Jump to content
Clephas

For Love of VNs: For Beginners

Recommended Posts

This is a list of good games to begin your journey into playing VNs in Japanese.  Inevitably, most of these games will be moege, charage, or nakige.  There is little to be done about this, as chuuni, sci-fi, and fantasy-action VNs have linguistic barriers that will be too much for someone still struggling with reading conversational Japanese.  In particular, the biggest barrier for someone who is used to dealing with Japanese that is 'spoken', rather than 'written' is the existence of literary Japanese.  The turns of phrase, different wording, etc. that an inexperienced reader might run into can either be seen as a learning experience or as pure confusion, depending on your level and state of mind.  As such, I am only putting down games that are readable for someone who understands spoken Japanese but is weaker in literary Japanese.  I will also put a 'second level' for those who are interested in challenging themselves a little but not too much.  This one will be for those who are willing to see if they can handle the easier action scenes, more difficult event descriptions, and the like.

 

 

First Level:

 

Maji Suki Marginal Skip

Suzunone Seven

Kamikaze Explorer

Tsuisou no Augment (this game is hilarious, and it is not a moege.  I recommend this to people who liked the atmosphere of Yume Miru Kusuri)

Akabanzu - Real na Sekai de Boku ga Kimi ni Dekiru Koto (this game has only minor scientific terms and jargon, mostly related to AI and MMO's.  Since it is distinctly possible you ran into these terms just watching anime, I went ahead and put this up.)

Chuning Lover (this game is just generally rofl)

Ichiban Janakya Dame Desu Ka (one of the few almost-pure comedy in my personal lineup)

Otomimi Infinity

Sakura Iro Quartet (this and the game above are for mimikko fetishists)

Ryuusei Kiseki (sci-fi moege, fairly easy.  Hardest parts are when the protag begins preaching about his hobby)

Shiawase Kazoku-bu

Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi (surrealist fantasy moege... mildly funny, interesting in general)

Toppara - Zashikiwarashi no Hanashi (use this as your crash course in youkai)

12/30/2014 edit

Love Revenge

Real Imouto ga Iru Ooizumi-kun no Baai

08/15/2016 Edit

Sakigake Generation

Minamijuujisei Renka

Primal Hearts

Primal Hearts 2

World Election

Koko Kara Natsu no Innocence

 

 

Second Level:

Irotoridori no Sekai (yeah, it is being translated, but it isn't done yet)

Konata yori Kanata Made (relatively low-difficulty action/event scenes, as well as being an excellent entry point into the utsuge genre)

Tiny Dungeon series (relatively normal conversational and event scenes, and the actions scenes are relatively low-difficulty, if somewhat fast-paced)

Draculius (similar to above in the action)

Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no (this game is probably one of the top three non-action/sci-fi/fantasy games I've played and it is harder than the games on the first level... but in exchange it is also a lot better, lol)

Hyper→Highspeed→Genius (relatively high difficulty to first level, but it is easier than the games I'd prefer to introduce people to, lol)

Koisuru Otome to Shugo no Tate - The Code Name is "Shield 9" (fanboys of fantranslations know this as one of the many dead projects)

Ore no Tsure wa Hitodenashi

Kaminoyu (this one and the one above are your source for non-human love in this stage, lol)

Otome ga Tsumugu, Koi no Canvas (higher difficulty than first level primarily due to the art terms)

Aete Mushisuru, Kimi to no Mirai

Akatsuki no Goei (first one only, later ones are too hard for Second Level)

Re: birth Colony Lost Azurite (this, Tiny Dungeon, and Draculius are probably the hardest games on this list)

Fake Azure Arcology (direct link to the game above, and ditto)

Kimi to Boku to Eden no Ringo

Koiiro Soramoyou (famous for certain VN fanboys)

Kimi to Boku to no Kishi no HIbi (recent release, fairly easy, good protag)

Lunaris Filia (a vampire charage, for those who want some of that)

Naka no Hito nado Inai!! Tokyo Hero Project

Dracu-riot

Sakura Tale

Tojita Sekai no Tori Colony (this game is pretty hilarious, especially if you insist on seeing all of the loop ends before getting to the true end)

Tsuki ni Yorisou, Otome no Sahou (similar to Koi no Canvas, in that the terms that will give you the most trouble are the technical ones - this time for sewing and clothing design)

12/30/2014 edit

Zannen na Oretachi no Seishun Jijou

Kimi no Tonari de Koishiteiru

Sekai wo Sukuu Dake no Kantan na Shigoto

Nanairo Reincarnation (borderline within this if you are familiar with the base concepts of youkai and ghosts as understood by the Japanese)

Sakigake Generation

 

 

 

 

Edit:  This will be the last in my series of lists.  I will edit them with additions occasionally, but I won't be making any new ones.  Have fun yall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for this. Now I know what to read when I get the energy to finally start some reading.

 

Also, slightly off topic, how hard would you say Tasogare no Sinsemilla is? I know I won't be able to read it yet but I'm very interested in it. Is it comparable to those on the second level? Or is it much harder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool list. I see you added a lot of great titles to the 2nd level, I don't know any of the first level VN's. I am planning to read "Konata yori Kanata Made", "Haruka ni Aogi, Uruwashi no", "Re: birth Colony Lost Azurite", "Irotoridori no Sekai" and some more titles from the list.. Actually you really packed the list with good vn's O_o and they don't look that hard. Hats off for you Clephas.

 

Re:birth Colony Lost Azurite might give first timers a headache with the computer terms in katakana. Not sure how hard the game is because I was completely new when I started and quickly dropped it. But prbly spikes up to Draculius hardest dif at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem.  First level games are about as easy as VNs that don't suck get.  Second level games are harder but not completely out of range for someone just starting (given that they have pre-existing knowledge of Japanese). 

 

I felt that this was better than having someone ask for recommendations every time they make their entry into untranslated VNs, as this forum is getting cluttered with threads like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am Brazilian, sorry for my English  ;) So, I want to know how difficult Baldr Sky is. I have played plenty of novels but Baldr Sky is my objective and I have fear that it will be too much complex for me. If it is similar to Muv Luv Alternative, so I will play it in the end of this year :wacko:  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These lists are truly phenomenal resources.  Thank you for all the time and effort you've put into each one.  I'd like to highlight your work on the blog, if that's okay with you, via a series of posts recognizing these fantastic resources, and giving you much-deserved recognition.

 

Let me know if that's ok.  In any case, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These lists are truly phenomenal resources.  Thank you for all the time and effort you've put into each one.  I'd like to highlight your work on the blog, if that's okay with you, via a series of posts recognizing these fantastic resources, and giving you much-deserved recognition.

 

Let me know if that's ok.  In any case, thank you!

Oh... I should have asked him first.

Clephas, might I share this on the Facebook? I sort of already did. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to disagree about putting Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi into the first level list. For example, Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de is a moege with moege kanji and moege speech patterns. But Sukimazakura is a different type of moege, with pretty hard wordings and somewhat unusual kanji. Honestly, Evolimit was simplier than this one, and I wouldn't put it even into the second level list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to disagree about putting Sukimazakura to Uso no Machi into the first level list. For example, Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de is a moege with moege kanji and moege speech patterns. But Sukimazakura is a different type of moege, with pretty hard wordings and somewhat unusual kanji. Honestly, Evolimit was simplier than this one, and I wouldn't put it even into the second level list.

I remembered it being really easy, but since it has been a few years, I could have missed something.  I breezed through it like I do most moege, and there didn't seem to be any real complex wording outside of the dialog about the central theme, that I recall... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is for those who already have a certain degree of Japanese knowledge (basic grammar, can understand most of it when watching anime without subtitles, etc) and thus can figure it out with a combination of a text hooker and jparser. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this! I might give an untranslated one a try one of these days. By the way, where would you put Tsujidou-san no Jun'ai Road? It's one I'm looking forward to reading, so I'm hoping it's on the easier side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really... Kamikaze has a lot of weird katakana usage, but no real weird kanji.  Tsuisou, for how weird it begins, uses mostly plain speech and common kanji and kanji combinations.  If you can't handle either of these using jparser, you probably need to go over or review basic grammar... or watch a few days worth of anime without the subtitles as a refresher course. 

 

Edit:  It is rare for something that is mostly slice of life to not be relatively easy, though there are exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few question:

1.How much kanji(at least) do you need to remember the first level one?

2.Can I use these VNs to learn kanji?(I would love to study new kanjis)

3.Which one is easiest to start with?(I read every genre)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×