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Found 16 results

  1. Hello everyone again, I'm the new guy that had posted that huge text dump of an analysis about the miracles of Kanon the other day. I definitively recommend reading the analysis, if only to humor me lol, as there tiny amount of crossover with this post. Not enough though to ruin your enjoyment of this post you do decide go ahead this one first. With that said, the post here is a summary of my thoughts on Kanon as a whole and goes through each route respectively. There will be spoilers but not majors one in my opinion. In case you haven't played Kanon and you're reading this now, I suppose that my post here can count as a review of sorts. Now that we're done with introductions, let's begin. First off, I think it's only appropriate to start off this overview with the main heroine Ayu Tsukimiya. Despite her name brining up imagery of the moon, she's clearly representative of the Sun's Warmth with her beaming personality and happy go lucky nature. With these traits in mind, I find Ayu to be the most charming heroine in Kanon and I can see how, in real life, it wouldn't be all that hard for a person to fall in love with someone like her. In my case, I really enjoy the type of people that can light up a room with their smile and Ayu definitely ranks up as one of them. Furthermore, Ayu's voice actress, Yui Horie (who happens to play another main character that makes a childhood promise in the harem comedy Love Hina), performance here in Kanon really out does herself in portraying such a sweet and innocent girl. I especially loved how you could hear, in her voice, every little emotions Ayu has. This could not have been that easy of a feat as Ayu's quite the energetic character and though out the story, she's quite literally running and jumping into people. Moreover, I would go so far to say that Yui's acting is one of the prime reasons I like Ayu so much as she does that great job with her. I'm glad in this case that Key casted her to be Yui and it was great to finally hear her second major voice role. Now going onto describing my thoughts on Ayu's route, I feel its well-crafted with genius moments of comedy and her story does a great job of selling how charming Ayu is. My problem with it, however, is that I feel all the flashback sequences with Ayu and Yuuichi in the past made the story feel sappy. In Kanon's defense, I may have enjoyed Ayu's story more if I haven't watched the anime and being able to compare her route to everyone else's. In this case, I definitively feel that you probably get the most feels out of her route when you don't have any expectations. I did though find the idea of pinky promises to be very cute though. On the positive side of things, Ayu is incredibly fun to be around and her dates with Yuuichi are some of the best in Kanon. My more memorable moments with her include: Yuuichi's first meeting with Ayu where she has him running away from the Taiyaki stand owner, the baking cookies incident and, going out to watch a horror movie with Yuuichi. In all three cases, it's Ayu's puppy dog excitement and enthusiasm that really wins me over as I couldn't help but love these things about her personality. Had Ayu's route the whole way been like this, I probably would rank it higher than I do. I would currently place it third above Makoto's and Nayuki's route. Overall though, Ayu's has a great but not perfect route to me. I chalk it up to maybe a matter of taste though because despite how much I praised Ayu, she shares in the same problem Saber from Fate/Stay/Night has for me. They're two people I'm especially very fond of but they don't make my heart skip a beat the way the other heroines do. In their cases, I see myself supporting of their love and I can root for them but when it comes down to choosing, there're just other girls I like more (Rin and Mai for F/S/N and Kanon respectively). Moving the discussion to be about Nayuki now, I really had high expectations for her, at first, because of the interaction she has in the prologue with Yuuichi. Having seen the anime, I know the emotional arc's in her story revolved around that of Unrequited Love. To put in perspective from my PoV, the majority of my favorite girls in anime (Yamanda from "Honey and Clover" and Ami from Torodara in particular) come with backstories that has their feelings for another character not being returned in kind. I have a strong emotional attachment to such characters as I can totally relate with them being that, the story of my life has been one giant unrequited love story. With this in mind, Nayuki, being a prime example of the above, I thought would really shoot up in my listing by the time I finished her route. I ended up disappointed, however, as I realized her character didn't have a lot of substance beyond playing the butt monkey of Yuuichi's banter. Like at first, she was really entertaining in how she interacted with the main character. This dynamic started to wane though as the route progressed. She then becomes boring, to me, as Yuuichi's developing feelings for Nayuki has him laying off teasing her. This loss of comedy then has Nayuki fall back on her three gimmicks of: Saying and getting excited by cute things' Being really sleepy; and talking in that really s-low (emphasis on slow) quirky manner of speaking. None of which really perks my interest in the least. Out of the three gimmicks though, there is one that actually elicits a response from me but, it's not a positive one. To be precise, I can't stand whatsoever the slow speaking mannerism gimmick at all. As I'm the type to listen to voice clips a couple time and enjoy the dialogue, it becomes a pet peeve of mine when characters are made to speak slowly. I feel it’s awful storytelling to have to sit and wait for actor to deliver their lines for a short amount of dialogue. To give another example other than Nayuki, I despised Sakura in Fate/Stay/Night during her route for this as it made a page of Dialogue take five minutes when it took me half a minute to read. Nayuki on the other hand though, wasn't as bad as Sakura but she didn't change my mind either on how much I dislike that mannerism. It’s a good thing though that I did like her voice actress performance as I feel she did splendidly despite the role's shortcomings. In this case, I feel that her character Nayuki failed to really show off her talent. I suppose though that this is the one time that I liked the Dub of Kanon's anime direction more with Nayuki. The american voice actress there still has her sound sleepy and speak with a low voice but it's not noticeably slowed down which I really liked. In the visual novel's defense though, Nayuki's Japanese voice actress didn't fail to deliver when things really mattered in the story and she made the ending of Nayuki's route a pleasure to listen to. Talking of Nayuki's route, I felt it was a mixed bag as her date scenes were very meh to me and uninteresting. For example, the café scene with the strawberry sundae's is pretty much Nayuki gawking over ice cream and Yuuichi just taking it in. I don't find that to be fascinating for one but, the real problem for me here is that Kanon relies too much on her gimmicks to try to win you over. In the vast majority of these dating scenes, I feel Nayuki's route lacks conflict or drama to make them attention grabbing or memorable. I'll admit though that I was very fond of the study sessions she had with Yuuichi in her route. They're the only time in Kanon that its canonical to a route where Yuuichi actually studies as a student like he's supposed to lol but I digress. I will say though, on the upside, that Nayuki's route was made worth reading with the eventual Yuuichi's and Nayuki's confessions to each other. Their scene on the balcony and the Train station, during the confession, gave me goosebumps upon seeing how romantic their speeches and dialogue were to each other. That was the kind of stuff I wish, in real life, I would find myself situations in and actually be smooth enough to come up with speeches like that to say. Then again, I might be just as embarrassed as Yuuichi is at the end of her route after saying all that lol but I digress. The point is, I loved how everything was beautifully executed and how Nayuki's unrequited love story resolved in the end. The payoff here really saved the route for me but, I still have to say that her route as a whole is the weakest one in Kanon and ranks last place. On a side note though about Nayuki's relationship with Yuuichi before I continue to discussing Makoto; I'm very understanding of the way the Japanese use the romance between cousins as a unrequited love plot device. It's very simple way of making a potential couple's love be frowned upon and yet, have the characters be far enough apart, for the audience, to entertain the notion of a romantic relationship between them. So generally speaking for me, I don't mind this story trope as I suppose most westerner's like myself would normally be. Now bringing back the discussion to that of examining Makoto, I actually enjoyed the Asuka from Eva look alike as I like Tsunderes on a whole. I especially enjoyed her opening lines to Yuuichi as it made Makoto seem to be more epic than a girl her age would suggest. This made me think that if there's something to Makoto character, subtlety wasn't one of them. She was definitively more likeable to me than Nayuki because of this as she made things happen. It’s a shame though that in the course of the story she doesn't interact with Ayu. I definitively would have like to see both their energetic nature play off each other, with Ayu's sweetness and Makoto's reckless abandoned, for some great comedic moments. Continuing onto Makoto's backstory, I was definitely charmed of the idea behind Makoto's miracle. There's obvious parallels to that of "The Little Mermaid" with a character wishing to become human but, I like the spin Makoto's route puts on the idea in that she was first a Fox that he raised as a child. In this case, I found Kanon's take here interesting enough for me to be more emotionally invested because; there's actual history involved between the Makoto and Yuuichi. I also really enjoyed the idea that the fox would want to reunite with her owner after their force separation. I'm sad to say though my thoughts on her route are not as positive. I admit it does a great job of setting you up to become fond of Makoto, with her childish antic's and mischievousness, to only then break your heart with her routes ending as she slowly withers away. This sounds great on paper, even to me, but I really don't like story routes that has the MC act like a parent figure and has his love stem from this guardianship. I had very much disliked this storytelling in Key's previous work in "One" where the main character, Kouhei, does pretty much the same thing with another character called Shina. Repeating the same concept here for Makoto didn't change my mind on the matter but, I do feel that it was handled much more tastefully in Kanon. Maybe if Makoto was his age I wouldn't have minded it as much or if Nanase was there to buy her a whole lot of Nikuman (That's a One reference for you guys xD). Overall though, I did enjoy the whole of her route more than Nayuki's and she ranks 4th place in the cast for me. The one pleasant surprise I think I should mention about her route though was the character Amano. For someone that's a minor character, I keep thinking about her, "Why does this girl have such a beautiful voice?" The whole time she was speaking to Yuuichi, I couldn't shake the feeling that I knew voice actress. Turns out it was Maaya Sakamoto of Oshino Shinobu fame of Monogatari and Ryougi (Freakin) Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai. I recommend if you ever play through Makoto's route (again for those that read it) to pay attention to that quiet girl. Moving away now from Makoto, I found the next girl in Shiori to be the most refreshing in the cast in how relatively normal she was. While I suppose she's actually slightly more eccentric than Ayu, I feel Shiori in comparison to the rest of the characters was made to be the least moe. She doesn't have vocal quick like Ayu and Makoto nor the personality gimmicks of Nayuki and Mai. The best I can think of about her that stands out is having a catchphrase of, "I dislike people that say/do such things." As for Shiori herself, I really liked how Key uses her as a mouthpiece to commentate on the situations of her route. She's very genre-savvy and uses this knowledge to better sell her more emotional moments in the story. Prime examples in this cases are when she first meets you outside the school saying (I'll be paraphrasing), " Seeing a missing girl after long case of Illness is something like out of a TV drama," and at the park, "I think this part in the drama would be the kiss scene." In these cases, the conversations really helped make her route more unique than the previous three heroines in that it respects your intelligence as a reader. With that in mind, I also feel that Shiori's emotional payoffs are more intellectual in nature and in general, she strikes me as much more clever girl than the rest of the cast. Where she isn't as charming as Ayu, I feel she more than holds her own, against Ayu, in how she keeps Yuuichi off balanced with her quick wit and unpredictable nature. This made Shiori for me standout, in a positive way, as a character I looked forward to reading about despite being a personality type I'm not normally fond of. I suppose that if you didn't like Shiori, she can come across as a smart Alek but I'm glad in my case that she strike me as someone likeable. Continuing forward, Shiori is the only girI feel that was able to go toe to toe with his antic's and kept you guessing what she will do next. To put it more frank terms, she's easily the most independent of the girls and isn't so reliant of Yuuichi's interaction to move the story. I really appreciated that about her and it kept me interested the whole way through her route This is unlike the previous three routes where I found myself at times tuning out of Makoto's, Nayuki's, and Ayu's story events. I suppose that because of the way her character is, it avoided for me the pitfalls of the other routes despite the low hype ceiling her date scenes had. Talking again of routes, I feel that Shiori's is a excellently written and well executed soap opera in visual novel form. Where the other routes, with the exception of Nayuki's, go into lengths about how special happenings that can't happen in real life, Shiori's is surprising grounded in believability. I like though how in Kanon her route subverts the normalcy with having Shiori being the soundboard for the exposition dumps of what a miracle is. The thought experiments she tells Yuuichi reminded me a bit of Fate/Stay/Night and Kara No Kyoukai, of Type-Moon fame, even if they were on the light side compared to them. The best parts of her route for me though actually doesn't concern her but that of her sister Kaori. Where Kaori is a character you see often in the common route and tag along with Nayuki in others, I really liked her break down scene she has with Yuuichi in Shiori's route. I also liked how she serves as the 3rd party dealing with Shiori impending death and she really brought a layer of depth to the route helps the route succeed. It's such a shame though for me that she isn't a dateable character in Kanon. She's easily the girl that I most wanted to go out with and she even has Saber's voice actress to boot. Ayako, Saber's and Kaori's voice actress, really does bring her Waifu best into the role. I have to say though it's much more akin to her earlier role as Lafiel from Crest of the Starts. So for all you Saber fans, you're not going to hear her be all pouty and have that stick in the mud personality type she's famous for lol. In my case though, I actually saw "Crest of the Stars" before Fate/Stay/Night and I actually prefer her previous famous roles performance being applied to Kaori but I digress. Overall, I really enjoyed Shiori route and her character. I would rank her story as the second best in Kanon due to how solid the writing was. I feel though that Ayu's route was more enjoyable at times than Shiori but, it’s the lack of negatives in Shiori's that I give her the place over Ayu. Ayu though does give her a run for her money on just sheer force of personality and its only barely that Shiori wins. I suppose it’s a testament how good the route is for Shiori and it goes to show that you don't have to go for broke to succeed. Going now to discussing the final story, Mai's route is, without any doubt in my mind, the best in all of Kanon. I say this because, it’s the most thematically complex as Mai's story combines all the narratives of all the other heroines into one route. Furthermore, This amazing depth to her story makes for a magnificent read that long holds up, like Zalor says in his Analysis on Mai, on the intellectual level after all the emotional feels start losing their impact. I'll start with my thoughts on Mai. I have to say, at first, I was very much set against Mai as her taciturn personality reminded me of Rei, from EVA, whom I hate with a passion. I'm typically not a fan of characters that show no emotion as I very much prefer lively character as I'm attracted to the exaggerated. For example, I really like Ayu because her character totally fits the billing, of being exaggerated, as she's very over the top in sharing her affections and showing her emotions through her audio quirk "Uguu." Mai, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Ayu as she only speaks when spoken to and when she does, it's in a small burst of words said in a low voice. The reason though I decided to give Mai the benefit of the doubt was because, I strongly believe in my main man Spike Spegiel, of Cowboy Bepop fame, words: "I like (a girl full of mystery and) a woman who can kick my ass." In Mai's case, an enigmatic girl that roams the school at night and, does it carrying a sword really fitted both Spike's and my criteria of a good time. I then resolved myself to ignore the Rei comparisons in my head and give Mai a fair chance. I'm glad in this case she didn't end up disappointing me, unlike Nayuki, and by the end of her route, she had become my favorite heroine. I suppose though that Mai's long black hair, flowing front bangs, and green eyes also really helped in winning me over as I'm a sucker for that look. Talking more in-depth about Mai, I really did enjoy the payoff in seeing Mai progressively open up, bit by bit, from her quiet shell. In this case, I really loved seeing how, from her humble beginnings of only answering Yuuichi with a single word, Mai would eventually able to carry small conversations with him however brief they maybe. This character evolution I felt was unique to her route and while it's not my favorite mode of developing a character, it lead me to be far more fond of Mai, even more so than Ayu, as I felt that Yuuichi and me worked to gain that special relationship with her. Everyone else I felt remained the same person with the exception of Makoto and that wasn't exactly a positive in her case as she devolved. As to now discuss Mai's route, I really enjoyed the change of pace the route provides from the rest of Kanon. A good example are the night meet ups at the school where Yuuichi and Mai fight the demons. I felt the atmosphere behind those scenes to be a much more Feels based Tsukihime adventure which, to me, is a huge compliment as that's my second favorite Type-Moon story after Fate/Zero. I also feel the comparison to be appropriate as the major turning points and resolutions of their stories revolve around the secretive night battles only the main characters know about. The major difference between the two though is that Kanon is a lot less action packed than Tsukihime but, it still does a great enough job to be satisfying with the fight scenes. Now shifting directions to talking about the day route, I really like Sayuri as the supporting actress to offset Mai's lack of interaction at school. I felt she was a much more mature Ayu and I wish, like with Kaori, she would have had a route even if the book had to cut Makoto's or Nayuki's route. That's how much I liked her and the voice actresses behind her as she's Tenjo Utena from (freakin) Revolutionary Girl Utena. That's amazing that someone of her talent would be in the role of supporting actress but, she definitely brought her money's worth to the role of Sayuri. I suppose though that Key would later rectify this as casting her as Misuzu in Air but I digress. Going back to discuss the day route proper, I really liked the Sayuri and Mai dynamic. I would go into further lengths why I like them but I felt everything I could say, Zalor already did an amazing job in explaining why their relationship and backstories are so great in his analysis. I would be just retreading what he said if I tried to explain here and it most likely wouldn't be as good. So, I'll instead just talk about some key moments I really enjoyed about them. One, I really enjoyed the (Tri?) date they had at the ball. Where I appreciated in Nayuki's route Yuuichi actually studying since he's a student, I love the idea that he actually involving himself in school life. We also get to see a heroine actually dress up for an occasion and Mai really looked good. I suppose though I have a lot of feels revolving the event as it’s the only part in the anime that I can re-watch time and time again. The other part for my fondness of the scene I suppose is that Mai looks so much like Nanase in the ending of One and I see it thematically, for Nanase, she got her dance in. On another note, I feel the same way about Ayu getting Tayaki as Akane in One goes on a wild goose chase and she never eats one which is the biggest tragedy in that book lol but I digress. The other key moment isn't all that important but it through me in for a loop in that, it was the only route that had any Yuri CG in it lol. As a Yuri fan, I don't read books like Kanon or One to fall in love with a waifu. I actually just read them because they come highly recommended but, I live my life thinking about the fiction I read, "Why do I want another guy outside myself getting the girl? If the girl is the main event of any book for guys, why not have two to double the enjoyment?" So imagine my surprise when, in my mindset that there wouldn't be any, Key dropped in that Yuri fan service lol. It was surprises like this that kept me engrossed in Mai's story and, the reason why I rank it the best (even without the Yuri) as none of the other girls route had that X factor. Other than that, I should talk about Mai's story as a whole. I feel that I just love everything about it and I can't really cite a negative thing about it. That's how good it was for me and this with the mindset that I don't like Rei-like characters. So if there would be skeptic to question the quality of Mai's route, it would had been me. Had Kanon had been just Ayu's and Mai's route, I felt I would have been gotten my money's worth as that's how filling and great Mai's route is. I mention Ayu though as I felt that Mai route is still a story that best plays off the experiences you have with another girl to subvert your expectations. Now, if I were to go into details about what I liked about it, I would have to cite my previous analysis on Miracles and Zalor's Mai/Sayuri analysis as they provide many of the reasons why I do. Being that this Overview of Kanon is already huge as it is, I'll only go into some of the details that I felt we didn't cover in those analysis. I still recommend checking out the two analysis to be more understanding why I like Mai's route the best though. First off, I really enjoyed the romantic payoff to Mai's route. To be precise, I love the dialogue between Mai and Yuuichi right after he gives her the bunny ears. That was on par with Nayuki's route confession and in some ways, more was more satisfying due to how much more Mai's story was tragic than Nayuki's. I also really enjoyed the parts after she stabs herself and he has that simulation run in his head had she lived past graduation with him. It was those imagined, small bits of happiness that struck a chord with me and, his near decision to only live in his memories brought flashbacks to One's "Eternal World." Which, by the way, would reinforce my points in my analysis on how Mai's is the thematic successor to One but I definitely have to digress here on that. Second, I found the story of Mai as a child at the hospital to be the most heartbreaking of all the heroines. I mean no one dies in it and successfully resolves but, it still tugged at my heartstrings more than Ayu's route who I feel was created with the exact purpose to do so. It's definitely the reason why I side with Mai more than any of the other girls even if it means their death, which would be in the cases of Shiori and Ayu if he ignores them to go on Mai's route, as I feel sympathize with Mai's dilemma. Not to say that I have personal experiences like Mai but, I just really feel for the mother and, I can't help but think what If I were to be in her shoes with a child. That's why I guess I feel the most for Mai's route as its parent going to leave their child rather than a kid losing a friend. Oh, there is also one thing I think I should mention about the hospital scene. I wonder if Mai's power is a thematic successor to the "Invisible Power" that Key's Creative Team used in the visual novel, "Moon" as its only useable by girls and, by being exposed to extreme stress. If and when I get to finishing the book, which seems will be a long while at the soonest as my current play will hit a bad end sadly, I probably write my thoughts on whether Key maybe reused the idea for Mai. Third, I just like how the route gives off that aura that Mai's is special and not like the way other heroines are. I mean it as like she's truly a child of destiny linked by fate to Yuuichi. More metaphorical way might be to describe Mai as Moses to Yuuichi being Aaron who in the bible is the one that actually performs the miracles that lead the Jews out of Egypt. In this case, Mai is the person the story sets apart but its Yuuichi that is literally the hero, as in more than just a protagonist, as he is the one that embraces the miracle. This is opposed to the other routes where he just enjoys the results of them and it speaks more to me romantically that he's proactive in this case. The fourth and last thing I would want to talk about Mai's story isn't the narrative itself but the voice actress, Yukari Tamura. She really nails her performance in playing her in real life friend Yui Horie "Ayu's" foil. I'll admit that it was a shock to me to hear not be so bubbly and be my voice waifu ( I'm particularly fond of her Jibril and Amane Suzuha roles) but I got accustomed to her take on Rei so to speak lol. Where Yui Horie will always be one of my girls, err favorites lol, I had always more been a Tamura fan as she typically exemplifies that exaggerated acting that I really love. In this case, she still proved her acting chops to me in performing in a role that's the complete opposite of what I know her for and it was refreshing to see that. Not to say that you don't see her trademark acting style in Kanon. The time you see her act more like herself is at the end where she plays child Mai. I also wouldn't put it past Yukari to have gotten the role of Nanoha because of the work she did here I can easily imagine being great resume material. Regardless of if that being the case, I would suppose that the bigger significance, of her child voice acting, here would lay the groundwork of her voice of Rika from Higurashi Naku no Koro Ni. Rika is practically the evolved concept of Mai's power and I find it fitting that Yukari has that role in Higurashi. I further find it appropriate that she play Rika as I remember reading somewhere that the maker of Higurashi cites Key as his biggest inspiration. I find it amazing in this case that the influence of Mai, if what I read is true, to carry over into Higurashi in Yukari's voice acting. With all that now said, I like to congratulate you, the one or two people that actually bother reading this to the end aha, to the place "Where the Wind Reaches" to quote the ending theme of Kanon. I'm very appreciative of the time you took to read this and I look forward to your comments, even if they were to say I suck lol. Overall though, I'm just glad that this post is finally done as it took the entire weekend and then some to finish. In this case, I definitively did it for Mai as I honestly didn't love the other characters enough to warrant writing everything I did. It just happens that I feel Mai stories is best viewed when you experience all the other routes first and that's why you see my thoughts on all the other routes. All I just need is that meme now that has the photo frame with a couple pictures of her to make this complete xD. Anyways, Thanks again for reading and I hope there will be some of you that would discuss Kanon with me. [Some Afterwords: I added the "girl full of mystery" part in the Spike quote in ( ) because its actually Shiori line when you meet her at school. I just find it cooler to say when you combined both of them together. The problem though is that I can't say Shiori Is my main guy because she's not and neither is she my main girl lol. So to make the quote sound much cooler and avoid the clunkiness of having to quote Shiori, I decided it would be better to credit her in the afterwords. Also, I want to give some last words to people that skipped straight to the end and read this here. This Overview was not worth the weekend spent writing it xD but, It made for good writing practice. Though I really do hope that people will take the time to respond, I'll be fine as it was good practice in getting back to writing shape as II was real rusty xD. I suppose though looking at it another way, definitively sorting my thoughts on Kanon will stop me from thinking for a long time in wanting to reread it xD and I can use my time for more useful things…. Like sleep lol)
  2. Read the Review Here It's very different from the standard fare we usually have here, but it's really good.
  3. Summer is closing in and every cool boys and girls are hyped for zero escape time dilemma . But I want to say sorry to you all because I’m not going to hype the fuck out of it. Instead I will write a critical review which reveals some bullshit Uchikoshi ran away with. Let’s start with 999 shall we?* HUGE SPOILERS SO NO COMPLAINTS IF YOU RUIN YOUR EXPIERIENCE OKAY? * Overall VLR might seem like an epic tale but in reality it is a trainwreck. Noting makes sense and I bet ZE3 will have a hard time covering up it’s bullshit. I give VLR as score of 6.7/10( above average) just because it introduced interesting brainstorming ideas and had some great characters. Despite all the things I said I am still pretty hyped for ZE3. But I think it will be really hard to wrap things up. Until the game releases you can bitch about how it will make sense later on in the comments.
  4. Here you go, one FuwaReview: Lucid 9 Review is Up Comments, questions and ridicule of the writer go here.
  5. New West Games has offered up its second visual novel, Impulse!, following a band making its way into the cut-throat world of the Seattle music scene. You can read the review from the link below. Impulse!-ive Review Questions, threats, telling me I'm a dork for my lame nicknames can all be directed here. Special thanks to Flutterz for soldiering through the long review.
  6. So yeah, this was the VN I had finished last when @solidbatmanwas looking for more reviewers. It's more polished. Review is up! Feel free to discuss, ask questions, pour on me. Etc. Just remember who's watching your every move, though. Overall, great translation of a piece that does do the best of what you typically expect from the genre.
  7. Yohoho~ Its been so long since I last posted something on Fuwa (other than the occasional technical help which I rarely need...). I've decided to be more active on the forums (as active as I can, anyway) but so much has changed lol. During my absence, I didn't really stop reading VN but I guess i got too lazy to write about what I read. Anyway, this is my first VN review in a looooong time. I'll put the summaries and w/e else under the spoilers tag. I don't really know how to match the text with the background so I apologize in advance for any spoilers v.v And... here goes... *** When I first started playing Grisaia, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that there were five girls who had traumatizing pasts and Yuuji, the protagonist, helps heal them. When I read the summary on VNDB, I was honestly very excited because my mind started thinking up all sorts of mental trauma and how the protagonist would help them cope with it. But when I started playing I was somewhat disappointed but at the same time, what I did find exceeded my expectations. The way Grisaia started off was, put bluntly, boring. If that was my first VN, I’m sure I would have stopped reading after ten minutes. The whole first scene is about Yuuji getting caught by the cops because he’s ‘suspicious’ which was boring. The way it was all portrayed was kind of bland until Yuuji got to the sweat box. That’s where it got really good. Yuuji’s insight and narration blew me away so many times. I learned more words from Grisaia than I did from any other VN. When Yuuji finally made it to his new school and met all the residents in the dorm, I didn’t find them odd in the slightest. It kind of made me wonder what kind of problems they all had. Sachi’s and Yumiko’s problems seemed kind of obvious as I got more into the story, but the other three remained a mystery to me until I got on their routes. Yuuji’s school life was…different from other VN protagonist’s. It was lacking the usual vigor that is present in other VN (like LB, Clannad, KoiChoco). Yuuji was an unusual protagonist in my opinion since he went to great lengths to greet all his classmates. His first meeting with Yumiko was quite interesting. It was also a great chance for Yuuji to show off his abilities. The CG during that moment is one of my favourites. The common route was both good and bad. Most of it was both funny and interesting but all the times that it was neither of those, it was… boring. There were a lot of moments when I lost the will to read the VN and whenever that happened, I’d save my game and listen to the openings for the different Grisaia games and anime. I felt those openings gave me the most motivation to continue reading when I had none. So in a way, my main motivation for reading was because of the openings and the thought ‘It will get better soon.’ And it did get better. But went back down a while later. Grisaia was a really tough read in that respect. After having played Grisaia once, I would recommend playing through the routes in this order: Amane –> Sachi –> Michiru –> Makina –> Yumiko. I didn’t really play in that order but if I were to give this to a friend, that’s the order that I would recommend. Amane: The first route I went on was Amane’s, simply because I couldn’t really ignore her previous confessions and it seemed that Yuuji had grown quite fond of her, so I clicked the choice that would lead to her route. There were quite a lot of H-scenes in her route, most of them driven by Amane alone. I’d give Amane’s route an 8/10. Most of that rating is being carried by Kazuki. Aside from all the negative aspects of this route, it really is a good start to learning more about Yuuji and his family because in other routes, it becomes easier to catch the references he makes about them. Michiru: Michiru’s route was the second one I completed, simply because there were other routes I wanted to play, so I used them as motivation to complete Michiru. I didn’t really like her much from the start. She was funny and her comedy routine with Yuuji was hilarious but aside from that, I didn’t feel that she had any role in the story. I really like the random sound effects she makes at random times though. The rating I give this route is 7/10. Mainly because I thought the drama was way over the top. I also kind of hated Michiru’s other half since she talked back to Yuuji so much and was a bitch about the smallest of things. Michiru also cried a lot as well, which was alright for the most part. But what I disliked the most was the fact that Michiru was suicidal… way too much. Every other day, she would attempt to kill herself. In her childhood, in Mihama, hospital… etc. I lost interest a lot of times. Why? Because if someone’s lost the will to live then it’s probably not worth saving them. They’ll probably end up in the same spot again. But!! If you can rekindle their will to live, that is the best way to save someone. Yuuji did just that to help Michiru. Now the H scenes… they were pretty cute. Which is the reason why the rating is what it is. Also, this route has nothing to do with Yuuji’s past. Yumiko: Yumiko’s route was the third one I completed. And I have to say, it is my most favourite of the five. The way the story naturally flows in Yumiko’s favor makes this route almost seem like a true end. Yumiko wasn’t on good terms with her father to begin with, and I thought she was really interesting/cute/beautiful/etc. from the start, so I was really anticipating this route. I gave this route a 9/10. Best rating in the whole VN, mainly because of Yuuji’s profound narration about ‘time’ towards the end. The whole route was very touching and I really liked how their classmates from Mihama helped them out. They even stayed in touch after graduating!! In this route nothing particular is mentioned about Yuuji’s past like in Amane’s but it makes up for that by having lots of CGs with Yuuji’s face in them. Sachi: I wasn’t really looking forward to Sachi’s route since she didn’t really seem like my type. In the opening, I find her really cute but in the VN, not so much. Anyway, not much happened in Sachi’s route, but I wasn’t expecting any action scenes from her route to begin with. It was all like one long emotional rollercoaster. The route followed the typical pattern all the other routes followed. Honestly, I don’t really have much to say for this one. When a friend told me that Sachi knew Yuuji since childhood, I got pretty excited about it. But I guess I was expecting too much. I was under the impression that Sachi went there every day or something while it was just a misunderstanding on both Sachi’s and Yuuji’s ends. Sachi had gone missing for a while and eventually, Yuuji figured out where she might be, and he was right. Sachi was waiting for him at the playground, starving, and wet from rain. I found this scene quite touching since Yuuji realized that Sachi was his childhood friend. I gave this route a 9/10 despite the starting being quite slow. The rating is probably being carried by the ending, but I don’t really care. The bottom line is, I liked this route and loved the ending. The CG of Sachi when she’s laying on Amane’s bed has to be my favourite from the whole route. I didn’t really pay much attention to the H scenes in this route but the H has nothing to do with the main story anyway. The pattern that I noticed the route followed was that in the beginning, it is kind of bland and boring but then all of a sudden, it gets highly emotional and it feels a lot has been thrown at you all at once. This pattern was quite effective on me (lol). As for Yuuji, this route is a great way to learn what his childhood was like and is a fitting sequel to Amane’s past in terms of Yuuji and Kazuki being the main subject of the flashback. Makina: Makina… I haven’t played her route yet. I got to it but after they make out on the second or third day, I stopped playing. Since February was fast approaching, I decided to play KoiChoco since that seems to be a suitable VN for Valentines. I kinda missed the opportunity to play Xmas related VN, so I wasn’t gonna pass this one up! Anyway, I’ll probably play Makina after I finish KoiChoco and make a review for it. And I probably won’t make a review for Makina’s route.
  8. Ask and you shall receive VNDB: https://vndb.org/v11033 So, Gahkthun was my introduction to Liar-Soft's "Beautiful"/Steampunk series, and I must say I am very much looking for all this series has to offer. Anyhoo, Gahkthun was a very rich experience: I was hyping this game to no end, and as it finally marathoned it in about 3 days (or about 27-ish hours). I was feeling very fufilled but also quite empty after this adventure. As this game is at the moment fresh in my mind, I though it would be a great time to tell you beautiful people my honest feelings for this game. Now then, let us begin. Story The story of Gahkthun is a rather good one. Basically, one man declares a rebellion against the leading force of Marceilles Offshore Academia, the Governing Counil, and within, the leaders, The Supreme Six. Before that our dear protagonist, Nikola Tesla, saves our main heroine, Neon Scalar Smilja. Together these two solve all sorts of supernatural mysteries, evildoers, and perhaps, maybe something even more vile. The story progresses at an comfortable pace and introduces characters in a pace that isn't too fast nor too slow. As the story progresses it never gets stale and keeps getting progressively more serious, but also gives the player breathers so that the player can chew what has just happened. Gahkthun Brings many odd titles and names, which for me brought great deal of confusion, but Gahkthun has a handy Encyclopedia to look up these alien terms and names, so they shouldn't prove any major issues. At the start Gahkthun has a lot of loose ends. These loose ends get enlightened when the story progresses, but most of them are in sow form connected to the chapter you're reading. In the final chapter, all the loose ends that are leftover (there are a lot) get answered, and the conclusions are earth-shattering, at least for me, giving the story fulfillment. The ending of Gahkthun is nothing extremely special, but gives you fulfillment, completion. A happy end, in other words. I quite enjoyed the ending of Gahkthun. Honestly, Gahkthun is kind of shounen-esque and repetitive, but as it was fresh to me, I liked it. Characters Almost all of the characters in Gahkthun are either interesting or enjoyable, if not both. One of the main characters, Tesla is hands-down my favorite MC to this day. Neon had her fair share of cringe-worthy moments, but I overall liked her in the end. The Governing Council's Supreme Six all have unique individualistic personalities and traits with clear motives most of the time, making them all quite likeable, some more than others. Other minor characters have their moments, but most of them are rather bland, but still somewhat likeable in the end. Extra mentions to the stern, yet kind Anna, always cheerful Izumi, and the kind and sweet Odenne. Characters are for the most part fantastic. Voice Acting The voice acting in Gahkthun is great. All of the characters voices are well fleshed out and quite good. As Gahkthun has a lot of fighting scenes, the voices don't sound awkward in those, rather they sound aggressive, intense and serious, just how they should. Voice acting in the H-scenes is average: In some scenes it is great, but in some scenes it sounds awkward. Most of the time awkward, but at the same time really well done. But they aren't a major part of the story, nor the voice acting, it shouldn't pose as something you can't overcome. Art Art in Gahkthun is maybe the best I have ever seen in a Visual Novel. The lines are crisp, the colors are vibrant and colorful, full of emotion. The character designs are somehow in the norm, yet different. They are fantastic: The eyes, proportions, robust, anatomy, almost everything. The CGs are really well made and usually have action-like cut-ins, which are nice. As said before, the fighting scenes are made beautifully with the help of these vibrant, intense CGs. The H-scenes' art is rather average comprared to the rest of Gahkthun. They have only one or two still-picture CGs, but they are brilliantly colored and the faces are really well done, albeit these scenes' art is somewhat dull. The backgrounds are done extremely well. Writing The writing in Gahkthun is honestly the best I have seen in a long time in a VN. The words make the dialogue flow rather nicely, it is easy to follow and the lines aren't cramped nor full, just spacious and easy on the eye. The translation was very well done, professional work, however I felt that the translation was kind of over-explaining things. When I listened to the Japanese voice acting, sometimes the lines we're almost doubled in contrast to the voice acting, and sometimes the voices ended way before I finished reading the lines through, which doesn't happen often to me. This however is just minor nitpicking, and shouldn't affect the experience, but for me it did, even if it did for just a little bit.. Music Gahkthun's music was great. Most of the tracks were great for background music and for creating an atmosphere, but nothing more. The OP, ED and two fighting scene tracks are good enough for me to listen them when doing something else. UI and Mechanics The UI and mechanics we're slightly different than usual. The Encyclopedia is one thing, and that is almost for all the mechanics, which is rather disappointing for an expansive, fleshed out world like this on, but it still is more than your average VN. The UI was honestly a let-down. The placement of the different buttons was cleverly made, but the negatives outweighs the positives for the most. There is no backlog per se, there just is the past dialogue if you scroll up or press the button. The Auto mode works rather well, but disables itself if you press anything and skips to the next line, which was a little annoying when I was playing through it. Other than that it had an average UI, nothing special. Settings These were really lackluster. They were as bare-bones as you could get. The simplest sound settings: just sliders. Fullscreen or 600x800 windowed, nothing special. Text speed has three options. Honestly, I would've hoped for a slider, but oh well, you get what you get. Disappointing, to say the least. So, when all that is rated, Gahkthun gets an 9 from me. This VN is truly fantastic in my opinion. I have not been interested in a VN in a long time, and Gahkthun honestly surprised me in its quality. This Visual Novel more than deserves all the hype it has accumulated. I am honestly glad that it was my introduction to this "Beautiul" series, and I will not stop here. I hope you too will go get Gahkthun and enjoy it just as much as I did. Trust me, it is really good.
  9. Happy Valentine's Day to all, and in celebration here's a review of otome game Norn9: Var Commons: http://gamesforadultsandeveryone.blogspot.com/2016/02/games-for-everyone-norn9-var-commons.html
  10. Transforming what we expect from the OELVN market Whenever I talk to communities that play visual novels, there is always a kneejerk reaction when you say OELVN. To many, they are the bane of the visual novel world. All of the player base agrees that there were many well done and even groundbreaking OELVNs developed but for the most part, they are done poorly and use common tropes that can be redundant at times. The fact of the matter is that OELVNs tend to be indies, have much lower budgets then Japanese VNs, and do tend to stick to the script more than change things up. This is why I am writing this now. I am pioneering a movement to completely recreate what it means to be an OELVN. Many may say, “That is too ambitious for an indie” but I will not be stopped. Months ago I launched a kickstarter for my game but I didn’t invest enough capital to get quality art so it was ignored. This was entirely my fault. I then adapted and started making sure my original and very different idea was presented with all the bells and whistles needed to grab the attention of the player base. With that attention, I can begin to explain what I intend to do to change the game. OELVN to Western VN An OELVN is not much different from a Japanese VN. In fact, they are so similar that people that know of OELVNs tend to call them low budget or indies as a bad stigma. There are exceptions like Unwonted Studios and Winterwolves but for the most part, the stigma is very real. What is my solution to this? Make a Western VN. How can you compare or stigmatize something that has no equivalent? If it has no equivalent then you must judge it based on your own personal experience with it. There are many American developers out there that try to place stories in japan and use the common. The setting of my game is in the ancient middle east. It also has elements of the ancient alien theory and historical references of many different pantheons during the time of 3500 BCE. This has never been done before, not even in video gaming as a whole. But to understand why it Is different, we must look into individual changes that make the experience different from a normal VN. Art Style Since the story is different, more serious, and from a certain period, we chose to use art that looks digital but has a comic like styling to it. All armor, clothing, and backgrounds are based on alien technology and period architecture/writing. Music We tend to make most songs fit the location of the game but we do not allow that to stop us from adding a few Asian songs to capture the mood. The music is intense and matches the flow of the game. Flow The game has short chapters spanning no longer then 10 minutes each. There is a world map and different type of quest which require tactical decision making and exploration. There is very little internal monologue and the viewpoint is omniscient even though you only control the main character. It will feel like mini-episodes of a very big series where you develop characters and become attached to their own personal goals. Relationships Unlike in other games with a BxG relationship in the genre, we have incorporated a very different mechanic to how ours works. First, you as the main player will be competing for the love of the female lead. Your actions can cause her to love or hate you and the other character’s actions can do the same. You can very well FAIL to get the girl and even more, lose the girl to your rival. Additionally, all the characters in the game will react, listen, and follow you differently based on the reputation you acquire throughout the game. Your decisions will make them great allies or reasons for your death! Insanity The main character has psychological issues that he must conquer. Throughout the game you will come across spirits messing with your mind and as a result, you must either embrace these ideas or suppress them. By embracing them, you gain new powers that are extremely powerful BUT by giving away your autonomy, you also lose the ability to think rationally in situations where you have to use self-control. Questing Unlike other games which stick to one type of mini-game throughout the story, Black Sands offers many. There will be investigations, tracking missions, and random skill check progressions. Each one requires a completely different set of skills. Exploration The world lore of Black Sands is deep with mystery and discovery. While the player can choose to stick to the main path of the story, they will most likely engage in the side stories to discover the secrets of the rift. Every secret unlocks a journal entry and we have an in game encyclopedia that will explain all the lore. Historical References When you unlock lore entries, you get the real world context from which it was created including sources. This adds a level of education to a fantasy game that is never done. Main Character A common complaint about VNs as a whole is the main character being too needy and weak. In this game, the main character is a vicious fighter with an exceptional command over people. He suffers from Dementia but focuses himself using “knowledge of self” and meditation. You as the player will tell his story in your own personalized journal which will be sharable online. Victory Conditions In Black Sands, every turn cost time. Events happen based on the time and when you meet an obstacle for the first time, you get a progress bar on the top right. The more you learn about the obstacle, the more “confidence” you have you can deal with it. This helps you in the events that happen when you take on that challenge OR when that challenge decides to take on you. If you do not prepare well, you may be forced into a very bad situation but if you prepare for the coming enemy etc, you will succeed. Theme We incorporate ancient Kemetic-Kushite, Canaanite, Akkadian, Minoan, Greek, and Hindu mythology into the Black Sands universe while tying them all together with the ancient alien theory as the base. This will bring new fans to the genre as the ancient alien gaming world is an untapped market and the cultures of the middle east and black community would love to have heroes that look like them. Thus, we are moving forward, ever aggressive and ever vigilant. If you have any questions or critiques, please comment below.
  11. Today I'm going to talk about a certain visual novel that failed to impress me as much as I thought it would.The title says it,it's one of my two last visual novels of 2016...Killer Queen.A doujin visual novel made in 2006,with a remake in 2008 and sequels in 2011 and 2013.It's one of the earlier visual novels to take on the same theme as 'Battle Royale',and is actually a bit closer to the original.In this visual novel,13 people are abducted and locked inside an abandoned building with explosive collars fitted around their necks.They each have a PDA with a playing card from A to K and each player has a different release condition.If they fulfill their release condition during the 72 hours they are given,they can take off their collar and can get out of the building,and also win a large sum of money.However,if they don't fulfill their condition within the 72 hours,their collars will explode and they will lose. I think that's enough synopsis,so let's get to the actual review. Story (7/10) The story interested me very much.It had some expected twists,and some quite unexpected ones.Many parts of the story caught me by surprise. However,there are two things I very much didn't like in this game.The first thing is that the endings were bad.The first episode ended with a sex scene (something I hate) and the second episode ended with Anybody who has read my Ever 17 review knows how much I hate a good ending in a story where there are lots of depressing parts.Ever 17 was a particular case where I could forgive that,but here...it was too bad.The first ending was a bit better than the second one,but it still was unsatisfying.The second one,as I said,is the reason I didn't get impressed by this game. The second thing I hated in this game was the fact that it was a kinetic novel.Although it was split in two episodes,with the second one being an alternative to the second one,it deserved routes. There were more interesting characters than the four characters who got explored the most,those four characters being Sakumi,Karin and Nagisa in the first episode and Yuki in the second. I won't really talk about this here,but in the 'Characters' section. Art (5/10) The art was lacking.For a visual novel like this,art would be making it much better,since there are many visual novels with better art and a terrible story.I am going to compare the art to the art in 07th Expansion games here,and unlike it,the art in Killer Queen has no emotion to it.However,it gets improved in the remakes. Sound (6/10) The sound was nothing too special.It had some memorable tracks,but most of it was plain boring,shit-tier music.Not to be too harsh on it,but I really didn't like the music.As for the voice acting,it was good for a doujin made in 2006. Characters (6/10) The main issue I had with this game.The characters were a bunch of people you couldn't care about,since they didn't get the character development they should have.Victims of this include Reika,Fumika and Takayama,and possibly Gouda.This happens in both episodes. Reika gets more of it in the second episode,I mean,at least in the first episode we And my favorite character was Yuki.Not because she was interesting,but because I could see a lot of her deal right before it happened. And then there's Nagasawa,the most unlikable character in the game.A wimp who's even worse than Yuki. However,there were three characters I could like.They were Nagisa,Karin and Hazuki,and maybe even Sakumi. Enjoyment (4/10) No,I didn't enjoy it.I wanted Killer Queen to end as fast as it could. Overall (6/10) Although it tackled Battle Royale before 999 and Danganronpa,it was far worse.The characters,especially pissed me off.The story was rushed.Never wanna play it again.
  12. Ever 17 was a visual novel I really wanted to play ever since I began my cruise towards the visual novel world with Umineko. It is the second oldest visual novel I've played,the oldest one being Tsukihime. It fascinated me when I read the synopsis,so after finishing Killer Queen,I tackled it as my first game of 2016. I finished it in 10 days and now I am ready to review it.But before I actually delve into the good and the bad of Ever 17,I need to tell you what I expected of this particular game. - A solid plot - Good writing - Music that doesn't bore you to death - Character development Now let's cut to the chase.What did I think of Ever 17 -the out of infinity- ? Art (8/10) For a visual novel released in the early 2000's,this is impressive.The art had feeling in it,and it had a good style.The only problem I had with the art is how it changes between the sprites and the CG images.The sprites are a bit worse than the CG art,and if it wasn't for the CG art,I would've given the art a 6.5 instead of an 8. Sound (8/10) My expectations were fulfilled with the sound part.The music and the voice acting are very good.For the music,it was no Umineko but it was very emotional and it never failed to make the mood (especially for Karma).The voice acting was also very good.I didn't even expect any voice acting Story (9/10) Plot-wise,Ever 17 was pretty good.It never failed to amuse me or make me cry,which is what not many visual novels can do these days.However,there is one thing that Ever 17 wouldn't be a good story without : The Final Route. When I played the first two routes,for the most time I was bored.I wanted it to finish faster,which is bad.This was filled in with Sara's route,and then Coco's route was a heel-face turn.If there were only three routes : Tsumugi,Sora and You,I would have given the story at most a 4.For the effort,and for Tsugumi. I will now rate the five routes one by one. Tsumugi's Route (7/10) Sora's Route (5/10) Sara's Route (8/10) You's Route (6/10) Coco's Route (10/10) Anyone who has played this game knows how superior the last route is to the other four.However,it could have been better...I expected a much darker ending. Characters (8/10) The characters in this story were very interesting,including the protagonist(s).Tsumugi was my favorite character from the start,and she reminded me of Yumiko from Grisaia.Yeah,she was a slimmer Yumiko with smaller boobs and a lack of scalpel.That ripped my heart out and threw it in the washing machine in question. Then there was Sora.Also very interesting.And You...not so much in my opinion.Sara,she was also interesting,and Coco was my favorite loli/imouto in all visual novels of all time. And of course,let's not forget the Kid and Takeshi.Not too shabby,gets better tho. Enjoyment (10/10) I enjoyed this visual novel,simply put. Overall - 8/10 Why such a 'small' rating? This visual novel must deserve better! Welp,let's go play Sharin no Kuni next
  13. Not sure if anyone here watches comic review series Atop the Fourth Wall, but this week it's covering a visual novel, Cho Dengeki Stryker to be more precise. While he only covers part of it and is critical of some parts he does find merit in what's good and I think it's worth watching. http://atopthefourthwall.com/cho-dengeki-stryker/
  14. http://reviews.fuwanovel.net/2015/12/04/euphoria/ Euphoria, sometimes brutal, sometimes disgusting, sometimes intriguing and suspenseful. What a weird game. Steel your stomach and be open minded when approaching this one. I'm curious what you all thought of the review, it's the first one I've ever written.
  15. So The Royal Trap by Hanako Games has been reviewed. There is a point I'd like to see discussed which I deliberately did not bring up in the review because it was a massive spoiler, but it did hurt the game's reputation amongst a part of the OELVN community, to the point there were people asking to see the game removed from Steam (I'm exaggerating as it was but a minor controversy, but there was indeed a share of angry people).
  16. Hanako Games, of Long Live the Queen fame, has released Black Closet recently and it has been reviewed here. Has anyone played yet? If you liked LLtQ, don't hesitate to play this one! EDIT: So now I'm no longer on the phone so I can talk properly about how much I liked this game. It doesn't make you cry, no, and in the end it's a very fun little game. But it's very atmospheric so you do care about the characters. There's the fact that each girl indeed has a route and, even after the Harvest Festival, you have a long way to go. You may or may not end up with them and I suppose there must be a bad end of sorts for each of them.
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