A Guide To Visual Novels: Or, Just Teaching What Many Of You Already Know

Let’s say you like an anime, and feel like looking it up. What’s this? It was originally a visual novel? Whatever could that be? And what are these “eroge”? Forgive me if I am insulting anyone’s intelligence; rather, I am trying to empathize with the lowest common denominator, which is a tall order for me.  I shall try my best to explain what visual novels are and what is their relationship to eroge and dating sims.

Whether Visual Novels are real video games or not is a debate I am not going to get into here. But for the most part, Visual Novels are text scrolling games that tell a narrative while paper cutouts of characters talk and interact with the main character or other characters, usually with accompanying voice acting. A common approach is to have you, the player, look at things from the eyes of the protagonist in an attempt to have you become the protagonist.  This sometimes extends to leaving the protagonist’s face blank on images they show up in. The faceless protagonist is so pervasive in visual novels that it often becomes a good thing to check whether the protagonist even has a face or voice acting. It shows the protagonist is important enough to the narrative to warrant the efforts of fleshing them out as actual characters. Outside of the faceless protagonist constancy, visual novels are too busy trying different character archetypes, plot twists, art styles, etc. so the only constant in visual novels is that you will be doing a lot of clicking and reading.

Maybe Japanese women like their men faceless…?

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Dra+Koi Review: Eaten, Devoured Or Consumed, Take Your Pick.

artist-dra-koi

As a fan of visual novels, I have a pretty big list of titles that I want to read, but lack a necessary English translation Among them are three in particular that I really, really want to read: Kanojo wa Sora ni Inoranai -quantum girlfriend-, Ore no Tsure wa Hito de nashi, and Dra+Koi. They have all been on my list for at least two years or more, with Dra+Koi acting as the oldest. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a translation patch had been released for Dra+Koi (okay, I admit I did know about the project, but the whole thing just sort of died for a long time, as it often happens with these translation projects). Now, finally able to scratch a name off my list of visual novels, I have decided to write about the experience.

It really says something about a setting when imminent, lethal danger is sent to you as a casual text.

Dra+Koi is a visual novel made by the studio Nitroplus that came in a fandisk (like a videogame developer equivalent of a music EP) of their’s called Sabbat-Nabe (something along those lines as the name is fairly difficult to Romanize). It was written by Hagenaya Jin, the main writer for Deus Machina Demonbane, which is actually readily available at J-list or directly through JastUSA.

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