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Reading Utawarerumono Itsuwari no Kamen. It's pretty great so far.

I've been watching the anime, and soundly enjoying it.  Mixed emotions, though - should I watch the anime or wait until I get a copy of the game (probably 1+ years).  If you've seen any of the anime, how is it holding up to the game so far?

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 But I am missing a big overall great story bs had. I am hoping it will come to it later.

non wanting to dissappoint you, but nah, it wont.

Well, shit....

Alright, good to know actually. I won't spend time into it expecting it to giveme more back after a while. What I am getting, is what I am getting. Thanks for the heads up..

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paused everything which distracted me for the sake of start reading  午前零時の讃美歌 -彩無鏡の小妖精-.
only few hours in so far, but can already say the story starts out quite interesting and is partly thrilling, despite its missleadingly  "cute" appearance, the characters are also well written like in most of their other works and behave naturally plus the artwork - thank the gods - stayed the same, though i´m m somehow missing the surrealistic flair i came to love over the last years . soundtrack/music-wise, from what to i´ve listend so far, though not as emotional and grandiose as its been the case with ヴィザルの日記 (memento mori), or 霊刀キザクラ ~桜花の剣と惑竜章~, its still pleasent to the ears and befitting the overall atmosphere.
do expect it picking up momentum from now on, but hope - no idea why though - it wont reach the same level up fuckedupness i´ve already seen in other titles of theirs.

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Reading Utawarerumono Itsuwari no Kamen. It's pretty great so far.

I've been watching the anime, and soundly enjoying it.  Mixed emotions, though - should I watch the anime or wait until I get a copy of the game (probably 1+ years).  If you've seen any of the anime, how is it holding up to the game so far?

I'm refraining from watching the anime until I'm done with the game so I can't say but I'm probably going to watch it later. I'm pretty curious on how they'll adapt it as it doesn't exactly have much of a story yet. And I'm also pretty sure that the game is including a plot point that was cut out from the original anime adaption so I'm not sure what they'll do there.

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Thanks for reviving it, guys. I thought nobody wanted a thread separate from the common one.

Just finished Hello,good-bye. Difficulty-wise it was above anything I've read up until now, what with that politics vocab and all. Stopped taking new words at ~200 and just read normally from that point on, it was much easier past the (long) prologue.

Possible minor spoilers below

Good art, great BGM (I can't tell what they're trying to sing in English there, but it was quite an interesting one. Never heard BGM like that in any other VN), good CG design (Natsume before and after first H, Suguri's after second H - loved it.).

The game is superior in the technical sense. A glossary, an achievement system (I still have almost half the items locked despite having finished the game), a sprite viewer, an unlockable mini-game, you name it.

Above all, it has some great characters. I usually only really like one heroine per game, but Mei and Natsume were both great. Suguri is okay. Koharu was good for comedy but lolis aren't my thing.

Story-wise it's totally a charage, even though it looked like a plot-centric game based on the prologue and Mei route. However, in spite of the excessive (and repetitive as hell across the routes) slice of life and convenient plot developments, there were plenty of good things to be found, and I definitely enjoyed this title.

Major spoilers incoming

Mei route was the height of BS. Like, I'll just use this small firearm to solo incap ~10 SWAT troopers without killing anyone, because a real pro can do that blindfolded. With his hands tied behind his back. While sleeping. I'll also use pinpoint-precise future prediction and not even lose my memory by the end of it, despite having previously lost it over similar matters.

Mei being a great heroine is the only thing that saves this route. That and her first words on the inaugural address. Tears were shed, feels were had. The music improves on her scenes more than on any other.

Natsume route is the best. Great heroine, good plot, now if only this was a plot-centric game there'd be nothing more to ask for.

Suguri route is just there, because obligatory osananajimi heroine. Don't get me wrong, I usually go for the childhood friend first, but Suguri is completely overshadowed by the two better characters. Her route was practically plotless compared to the rest. Also, revealing his identity to the whole class, what was he thinking? No one in their right mind would do that. What's more, he somehow even gets to work in Morino again.

Koharu... well, it was okay. I was hoping for something more epic from an unlockable route, to be honest. With the hair change at the end she looks worse than most of the random characters on the town and cafeteria backgrounds. Did they mean to say this is what will happen to your favourite loli, whoever that might be, in a few years?

There were three things I didn't understand, probably due to my limited language ability:

1) What was Masaki Jin's ultimate goal? All I got was that he was manipulating the Federation radicals and the United Provinces radicals made their move at the same time, with our protagonist.

2) Why did Masaki Jin suddenly change his attitude in the standoff in Koharu route? Why did Koharu insist that shooting him leads to the "worst possible outcome"?

3) Most importantly, how does the protagonist accidentally letting the truth slip (in the prologue) lead to the "worst possible outcome"? Mei route plays out the same way as the prologue at first, except that he is invited to her house and meets his dad in the common route. How is it related?

I also finished Supreme Candy and Yui no Kotonoha a while ago, while this thread was dead.

Some thoughts on Supreme Candy with possible minor spoilers.

Well that was a big letdown alright. Placed right between the gem that is H2O and the (IMO) praiseworthy Ikikoi, this title suffers from the common hetare-but-conveniently-overpowered protagonist. The CG count is nowhere near either of said games. The H is your typical "I'm going to get blown every scene and even thanked for it, then I'll make her feel good with my glorious nippon chinpo" and that's the end of it. You could at least throw in some cuni scenes there for balance, this protagonist does nothing but receive literally every part of the game while complaining and getting consoled by everyone.

The only really good thing about this title was the comedy.

From favourite to least favourite: Tokimi>Himawari>Yumine>Yuuri>Jako>Hanei>Shuri

What's up with Shuri anyway? That "面白ければすべて良し" attitude sounds a lot like what those drug/alcohol addicted whores would say they're doing. Maybe I'm just too cynical.

Major spoiler mini-rant

SO MUCH ATTEMPTED RAPE. All in very public places and/or broad daylight. Japan is scary.

Jack doesn't make sense. If he can see all future possibilities like it's nothing, he doesn't need to actually die to meet the protagonist personally as he can just see that as well. But with how boring life must be when you know everything beforehand, it's only natural to wish for, or at least not mind death.

Jako route: descriptions of torn limps and all sorts of bloodbath followed by "everyone got off with light injuries". My ass.

Last route: I'm not even going to comment on all the mess in this route, but what's up with that cat? It doesn't fit his character to just grant the wishes of the protagonist, also what's up with the wishes themselves? lol

I didn't get why they call the candy that the protag picked up しゅぷれむ and later saying it's the defective ones. It was correctly written "Supreme" on the jar, so why? Typical English mistakes?

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I'm finding 不死姫 not bad actually.

I appreciate the female protagonist and novel setting for the story (not set in a school setting, nor that kind of premise). The center of the story is her emotional journey and growth, and I think its depicted pretty well. She has a lot of doubts and fears, which is understandable, and they plague her during the story.

It's not a complex story, there aren't that many characters. But each of them gets developed, each of them has a different interaction and impression from the the heroine (=the MC). Pretty interested/invested in the story.
There's the enigmatic but amiable dude who shows up from time to time, but his presence doesn't obnoxiously interfere with the plot.

The H-scenes are presented reasonably considering their context. Ok some of them were really long, holy crap, but more importantly, they are seamless. They don't break the narrative.

The author Izumi Ban'ya. He's worked on countless titles (including Dark Blue which I've been reading), mostly darker ones with high sex content. The writer's language is pretty simple, but seems to put the basic effort to develop characters in his stories.

Edit: On the 5th and final chapter.

I'm pleasantly surprised. The story was about everything I was hoping it'd be.

The main character's a great character...and for a story of growth, this is one of the more satisfying ones. It's also a story of her life. There are a lot of parts/impressions/issues to her life that the author depicts properly.

The story is a bit sparse, all the details in the in between years aren't filled in. There could have been more episodes -- this is the opposite side of the spectrum compared to most vn's, who often show everything possible -- but as it is, the chapters carry the most critical/dramatic/memorable moments in her life. The start of each chapter more often than not brings a new atmosphere. You almost don't recognize her between chapters, until you see her interact and realize it's all a part of her character

Some of the narration and character dialogue is a smidgen repetitive. The main character has the habit of over-speaking her thoughts directly. But w/e, I don't really mind.

On a side note stuffed the weirdest, most gratuitous porn in a few of the bad ends. There are other serious bad ends, those ones might be semi-serious too, I just can't be bothered to go back and check lest I never be able to look at the story seriously again. God those H-scenes were weird. Good advice when you're immortal: don't get caught by pyscho experimenters. Thankfully, the h-scenes in rest of the story are in-line. Still not ok for the squeamish. There's some brutal shit in there. But the story also has one of the most kindness-filled chapters I've ever seen in a story.

Edited by Chronopolis
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Finally finished Utawarerumono Itsuwari no Kamen and I can't really say anything but... wow. I wrote a big wall of text with my impressions here but for anyone who wants a tldr: Utaware2 turned out incredibly good and I recommend it even if you weren't super fond of the original (though it certainly adds to the experience if you were). I'd also encourage people who don't consider themselves good enough at japanese to read without a text hooker to challenge themselves and read it anyway. I had only read one japanese VN (Eustia) with the help of a text-hooker before reading Utawarerumono portable this summer and Itsuwari no Kamen is just my third VN in JP. The Utawarerumo series is probably one of the best examples to challenge oneself with as it's almost entirely voiced (even the narration). Just get an okayish phone dictionary (I use the free imiwa) and learn some basic stroke order so you can look up kanji using the SKIP method (radical search is awful for everything but very complicated kanji or kanji where you can't make out all the radicals) and you should be good to go.

Big wall of text with impressions below.

The original Utawarerumono was the first visual novel I read so I have always had a certain fondness for it and that only improved after I read the much better console ver this summer. But I never regarded it as anything particularly outstanding and I didn't expect much more than something similarly pleasant but not particularly exceptional from Utaware 2. It turned out way better than I expected.

 

Like I said earlier in the thread in difference to the first Utawarerumono which was a war story with a quite a bit of slice of life Utaware 2 starts out as mostly entirely slice of life with very little plot. This was a an incredibly good decision as this means that when the plot actually kicks in you really care about the characters. These scenes are also incredibly enjoyable to read, and are quite varied with everything from inventing sweets and sake tasting to all the guys getting drunk and naked. And while I personally would have preferred having the slice of life scenes a bit more spread out over the course of the story I can't really consider it bad pasing since I don't recall feeling bored even once while reading it!

 

One of the big reason the slice of life works so well is the characters. Haku, Kuon, Oshutoru and Nekone ended up as my favourites but all the characters are absolutely wonderful. The absence of harem elements also makes all the female characters' interactions with Haku and each other really refreshing. In fact there's pretty much no place you could insert an h-scene, not even one of those really awkward ones like in the PC ver of first game because most of the female characters simply don't see Haku that way.

 

The voice actors also does a really wonderful job, Haku in particuliar is voiced by the amazing Fujiwara Keiji who does an incredible job with him. Like the first one Utaware 2 has 2 types of narration, narration that describes what is happening, and narration that describes what a character is thinking. The second type of narration is just like the first game entirely voiced, and listening to Fujikei's voice as Haku thinks about everything from plot related stuff to how to avoid having to work is an absolute joy. I'm really glad they went with a veteran seiyuu for him, though the "newbie" seiyuu's are no slouches either. Taneda Risa (who is one of my favs) is wonderful as Kuon and I was also very impressed with Oshutoru and Nekone's seiyuus, neither of whom I've heard before.

 

The art is also wonderful with Amaduyu doing main duty and Misato as a co-artist. The designs manage to echo the first Utawarerumono while also conveying the this time more Chinese inspired culture as opposed to Utaware 1's ainu inspired one. The music is also really good with a soundtrack consisting of an entire 60 tracks(!) despite not being a very long read (while it probably took me like 40-50 hours I'd say it'd take maybe 25-35 for someone who doesn't need to look up words all the time). The music is also very well used with plenty of tracks specific to certain scenes, something I always love as it makes those scenes feel just a bit more special. The Opening song "Nuedori", which also serves as the ending theme is an incredible song, with Suara (of course) providing the vocals. When it comes to vocal songs Utaware has always been amazing in all its iterations but I'd consider Nuedori the best one yet (possibly tied with the Kimi ga Tame, the ending theme of the original Utaware), the way they used auto mode to time the last lines of the story to the music before the credits hit gave me goosebumps.

 

What really makes Utaware 2 awesome though is what happens at the very end, the events between the final boss until the credits. The story goes in a direction I never could have anticipated, with some developments that will have massive repercussions in the sequel. It's pretty much impossible to talk about what happens without spoiling it so I won't but it made me incredibly hyped for Utaware 3. While Utaware 1 was a self contained story Utaware 2 is basically part 1 of a bigger story (I'm guessing a two parter), so needless to say it ends with a giant cliffhanger.

 

I encourage everyone who doesn't know jp to not spoil themselves as the anime looks like it'll be a pretty good adaptation (though I haven't checked it out yet) and an official English release of the VN is quite possible as all Aquaplus' latest stuff have gotten localized. The only thing I could see which would hinder a localization is the very low amount of gameplay. It's very fun but there isn't a lot of it and most of the stages are really short and easy. if you want to know more about the gameplay Moogy wrote a bit about it here.

Edited by Beato
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I decided to stop dilly-dallying with my Japanese studies and read something for a change. I ended up going with 紫影のソナーニル since I really liked Inganock and Sharnoth.

And it's super beautiful, both aesthetically and in terms of writing, as one would expect from WAB-game. After reading all kinds of dialogue heavy VNs it's good to read something that feels meaningful, something where the writing does more than just carry the plot forward. It just feels so fulfilling to read something like this:   
「わたしの視線の先には都市の死があった。
   これが厳然たる現実。
   これが残酷なる事実。」

It's also surprisingly not as difficult to read as I thought. The prose is pretty flowery, but not that complicated. Apart from some of the technical terms, I haven't had that much difficulties understanding what's going on. The repetition is also pretty helpful for getting used to different Kanji. 

I'm still pretty early in the game, but I'm having fun reading it. The characters are really intriguing and I love the atmosphere in the underground New York with the purple sky and weird machines. I can't wait to learn more about the setting and I'm really interested in seeing how the story will tie the two protagonists together. 

 

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I decided to stop dilly-dallying with my Japanese studies and read something for a change. I ended up going with 紫影のソナーニル since I really liked Inganock and Sharnoth.

And it's super beautiful, both aesthetically and in terms of writing, as one would expect from WAB-game. After reading all kinds of dialogue heavy VNs it's good to read something that feels meaningful, something where the writing does more than just carry the plot forward. It just feels so fulfilling to read something like this:   
「わたしの視線の先には都市の死があった。
   これが厳然たる現実。
   これが残酷なる事実。」

It's also surprisingly not as difficult to read as I thought. The prose is pretty flowery, but not that complicated. Apart from some of the technical terms, I haven't had that much difficulties understanding what's going on. The repetition is also pretty helpful for getting used to different Kanji. 

I'm still pretty early in the game, but I'm having fun reading it. The characters are really intriguing and I love the atmosphere in the underground New York with the purple sky and weird machines. I can't wait to learn more about the setting and I'm really interested in seeing how the story will tie the two protagonists together. 

I'm at the beginning of 紫影のソナーニル as well (paused to go read other stuff), and I love the super indulgent unrestrained prose of the MC. Trying not to set expectations to what the story is going to be about: I think I'm just content to drink in the atmosphere/experience.

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Completed two routes in Baldr zero. One more to go. Mmmm, mixed feelings about this vn. It does a lot of things right and also some really badly.. Sakura's route wasn't really good. Her character was pretty lively and fun in common route. That went totally downhill after I entered her route. Due to the story.. But also a lot due to the writer. The route good ending was literately so DURRRrr. I loaded my save and went for the bad end first.  It was mainly the setting that kept me interested in reading more doing the route.

Kei's route was the reverse. She was simple character in the common route and became better as I entered the route. A lot of cool/horrible stuff going on. More delving into the setting and story events made sense this time around. Jolly good.

My thoughts so far is pretty much it's an alright vn. The fact that I've read baldr sky beforehand prbly made me like the setting more that I would without it. But also notice the lack of good overall story.

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The last game I finished was Dies Irae, and it's been that way for about a month now. In anticipation of my copy of Sakura no Uta arriving at my doorstep, I'll go ahead and reread the beginning of the trial and try to drag that on for the weeks to come. ^_^

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Finished Shinku3 yesterday. My life is complete. I have no idea what to read next, probably gonna finish some moeges that I have started.

Give the drama cds a try or your life won't be complete :D. Especially, 真紅のささやき スイートボイス that comes together with Akai Hitomi.

It's pretty sweet and has enough icha icha moments to compensate for the lacking of them in the series.
 

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I guess the last thing I finished was Konata yori Kanata made. Quite the ride, that one is. It kind of feels like a hidden gem, since it doesn't seem to get that much attention, judging by the frequency of the ratings on VNDB (yes yes, I know I shouldn't judge by ANYTHING from VNDB... but whatever :P ).

Next thing I will be reading will be Sakura no Uta. I've had a sort of "Sca-ji void" ever since I finished SubaHibi, so I am quite ready to have my mind blown once more by Sca-ji's genius. :D

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I finally got around to noting visual novels I've read on my vndb account and very rapidly realized that I have read waaaay to many VNs... I've been reading untranslated visual novels for almost ten years now, with Cartagra being the first one I read (at it's original release way back when).

Currently I'm kind of scattered all over while I wait for this month's releases to come out.  I've been eyeballing Sakura no Uta (finally released!) but I'm probably going to hold off and dive into Primal Hearts 2 first, as I really enjoyed the demo.  But I also still have routes in Amakano, Golden Marriage, Traveling Stars, and several other games to finish up as well.

 

Beato, I hate you, because you're really tempting me to try reading Utawarerumono 2... I'm a fan of the first game and I've been enjoying the anime of the second so far.  But I haven't quite been able to bring myself to pick it up yet.

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  • 3 months later...

Just finished Aster recently. One of the routes really didn't sit well with me, but the main plot is pretty good and a great tearjerker. I'd rather play a nakige next time, don't like the depressing feeling utsuge leave you with.

It barely had any tags before I touched it, but now the page actually looks decent. Horay.

P.S. thanks for the bump. It's been a long time since I last finished a game I had a lot of good things to say about (excluding stuff that is impossible to really describe without spoilers), so usually I just complain to my friend or say a couple of words in fuwachat and then move on to the next title.

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Combined impression post on Fureraba and Pure x Connect.

I played Fureraba a good while ago. The game is essentially plotless, but it has very good comedy, relationship progression and a proper ラブラブ mood with very gentle H-scenes. It also features a conversation system through which you earn points with your chosen heroine, but honestly I used a walkthrough for half of it.

Well guess what, Pure x Connect, SMEE's next title, doesn't have half of that. Relationship progression? How about we just move it from zero interest to full bloom with sex right around the corner? Gentle H-scenes? Bah who cares about that, let's just do it like every other moege where the protag has his way with the heroine without a care in the world while going on about how much he treasures her. Compared to Fureraba's protagonist, he moved a long way into the "tough guy" corner, and with all his onahole talk he might as well be tagged as a protagonist with sexual experience. Oh and don't mind that he's a university student, because there's very few scenes there and most of the game is set at his workplace.

For the reference, I only played two routes in Pure x Connect as I don't have the patience to bear with it any longer.

/rant over

TL;DR play Fureraba.

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