My history with visual novels

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You can also check out: my history with JRPGs

This is a post I was gonna do sooner or later but kept postponing and postponing it until… well, until Kai from Deluscar was kind enough to remind me of it. So I guess this is as good a time as any to write about this. And by “this”, I mean how I got started with visual novels, what I thought of them, what sparked that initial fire in me, and so on. Some of this information is already out there in the wild, scattered on Twitter, Reddit and buried somewhere in the depths of certain forums, but I figured it would be nice to have it all in one place.

In other words, story time! Please bear with me as I reminisce about the last 10 years of my life. Like some old man.

***

I started playing visual novels before I even knew about the term “visual novel”. How funny is that? Very, I assure you.

My first one was Narcissu, back when it was first released in English. VNDB tells me this occurred in The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Five, and this seems to coincide with my own memories, so it must be correct. I was a massive anime fan at the time — I was a young, nerdy teenager still in high school –, to the point that I would proudly refer to myself as an otaku (I would never do this today, in fact being called this would genuinely rub me the wrong way, but that is entirely different story for a different time).

Setsumi.full.295366

At first, I didn’t really know what to make of it. I hesitated to call it a “game”, because what was I doing, really? Staring at the screen and advancing text to read more text. That’s not “playing” at all, no sir — “playing” is spending several hours cooped up in a room in front of a TV in the middle of summer trying to clear the Pharos Subterra in FF12, because that’s what real men do, right? So in the end, I decided to just call Narcissu… a story. That you sort of read on the computer. I vaguely remember having a hard time explaining it to a friend of mine back then. I was actually trying to get said friend to read it as well, because of how amazing and fantastic and bittersweet it was, and it gave me all the ~feels~ (*cringe*) in the world. In retrospect, I don’t think I would enjoy Narcissu as much as I did back in the day, but that’s beside the point — the point is that this was my first connection with a genre that would later became a fairly big part of my life.

You might think I took Narcissu as a stepping stone and embarked on an adventure to consume all the VN classics out there… and you’d be wrong. It wasn’t until a few years later that I took notice of a friend of mine talking excessively about these so called visual novel thingamajigs. Before this had all happened, I have to confess I was already the proud owner of DS Lite and a fan of the Phoenix Wright series, but back then it never really occurred to me to consider these games VNs. And while today, I absolutely do (sort of), we can probably skip the parts where I play through the first three games in the PW series because it really didn’t have much to do with my journey towards becoming the true VN Jedi Master that I am today. (you are cordially invited to snicker in response to that last bit)

No, my real, actual first exposure to the genre happened when I tried a game that said friend of mine held in high regard, primarily because I was, and still am, a self-confessed connoisseur of all things H.P. Lovecraft, having bought three massive, *massive* volumes entitled “The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft” and treating them as my bible. I even took them with me to university, lugging the heavy things around to read them between (or during…) lectures, all day every day. Later I would even watch the Nyaruko anime… feel free to judge me, you have every right to. So I’m guessing about 99% of you are going “oh he’s gonna bring up Saya no Uta any second now”, and yes, he is indeed going to bring up Saya no Uta in just a second, this Gare rapscallion. (The other 1% of you might have been thinking of Demonbane, but no.)

saya 264

So as you can tell I was into twisted shit and as such, ate Saya right the fuck up. Haha, “ate”. That’s funny because in the VN you-know-what happens. Anyway, the entire thing just oozed a sinister sort of atmosphere, and it was fascinating seeing the protagonist descend into deeper and deeper levels of madness and fuckeduppery. It got to the point where I was actively rooting for the side characters to save the day because the actual MC is just whoa dude. My favorite ending remains not what people seem to consider the true end (at least I think so), but that other one with the mirror and the gun and you probably already know which ending that is. Yes the “true” end is all fine and romantic and all that jazz but by far the “mirror” ending is the one that screams “hey can you tell we like Lovecraft” the most to me, and consequently what I consider to be an extremely fitting conclusion to a story like this. Needless to say, I was impressed enough by Saya to crave more honey from the honey jar, so I looked at my checklist of “popular VNs lots of people seem to like” and saw Fate/stay Night there. Which takes us to the next chapter of this thrill ride of a retrospective adventure.

I wasn’t so sure about this, since at this point in time I had already watched the anime adaptation, which I soon dubbed “forgettable shit” and moved on with my life. However, people (read: one friend of mine) kept reassuring me that the visual novel is a lot better, so I should just read that. So I went into it with an open mind, and started the Fate route. I was actually sort of enjoying it! However, that enjoyment faded after a while, when the route just went on and on and on, and I was getting increasingly more bored and generally annoyed with a certain guy’s “get back in the kitchen Saber” antics, the story failed to grab my attention and Rin and Archer were the only characters I actually liked in the entire thing, the rest I just couldn’t care about.

saber2

And then Unlimited Blade Works happened. Despite all the shit I might talk about FSN, I enjoyed this route from start to finish. For one, I’ve always preferred Rin over Saber. And it had that one plot twist with Archer at the end that I’m sure we all remember. I was really digging that. Long story short, I loved the route and then went on to read Heaven’s Feel. Sadly, for me personally, it sort of suffered from Fate syndrome in the sense that I was intrigued at first but soon grew tremendously bored of the whole thing and just… stopped. And now you know why FSN is listed as “dropped” on my vndb.

I know what you’re thinking. I mean… look, Type-Moon fans, I love you. I really do. If you would invite me to frolick joyfully on the bank of the Seine, oh I would accept your invitation. I would accept and would bring homemade cookies as well, and we would have a lovely time together, you and I. I know I’ve just said some disagreeable things about a VN that you love dearly. However, you’ll have to find it in your heart to forgive me, mon cheri. UBW was good, at least.

So that was sort of a bitter (bittersweet?) experience I had with FSN, and it kinda turned me off VNs for a while. Some time after this I started seriously studying Japanese (this decision was completely unrelated to VNs, anime or anything game-related) and eventually got to a point where I could read stuff. I was, of course, playing Japanese games left and right in order to complement my studies (but I’ve already written a post about this), mostly just JRPGs on the PSP and such. During my search for reading material, I don’t quite remember how or why, but I also started searching around for visual novels, both on Google image search and Youtube.

And then I saw it. What, you may ask?

Well, this:

(Careful with this video btw, it contains some spoilers.)

The moment I heard the lines これは英雄の物語ではない, 英雄を志す者は無用である, I instantly had a feeling Muramasa would be something special. And I started reading it, and… well, you probably know the rest. Long story short, Muramasa is pretty much my #1 favorite VN right now.

The story goes on a bit more though, as it was something I read after Muramasa — Kara no Shoujo–, that made me want to write reviews. This really wasn’t going to be a review blog at all, but one time during my now habitual Google image searches, I saw a screenshot of that famous/infamous Glasgow grin scene of KnS, and that piqued my curiosity. Once I finished the novel I had a lot of things I wanted to say about it, which led to my first ever review on the site.

And that’s how visual novels changed a lot in me. So I guess it’s pretty lucky that I stumbled upon that one music video of Muramasa, eh? I never in my wildest dreams would’ve imagined that I would be reading stuff in Japanese and starting an entire blog about them, no less! I mean, really. And yet here I am, typing this, and here you are, reading it. Funny how life works sometimes.

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36 thoughts on “My history with visual novels

  1. Man, and now I’m kinda in the mood to write a similar post about my history with JRPGs. I’d have a lot more to talk about, too! So yeah, I might actually do that…

  2. That was a really nice history! It has lots in common with mine, even the part about FSN. Yeah, TYPE-MOON fans! We all know Kinoko Nasu is awesome and all, but…Arthuria? Magical Futanari? Seriously? I was a big TYPE-MOON fan as well, but Nitro+ games like Muramasa was closer to what I wanted. But, hey: I really love Fate/Zero. Wait! It was written by a guy from Nitro+…Never mind!

    • Haha yeah, I also love Fate/Zero to death. It’s a bit ironic that it wasn’t written by Nasu and ends up being a hell of a lot more awesome than FSN.

      ニトロ万歳!and so on.

      • I consider Nasu to be a good writer for world settings, but he kinda get lost when he writes story developments. Everything goes all over the place and gets mixed with unnecessary fan-service. After many criticism, I’ve heard he is refusing to write a H-story because of negative feedback from fans, which sounds awesome! But then, He wrote Fate/EXTRA CCC, which is…a thing!

      • Yeah, I think the whole Holy Grail War + Heroic Spirits/Masters thing is an interesting setting, so Nasu deserves props for that. But it’s Urobuchi that brings the most out of that setting with his story and characters in F/Z.

  3. I loved reading the history of how you became accustomed to visual novels. My first experience was actually FSN, and even though the story was great(I loved UBW, mildly enjoyed fate, and enjoyed Shirou’s crowning moment of awesome against Berserker) a lot of the story dragged on in some parts, and while I wouldn’t call them boring per-se, some of the infodumping put me in a slumber…… in hindsight, that is hilarious because I happen to enjoy Narahara’s infodumps in Hanachirasu. I read a fan translation so I can’t speak for how it is in it’s original language, but for a story like FSN, with the wonderful world building and intricate ideas, I’d expect a more powerful narrative. I loved the graphic splendor of the fights that occured in FSN, but, perhaps with the exception of Rider vs Saber, alot of the fights felt like they ended too shortly or just didn’t hit me with that sense of awe I wanted.

    It’s still a great introductory VN and what even got me into wanting to read more visual novels. From there, I looked into Saya no Uta…. and was disturbingly mind raped beyond repair. That story ruined my innocence! After that, Kikokugai and Hanachirasu were my next and, so far, last two visual novels I have read so far. Hanachirasu was my first introduction to Narahara, before Muramasa.

    I’d like to say it’s like a rough draft of all the ideas Narahara would perfect in Muramasa, since it tackled alot of the black and grey morality, the question of who is the truly evil at their core, a protagonist who isn’t exactly a “good guy”(Though in Minato’s defense, he’s a far more respectable protagonist and seems like the type of guy i’d have tea with.)

    When I can find a few years to extensively learn japanese, Dies Irae is the next on my list. Masada seems to, like Nasu, take lots of inspiration from various mythologies(Christian, German, Japanese in later games,), but he goes full force with it like a mad man. What I love more with him is that he’s somewhat what I want out of Nasu, at least in the writing department.

    Sorry for such a long post. I just wanted to share how I came across visual novels as well. <w<;

    • Yes, finally someone who wants to use his Japanese studies to read Muramasa and Dies Irae. Too many people are focusing just on generic moege, it breaks my heart. I think I’ve already said this but Kikokugai is definitely on my list, although I’ll be reading the voiced remake when I get around to it. Because who doesn’t like voices.

      • Even though i’m a fan of many things adorable, I doubt generic moege would really grab me, doubtless do I believe it’d actually make me bring my full commitment to bear. Alot of why I want to read Muramasa is because I fell in love with Narahara as a writer, and Hanachirasu(Makoto’s translation) was a sort of turning point for me. It, along with a novel I bought from the store is what catapulted me into wanting to become a writer myself. That alone would be more than enough of a reason to learn, just so I could experience his narrative in it’s native language, to see the improvements he made from the time of Hanachirasu to Muramasa(Which, I believe, is a 4 or 5 year difference since Hanachirasu was made in 2004 or 2005, it was Narahara’s debut VN on the nitroplus label. )

        Plus….

        It’s hell watching scenes unfold and not being able to decipher it. Hell, I watched a few scenes from Masada’s new series/game Soushuu Senshikan Gakuen Hachimyoujin(Senshikan for short), and I got excited at everything that was going on but couldn’t read it! It’s torture. T-T I am starting to get the hang of recognizing certain Kanji and memorizing it…. the easy stuff at least. I can’t say the same for Masada’s exotic Kanji, though. Then again, I can’t feel too bad. I hear that even native speakers of japanese have to use the dictionary for some of his stuff. THAT says alot about the mountain I have to climb.

        When you do play the remake, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts, since I wonder how much Urobuchi changed, especially in an all ages remake….. since if you know the premise…. let’s just say the original version is FULL of not-so-kid—friendly things.

      • Muramasa wlll be an eye opener once you read it in Japanese. I mean, I’m not talking about the story right now, but rather the script itself. In a “well now I understand why people say this shit is hard to read” sort of way. Same goes for Dies Irae, which abuses a technique where one set of kanji are written in the script and another meaning is written above it as furigana, so it can automatically have a double meaning, which enriches the reading experience even further.

        For example here:

        The script says jigoku (hell), but Reinhard utters it as watashi (see furigana above the kanji), meaning that the two are one and the same, in a way. Other VNs also do this but Dies in particular uses it quite often.

  4. I still have not fully read FSN, for shame. I think I stopped somewhere in the Fate route. Yeah, yeah, this is like an calling yourself an anime fan and not having watched Evangelion. Every time I think about giving it a proper read, I start remembering the pacing.

    Also congrats on learning Japanese for a reason not related to animu and gaems. I struggle to give a reason whenever anyone IRL asks me why I studied the language, because I can’t exactly say “yes, I learned a language for porn games” to people.

    • “I learned a language for porn games” Is a perfect reason! No shame in that. In truth, I’ve always wanted to learn japanese, back when I had wild pipe dreams like becoming a japanese voice actor and so on and so forth. Visual novels only accelerated that urge.

    • Haha I wouldn’t worry about it. Maybe leave the “porn” bit out of the sentence though. :p

      I’ve seen people mock others because they would consider studying Japanese just for games (and because that’s apparently useless) but these people are also the first to cry when some awesome game never gets localized. Joke’s on them! :p

      • >”I’m not going to learn a shitty outdated dead language for video games, I have a life.”
        >”WHY IS _____ NOT FUCKING LOCALIZED? DO THOSE XENOPHOBIC NIPS HATE US????”

        Exaggerated, but pretty close to what I’ve seen.

  5. Pingback: Kai’s History with Visual Novels | deluscar

  6. Maybe it’s because I read Fate/Stay Night just after I graduated from high school (it is my first VN after all, so that was like years ago), and since I got so much free time, I didn’t particularly mind it being draggy, lol. Then again, I find I don’t really have as much problems with draggy stories as long as the payoff is huge. For example, G-Senjou starts slow, but later on, it’s a constant consecutive row of epic intellectual, psychological warfare through and through (more as you progress through the routes). And who can forget Muv-luv? A series which technically “drag on” for one whole title before something actually happens – in all sorts of large-scale glorious manners too.

    That being said, I can still see why a number of people would say otherwise. I totally agree that Nasu excels in world-building, and Urobuchi excels in developing the said world and characters, or perhaps even “deconstructing” said characters. The “Urobutcher” nickname’s not just for show, it seems :p

    And yes, Unlimited Blade Works is awesome.. and so is Rin.

    Anyway, it’s so nice that you had a memorable first VN that you could actually remembered and named it. My “first” VN was on some random obscure titles on PS1, and I totally had no idea what I played, even now, lol. I think it’s one of those anime-adapted-to-visual novels-for-console thing though.

    About Kara no Shoujo, I have a feeling I know which scene you’re talking about.. Dx Such gore. In terms of mindfuck (and “visualfuck”, I guess), Kara no Shoujo and Saya no Uta definitely takes the cake. But now that when I think about it, Kara no Shoujo seems like it’s the same or perhaps even above Saya no Uta’s level. Since in Saya no Uta, it’s just nastiness 24/7, and you can pretty much expect them all the time. In Kara no Shoujo case, it’s like the mystery just keeps playing with your mind, not knowing just when another brutal, “visual-fucking” murder will take place.

    • True enough, so much depends on when you read a VN, how old you were at the time and what mindset you were in. For example I was so invested in MuvLuv that I didn’t find a single dull moment in it. I’m talking of Unlimited and Alternative though, the first half of Extra is indeed a bit painful.

      Oh definitely. The constant tension present in KnS, not knowing when the killer would strike and who would die is pretty cool. Although as for “best mindfuckery” I’ll have to award that prize to Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi at the moment, or maybe the true end of 999.

  7. Well I’m actually surprised that I’m not the only one that didn’t find Fate as a masterpiece (is not bad but…people like to exagerate a bit, at least this is what I see in the english only community).
    Long time without checking your blog Gare, but as always you make pretty interesting posts.

    I started reading VNs with Tsukihime, at that time it was a new experience, reading somenting along with music, images and choices (hell this is much bigger in scale that those books of “Choose Your Own Adventure”!, I remember saying haha). And much later voices, like you were seeing an anime.
    You posted something similar, and how VNs have a enormous potential to leave a lot of room to experiment with things like “what will happen if said character do this or that?”

    Returning to the topic, after Tsukihime I read practically everything that was in english, to the point I find myself thirsting for stories that belong to the genre of chuuni, sorry I love that kind of tales with people with superpowers fighting each other, and the protagonist being involved by fate or simply casualty, I suppose that I’m still a child deep down haha

    So now I’m studying japanese by myself, there are a lot of things that will never be translated so this is the best choice. I’m aiming to read in the future (not too far I hope) Dies Irae, KKK and Jingai Makyou, so there is a lot to study.

    Thanks for letting me know more about your life Gare, keep it up!

    • There’s nothing wrong with liking chuuni. :p Tsukihime is something I’ve never read and will likely won’t read for a very long time, if ever. It’s just that I have better things to waste my time on (Dies, Baldr, more Nitro+, etc.) than Type Moon stuff I might not even like in the end, haha. Jingai Makyou has always fascinated me, I’m definitely reading that at one point. In fact I’ve already read its brief prologue and found it pretty interesting (with a surprisingly good soundtrack!), so it’s on my reading list.

      Thanks for sharing your own story!

      Edit: Now that I think about it, I grew up playing those “choose your own adventure” books as well (‘House of Hell’ was my favorite) so maybe that influenced me in a way.

      • About Tsukihime, honestly I don’t recomend it, If you didn’t find Nasu’s writing that good in F/SN then imagine how is in an older work.
        And there is that fact that it didn’t age well.

        Yeah, Jingai Makyou’s soundtrack is pretty unique, I don’t thing there’s somenting similar in other works.

    • A similar case happened to me, too! I exhausted almost every english visual novel(that was free and downloadable since i’m a cheap bastard) and found myself thirsting for Chuuni based rpgs and visual novels. There truly is no shame, as Gare said, in enjoying such stories. I actually read an interesting thread where Chuunibyou-based stories were compared to epics in the way they’re formatted. Quite interesting if you’re willing to give it a read.

      • It’s inevitable, the pool of translated novels is really small for a few genres so you easy can read in a year (if you are an eager reader) probably everything that is not a moege and nukige. Today you can see how easily people start projects that are dropped too soon.
        And let’s not talk how certain games are practically untranslatable.

        So in a way, you find yourself learning japanese. I think is the natural step, if you really like japanese literature is the best thing you can do.

  8. Good to see people enjoying darker stories! Granted, I find a lot of fun in very simple moege too. I don’t know how others feel about it, but I like how simple it is, especially when there’s no jealousy and the world is just perfect rainbows and unicorns. 癒されたぁぁっな感じ。

    Speaking of good gritty VN, have you played Gekkou no Carnevale by Nitro+ yet, Gare? Or Demonbane? I also recommend some of BlackCyc’s older games.

    • Yeah, I don’t outright hate moege, in fact I might play a few myself in the future for the same reason, just some mindless, simple fun. It sort of balances out all the dark shit I normally play.

      I’ve been wanting to play Gekkou for the longest time because it looks really interesting, however it only runs on WinXP and I’m on Win7. So unless I take the time to set up a virtual machine or something (which sounds like a major pain in the ass for one VN), I won’t be able to play it.

      (And yeah, I’ve tried compatibility mode but it doesn’t work. :p)

      Demonbane I haven’t played yet, I might one day but it’s not top priority at the moment.

  9. Cool post, reminds me a lot of my experience with VNs, I remember dubbing Umineko a masterpiece and proclaiming nothing could ever match its literary prowess. Needless to say those were dark times, and I didn’t read much in general back then, but it did inspire me to read more novels in English so there’s a plus. Also I’d really like to thank you for your small translation blurbs on Muramasa and Dies Irae, it really helps to stoke my stride to read them in Japanese. Along with Dies and Muramasa, the top of my to-read list remains Oretsuba or 俺たちに翼はない seems like standard moege (as per Navel) but the game itself is actually extremely eloquent in its style, as complex in its syntax, that its been compared to Nabokov. Since I’m a huge fan of Nabokov, naturally it would be my first priority. Alas, as I am a slave to my love for theater and poetry I can’t help but fall victim to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr9FC1o50b8 (its) chains. Though I only salavge bits and pieces of meaning, the mellifluous tempo to and fro, the internal rhyme, which flies by til’ end like the flow of time at one’s end, the fervent flapping of the tongue to the palate seldom seemed so fluent. Really hope you can find the time to play it, because I’d love to know what you think! (sorry for the cathartic tangent)

    • Yeah I suppose if someone wanted to translate OreTsuba, the person would have to pretty much write poetry for certain bits, haha. I’ve never read the thing myself but have obviously heard of it. Not sure when I’ll get around to it, though, probably not anytime soon unfortunately.

      Oh I like poetry quite a bit myself, although I’m only familiar with the English poetic scene, and a bit of the American. Hilariously enough one of my favorites is actually from an American poet, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.

      • That’s a shame, hopefully once you get around to it I’ll have the skill to fully understand Ou Jackson’s syntax so I can put up a meaningful discussion whence the time arrives.

        As for poetry, I’d probably like and appreciate T.S. Eliot more if I caught the copious amounts of literary references crafted into his creations. Alas, I am not so well read, that being said I still can still enjoy his work on surface level because his rhythm is pretty damn fluid. My personal favorite is by Oscar Wilde: The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Michael Ondaatje is also on the top of my list, although I’ve only read The Cinnamon Peeler and his novel The English Patient (which let’s face it, may as well be called poetry) since he never runs out of metaphors to describe things with, giving some of the most memorable and vivid pictures I can recall from literature. Not to mention his use of literary techniques, which attune the atmosphere appropriately every scene. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who likes poetry (if they have the time).

      • Oh cool, I’ll have to check out the The Ballad of Reading Gaol, since my brief experience with Wilde has mostly been through drama, like The Importance of Being Earnest and such. Which sort of seems like the most basic go-to work by Wilde for most people, haha. I never read much of his poetry but I’ll give it a look.

    • Your passionate description to the end managed to boost my interest for Oretsuba, Jack. It’s refreshing to see that there exist some people who aren’t necessarily dispassionate about verbose, eloquent, or grandiose prose. Even though I find no shame in reading an old-fashioned book, and although i’m not trying to proclaim myself as an expert on the way writing should be, in most american literature, as a result of hemmingway or king(I may be wrong), the modern status quo is that you’re not allowed to write in intricate ways, you’re encouraged to take the easy way out. Don’t add too much text, don’t use too many adverbs, don’t be so purple with your prose! When you cut down what someone can do that much? It becomes bare bone to the point of being uninspiring, especially if no connection is felt between the characters. When you compare the authors of old to the newer authors, while there are some who choose to create stories in their own ways, coming up with a masterpiece, it ends up unnoticed because it’s not an “easy” read. And that’s why I believe I admire the more serious japanese visual novel writers and the worlds they create, finding them, at times, if not more, interesting than the common things. When you see all the research material they use, the flow of their narrative, design of sentence structure, and the life and emotion they give their characters, It transcends beyond being a mere story and entering the realm of something that is truly awe-inspiring, magical beyond compare. Visual novels, to me, when done correctly, can be profound influences, tales you would revisit each day just to admire the author’s work.

      (Also, Yay! Another nabokov fan. I have yet to fully read one of his books yet, since it’s hard to afford one of them when I have no job, but once I do, Lolita, Pnin, and Pale fire will be my future reads. As far as english poetry goes, as a result of Masada, and my need to improve on dialogue, I’ve slowly become addicted to reading english librettos, written for operas. Great to see some of us have interest in certain other forms of writing and literature, since I myself have a passion for it. )

      • You guys should read Joyce’s Ulysses. A literary masochist’s dream come true. :p

        Dubliners is a far easier read though. And easier to digest. And just a cool book in general once you understand the underlying meaning/message.

  10. Nice post man. I’ve never considered Visual novel a game, to me its more like a visual book than a game. Like you said, all we do is read and click after all. I played 2 hours into FSN and gave up, i guess some of the most highest rated VN’s out there aren’t for everyone..Well i might be trying it again one day, i have seen all the animes of FSN and my favorite heroine is definitely Rin. I’ve been meaning to get to Narcissu (I say this about too many VN’s) i have no idea why i haven’t read it yet.

    Man writing about your past takes forever really, i sat 4 hours straight to write something about wow and probably didn’t even cover 5% of it.

  11. What’s the point of dropping HF before the end when it’s always praised for that part?
    Kinda unrelated but do you still watch anime or you grew out of them?

    • I didn’t know that back then, plus I didn’t like the characters enough to make me want to follow their story anymore. Even in the duller moments of VNs, if I enjoy the characters and their personalities I’ll be lenient with the duller story bits. That wasn’t the case in FSN.

      I sometimes watch anime, but it’s a rare occurrence. I have come to greatly prefer VNs over the years.

  12. It’s funny how I ended up reading VN’s. I think, not sure, far to long ago, it started with me reading the demo of Katawa Shoujo, a OELVN, then craving more that was like it, so I started looking for dating sims for Mac(was using a Macbook back in those days) and found some I can’t remember the title of, then from there, just as VN’s are confused with nukige and dating sims for the unknowing, I stumbled upon VN’s. It all started with some short OELVNs and then I found out about things like, Kanon, FSN, Tsukihime and from there it just went upwards.

    I had watched the FSN anime before the VN itself and had heard that the VN was far greater than the anime, so off I went. Fate was ok, UBW was E.P.I.C(That archer is the best) and Heavens feel was around the level of Fate, the ending was better, but the overall story was worse.

    On a side note:
    How would you recommend starting to learn JP?

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