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Zalor

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Zalor last won the day on October 20

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  1. VN in a workplace setting

    Oh! Actually I just remembered, The Elevator takes place in a Detective's office. However, it isn't a particularly good VN. Though its not horrible. I would say its between bad and mediocre (also I'm a harsh critic).
  2. VN in a workplace setting

    The only thing that comes into mind for me is For Elise. But it doesn't have an English translation. It does appear to have a Chinese translation if by any chance you know Chinese.
  3. How much do you play VN a day/a week?

    These days my average is 0 minutes a day. But around once a year when I get the bug to play a VN again (and manage to find one that genuinely engages me) I will spend all my free time and likely procrastinate irl obligations to read it. This most recently happened to me with Dies Irae this past winter.
  4. Sounds like you might be reading VNs more than before if you are doing it for work. ;p It makes sense you wouldn't want to do something during your free time as much if its your job.
  5. A couple of days ago, I pretty abruptly starting thinking about my relationship to this medium and how its changed over time. Which inspired a blog post looking back on the first VN that truly gripped me and why it so effectively drew me to this medium. Over the years however, my interest in VNs (and otaku related things in general) have waned pretty significantly. I will still read and quite enjoy them on occasion, but not with any frequency. For me , I think it is mostly that the evolution of my tastes for storytelling have taken me to other places. Notably literature and film. But for those of you who have been into VNs and Otaku stuff for multiple years (maybe even decades) now. Has your relationship to the medium changed in any noticeable ways. Or do the habits/interests you held early on still predominantly persist after years?
  6. Looking Back On YMK: A Drug That Makes You Dream

    The sound of a train indiscriminately moving, carrying you through the ride was the perfect metaphor. Its calming and comfortable, but there is a recognition that you aren't in control. It captured the themes of this story so well. My high school was close to a subway station, and in some classrooms I could space out and just watch the trains pass by. It often reminded me of this VN, as it just furthered the relevance of the ka-chunk sound to my own HS experience. Just like you it seems, I can really only look at this visual novel with the lens of nostalgia now. I've boarded off the train years ago. Existential anxiety has a different flavor now.
  7. Looking Back On YMK: A Drug That Makes You Dream

    There is actually an ending if you choose to be complacent. Its not considered a good ending, but its not exactly a bad one either. It does do a good job of putting everything into perspective though. So you may appreciate that. While I do think YMK is a really good all around VN. I really just wanted to highlight why I subjectively like it so much in this post. Perhaps in the future I might do a more objective and analytical post about it. But I'm not sure.
  8. Creative Corner: Brainstorming a character

    Its cool to see somebody else's approach, especially when mine is no where near as structured. Usually when I write, I create characters nearly as spontaneously as I do sentences. I try to get a strong feel for what story I am trying to tell, and then I just let characters enter and leave, and do as I feel is most natural for them. In a way its more like taking dictation then it is actively leading a plot. It also helps keep me motivated to write, since much of the fun for me is seeing how things turn out. Often surprising me and going pretty differently from how I planned in my head. And often much better then how I originally planned.
  9. Looking Back On YMK: A Drug That Makes You Dream

    I was in the middle of reading St. Augustine's Confessions when before I knew it I spontaneously started writing a blog post about YMK. I have no idea how the one sequence of events led to the other lol.
  10. The monotony of school is an oppressive force on a kid's life. Psychologically omnipresent, you don't even need to be within its walls to feel its chains shackling you. Home is just made an extension of its presence with homework. And more then just the boredom of rote memorization and a lobotomizing curriculum, there is a social arena where you must interact with the other prisoners. Regardless of how you feel about them, its important to at least maintain a sociable facade. Unlike College where education is on your own dime, and therefore your own time. The grade school schedule from kindergarten through high school is rigidly compact, and generally you have little say in what you get to study. Regardless of talent, interest, or relevancy, you are stuck in a classroom where most other students are just as unenthused to be there as you. 8th Grade, 13 years old and my last year in junior high. I didn't need to put more than a minimal effort into my studies to attain the reputation as an honor student. Although on a superficial front I got along with everyone, I lacked any true connections that extended beyond the solidarity of being prisoners of the educational system I've just described. Life was dull, but everyone told me the path I was walking down had success and stability at the end of its road. That assumed I would continue playing the honor student role I fell into though. Despite the agency of free-will, I was complacent. Despite my ennui, I had little initiative or courage to stir things up. The irony of attending a Catholic school and passively turning a blind eye to the bullying occurring. The frustration of my sexuality awakening but being too emotionally impotent to do anything about it. This is the context in which I discovered Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug That Make You Dream. Past midnight, and I had just finished downloading a copy of the VN. I had promised myself to install it then go to bed. Opening the application up as a test, I was greeted with a soothing yet hypnotic track. Three girls with blank expressions were looking up at me amid an infinite expanse of vaguely drawn school desks. For minutes I just listened, utterly mesmerized. It was as though I was experiencing a drug that was making me dream. Winter break started the next day, and I had previously installed another visual novel that I was intending to start first. But as my consciousness was drifting in the dazed state before sleep, the title theme track kept ringing in my head. The next day I decided to start my vacation playing this VN instead, and that has made all the difference. The opening scene, an image of a generic blue sky with soft clouds. The narrator himself falls asleep and soon finds himself in an odd dream. Upon violently waking up, soothing music akin to the title screen track plays, and without even realizing it my own thoughts are absorbed by Kouhei's inner monologues. His thinking was so natural, and familiar. And that's when I noticed, I was Kouhei Kagami. The issues of bullying, interpersonal relationships, and the desire to escape the dullness of reality (albeit not through drugs, for me anime was my escape) were all subject matters I understood, and more importantly related to. The way things play out in the various routes always remain grounded in a firm realism. Which easily allowed me to project myself into the situations. But unlike a generic self-insert protagonist, what made Kouhei so relatable was his distinct voice. He was hesitant to tread towards anything that could shake him off his honor-student trajectory, and yet he was equally tempted and fascinated by such things. Smoking, sex, drugs, standing up to social forces; all things that even the most straight laced of teenagers will probably be tempted by. If not for the things themselves, then to grab control of your own life by actively doing something you shouldn't do. This is how Kouhei and I were kindred spirits. The way the story and Kouhei's perspective completely resonated with me led me to voraciously read something for the first time in my life. Before I always viewed reading as a chore, and I only ever reluctantly did so. Reading this VN however, led me into feeling as though everything was happening was to a slightly older, Japanese version of myself. It was that immersive quality that sucked me into the VN's world. That was my baptism into VNs. I'm 22 now, and rereading this VN I can't help but think back on myself and who I was when I first discovered it. Not only have I long since graduated high school, somewhere amidst my early adulthood I also learned to stop being such a passive participant in life. Yet while I can no longer identify with Kouhei Kagami like I did when I first read his story, I can still understand his thinking and actions so clearly. Almost like reading his perspective brings me back to my perspective when I was in my early teens. In that respect, Yume Miru Kusuri is kind of the Catcher in the Rye of VNs.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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