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Everything posted by Nemesis

  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.
  15. I've been reading Kurai Heya and Oretsuba Prologue and Afterstory. 暗い部屋 My first impression is it is very Setoguchi work: a rather dark and hopeless start. For the most part, it has similar themes to Swan Song: it's a story about despair and how people deal with it. But compared to Swan Song, it's much more of a charage. It follows our two protagonist: 日野清太郎 and 押川悠衣子。 「楽しいことが、全然ないんだもの」 It starts with the concept of death. It narrates in detail how a corpse rot and flies lay eggs on the body with maggots eventually coming out, and how a once beautiful person gets turned into rotting piece of meat. Then our MC 清太郎 explores a new world after being locked inside the house 24/7 for health reasons. He was adopted by her aunt and her family. Oh wow, the aunt is a control freak and a terrible person. She forcefully adopted him, and when she learned about the gas mask, she wants to chase him out now. But in the midst of that despair, he gets along with his cousin, 悠衣子 and 英, and lives a somewhat normal life for a while. It really goes in detail to be what it's like to be under an abusive family, and how abuse is not really just physical abuse. 「毎日、明日が怖いの」 It also gets into the story of their twin mothers 寿子 and 耀子.寿子 wanted to be an artist, while 耀子 wanted to be a housewife. Both of their dreams have come true, but they were both unhappy with their life. Overall, it's another solid story from Setoguchi which is probably better as a novel rather than a VN. 俺たちに翼はない ~Prelude~ I wasn't originally planning on reading this, but since I got it along with the AfterStory I might as well. Reading this is rather nostalgic, and Ou Jackson's prose is fun and upbeat. But story-wise nothing much happened, so I don't know what else to talk about. There is just some added introduction to Haneda's heroines.
  16. Finished Mekuiro and tried Fate/Empire of Dirt. 絆きらめく恋いろは Tsubaki > Saya=Shion > Shia I actually like Trenka better as more Tsubaki, and the writers seem to be better at writing linear story compared to route structure that builds up. My issue is that they really don't connect the individual routes well compared to some of the better written VN's. The routes just feel like it's written separately without caring about the entire structure. Fate/Empire of Dirt Pretty terrible doujin game outside of the art. The prose is shit and far from Nasu quality, and the lore is warped to fit the shitty writing. Gameplay itself is pretty much just a shittier version of FGO. This is just really bad Fate fanfiction, and dropped it halfway through. I couldn't stand the terrible prose anymore. I regret being baited by the art.
  17. 絆きらめく恋いろは Lots of worldbuilding in the introduction, explaining the history of the world. I like it, worldbuilding is a must for every decent fantasy. The matches are also interesting and has some actual Kendou terminology built into it such as 先の先 and 後の先. Well, obviously, it doesn't go into as much detail as Hanachirasu with the forms and stances, but still pretty interesting. So far, outside of Tsubaki, the individual routes are rather average. The tournament brackets change depending on the route which tells me that each route is written by different authors without coordination. Overall, it's far from being a kamige, but solid game nonetheless.
  18. Was reading through Swan Song and Biman5. SWAN SONG This seems like a good Christmas story as it starts on Christmas Eve. It has a impactful start with an earthquake destroying the town and our MC, Amako Tsukasa, finding a woman about to die from the disaster. Her last wish being to take care of Aroe, and changing her mind at the last minute to kill Aroe instead. Our MC is too pussy to kill her, so he takes care of her instead. This reminds me of the newborn baby scene in Subahibi and Tsui no Sora Remake with Yukito or Tomosane hesitating whether to kill the newborn baby or to celebrate. It is the duality of cursed life and blessed life. With the entire town in a complete mess, Tsukasa meets a bunch of survivors in an abandoned church and takes shelter there with Aroe. While exploring the city wreckage one day he met a Salary Man who lost his entire family, who complains about the pointless life he lived suffering at work everyday for his family. Now that he is freed from those responsibilities, he feels free, but sad at the same time as he lost sight of his goals. He leaves with the line 「君に幸あれ」- "May happiness be with you". If Scaji is good at explaining and teaching things, Setoguchi is good at showing things in action. You can only see the true nature of human's morality when civilization breaks down and laws stop functioning. This is Lord of the Flies except with Adult society. Each person adapts to the new world differently facing the reality that life has no meaning and can be easily taken away: acceptance, physical suicide, and philosophical suicide. Some people find their own value of life and do their best to survive. Others give up on the value of life and start to harm others and themselves. Others give up on reality and join religious groups for escapism. The art is rather old, but expressive, and adds a lot to the atmosphere. Music is simple and melancholic. They talk about what it means to be human, and how Aroe is lacking it due to her mental disability. Her habits are influenced by her disability and not from her own will. Our routines make up as a huge portion of our life. This work conveys that there is no such thing as universal happiness by using Aroe as an example. It also covers lots of societal topics. How society handles a lot of dirty work such as Justice and punishment, so that normal people don't have to worry about it. But with civilization broken, everyone is forced to handle the topic and make decisions for themselves. People are satisfied living under illusion of safety as long as they don't have to take responsibility for it. One last thing I want to talk about is the title "Swan Song." Even if Swan Song is an illusion, people should try and struggle until their final moments so they can have a beautiful Swan Song ending. I'm not going to go into too much details as the topics covered here are pretty much the same as Black Sheep Town. Overall, it's a very solid read, though not as good as BST. 美少女万華鏡 ー理と迷宮の少女ー Finally, in the last game of the series. The game starts out with a young girl singing Tooryanse while climbing the stairs filled with Torii, which I'm guessing is Fushimi Inari Shrine. Sumeragi is a good addition to the cast, a mystery novelist in comparison to our protagonist's occult novelist. The story itself is average, but the atmosphere is very well done. There are some Jigoku Shoujo reference, which was rather unexpected. It does have some interesting themes though with the boundary between reality and dreams. It talks about Zhuangzi dreaming he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man and red pill and blue pill. Which is relevant seeing as we have been seeing the life of other people through the Kaleidoscope. Then, they summarize through what MC found through the Kaleidoscope in the previous games: The Biman series has made me more open to trying out some more nukige's once in a while. I'm looking forward to Happoubijin's next work.
  19. Nice, let me know your thoughts when you finish it.
  20. Finished Baldr Force and Mekuiro Tsubaki Renka this week. BALDR FORCE The game has quite a bit of flaws with the writing being too focused on gameplay, essentially forcing the plot to go into the direction with lots of fighting most of the time. But it's not quite as bad as JRPGs hybrid. This is a pretty dark game with quite a bit of torture and rape, so I would not recommend this for the faint of heart. The game is a lot shorter than Sky, so the characters are also nowhere near as developed. Overall, it's a fun hybrid game that combines action game with VN elements. As an older game, the controls and gameplay are a lot more clunky compared to Sky 絆きらめく恋いろは-椿恋歌- I got this game on sale and didn't realize this was a fandisc until I started playing it. But rather than a fandisc, this feels more like a sequel with a full story. This makes it my 姫始め game. This is how you make good moege, not one of those shitty moege with nothing happening. It has good balance of SoL, ichaicha action, and some plot. The art is beautiful and the sword designs are cool. They do have some occasional sound quality issues though. The setting is a beautiful mix of sci-fi and Japanese Youkai folklore. This game has made me put Crystallia on my map, and made me interested in checking out their other games.
  21. Vinland Saga S2 - While I don't think it is still as good as the manga, it's still a fairly solid anime. Maou Futekigousha - Kind of got bored of the story already, lol. Dropped the novels, manga, and the anime already. I can't stand an action story with zero tension. Tokyo Revengers - I got bored while reading the manga and dropped it halfway through, let alone watching the anime. Bungou Stray Dogs S4 - Hmmm, while the last season was pretty bad, I still like the show and the concept behind it, so I might check it out. Tomo-chan wa Onna no Ko - This is a fairly popular and decent romcom. It's mainly 4koma format, but the characters really stand out. Otonari no Tenshi-sama ni Itsunomanika Dame Ningen ni Sareteita Ken - This is one of the hottest LN trending right now, so no surprise it finally got an adaptation. Will probably watch it. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka IV: Fuka Shou Yakusai-hen - Danmachi next season, looking forward to it. Koori Zokusei Danshi to Cool na Douryou Joshi - This one is adapted from a comedy manga that is kind of funny. It was not funny enough for me, so I dropped it though. Inu ni Nattara Suki na Hito ni Hirowareta. - This one is rather funny, and ecchi manga. But also rather some cringy drama. The MC got turned into a dog and was kept as a pet by the girl he likes. Eiyuu-ou, Bu wo Kiwameru Tame Tenseisu: Soshite, Sekai Saikyou no Minarai Kishi - this one is a fun LN with a battle-junkie MC who was reincarnated as a female. Tsundere Akuyaku Reijou Liselotte to Jikkyou no Endou-kun to Kaisetsu no Kobayashi-san - boring LN about villainess and some random high schoolers being able to talk to them from the fourth dimension. Isekai Nonbiri Nouka - an extremely boring LN about an OP reincarnator farming. If you like watching paint dry, go watch this. Tensei Oujo to Tensai Reijou no Mahou Kakumei - Finally an interesting isekai adaptation. It's a funny story about a reincarnated princess going berserk in her research for magic and causing all sorts of trouble. Kaiko sareta Ankoku Heishi (30-dai) no Slow na Second Life - This one is an ok LN about a former soldier from the Demon King's army quitting and starting a new life in the countryside. But his slow life is constantly bothered by events from his past. There are some interesting scenes, but overall rather boring. Saikyou Onmyouji no Isekai Tenseiki - It's a rather generic Isekai LN, but I'm a sucker for Onmyouji stories. The strongest onmyouji was killed by his disciple and reincarnated into an isekai. The twist is that the hero in this world is similar to his disciple. The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki - Northern War - adaptation of a famous JRPG game. Game adaptation are often shit though, so I'll ignore it. Hikari no Ou - Hmm, an LN I haven't read before. It kind of looks interesting, I might check it out. Ars no Kyojuu - This looks pretty interesting for an anime original, I might also check it out. Ningen Fushin no Boukensha-tachi ga Sekai wo Sukuu you desu - The novel starts off as fairly interesting, but the plot moves slow as a snail, and I kind of forgot about this as I was reading the WN. It's not bad, but not particularly good either. It has an interesting pessimistic MC, but story is rather meh. The ones worth checking out this season are: Vinland Saga S2, Danmachi IV, Tomo-chan wa Onna no Ko, Tonari no Tenshi, and Tensei Oujo to Tensai Reijou no Mahou Kakumei. The others are pending depending on my mood. Edit: Yes, I've read at least a few chapters to few volumes of all those LN's/WN's.
  22. Finished Tsui no Sora Remake and started Baldr Force. 終ノ空 remake Chapter 4: Yasuko Yokoyama - This is the original route that was added in the remake and the climax of the novel. Shit, WTF is this. Uggh, her past is just too disgusting. Her route represents using violence and cunning to control people and achieve happiness. Violence is also an important part of the social hierarchy. That is why the state wants to control it and makes law around it. But well, those who control through violence tend to get squashed by greater violence Muramasa style. Even now, those Christian morals plague society by making us think that there is something wrong with masturbating to chicken from the supermarket. She denies that "Happy families are similar, but unhappy families are all different". For her, unhappy families are all similar in that they acted dumb and were unable to handle the consequences, while the concept of a happy family is different from person to person. Happy family itself is an illusion as familial love is just an illusion. Love and self-sacrifice is something done to satisfy one's ego. Love is violently pushing happiness to another person. Chapter 5: Takuji Mamiya - We finally get to our messiah's point of view. He talks to Ayana on the rooftop about the end of the world which eventually turns the topic to eternal life. He claims that he wants to live forever if he can live a happy life. Then, Ayana brings up a hypotethical scenario of the same eternally looping life, and him eventually getting bored and killing the people around him, then getting bored and eventually killing himself. And then waking up normally the next day, and starting over from the beginning: Eternal Recurrence. After that, Takuji rejected the idea of eternal life which from Nietzsche perspective means he has not learned to appreciate life yet. There is no meaning in life, so it's ok to kill a newborn child before it gets to experience life. Yukito refutes him that even if life is shit and meaningless, it is still worth living. People have an instinct to live, that's why they despair. Being alive is being alive, nothing more to it. It is both cursed and blessed. Main theme is the same as Subahibi, since we are alive, we might as well pursue happiness with just a hint of Nietzsche. The shape of that happiness is something different for each person as there are no universal values. Numinose I & II - Epilogue about Yukito questioning himself and who he is. It concludes that a memory defines a person. Overall, it was a good read. While it doesn't feel as grand and complete as Subahibi, it also explores other concepts that's not possible in Subahibi. While it was a fun experience learning about Spinoza and Nietzsche, at the end of the day, I lean more towards Wittgenstein's stance of silence on metaphysics. BALDR FORCE So far, it's a fun 2000ish action game. It is lacking a lot of modern functionality such as keyboard shortcuts and auto-read, but the story is good enough for me to put up with it. It doesn't have the same problem as Sky which is 50% flashbacks if you couldn't stand that, only 5% flashback now. It has less fluff and more straightforward. In terms of combat, it took a couple games to adjust to the controls as it's different compared to sky. I guess early game the range weapons are stronger, but maybe it will change things once you are able to do 70 hits combo with an initializer. Compared to Sky, I think range weapon does twice as much damage which really makes melee combo not worth as much especially without overheat. One of the things I like about the Baldr Series is the world building and the different factions in it. It gives different perspective on the virtual world depending on which faction you are on.
  23. If rereading VN's count, then Kurosu Taichi from Cross Channel. Complex and funny character with extreme flaws. For new VN's that I read, Ryou from BST. He represents the duality of humanity's kindness and cruelty. Ruthless and badass when the situation calls for it.
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