most humanoid Magatsu). The ending itself is a tear-jerker, and I was somewhat annoyed at the very last part, for reasons that will be self-evident to anyone who dislikes Ragou. Conclusion I'd say this one is on the lower end in terms of quality for a Light VN, even if you don't include the minus points for the character design and VAs. It is ironic that even a low-quality Light game is still better than most of what the rest of the industry can produce, though, lol. Typical of my habits, I have been a bit harsh on this game, as it is in my favorite genre. It isn't going to become one of those chuunige I replay on a regular basis, either. However, it is still fine if you are starved for the genre. Edit: If I have one thing I wish they would redo (other than some of the VAs and the artwork) it would be making the story somewhat less straightforward. Too many of the conflicts in the story are resolved too easily for a Light game, and there is no foreshadowing or long sides that give life to the characters' hidden sides. In particular, Ragou remains a two-dimensional character to the end, despite being the main antagonist. It is ironic that the nihilistic sadistic demonic priest Kaien has a more filled out character than him.
  12. More or less agree... the sprite looks a bit washed out against the background. Another solution would be to darken the colors of the background slightly to make her stand out even more and make her paleness part of the plot, though. Lots of ways to use that from a writer's perspective.
  13. Before someone asks, I merely paused the other VN to start Magatsu Barai (and Xenoblade Chronicles 3). I will finish it (eventually). Magatsu Barai is the first Light game to be made from beginning to end after the collapse of the company's original owners. As such, it is only natural (and unfortunate, at least to an extent) that some things will have changed. To address the elephant in the room for anyone who has seen the cover or sample cgs... The coloring really is that awful. I mean, how could any cg artist think those colors wouldn't be eye cancer? On the other hand, the music is an interesting set of contrasts. There are a lot of themes that have been slightly rearranged to seem like new ones but are actually just modified ones from the Silverio series. The rest are actually quite high-quality, but then, Light has never had any problem on that side of things. For those unable to read the official website due to being Nihongo-disabled, I will explain the basic setting. Essentially, it is a world where sorcery in Japan remained intertwined with politics and daily life right up to the modern day. In that sense, the setting is somewhat reminiscent of Tokyo Ravens. However, a vital difference is that there was no real magic left outside of Japan before WWII, when the atom bombs spread it over the world when they hit Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This resulted in the Japanese having a valuable service to provide the rest of the world... exorcists and sorcerers to counter the new laws of reality that made some of the habits the rest of the world had developed disastrous. As an example of this, the 'magatsu' in this world setting essentially causes a magical reaction whenever enough harm is done to a feeling being (even an insect), and this effect magnifies the more this is done. At the beginning of the story, a news story comes up on the TV where, as the result of a country overusing pesticide against a plague of locusts, the locusts' spirits became a cloud of demonic insects that were even worse than the locusts in question. Because this happens all over the place, it is a world where magic-users always have a role to play. As such, I find the setting interesting... at least so far. As for the heroines, I'd say the two magatsu heroines are the most interesting, with the protagonist's older sister entering one step behind and Tsubasa falling a few steps behind her. This is my tastes though, so others might feel differently. A huge positive is that there are no 'Victim A' heroines in this story. All the heroines are capable of protecting themselves (sometimes better than the protagonist is... actually all of them), so there is no sense that any of them is helpless, one of the most annoying chuunige tropes. On the other hand, the protagonist is under the influence of one of the more annoying tropes of the genre... the talentless guy who nonetheless throws himself into things (think Emiya Shirou from Fate). While he does gain a power that lets him keep up, this is a power given to him by the true heroine, not a power of his own (which is another trope). All in all, my opinion so far is that this is an interesting chuunige VN whose art is eye cancer.
  14. I'm fond of the style from ten to fifteen years ago, like seen in Ikusa Megami Zero, as well as the older style used in Dies Irae. However, that just means that, in the end, I like different types of anime styles. The tendency to go for excessively deformed or hyper-realistic designs in Western animation and cartoon styles puts me off, partially because I've spent so long with otaku media, partially because it just isn't as refined as even the worst anime style in modern times. I just don't respond to it. A few use the 'neutral style', which has a watercolor-type look combined with a more refined sprite design that is easy on the eyes, but that kind of thing requires a level of skill that most VN-makers in the West can't manage, so it is more of an exception than a trend. Edit: In the end, those are just my personal preferences. The idea that a certain style is prerequisite for VNs is not something I'm going to say yes to. I simply prefer the anime styles in general, for similar reasons to why I stopped watching Western media entirely. That is the more straight answer to the original question, lol
  15. Well, looks like the LoS game wins the poll, though even fewer people voted than I anticipated.
  16. Yofukashi's Monogatari vibes are why I immediately decided to drop it... to be honest, I got tired of the series after the first season. Soredemo Ayumu wa Yosetekuru is a pretty cute romantic comedy where Ayumu constantly flirts with Urushi while refusing to admit he is in love with her. Overlord 4 began slowly, but what was there was solid. I just have to wonder if they'll draw things out too much... Kinsou no Vermeil reminded me of Kanokon in a good way. Jashin-chan is Jashin-chan, you either like or hate it. Tensei Kenja looks to be a semi-solid isekai with an overpowered protagonist. Isekai Meikyuu Harem is unwatchable unless you get the uncensored version, which makes it nfsw. Kumichou Musume was cute, reminding me of Aishiteiruze Baby. Engage Kiss looks to be a trashy low-end fantasy with an unreliable protagonist. Utawarerumono is... Utawarerumono. If played the game, so far it follows things a bit more faithfully than with the first anime... RWBY is fast-paced and fun so far, but it shows signs that it will probably turn to trash later on.
  17. LoS games tend to be great or pure trash at a rate of 1:2. It's anybody's guess as to whether this one is going to be one of the good ones.
  18. For those who are still interested, I've been considering three VNs to play (I'm only going to play one for now), mostly because, for the first time in a while, there have actually been more than one notable release inside a four month period. The LoS game looks to be a low-tension mystery fantasy that is probably going to turn out to be a nakige, based on the getchu page. Wakai Seyo looks like what it probably is, a moderately high-quality charage by a company known for its eccentric VNs. Ambitious Mission is the latest Saga Planets game, but just looking at it from the outside mad me feel like it was one of the mediocre ones (there is a huge gap between the quality of Saga Planets' best games and their normal ones). As such, I decided to toss the coin and let the few people remaining in our dying community decide which I'll play for me. If I get more than ten votes on a single VN, I'll immediately start playing it, though (because I seriously doubt more than five or six people will actually vote on this... and even that is probably optimistic).
  19. Magatsu Barai's PC version comes out at the end of this month, and Propeller's first game in ten years comes out in September.
  20. Tsukihime Phantom Yu-No (original) Shuffle Fate/Stay Night
  21. https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354055057378382 This is a short and complete series about a guy who dies and is reincarnated in a parallel version of himself, where he could see his status and has a skill that rewards him for repetitive actions. Generally speaking, this story doesn't really have any complex elements. The protagonist is something of an idiot about things he isn't interested in while being highly effective at learning and mastering things he does have an interest in. He does a lot of hilariously stupid stuff like stuffing himself to the point of puking to take advantage of his 'super recovery' skill which lets him restore his body to full health by eating or learning how to manipulate mana only to use it to make his muscle training more effective. He isn't the ambitious sort, he just enjoys training himself. The exception to his training obsession is Ichika, his first love from his first lifetime, who he adores utterly and never really forgot even when he was working himself to death. This story takes a turn for the slightly more dramatic (his status is pretty ridiculous even at the beginning) when dungeons begin to pop up all over the place on Earth (the first couple he squished, the second one with Ichika). I say slightly more dramatic because he is so ridiculously powerful that there are never any real challenges to his ability. The trend of him getting more ridiculously powerful with every passing day continues to the very end of the story, which is where he finally gets up the nerve to marry Ichika (who is just as in love with him as he is with her). Overall, this is a funny story where the protagonist manages to avoid becoming a harem protag despite his immense power.
  22. https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354054885318680 This particular WN is one where the protagonist is summoned... by the demon lord to save him from the hero! The protagonist, Kuroki, becomes a Knight of Darkness and faces off with his trauma - the hero in question - and begins a story of endless misunderstandings and plot twists. That is, in fact, the peculiar flavor of this story. Over 90% of Ankoku Kishi Monogatari's characters are self-absorbed pricks on some level, with the gods being the worst examples of them all. The protagonist, Kuroki, and the demon king Modes are the most humane characters in a world full of narcissistic men and women. On one level, this is hilarious as it leads to an endless series of misunderstandings, turn and turnabout. On another level, it is exhausting, because everyone misunderstands everyone else. There are no Eureka moments, there are only a bunch of self-absorbed powerful deities, heroes, and monsters who all fail to understand each other's motivations on any level. Kuroki is no exception to the misunderstandings... but in his case, he is just really pessimistic about how people see him and his own abilities (despite actually being one of the top most powerful beings in existence almost from the beginning and working his ass off to get more powerful). The human side of things is Hellenistic, with independent city-states working loosely together on matters they have in common and fighting one another when they aren't. Humans are much, much weaker on an individual level than even goblins or orcs, (incidentally the biggest hole in the setting is the fact that humans are still alive at all) and so their trade routes are constantly endangered, and food production is war. The demon side is feudalistic, with Modes at the top as the king, and his vassals all taking care of their own lands. The demons are not pure evil, but a lot of the Nargol races are cannibalistic toward humans while at the same time seeing them as aesthetically pleasing (in a sexual manner). This brings me to the second major hole in the setting... the fact that every species sees the human form as aesthetically pleasing (even ones like Arachne, Empusa, and centaurs). I'm pretty sure the writer did this on purpose, but it drives me a bit crazy that a giant scorpion finds human women more attractive than his arachne wife. Overall, while this can be a fun read, it can also be infuriating at times. Edit: Adding more details about the characters... The protagonist Kuroki and one of the hero's party, Shirone, are childhood friends/osananajimi, and Reiji - the hero - is a rival who traumatized Kuroki and was the cause of him becoming obsessed with martial arts. Shirone is a dreamer who loves heroes but is too self-absorbed to realize she is constantly hurting Kuroki's feelings with her idolization of Reiji. Reiji is a handsome but animalistic guy who goes out of his way to save girls (he seems to have an instinctive grasp of where to find women who need him) and thinks nothing of guys. Reiji is one of the top two narcissists in the story, whereas Shirone is just a blockhead. Alrena, the 'main heroine' of the story, is one of the world's goddesses and the one who summoned Reiji and his party of girls. She is a self-absorbed woman who dislikes most men (including Reiji), but particularly dislikes Modes for his hideousness and the fact that he used her hair to create his wife, Mona. She is really good at faking compassion, but the truth is she cares little for most people beyond how they are useful to her. This kind of personality is actually rather typical of the more powerful characters on the human and Elios pantheon's side of things.
  23. https://ncode.syosetu.com/n3581fh/ This series is the odd one out of my recent reviews. That is because it is a sci-fi story that contains a bit of Cowboy Bebop, a bit of Outlaw Star, and even a small dose of Tenchi Muyo(albeit a weak version with less mystic elements). The protagonist, Hiro, wakes up in the cockpit of his ship Krishna from the game he had been playing for the past few years. He has no memory of how it came to that, and his ship is floating around a random asteroid in a borderland star system of the Empire. What starts as a simple journey to figure out what is going on quickly becomes a long story of him building a harem, getting rich by slaughtering space pirates, and an endless series of troubles that seem to come out of nowhere to haunt his journey. The harem is somewhat of a slow-burn thing after the first two (Mimi and Elma) join him, as it is over a hundred chapters until more or added. Hiro is something of a hot dog ace pilot, mostly because of his experiences in the game, which gives him a ridiculously wide amount of knowledge and combat experience dealing with various threats on a tactical and personal level. Most of the series isn't terribly serious, because Hiro keeps snapping flags that might have made it so and because the writer pulls his punches on the series' dark-side, only hinting at some of the darker things that Hiro and the others come into contact with or referring to them indirectly without details. Overall, this is a fun series to read, though I would call it a space adventure rather than a space opera.
  24. Oddly, writers are the easiest personnel to find for VNs. Artists (of quality) on the other hand are rare and often costly. I remember when I commissioned art for a VN I was trying to make eight years ago, I got charged forty dollars for each CG (high-detail) and fifteen for each sprite (not including variations of pose and expression). I imagine the basic costs have probably tripled or quadrupled by now, though. Considering that most VN readers are art bigots, it isn't something you can get away with skimping on (except for backgrounds... people are willing to ignore skimping on backgrounds).
  25. This particular WN is the first I've read that isn't another world fantasy or isekai. The first thing I found myself comparing this to was Devils Devel Concept. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but a lot of it is that the protagonist is a monster in human skin and most of the characters remind me of the characters from that VN. The setting is based six hundred years after the near-destruction of civilization earth due to a massive war (basically WWIII), and humans have the option of using the Oracle system to find their perfect job. When Ibuki, the protagonist, activates the Oracle terminal, the perfect job for him is 'Daiyoukai' (great youkai), and he immediately is given an all-expenses paid trip to the mystic world that lies on the other side of reality. One thing I have to note is that Ibuki is not a person who works hard or trains or any of that stuff. In his own words 'A great youkai is something you either are or you aren't. You can't work hard at becoming one.' He embodies his own words from beginning to end, easily awakening to his power because his unique psychological structure is perfectly suited for it. The heroine of the story (there is only one) is Tamamo no Mae/Daki, who is also his ancestor. She is pretty horrible as a person, manipulating those around her with every word, gesture, and even her rhythm of breathing. Ibuki, even as he lives with her, constantly comments that she is a 'dokufu' (poison pill of a woman), but this doesn't really effect how he feels about her, which just goes to show how much a monster he is as well. I honestly loved this story (it is over), and Ibuki was an ideal protagonist from beginning to end. However, he is definitely a chaotic evil character who sometimes wavers into chaotic neutral. As he notes 'Daiyoukai, by their very nature, are poisonous to humans, as they contain a certain evil from the moment they come into being'. Ibuki, while he is often good to those he likes, is just as often a horrible influence that subtly - often without intention on his part - corrupts those around him. Definitely a fun ride, at least for me. https://ncode.syosetu.com/n2559fp/
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