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Nemesis last won the day on August 29 2022

Nemesis had the most liked content!


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  1. Just start reading and don't look back. The fastest way to learn how to read is just read more. Your first 2(or x) VN's will always be difficult. Anki is just a support to make the learning process more manageable. Just avoid Muramasa/Masada level works until you have finished at least 5 VN's or so. Then, you can try and challenge yourself anytime you feel ready.
  2. I'd actually suggest to avoid reading English translation if you are serious about learning Japanese. It will only set you back and confuse you as most English translation don't even match with the Japanese text. I'd suggest these if you are willing to put in the effort as they are voiced: Kara no Shoujo Aiyoku no Eustia Otherwise, go search for VN's by difficulty and go read Hanahira, Debutopia, or something.
  3. サクラノ刻-櫻の森の下を歩む- After 8 years in development, SakuToki was finally released. If Sakuuta is 「幸福の先への物語」, I view SakuToki as a 「虚無の先への物語」. Let's go back a bit to Scaji's previous works: Tsui no Sora and Subahibi, destroys the illusion of inherent human values and ethics. Tsui no Sora covers Nietzsche and how human values are artificially made. It is forced upon other people as a struggle for power with a bit of spice of Spinoza's pantheism. Subahibi covers the same topic from the point of view of Wittgenstein coming from the limit of the world (human knowledge) being the limit of thought and logic, which is the limit of language. From there, we find that values do not exist anywhere in the world. SakuUta, on the other hand, covers the topic of art and life. SakuToki as the sequel to SakuUta, explores when you are at your lowest and life feels empty, what happens from there? If you manage to avoid the obvious pitfalls of suicide and escapism through religion (which is covered in Subahibi and Tsui no Sora), you try to fill that empty vessel. But fill it with what? We call whatever fills that vessel as beauty: 「それを人は、「美」と呼んだんだ」. From there, we start to create human values, ethics, art, and give meaning to our own life. Sca-ji covers the journey to create/discover that beauty through The Night of Bald Mountain. It goes over the concept of the strong god and weak god, and overcoming the limit of the world through Naoya's point of view. Finally, he comes back to how art relates to happiness and life. SakuToki brings everything together for a grand finale. SPOILER WARNING: Rather than a review for people deciding to play the game, this is more of an analysis of the game and its contents. Go back now if you do not want to be spoiled. Closing Statement An empty life allows us to fill it with something; SakuToki explores filling that emptiness with art. The door towards art and beauty can only open with talent, hard work, and the courage to reach out towards the void - 終の空。 Art allows us to overcome the limit of the world and give meaning to the world with two different perspectives: mimesis and anti-mimesis. Art fills our empty vessel with 3 things: 希望 (Hope) 、言葉 (Language) 、and 美 (Beauty) and lead us to a satisfying life. These themes are present throughout Scaji's previous works, but not quite as explicit as SakuUta and SakuToki. SakuToki is a complex story, so it’s impossible to cover everything without writing a book on it. There are plenty of other themes I didn't have time to cover such as the concept of 刻(time)を刻む in art: there are beauty you can only experience in certain times. Just think of going to a live concert compared to watching a recording of a concert. Hopefully, other reviewers can fill in the gap. I mainly wrote this to preserve my thoughts while it's fresh in my mind, because I sure as hell won't remember the specifics a year from now unless I write this down somewhere. 永遠の相のもとに届けたい。 「芸術作品は永遠の相のもとに見られた対象である。 そしてよい生とは永遠の相のもとに見られた世界である。 ここに芸術と論理の関係がある。 何も、永遠の相を保証するのに、絶対的な神なんていらない。 人は、人のための神を感じ、そして、感動すればいい……」
  4. It's impossible to discuss the work beyond surface level without spoiling it. I'll leave it to others if they want more of a preview as I have no interest in writing a simple summary with information that can just be googled or found in the official websites. I'm mainly writing to document my thoughts for games that I don't want to forget.
  5. 「ーきっとこれは神様を許す物語」 "...this is undoubtedly a story about forgiving God" Tenshi no Hane wo Fumanaide or TenshiHane, is a glorious tribute to Nietzsche. It borrows heavily from Christian mythology of an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God. Alas, due to its themes, if a Christian read this, he will probably have a stroke with froth coming out of his mouth. The setting is a school, Saint Solyluna Academy, which is divided into two different campuses separated as islands: Sun and Moon Campuses. Someone gets chosen as μ from each campus and gets their wish granted. Through the existence of μ, the existence of God has been proven. What does it mean for humans if such a God exist? We as humans can only and express our humanity by overcoming God and creating our own values. The Sun and Moon campus represents the different faces of God and to see what lies beyond good and evil. It warns of the danger of having a personal God. Finally, Shumon Yuu adds his own interpretation on what it means to be human through will to power. Our Protagonist, has circumstances that makes him cross-dress to attend Saint Solyluna Academy, as it is an all-girls school. There are 5 different routes and a True Route. I don't know why, but they opened up all the routes from the start. It obviously flows better if you do it in a certain order: Hikaru > Natsuhi Sisters > Hanene > Ikoi > Sora The Sun Campus represents the outer face of God and the concept of good. The Sun Campus is the more boring side of the story with students living a normal fulfilling school life. Although, it might seem like a peaceful place at first glance, it's filled with innocent malice and self-centeredness. Instead of straight-up battles, it's filled with people pulling each other down to become μ. It's a reflection of the 表 and 裏 of society. Those with virtues recognized by God become μ candidates and can activate miracles which sprouts wings from their back. μ is the seat closest to God and can directly tell God their wishes. On the other hand, the Moon Campus represents the hidden face of God and the concept of evil. Anyone with a brain can easily see that an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent God does not make sense logically. There is the omnipotence paradox, omniscience paradox, and benevolence paradox. The Moon campus resolves those paradox by the concept of an imperfect, malevolent God: Demiurge. God is not eternal, only the throne is eternal. Unlike the Sun campus, the Moon campus is ruled by the strong. which is really a reflection on society. So what does it mean to become μ in this campus? It means to become the successor to become the next god, and similar to how the top in human society is chosen. To become God is a ritual of revolution and usurpation similar to how the top in human society is decided. The students are fighting using magic to be chosen as μ to get their wish granted. Because God and the world is malevolent, they learn magic to overcome it. Miracle is power from being recognized by God, while magic is something that is studied and mastered. This work tells you to look beyond good and evil. It breaks down the concept of good and evil being decided by God by showing that God is neither. Our cross-dressing protagonist's teacher on the other hand views things from a very neutral perspective as someone coming from a Martial Arts background, that good cannot exist without evil. What is good for someone is evil for another, similar to Muramasa's themes. Good and evil are just concepts decided by humans to suit their needs. Rather than caring about good and evil, we should pay more attention to the people close to us. What matters to the individual is whether it benefits the people close to us or not. TenshiHane warns of the danger of having a personal God. This is mainly explored in the True Route with a lot of it coming from the MC's teacher. It explores how religion is formed and God is born. God is born from the ideals of humans, especially to cover for their fear of death. It is something which allows our weak hearts to cope with reality. But one should not become overdependent on it. God should only be a guidepost, a goal to work towards to. His master warns him not to cling to God whether it exists or not. To rely on God means to leave the decision-making to another. It allows the weak to cling to it and throws away their selves and decision-making in favor of faith. The concept of an absolute God was created by people oppressed as slaves in Egypt without their own land. The concept of God if taken too far is the same as staying a slave, with your master just changing from the Pharaoh to God instead. Humans should be in control of God, and not the other way around. One should walk on their own feet, and that by itself is proof of your humanity. Taken as a whole, TenshiHane has similar concepts to Nietzsche's "Thus, Spoke Zarathustra" (which I just read recently), but it adds a lot more to it. From Nietzsche's view, will to power is described as the main driving force in humans. Will to power is our attempt to assert ourselves onto the world. Projecting our authority of our ego over the authority of egos of others. While will to power is a strong driving force, it's not the only driving force. Ayame's Teacher represents the will to power. For him, humans have to exert their will to power to escape from slavery; to escape from being no more than a beast/dog. The stronger the adversity, the stronger we can become with people joining hands together. A monotheistic God means that the world is God's playground where he can exert his will to power. Evil exist so that God can be good. Essentially, everything was a one-man play to inflate God's ego, it's his will to power. We have to break out of our shells and learn to walk on our own. Only then, can we prove our own freedom of will. Hence, to be human in a world where God exist, we need to overcome God and express our own will to power. Other than will to power, we also have a will to spend our time with our loved ones. Our relationship and connection with other people is just as strong as a driving force for humans. A good example of this is Toro-senpai, who tried to literally exert her will to power over the entire world as μ. But she was not really happier doing that as she lost her chance to spend time with Ikoi. A more subtle example is Sora. Beyond will to power, being able to share our experiences with others is needed as human's happiness. Will to power alone is not enough for man's happiness. Compared to Nietzsche's extreme view, Shumon Yuu has a much warmer view on things. People should think, decide, and take action for themselves. TenshiHane shows us to go beyond will to power, similar to how Nietzsche taught us to go beyond good and evil. It is ok to use God as a coping mechanism to cover for our weaknesses, but nothing more than that. Although, a lot of the concepts are similar to Nietzsche, Shumon Yuu adds a Japanese and much healthier take to the same topic. He basically fix my main criticism against Nietzsche which doesn't take into consideration other people. It's a flawed work with weak individual routes, but shows its fangs in the True route. It's not quite as fancy with kotodama compared to his other work, but still another kamige regardless. There are other themes that I didn't explore such as what it means to be a creator, I'll just leave that to someone else.
  6. It's not that hard to understand. He's saying that due to the cultural barrier, it's hard to communicate towards overseas fans. When they say, "They can't release an 18+ patch", overseas fans take that literally, while Japanese fans take that as "Someone will secretly release an 18+ patch later on." It's 建前 as they can't make an official announcement due to being scared of international pressure. Well up to you guys whether to take their word for it or not. Either way, I'm not really interested in this series nor in Kickstarters as I've been burned before.
  7. Just reading through random VN's this week while I bask in the afterglow of SakuToki. Tried Sekimeiya and continued Rance through Rance 4.1. The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass I'm mainly using this VN as a way to judge whether it's even worth looking into the EVN scene or should I completely forget its existence. So far, writing is pretty meh. This seems like the sort of writing you'd see with RPG talking to NPC's. Their choice of names and settings are extremely weird and just feels not very well thought out. The character writing on the other hand is fucking awful. I think this game highlights exactly what is wrong with EVN writing, it's fairly typical game writing with lack of focus on fleshing out the world or characters. It focused too much on the game-aspect of solving a riddle, and the characters act like they are playing a game. There is a complete lack of human element to it. This is a perfect place to quote Naoya: 「魂が喜ばない作品など、芸術ではない... それはー楽しげな家具と同じだ 楽しげな家具、そういった作品もいいだろう 楽しげな家具は、生活の役に立つが、あんたの作品は家具ほども役に立たない」 I'll give it props for the effort the creators put into it, but that's it. I'm not interested in playing a mind-numbing boring puzzle game. There's lots of better use for my time. Playing mafia is a much funner experience with similar level of difficulty, except with genuine people's reactions. This game has pretty much convinced me to not touch another EVN for the next 5 years if this is the best they can offer. ランス4.1 ~お薬工場を救え!~ It's a short simple game after Rance 4. It doesn't have the grindiness of the previous game, and has a rather short fun story. This short minigame is a lot more fun compared to me wasting my time with Sekimeiya.
  8. From the same maker FAVORITE: Irosekai and Sakura, Moyu are generally considered the better works. So you can try that when you get the chance.
  9. For the most part, this season was pretty much as expected for me. This meant no hidden gems found. Oh well, it was a decent enough season even if nothing in particular stands out, so I'm satisfied.
  10. サクラノ刻-櫻の森の下を歩む- Chapter 2 - Explores Naoya's life as an adult as he watches others grow up. I think the main topic here is there are many different roads in life. Once a dream has ended, a new one opens up. Chapter 3 - 「薄っぺらな天才は、才能が透けて見える。天才は、才能を忘れさせる」 Main theme in this chapter and possibly the entire game is talent and what is art. While, it is true that hard work is also required for talent to bloom, the starting conditions and peak for genius and normal people are different. While normal people strive to get recognize, geniuses strive to create something new to express their way of life and the beauty that they can feel. Onda Housai is a fairly interesting person too with quite a bit of bias. It's interesting to see his perspective from a somewhat talented person comparing himself to geniuses. Art can move people, because the creator managed to experience sorrow that others can relate to. Sorrow and Happiness are two sides of the same coin. I think I see Scaji's obsession with Spinoza. To become a good artist, you need to have a certain perspective as being a part of a whole. But at the same time, as the observer, you are separate from the whole hence you can create art and give value to it. I think Spinoza gets too lost in his own metaphysics to interpret it the way Sca-ji wants to. 春と修羅 by Miyazawa Kenji is probably a better work to reference for the artist's point of view. Art is transcending the limits of your inner world by reaching out to other people's inner worlds. It's creating meaning from nature and communicating that to other people. I had a lot more to say, but I accidentally deleted some of my notes, so I'll just end it here for now until I manage to retake my notes. As an individual game, SakuToki is rather flawed with the main flaw being it wasted a lot of characters' potential. The main one(imo) was wasting Shizuku and Rin (the booklet and drama CD kind of fixes it). But as a sequel to SakuUta, it is a great work of art that expands upon many of its themes and connects it to other Scaji games. SakuToki covers a lot of topics, so I'll leave a lot of the topics for later if/when I have time to write a more specific review on it. If Sakuuta is 「幸福の先」の物語, I view this as a 「虚無の先」の物語。 When you are at your lowest and life feels empty, what happens from there? If you manage to avoid the obvious pitfalls of suicide and escapism through religion(which is covered in Subahibi and Tsui no Sora), you try to fill that empty cup. But fill it with what? それを人は、「美」と呼んだんだ」 We call whatever fills that cup as beauty. From there, we start to create human values, ethics, art, and give meaning to our own life. 「虚無を見出した後で、俺は美を見出した」 Only when we are at our lowest, we are able to open the door of possiblities to advance in different directions. For artists, they can intentionally put themselves in those situations so they can open the door to Charis. This is similar to Nietzsche's concept of Ubermensch, where people transcend the established morals and prejudices of human society to define their own purpose and values in life by facing hardships.In Sca-ji's case though, he doesn't reject the concept of choosing to become content with mediocrity and simple pleasures, but considers that as a possible choice in happiness. This is why I like Scaji, he possesses both the strengths and weaknesses of humans. While being a genius, he's honest to his desires. He affirms both a life dedicated to honing your own craft and a life filled with pleasure. It's what makes him human and relatable. Then, he goes to deal with a lot of topics on what is art, talent, and how do you create good art and repeating some of SakuUta's theme on happiness. Kenichirou views life as a poem or musical score. In the standard definition of happiness being a "good happening", happiness and misfortunes are just notes which pass by quickly. Each note being finite is what allows us to experience the world and feel its beauty. Art turns that finite beauty to infinite by giving it form. Since life is a musical score, it has a tempo and melody(I think this is where サクラノ響 comes in), and that's where we can find real happiness. Happiness is not something you seek, it's something that's always beside us.
  11. With SakuToki physicals coming in, I'll put in the rest of my merchandise that I just got:
  12. サクラノ刻-櫻の森の下を歩む- Chapter 1 - Apparently, we always have to start the series with pottery. Lots of talk about counterfeit and real work of arts, and how the value of art is decided. I think the old me would have commented on how superficial the art world is by focusing on the piece's history and other things unrelated to the actual art piece itself. But I have a rather different point of view now. Art is a sort of communication between the creator and the audience, so I can now see the value on that. Its value depends on what sort of value it can give to the audience. So knowing the background of the art piece can completely change its interpretation similar to "A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs," and gains new value. Either way, I don't think I have an eye for visual art >.> Wow at the quality of the first chapter.
  13. Lol, not sure if you are being sarcastic. Hentai Prison was top 4 in EGS for a while, and is generally considered one of the top VN's of all time in the Japanese side. No Black Sheep Town I'm guessing as it's not being sold in getchu. While still quite far from its golden years, overall, 2022 was a strong year for VN's. Edit: Just to give some more background on how good 2022 was, here is a Japanese Youtuber's review on his top VN's for the year: 5. Tsui no Stella 4. Ihanashi no Majo 3. Aokana Extra 2 2. Mahou Tsukai No Yoru Hidden MVP: Black Sheep Town Honorable Mention: Eve ghost enemies 1. Hentai Prison Hentai Prison and Black Sheep Town tying for 1st. Makes me look forward to Henpri when I get the chance to read it.
  14. 俺たちに翼はない AfterStory I feel that a lot of the big events in Takashi and Shuusuke route was covered in the main game's epilogues. But I don't remember how much of it was covered, so hard for me to compare on what's been added. Takashi- Even if we don't have wings alone, together, we can fly everywhere. In this case, I think wings here represent freedom, hope, and future. Or in other words, the willpower to live and the courage to face tomorrow. 「ほうら、私たちにも翼くらいはあるんだぞう」 「大好きなひとと一緒なら、私どこまでも飛んでいきますか」 Shuusuke route - the dialogue feels off or just lacking in the first few scenes of the games. I'm guessing that was written by the subwriter. Then it goes to back to standard Ou Jackson quality again after the H-scene. Hayato route - We get back to our hardboiled protagonist enjoying the city night life and our weird heroine Naru. Other than that, there are a couple short stories. ランス4 -教団の遺産- With the new patch released, I figured now is the time to continue with Rance and play 4. The mechanics are pretty shit with it being a Tactics RPG without any of the features that make it tactical such as terrain. Mechanics are still exactly the same as basic RPG, except they annoy you with having to walk your characters every turn. Without the patch, this probably would've been rage inducing to me. With the patch, it's somewhat tolerable with a walkthrough. Story-wise, it's decent. Well, it's at least better than Rance 2, but not as good as Rance 3.
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