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So I was watching Dodger's LP of Always Remember Me because I find the voices she uses to be hilarious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6ABHS9NTq8

This got me thinking about voice acting in VNs. When I read my first voiced VN, which was Cross Channel, I found the voices extremely annoying. It was my first experience with Japanese voices so I turned them off and for quite some time the first thing I'd do after installing a VN would be to go turn off the voices. I read Cross Channel, Ever17, Clannad, G-Senjou, Saya no Uta, F/SN, Kanon, LB, Chaos;Head, YMK, and Steins;Gate in this fashion. I remember for certain that I turned off the voices at the start of Symphonic Rain, but I don't remember if I turned them off at the start of Rewrite and I remember reading it with voices at some point, so it was during one of those 2 that I, for whatever reason, turned the voices on and to my surprise found that I actually kind of liked them. Now I can't fully enjoy a VN without the voices. I have yet to figure out what caused this change, since it wasn't even a case of them growing on me since I didn't have them at all. The only thing I think it might be is Anime, but even then I only watched Clannad and Kanon after the VNs at that point, I've never been much of an anime person.

Sorry if this is a little all over the place, I'm a bit out of it from Benylin. >.>

Basically, do you like Japanese voice acting? Have you always enjoyed it? And have you ever tried something and hated it, only to come back again much later and find out that you now really like it?

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I've always enjoyed voice acting, it really brings the characters to life. I also prefer having voiced protagonists.

 

Plus it sometimes comes in handy when I'm having a brainfart not recognizing a kanji in the text but then the character pronounces it and I'm like, ah okay so that's what it was. 

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Voices are pretty cool. I don't mind if they're not there (Higurashi is in my top 3, and it's unvoiced), but if they are used, then it's usually a good thing. There are some exceptions to the rule, though. For example, Coco's screechy banshee voice from ever17, as fun as her character was, made my ears bleed... so that went off in a heartbeat. There's also an issue for me as I read quite fast; consequently, I tend to read much faster than the person talking, and end up cutting them off.

 

Still, I prefer to at least have the option of having the voices since there are plenty of scenes in VNs that would loose at least part of their impact if not for the voices.

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Yeah, Coco's voice was pretty tough to get used to. May as well go ahead and say I never did XD.

 

Japanese voice acting are usually great. The way most seiyuu can do so many voices is really amazing. Even if the acting happens to be bad, I've never really turned them off. They'd have to be really bad for me to do that, I guess :P.

 

Adding another perspective, I have worked on several game projects (including one now) that involve voice work. It's really not something that you just tack on at the end. Committing to having voices means allocating the time needed to manage actors and provide feedback. This is also why many games only have voices during key scenes. Thinking about it, when a VN has full voices throughout, it's quite an accomplishment :).

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My prejudice against English and for Japanese VA comes from having begun watching anime in the early nineties, when Japan already had a viable professional VA community and the US didn't.  I saw so many terrible dubs over the years that I got to where I can't stand watching dubs for anything that has the original language.  Also, I find Japanese to be a prettier and more interesting language to listen to, overall.  lol

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I started watching anime around grade 7-8 though I first started with english dubbed (use to watch the anime on tv before I discovered the interwebs). Once I started listening to japanese seiyuu, I couldn't go back to english voices. I feel like the japanese seiyuu's put in more effort into their roles and have more energy and you can hear it in their characters they play.

 

Onto VN's, only having played a few series, I think they do a good job and personally, I think their voices enhances the overall experience, even if some of the characters voices may sound "annoying" or "bad". I feel like 50% of the character comes from the voice alone. When I played Katawa Shoujo, I felt like my experience would have been better if it was voiced (I'm not saying it is a bad thing, I enjoyed it overall regardless). I'm too used to voice actoring from anime that I kind of need it in VN's as well...

 

Though I would imagine what kind of voice would suit the character if the game wasn't voiced just like Katawa.

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My prejudice against English and for Japanese VA comes from having begun watching anime in the early nineties, when Japan already had a viable professional VA community and the US didn't.  I saw so many terrible dubs over the years that I got to where I can't stand watching dubs for anything that has the original language.  Also, I find Japanese to be a prettier and more interesting language to listen to, overall.  lol

 

 

I am with you there, I can't stand Eng dubs because voice acting just lucks quality big time but I like the original Jap voice acting even true I understand just about 1/3 of it.

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You turned off the voices in Symphonic Rain?! unbelievable!

 

I like my stories un-voiced, that way i can imagine the characters's pitch and way to speak but there are LN for that.

 

I always have the voices on in whatever VN i'm reading, even for Saya no Uta.

There are times when the voices are too slow and the VA can't finish their lines due to my reading speed being faster than their voices, that's certainly annoying. And there are times when i disliked the characters so much i felt sick just from listening to them but there are many characters with memorable VA such as Okabe Rintarou, Inohara Masato, Natsume Rin, etc, etc.  

 

Voices should be left on for certain VN's

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I always listen to the voices in VNs for a few reasons.

 

I like japanese voices, plus they are a big help if you can barely read kanji, but can understand voiced lines.

 

Turning of the voices would not give me the whole experience that was intended, since voices help a lot to convey the emotions of the speaker.

 

And lastly, I take great enjoyment in simply trying to recognize which Seiyuu voices the character whose voice I recognize.

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This made me remember the time I started watching subbed anime. At first, I watched it in spanish (latin), but at some point, there weren't any chapters in that language anymore (I'm talking about One Piece here), so I had to watch them in spanish (Spain; a bit different, not only because of the words, but also the accent), and I couldn't really get into it like that. At that time, I hated subtitles, because I had to read while watching (and I was bad at multitasking (?)), but when I couldn't find anymore dubbed chapters, I had to start with japanese and subs. After a reaaaaaaaaally short while, I got really addicted to it, and I came to love the voices, and I still do xD
When I started playing visual novels for real, I started with Katawa, and after that I got my hands on Koihime Musou, both without voices (and I had forgotten, at that point, that I had played a bit of Fate/SN before, so I thought they were like that). Shortly after, I played a voiced one (don't remember which one) and from that time, until now, I get really annoyed when a visual novel doesn't have voices, to the point of dropping them quite regularly xDD 

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You turned off the voices in Symphonic Rain?! unbelievable!

 

I like my stories un-voiced, that way i can imagine the characters's pitch and way to speak but there are LN for that.

 

I always have the voices on in whatever VN i'm reading, even for Saya no Uta.

There are times when the voices are too slow and the VA can't finish their lines due to my reading speed being faster than their voices, that's certainly annoying. And there are times when i disliked the characters so much i felt sick just from listening to them but there are many characters with memorable VA such as Okabe Rintarou, Inohara Masato, Natsume Rin, etc, etc.  

 

Voices should be left on for certain VN's

I'm shocked too! I think it might have been Symphonic Rain that got me to turn the voices on because I really liked the songs, and maybe I thought why not have voices everywhere? Once again, I just don't remember. :P

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I have to say it was most likely Anime that made me enjoy japanese voice acting.

Before that everything here was dubbed over and I was fine with it really, no issues at all since I've lived with it pretty much since i was born and i even despised japanese voice acting sometimes because i was lazy to read subtitles.

Then i start watching Anime in japanese a few years later and I kind of start liking it, i sense much more emotion in it for some reason and overall it was much more compelling for a fictional character to be speaking like that as opposed to the times where i heard it dubbed. Then i was introduced to the VN world which was after almost a year of watching Anime in japanese and by then I was already used to japanese voice acting and it doesn't bother me at all for most part. Keep in mind SOME voices annoy me, the seeiyus can do an awful job sometimes too (I still do not like Komari's voice actress in Little Busters) but for most part I always enjoy hearing the original Japanese voice acting over any other language in VNs or in Anime.

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Some VNs do fine without them, some don't.  Personally, I think that all characters should have voices, if they are going to have voices in the first place *is referring to the lack of protagonist voices in most VNs*.

I agree that it's a little off-putting when all of the lines are voiced except for the protag's, although I'm mostly used to it. Can't imagine what it'd be like to read a partially voiced VN.

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Is it just in Refrain? Because then it's not too bad, at least it's a separate route where he's voiced, like Terra in Rewrite. But if it were just during random "important" scenes...

It's in Refrain and when you miss a ball during the baseball practice or when a ball hits Rikki :ph34r:

 

I also do think that more VNs need a protag voice. I get that they're trying to somehow make you feel like you're the protag but when i'm reading a story i don't want to be the protag in particular and I think voice acting would be a nice asset to have for a full fledged VN. Only like 3 VNs i read had every character voiced.

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