Ugg, I did not take the best notes through the end of it all.
As a whole, the characters have been moving along their own development paths which is nice. Even if Yoichi is a pain, seeing him show his concern when it matters is always great. It’s good to see he’s not entirely a joke character and still gets his moments. Similarly, I like how Miyako managed to get so far as to play along with some of Sora’s jokes.
Honestly, I didn’t quite follow the logic Kakeru used to narrow down the killer, but… I did enjoy that he recruited Noa to help them. It’s a bit silly, but I like that they still have some child-like moments. Putting what’s basically a mercenary bodyguard into a life or death situation? A week of fruit parfaits. That’s some serious bargaining right there.
As for the ending itself, I got the impression from one of Sophie’s statements that she would have a new task for them, but the setup seems more like we’re going to follow her into another branch. After all of that at the end I don’t think I could take it if Kakeru and Miyako actually broke up. Their relationship still feels rushed and forced to me, but that doesn’t mean I want to end it.
That post-credits tease was just… seriously? I don’t know how I feel about it. Honestly, I wish they had just left it out. The ending was enough of a blueball situation. It doesn’t feel resolved at all and throwing that on top was just bad. I feel like there’s enough of reason to dig into the following game without adding the extra teaser in the end.
Final thoughts on 9-nine: episode 1
Overall, not bad, not amazing. I’m glad we read this and I don’t feel like it was a large jump up in difficulty over Loopers. I am disappointed that it definitely isn’t standalone. I should have known it was marketing bs, but in the end now I feel like I’m committed to an 750k VN series which isn’t super long, but also not a small amount either.
As far as beginner VN’s go this is pretty solid. I think it has some hit or miss elements, like music being a little excessive in certain scenes or the writing being questionable at times, but overall I think it was fine for what it is. One thing I will give them an A+ for is the pacing and variety of content. I rarely felt bored or like time was being wasted. The ending kind of dragged on, but I blame the cruddy cliffhanger ending for that rather than the actual events.
Another thing that I think was super helpful was the joint E/J translations. To be honest, I think the anime-related fan communities give translations too much crap and are way too nitpicky. I wouldn’t consider the English translation perfect, but it helped me bridge the gap on a lot of troublesome points and gave me some better ideas on how to translate certain phrases or speech patterns (like a lot of Sora’s nonsense ). There were certainly a lot of moments where I’d parse 90% of a sentence and be struggling with a certain word, goof up some basic grammar, or struggle to see past the literal/dictionary translation to get the actual intent of the speech and in that sense I think it was extremely helpful to have. There were times where I’ll admit I felt like I was using it as a crutch, but overall I’m very glad to have had it.
I look forward to reading Episode 2 with yall in the future, assuming we continue with it.
Congratulations to everyone who made it thus far and thanks for joining in the discussion!
Personal thoughts on Japanese + minor health update
I’ve said a few times, but I do feel like I’ve improved a lot with the reading we’ve done. However, I think I’m also at a point where I can feel the pain of kind of having skipped steps. I think I need to go back and read both wider variety of materials (eg. news sources or non-fiction) as well as material targeted at a younger audience. One of the problems I noticed I was having was misinterpreting sentences where nothing was unknown to me. My instincts are leaning towards that being a combination of inexperience and many aspects of my studies not being fully internalized yet. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s like I’m in the earlier stages of developing my mental stack:
When the writing gets into long/run-on sentences, abstract ideas, or make heavy use of omission I tend to struggle. One of the things I caught myself doing a lot was reading a line in Japanese only to refer to the English log to remember what exactly was being said in recently lines.
In that sense, I think I need to mass consume some easier material alongside of our reading until I can catch up skill wise. At the least I would like to improve my comprehension before we get to reading titles I’ll be more invested in.
As for my health problems I don’t think I gave a proper update. Last week I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. A couple of days ago the doctor in charge of my treatment gave me a quick call to tell me to pack my bags expecting to be admitted for at least a month. I won’t get the full details until I get to the clinic on Monday, but I’ll be away from my PC for a while and won’t be participating until I get home. The good news is that the doctor also said I don’t have high risk factors. I don’t really know what that means, but it sounds positive so woohoo!