9-nine- 9️⃣ (Visual Novel Book Club + offshoots)

In general I find VNs more approachable than other mediums. I’ve had some kind folk here point out ways to get going with yomichan for other things, but it inevitably involves extra hoops to get a legal digital copy, strip the DRM if needed, and run them through another assort of tools/browser extensions. So far I think all of the reading for the VNs has been available on Steam or other platforms that allow for easy purchasing (eg. DLSite) to the point I genuinely think it’s a PITA to read anything other VNs now.

There have been some ways I’ve simplified the process, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t involve flying the jolly roger.

Regarding the pace, after a point I think it’s very easy to increase that because the VN picks have been largely ‘easy’. When the average is already in the upper thousands per session adding an extra 20% really doesn’t feel bad or take much time. People who are already time constrained will probably be upset, though.

If we need a break we could all play the Umineko fighting game while we’re at it :smiley:


Ok also both for me haha, Marco was my suggestion originally and I’d still like to read it. The style looks really nice. If it wasn’t for how I probably do need to give ALL of my reading time to it, I’d genuinely get on that Umineko thing. As much as it feels like a joke for being the long VN I’d love to read it with people – I got a little ways into episode 5 (of 8) in English then got way too distracted and am on hiatus. Can already tell it’s incredible, and it has SO many things to discuss and wonder about.

Higurashi, same creator and loosely same “series,” is one of the most affecting things I’ve ever read, genuinely creepy and tense and thrilling with layers and layers of (solvable, while constantly inviting the audience to participate) mystery. On top of just having such a warm humanity at its core. Can’t gush enough. Umineko when it’s all done is supposed to be even better. Even at this point so many characters in it are just some of the most memorable in fiction in general to me.

I just gotta keep working on getting a bit faster.

I love that that exists haha, just been a little hands off with it for inadvertent spoilers.


Funny that you mention that! I think I found this number online somewhere, but recently I came across a bunkobon with a tiny font, so I took the opportunity to actually count the characters, and it had around 770 per page :exploding_head: This prompted me to count other books, and the ones that I picked had like 550 to 660 (with the lower number being quite the exception). So I now think it’s probably fair to assume ~600 characters per page.


Well that threw off all my maths. :joy:

I guess I’ll redo it quickly.

25k/600 ≈ 42.7 pages with no white space. (22.5k/600 = 37.5, so I’d guess probably still about a 10 page difference with included white space)

So 50-60 pages or something with white space.

Meaning: maybe the current assignment of the VN club isn’t that much above the advanced book club, but upper end to above.

And yes, I am aware we can’t do a direct comparison. VNs ≠ books. But it is a rough comparison of character count, and is helpful in showing the time commitment and/or skill commitment and/or experience/stamina commitment necessary for the VN club. Which is the whole reason I mentioned it.


I always read books digitally and it shows the character count for where I’m at in the story and for the total book etc. I checked a few out and something like コンビニ人間 is 63,903 characters long. Natively says its 168 pages long, so that’d be about 380 characters per page. やがて君になる 佐伯沙弥香について is 77,266 characters long at 228 pages, so around 339 characters per page. 僕が愛したすべての君へ is 89,908 characters at 253 pages, around 355 characters page. Small sample size here but based on what Nicole said, it sounds like the character count per page has a pretty wide range for books. Figured I’d mention it since I had the character counts on hand.

Having the comparison is good though since I doubt many people are counting their characters when reading books. As some other people said, I do think VN’s are a lot easier. I’d definitely put the advanced book club above us just because the difficulty of the books they’re reading is a lot harder than the stuff we’ve read in the VN club so far. Although I mainly read VNs so that probably helps make them easier for me, but I know I would struggle a lot more/take more time in the advanced club vs the VN club :sweat_smile:

I think this is a great idea too. There’s some VNs in our polls that don’t perform that well that I would definitely read together with a small group of people :joy:


9-nine- Episode 2, Week 8 [END] thread:


If you at some point want to make this happen, I want a little advance notice to clear out things I’m doing on the side, but considering how I finish both clubs by like Sunday, I might be willing to read something else! Besides unpopular nominations, it’d be a good way to potentially read things that aren’t good fits for nominating to the club for any reason.


Maybe it’d be a good opportunity to read VNs that have 18+ content in them. I’m guessing they were banned in the main club so we wouldn’t be excluding a lot of people from joining, but there are a lot of interesting VNs that I’d love to read together but they throw in 18+ content so I never nominate them. I started reading the Cartagra remake the other week and its such an interesting murder mystery that would be great for discussing theories etc but it has random 18+ content in it. Wish VNs had an option to turn them off :joy:

There’s also some longer stuff like Chaos;Head Noah that would be fun and it seems like people said they would be interested in reading S;G so that one would be really helpful to read first. I think in the last round of voting in the main club we had a limit at 550k characters but I can’t remember if we were keeping that for a while or if we would allow nominations for higher stuff in the next round. Maybe better to talk about that in the main club thread than this one but yeah, a lot of stuff I would be interested in reading that doesn’t necessarily fit into the main club right now haha


That was part of my thought, yep. I brought up banning them in the first place to make it accessible for people and for… the general optics of a new club? Haha. But that stuff does pop up a lot and at least personally, they’re certainly not a dealbreaker, cause they just pop up in so many good stories.

What you’ve mentioned is definitely stuff I’d like to get around to. We could start talking about length and the like in the main club thread sometime – I’m feeling pretty energized to do whatever and I think we have a lot of options with the sort of pace we’re pushing in this offshoot, though the main club is currently moving a bit slower through 999 so we’ll see what people can / want to do next.


I think it was a good choice. I don’t mind that kind of content, but anime also has the stupid problem of being obsessed with high school kids which makes a lot of r18 titles sketchy. The “all ages version” and the option of an adult patch is honestly pretty stupid compared to just having a toggle, but my country also has a pretty sticky situation with possession of that kind of content so I actually think it’s the safest route overall.


I’m down for anything as well, don’t mind the R18, though as mentioned within reason. I thought the reason we “banned” R18 content was because discussion would be awkward for this community because there are minors around, though the guidelines only mention not to link 18+ material and to hide sexual (and other type of sensitive) discussion under content warnings using spoilers/summary boxes. Though to be honest, I’m not sure I would still feel fully comfortable judging by the whole vibe of the community but that may just be me :smile: . I feel like in a sense I would try to filter what I say just because I know anyone can read these posts, and I haven’t seen very open discussion about these topics around here but I might be misremembering. It feels a tiny bit like it isn’t the place, somehow? If you think about it, we more or less kinda avoided (9-nine- ep. 2 mild spoilers, maybe) discussing the romantic scenes with Sora, or it may just be we simply didn’t have much to say about them.

At the same time, the content warning can be stated in the home post of the VN and the weekly threads, but that may attract unnecessary attention, I’m not sure. I don’t want our threads to be flagged or potentially locked, but in theory if it’s under content warnings it should be okay.

I’m not sure if other book clubs have read sensitive stuff before or how they’ve done the discussion of it. I’m mostly talking about sexual content tbh, people seem for some reason much more comfortable with strong violence and the like than sex.

Anyways, with that being said, I don’t mind any nomination and would certainly like to read interesting stuff regardless of R18 content being in them or not (again, within reason; those “all characters are over 18” warnings fool no one).


Oh yeah, I mean I don’t anticipate to be talking about them much in any case. Were anything like that to be run, we’d definitely give adequate warning about the contents of the work, but outside of a quick “THAT part wasn’t written very well” because that’s more or less how they always go… it’s not worth saying much and would be kind of awkward. In the games that aren’t just vessels for R18 content, they’re mostly just tacked on; to my limited understanding it’s just a tactic to push sales for a very niche medium. And since they (really PC games as a whole, but maybe that’s softening?) seem to really have that reputation in Japan, it kinda self-perpetuates.

I’d think it has to have come up in novels here or there? They tend to be pretty free to touch on whatever and you often won’t know what’s coming up ahead of time. To the level of extremity of some VNs I dunno, they do tend to… belabor the point, which definitely potentially diminishes the purpose within the work at large. I’m just tiptoeing around categorically being like “it won’t ever be worth talking about” because it isn’t like sex can’t be used well in a piece of art to convey something – but I think that’s a lot less likely and we’re just going to want to talk about the surrounding characters and plot that we’re really there for. It’s not like it can’t be discussed tactfully and sufficiently indirectly should it truly be important to someone to do so, in my opinion…

I guess ultimately I was intending to mostly ignore said scenes and given the sort of participants we’ve had I think it would work out pretty safely on the whole. It’s definitely a point worth considering though.


Yeah that makes a lot of sense, you’re right. In that case I don’t see how reading R18 stuff would be an issue for the club with the appropriate content warnings and relative discretion when discussing it if at all needed. I was mostly thinking if any of those scenes were very relevant to the development of the plot, but I guess you’re right in that we don’t really have to talk about them explicitly which is probably completely safe for discussion at that point.


I haven’t really participated in the other books clubs but I’ve seen Haruki Murakami mentioned on WK a lot and from what I’ve gathered, all of his books have sex scenes. Not sure how they’ve handled that but with a novel, I guess its a bit different since VNs have visuals attached. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the other book clubs here have had that type of content.

And yeah, I agree with this. In some cases 18+ content can be story relevant in VNs but for the majority, its something that is just there and I don’t think we’d really have anything to say about it. It’s just a lot of VNs that have a great story attached to it happen to include those scenes. I don’t anticipate any of us talking about them that much.

Maybe it’s a good idea at some point later to run a poll in the main VN thread to see what everyone else thinks about that type of content. If everyone is fine with it if we give warnings etc then that’d be cool. I mainly suggested it for our what if small group that is outside of the main club since I wasn’t sure if there would be enough interest for games with 18+ content to ever win a nomination. Although for those that like to read on the console, usually these 18+ games get all-ages console-only ports so there could be some compromise there. Ever Maiden for example is 18+ on pc but recently got a switch/ps4 all-ages port


I’ve also heard some people claim that VNs are a medium that give their creators a bit too much creative freedom in production. I haven’t read a lot of VNs, but the few I did with r18 content felt pretty different compared to the usual ecchi manga/anime or even the spectacle series that go full on “how is this not considered hentai?”

But like Rikaiwisdom mentioned the awkwardness around the subject is why I tried to separate and explicitly mark r18 discussion even if what I had to discuss or say wasn’t really something that needed it. There are going to be people that just aren’t interested in that sort of thing and I want to respect it.

On the flip side, the reality is that VNs are filled with this kind of thing and if we want to get into reading famous works it is a bridge we’ll have to cross eventually. For our group in particular I don’t think it matters. The discussion has been mature enough that I think I’ve been the most crass about it, but no one is like going in there and giving a play-by-play.

I think the only difficulty with this was being able to keep everyone at the same pace and same location week to week. Perhaps the safe route would be to focus numbers on the all-ages port and let people read the r18 versions if they’re confident. At least with 9-nine there seems to be like a 10%ish difference between the script size and our counts. Probably only a fraction of that is the actual r18 content, so it really isn’t like there’s that much of a difference… just an annoyance to deal with for organizing.


Updated the home post with Episode 3 c:

I decided on May 26 as starting date, both as a small week break and as additional catchup period, like we discussed. I also kept 25k, since right now it’s around the limit some can do and there’s also ccookf catching up at the moment. If/when we grow more comfortable with speed (i.e. our Japanese improves) we can discuss it again mid Episode 3 or for Episode 4. Do let me know if you want to increase it now after all, but otherwise 25k it is until we discuss it again at some point.

I’d be happy if someone could update the // Reading 9-nine-… part of the title too <3 .

// Soon reading 9-nine-はるいろはるこいはるのかぜ (Episode 3)


Got you! All sounds good to me, thanks for managing things.


Thanks! And no problem :slight_smile: . It’s actually starting to look like something and as I was editing I got a weird sense of accomplishment even this early with only half of the VN done. I’m sure once we complete episode 4 and then we look back on it with the home post fully done it will be really nice, actually visualising how long we’ve come and how much we’ve done, while finally seeing the 700k characters or whatever it ends up being. I’m confident it will be a good morale boost to tackle similar or longer VNs in the future. Of course on top of the main club picks. It’s actually really nice in a sense to measure things in character counts for Japanese stuff in particular, it’s a weirdly pleasant metric.


Psst, I hate to mention it after votes have already been cast, but the poll still has the そろいろ title.


More of an exception than the norm, but I’m still super proud of what I did last week

who needs speed when you have desperation and no social life

Good to see the next episode on the horizon. I’ve been excitedly watching the coverage numbers going up on my jpdb deck for it and episode 2 has definitely gotten me more excited for the characters in general.

If we extrapolate the episode 2 pace, it’s about 4 months or so to finish a normalish length VN. That’s already a huge leap from where we started and definitely something to be proud of. JPDB is a bit inflated, but with the new episode epilogue thing they have about 839k for the whole series. Now that yall have finished a more normal length episode I think it’s pretty fair say it’s not just possible, but an inevitability as long as the club stays together. Woooo!