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Are they really over 18?

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So, I've been playing Aokana since it was released and one thing that always makes me wonder is the disclaimer saying that every character is over 18 years old. However, they are all in High School, and even if some of the heroines are 18, Mashiro, as a kouhai would be 17, so the girl's age must be 19. But at least in Brazil High School is over when you are 17, so in comparison the heroines would need to fail at least two years to still be in high school.

 

What I want to ask is, how does the japanese school system actually work? Is it possible that the girls are really 18+, os is it just a way that localizers found to release it in the west without legal issues?

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As far as I know schooling begins with 6, then there are 6 years elementary, 3 years middle and 3 years high school, so the characters in pretty much every high school setting VN could only be 18 if they are in their graduate year or if they have repeated. In Japan pornography with underage fictional characters may be looked down upon, but since the age of consent is 13 in japan, all of the high school and most of the middle school stuff is pretty much save from every angle.

For localizations sake you could say that all of them started school 3 years late, early localizations (A lot of old JAST stuff) placed obvious high schoolers into universities in name only.

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Not sure if it's true since this is based on something I've read in a manga (lol), but apparently schools in eroge aren't typically refereed with the usual word for a high-school in Japanese, and it is done specifically so that everyone could just conveniently assume that it's some kind of school where even the youngest students are 18+, even if it doesn't make any sense.

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I think some of our japanese readers could answer more accurately, but I think VNs tend to use the general gakko, which means school, without further specifying it, more frequently. Chugakko would be middle school and kotogakko or short koko is high school. Pretty sure I'm also frequently hearing koko, especially when characters are talking about other people who are attending a different school. (Basically when the characters need to be specific)

My take is the casual tone within ones school leans towards gakko and the tone when misunderstandings could occur leans towards "something-something" koko. (Or in rarer cases chugakko, maybe when the protagonist has a little sister that is still attending middle school, or just joined from a middle school)

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First year characters (i.e. Mashiro) are most likely 15 or 16.  Second year characters (i.e. Masaya, Asuka, and Misaki) are most likely 16 or 17.  As you can clearly see all characters are "over 18 years old."  I don't understand why you'd ever doubt a disclaimer that's so obviously true.

Spoiler

What I'm still trying to figure out is how Grisaia no Kajitsu got away with not having this kind of disclaimer.

 

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yes, and if anyone asks for instance your neighbor, you family, your friends, the judge, you can say with 100% certainty that every character that you can have sex with or see naked in visual novels are indeed over the age of 18

 

dont question it. :jinpou: 

Edited by mitchhamilton

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Legal matters. It's such a grey area..... :Kappa:

Maybe it's a good thing VN's aren't more mainstream. Lest they be far more scrutinized, and subject to far more "artistic" standards (which is really a form of political correctness).

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I was actually surprised when I saw that disclaimer in untranslated VN for the first time. I always assumed it was just for localization purposes, because of US law. (Like, in Sakura no Kisetsu, characters are in the middle/high school, and it's explicitly stated, along with protag being 16, first year high-schooler, but in translated version it is all rewritten so they are over 18)

Edited by adamstan

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1 hour ago, adamstan said:

I was actually surprised when I saw that disclaimer in untranslated VN for the first time. I always assumed it was just for localization purposes, because of US law. (Like, in Sakura no Kisetsu, characters are in the middle/high school, and it's explicitly stated, along with protag being 16, first year high-schooler, but in translated version it is all rewritten so they are over 18)

Well, I recall reading that even in Japan if you actually state in the story that the characters are underage, it's still considered a legally grey area. They just don't care about anything other than that. Japanese laws are weird...

Edited by Dreamysyu

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Every eroge reader should know that the disclaimer saying that every character is over 18 years old, is just a meme that's only there to guarantee you that all characters are minors.

Beware of reading a VN without that disclaimer - you might see a character that's actually 18 or even older! :o

Edited by ChaosRaven

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1 hour ago, Dreamysyu said:

Well, I recall reading that even in Japan if you actually state in the story that the characters are underage, it's still considered a legally grey area. They just don't care about anything other than that. Japanese laws are weird...

So maybe it was different in the '90s? (SnK was released in 1996... If memory serves, YU-NO also didn't have such disclaimer)

Edited by adamstan

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3 hours ago, adamstan said:

I was actually surprised when I saw that disclaimer in untranslated VN for the first time. I always assumed it was just for localization purposes, because of US law. (Like, in Sakura no Kisetsu, characters are in the middle/high school, and it's explicitly stated, along with protag being 16, first year high-schooler, but in translated version it is all rewritten so they are over 18)

There is a group, kinda sorta in between the ESRB and a Standards & Practices body, called SoFuRin / EOCS.  Like the ESRB, it was formed in response to political pressure.  Game developers would agree to abide by their restrictions and for awhile, all the major VN makers were members.  This body actually standardized the way the schools are described, and it used generic words that don't imply anything about the age of the students, and it mandated not discussing the issue.  (It also banned real incest for awhile, but that was eventually relaxed.  This is why so many games did pseudo-incest, where protag-kun is adopted or bangs all his step-sisters or what have you.)

39 minutes ago, Ruberick said:

As far as I know fictional child pornography isn't outright banned in the US, maybe back then they just didn't know where to put hentai/cartoon stuff yet?

This is wrong.  It depends on what jurisdiction you're in, and the Miller Test (the controlling law in the area) has a lot of stuff but it essentially boils down to 'if it turns the stomach of the jury you're going to be convicted'.

 

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6 minutes ago, Nandemonai said:

There is a group, kinda sorta in between the ESRB and a Standards & Practices body, called SoFuRin / EOCS.  Like the ESRB, it was formed in response to political pressure.  Game developers would agree to abide by their restrictions and for awhile, all the major VN makers were members.  This body actually standardized the way the schools are described, and it used generic words that don't imply anything about the age of the students, and it mandated not discussing the issue.  (It also banned real incest for awhile, but that was eventually relaxed.  This is why so many games did pseudo-incest, where protag-kun is adopted or bangs all his step-sisters or what have you.)

Does that mean that doujin groups and small companies that aren't members can still do whatever they want?

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42 minutes ago, NowItsAngeTime said:

I recently caught Steam MoeNovel's release of Flight Diary messing up in the act!

I'm going to play JP all-ages version of Kanako's route next (probably tomorrow), so will pay attention to what does she say there ;)(Is this screen from Kanako's route or some other? So far I finished Akari's and Hotaru's, and haven't encountered this scene)

And yesterday I finished Hotaru's route. OMG, so much cuteness :wub: And nice character development for Hotaru. Sweet little route, and sweet little Hotaru :D

Again, Steam version is identical to Cruise Sign version, no additional censorship. Translation is similar to Akari's route - not great, not terrible ;) So now, onto the Kanako's route.

Oops, I forgot we aren't in the "What are you playing" thread...

 

Edited by adamstan

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