I have always been seeing people complaining about translation patches and stuff like where is the 18+ release. And was wondering, the time people spent on doing nothing but waiting for patches can be used to learn Japanese instead, so why not just do it? It's never too hard to learn anything really, just be committed and stick to what you are doing, then one will eventually reach their goal.
I won't be able to give input on this as I am half Japanese, so learning it as a foreign language doesn't apply to me. But what do you guys think?
Learning Japanese just for VN reading or too much effort for a hobby?
I've recently finished Kyonyuu Fantasy and its Gaiden fan disc (aka Funbag and Sideboob). Those were some real oddballs. Originally I tried the first one in Japanese years ago, but didn't like it and dropped it. When it got translated I gave it a new chance and read a bit occasionally. Still wasn't really convinced by the routes and was close to drop it again. Then I progressed a bit further and noticed that the real meat of the story is actually hidden in the harem route. That was rather unexpected since in most eroges (and not only nukiges) the harem routes are crap. I then continued right afterwards with Gaiden and finished that almost in one go. Having played both now I think I have a better picture of the series to accurately comment about it.
The Kyonyuu Fantasy series is pretty much a fantasy parody around a very 'potent' looser protagonist who goes from zero to hero. While this isn't an unusual setting, there's an unusual heavy focus on story and character development. The fantasy world is surprisingly rich even for non-nukige standards and represents a medieval Europe setting with fantasy elements. There are several factions, with each having their own representative key characters and soldiers, and all of them drawn and voiced. This also includes an unusual high amount of male characters, with several of them even playing key roles in the story. And not just as villains, the world is surprisingly grey here. Many characters have their own beliefs, strengths and weaknesses and some might even start out as enemies and then turn into friends later on.
There are frequently multiple interwoven intrigues going on. The similarities to medieval Europe are also striking, there's 'Fronce' which is clearly France, Spain is also mentioned as Iberia (?!) I think and even the Vatican plays an important role. Edellant itself seems to be a splinter state of the Holy Roman Empire, although the HRE probably doesn't exist as such in the game.
That said, while the series definitely has some commendable merits, it also has its fair share of weaknesses. First and foremost, the titles have a strong B-movie feeling that can be a real turn-off. All the characters are voiced, but certainly not by the best voice actors the scene has to offer. All characters have sprites, but they've usually just one pose and some look akward or even painfullly bad. The music isn't bad but some tracks are heavily overused and get very repetitive and annoying after a while.
The whole parody theme is also a bit of a double-edged sword. While it might make it easier to overlook some weaknesses, some characters and plot resolutions are also too silly and cheap and do more harm than good to the overall experience. Some characters also change too drastically during the story. The heroines in particular can go from literal hate and scorn towards the protagonist to almost worshipping him, appearing as if they would have been brainwashed.
This being tagged as a nukige is also a bit ironic, because it's arguably its weakest point. The whole boob-fetish of the VN is more often than not just akward or even gross instead of arousing. The art isn't the best and certainly one of the main reasons I've never seen those titles amongst the top sellers on Getchu. The backgrounds are decent, but the character art is very hit and miss. Luceria is probably one of the most ugly heroines I've ever seen in a VN while Gladys looks almost two art generations more refined. While the later titles do show some slight improvements in the art department, I think Kyonyuu Fantasy 3 (Athena) and Gaiden 2 After (Irina) are the first ones where they appear more significant. H-scenes also often appear randomly thrown in instead of being developped, especially harem scenes.
Heroine ranking: Gladys > Aphrodia = Emeralia > Isis >= Shamsiel > Nellis >> Roxanne >>> Luceria
Overall rating: 6.5/10 (KF) and 7/10 (Gaiden)
In general, I'm a bit irritated why Waffle insists to recreate pretty much the same title over and over again. They've good plot ideas and a very efficient usage of art - why aren't they striving for more? I'm sure that if they'd go for something more serious, they could reach a bigger audience.