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maefdomn

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    maefdomn reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, Gone Home is a visual novel. Deal with it.   

    This past weekend marked the unofficial start of summer here in the States, and to celebrate, dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster threw down the gauntlet in a major way. The hot dog, it declared, is a sandwich. It consists of bread (the bun) holding some filling (a plump, juicy hot dog). It meets the textbook definition of a sandwich. Therefore, it’s a sandwich.
    The reaction from Team Hot Dog was swift. “Nooo! That’s not true!” they Luke Skywalkered across the Twiterverse. “Hot dogs are hot dogs! Shuttuuuuuhp!” Whereas Team Sandwich raised nary a peep. “Cool,” they said. “We like sandwiches. Welcome to the club.”
    And why was that? Maybe a look at similar sort of statement can help us try to figure it out:
    Gone Home is a visual novel.

    Nooo! That’s not true! Gone Home isn’t a VN! Shuttuuuuhp!
    Very light spoilers to follow.
    If you don’t know, Gone Home is a game that came out in 2013, created by a handful of former BioShock devs. In it, you assume the role of an American college student who comes home from a year abroad only to find her parents’ house deserted, a cryptic note from her sister taped to the front door. The rest of the game is spent finding out just what happened.
    Except it’s not a “game” as such. And you don’t really “play.” You simply wander the house using FPS controls, going from room to room and reading/hearing scattered bits of documentary evidence – letters, journal entries, crumpled-up notes, etc. – that help you unravel the mystery. That’s it. Some gamers have dismissively called it a “walking simulator,” but there’s clearly more to it than that. Gone Home is a digital experience that exists primarily to convey an authored text, one that shares structural similarities with traditional novels/short stories. That text is then given strong support by on-screen visual elements to form a cohesive whole.
    While there’s no hard and fast definition of “visual novel” that I’m aware of, the above seems to do the job pretty well. And by that definition, Gone Home is a visual novel.
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! It doesn’t take the form of a written novel!
    Sure it does – an epistolary novel, to be specific. Here, I’ll even save you the trip to Wikipedia:
    Some well-known entries in this genre include Frankenstein, Dracula, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and World War Z. In Gone Home’s case, the main narrative thread is told via your sister’s journal entries, which are penned as letters in absentia to you. Additional plot is introduced via other letters, newspaper clippings, and historical documents. Sound familiar? Yup. In fact, if you printed the collected documents of Gone Home in paperback, it would hold up extremely well as an example of the epistolary form.
    Gone Home is a visual novel. Deal with it.

    Nooo! It’s not a VN! You walk around in a 3D environment!
    So what? Macbeth is a play; we can all agree on that. Sleep No More is a highly regarded re-contextualizing of that play as performance spaces meant to be walked through and experienced. The fact that you sit on your ass through one and physically traverse the other doesn’t change the fact that both are plays. They both have actors, scenes, and staging.
    And besides, several other VN titles use the exploration of 3D environments to frame their textual elements – Corpse Party: Book of Shadows, Danganronpa, etc.
    Gone Home is a visual novel. Deal with it.
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! It’s a game that just happens to have text!
    There’s almost zero “gameplay” in Gone Home. Seriously. Most of one’s time in so-called “narrative-driven” games like BioShock or Final Fantasy [n] or Persona is spent doing non-narrative things – fighting, more often than not. In Gone Home, if you’re not reading/listening to documents, you’re usually (a) walking, (b) turning on lamps, or (c) opening cupboards and looking at cans of soup. The “game,” such as it is, exists solely to deliver the narrative.
    Baldr Sky, Aselia, the Rance VNs – all have far more gameplay than Gone Home could ever dream of.
    Gone Home is a visual novel. Deal with it.

    Nooo! It’s not a VN! You can finish the game without reading most of it!
    While Gone Home definitely gives you a great deal of leeway in what you choose to read, and in what order, there are still certain key documents that act as plot gateways. These help ensure there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end with an identifiable narrative arc in between.
    Anyway, I can also “finish” a more traditional VN without reading most of it. Maybe I get an early bad ending. Or I can read one route to completion and decide to stop, missing most of the content.
    Gone Home is a visual novel. Deal with it.
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! If it is, then any game can claim the same!
    Nope. Slippery slope denied. Just because Gone Home can be considered a VN, that doesn’t mean Tetris or Call of Duty: Jackalope can; it’s still a fairly high bar. Take The Walking Dead series by Telltale, for example. A number of people have argued that these games could (and should) be considered VNs, but I’d disagree. That could be a whole blog post by itself, but suffice to say their narrative form is much closer to that of a TV script than a novel or story.
    All kings are men, but not all men are kings. Just because VNs prioritize narrative doesn’t mean all games that prioritize narrative are VNs.

    Nooo! It’s not a VN! It doesn’t have sprites against a background!
    So what? Go tell that to Narcissu.
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! It doesn’t have hand-drawn art!
    So what? Go tell that to any recent VN using 3D character models/backdrops.
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! It doesn’t have routes! And heroines!
    Are we seriously having this conversation?
    Nooo! It’s not a VN! Its creators don’t even call it that!
    So what? Authorial intent means nothing. All the audience can judge is what’s on the page/screen. And what’s there is a visual novel. (For the record, the devs call it a "story exploration" game.)
    Okay, class. What have we learned?
    Our Gone Home experiment, interestingly enough, is the reverse of the hot dog situation. Visual novel fans (a.k.a., Team Sandwich) tend to be the ones arguing against Gone Home (a.k.a., Team Hot Dog) being considered part of the genre, rather than the other way around. Larger resists smaller, rather than smaller resisting larger. And why is that?
    For Team Hot Dog, the object of its affection is more than a tube-shaped piece of meat on a bun. It’s the whole emotional experience surrounding the idea of “hot dog” – the childhood ballgames, the smell of charcoal in the backyard grill. There’s a good reason I can watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on TV next month, but not the Boar’s Head Ham and Cheese on Rye Eating Contest. To admit that a hot dog is just a sandwich is to risk making it less special somehow, to blur the lines of its magic.
    And for members of Team VN, a “visual novel” is more than just any old game that combines textual narrative with computer graphics. It’s also the emotional experience of all the VNs they’ve played until now – experiences that are often colored by very specific art styles and narrative conceits. To admit that a “game” like Gone Home can be a visual novel is to risk making the genre seem less special somehow, to blur the lines of its magic.
    In both cases, the emotional experience of a thing proves to be just as true and just as powerful as the dictionary definition of that thing. And unless your name happens to be Merriam or Webster, there’s very little to be done about the latter. But the former is a matter of personal interpretation; personal interpretation remains a hill that one can choose to defend and, indeed, die upon.
    In other words, it’s possible for the statements “Gone Home is a visual novel,” and “I don’t consider Gone Home to be a visual novel,” to both be true simultaneously. But if you put ketchup on your hot dog sandwich, you’re just a bloody idiot.
    Update #1: Now watch as I argue that Gone Home really isn't a visual novel. Proof you can have your cake and piss on it too.
  2. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Kawasumi for a blog entry, The First interesting article   
    The reactions throughout the world, on social media, on forums, in the news, the stupid coverage and lack of proper information following last weeks event made me want to hit my head so hard against the wall that people would think I had been murdered.
    I however got linked today this very interesting article that I suggest to everyone willing to learn more about the situation should read.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/
    It sounds credible and just for the quality and the step back that the author was able to take, I would beleive it is a reliable source.
  3. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  4. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  5. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  6. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  7. Like
    maefdomn reacted to Darbury for a blog entry, Preparation H (Getting Ready to Edit VN Sex Scenes)   

    There’s no getting around it. If you’re looking to edit visual novels, at some point you’re going to have roll up your sleeves, put on the rubber gloves, and get elbow-deep in some H. The good news is that if you come prepared, practice your technique, and set some clear boundaries, it can be a pleasurable experience for both you and the reader.

    First, a disclaimer: I don’t like pineapple on my pizza, and I don’t like H-scenes in my VNs. It’s not a prudish thing; it’s a narrative thing. They’re rarely well crafted — you can feel all the hallmarks of the B-team being brought in to write them — and they almost never add plot/characterization that couldn’t have been handled better some other way. (I’ll pause here so you can mention Amane’s route from Grisaia, an exception that helps prove the rule.) Let’s be honest: they’re shoehorned in to help sell product. It’s built into the economics of the eroge genre. And honestly, that’s fine. I try to be sanguine about it and think of H-scenes as banner ads or TV commercials. They’re profit centers that help support the content I’m actually interested in. (I suspect more than a few developers feel the same way.)

    Long story short, H-scenes ain’t going anywhere. So how do we deal with them? Go in with a game plan.

    [Warning, there will be some NSFW language from this point forward. Sorry! It’s all part of seeing how the sausage is made.]

    1. Do your research
    In raw translation, sex scenes from a Japanese visual novel tend to be far from erotic. More often than not, they read like an obsessively detailed transcript of a gynecological exam. That’s not because the Japanese writing team suddenly forgot they were supposed to be penning a passionate sex scene. It’s just that what’s erotic in one culture isn’t always as erotic in another. It’s your job (along with the translator) to help bridge that cultural divide and come up with something that feels faithful to the original, yet still sexy in English.

    Your first stop? Research. Read some English-language erotica so you can get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t. Sites like literotica.com even have stories broken out into fairly specific categories, so if you know you’ll be editing BDSM, threesome, and footjob scripts, you’ll have no problem finding what you need. (If you have all three in a single scene, you still might be in luck.) There’s also a category called “First Time,” which is more broadly useful, given how fixated many VNs are on virgins.

    Read, read, and read some more. Pay attention to the verbs, the nouns, the pacing. Try to quickly form a model of what makes a sex scene successful, then look to carry those techniques over to your VN script.

    2. Pack a box lunch
    If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this: bring a big bag of dicks; you’ll need them. Better pack a few pussies while you’re at it.

    By the time you’ve edited your third or fourth H-script, you’ll find you’ve run dry of good synonyms for the male and female genitalia. In KoiRizo, the raw script mostly used the word "thing" for the protag’s package, which ended up sounding childish and/or ambiguous in English. (I only kept it in a few instances where such a reaction might be appropriate — for example, when the route partner catches her very first glimpse of Lil’ Protag: “Is that your ... thing?”). The remainder of the original script was a mix of the clinical ("my mucous membrane”) and the hilarious (“my soiled meat stick”). As for ladyparts, the original script relied heavy on metaphor and indirect reference — lots of openings, entrances, gates, doors, depths, special places, overflowing pots of nectar, etc.

    So what’s missing from the above? The common English erotica standbys: “dick” and “cock” for men, “pussy” for women. There’s a reason for that. KoiRizo complicated things by using the Japanese equivalents of these very sparingly, reserving them mainly for shock effect in dialogue — “e.g., OMG, she just said ‘cock!’ Things must be getting real.” Moreover, when these words were finally hauled out, the devs bleeped the VO and censored the text string (e.g., “p*ssy”). That meant it was very obvious when those words were being used and when they weren’t.

    All of which presented quite a challenge to the team: if we were to preserve those “shocking” character moments, we couldn’t use the most common English terms 99% of the time. And so, I fell back on a shortlist of alternate references: pole, rod, erection, hard-on, manhood, etc. By the time I was done editing, however, this list felt far too limited; those words were overused pencils worn down to their nubs.

    This is one of those areas where, in hindsight, I feel like I could have done a better job with KoiRizo. The takeaway: If I ever tackle a VN this H-heavy again — doubtful — I’ll come packing a much longer list of euphemisms.



    3. Bring a raincoat
    Compared to its English counterpart, Japanese erotica seems downright obsessed with fluids: saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, urine — you name it. The look, the sound, the feel, the taste, the smell, the volume. You’ll be describing a lot of liquids in a lot of ways, so get ready to break out the thesaurus. And an umbrella.

    4. Embrace the improbable
    Let’s admit it: VN sex is over-the-top ridiculous. In a matter of seconds, sheepish virgins turn into seasoned pornstars, cramming 20 orgasms and 40 positions into a quickie broom closet hookup. (Oh so much cramming.) This is the nature of the genre, so don’t fight it; embrace it. Trying to force realism onto a typical H-scene would be like trying to force realism onto a Dragon Ball Z fight: everyone still looks constipated, but no one’s having any fun. If you’re that desperate to edit sadly mundane sex scenes, wait for the VN version of Michael Winterbottom’s 9 Songs to come out. Till then, work with what you have.

    I remember a tiny dustup a while back when another TL team supposedly wrote lubricant into an H-scene because they felt the acts described would be difficult or painful without it. It’s a minor thing, but if the original writer left the lube out, I’m inclined to do so too. These portions of the script are wish fulfillment at their best/worst, so just leave them be.

    Except ...

    5. Reject the impossible
    ... Except when the improbable becomes the impossible. More often than not, this is either the result of a mistranslation or an error by the original writers. (As an example of the latter, KoiRizo was haunted by an entity we dubbed “phantom Riho.” A couple of times, the devs would forget they were writing another girl’s scene and use Riho’s name for a line or two instead. We fixed this in our version, but still ...)

    Anyway, as editor, it’s your job to keep an eye out for the impossible. Is the protag’s penis simultaneously in someone’s vagina, anus, mouth, and ear? Did the heroine’s hymen suddenly regenerate? (Starfish Girl is mah waifu!) Did a corded vibrator suddenly become a battery-operated one? Ask to have the TL double-checked and, if that still doesn’t resolve the issue, use your best judgement to fix the error while causing minimal disruption to the surrounding lines.

    6. Set your limits
    This is important. Know what you’re comfortable with going into a project and make those boundaries abundantly clear. Some VNs can venture into very unpleasant territory — rape, abuse, gore, catgirls, etc. — and it’s best to ask yourself up front if you could, in good conscience, commit to editing that sort of content. Set your limits early on, then make sure your team’s fully aware of them.

    7. Have a sense of humor
    At the end of the day, VNs are entertainment. Unless you’re editing Saya no Uta 2: Vom Harder, it’s probably okay to approach your H-scripts with a subtle sense of play. A decent chunk of your audience will either be fast-forwarding through these scenes outright, or paying far more attention to the visuals than the script.

    So think of these times as exhibition games in your script editing schedule. They’re opportunities to spread your wings a little bit, try a few stylistic experiments — maybe even slip in a sly joke or two. And even if everything doesn’t quite work, we’ll still respect you in the morning.
  8. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  9. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  10. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, What I value as a player, as a viewer or as a reader   

    Everybody has its own definition of what a good Visual Novel is.
    Similarly, everybody has its own definition of what a good Anime is, of what a good manga is.
     
    Some will value more the story, some others the characters, some will simply judge the impression the game has left on them. There is no formula.
     
    I have a lot of trouble judging Visual Novels correctly. Different situations, different moods, different days added to the fact that life carries on, that my values change, that my vision of the world and my identity are not engraved in stone are too many factors to have a stance and judgement that you can consistently convey to others.
     
    Then what do I trust ?
     
    I trust the impact it had on me. Because I know that if something was able to change me, it is something that doesn't change. It's part of my identity. This can sound vague and pseudo-philosophical, but it really isn't.
    Let me use -as an example- my favorite Visual Novel.
     
    Most people know it is Clannad. Why do I think Clannad is the best Visual Novel I have ever read and will most likely stay it forever ?
     
    Clannad made me change. It made me think differently, look at things in a different angle, rebuilt my values.
    When that happens, it is like taking a hit in the stomach. It made me doubt what I had been thinking since then, it made me think about my past actions, how I interacted with others, how I should treat others, my familly, my friends. I made me think about love, about friendship, about death and depression, about how to cope with them and imagine how I would comparatively handle those situations.
     
    Clannad being able to put me in a situation where I unexpectedly had to face ideas and situations I had never entcountered but very well could is an achievement in itself.
     
    That may sound ridiculous to some but Clannad isn't a simple tear jerker to me. I don't think it deserves being immatricullated as one because it is not what it was built for.
     
    It's not just a game, fiction is not "just fiction". It's not just entertainement, it can be a very powerful mean to relay messages or ideas and spread them. Being able, via intangible and fictionnal events, to touch people is not easy to do, but fiction is what has the biggest potential to put words and images on concept and values that people want to share. Because you are not limited by the bounds of reality and its overwhemlming apparent complexity. Stunning and relatable stories is what one who wants to do more than satisfy his audience should thrive for.
     
    This is what I expect out of a Visual Novel. Something that is out of the norm, that can use its tools not for the simple sake of entertainement but for the sake of sharing.
  11. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from LinovaA for a blog entry, Hentai - the burden of a genre   
    I don't think hentai is a bad think, I don't think it's something to be proud of either. What I'm sure of, is that it's a huge brake to the expansion of the genre in the west.

    Lets first think about the compatibility of adult content and story telling. What is the point of having adult content in a story ?

    The most missused and incorrectly argued answer is that it adds something to the story, that it deepends your comprehension of two characters' relationship.

    This can be true, don't take me wrong, but it almost never is. The example I like to take and which is the only example I can actually think of is Katawa shoujo. Why is the "hentai" in Katawa shoujo not a problem and actually blends in (at least half of the time) as a spontanious love act rather than a randomly dropped porn scene just here to satisfy or "reward" the player.
    Two things in my opinion. First, there is no emphasis put on the sexual act itself, no awkward positionning, no zoom in on the penetration, no attempt to satisfy weird fetishes, and the list goes on. What Katawa Shoujo's erotic scenes portay is a simple love act, as natural as it may be. Second, it's the lack of sound. Gosh do these girls moan a stupid amount of times for absolutely nothing. The text is what should have the reader's attention, not his right hand and his ears.

    This is something I believe any adult could read and understand without being shocked by nudity or sex.





    All this goes in the favor of my point, Hentai scenes are here simply for horny readers. Is that a bad thing ? I don't have the right to judge.
    But how will the external audience react to Visual Novels which they are unfamiliar with (often associated with eroge due to its density in the genre). They will simply call it porn games.

    Of course that is a simplistic summary of the genre, and we can all testify that it doesn't sum up to simply this. But try to prove your point when 90% of the current Visual Novels have around 3/4 of their computer graphics being hentai, that the characters (being a great majority of females - sorry otome readers) all have very advantagious attributes and all look like the could be heroines of an ecchi manga.

    On top of this you have a strong majority of the audience who supports the genre in keeping its adult content, which we could witness with the uproar for a sexual content patch after Sekai had announced an all-ages release of Grisaia.

    Adult content is not very well percieved overall, and if you want to spread a genre, you have to adapt your content to the target you aim for, and not try and adapt them to what you think they should like. Because yes, Visual Novels will stay porn games for people who do not know them if that's what we keep displaying.

    Maybe it's a change in the mentality of the community itself that may help "Visual Novels becoming popular in the West". First thing would be to actually want it.
  12. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from LinovaA for a blog entry, Hentai - the burden of a genre   
    I don't think hentai is a bad think, I don't think it's something to be proud of either. What I'm sure of, is that it's a huge brake to the expansion of the genre in the west.

    Lets first think about the compatibility of adult content and story telling. What is the point of having adult content in a story ?

    The most missused and incorrectly argued answer is that it adds something to the story, that it deepends your comprehension of two characters' relationship.

    This can be true, don't take me wrong, but it almost never is. The example I like to take and which is the only example I can actually think of is Katawa shoujo. Why is the "hentai" in Katawa shoujo not a problem and actually blends in (at least half of the time) as a spontanious love act rather than a randomly dropped porn scene just here to satisfy or "reward" the player.
    Two things in my opinion. First, there is no emphasis put on the sexual act itself, no awkward positionning, no zoom in on the penetration, no attempt to satisfy weird fetishes, and the list goes on. What Katawa Shoujo's erotic scenes portay is a simple love act, as natural as it may be. Second, it's the lack of sound. Gosh do these girls moan a stupid amount of times for absolutely nothing. The text is what should have the reader's attention, not his right hand and his ears.

    This is something I believe any adult could read and understand without being shocked by nudity or sex.





    All this goes in the favor of my point, Hentai scenes are here simply for horny readers. Is that a bad thing ? I don't have the right to judge.
    But how will the external audience react to Visual Novels which they are unfamiliar with (often associated with eroge due to its density in the genre). They will simply call it porn games.

    Of course that is a simplistic summary of the genre, and we can all testify that it doesn't sum up to simply this. But try to prove your point when 90% of the current Visual Novels have around 3/4 of their computer graphics being hentai, that the characters (being a great majority of females - sorry otome readers) all have very advantagious attributes and all look like the could be heroines of an ecchi manga.

    On top of this you have a strong majority of the audience who supports the genre in keeping its adult content, which we could witness with the uproar for a sexual content patch after Sekai had announced an all-ages release of Grisaia.

    Adult content is not very well percieved overall, and if you want to spread a genre, you have to adapt your content to the target you aim for, and not try and adapt them to what you think they should like. Because yes, Visual Novels will stay porn games for people who do not know them if that's what we keep displaying.

    Maybe it's a change in the mentality of the community itself that may help "Visual Novels becoming popular in the West". First thing would be to actually want it.
  13. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from LinovaA for a blog entry, Hentai - the burden of a genre   
    I don't think hentai is a bad think, I don't think it's something to be proud of either. What I'm sure of, is that it's a huge brake to the expansion of the genre in the west.

    Lets first think about the compatibility of adult content and story telling. What is the point of having adult content in a story ?

    The most missused and incorrectly argued answer is that it adds something to the story, that it deepends your comprehension of two characters' relationship.

    This can be true, don't take me wrong, but it almost never is. The example I like to take and which is the only example I can actually think of is Katawa shoujo. Why is the "hentai" in Katawa shoujo not a problem and actually blends in (at least half of the time) as a spontanious love act rather than a randomly dropped porn scene just here to satisfy or "reward" the player.
    Two things in my opinion. First, there is no emphasis put on the sexual act itself, no awkward positionning, no zoom in on the penetration, no attempt to satisfy weird fetishes, and the list goes on. What Katawa Shoujo's erotic scenes portay is a simple love act, as natural as it may be. Second, it's the lack of sound. Gosh do these girls moan a stupid amount of times for absolutely nothing. The text is what should have the reader's attention, not his right hand and his ears.

    This is something I believe any adult could read and understand without being shocked by nudity or sex.





    All this goes in the favor of my point, Hentai scenes are here simply for horny readers. Is that a bad thing ? I don't have the right to judge.
    But how will the external audience react to Visual Novels which they are unfamiliar with (often associated with eroge due to its density in the genre). They will simply call it porn games.

    Of course that is a simplistic summary of the genre, and we can all testify that it doesn't sum up to simply this. But try to prove your point when 90% of the current Visual Novels have around 3/4 of their computer graphics being hentai, that the characters (being a great majority of females - sorry otome readers) all have very advantagious attributes and all look like the could be heroines of an ecchi manga.

    On top of this you have a strong majority of the audience who supports the genre in keeping its adult content, which we could witness with the uproar for a sexual content patch after Sekai had announced an all-ages release of Grisaia.

    Adult content is not very well percieved overall, and if you want to spread a genre, you have to adapt your content to the target you aim for, and not try and adapt them to what you think they should like. Because yes, Visual Novels will stay porn games for people who do not know them if that's what we keep displaying.

    Maybe it's a change in the mentality of the community itself that may help "Visual Novels becoming popular in the West". First thing would be to actually want it.
  14. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Hidden complexity   
    This is my favorite subject ever, yet I can't say the things I want to. The influence of the small things of life. Maybe because it's a very personnal subject. Something you feel 'inside', something that's hard to talk about because you never really tried to put words onto them, because you felt it and didn't learn it.

    To illustrate my thoughts, I'll use my favorite anime and Vn, respictively Toradora and Clannad After story).

    Unlike other animes or Vn, these do not try to impress you with deep or overwhelming plot lines, complicated stories, characters with massively traumatic backstories, and with cliché characters.

    These characters live normal lives, with their own problems. These problems don't involve the world, the land, the city, the village they live in. Simply them and their familly and/or friends.

    Tomoya's familly problem is far for being unique, nor is Taiga's (even if it is an hyperbole of the actual occurences) or Ryuji's. Yet these issues shapped who they are but are never justified by it.

    But then how do you make something that doesn't seem to hold any interesting material into my favorite ?

    You put an emphasis on their lives, on these problems, which they keep to themselves, but who hurt.
    People like to tell you your problems are nothing compared to others', famine, poverty, war, and the list goes on. But does that mean they are irrelevant ? Absolutely not, love, happiness, sadness are feelings we all feel. And Clannad and Toradora are the best at making the audience feel the inner turmoil, the intensity of what doesn't seem much but who are determinant in the characters personnality and course of action.

    My best example would be Kushieda


    Minori is an exceptionnal character. From what seemed like a clownesque girl, simple initial love interest from the MC, is in reality the most interesting character I know of.
    Hiding all her emotions behing a sad sunny smile, the lovely, happy and joyful character slowly falls into sadness and anger when the one she loved gets taken away from her.
    She is a very strong person, and does all she can for her best friend, but ends up hurting herself. Her qualities, her excepionnal tolerance and friendliness led her to her own sadness.

    All she can do is witness, unable to change the course of things. Minori Kushieda, will forever be an example, and I can only feel towards her a very strong feeling of empathy.


    In Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa live their life, they aren't rich, they don't have big ambitions, they simply are happy. Clannad is a story about happiness and familly. Let us remember, that happiness is the goal of every human being and this couple is not exception. They love each other, and want things to stay that way.

    Clannad is a battle against unfairness, as if the world was trying on purpose to destroy them, and prevent them from living the happiness they diserve. And it is just heartbreaking to witness.




    Another quality in these to pieces, is the honesty of the characters. Anger, sadness, happiness, everything is witnessed in its most genuine form. As opposed to too many VNs and anime, the characters react humanly.

    It's not often that you can see, hear emotions of that intensity on a screen and live it that strongly.

    Everything I said might have made no sense. But it was important for me to at least try and word it. Take what you can from it. I just think, as hard or as comfortable your life may be. Do not underestimate (nor overestimate) the things that torment you. They have their own importance, even if just for you. There are no problems which are comparable for we are all different.

    And Clannad and Toradora are prime examples and illustrations of this.
    Feel free to comment and give your point of view on the subject and if you liked these as much as I did, please tell me why.

    Edit: So many typos
  15. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Hidden complexity   
    This is my favorite subject ever, yet I can't say the things I want to. The influence of the small things of life. Maybe because it's a very personnal subject. Something you feel 'inside', something that's hard to talk about because you never really tried to put words onto them, because you felt it and didn't learn it.

    To illustrate my thoughts, I'll use my favorite anime and Vn, respictively Toradora and Clannad After story).

    Unlike other animes or Vn, these do not try to impress you with deep or overwhelming plot lines, complicated stories, characters with massively traumatic backstories, and with cliché characters.

    These characters live normal lives, with their own problems. These problems don't involve the world, the land, the city, the village they live in. Simply them and their familly and/or friends.

    Tomoya's familly problem is far for being unique, nor is Taiga's (even if it is an hyperbole of the actual occurences) or Ryuji's. Yet these issues shapped who they are but are never justified by it.

    But then how do you make something that doesn't seem to hold any interesting material into my favorite ?

    You put an emphasis on their lives, on these problems, which they keep to themselves, but who hurt.
    People like to tell you your problems are nothing compared to others', famine, poverty, war, and the list goes on. But does that mean they are irrelevant ? Absolutely not, love, happiness, sadness are feelings we all feel. And Clannad and Toradora are the best at making the audience feel the inner turmoil, the intensity of what doesn't seem much but who are determinant in the characters personnality and course of action.

    My best example would be Kushieda


    Minori is an exceptionnal character. From what seemed like a clownesque girl, simple initial love interest from the MC, is in reality the most interesting character I know of.
    Hiding all her emotions behing a sad sunny smile, the lovely, happy and joyful character slowly falls into sadness and anger when the one she loved gets taken away from her.
    She is a very strong person, and does all she can for her best friend, but ends up hurting herself. Her qualities, her excepionnal tolerance and friendliness led her to her own sadness.

    All she can do is witness, unable to change the course of things. Minori Kushieda, will forever be an example, and I can only feel towards her a very strong feeling of empathy.


    In Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa live their life, they aren't rich, they don't have big ambitions, they simply are happy. Clannad is a story about happiness and familly. Let us remember, that happiness is the goal of every human being and this couple is not exception. They love each other, and want things to stay that way.

    Clannad is a battle against unfairness, as if the world was trying on purpose to destroy them, and prevent them from living the happiness they diserve. And it is just heartbreaking to witness.




    Another quality in these to pieces, is the honesty of the characters. Anger, sadness, happiness, everything is witnessed in its most genuine form. As opposed to too many VNs and anime, the characters react humanly.

    It's not often that you can see, hear emotions of that intensity on a screen and live it that strongly.

    Everything I said might have made no sense. But it was important for me to at least try and word it. Take what you can from it. I just think, as hard or as comfortable your life may be. Do not underestimate (nor overestimate) the things that torment you. They have their own importance, even if just for you. There are no problems which are comparable for we are all different.

    And Clannad and Toradora are prime examples and illustrations of this.
    Feel free to comment and give your point of view on the subject and if you liked these as much as I did, please tell me why.

    Edit: So many typos
  16. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Hidden complexity   
    This is my favorite subject ever, yet I can't say the things I want to. The influence of the small things of life. Maybe because it's a very personnal subject. Something you feel 'inside', something that's hard to talk about because you never really tried to put words onto them, because you felt it and didn't learn it.

    To illustrate my thoughts, I'll use my favorite anime and Vn, respictively Toradora and Clannad After story).

    Unlike other animes or Vn, these do not try to impress you with deep or overwhelming plot lines, complicated stories, characters with massively traumatic backstories, and with cliché characters.

    These characters live normal lives, with their own problems. These problems don't involve the world, the land, the city, the village they live in. Simply them and their familly and/or friends.

    Tomoya's familly problem is far for being unique, nor is Taiga's (even if it is an hyperbole of the actual occurences) or Ryuji's. Yet these issues shapped who they are but are never justified by it.

    But then how do you make something that doesn't seem to hold any interesting material into my favorite ?

    You put an emphasis on their lives, on these problems, which they keep to themselves, but who hurt.
    People like to tell you your problems are nothing compared to others', famine, poverty, war, and the list goes on. But does that mean they are irrelevant ? Absolutely not, love, happiness, sadness are feelings we all feel. And Clannad and Toradora are the best at making the audience feel the inner turmoil, the intensity of what doesn't seem much but who are determinant in the characters personnality and course of action.

    My best example would be Kushieda


    Minori is an exceptionnal character. From what seemed like a clownesque girl, simple initial love interest from the MC, is in reality the most interesting character I know of.
    Hiding all her emotions behing a sad sunny smile, the lovely, happy and joyful character slowly falls into sadness and anger when the one she loved gets taken away from her.
    She is a very strong person, and does all she can for her best friend, but ends up hurting herself. Her qualities, her excepionnal tolerance and friendliness led her to her own sadness.

    All she can do is witness, unable to change the course of things. Minori Kushieda, will forever be an example, and I can only feel towards her a very strong feeling of empathy.


    In Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa live their life, they aren't rich, they don't have big ambitions, they simply are happy. Clannad is a story about happiness and familly. Let us remember, that happiness is the goal of every human being and this couple is not exception. They love each other, and want things to stay that way.

    Clannad is a battle against unfairness, as if the world was trying on purpose to destroy them, and prevent them from living the happiness they diserve. And it is just heartbreaking to witness.




    Another quality in these to pieces, is the honesty of the characters. Anger, sadness, happiness, everything is witnessed in its most genuine form. As opposed to too many VNs and anime, the characters react humanly.

    It's not often that you can see, hear emotions of that intensity on a screen and live it that strongly.

    Everything I said might have made no sense. But it was important for me to at least try and word it. Take what you can from it. I just think, as hard or as comfortable your life may be. Do not underestimate (nor overestimate) the things that torment you. They have their own importance, even if just for you. There are no problems which are comparable for we are all different.

    And Clannad and Toradora are prime examples and illustrations of this.
    Feel free to comment and give your point of view on the subject and if you liked these as much as I did, please tell me why.

    Edit: So many typos
  17. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Hidden complexity   
    This is my favorite subject ever, yet I can't say the things I want to. The influence of the small things of life. Maybe because it's a very personnal subject. Something you feel 'inside', something that's hard to talk about because you never really tried to put words onto them, because you felt it and didn't learn it.

    To illustrate my thoughts, I'll use my favorite anime and Vn, respictively Toradora and Clannad After story).

    Unlike other animes or Vn, these do not try to impress you with deep or overwhelming plot lines, complicated stories, characters with massively traumatic backstories, and with cliché characters.

    These characters live normal lives, with their own problems. These problems don't involve the world, the land, the city, the village they live in. Simply them and their familly and/or friends.

    Tomoya's familly problem is far for being unique, nor is Taiga's (even if it is an hyperbole of the actual occurences) or Ryuji's. Yet these issues shapped who they are but are never justified by it.

    But then how do you make something that doesn't seem to hold any interesting material into my favorite ?

    You put an emphasis on their lives, on these problems, which they keep to themselves, but who hurt.
    People like to tell you your problems are nothing compared to others', famine, poverty, war, and the list goes on. But does that mean they are irrelevant ? Absolutely not, love, happiness, sadness are feelings we all feel. And Clannad and Toradora are the best at making the audience feel the inner turmoil, the intensity of what doesn't seem much but who are determinant in the characters personnality and course of action.

    My best example would be Kushieda


    Minori is an exceptionnal character. From what seemed like a clownesque girl, simple initial love interest from the MC, is in reality the most interesting character I know of.
    Hiding all her emotions behing a sad sunny smile, the lovely, happy and joyful character slowly falls into sadness and anger when the one she loved gets taken away from her.
    She is a very strong person, and does all she can for her best friend, but ends up hurting herself. Her qualities, her excepionnal tolerance and friendliness led her to her own sadness.

    All she can do is witness, unable to change the course of things. Minori Kushieda, will forever be an example, and I can only feel towards her a very strong feeling of empathy.


    In Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa live their life, they aren't rich, they don't have big ambitions, they simply are happy. Clannad is a story about happiness and familly. Let us remember, that happiness is the goal of every human being and this couple is not exception. They love each other, and want things to stay that way.

    Clannad is a battle against unfairness, as if the world was trying on purpose to destroy them, and prevent them from living the happiness they diserve. And it is just heartbreaking to witness.




    Another quality in these to pieces, is the honesty of the characters. Anger, sadness, happiness, everything is witnessed in its most genuine form. As opposed to too many VNs and anime, the characters react humanly.

    It's not often that you can see, hear emotions of that intensity on a screen and live it that strongly.

    Everything I said might have made no sense. But it was important for me to at least try and word it. Take what you can from it. I just think, as hard or as comfortable your life may be. Do not underestimate (nor overestimate) the things that torment you. They have their own importance, even if just for you. There are no problems which are comparable for we are all different.

    And Clannad and Toradora are prime examples and illustrations of this.
    Feel free to comment and give your point of view on the subject and if you liked these as much as I did, please tell me why.

    Edit: So many typos
  18. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Hidden complexity   
    This is my favorite subject ever, yet I can't say the things I want to. The influence of the small things of life. Maybe because it's a very personnal subject. Something you feel 'inside', something that's hard to talk about because you never really tried to put words onto them, because you felt it and didn't learn it.

    To illustrate my thoughts, I'll use my favorite anime and Vn, respictively Toradora and Clannad After story).

    Unlike other animes or Vn, these do not try to impress you with deep or overwhelming plot lines, complicated stories, characters with massively traumatic backstories, and with cliché characters.

    These characters live normal lives, with their own problems. These problems don't involve the world, the land, the city, the village they live in. Simply them and their familly and/or friends.

    Tomoya's familly problem is far for being unique, nor is Taiga's (even if it is an hyperbole of the actual occurences) or Ryuji's. Yet these issues shapped who they are but are never justified by it.

    But then how do you make something that doesn't seem to hold any interesting material into my favorite ?

    You put an emphasis on their lives, on these problems, which they keep to themselves, but who hurt.
    People like to tell you your problems are nothing compared to others', famine, poverty, war, and the list goes on. But does that mean they are irrelevant ? Absolutely not, love, happiness, sadness are feelings we all feel. And Clannad and Toradora are the best at making the audience feel the inner turmoil, the intensity of what doesn't seem much but who are determinant in the characters personnality and course of action.

    My best example would be Kushieda


    Minori is an exceptionnal character. From what seemed like a clownesque girl, simple initial love interest from the MC, is in reality the most interesting character I know of.
    Hiding all her emotions behing a sad sunny smile, the lovely, happy and joyful character slowly falls into sadness and anger when the one she loved gets taken away from her.
    She is a very strong person, and does all she can for her best friend, but ends up hurting herself. Her qualities, her excepionnal tolerance and friendliness led her to her own sadness.

    All she can do is witness, unable to change the course of things. Minori Kushieda, will forever be an example, and I can only feel towards her a very strong feeling of empathy.


    In Clannad, Tomoya and Nagisa live their life, they aren't rich, they don't have big ambitions, they simply are happy. Clannad is a story about happiness and familly. Let us remember, that happiness is the goal of every human being and this couple is not exception. They love each other, and want things to stay that way.

    Clannad is a battle against unfairness, as if the world was trying on purpose to destroy them, and prevent them from living the happiness they diserve. And it is just heartbreaking to witness.




    Another quality in these to pieces, is the honesty of the characters. Anger, sadness, happiness, everything is witnessed in its most genuine form. As opposed to too many VNs and anime, the characters react humanly.

    It's not often that you can see, hear emotions of that intensity on a screen and live it that strongly.

    Everything I said might have made no sense. But it was important for me to at least try and word it. Take what you can from it. I just think, as hard or as comfortable your life may be. Do not underestimate (nor overestimate) the things that torment you. They have their own importance, even if just for you. There are no problems which are comparable for we are all different.

    And Clannad and Toradora are prime examples and illustrations of this.
    Feel free to comment and give your point of view on the subject and if you liked these as much as I did, please tell me why.

    Edit: So many typos
  19. Like
    maefdomn reacted to Ezeefreak for a blog entry, Clephas - The Infinite Stomach   
    Hello y’all! Ezeefreak from the Recognition Team is here this time. Today we’ll highlight another one of our precious members. If you’re able to read a VN in Japanese or even in ordinary English, then the probability is really high (near 100 %) that the member, we are introducing to you, already read that one you’re reading now or plan to read. Maybe you even found it on his suggestion, in one of his fabulous reviews or on a list he made. Well, I think y’all figured it already out that we talking about Clephas.

    Clephas is real pro and expert when it comes to VN’s. He has read more than 500 (in words FIVEHUNDRED) VNs by now. So he knows a lot about this media and also shares his knowledge with us. If you ask for a recommendation he is always one of the first who contribute. If you want to read something about a VN it is mostly enough to search for a review from him. In his VN of the month topic he shows us all different kinds of VNs, some that the most of us never even heard about. Also he is one of our most active bloggers on the site and showers us with incredibly detailed and interesting posts there. He is also a Moderator of the FuwaChat and probably already ate the most of the people from there.

    Well, let me show you a little overview over all the awesome work he does on Fuwanovel:

    - Clephas' VN of the month
    - There are also lot of other informative posts like VN Companies, their nature and habits or Why Japanese is easier to learn than you think
    - Clephas made a lot of helpful Lists and recommendations, see yourselff here, here, here , ... and so on It would really take to long to liste every single one .
    - A must see for every lover of VN's is definitely his blog.

    He contributed a lot to this community and like I said at the beginning, is a real expert when it comes to VNs. It would be too much to list every helpful and excellent post here.

    We from the RecTeam, the Staff of Fuwa and all the other people of Fuwa thank him for the work he does and hope the he will us show more from the world of VNs in the future.

    Thank you!
  20. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Illustrations   
    Explosion of colors, Shading emphasis, rushed lines, complicated shapes, messy coloring, unexpected situations, etc. There are so many things I love in illustrations.

    Drawings, unique drawings, which reflect only an instant, in which the mind is free to wonder are my favorite things ever. There are part of no plot, do not picture a particular event and can be considered, enjoyed outside of any context.

    It's something I used to want to talk about, and was about to. But when I started typing, I realized that I didn't have much to say about it. What I felt when watching these was kinda personnal, and trying to explain it would only result in an incorrect retranscription of my experience.

    Anywho, here is a quick compliation of some of my favorite illustrations found online, be it deviantart, zero-chan, or anywhere really. Made with the help of a 'friend' ( ) of mine.




    If you want to display your preferences in terms of illustrations, feel free to do so in the comments.
    Warning : 'moe' crap forbidden
  21. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, Choices in VNs   
    You know ? These text boxes that you clic and who guide you towards an end rather than another.

    I've always wondered why we are given that false sense of liberty, because in the end, you'll complete the entire game and go through all the route, won't you ?

    Would that mean that they are only relevant during your first playthrough, is your first route run down the true experience of actually playing a game ?

    I don't think so, it's pretty random.
    First reason being you don't always go down the route you want to despite trying your best to.
    If you've been to nice to girl A and triggered her route, either going for girl B is useless, or the game won't even let you. Ah, dark memories of me trying to go for Rin without a walkthrough... it's too hard not to be nice to Lily !
    Second reason, maybe you'll just happen to get a shitty route, you know, it happens ... sometimes ...

    And that's only possible when you have the choice to go for what you want.
    Yeah, it's an unspoken rule in Visual Novels :
    Never go for the seemingly important characters first

    Risks being :
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely it's even reachable.
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely that it's easily reachable if it is.
    - doing it wrong, cause it's unlikely you'll like the game if you learn the most important stuff at the beginning.

    I'd advise to go crescendo, when you have the choice, and this is where it becomes problematic. What seemed at first like you controling the fate of your character is actually you being guided by the story.

    A Visual Novel is not a dating sim, so you do not build your character and do not have any influence on his personnality, but then why does the game give you choices in the first place ?

    When the system is too easy, we wonder why it's even there, when it's too complicated it's a pain to play, then why ?

    I d.o n.o.t k.n.o.w

    But let's turn the question on its head, would Visual Novels still be as entertaining and good without these choices ? Lets remember than they are not a vital core of the genre. For example, Umineko has no choices, you're just reading, watching and listen but do not play.

    Personnaly, I view them as something that adds dynamism to the whole thing. Like a goal to reach, some kind of check point. My, my the happiness of finally chosing after going through hours of fluff *cough* Grisaia * cough*.
    Or maybe it's just what makes VNs games rather than image books.

    These where my spontanious cloudy thoughts. Feel free to give your impressions.
    Will be edited when I get more ideas

    Link to [FR]
  22. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, Choices in VNs   
    You know ? These text boxes that you clic and who guide you towards an end rather than another.

    I've always wondered why we are given that false sense of liberty, because in the end, you'll complete the entire game and go through all the route, won't you ?

    Would that mean that they are only relevant during your first playthrough, is your first route run down the true experience of actually playing a game ?

    I don't think so, it's pretty random.
    First reason being you don't always go down the route you want to despite trying your best to.
    If you've been to nice to girl A and triggered her route, either going for girl B is useless, or the game won't even let you. Ah, dark memories of me trying to go for Rin without a walkthrough... it's too hard not to be nice to Lily !
    Second reason, maybe you'll just happen to get a shitty route, you know, it happens ... sometimes ...

    And that's only possible when you have the choice to go for what you want.
    Yeah, it's an unspoken rule in Visual Novels :
    Never go for the seemingly important characters first

    Risks being :
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely it's even reachable.
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely that it's easily reachable if it is.
    - doing it wrong, cause it's unlikely you'll like the game if you learn the most important stuff at the beginning.

    I'd advise to go crescendo, when you have the choice, and this is where it becomes problematic. What seemed at first like you controling the fate of your character is actually you being guided by the story.

    A Visual Novel is not a dating sim, so you do not build your character and do not have any influence on his personnality, but then why does the game give you choices in the first place ?

    When the system is too easy, we wonder why it's even there, when it's too complicated it's a pain to play, then why ?

    I d.o n.o.t k.n.o.w

    But let's turn the question on its head, would Visual Novels still be as entertaining and good without these choices ? Lets remember than they are not a vital core of the genre. For example, Umineko has no choices, you're just reading, watching and listen but do not play.

    Personnaly, I view them as something that adds dynamism to the whole thing. Like a goal to reach, some kind of check point. My, my the happiness of finally chosing after going through hours of fluff *cough* Grisaia * cough*.
    Or maybe it's just what makes VNs games rather than image books.

    These where my spontanious cloudy thoughts. Feel free to give your impressions.
    Will be edited when I get more ideas

    Link to [FR]
  23. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Rose for a blog entry, Choices in VNs   
    You know ? These text boxes that you clic and who guide you towards an end rather than another.

    I've always wondered why we are given that false sense of liberty, because in the end, you'll complete the entire game and go through all the route, won't you ?

    Would that mean that they are only relevant during your first playthrough, is your first route run down the true experience of actually playing a game ?

    I don't think so, it's pretty random.
    First reason being you don't always go down the route you want to despite trying your best to.
    If you've been to nice to girl A and triggered her route, either going for girl B is useless, or the game won't even let you. Ah, dark memories of me trying to go for Rin without a walkthrough... it's too hard not to be nice to Lily !
    Second reason, maybe you'll just happen to get a shitty route, you know, it happens ... sometimes ...

    And that's only possible when you have the choice to go for what you want.
    Yeah, it's an unspoken rule in Visual Novels :
    Never go for the seemingly important characters first

    Risks being :
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely it's even reachable.
    - losing your time cause it's unlikely that it's easily reachable if it is.
    - doing it wrong, cause it's unlikely you'll like the game if you learn the most important stuff at the beginning.

    I'd advise to go crescendo, when you have the choice, and this is where it becomes problematic. What seemed at first like you controling the fate of your character is actually you being guided by the story.

    A Visual Novel is not a dating sim, so you do not build your character and do not have any influence on his personnality, but then why does the game give you choices in the first place ?

    When the system is too easy, we wonder why it's even there, when it's too complicated it's a pain to play, then why ?

    I d.o n.o.t k.n.o.w

    But let's turn the question on its head, would Visual Novels still be as entertaining and good without these choices ? Lets remember than they are not a vital core of the genre. For example, Umineko has no choices, you're just reading, watching and listen but do not play.

    Personnaly, I view them as something that adds dynamism to the whole thing. Like a goal to reach, some kind of check point. My, my the happiness of finally chosing after going through hours of fluff *cough* Grisaia * cough*.
    Or maybe it's just what makes VNs games rather than image books.

    These where my spontanious cloudy thoughts. Feel free to give your impressions.
    Will be edited when I get more ideas

    Link to [FR]
  24. Like
    maefdomn got a reaction from Tay for a blog entry, Dual article writing   
    Every article will be written in English.
    However, all (or most) of them will be translated into French.

    Reasons being :
    - it can be more convienient and understandable for french speakers.
    - it allows french speakers who are not fluent in english to understand the content of the articles.
    - it's easier for me to write and think this way, therefore it isn't a big time loss and may result in better content.

    The opposite will never happen, meaning there won't be any entry without an english version.

    Both versions will link to one another.
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