Technically no. 1 isn’t a choice, but I’ve included it to avoid confusion. It’s at the very start of the game.
Scene transitions and character count (Steam version)
Remembrance (beginning of 4/21)
Street (beginning of 4/22)
Kakeru’s home (beginning of 4/23)
Nine ball (endpoint)
Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
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Week 1 down! Thanks for hosting again, @rikaiwisdom . I do want to say, if it’s not a big pain to assemble, the progress markers were very nice to have. Not strictly necessary, but it was helpful to get an idea of where I was.
Let's dive into this
Well uhh, the big thing hanging over this week that I need to just get out there is that scene looking at the symbol on Sora’s back. Guess there’s still a little of that leaking through the all ages version. So… that happened! This medium can be a little shameless, not much else to say heh.
I went back and forth a lot in this episode between being a little disappointed at the amount of re-summarizing done and being happy about what they decided to stick to and not make us cover again. Clearly they are making SOME effort to make this episode standalone as an option, but it’s still a developing story, so I can’t help feeling this middle ground is sort of the worst of both worlds. That said, it feels like they got most of the necessary stuff out of the way already, and some of what they repeated allowed space for developing Sora as they framed it around her learning it all, so overall I think they pulled it off decently? It’s interesting to watch events that were skipped over previously, like the discovery of the website.
In an overall plot direction I’m feeling encouraged by how they’re already doing as much, if not more proper research than the entire first VN managed, by looking into the history. The idea of this being a recurring event has potential.
Also wow they really made Sora even more… Sora this time huh? I’m enjoying her character being the focus just like I expected to, so far. It’s good practice for super casual dialog too, so casual I think they’re barely above just making noises at each other occasionally, haha. Feels like there’s a little extra care in more sprites and sound effects to make things that little bit more expressive, too.
Often when VNs have different routes based on people they happen at the exclusion of others, so it’s nice that Kujou is still so involved so far. They definitely give off the impression they want the episodes to be additive rather than working that way, which I’m all for.
No pain at all c: , all it takes is noting down the character count in a text file, it’s like two seconds really. Initially I was also taking screenshots and I have a screenshot for every point but then I thought what’s the point, it would clutter the page with no real usefulness. I’m happy with the addition and I’m glad it is useful adding them every week from now on.
I will add my thoughts about the week’s content some other moment when I have a bit more time. I ended up reading the whole thing almost in one sitting and whoa I burnt out a bit, needed some time off it . Super fun honestly, but not used to reading that much in a day. Really glad that my reading speed is increasing yet again. Nothing crazy but damn it feels so nice when you get these moments of “oh I’m improving”.
Sora was very nonchalant about it too Doesn’t the symbol only appear when they’re activating their powers? Very odd timing for it to appear there.
Yeah, I was hoping it’d pick up directly where the ep1 teaser ended at. The games were released a year apart so I guess if people played them on release, it’s nice to have that refresher but it makes it a bit boring when you play them back-to-back like this.
The intro where the first choice happens was kind of ominous, I am guessing we’re in a different world branch compared to where ep1 ended? Nothing has technically changed in this “branch” yet, just going over stuff that was skipped over in game 1 but I think there will be a divergence at some point coming up unless they’re just recapping a bunch of stuff game 1 skipped over to help develop Sora. With Sora being the main heroine, I can’t imagine we are in the same branch as the one where the MC ends up with Kujou though.
I am enjoying the focus on Sora. Kujou wasn’t bad but the scenes with Sora tend to be a lot funnier. Some of her poses are wild too, still don’t know what she is trying to do with her hand here.
There were a couple new songs in the OST, the flute song was very relaxing. I was hoping for an entire new OST, for some reason its very common for VN sequels to just reuse the previous games OST with a few new songs added in but the new songs have been good so far.
Loved the scene where we see Sora try to use her power to sneak into Kakeru’s room and see it completely fail. Also liked Sora’s reactions as Miyako and Kakeru explain to her about the artifacts and stuff.
So first week is over! I was confused at first when it all started after Kakeru remembering stuff. Initially I wondered if it was a different branch but then as it was developing it felt more and more like we are back to Episode 1’s good end route, at least in appearance, just prior to all the big developments. It was pretty nice seeing all the interaction from Sora indeed, I guess she’s everyone’s favourite character so far . Another thing I liked was seeing a bit more background and interaction on Satsuki, which either wasn’t mentioned last episode or I just plainly forgot, but seeing that she’s actually so knowledgeable about local history with the translations and whatnot was cool, in the sense that she seems goofy and not interested much in the classes and then just hands over a couple of very important documents she worked on that must require a ton of specialised knowledge.
I’m guessing we’re still just remembering and the intro was probably something that follows an event at some point. It also makes me think that perhaps this is a different branch and it’s Kakeru having fuzzy memories because he’s starting to be aware of the other branches? As I interpreted it it feels like he was talking about Sora because of her image disappearing, and if this episode is about her completely then I guess it’s a kind of a “let’s go back to the beginning of all this” type of storytelling? I really have no idea, I’m just theorising here. Kakeru not remembering makes me think of Miyako’s powers or something that happened with that new character from Episode 1’s ending.
Yuup xD I was both having fun for the stupidity of the situation and cringing thinking about the reception in the club. For sure this is not going to be the only awkward moment we’ll have, considering the heroines are the romantic pillar of each episode… which, well, makes this episode really awkward for obvious reasons. I hope it’ll be alright but uhhh I don’t know something tells me the future is not so bright.
Yeah I appreciate it personally. I usually have trouble with timelines and such as stories develop so any recap or marker that lets me know where exactly I am is very welcome, especially in stories with time jumps. I guess we’ll find out relatively soon if this is a new branch or we are just remembering Episode’s 1 branch and will soon continue it. But as Azusa says, it wouldn’t make sense to have Kakeru and Miyako together again .
Also, how do you feel about the new pace? Personally for me it felt much better, like it flows much smoother and you can have a decent chunk of things happening within a week, with less risk of the plot not moving (or even if it doesn’t move you can reduce the amount of weeks there’s not much to discuss). It feels like a really nice step if the end-goal is to read VNs in a reasonable time. As I mentioned I’ve noticed that my reading speed has gone up a bit again and eventually as it keeps rising I suppose I will be able to bump it up a bit again. In the context of the 9-nine- club it’s easy if we want to do so at some point, as we’re only a few, so we don’t have to keep it fixed necessarily if we grow more and more comfortable over time. We don’t have to change it necessarily either (personally I also wouldn’t do it this early anyway), only that the option is there if we feel it lacking at some point and we keep reading the assignments in one or two days consistently. This week took a bit over 3h for me but that is also because I’m not using any SRS at the moment (and hopefully can do without, honestly… currently testing it). When 999 starts I’ll see how I manage both but I don’t think I’ll be super exhausted, I always have at least an hour everyday to pour onto this.
The new pace feels good so far. Like you said, I think the faster pace helps a lot in keeping things moving and not being bored when not much is happening plot-wise.
I agree. I think with our new pace this episode will take us about 8-9 weeks to complete? So I’m happy to keep our current pace and then re-discuss after we finish the VN to see how it felt overall and if it’d be good to push the pace even more or not. It seems like a lot of us are interested in longer VNs, so it’d be nice to work towards those in some way or another.
I’m enjoying it as well. I think this makes for better weekly chunks for sure, which’ll help us have a little more to talk about as things keep going, and like @AzusaChan said, help us work our way to longer VNs. I’m waiting to see how well I balance this with 999 as well, but I think I’ll manage. The real question is if I can have time for Octopath on top of those I’m honestly not sure if my speed is increasing (maybe I still second guess myself too much), but I think I have more stamina at least, on days where I have the time to keep at it for a while.
Taking a 12 day break in the middle of the reading was uh… super lazy, but I finally got off my behind and finished things.
Broadly speaking, I’m really glad they’re going back to fill in the holes from before. It probably would have been better to see a lot of these events just occur normally, in chronological writing, but I’ll give them benefit of the doubt and pretend there’s a good reason for now. I just hope they don’t pull a ton of this back and forth crap in the timeline with the later episodes. It’s kind of a pain keeping track of everything and I’ve never really enjoyed having to work out the “canonical timeline” in media.
Bless Sora. I still have trouble following her from time to time, but it’s mostly a fun experience.
It’s really good. Would have been a slog doing the same intro material over a few threads and the target counts make it easy to aim for a comfortable 5k on study days. For now I don’t want to do more (laziness) and will probably skip 999, but I still have headroom if yall want to up the pace after this.
I also like that it’s just a cool milestone. At this pace the group could potentially read an average VN in about half a year. I don’t like the idea of doing that, but it’s more of a middling pace that’s just barely tolerable to me if we end up with a wider group that won’t go faster.