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Lycoris20 reacted to littleshogun for a blog entry, Baldr Rhythm Review - Top 10 Best Rated Visual Novels Translated in 2019
Since it's already 2020 which mean the year was already changed, I figure that I should make my list for best rated translated VNs from back at 2019. I know that people here might not agree with my list here seeing that they have their own best VNs list there, but still it should be fine if I give my own list here. Once again the rule is still the same in that I wouldn't list nukige (So no Venus Blood Frontier here even though I like it), otome, BL, fandisc, and partial translated VNs (No Rhapsody here since the translator himself classify it as partial patch). Oh and censored VNs is obviously out of window, so no Noraneko duology even though those are quite well received on VNDB. Anyway let's see my list for 2019 here, and I'll tell what's the title mean at PS later. Almost forget to mention that the score based on today (October 10th, 2020), and it's possible that both of the rank and the score will be change in the future.
10. 9 -Nine- Kokonotsu Kokonoka Kokonoiro (VNDB 7.39)
Since this VN was from Palette, it mean that obviously Tsubasu will be responsible for the art here and as expected her drawing is quite beautiful. For the premise here, we have a lot of people manage to gain the power through the artifact from another world, and it happened after a relic in the shrine was destroyed by the earthquake. One of the people who gain the power is our MC Kakeru, and that he was asked by a mascot to gather the artifacts by asking the power user to return it. From there Kakeru did his best on his task even though it'll be hard to do, seeing that the power user might not want to return the artifact willingly. As for Nine here, I'd list Episode 1 here because it's still ongoing and the plan is that we'll going to have four Nine VNs with one VN for each heroines (The first episode heroine here is Miyako) which to say is not the most ideal release format. We also have Sekai did the good job by released two Nine episodes in a year, so good for them (They also currently working on Episode 3). Lastly if you think that the first part here is quite an average one, rest assure that each part here will get better as seen with Episode 2 later.
9. Majo Koi Nikki aka The Witch's Love Diary (VNDB 7.46)
The first Niijima Yuu VN that was translated, which is quite an accomplishment seeing that there's several failed attempt to translate his works. For the project itself, at first it's started as fan translation by Luna Translation with the progress looks satisfying at least until AX 2018 in which Sekai did announce this. While it's surprising to me, at least it's not as shocking like back at Saku Saku announcement. After that, like other Sekai announcements there's no much talk from them until when they decided to do sudden release back at July 26th. For the premise, we have our female MC Nanno Alice find a mysterious diary. Curious, she peek on the diary only to find out that apparently the diary depict the life of a man named Sakurai Takumi (Majokoi's true MC), and Alice find out that Takumi is quite a player for approaching several women and then have sex with them. Of course being Niijima Yuu work, nothing as simple as that so in Majokoi here we'll going to unravel some mystery behind the enigmatic Sakurai Takumi. While the story itself are interesting in that it have some unexpected element, some reader are understandably react like Alice when they play the prologue in that they disturbed with Takumi's attitude.
8. Ano Harewataru Sora yori Takaku aka Farther Than the Blue Sky (VNDB 7.67)
At first I thought it would be impossible for Mangagamer to localize this seeing that we have Chuable being bankrupt before we have Haretaka release here, only to turned out that I was wrong because Mangagamer did announce this back at Otakon 2018. After some busted payment processor problem, Mangagamer manage to release this back at September. For the premise, we'll have our so-called idiot Otoya who attend a general class in a school that was famous with the rocket making. Then at one night he met with a red haired tsundere girl Arisa who want to retrive the rocket from the sea, and Otoya decided to do it without hesitation. After that, both of Otoya and Arisa met again at school and after Arisa tell a story on how her rocket club Byakko will be abolished because lack of member, Otoya decided to join the club despite his lack knowledge of rocket. For Haretaka here, I can say that the writer did good job compared to Suki Suki in that he manage to have all four heroines did have proper interaction with each other in the common route, which is very important seeing that Suki Suki did have out of context heroine (I'm looking at you Chiho, and I can sort of understand why Arunaru did translate her onii-chan as dude).
7. Sekai de Ichiban Dame na Koi aka The Most Forbidden Love in the World (VNDB 7.75)
So-called White Album 2 prototype, although in this case it's more like Maruto only have one main heroine (Mitoko) instead of two. That said, I can understand the reason why people draw some comparison with WA2, because Maruto did apply some of Damekoi characteristic in WA2 as well. While the English title is quite suggestive, honestly I'm don't think that it's bad if we already see some example of big age difference romance in the manga. Of course that kind of romance would be a very sensitive issue in real life, and let's leave it at that. The premise is we have our 28 years old MC Osamu who just fired from the company as the scapegoat and that he didn't have home to come back seeing that he's been divorced, so basically his life was very unlucky. After being touched by a passerby woman who somehow help him and tell where her home is, Osamu decided to go to her home only to find out that the woman is eloped leaving her 14 years old daugther Mitoko alone who proceed to slap Osamu. After sorting out the situation, Osamu decided to help Mitoko and possibly to have so-called forbidden love with her. For more info, this VN have ladder structure route and it's been translated by the late Conjueror.
6. Nanairo Reincarnation (VNDB 7.79)
For Nanairo I can say this is quite a smooth one in regard of the release so no much to say other than than Sekai did released it (After several QCs) at the same time when Nekonyan released Aokana, so good job to Sekai here. As for Nanairo here, it have some appeal namely that you'll have the MC as university student instead of usual high schooler. For the premise our MC Makoto did got some inheritance from his grandfather in form of a house. In there Makoto find out that his grandfather have some spirutual connection, and that Makoto did have same capability like the grandfather. As if it's not enough, Makoto also found out that his cheerful childhood friend was in fact a selfish zashiki warashi who's been helping Makoto's family for generations. Then Makoto was being told that his grandfather help the police with the cases that involved supernatural as the spirit detective, and Makoto was also supposed to inherit that role. Seeing no choice, Makoto slowly learning the rope of his new role in solving some supernatural cases. Lastly, I'm content with Nanairo release here seeing that it's one of well received VN out there.
5. Kotonoha Amrilato aka The Expression Amrilato (VNDB 7.84)
This VN have a unique premise, and of course it's obviously not only just because it's a GL VN. Also it's not just because we have the MC transported to the another world as well either, even though it's still unique on it's own seeing that isekai translated VNs is still quite rare. The reason is because in Amrilato we'll be able to learn another language, and in this case it's Esperanto. Too bad that Valve didn't manage to see the educational value of this VN and only see the bath scene, so they decided to throw a tantrum by banned it for a while (Even though Amrilato here is all age). Well all of those are in the past, and at least now we can get this from Steam as well after Valve revoke the ban. The premise goes like we'll have our female MC Rin who somehow going to another world, and naturally she tried to communicate with the other people only to find out that it's futile because the people can only speak Esperanto. At least until she find a girl (Ruka) who can speak Japanese a bit, and from there Ruka teach Rin the Esperanto language bit by bit while at the same time both of them develop their relationship with each other.
4. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (VNDB 7.97)
After several years of waiting we finally manage to have a proper August VN with sex scenes and all, and with this August's curse was finally broken. I know there's Yoake and Shippo Days, but those two didn't count because the former is the backport of PS2 version which mean no sex scenes (Even though it have two additional routes) and the latter is Daitoshokan side story. For a bit of history, the translation was started back at 2016 before the project going silent for about three years before the editor decided to leak the complete translation patch at Reddit in April. Granted it's still unedited according to the editor, but at least it's still fine compared to several bad translation out there (ie SakuraGames localized VNs).
The premise is goes like we have Kakei (The MC) who is a sole member of Library Committee and have precognition power like to read alone, at least until he met with Tsugumi who have her mission to help everyone in the academy. Of course at first Kakei thought it was a bother, but after he got a message from someone called Sheperd who somehow know what Kakei doing and that Tsugumi also got the message, Kakei decided to help Tsugumi in order to get down the mystery. After that, it's also revealed that some more students (Mostly female for an obvious reason) are also receive the same message, and thus the students decided to join the committee as well. While at first Kakei was confused, slowly he learnt to enjoy his time in the committee together with the new members.
3. Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai (VNDB 8.22)
The VN that Trip want to translate first, although Irru convince Trip to do HatsuKoi first though because back then both of them (Tsurezure) didn't have enough knowledge to do engine work for Hoshiori. Time passed, and they started to work on Hoshiori here back at October 2018. After six months of work, they manage to release the full patch of Hoshiori and currently they working on Ginharu. The premise of Hoshiori itself is very simple in which our MC Ryounosuke going back to his hometown after seven years living in another town, and after that Ryounosuke was roped into helping Tanabata festival which is the biggest event in his hometown. From there he'll have a romance with one of six heroines. I also like to note that this VN have a have extensive after stories for each heroines which is a rarity for the VNs, and that they carry this concept to Ginharu. Other than that, I think Hoshiori here is sort of feedback for HatsuKoi's criticism seeing that they try to make Ryounosuke being far more capable and stable unlike Yuuma and also they tried to reduce the amount of drama. Granted that those change might be a little too successful for some people, but at least it make Hoshiori's reception is generally better compared to HatsuKoi.
2. Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm (VNDB 8.40)
In the past I remember that there's several projects with the goal to translate this VN, but out of all attempt the most memorable one is from Ren. The reason was because he accidentally delete the complete translated script of Aokana, and after that he basically running away from his responsibilities by throwing the tantrum after promising an announcement. While accidental loss of data is understandably very annoying, I think he just need to clearly say that he quit Aokana project if he couldn't be able to keep up with it. That aside we finally have Aokana thanks to Nekonyan after their very successful Kickstarter, and we got an improved version at that seeing that it also have music gallery which not exist in the original version for some reason. The premise goes like we have a fictional sport that required to wear flying shoes (Flying Circus/FC), and our MC Masaya was a prodigy at FC before he got hit with some trauma and then quit. Time passed, and one day Masaya find Asuka who have a great talent for FC, and after that Masaya was getting dragged back into FC as the coach. While at first he's against it, slowly he started to find the enjoyment that has been lost to him in the past. Aokana here is also serve as some sort of sprite's Swan Song, seeing that it's their last big VN before they decided to quit although apparently they've been revived so we may have the promised sequel in the future.
1. Baldr Sky Dive2 “Recordare” (VNDB 8.84)
One of most awaited VNs from back at 2010, and back then there's an attempt to translate this VN but GIGA decided to C&D the project. Time passed, and at 2016 we have a surprise in which Sekai did announce that they'll localize this. Of course back then we worried that there'll be no 18+ contents seeing that Sekai didn't say a word about it, and turned out that our worry is right because Sekai was forced by GIGA to release it censored. While at first it mean that we'll get censored Baldr Sky, fortunately there's a fan who immediately make 18+ patch so we can enjoy the sex contents. The premise is goes like we have our MC Kou who surprised that he woke up in the battlefield with the beautiful lady (Rain) called him lieutenant, and of course Kou was confused seeing that his memory was mostly about his school life. After a while Kou started to remember 'Gray Christmas' word that apparently was some sort of major incident, and from there he started to find out about his memories. Some things to note that this is a gameplay VN with robot, and that we'll going to have AI and virtual world for the setting. As for the releases, in the past GIGA did release the VN in two parter while Sekai did released it in one package. I list the 2nd part here along with the opening for it, because in the original version the 2nd part here is covered the whole Baldr Sky.
That's all for my list here, and by the way if I may name some honorable mention here, I would name HGB, Shirokoi, Somnium, and Raging Loop. I think overall 2019 is quite a nice year with long awaited title releases such as Baldr Sky, Aokana, and Damekoi so overall I'm content with it. Another things to note is that Sekai recently like to release their title at the same time when one of their competitor released their own title, so perhaps it might be worth to expect some Sekai release whenever some other companies release their VN (Well at least it's nice seeing them being active here). In the end, I hope that we'll have more VNs releases at 2020 later especially from Nekonyan here.
PS - For the title here, I'm simply combined 'Baldr' word from Baldr Sky and 'Rhythm' from Aokana so we have 'Baldr Rhythm' for the title here.