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What got you into Visual Novels in the first place?


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How did you become this kind of otaku? Out of the many subcultures within the broader otaku fandom. You know JRPGs, Mangas, Anime, etc. How did you end up becoming a Visual Novel reader of all things?

For me, I was into Visual Novels before the term existed. Anyone played Galaxy Sim date on Newgrounds remembers.... It seems interesting how the VN fandom managed the grow over the years while people still bitching about how VNs suck these days or whatever.

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I've already posted the story of how I learned about VNs here. What made me stay with VNs instead of anime, manga, or light novels, though, is several things.

1: I like that the stories are mostly complete, compared to anime/manga which can often tell only part of the story before stopping (something like Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry for example, has more LNs than the anime adaptation presents), or can get cancelled partway through leaving the story unfinished. I really don't like unfinished stories. This pair of issues seems to be especially prevalent with anime which can change (sometimes drastically) between the VN and the anime - just one example would be Kimikiss, which apparently split the MC (from the VN) into two and focused on two heroines apiece. I might be wrong but I think the fifth heroine wasn't really present in the anime either.  

2: I like several of the common tropes present in VNs/anime/manga/light novels (like childhood friends and high schools and tsunderes and crazy, sometimes out-of-this-world stories), so I get to enjoy them for that, but fortunately VNs wind up being longer than most of the other formats so there's more time to get engaged in the stories that're told. I guess it gives me an idea of what to expect but not have all the details laid out allowing me to be surprised. Kind of like going to a buffet restaurant, but having the actual meal be something different every time, in a sense?

3: I like that you have choice in where and how you want the story to progress, rather than being tied to just one interpretation (as you would be with most manga or anime). I find this especially useful for romance VNs (which I read often): compared to romance anime you get to pick your favorite heroine, and you aren't obliged to even read the routes of heroines you dislike, whereas with an anime or a manga (or an LN), that choice wouldn't be available to you. 

4: In addition to being complete, you often get more than one genuinely distinct story with a VN. Something like Fate/Stay Night, for example, gives you three of them, whereas the anime adaptations have had to split that into one season (Fate), two seasons (UBW) and three movies (HF) respectively. I find that to be a lot less common with the other formats, and I feel like it helps me to get more value for money out of VN purchases as a result: if you like the world there are multiple stories that can be told without having to start reading a whole new story from scratch and get over the hump of "who are these characters, what's the setting, etc".

Edited by snowbell55
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If I had to limit it to one thing, I'd have to say the choices.  Growing up I loved reading.  While most kids would be outside playing, I'd be reading.  So much so that I didn't really start watching TV until around the age of 12.  It was around then that I was really into these "Choose Your Own Adventure" books and when I was first introduced to anime(apart from things like Pokemon, Sailer Moon etc.).  Some years later I see some screenshots for a VN and got curious.  Did some digging and found out what it came from and that it was in English.  Read it through, and I've never looked back.

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10 year old me was enthused with Higurashi and School Days cause blood and horror and I ended up skipping to a bad end in School Days to see roof gymnastics and read Onikakushi around when I was 11. Then I found Season of The Sakura around when I was 12 and fully became a degenerate.

 

Also I think I read Heartache 101 somewhere during that timeline.

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funny thing. ive read a VN without knowing its a VN.

but seriously im looking for hentai but theres so much rape in it, at least the translated one. so i decided to try hentai games most of the are rape yes (or maybe im not looking enough) and stumbled on sharin no kuni. now im reading VN since then.

PS. also i refused to read VN without h-scenes eXcept if that VN has originally no h-scene in it. it is a really bad habit for me :amane:

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i found a parody flash game for love hina online (didnt know it at the time) that had dating sim elements in it. if you get the girls love meter, or whatever, at 100% you unlocked a code to have a dress mode and basically make em nude. me being a horney teenager, even the idea of ms paint boobs made me jack. so, i figured id try to find something similar to that. i looked around until i landed on a site that had the word "free" in it. being naive, and not really intending to pirate, i downloaded some vns and played them. the two i got was "x-change" and "do you like horney bunnies." 

 

dylhb i couldnt get to work because i didnt know about daemon tools so i played x-change first. and thus, my adventure began. :sachi:

Edited by mitchhamilton
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Playing through 999, which has great music, good characters and an incredible final twist. I emulated the DS version on my laptop, and understanding that final twist made me decide games could tell stories that rivaled my favorite books. That not only led to me finding out about visual novels (and consequently Fuwanovel), but also led me to decide that games were something worth seriously investing time and emotions in.

Perhaps I'd have had a different life if I hadn't seen a stranger adamantly recommend 999 on a Turkish fan forum for Nintendo games, especially because said love of games ended up destroying any study habit and self-discipline I had.

But here we are, 5 years later.

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My sister's Otakuness kinda rubbed off on me somewhere.

Then I played the Hyperdimension Neptunia games.

Then I watched let's plays/streams of Ace Attorney and Steins;Gate.

Then I picked up Grisaia no Kajitsu in a steam sale ...... and was seriously hooked.

The rest is history.... :michiru:

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Started watching anime as a kid -> watched most of the anime that were intersting and easy to find -> wanted something similar in style -> started reading manga -> read all the translated manga that I liked and were easy to find -> wanted something similar in style  -> started reading VN-s

A pretty clear progression. Also I'm not saying a read and watched everything, it just became harder and harder to find things that really grabbed me so I decided to look elsewhere.

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Just got tired of anime, manga or even jrpg, where protagonist most likely didn't pick any girl, or chooses less appealing one (pink haired, lol). Also story's without conclusion by itself irritates me (pick any harem anime based on ranobe). Not to mention its hard to self-insert in anime.

And here I am, dating any girl that I want and with full story in it. + legit hentai as a bonus, no need in Doujishi anymore.

Edited by ShinRaikdou
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Had a phase where I was obssessed with romance stories, mostly manga. A shit ton of good romance mangas end quickly, and if they dont end quickly, it's probably because there's no progress in the story at all(Not that i'm saying everything is like this but mostly). Got tired of the medium and heard about visual novels where the romance is actually more involved as a reader and most importantly, actually has a proper progression where I also don't have to wait every week for a new upload. Heard about routes and choices which at that moment I was also a fan of choose your own adventure games and it was a mix of all the things I wanted.

For some reason I don't remember, even if my goal was playing romance vn's, I played fate/stay night first which was the start of my jump into the abyss of VN's.

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Key. I became their massive fan after watching Angel Beats and Clannad anime, so after watching most of the anime adaptations of their works that were available at the time, I decided to read Rewrite and Little Busters. After that I discovered vndb and started going through other highly rated VNs that caught my attention. Well, my next VN should've been Steins Gate, but the fan patch was marked as incomplete for some reason, so I decided to watch the anime instead.

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Well, most of my favorite animes were based off VNs (all the Key stuff, Higurashi, Steins;Gate...) so it's only natural to eventually check out the original material, isn't it? Even though I didn't started with any of those, but with Katawa Shoujo, as many other people. It's free and easy to find, plus people said it was good and at the time everyone was uploading let's plays on YouTube so I said "why not, let's try this VN stuff". Then, after seeing it was something I could enjoy, I moved onto those VNs whose anime adaptations I'd already seen, and eventually onto completely new stuff. 

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18 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

You know JRPGs, Mangas, Anime, etc. How did you end up becoming a Visual Novel reader of all things?

Actually, I didn't answer to this question in my previous post. You know, I just prefer books to movies. I like it a lot more than the information is conveyed in words rather than using visual information. That's why, when it comes to the otaku culture, I mostly prefer VNs and LNs and only consume the other things occasionally.

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I love to read, at the beginning, i just watched anime, then i began to read mangá, light novels, books, but do you know what i love the most? Seeing what my decision changes in the universe. I can't even remember when i first wanted to get inside the show, punch the protagonist and do what he doensn't want to for some random reason, so i began playing games that the universe changed based on my decisions, and then i began playing VNs that had a lot of ending and a lot of decisions to do, and since i LOVE reading, VN was just perfect, i could read, i was way more immerse in the universe than i was while reading books since i had a good image of how the characters are since i can see every single detail, i can see their appearance, and i also can have a way more fluid reading.

 

 

In the end, i'll like anything that i can read and learn something from.

 

What also helped a lot, is that i did quit school for a long time because of health problems, so i had nothing to do, there isn't really that much animes that i haven't watched, or mangás that i didn't read, i even learned english so that i could read more mangás and watch older animes, but everything has a end, so i ended up on the VNs, hahaha. (And if you want to know, yes, my health is way better now, i have plans on getting back to school soon, even tried to go this year, but i couldn't keep it up after staying at home for around 5 years.)

Edited by Sekan Orochi
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Same with you I found the two sim date games on Newgrounds when I was a horny high schooler and I found myself liking those two for reasons other than that.

This was the start of my obsession with Galaxy Angel and it also resparked my interest in both anime and manga. Cut to several years later and I find out that there was an official Galaxy Angel game and that it had recently been translated. It was like Christmas in July since my Galaxy Angel mania was at an all time high yet I was a little dissatisfied that Milfuelle was the designated Main Girl. So the fact that I could actually go on a Mint centric route was a huge boon to me.

As to why it was Visual Novels of all things? I think the answer to that is because it checked off all the things that jelled with me. The combination of text, a visual aspect, and music hit all of my boxes. 

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About six years ago I discovered 999 on IGN's list of the best DS games. I really loved it, so I went looking for more. First I watched the sequel as a LP (because I didn't own a 3DS), then I discovered Ace Attorney which I also really liked so I played all four parts available at the time. But with me not knowing both franchises were actually VNs I didn't find similar titles since VNs are usually not covered in mainstream gaming journalism. Then I forgot about the genre for some time (with a short Hatoful Boyfriend intermezzo, which I had just picked up for shits and giggles, but ended up really enjoying it). I only discovered it again when Zero Time Dilemma came out. I revisited the prequels and started looking for similar games, this time for serious. Next up was Danganronpa, then Steins;Gate and so on.

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  • 4 years later...

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Back then I had a really cute himecut-wearing otome-liking girlfriend who turned out to be batshit insane after there was some conflict between me and her parents. She dragged me into the Otome-Game "Amnesia" and then my interested developed from there. My first true passion for VNs started when I got randomly drafted on facebook by @Sinned (who was the leader of the German Touhou Community we ran a decade ago) as a staff/admin member to our German website https://www.visual-novel.info and the rest is history.

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Back when I hated VNs, I saw some good reviews of Va-11 Hall-A by chance, which me curious. As I was playing it, it got me so interested that I only stopped playing the game when I finished it, and I guess after that, I learned to be more open minded about VNs (and even other genres I was previously against).

Edited by Mist Ephemeral
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When I was about 7 years old, Hanako Games released a game called Cute Knight and I was all about that because it was the most anime-looking game that I could find with my limited resources.  I absolutely adored it and I think I dated a librarian lady. It wasn't quite a visual novel, but I adored the game, so it was always at the back of my mind. Sometime around the same time, I was playing "dating sims" games on Newgrounds that were probably not good, but started something in me.

Combining forces, these two games culminated in me just going apeshit when I found out Hanako Games was releasing Magical Diary Horse Hall. Never got the chance to play past the demo, but it did give me knowledge that I did not have before:

Visual novels.

A plethora of games where you can date cute girls. Sometimes, even boys. But more importantly, cute girls.

I was just utterly delighted and I've never been the same since.

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3 minutes ago, auntwitch said:

When I was about 7 years old, Hanako Games released a game called Cute Knight and I was all about that because it was the most anime-looking game that I could find with my limited resources.  I absolutely adored it and I think I dated a librarian lady. It wasn't quite a visual novel, but I adored the game, so it was always at the back of my mind. Sometime around the same time, I was playing "dating sims" games on Newgrounds that were probably not good, but started something in me.

Combining forces, these two games culminated in me just going apeshit when I found out Hanako Games was releasing Magical Diary Horse Hall. Never got the chance to play past the demo, but it did give me knowledge that I did not have before:

Visual novels.

A plethora of games where you can date cute girls. Sometimes, even boys. But more importantly, cute girls.

I was just utterly delighted and I've never been the same since.

This is a cool story! If HanakoGames was here they would probably be very happy. Unfortunately I was not able to contact them yet without sending them a public message :D


Thanks for being around!

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Not a long story to tell, i always loved reading (read my first books an age of 7-8, the LotR trilogy) and later gaming and anime/manga were added to my main ways to spend time.

I probably played VNs before even knowing that they were a genre but that's too far in the past to remember any specific titles.

The first time i actually got in contact with the term was in an anime forum where some peple wrote about an VN and i just gave it a try because it was free (it was Katawa shoujo), after finishing it a few times i looked to similar games and found fuwanovel by chance (still with torrents back then, though not long before shutting them down) i tried several of them and it didn't take long until they bacame one of my favorite genres.

And it just stayed that way, only difference since then is that i don't have to rely on "unofficial ways" to get them anymore (aside from probably  breaking some ToS due to VPN usage and similar stuff at least).

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