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Zalor last won the day on February 29 2016

Zalor had the most liked content!


About Zalor

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    Pretentious Academic
  • Birthday 04/07/1997

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    Tokyo, Japan

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  1. Living in Japan as a foreigner - AMA

    Meetup works best in big cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. There are many Meetup events, but in my experience it is the more low key ones that tend to be most fun and interesting (for unrelated reasons I was personal friends with a host for a smaller Meetup event and those were the most fun for me). Most of the bigger, more well known or established Meetup events are honestly just an excuse for foreigners interested in hooking up with Japanese, and Japanese interested in hooking up with foreigners to meet. In fact, I would say a good 70% of Meetup events at their very core are really just an excuse to try to meet someone for a sexual or romantic relationship. Which depending on your perspective could be great or not. Basically Meetup in Japan is like the irl version of the app HelloTalk. There is a pretense of "language exchange", but its really used for flirting. So if you want to meet a cute Japanese girl or guy, definitely try Meetup and HelloTalk. If you want to meet people who could become actual friends, then I would recommend attending Meetup events that do events that are most specific and hobby focused, and not just "language exchange". Its more that women on Tinder will say that as a precaution in case if they aren't actually attracted to the guy they meet up with on the first date. This way she can reject him more gently/indirectly by saying "No, I'm just looking for friends". Which if you think about Japanese culture, it makes a lot of sense why they would prefer to do that. But if she is attracted, well lets just say she won't have any problem accepting advances for something more sensual/romantic.
  2. Your assessment of Japanese companies seeing the west as a totally alien and dangerous land is unfortunately mostly true. It baffles me as well. As far as I can tell, Japanese companies don't seem to be motivated by profit in the same way western companies are. For instance, if a Japanese company could increase its domestic profits at the expense of international profits (even if these international profit rake in much more), they would do it. What Konami did to itself is probably the most high profile example. As for the toxicity of the VN community, I think its because it is so small and niche. So when newcomers join, I think the experience is much akin to a complete foreigner moving to a rural tight-knit village in a foreign country. There are established customs and rules that everyone follows, and an outsider is seen initially as a potential threat, and then as a potential friend second. If you stick around long enough and get to know the community, then a closeness develops in a way that wouldn't happen if you moved to a big city, even if everyone is more accepting from the beginning. Niche communities are nice places to stay once you're settled in, but its pain to first get settled. (The movie Local Hero is a sweet film that captures this process really well). I think that phenomenon is identical in digital communities. And unfortunately there is such a huge divide between JP VN fans and the EVLN as well as Steam VN communities, that I think they are more like rival villages at this point than a unified country. That horse has already been beaten to death.
  3. I'm glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy it Commercial success of English versions are important so that Japanese VN studios will want to continue collaborating with English localizing teams/companies. In the OP it shows a screen cap of a twitter post by Sca-ji (the creator of Suba Hibi) lamenting the unpopulartiy of Suba Hibi in the west, and he also mentions that さや教, which is short for Sayonara wo Oshiete would likely also do just as, if not more poorly. Thus implying that it wouldn't be worth localizing it. Sayonara is also among my favorite VN titles, and to much disappointment the fan translation team seemed to have dropped it. So it doesn't look like it will ever makes its way into English, not in the foreseeable future at least. A few years back, it was absolutely shocking to see big name VNs such as Suba Hibi, Dies Irae, Little Busters, etc getting endorsed English translations. Japanese companies are super conservative and this was a big gamble for them. The fact that the results were so disappointing will strongly discourage them from being so generous or adventurous in the future. So as you can see, the relative flop of Suba Hibi doesn't just effect itself, but the likelihood of getting other quality JPN only VNs from getting official English releases. I don't have the data, but I don't think Dies Irae did that well either. This mission of localizing several kamige resulted in a huge failure, and that makes it unlikely that we will see more quality Japanese VNs getting localized. A lot of work went into all of these kamige, a lot of negotiating happened to get the opportunity for an English localization, and then a lot of effort also went into translating and creating an English version. To then see DDLC (which Im sure lots of hard work went into it, but comparatively not as much) succeed so much more is frustrating. But whats most frustrating, is that DDLC made a huge hit, but there was little trickle down (from my observation at least). Meaning, DDLC's success doesn't seem to have created a significant amount of new VN fans. This is quite contrary to Katawa Shoujo, which actually brought in a lot of westerners into this niche medium. As somebody who has been on and off active in the VN community for almost 6 years, I see DDLC as a project done by a complete outsider who only subverted the stereotypes of VNs and who made little homage (aside from mockery and subversion) of VNs. While Katawa Shoujo was a sort of love song to VNs, DDLC feels like an outsider making fun of this niche. Granted, it did do some very interesting things. But I think it had a minimal net positive impact in expanding the market for Japanese VNs, if not had a slightly negative influence.
  4. First of all I do think that the attention span of public consciousness is pretty low. Just look at how fast people forget the scandals of politicians for instance. Its surely not limited to VN fans, but just a general truth. In that sense, I think my point has some validity. However, I will not disagree that I am perhaps a bit too optimistic about the could-have-been scenario of a delayed release of DDLC, and how that scenario could have effected Suba Hibi. It is quite possible that it wouldn't have gathered much more attention regardless of an absence of competition with DDLC. There was a lot of hope riding on Suba Hibi being the VN to convince a broader mass of people that VNs are much more than their stereotype. Certainly I held this hope, and I think many other fans of Suba Hibi who read it in Japanese prior to the Eng-release had similar hopes. Back when my Japanese wasn't as advance, I spent a good 6-months reading Suba Hibi when I had free time. I spent a long time with it. At the end of the journey after many twists and turns, it was overwhelming how satisfying the experience was. A lot of criticisms that people give Suba Hibi were thoughts I had my self (I almost dropped the VN twice), and yet despite these flaws, by the end of the journey the story came together perfectly. Every single problem I had with the VN at one point or another, were actually all there for a much grander purpose. I even wrote a whole article/blog post defending the first chapter of Suba Hibi for the incoming English readers that were soon to arrive. Part of that article was simply to organize my own thoughts, but there was also the motivation to convince people that the seemingly irrelevant first chapter does have a purpose to it. That the first impression the first chapter offers is extremely deceptive. I desperately wanted to see this VN succeed in the west. And the fact that DDLC's release date did potentially steal attention as well as the fact that I don't think its nearly as good of a VN, is expressed in my resentment towards it. But yes, attachments such as mine aren't exactly rational. And thank God for that, as there is no beauty in cold rationality. The natural response to profound beauty is irrational love. And like how a mother will defend her flawed children and desperately hope to see them succeed, I have similar sentiments about Suba Hibi.
  5. I'm going to necro this thread and this post since I've been reminiscing about Suba Hibi recently, and your comment address exactly what I want to talk about. It was very very unfortunate that DDLC was released only a month after Suba Hibi. It completely drowned out much of the attention that Suba Hibi should have received. DDLC was nothing more than a gimmick, and that made it easy to hog the spot light. A month is about the time it would have taken for enough people to have read Suba Hibi and for English speaking fans to promote it through discussions, fan-art, blogs, reviews, etc. Instead, the moment that the second wave of would-be fans could have come, they were instantly distracted by the piece of trash DDLC that everyone has already forgotten about. God, have I mentioned how much I hate DDLC for simply existing, it is nearly proportional to the amount that I Love Suba Hibi. Suba Hibi is one of those few stories (in any medium), where if you give it a chance and read through the giant, it will leave a permanently good impression on you. Not just that, but it imparts with you a positive and hopeful outlook on life. I've had several deep conversations with people about how Suba Hibi helped them through depression. Its just that powerful of a work.
  6. Why I still haven't given up on VNs.

    Sounds kind of like Groundhog Day, accept instead of reliving the same day over and over again its the same trite stories and character archetypes over and over again. I always wondered how you did it, and was even more amazed at how you still love VNs despite putting yourself through it.
  7. When does Dies Irae get good?

    Thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I do like the VN and I recognize the great potential that awaits me to continue, but the frustrating aspects I mentioned in the opening post were getting me to falter. Kasumi in particular I find insufferable and I literally just mash the enter button every time she shows up on screen. I heard some people say that you had to read Kasumi's route first. But honestly, I am liking your idea of just entirely skipping her route in favor of Kei's. Kei I like so far, and her dynamic with Ren is actually interesting to read.
  8. When does Dies Irae get good?

    How important is it to finish Dies Irae before reading Kajiri Kamui Kagura? Everything from the art, setting, characters and writing seems to have all the strengths of Dies Irae while lacking the tedious aspects.
  9. I have a weird history with Dies Irae. Its a VN I've know about for some 5 years now. It was always lauded as "the best VN you will never read", and the aura in which it got talked about reeked with pretension. Much like Suba Hibi, it was one of those untranslated VNs that couldn't be criticized since only those with Japanese literacy could read it. And for whatever odd reason, the minority of Western VN fans who could read untld VNs seemed to all ubiquitously love it. A couple years ago after having studied Japanese for a bit, I finally cracked Suba Hibi (this was when the translation was in this odd purgatory status), and despite all the skepticism I approached it with, it became one of my favorite VNs. Certainly in my top 3. I went into Dies Irae with with the optimism I came out of Suba Hibi with. And indeed, the Prologue of Dies Irae alone impressed me very much. I always heard the VN praised for its writing, and the prose was quite gorgeous. Furthermore, the characters it introduced and the conflict all caught my attention. Then we get to the first scene where Shirou and Ren start brawling it out. Upon first appearance I loved Shirou. He had all the chaotic and interesting elements I wanted in a protagonist. But instead we get stuck with Ren. I'm a couple of chapters in, and admittedly my biggest issue with the VN is Ren and his school friends (especially Kasumi!). Compared to the Villains the protagonists lack any interesting qualities. The fight scenes I have seen so far have all been very engaging, but they contrast night and day with the dullness of the school scenes. Furthermore, its kind of disorienting reading highly stylized prose for the fights, and then the most generic VN dialogues once we get back to Ren and his school life. My last annoyance with the VN is the adolescent tier philosophizing that goes around. I heard the VN praised for the various philosophies the characters encapsulate, but much of it so far doesn't seem impressive. Although I might just be annoyed because Ren's constant internal monologues and dialogues lamenting the loss of his "regular mundane life" is simply just boring, and repetitive. I'd much rather see more Shirou spouting on about his desire for chaos. Would you recommend I continue Dies Irae? I do find certain parts of it very fun and engaging (the villains and the fight scenes), but Ren as a protagonist is dragging down the experience so much for me.
  10. Hero's Journey in VNs

    Yes, from a literary standpoint I completely agree with you. I don't much like stories that too easily fall into the monomyth structure myself. Although I would argue, the significance of the theory is that there is something in the human collective subconscious that produces these stories without even trying. The fact that every (or at least nearly every) mythological story follows this structure says a lot more about us as a species then about the works themselves. But when fictional works intentionally write according to this model, as oppose to following it subconsciously and effortlessly; that is when I get disappointed. Controversial option, but I didn't like the Star Wars movies for this reason. The Hero's Journey felt forced as oppose to natural (among other issues).
  11. Hero's Journey in VNs

    Haha, its one of those literary theories that is surrounded by a fair bit of controversy isn't it. As a metaphor for life, I rather like it though. What do you particularly dislike about it?
  12. Synergia [Cyberpunk] [Yuri]

    I think I was one of those people lol. This is my most anticipated VN. I'm really glad to hear that the progress is going well.
  13. As a huge Suba Hibi fan, I've been really interested in this work for a while. Thanks for doing such a comprehensive review on it. I always saw it as the rough draft to Suba Hibi. And thinking about it that way, it is amazing how much Sca-ji polished it up in the course of 10 years.