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Decline Visual Novel Recomendation Thread

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by felipepepe, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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  2. oasis789 Arcane

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    It's out with a 10% discount if you already own Extra/Unlimited.
     
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  3. abnaxus Arcane

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  4. oasis789 Arcane

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    (cool trailer but major plot spoilers especially from 3:00 onwards)

    My review of Tokyo NECRO:

    In post-apocalyptic Tokyo frozen by global cooling and devastated by the Sino-American war, protagonists Ethica and Souun are Living Dead Stalkers, state-authorized bounty hunters specializing in anti-zombie warfare, and practitioners of "Close Quarters Armed Martial Arts" - a hyperefficient style of combat aided by cybernetic connection to an artificial intelligence. While tracking down the abduction of a government official, the two encounter a powerful ex-PLA necromancer with a grudge against Souun's father from the war, barely defeating him only to discover that his abductee is actually a mysterious amnesiac girl. This draws them into a conflict between the military police that governs Tokyo, the Empire Energy Corporation that owns it, and the necromancer death cult that has come to destroy it all.

    Recommended route order: Su (Up/R) > Mitsumi (Up/L) > Kiriri (Down/R) > Ilia (Down/L)

    TN lets you read the routes in any order, which I think was a huge mistake since there is clearly a proper order. Gare recommended Mitsumi first then Su, which has its merits (Mitsumi is the simplest and most straightforward route, so the story gradually gets more complex) but I disagree. Reading Su first is IMO i) the better introduction to the broader themes and concepts of the TN world and helps you relate what you read later on, ii) reveals one of the twists in a more powerful way, and iii) makes the butterfly effect deviation points much clearer. But Mitsumi first is fine I suppose. What's most important is leaving Kiriri and Ilia for last. I can't imagine anyone reading Ilia first, that would have ruined the novel.

    Who wrote it? That is, how much of the final product is from Fukami's original draft and how much is Vio? I think most if not all of the worldbuilding and concepts are Fukami's. Cyberpunk, zombies, SF is pretty much his oeuvre, since he is otherwise only known for his involvement with Biohazard, the Psycho-Pass spinoffs and the screenplay of Gakkougurashi. I also speculate that its his screenwriterly vision of a much more cinematic dramatic presentation that made the end result like an action movie. If you watch the TN cinematic-style trailer (you shouldn't, it's kind of spoilery), that's pretty much how the VN is.

    Vio does have SF chops from Moonlight Carnevale and his involvement with Steins;Gate, but I've never really gotten the sense from his other work that he is a coherent worldbuilder. Sumaga, Axanael, Totono pretty much exist in a bubble (sometimes literally) and while he is an ambitious author his scope of ambition has always been more meta and high concept than being grounded and detailed. However, it's pretty clear to me that almost all the characterization is Vio. The quirky, endearing characters and their witty repartee are all very Vio style. The literary, cultural and religious references are also very Vio.

    My other speculation is that kinsetsu juujutsu (officially: close quarters armed martial arts) has much to do with the cross-pollination of ideas at Nitro+ with Urobuchi, who liked equilbrium so much he wrote a fanfic of it way back when. Since kinsetsu juujutsu is pretty much equilibrium gunkata (just look at how its portrayed in the OP at 0:36, its taken right out of equilibrium's introduction see 0:49) I think this might be Vio channeling Urobuchi. I also think a lot of the emphasis in TN on humanity in a transhuman age, and antagonists obsessed with aesthetics or utilitarianism is Fukami channeling Urobuchi through Psycho-Pass.

    Speaking of antagonists. Good stories need good villains, and I think the necromancer death cult trio Milgram, Pavlov and Rorschach are top notch villains, who aren't just cool but also not-cardboard-cutouts and have perspectives that are comprehensible if not fully sympathetic. But it's a real pity that Fukami/Vio didn't fully flesh out Pavlov and Rorschach's motivations, especially Pavlov's ship of theseus, and how they relate to the cult. I mean, I can probably guess and produce a reasonable headcanon but I shouldn't have to. The other missed opportunity was Tan Yunshan not getting a psychology-related codename like the others, but I can understand why since the prologue was about scene setting and they needed a name that sounded like an ex-PLA soldier from SE asia.

    In the end it doesn't really, really matter all that much who wrote what exactly but having read almost all of Vio's work I feel like it's worth discussing how he has evolved as a writer. To the extent that the final script was Vio, I think this is the pinnacle of his maturity in storytelling. At first he had serious issues with pacing but those have disappeared in TN, and I'm really excited about Minikui because of it.

    Ludonarrative consonance. One of the things about Vio's past work is that he's been messing with UI and the ways that players read VNs (e.g. Axanael and Totono). But what really impressed me with TN is how everything, literally everything, from the startup BIOS screen, the main menu and how it changes with reading progress, even the save/load screen, is designed to support the narrative and worldbuilding. The UI itself and how choices are presented to the player all ties into that.

    Thoughts on translation.
    I don't envy Azure's task. TN will not be an easy translation, at least not if you're picky. Starting with the title and how best to note that the kanji is different, and how that's part of the worldbuilding. The easiest way is to ignore it and just transliterate, but the distinction does get mentioned sometimes, and it feels bad to just omit. Some things are baked in, like "close quarters armed martial arts" for kinsetsu juujutsu, which seems i) cumbersome and lengthy considering how often the term is used and ii) armed seems a bit unspecific for juu, but you can't do much about it since it's official. Another thing is that one of the big twists relies heavily on the ambiguity of japanese, will be very interested to see how that gets handled. I think the most critical and most challenging part of any translation will be nailing Ethica, since so much of her charm and character is in her dialogue, which has so much range. Since Ethica is pretty much the star of the show, this has to be done right.
     
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  5. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

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    Don't extensive animated sequences go against the premise of a visual novel? There's only so much streamlining I can take.
     
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  6. Gangrelrumbler Arcane

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    Not really. Visual novels are basically barebones anime. If you want to make another quirky harem comedy but are unable to keep up with a weekly schedule of a manga and can't convince an animation studio to film your shit, then visual novel is your choice. You can have all the funny cute girls, but at a budget price. Why bother drawing hundreds of pages if you can just draw some expressions, add a bunch of CG and you're done. The only step lower than that are light novels. Not that I dislike visual novels but it's pretty obvious why are they like that. Evidenced further by the fact that they never really picked-up outside of Japan.
     
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  7. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

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    That's unfortunate. The first visual novel I read was Saya no Uta, so perhaps I've set too high expectations on the medium.
     
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  8. oasis789 Arcane

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    I think it depends on the kind of story you're reading. Mystery and horror stories like Saya rely more on atmosphere and the reader's imagination, so animation is usually a distraction at best. Less is more. Whereas something action-oriented like Fate, Muvluv, Baldr etc benefits a great deal from visualization, which is why they often do well in adaptation.


    The battle with Tan Yunshan at 42:25 is a great example.
     
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  9. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

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    Well, Tokyo Necron still looks interesting. I mean, I'm willing to grant the conceit of visual novel-SRPG hybrids, I might as well give this a go.
     
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  10. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    Steamspy number of STEINS;GATE shows how China is the dominant power in weaboo sector on Steam: http://steamspy.com/app/412830

    Before Chinese language update: 50,439
    Now, after Chinese language update: 107,407

    Geography
    China 47.83%
    US 14.01%
    Japan 4.83%
    Russia 4.35%

    Yeah it's dominant in other sectors too, but in weaboo sector I think it would surpass English speaking audience.
     
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  11. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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  12. M. AQVILA Savant

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    Have you played Cross+Channel? It's pretty good and the translation quality is probably the best I've seen so far among VNs.
     
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  13. Maxwell's Demon Arcane

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    I haven't played it, but it looks interesting.
     
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  14. M. AQVILA Savant

    M. AQVILA
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    If you liked Saya no Uta then you might also like Cross+Channel. It's mostly a psychological and mystery VN, but it also has its dark moments.
     
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  15. Raghar Arcane

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    Have they improved the HIT THE CAT game?
     
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  16. TigerKnee Prophet

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    Subahibi's translation isn't as bad as the Twitter guy made it out to be, as far as I can see.
     
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  17. oasis789 Arcane

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    The translation is fine. It's the actual content itself that is pointless literary wankery. I'd recommend you stop reading it. If you must, just read through Invention and pretend it ended there.
     
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  18. TigerKnee Prophet

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    Thought that was the entire point.

    Too late for stopping, I already beat it. The only chapter I really dislike is Looking Glass Insects.
     
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  19. oasis789 Arcane

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    I think philosophizing and metafictionalizing is all fine if in service to telling a good story, but if it gets in the way of it then its just navel-gazingly indulgent and masturbatory.
     
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  20. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    • decline decline x 3
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  21. Irxy Arcane

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    Those numbers are kind of proportional to overall population.
    Now that China is not that poor anymore and they can afford to not pirate everything becoming a major market for whatever is inevitable.
    Wonder why we don't see any/many of them on codex though.
     
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  22. Gangrelrumbler Arcane

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    RPG Codex is widely considered a secret meeting place of all kinds of trouble-makers. Visiting the site even once warrants a one-way trip to gulag in China.
     
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  23. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    :what:

    Really, GabeN? Really? This looks like an outright "loli" hentai without actual hentai scenes.
     
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  24. InD_ImaginE Savant

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    GabeN no police in the internet GabeN

    Like seriously tho, the description is pretty much a jailbait. Maybe this is how you get to FBI list of internet pedo :lol:
     
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