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Books/VNs or anything like SeaBed


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I finished SeaBed last year and I was astounded at how different it was from any visual novel and pretty much everything I've seen. It's a very strong contender for my favourite piece of fiction, but I don't think I'll be happy if this is the peak of all fiction I've seen. Ever since, I've tried finding something that gave me the same immersion and feel as SeaBed, which includes Umeda Sky (short VN), Paterson/Before Sunset (live action movies) and Omoide Poroporo (anime movie) and some of Europe Comics (Cold Front, Swamp) and while they do share many similarities, none of them are comparable to SeaBed as a whole, mainly due to the length. I have been very disappointed with the selection of novels I've read so far: Proust's In Search of Lost Time was much more slow paced and excessively verbose and had a ton of complex vocabulary, John Lanchester's Capital was very jarring with the protagonist changing every chapter. I'm not giving up on books just yet, and I'm hoping that I could find recommendations.

I guess what I'm looking for is a book/VN preferably or other media that:

  • Has no contrivances, tropes, cliches, harems, explicit dramas/thriller/shocker moments or forced misunderstandings, 18+ for porn's sake etc.
  • Have characters being real as fuck; acting stoically, keeping their burdens to themselves, resolving potential conflicts quickly and spontaneously, not making a fool out of themselves or burn bridges etc.
  • Falls under modern realistic slice of life; No fantastical story arcs, transformations, setting, but ordinary, realistic, believable scenarios with normal human characters experiencing normal human life. I find that a lot of the "slice of life" novels I've seen and dropped are set in much older times (1800s-1900s) or are just utter misery.
  • Has a writing style with descriptive prose without being excessively verbose or too much complex vocabulary so that I have search up a dictionary every half minute. E.g., I really like SeaBed's writing being very flat and direct, much like the excellent translations by Makoto in his works (Saya no Uta, Hanachirasu and Soukou Akki Muramasa)

Other factors I've eyeing for, but not necessary is:

  • Unique, "not explored much" character dynamics (i.e., preferably predominantly adult male cast or elderly, or has characters with many different ages spanning young to adolescent to middle-aged to old) like how SeaBed's mainly filled with middle aged adult women.

Turnip Sensei also explain why I love this visual novel in the thread, Is Kindred Spirits similar to SeaBed?.

Edited by dirkncloak
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Hmmmmmmm that's hard. Seabed is truly unique and I don't think there is anything like it in VN form. In books, though, you may find something that suits your tastes, but I can't immediately recall any that is "slice of life" oriented.

You may like White Album 2 as it's considered very "real" and well-written, but there are some parts of your list that happen in the story that you may not like, such as "quickly solving problems". WA2 is about solving everything as slowly as possible... which works in the story. You could also try Kara no Shojo/The Shell, BUT it is a mystery-driven game that has a lot of murdering and sex (although relevant to the story, most of the times).

Well, in 2018 I just had a no to answer, but ever since then, I changed my mind a lot. You should definetely try Kindred Spirits on the Roof. The only drawback is that it has two ghost girls acting as cupids, but the story is genuinely good as well as the romance. It is so good that I read it twice, which says a lot bc I hate doing so.

And the last recommendation I can think of is the What a wonderful series:




They are not fantasy, but steampunk. I guess it counts.

Edited by Silvz
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