We’re aiming to read approximately 10-12.5k characters per week! A suitable enough end point will be selected each week (feel free if you have a texthooker and it hasn’t been posted yet!) and posted within the thread. @ccookf has helpfully begun compiling a spreadsheet to display progress through the days:
This week's endpoint: end of 4/20 (~14.5k characters).
Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
When asking for help, do your best to provide context. Pasted text, screenshots, descriptions, etc. Unlike book clubs we can’t flip to relevant pages, so we may need a little help identifying exactly what is being discussed.
Feel totally at ease to ask questions or give your thoughts, any time! Clubs live and die by participation, and asking whatever question you have, no matter how silly it may seem, helps others who are reading it and even the answerer themselves.
Have fun, and do your best to interpret anything said with as much good faith as possible
I’m reading along
I have finished this part
I’m still reading but haven’t reached this part yet
Done a bit today, up to 6.5k. I’m not sure if I’ll continue but will probably leave it for tomorrow. Took a bit longer this time I think, the language was a bit harder but still fun.
Big spoilers until half-ish of the week (should be safe to open if you transitioned from school to someone's home and read some sentences after, but I'm blurring things regardless)
What a cool start of the week! I was not expecting Kujou having supernatural powers at all but wowee all those poses were cool and the art this time was gorgeous. I didn’t even know what kind of VN this was but I have to say I’m super excited to see where it’s going. Everything is suddenly moving super quickly and I love it. So far the ratio of slice of life and plot moving forward has been pretty good IMO, intertwining both.
I’m just past (big event spoilers) the fire incident at school, currently at Kakeru’s home with Kujou, saved after the bento dialogue just before she’s about to show him her powers I suppose and explain what’s up. I’m so far loving the voice acting in this game, it feels so on point. I wonder where the ぬいぐるみ went? It has to make an appearance soon for sure after all this.
Completed this week’s reading! I can see why this was hard to split near the 10k characters’ mark.
This week’s action scene pretty much threw out the window any subtleties about what was going on. So far this feels more like an action VN than a mystery VN though… perhaps the only real “mystery” so far is figuring out who could be the 石化 artifact owner, not that we have any clues to start speculating on that though (as far as I can think of…)
The scene in 翔’s apartment was also pretty interesting. I felt that 九條 trusts him a bit too much (specially considering the words she uses, where she pretty much considers she was powerless without him), but I guess given what happened it’s not unrealistic or anything.
I am quite curious to see what Sophie meant with 翔 being someone to watch out for.
I held off for the poll and just never got around to my writeup for the week, whoops.
For my generic comment I can’t reiterate enough just how much I appreciate the variety in the artwork and its presentation provided by this game so far. Zoom, pan, character cut ins, various filters and effects… It gives me a much better sense of progression than Loopers did and this week’s scenes really stuck out despite the relatively small number of assets used.
spoilers for the rest of 4/20
The school events were FIRE! LIT! Am I hip now? The lead in to that was pretty sweet. We got a hint of Sora’s less extroverted tendencies from his initial walkin with her, but seeing her immediately call her brother for help was kind of endearing. It says a lot that he still likes her after she joked about deleting monster hunter saves. I know I wouldn’t. The way Kujou calmly handled the situation was also pretty cool. The whole keep the powers a secret thing felt like a dick move after the whole cursed hairpin fiasco, but… I still think she handled the fire situation like a badass honor student. Kakeru had me in stitches as well. I really like how he was doing everything to suppress the burning man, but was still talking about painful it was behind the scenes. You’re not as much of a bad person as your ulterior motives make you to be dude.
The English translation spelled Sophie’s organization as Sephirot, but I definitely thought of FF7 off the bat and I’ve got to take this moment to say FF8 was better. Cloud sucks. Fite me.
We’re in reverse isekai madoka now. F. I can’t believe they’ve pulled this on us. On the bright side I really like Sophie so far. The way she’s been jabbing at Kakeru is great and the way she just kind of forgot about the artifact at the end really makes her feel human. I was definitely expecting more of a cursed spirit from the shrine or one of those aloof all-knowing types so getting an otherwise pretty normal acting character is a surprising win.
I’d have to agree. Most of the stuff I’ve read aimed at male audiences always seem to be a bit superficial in that regard. I really wouldn’t have expected her to go all in as far explaining her powers to Kakeru like that especially considering how she kept it entirely secret before. It gives me the impression that she can be a bit naive and impulsive like with how quickly she jumped into Sophie’s plan. Even if Kakeru was sort of compensating for her weaknesses in a few key moments it just feels like they should be on the path to friendship rather than conversing like some sort of close confidant already.
super cereal spoiler question about r18 content
So is Sophie just like… there the whole time? When Kakeru and Kujou finished their conversation Sophie didn’t like barge in where she was super relevant so I get the impression she isn’t constantly seeing/listening in to whatever Kakeru is doing, but at the same time there’s like nothing stopping her from teleporting into the apartment while two monkeys are at it.
This is obviously super critical to my understanding of the plot and her character. It definitely has nothing to do with me reconsidering the addition of plushies to my bedroom.
This ended up being a lot more intense plot-wise than I expected this week. I said it before, but I never really researched much about the game beforehand so I wasn’t expecting it to be so action-packed? The fire scene was pretty cool though, I loved all the animations and CGs for it. The art is very beautiful in this game.
Anyone else noticed they typo’d 消火器 into 消化器 three times during that scene though? The first time I saw it, it took me back for a second but thankfully we had context to know what they meant
The scene back at the apartment was nice. Like Kakeru said, the whole situation feels a bit chuuni and I wasn’t expecting that but it is interesting. I’m curious what makes him such a threat. I’m guessing all the other “main” girls we’ve saw earlier in the VN are users too and will eventually become our allies? No real indication of what anyone else’s power could be but it definitely has me interested.
I wasn’t thinking of Madoka before reading this comment but I am very weary of Sophie now that the idea is in my head
The conversation at Kakeru’s home was nice, we start to understand a bit more about what’s going on in general. Now I wonder what kind of “humans” or whatever this Sephirot organisation are, Sophie mentioned them being the same species right?
So now we have Kujou with that stealing power, Kakeru with another one we know nothing about yet and Sophie helping us look for a criminal that has the artefact to turn people into stone. Now that’s pretty interesting, I suppose we’ll get a new victim soon and go from there :o
I interpreted it as her just simply not knowing what kind of power he’s capable of yet, what artefact he uses, not directly as if he’s a dangerous person but the potential is there to watch out for. I’m betting it’s either two options: he either ends up with a dangerous superpower or one that is probably super stupid that adds nothing of value and ends up as a slice-of-life device .
As much as I’m discovering my love for the Final Fantasy franchise gradually overtime, I haven’t played FF8 just yet, but I’ll be sure to fight you when the time comes .
Response to the R-18 bit (safe to open, but nesting it since it was nested originally)
To be completely honest I’ve no idea about how the R-18 version plays. I’ve actually been wondering lately about not being sure of how I feel about censored versions of things in general that were supposed to be otherwise and how successfully can they make it so that it doesn’t subtract from the original experience or even make it better. If the R-18 content is purely sexual then I don’t care, but I would be bothered if it genuinely adds character development or other important interactions. This is literally my 3rd VN ever so I don’t know how this usually goes, but I’m curious, am I missing anything important not playing the R-18 versions other than the obvious sexual content?
But to answer your question, I guess she acquires consciousness with the ぬいぐるみ when she pleases? Or perhaps she just sleeps or whatever. It does seem to change colours, seemingly based on interactions, but I think it was blue when she wasn’t there and then it turned green and red when she was, or something like that?
wait I didn’t notice at all, good catch. I didn’t think anything of it at that time, that’s funny.
I can’t say with any certainty if it matters in this VN but for what its worth, I have read some VNs where they do actually have some lore or otherwise important information in the middle of those sections. If you’re interested, the publishers of this game offer the content as a free patch you can get on their website and you just move it into your game folder to restore the cut out stuff.
In some other VNs where they make all-ages versions, sometimes they’ll redo some CGs, rewrite/remove “lewd” jokes, etc in order to ensure the game gets accepted onto steam. I don’t think this game had changes like that though.
I see, thanks! I knew about the existence of the patch but I didn’t want to use it also to make it easier to follow with the club, I thought it would be hard to manage if the character counts are suddenly all over the place . If it adds nothing of value then I think I’ll continue this way.
You mentioning those other VNs that add important lore is food for thought, though.
Adamstan posted a link to where he outlines the differences between the all-ages and r18 versions a bit on another site, but the relevant part was that Episode 1 is largely the same. It wasn’t until Episode 3 that he noted some larger changes. In that sense nobody needs to feel like they’re getting cheated out on characterization and story development for playing the all ages version.
I suspect most VN cuts are along the lines of what AzusaChan mentioned, essentially doing some minimal edits to make things acceptable to save time/money. The only one I’ve played was Nekopara which really only seemed to go as making things not explicit while still being super obvious as to what was happening. The censored version didn’t really make things better as far as family friendly imo, it felt like more of a political cya. If I had a kid that was mature enough to read the all ages version I would have said fuck it and gave them the r18 version.
I knew about the existence of the patch but I didn’t want to use it also to make it easier to follow with the club, I thought it would be hard to manage if the character counts are suddenly all over the place
Same here. The other issue too is that I’m in the US which… it’s been a few years, but this country has had some unfortunate precedent set for this kind of material so I’m just going to assume people in this country should avoid that content even if it’s being distributed. Way back when I saw there was an entry in SteamDB that indicated they had been working on an adult content patch as DLC for the Steam version, but with things like the Steam school uniform problem and the content itself being potentially illegal in the US I can see why it was left in limbo.
I just wanted to say, that for this VN I prefer all-ages version and generally my preferences recently lean towards those versions most of the times - and in many cases they feature the additional wholesome content that improves the experience for me. The biggest example of that would be all-ages exclusive Mikoto’s route in Yuzusoft’s Tenshin Ranman - which I found to be the best route in the whole game
So if well done, I often consider that an improvement rather than censorship - especially since not always the story was really planned as r18 one, but often sex scenes get shoehorned in to boost initial sales - and sometimes that really shows, when they pop out of nowhere destroying the flow of the story.
But if one wants to play all-ages version of 9 -Nine- I strongly recommend getting Complete Edition from Palette, since it’s - well - more complete (but it lacks English translation of course)
Week 3 down! I basically read it across 2 days, bodes well for me catching up.
I do agree with the sentiment about Kakeru’s reactions / relationship with Kujou are a bit telling of the sort of audience this is working to pull. All the “wow, a girl!” stuff is more or less accurate of a certain kind of teenage boy, but still. I guess their relationship has to move a bit fast considering it is hurtling towards those removed 18+ scenes, haha.
I’m enjoying it though! Not too hard of a read to get back in with. Finding myself occasionally confused about the full meaning of a sentence – getting caught off by a ton of じゃないs and trying to figure out if it’s actually negating or sort of an “isn’t it?” thing, issues like that. I’m probably just rusty from this time off.
I can only echo what everyone else said about the fire scene being well done; the little touches add up to a lot. Sophie is kind of a half step too far into trope-y mascot characters for me right now, definitely feels like I’ve seen this play out a few too many times before, but I’ll give that time. It’s setting up the pieces to potentially go all sorts of wild places if it makes good use of what’s here.