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Are we getting noticed?


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This is something i've been wondering for a while, but are we, as western vn readers, getting noticed by vn developers?

I have no idea how big the complete western vn community (VndB, Fuwan, hell... i've even found a dutch community) but are sales outside japan big enough a number to compete with the japanese? To get actually noticed?

I'm asking this because I think It could have dire ramifications for the development of vn's, to satisfy the western buyer.

Considering Fuwanovel's catchphrase 'Make visual novels popular in the west,' I thought it would be an interesting topic, and where better than to ask here ;)

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Well, it depends on how you view it..

In terms of the good side, companies like JAST and Mangagamer offer English localized versions of some VNs at a price, though it could possibly match the sales within Japan.

In terms of the undesired side, many VN developers knows about the existence of fan translations.. And they're probably isn't liking it..

So yeah, in short, we're pretty much known to many long-time VN companies..

PS: Key (the same company who made Little Busters!, Clannad, Rewrite) released an official english localization of Planetarian! Another fact to know that our existence as a community is being made known. () :)

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The problem with popularizing VN in the west does not solely lie in sales figures. After all, they probably won't sell well here until they are properly marketed.

It mostly lies with the difference in cultures between the west an japan.

Firstly anime/manga in japan is enjoyed by people of all ages and both sexes. However, in the west anime is mostly consumed by children (I'm willing to bet mostly male aswell). Although there is also a large adult audience in the west, it is far from mainstream. As a result, the target audience for VNs would be considerable narrower.

And secondly, in the west Japanese culture is portrayed as being strange and weird. I myself have been shocked at some content from VNs, but I am able to accept that it is from a different culture, many westerners would not feel the same way. Because Japanese culture is seen as so strange in the west, the Japanese people have become protective over it. This is one of the main reasons that it is so difficult to legally acquire copies of VNs (ever noticed how Amazon JP doesn't ship overseas?).

I think that VNs have yet to become popular in the west as the developers are worried that they will be judged as strange, shocking and not accepted by western culture. It is our job as a community to show that we can accept Japanese culture and that we will praise them for it.

This entire post has been based on secondary information and assumptions so feel free to correct anything that you feel contradicts the truth.

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If you compare the japanese market and western visual novel scene, including the so called "oelvn's" and indies, it will only be a drop in the sea. Most of the titles here barely scratch the numbers of sales they get in Japan (and those are titles that are either A. cheap to translate and buy B. popular, which happens less often). There is still NO viable market for the visual novels on the west and except for a couple of accidental successes on a larger scale (mainly Analogue, which sold tremendously good for a western vn - selling 40k+ copies is something most average japanese studios can only dream of), there's nothing else to support it. Mangagamer and JAST are lolcompanies that sell thousands of copies in most scenarios (which is comparable to weak in terms of japanese sales numbers, but enough to cover the costs and at least go on in poverty; not like most titles they sale did better in Japan, anyway).

On the other hand, japanese visual novel industry is facing some serious issues right now; their market is completely oversaturated, with plenty of studios simply going out of business as prices drop down to maintain competition, whilst low sales numbers are not enough to cover their expenses. In natural state of things, this leads to constant quality degradation - consumers get more mediocre, short and "budget-friendly" games cause they are a safer bet for their creators, who prefer to stick to certain safezones in terms of game design; a high quality, high-budget title in most cases becomes a hit or miss for most companies, more often becoming a final nail into their coffins.

Everything has positive and negative aspects, though. You asked about whether they finally started to notice the possibilities in western audience. Personally, I think it's more over a result of progressing globalization and massive rise of handheld electronics; developers actually see handheld devices as some sort of "new chance" for the visual novel medium and more and more of them are slowly starting to develop their games for them, if not even shifting to that market entirely. This market also has a much bigger reach and it's much easier to maintain; there's plenty of hidden potential in it. Perhaps - as well - japanese creators slowly see that western audience might pose some chance and capacity, to the point of being profitable enough to extend their business overseas. With such hard situation on their own side - an industry completely overflowed with similiar products on a very confined space with them being sole creators and consumers of those products, it's not hard to decude, that market will finally collapse sooner or later, having a big and bad impact as an end result. Whether it will make them really open towards western audience, or not is another question, as centuries had shown they are preety rigid and mostly unable to adapt; they simply don't see any reason to do so, yet which brings us back to the very beggining (no western market, no demand).

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Well, to be honest, if they would notice us or not...I won't be a least worried. I'm happy that we got fan translators who push themselves to translate a VN so they could share the "feeling" we everyone else.

As long as the people who translate for us notice...we shouldn't be worried :D

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I have no sources for any of this, so if you find something wrong with it, feel free to collect. This may also loose relevance as the post gets longer.

Even if the market is saturated there are still many reasons as to why we won't be seeing many VN's in the West.

Erm... I hope this is relevant

Cultural Differences - I think that Miyazaki at one point mentioned something about how surprised he was that Westerners (or was it non-Japanese) could understand his movies. The differences between the Culture of Japan and the rest of the world is a barrier of a global market. Im most games with visual novel-like presentation, the reviewers always complain about it, it's a different method that we aren't really familiar with. I think that this is actually the primary reason why we aren't seeing more VN's

Language/Localization Barrier - Another big one, with every released game, there will be endless debates about the translation. There will also arise questions about having everything make sense in context to the region. Australia getting US games labeled as "English" while there are differences is an example. At the moment two companies plus the others mentioned before are handling most of the "Official" ports(?). Nis America and Akysys. I forget which one, but the seem to be doing a sort of thing where "If you wan't product A, then buy product B to help us get money for licence and translate product A", it makes sense, given how expensive licencing is, but also is kinda annoying.

Japanese Copyright - I think this is what I am referring to. Anyway, the copyright laws of Japan give the creators of their work a lot of power over it. Authors/Creators may insist on some strange demands that companies will not be able to meet. Er... I think that the DVD boxes of an anime (Sailor Moon?), because the author didn't like something about it or something... Forced the DVD company to change the packaging literally last minute. For something like anime, where it's really just a case of the packaging, dubbing and adding a subtitle track (or taking away the original dub), it's somewhat simple. But if it were something like a visual novel, the author could have oversight to even how the pictures are to be edited, it's kinda a scary thought.

Licencing - I'm not all that familiar with how VN licencing works, but if it's anything like Anime, then you may have to obtain licences from multiple parties. Which can get expansive and cause problems if one part want's out (Japanese copyright system). But if it was just one group that produced everything in house, then this isn't an issue.

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This is slightly tangent,

I was thinking about the ultimate goal of expanding VNs in the West which is, 'How to fund them?'

What you need is:

A) A big audience.

B ) 1 or 2 indie devs in Japan who are willing to accept paypal donations.

C) Indie devs who are willing to communicate with their overseas fans (via the fan translator).

That is all you need. You don't need to negotiate the copyright landmine. You don't HAVE to JAST or Mangagamer. The traditional approach is a very inefficient method for distributing fan dollars to JP artists. What people get confused on, is that they think Jast/Mangagamer is the only way to get money to JP devs, and therefore, Anyone who dares to think outside of their model must also be an enemy of visual novels. (PS: It's not the only way) this is merely the failure of the human imagination.

The best way to expand VNs in the West is to build the fanbase.

And so long as you have 1) people willing to pay money for new art (as opposed to being printed a copy of a piece of existing art), and 2) people who are willing to accept money in exchange for creating art... then the free market will make these two groups of people come together.

This is what happens (Spotify.com) when you connect 100,000 of the most brilliant human minds to solve business model problems.

Human beings are smart.

They find a way.

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FAQ: Are we getting noticed?(by Visual Novel Developers in japan)

1. Yes they do and they dont even bother

2. Yes they do and they dont like to be translated into english

3. Yes they do and they will like to localize it but time takes time to negotiate

4. No they dont because they have no idea and they only focus on the jp consumers not they western consumers.

from the number 1,2 and 4 answers:

Fan Translation btw is where a fan of the game wants to share the greatness of the game(in their own perspective)

if the Fan translation is successful and the game made some fans then they can share their thoughts on the game.

If the jp developers found out about it its either they are okay with it or they will ask to stop it.

^ Why would they want to ask to stop it...

1. They dont want something which is unprofitable for them(real reason).

2. They dont want to because they only do this for jp fans(they say).

3. a shit-ton of reasons.

from the number 3 answer:

Localizing to the west is a high risk thing for jp vn developers thats why they dont pursue such action.

if it wont sell well then its a bad end for them, thus mangagamer and jast are there, thats where they came in..

Then the negotiation takes place where mangagamer and jast will ask for that game to localize and

the vn developers will ask some fees for the game developments then mangagamer and jast will pay it up

and publish the game under their own name.

once the jp developers satified of the localization fees from this both companies, they dont bother.

In the side of the mangagamer and jast if the game sold pretty well or not thats not the jp developers problem it their problem.

no risk for the jp developers but mangagamer and jast, I dunno.

Thats why it takes time to mangagamer and jast to get a new title game.

Any questions you like to ask?

^_^

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It would be really interesting to get some concrete sales figures for both Japan & the West.. time for some googling..! I can't really answer the question of whether we are getting noticed, but there's a few things I'd like about the problems to popularizing VN in the West.

Discalimer; when I say 'West' here, I'm really just talking about the UK & America as that's what I have experience of.

1. Style

The vn style just isn't something people are used to right now. When people think of a 'game' they think of your typical video game that you 'play', and when people think of a 'novel' they think of text that you 'read'. Visual novels are a bit of a mix between the two. I think people are starting to accept the idea of 'visual novels' or 'interactive stories', but there's still a way to go. For reference I'm thinking of the game 'Dear Esther' - it's gained popularity, but also a lot of debate over what exactly it is, is it really a game, it's too boring to be a game, etc.

I think what IceD mentioned about handheld devices is an interesting point. I think this is a great opportunity for vn devs.. game apps are still changing rapidly, there's less of a set idea about what to expect from them, and I think visual novels could definitely find a place there.

2. Sexual Content

The whole way that sexual content is marketed and sold in Japan is very different to in the West, and it's also so much easier to get a hold of adult material here in Japan. And of course it's all presented very differently; most people in the West don't really see the appeal in 2D erotica, let alone stuff with girls with massive eyes and pink hair whimpering and screaming all over the place XD Add to that the fact that there's a lot of titles that could probably never be brought over because of their content, which would be deemed obscene, paedophillic, etc. A large percentage of the Japanese consumers of vn are probably buying it for the sexual content, so you've already got a huge problem in that when bringing it over to the West you will likely not find that same consumer base.

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

Yeah some are very popular and some have great sales, but that's certainly not the norm, and vn are still not familiar to the general population. It's the same with anime.. apart from the huge shonen series like Naruto, One Piece, etc, anime isn't actually as popular as some people think it is (I was surprised the first time I went to Japan, it's not like I thought EVERYONE was watching anime, but I thought at least more people would have known what I was talking about XD). Comiket can pull in some hugely impressive numbers, but these interests are still thought of as kind of strange.

These are just my observations from living in Japan, and hearing from friends back in the UK who have no interest in Japan/anime/etc. I'd like to hear if anyone else agrees or thinks differently! I really enjoy these discussions~

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It would be really interesting to get some concrete sales figures for both Japan & the West.. time for some googling..! I can't really answer the question of whether we are getting noticed, but there's a few things I'd like about the problems to popularizing VN in the West.

Discalimer; when I say 'West' here, I'm really just talking about the UK & America as that's what I have experience of.

1. Style

The vn style just isn't something people are used to right now. When people think of a 'game' they think of your typical video game that you 'play', and when people think of a 'novel' they think of text that you 'read'. Visual novels are a bit of a mix between the two. I think people are starting to accept the idea of 'visual novels' or 'interactive stories', but there's still a way to go. For reference I'm thinking of the game 'Dear Esther' - it's gained popularity, but also a lot of debate over what exactly it is, is it really a game, it's too boring to be a game, etc.

I think what IceD mentioned about handheld devices is an interesting point. I think this is a great opportunity for vn devs.. game apps are still changing rapidly, there's less of a set idea about what to expect from them, and I think visual novels could definitely find a place there.

2. Sexual Content

The whole way that sexual content is marketed and sold in Japan is very different to in the West, and it's also so much easier to get a hold of adult material here in Japan. And of course it's all presented very differently; most people in the West don't really see the appeal in 2D erotica, let alone stuff with girls with massive eyes and pink hair whimpering and screaming all over the place XD Add to that the fact that there's a lot of titles that could probably never be brought over because of their content, which would be deemed obscene, paedophillic, etc. A large percentage of the Japanese consumers of vn are probably buying it for the sexual content, so you've already got a huge problem in that when bringing it over to the West you will likely not find that same consumer base.

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

Yeah some are very popular and some have great sales, but that's certainly not the norm, and vn are still not familiar to the general population. It's the same with anime.. apart from the huge shonen series like Naruto, One Piece, etc, anime isn't actually as popular as some people think it is (I was surprised the first time I went to Japan, it's not like I thought EVERYONE was watching anime, but I thought at least more people would have known what I was talking about XD). Comiket can pull in some hugely impressive numbers, but these interests are still thought of as kind of strange.

These are just my observations from living in Japan, and hearing from friends back in the UK who have no interest in Japan/anime/etc. I'd like to hear if anyone else agrees or thinks differently! I really enjoy these discussions~

Yeah I mostly agree, there was already similar topic somewhere on this matter on these forums, don't remember where though.

Ive also heard from people living in Japan how it actually is. Surely Japan still is the place to go for anime/vn/manga but it depends where. I've heard that you can be on one station in Tokyo and see ads for anime on every building, manga shop on each corner and game shops with VNs, and then you take few station ride and you will see none of it, not a single moe girl on a bulding, book stores instead of manga ones etc.

The amount of people like me who breathe moe instead of air isn't that big there as well. Well certainly bigger than here, I sometimes feel like the only one in republic xD

You can even notice it greatly in Japanese MMOs, there is lot of people who know anime and VNs and everything, certainly the gaming community has lot of those as both attracts the similar type of people, but then you see tons of Japanese people who don't know much about it, yet play all the popular video games like monster hunter or final fantasy. And thats why they still make those games with more realistic looking characters. Hehe just imagine how would anime style game look on the new engine for final fantasy, it would be awesome xD But well they make the style more realistic looking because more people even there buy it and then they can afford to expand to western markets and release games worldwide - much less people would buy a FF game in west if the cover was not realistic looking hot girl with weapons but it was instead anime moe girl. I prefer the moe but most people don't.

Compare this, its the same girl

Pakwyl.jpgU20Jpl.jpg

I think I know what most people here including me would pick as their waifu... but sadly we are minority sad.gif

(and I also already explained the H-scene stance somewhere on these forums too so I won't go to much detail here. Just it is funny that if you look at some discussions about the FF girl above, everyone says how they would bang her or whatever - and then they see that in VNs you actually have H scenes and they hate on it, because they try to be better then they are.. and try in a wrong way.. and then go watch porn. Sexual content is something people need in one way or the other so why not have it in games with moe girls... [or lolis in that matter - still better fictional loli sexual content in VN than real 18yo girls ruining their lives in porn])

And well that gets to the reason we don't have day 1 release worldwide in JP and English like with FF, companies just cant afford it just like they can't afford fancy engine development for ultra graphics. Most of the VNs are sprite based, easy to make game, no fancy effects, only moving sprites and from time to time some image shake or whatever.

It can't even imagine in dreams how awesome would VN developed with money of squeenix or any other ultra rich company would look like. It could even be fully animated sequences, maybe imagine mass effect without the combat part - in anime style... (and with not fucked up ending xD)

And not only art, even music. VN music is one of the best most touching ever - but imagine they could hire whole orchestra.

So as you can see, VNs its are pretty cheap to make, because they don't really make that much money, they have to be. I think the most expensive thing in VN is voice acting.

So hiring a person to professionally translate 50k+ lines from JP to English would be very expensive, and Japanese workers have 10 times bigger salary than people in my country so they are probably better to give the license to mangagamer or jast to do it much cheaper smile.gif

Well optimal way would be to kinda outsource the TL and hire like fan translators and provide them with some money (there is lot of them in the "cheaper" countries like Russia, I would be ok with like 150-200$ a week for that job for ~4 hours per day [well only after few more years of Japanese learning when im good enough for it though xD]) and scripts to translate smile.gif

But we all know they will never do that.

Only thing we can hope is that the most successful companies like KEY actually hire some translators and release it later just like they now did with Planetarian. But other smaller games, no chance.

So to answer the topic question, I think they notice us and they know we exist, at least some of the companies. But they can't do much about it, either because of laws or financial issues.

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I prefer the moe but most people don't.

Compare this, its the same girl

I vote for realistic version of Lighthing. She is more detailed and better painted.

Well optimal way would be to kinda outsource the TL and hire like fan translators and provide them with some money (there is lot of them in the "cheaper" countries like Russia).

No. Not a lot. And even lesser of those who know both japanese and english well enough.

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So from what I gather, the question "Are we getting noticed?" is actually unrelevant, because even if they did, it wouldn't matter. I thought that the vn developers suddenly found a hidden audience, willing to pay (if they can read the vn that is ;) )

I'm not thinking widespread marketing and such, that would be extremely unprofitable. But, they know who their audience is... it's us, right? We have already set aside or accepted cultural differences and are enjoying vn's through fan translation. We don't want english/engrish voice actors, just more translated vn's for us to enjoy. The question is whether "we" are big enough a number for them to actually turn a profit.

I think it's strange though, why don't they like fan translation? Their game and their name will be more widespreadly known without losing any kind of profit, right? If anything, they gain sales outside japan.

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

That surprises me, seeing the vast amount of animes and vn's and how they are consumed by people of all ages and both genders.

Oh, and I wanted to thank you all for replying, it's very fun to read all your views and opinions! ^_^

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The question is whether "we" are big enough a number for them to actually turn a profit.

We're not. Anime fans are a LOT more numerous than VN fans out there in the Western world, and Japanese producers still don't give a fuck. I don't have any kind of figures but it's obvious that VNs are an ultra-obscure niche hobby. Anime is considered a niche hobby yet random people usually have a vague idea of what it is. Absolutely no one even know what a VN is.

I think it's strange though, why don't they like fan translation? Their game and their name will be more widespreadly known without losing any kind of profit, right? If anything, they gain sales outside japan.

It encourages piracy of the game. That's probably not true actually, since it should not affect the japanese market and if it manages to get just 1% of the people reading the translation to buy game-related stuff or the game itself they get something out of it. But still, we Westerners have a pretty bad image in Japan; basically they think we pirate everything we watch/play. This is, again, very arguable but it's just like any preconceived image: it's there and even if it's false to a certain extent you can't do anything about it.

Open-minded people do exist though. I think I remember the team that translated Umineko got encouragements from the author.

That surprises me, seeing the vast amount of animes and vn's and how they are consumed by people of all ages and both genders.

Both animes and VNs are otaku things in Japan. It's not as niche as in the West but it is.

What is consumed by people of all ages and genders is manga, there's a huge difference in the markets.

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I vote for realistic version of Lighthing. She is more detailed and better painted.

Hm I see, thats probably how most people think then. As for me I don't care about detail or quality, its just a feeling of beauty and that one comes from the moe version for me. And I also often believe that the simplest things are the best ones, I prefer quick meat stew over fancy food in restaurants etc.

Maybe its why I stopped liking real girls, they are too complex and sometimes too detailed, to the point where I stat noticing every little imperfection.

But its hard to say for me, I think its hard for everyone to explain why they love someone, find a clear reason. I usually love someone because my brain (well it would sound better to say heart but it is not correct xD) tells me... and now the 2 girls are fictional.

Maybe it is a form of escapism I unconsciously create to get away from RL, but I didn't really have bad rl to be escaping from it so its hard to say. Love is hard to reason.

No. Not a lot. And even lesser of those who know both japanese and english well enough.

Hm I don't mean only Russia, that was I guess only one example but I still notice lot of anime subbers and VN TLers to be from that country. But also countries of mid to east Europe or other Asian countries. But hard to say, I don't usually look at nationality of people. It just didn't seem to me that most of them would be from Britain or America or Australia. Or Scandinavian or German when I'm talking about rich countries. Can't tell how much they would ask for it if hired, they do it for free now, from love and passion. I don't believe they would ask a lot if it would mean they can work with the development team on such an awesome project. I certainly wouldn't, but my Japanese is very low and my English isn't perfect either. But I don't learn those languages to earn tons of money, I learn it from passion and if I could do what I love and live it would be good :)

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Hm I don't mean only Russia, that was I guess only one example but I still notice lot of anime subbers and VN TLers to be from that country.

...

Can't tell how much they would ask for it if hired, they do it for free now, from love and passion.

1. And almost all of us re-translate from english. <_<

2. "Free" is definitely cheaper than any other possible cost. JAST and Mangagamer already uses this method.

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1. And almost all of us re-translate from english. <_</>

2. "Free" is definitely cheaper than any other possible cost. JAST and Mangagamer already uses this method.

I think both these companies have figured out that fan translators must be paid, otherwise they can't take the incredible inefficiencies of Japan's industries, which are hyper-slow. They drag us all back down.

If you have the means to advance your project faster than the Japanese, then do it. because at the end of the day, the item of economic value here is the maximum number of fluent-english translations and getting them out in the shortest time possible. That is the only thing that matters to the average VN gamer which is your audience.

Self-interest IS the cogs of the economy.

Don't let anyone tell you that individuals who do not use guns, who do not steal, but conduct themselves in peaceful voluntary trade for their own material advancement could be criminals. They are not.

Don't let anyone convince you that we must collectively sacrifice our right to copy, or our right to improve on our own purchases and then SHARE those improvements. We don't give up any of that. Not even to fund the arts.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

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It encourages piracy of the game. That's probably not true actually, since it should not affect the japanese market and if it manages to get just 1% of the people reading the translation to buy game-related stuff or the game itself they get something out of it. But still, we Westerners have a pretty bad image in Japan; basically they think we pirate everything we watch/play. This is, again, very arguable but it's just like any preconceived image: it's there and even if it's false to a certain extent you can't do anything about it.

Open-minded people do exist though. I think I remember the team that translated Umineko got encouragements from the author.

just wanna react on this one~

in my country, you can't literally find VN's or official Anime blueray/dvd... I take it back, we do have those anime stuffs but for only those with popularity *points at naruto, bleach, onepiece etc etc~

if only I can find a way to legally buy a VN here then I would since I'm wasting my allowance for minor things such as food for my piggy bank (yes, I'm still keeping those) or snacks... though I don't have my own credit card so paying in the internet using those are still way out of my reach.

ok, I've said my part

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2. Sexual Content

The whole way that sexual content is marketed and sold in Japan is very different to in the West, and it's also so much easier to get a hold of adult material here in Japan. And of course it's all presented very differently; most people in the West don't really see the appeal in 2D erotica, let alone stuff with girls with massive eyes and pink hair whimpering and screaming all over the place XD Add to that the fact that there's a lot of titles that could probably never be brought over because of their content, which would be deemed obscene, paedophillic, etc. A large percentage of the Japanese consumers of vn are probably buying it for the sexual content, so you've already got a huge problem in that when bringing it over to the West you will likely not find that same consumer base.

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

Yeah some are very popular and some have great sales, but that's certainly not the norm, and vn are still not familiar to the general population. It's the same with anime.. apart from the huge shonen series like Naruto, One Piece, etc, anime isn't actually as popular as some people think it is (I was surprised the first time I went to Japan, it's not like I thought EVERYONE was watching anime, but I thought at least more people would have known what I was talking about XD). Comiket can pull in some hugely impressive numbers, but these interests are still thought of as kind of strange.

These are just my observations from living in Japan, and hearing from friends back in the UK who have no interest in Japan/anime/etc. I'd like to hear if anyone else agrees or thinks differently! I really enjoy these discussions~

To respond:

2. Sexual Content

I think that the Japanese and the American view of that is "Child Friendly" also differ quite a bit, as well as the humor used (all those boob grabs). That tends to cause a bit of difficulty in America, with all of our watchdog groups, waiting to pounce on anything and everything. America also tends to cast an annoying influence over the rest of the world when it comes to this.

Sorry I'm only speaking about America... Erm... I know that in Taiwan it's fairly straightforward for Japanese material to get in, with the history between the two nations, and the huge amount of people who like Japan that live in Taiwan (believe me, I know, I've got family there and most of them can speak Japanese to some extent).

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

I'll agree with this one, even something as big as Steins;Gate is still privy to this. Then again, would you consider something like idolm@ster a VN? It really depends on how you define the genre.

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It encourages piracy of the game. That's probably not true actually, since it should not affect the japanese market and if it manages to get just 1% of the people reading the translation to buy game-related stuff or the game itself they get something out of it. But still, we Westerners have a pretty bad image in Japan; basically they think we pirate everything we watch/play.

Shounen...You think westerners are the only ones giving out torrents and dl links.. let me tell you this, Even Japanese otakus DL also you know...

there a tons of Japanese DL sites I tell you. if they accuse the westerners they should start with their countrymen than westerners first.

what the industry scared is the rampant spread of file sharing of the internet..

the internet is to put blame to that..but they cant do anything due internet is a large network which connect to the world. Thats why they add SOPA/PIPA to control this mess but they cant do about it since majority dont like it.

The industry thinks it may cause to loss their profits due to this file sharing <---- Thats a Fact

Because in this world "Money Runs Everything" <------ which half true and half BS

because people can be greedy sometimes

3. VN are a niche product even in Japan

Yeah some are very popular and some have great sales, but that's certainly not the norm, and vn are still not familiar to the general population. It's the same with anime.. apart from the huge shonen series like Naruto, One Piece, etc, anime isn't actually as popular as some people think it is (I was surprised the first time I went to Japan, it's not like I thought EVERYONE was watching anime, but I thought at least more people would have known what I was talking about XD). Comiket can pull in some hugely impressive numbers, but these interests are still thought of as kind of strange.

To them in japan its like very bad influence to do something like that.

but in reality its a a past-time to relax and entertain themselves.. but some cases they took it to the extreme which they avoid reality. Thats why in their thoughts about it Otakuism is just a bother. They thought once you take much on anime and stuff, something like that, they think your an otaku and they think your a disgusting person which is I hate that kind of stereotypical way of thinking. Thats how it is eventually.

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The posts here are quite long to quote them all, so i'll just try to put my thoughts as clearly as possible.

Starting with the topic, yes, we're getting noticed, well, that's half true, the ones getting noticed are the translation teams, for example, like Down said, there is the tl team of Umineko being supported by the author (though it's the first time i hear about it, it seems plausible) and there are other cases like the one with Black Lilith, e-mailing the tl group to tell them to cease their activities, and that is the most common way of thinking that the vn companies have... and as vn readers, nope, we don't get noticed, mostly because it's not profitable for them, and that's again, just from their point of view, from the common point of view of the globalized marketing.

Now, about the otaku community in japan, first, the word otaku is usually used to describe someone who likes japanese things like anime and manga outside japan, but in there it refers to someone with some kind obsession, being some of them the "densha otaku" or the "gunjin otaku" and since the japanese live in a society with a pretty narrow mind they tend to be discriminated. I've heard from some japanese people that actually almost everyone there watches One Piece, being child or housewives, but that is an aislated cases, from a research, it has been estimated that around 70% of the population from japan had read some manga, but that's only for manga, both the anime and VN industries are another thing, the two have become competitive markets, but unlike the usual that is this becoming in more quality contents for the fans due to the fact that those are growing industries trying to get sales, it has become a market where people choose the "safe shots" to keep the sales, becoming this in a decrease of quality.

It's not like there aren't good animes or VN's, but a vast majority are of lower quality from those we were getting on past years.

Mmm... i think it's mostly what i have to say..... being at that just want to say, watch Welcome to the NHK! or read the LN's.....

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Shounen...You think westerners are the only ones giving out torrents and dl links.. let me tell you this, Even Japanese otakus DL also you know...

there a tons of Japanese DL sites I tell you. if they accuse the westerners they should start with their countrymen than westerners first.

Well, I'm of course aware of that.

My point was rather that as a whole Japanese tend to have a narrow-minded thinking when it comes to foreigners. What they say is "westerners are just a bunch of pirates" (obviously they know japanese are doing the exact same thing). What they think is "we don't want foreigners having access to our stuff". That might sound stupid, but it's a preconceived idea from a very isolated population.

Hence the fact that apart from some exceptions (the Umineko thing was something I read in the TL notes btw), the general tendency is rather to forbid translations. (That's why we can't have more Innocent Grey, god fuckin dammit).

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Well, I'm of course aware of that.

My point was rather that as a whole Japanese tend to have a narrow-minded thinking when it comes to foreigners. What they say is "westerners are just a bunch of pirates" (obviously they know japanese are doing the exact same thing). What they think is "we don't want foreigners having access to our stuff". That might sound stupid, but it's a preconceived idea from a very isolated population.

Hence the fact that apart from some exceptions (the Umineko thing was something I read in the TL notes btw), the general tendency is rather to forbid translations. (That's why we can't have more Innocent Grey, god fuckin dammit).

Not exactly, I think in most cases they just aren't interested in the rest of the world. Similar to how Americans think. I've been told that if you show even the slightest interest in learning Japanese/Japanese culture, that attitude can change quite a bit.

As for Umineko; I think it's legit

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