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visual novels you consider masterpieces


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With this, I mean VNs you would even group with some of the great novels of the world. For me it would be: Clannad: I mostly mean after story. This VN made me cry more than anything. It is in my eyes a great piece of literature. If my heart had wings: I dunno. The feel, the art. Its all amazing. Its just GOOD. Actually AMAZING. Last but not least homeward: This one man project got me into VNs. Maybe I hold some personal bies, but I love the story, and how sad yet hopeful it is. It is trully amazing and for the price 0.00 I highly recommend it. Anyways thats my list, what VNs do you consider masterpieces?

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I second both Narcissu and Clannad, Clannad being my absolutely top vn right now for having such amazing characters especially in the after story, never had i been attached to any character like in Clannad. i would also add Swan Song in there.

i am reading Ever17 now and so far it is good, maybe i will add it to the list :)

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None out of the ones I've read so far (which is not many, and I'm looking forward to reading a lot of VNs that seem like they could certainly be masterpieces). Hoshizora no Memoria is probably the closest one, but it's definitely not perfect and had several problems that I had to ignore to enjoy it.

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I can probably name more, but these came to mind off the top of my head.



Dies Irae

Kajiri Kamui Kagura

Paradise Lost

Vermilion Bind of Blood

Tokyo Necro

Soukou Akki Muramasa

Futagoza no Paradox

Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no

Eien no Aselia

Nanairo Reincarnation

Bradyon Veda

Ruitomo (and FD)

Chrono Belt (best FD ever)



Tenshi no Hane o Fumanaide!


Komorebi no Nostalgica


Semiramis no Tenbin


Grisaia no Kajitsu

Harumade, Kururu

Konata yori Kanata made

Moshimo Ashita ga Harenaraba

Mirai Nostalgia

Otome ga Tsumugu, Koi no Canvas

Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteiru Futari no Elder

Sekai de Ichiban Dame na Koi

Tsukihime (hopefully eventually the remake will take the place of the original)

Tasogare no Sinsemilla

Tiny Dungeon (series)

Baldr Sky (both series in different ways)

Izayoi no Fortuna

Minamijuujisei Renka

Irotoridori no Sekai


Kami no Ue no Mahoutsukai

Kamikaze Explorer (once you get past the ecchi/oppai)

Suzunone Seven

Suzukaze and Maikaze no Melt

Hikoukigumo no Mukougawa (focus on the redhead's path)

Sakura, Sakimashita

Chuusingura (Japanese version only)

Hatsuyuki Sakura


The Shield 9 series by Axl

Tayutama (original only)

Rakuen no Shugosha (this is a short masterpiece, but it was still a masterpiece... if an odd one)

Re:Birth Colony

Sanzen Sekai Yuugi

Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de

Tsuki ni Yorisou, Otome no Sahou (again, original only)

Shin Koihime Musou

Strawberry Feels


Gunjou no Sora wo Koete

Ikusa Megami Zero

Edit: A masterpiece can look rough, even if it is godly at the core, lol.

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I'll leave praising and insulting Sharin no Kuni to everyone else here... I only felt the need to mention Tsukihime because people tend to overlook it, despite the fact that it is still some of the best fantasy narrative out there (even if the visuals are as dated as 1980's anime), and I only mentioned Aselia because I was fairly sure it would be left behind due to the somewhat needlessly high difficulty of the battle system.  Normally, I don't bother mentioning anything that's been translated, hahaha

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I agree with Virginsmasher, I can't really look at any VNs as objective masterpieces. I could give you a list of the games I liked the most, (I think I have 4 games that I rated a 10/10,) but the thing is, I do know that objectively, all of these have flaws which might disqualify them from a status as a true masterpiece.

That being said, let's play along and mention a few, so that people can get mad at me for my terrible taste.


Lucy ~The Eternity She Wished For~

Nurse Love Addiction


G-senjou no Maou

Grisaia no Kajitsu

One Thousand Lies

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It's not really possible to be objective beyond a certain level when it comes to entertainment media.  All the ones I named above have a strong impact from at least three of the 'five factors' that most often combine to create a good story in general (quality of narrative, setting and character development, intellectual stimulation, comedic stimulation, and emotional stimulation).  Inevitably, there are some genres that don't have a strong emotional stimulus and stories with a strong intellectual stimulus are fairly rare.  However, amongst those there are a few that have a strong impact on all five... in particular, I recommend Dies Irae, Evolimit, Bradyon Veda, Semiramis no Tenbin, and Ayakashibito when it comes to hitting all five.  For sheer emotional impact, Hapymaher, Komorebi no Nostalgica, Nanairo Reincarnation, and Konakana are the most powerful.  For the intellectual, it is definitely Semiramis no Tenbin, Bradyon Veda, Baldr Sky, and Ikusa Megami Zero. 

Well, in general, that's how I determine whether something is a masterpiece... but quite obviously, I'm picking them from a 'story addict's point of view', so others' viewpoints on this will probably differ.

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Clannad, Fate/Stay Night and YU-NO: Best choose-your-own-adventure feel

Ever17: Best plot twists

Steins;Gate and MajiKoi: Best set of characters

G-Senjou no Maou: Best villains/antagonists

Tsukihime and Saya no Uta: Best atmosphere

Little Busters: Best common route

Umineko and Higurashi: Best overall stories

Edited by onorub
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kawarazaki-ke 2 - absolution/salvation
muramasa - deconstruction of heroism
shingakkou - deconstruction of human mind/psyche
kusarihime - deconstruction of humanity
reminiscence - deconstruction of ones world within
umineko - deconstruction of the genre itself
phantom of inferno - deconstruction of blind following
isaku/shuusaku/ kisaku - deconstruction of the genre itself
itsusora - deconstruction of ones expectations
be-yond - deconstruction of the (maou) genre itself
cross channel - shatterer of now & then
kagerou (by masaki kamo) - apostle of intense melancholia

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G-Senjou was pretty good.

I personally think Clannad is horribly overrated. A lot of the character backstories are ripped straight from Kanon and One, and the main heroine's literal only defining features is how much she loves the protaganist and 


her dying.

Generally, it's a well written nakige, and I'd group some of the routes as some of my favorites overall, but it certainly doesn't match up to actual literature. It's not even the best tile by Key, dammit!

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