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ittaku

ONE VN you should read before you die.

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Clickbait for sure, but I'm actually asking for recommendations, not recommending one. You get to recommend precisely ONE VN and ONE only, translated or untranslated, and explain why - any genre, any style. If it's an untranslated one, and I haven't read it, I may even consider it for my next translation project. To clarify, I'm not just after a recommendation for myself (that's just an aside), I'd rather know what people consider their one must read VN and why; it should be a masterpiece that makes you breathless beyond words and I want to know why.

Thanks :)

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Just now, Zander said:

I'd love to make a recommendation for you, but I'd much rather hone in on your interests first to give you a more personalised suggestion. What sort of VNs, characters, etc; interest you Ittaku?

No that's not the point of the thread. While I may find something to read, I'm really looking for what people consider a masterpiece that makes you breathless beyond words and why.

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Natsuyume Nagisa. Nijima Yuu's magnum opus in my opinion. The way he throws hints about the big mystery surrounding the whole game, the twist as cruel as gratifying, and the suffering; but above all, the final message of the game, that there's hope.

Edited by RedK

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Probably Steins;Gate. If you want an absolutely gripping plot (with quite a lot of sci fi).

Otherwise, if you don't know what you want, The Fruit of Grisaia (has everything from awesome dialogue, endearing characters, LOL comedy, some nice fanservice, and some serious tearjerker scenes).

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I'd go for FSN for pretty obvious reasons. The reasons:

  • It's timeless classics.
  • It's pretty good and really popular.
  • As opposed to the other highly rated VNs, it doesn't require any previous experience and doesn't have any obvious drawbacks.
  • And the main reason: it's probably one of the best examples of what the VN genre/medium can do with what it has.

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17 minutes ago, ittaku said:

No that's not the point of the thread. While I may find something to read, I'm really looking for what people consider a masterpiece that makes you breathless beyond words and why.

Very well. Breathless is a tough term, since I generally experience breathlessness during nukiges if you catch my drift :nokia:, but to answer your original question...

I say it a lot, but Kara no Shoujo gets my vote on this one. The soundtrack mixed with a stellar translation and chilling scenes left quite the impression on me.

 

Edited by Zander

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I'll be the obvious one and say Fate Stay Night because out of all the Visual Novels I have played(I'm no slouch) it still stands above the rest in terms of quality. I would say that it's due to the fact that there is a huge cast of very well developed characters, fantastic world building, good writing and a intriguing story that will keep you engaged throughout.

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One? Technically speaking, Muv-Luv Alternative, but you would also need to read the two prequels, so it would not qualify as one.

So I'd go with Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo. It has its issues, but it touched my soul in a way I would not have believed possible.

Edited by Overlord87

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Translated: Saya no Uta - It's incredible how many things this novel gets right even with it's short length. The atmosphere is incredible, the characters will make you happy, then rage, then afraid, then cry then everything at once.

Untranslated: Shingakkou - Best piece of horror I read, it's creepy without relying too much on gore, and it still have an incredibly beautiful message in the end (unlike the above one), SoL parts are also endearing, characters are very well written, especially the main character.

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Every answer to this kind of question is likely going to be subjective. Some of them may be the right answer of you. Some may not. The safest choice and the closest you'll get to the answer you're looking for is probably one of the various classics out there (some of which have already been mentioned before), as they are considered by most to be the best visual novels out there.

Personally, I would mainly vouch for Fate/stay night, Steins;Gate or G-Senjou no Maou, somewhat in that order. Fate/stay night happened to be my first VN, one that I went through while being in just the right psychological state, and I likely would have not enjoyed it nearly as much if I read it for the first time todayhence why it is an awfully subjective answer.

In the end though, you're the only one who can really answer your own question. Try out one of the most recommended VNs in this thread that you think might appeal to you the most, don't raise your expectations too high, and report back if you think you found it!

Edit: Just realized you aren't exactly looking for a recommendation here, but I guess my answer still counts, haha.

Edited by URV

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11 minutes ago, URV said:

Every answer to this kind of question is likely going to be subjective. Some of them may be the right answer of you. Some may not. The safest choice and the closest you'll get to the answer you're looking for is probably one of the various classics out there (some of which have already been mentioned before), as they are considered by most to be the best visual novels out there.

Personally, I would mainly vouch for Fate/stay night, Steins;Gate or G-Senjou no Maou, somewhat in that order. Fate/stay night happened to be my first VN, one that I went through while being in just the right psychological state, and I likely would have not enjoyed it nearly as much if I read it for the first time todayhence why it is an awfully subjective answer.

In the end though, you're the only one who can really answer your own question. Try out one of the most recommended VNs in this thread that you think might appeal to you the most, don't raise your expectations too high, and report back if you think you found it!

Edit: Just realized you aren't exactly looking for a recommendation here, but I guess my answer still counts, haha.

Thanks for the responses, I've been playing VNs for just under 20 years so I'm not exactly looking for recommendations for myself :P I just wanted to see what people feel is their life changing VN.

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For me it would still be Analogue: A Hate Story, just because of the lasting impression it left me with. I was also thinking about Flowers, which I loved through and through and which cementing my love for yuri - but not being able to read more yuri after that would just be torture. ;)

That's how it looks now at least, I still haven't played through most of the kamige people would usually point to in this context, so I might change my mind in the future. 

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Kimisora. A beautiful nakige made by Cabbit. This was one of the first VNs I read in Japanese, so I am probably a bit biased, but the story is truly beautiful. It also has an incredible OST, good art, and the story doesn't follow most of your standard cliches for the genre, but instead goes in directions you probably won't see coming. Each route is pretty unique, so it almost feels like you're reading different VNs for each route. (In a good way. What I mean is that it isn't repetitive like some VNs can be, and instead does something new for each heroine.)

Although I can't say it changed my life, it was a fantastic read, one I'd strongly recommend to everyone else.

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3 hours ago, Zidan209 said:

G-Senjou no Maou.

No matter what people may say about it, it's an unforgettable experience, and no VN of the same genre could be on par with this

G-senjou no maou, it's a great protagonist, a great true route. And a lot of laughs (at start), shivers and tears...a wonderful rollercoaster of emotions :Chocola:

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I would suggest Asairo, but I'm sure someone else will do that for me. 

If I have a single VN I recommend everyone at this site should read at least once... it would be:  Evolimit

Evolimit is, in my mind, the single best chuunige put together by the team at Propeller when Higashide Yuuichirou was still working there.  Unlike in previous games by this company, they didn't deliberately weaken individual heroines to make the true heroine seem more attractive, the music is awesome, the presentation of the story is by far the best of all the Propeller games from start to finish (Bullet Butlers' beginning stalls a bit after the first scenes), and the scale of events in the story was the biggest. 

Understand, I'm rating Evolimit as a chuunige, rather than simply as a VN... but even if I remove my bias for chuunige from the table, this game stands out.  Though protagonists determine the value of your vicarious perspective in most VNs, what brings a game where direct conflict is vital to the story to life is the existence of an antagonist worthy of the protagonists' anger, sadness, and motivation for action.  In this sense, the game has it in spades.

Emotionally, this game is powerful.  The protagonist, Shiranui Yoshikazu was a part of the failed first colonization effort of Mars, and his bonds to the past, as he adjusts to the present, form the framework for a powerful character... and for the conflict to come.  Whether antagonist, protagonist, or a side-character, all of the individuals involved in this story have powerful motivations that are described, often in painstaking detail, as part of the story, lending it a depth that few VNs can match.

Kokoro as a sounding board also brings the protagonist to life in a rather unique way, providing a real conversation to the kind of internal debate that is usually truncated in most VNs.  Her character, despite being unknown to most of the people around him, is central to everything he does, shaping his reactions to the outside world and providing him with layers of personality it is difficult to provide for the average protagonist.

I could go on and on... but it would be better if you just read it yourself.  I can still laugh and cry for this VN despite having played it seven times... and that is more than any other VN I've played.

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5 minutes ago, ittaku said:

So far 7 of the top 10 most popular listed on vndb have appeared. I guess there is value in those ratings after all.

if you want something more...uncommon, I can recommend one of my personal favorites : I/O. The cyberpunk setting is great (with a bit of babylonian mythology), the characters are interesting, the OST is awesome... in short I am a true fan :wahaha:

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