星の王子さま, p. 18-26.
Thanks so much! I actually managed to get it working this evening! Think my laptop just couldn’t handle having the game and the captured video on screen at once and so everything was weird and stuttering but tried it using a monitor today and it works well! Very excited! I saw someone also using it with switch games (using video capture to the laptop) as well when watching videos to see how to get it to work so might be able to unlock yomichan on switch games too which would be a game changer!
VN talk is probably going to be long so I'll collapse it
Yeah… Steam is a decent resource still, and I’ve gotten some things there that I want to read (Ace Attorney trilogy, Little Busters, Musicus, etc), but it’s certainly hit or miss. Unfortunately a Steam sale JUST ended today, heh. I imagine you’ve seen already, but luckily Steam does at least clearly label language availability. Annoyingly, while both being made by Key (along with Little Busters), Clannad and the version of Summer Pockets without the extra content are both English only on Steam. Funny side note there, Little Busters is literally titled “English Edition” all the way to its name in your library, despite being the one to feature Japanese
That link I sent you also has various further links to some VN recommendations based on difficulty, and while I think those links can be hit or miss, that might be a good place to look if you’re trying to find more stuff that you might interested in.
I hadn’t heard about that, but it might be true? When you ask about where I got Summer Pockets, I’m hoping it’s not like this across the board, because Summer Pockets sells for like $80USD, which I find absurdly and prohibitively expensive, and well… going to have to let this sentence trail off, on the Wanikani boards. Summer Pockets is a hard one to recommend anyway because it’s common to have to change your system location to Japanese to make VNs work, but it’s not a huge deal. Nothing actually changes if you just tell Windows you’re in Japan. But the engine Summer Pockets uses, while not a common measure, goes all the way to checking your PC’s language and even time zone settings, and if anything is off from Japan at all, it refuses to launch. I… worked around it, but this game was a struggle to start, heh.
It won’t be quite that bad generally! I’m still in the process myself of working out where and how I’m going to get all my Japanese VNs, but the visual novel subreddit has a purchasing guide, and honestly probably the easiest way is to just choose a game and check its page on VNDB. They have links near the top to buy the games.
Danganronpa is wonderful, and you should play it, but it’s one I’d be concerned might not work with a texthooker so you’d need the more finnicky OCR, plus I do want to warn you about the class trial segments. I’m not sure how much you know about how it’s presented, but during those gameplay sections words are like spinning around and shooting across the screen and it’s all sytlized and chaotic. Might be a bit of an extra layer of difficulty.
Oh that’s excellent to hear! I just assumed it was an issue with the text not reading well enough, oops. Great choice of game, too.
Summer Pockets: I’m managing… a bit more of the reading totally tripped me up today, but I’m also fighting off early migraine signs. Seems to happen to me a lot these days :\
The reading session was mostly fun, regardless. The return of a particular character led to the VN doubling down on its worst joke I referenced before, but otherwise, it’s increasingly starting to actually put its characters together in situations, as opposed to the isolated meetings, so those interactions are nice. Today I got my proper welcome to the island, which reminds me how slow I’m reading, haha
Today’s interesting but strange historical reference was to Tairo no Masakado, a samurai “notable for leading the first recorded uprising against the central government in Kyoto.” I need to learn more Japanese history… and culture… oh, and the language. Small order there.
Zoo 1: The fourth story has been a little rough with increased description, but I’m grinding through it, and I’m 71% through the book! I just wanted to briefly mention it because I was shocked to come to what seems to be a lightly sci-fi story? Thus far, seemingly a rather touching one about death and the nature of life. I’ll have to write about my total thoughts on Zoo 1 when I finally finish it, but I’m quite enjoying it! There’s a surprising amount of variety.
Just read the remaining 80 pages of Domestic Girlfriend Vol. 3. I really enjoyed it there were some funny scenes unfortunately I don’t have more volumes of it but I may pick them up during a sale.
Vocabulary list Domestic Girlfriend vol. 3
イチャイチャ flirting; making out
黒子 ほくろ mole; beauty spot
正門 せいもん main gate; main entrance Ｎ2
片思い かたおもいunrequited love; one-sided love Ｎ1
無理やり むりやり forcibly; against one’s will
若頭 わかがしら leader of a crime syndicate’s henchmen; young leading subordinate in yakuza group
長男 ちょうなん eldest son (may be the only son) Ｎ2
有り気 ありげ seeming to be
ほっと with a feeling of relief; with a sigh of relief Ｎ1
団地 だんち apartment complex Ｎ2
末永く すえながく forever; everlastingly; for many years to come
短編 たんぺん short (e.g. story, film) Ｎ2
官能 かんのう sensuality; carnality
同年代 どうねんだい the same generation
申し訳ない もうしわけない I’m sorry; (it’s) inexcusable Ｎ2
気まずい きまずい unpleasant; awkward; embarrassing
冊子 さっし book; booklet; pamphlet
お揃い おそろい being together; going together
合宿 がっしゅく lodging together; training camp
振られる ふられる to be rejected; to be dumped
悶々 もんもん here it means horny
Thanks, will definitely check it out! By the way, from a quick skim it looks like Japanese like to buy games in physical form? At least there seem to be way more options to buy them physically than digitally Or perhaps this has to do with the prevalence of consoles over PCs in Japan?..
Lol, just found it on one to the websites from the buying guide you linked, and it’s ¥8910 there vs $29 on Steam, so about 3x more expensive…
Hmm, sounds not so welcoming. Does the text disappear after all this movement? I think I could probably tolerate it (if it’s at all recognizable, because I imagine OCR won’t help in this case) unless it only stays on the screen for a limited time. In the latter case I don’t think anything would help, really, – not even a much better (but still not near-native) command of Japanese
Would you say that it uses a lot of difficult language in general? (Even if in English, just as an approximation of what to expect from the Japanese version.)
February 3 update:
Read chapter 10 of よつばと！ today. Yotsuba was surprisingly tame this time around, while Asagi was shown from quite an interesting angle again.
Progress: (45% → 48%)
Also read the lyrics of a few vocaloid songs, mainly by Neru.
It’s fun to revisit songs you’ve known since forever and manage to understand the lyrics with little effort.
And the epiphanies be like:
“ohhh, so the mesh of a hiragana word was actually those/that kanji!”
"oho, so that’s what the song really was about 0: "
Had lots of fun
There certainly are a lot more listed options there. It probably is true that a lot of them come out on Switch, or older consoles, so a lot of those come from that? Japan has been a little slow to adopt PC gaming and digital sales along with it generally I think, with PC gaming itself seen in a somewhat derisive light for a long time due to all of the very adult games there. But this is all me speculating anyway… it’s probably true that even PC VNs are still being sold as physically boxed copies in a way we don’t tend to do in the west?
Mmhmm. Kind of absurd. When I talk about the enhanced edition of Summer Pockets being a thing that pushed me over the edge to learning Japanese, part of that is sheer aggravation at Key on a consumer side, too. See, they announced a new version of Summer Pockets with lots more content was being released at a time when I’m almost certain the game wasn’t out in English at all yet. Then they said they would wait and see if it got an English release based on how base Summer Pockets sold… but by then, I didn’t want to buy the game twice so I never bought the original version. Like, you can’t announce that there’ll be a better version and English players only get the privilege if they commit to the lesser one first, heh. I can’t be alone in that. They kinda sabotaged themselves.
I don’t think there’s anything with a true, unending time limit. I wanted to show you a quick video example but the problem is they put pictures with Xs over them where anyone who died would have stood, so there is no way to avoid spoilers. Basically how it works is a short conversation plays out, jumping between people as they say what they think about what happened. In this time, you’re looking for something that contradicts a piece of evidence you have, and you literally fire it at their words with a crosshair. You can slow it, but that’s meant to be for making the shot easier, and is limited. There will also be other words meant to be distractions and obstacles sometimes overlapping those words which could be a pain. Basically when the conversation is done playing out it’ll just restart, so although time is limited on each cycle, there’s no punishment for taking as long as you need. I forget which minigames are in which but sometimes you have to do things like spell out words yourself in convoluted ways, which could become a challenge, heh.
So… I can’t make any promises because this isn’t really the sort of thing you think about in your native language unless something is written particularly wildly, but I don’t recall it ever getting too specialized or weird. Just the sort of death and investigation vocab you’d expect primarily. Everyone has pretty exaggerated quirks which may or may not lead to over the top role language difficulty, that’s the main one I’d expect if anything.
Migraine talk that you can ignore if you want cause sometimes advice is annoying
I just recently managed to get my own migraines mostly under control and 2 major things helped me:
- Magnesium supplements
- Getting prescribed migraine meds from Nurx (telehealth company, takes insurance if you’re US based). Mine are the type where you take them when you feel it coming on and it helps stop it before it ramps up. Downside is that if it starts up in my sleep I’m SOL.
There are some other supplements recommended to me by doctors (high doses of riboflavin is one I remember) but they didn’t seem to make a difference for mine.
That super sucks though and I feel for you.
日本語: I read a fair amount of ミステリークロック and some of 機動強襲型令嬢アリシア物語１.
Read-aloud: We read two chapters of 7SEEDS.
中国語: I read an intermediate entry on Mandarin Bean, one page of 擅长捉弄的高木同学, and a bit of 孩子最爱读的中国民间故事.
Yesterday I finally finished the prologue of ifの悲劇、and today I read the first branch of the first part. (That’s why the book is called ifの悲劇, the author describes the developments twice, in a “what if this had happened, or what if that other thing had happened?” The book is split up into four parts, for which there exist two options. The first branch of the first part already added a weird and fun twist to the story, and I’m curious to see how the other branch will evolve.
Regarding 大聖堂, my Japanese friend writes daily short summaries of his (English) reading in Japanese, which he then uses in our discussions. I managed to convince him to send me his summaries every day, so now I get the bonus of reading the story twice: Once the real book, and once his summary. It’s very interesting that he sometimes even uses the same words as the Japanese translator (he doesn’t know the Japanese version, of course, he is only reading the English one). And I must say, I’m really impressed how well he manages to keep up - the English text is not exactly easy to understand and contains quite a few words that even I don’t know.
That is much appreciated, thanks. I might at least look into trying magnesium or something relatively simple like that, thanks. I can tell mine are triggered by light often (I know in the past I’ve had ophthalmic migraines with temporary blindness in just one eye, though recently it seems to be both?). So it’s frequently, but not always, sufficient to just get away from screens for a while, have a bunch of water, maybe an advil, that kind of thing. Then I at least escape with only mild pain, usually. I get the feeling skipping caffeine might also help, but I really really don’t want to drop coffee. This used to be a relatively rare occurrence for me, but it’s happening pretty often now…
The thing is, I had pretty bad long covid a while back (caught it October 2020, pre-vaccine days), and I’m in this sort of zone now where I am demonstrably better than I was at the worst of that, but I feel like there are a bunch of signs of lingering damage, though it’s hard to be sure . Like, it only just occurred to me to look into this, and it turns out increased migraine occurrence is pretty common in people who caught it (along with lots of other stuff I’ll resist ranting about, heh).
…anyway, that wasn’t quite what you asked for, heh. Just been a little tough recently. Many thanks for the advice
*reads description online*
I guess I’ll have to read that at some point.
This is probably the fourth time it happens.
@valkow, official provider of book suggestions.
More migraine talk
Oh that sounds awful! Yours sound very different from mine (no visual issues with mine and OTC meds won’t touch them), but hopefully one or both of those supplements help. Magnesium is one of those things that really hard to get a measure on ‘deficiency’ through simple blood testing if I remember correctly.
Hopefully the long covid symptoms ease, I’ve heard a lot about them and it sounds miserable.
Best of luck in recovering in all ways
Started volume 2 of 極主夫道, and read all of the first chapter (chapter 10). This might be my new favourite chapter of this manga so far, really made me laugh. The way he described the yoga poses really tickled me.
Other than having to look up some vocab, this wasn’t too tough a read for me - which surprised me because I found the first volume quite challenging!
I got back to 夜カフェ today! Tan-chan got a nice long nap in, so I had a chance to read for a solid hour and read half of chapter 2. Such a relief too since things are finally starting to pick up in this chapter. My girl Hanabi is finally starting to grow a backbone too! So proud of her!
2月3日 ~ Day 34 / Back to Home
夜カフェ page 26 of 189 (10 pages)
Before I forget, an interesting thing I found this time was the following kanji 呟く can also mean to tweet or to post on Twitter.
As for this chapter’s summary, Hanabi watches the students who have joined the sports clubs and realizes she feels more alone than ever since she knows she’ll never find a place among those groups of students who are all working hard together while she shies away from them so as not to get picked on by Yayako.
On her way home, she stops by the convenience store to pick up a meal for dinner and notices a very beautiful girl who gives off the air of someone older than her. She realizes that they go to the same school based on her school uniform and watches as she chooses the same karaage bento that Hanabi chose. She laughs because she expected her to choose something fancier and watches her as she heads in the opposite direction of Hanabi’s home.
When Hanabi gets back, her father is the first to come home soon after. Hanabi offers him the leftover bento and his father can’t help but feel sorry for his daughter having to go out and buy her dinner because her mother doesn’t cook for her. Hanabi tries to convince him that she doesn’t feel that way at all, but when he goes to take a bath, he realizes his wife didn’t clean the bathroom yet either. Instead, he plops down on the couch with a beer before Hanabi’s mother comes home and leers at her husband for his lazy looking disposition. She mentions she’s tired and the father argues that he’s the one who’s really tired, suggesting she’s having fun “at work” all day while he’s the one putting in the real hard work.
Hanabi sensing another fight heads to her bedroom to ignore them. She pulls out some stuff from her drawer and remembers about her favorite Aunt Aiko-san. She used to play with her a lot when she was little until her mother started making excuses about her sister being too busy to entertain her. When Hanabi got older, she finally admitted that her sister is a little “strange” and to stay away from her. Hanabi remembered the good times she had with her friendly aunt and decides for the upcoming Golden Week that she’ll go visit her since her family is so dysfunctional right now, there’s no way they’ll be able to enjoy a real vacation.
Hanabi hears the sound of the cup breaking as her father throws in on the ground in his anger. She runs back to the living room to see the aftermath of their fight and decides she can’t take it anymore. She tells her parents how she really feels - she doesn’t like school and she never did since elementary school but she just did her best to not say anything because she didn’t want to worry them. But as horrible as school is, she dislikes her house even more because of the two of them fighting all the time. She’s made up her mind that she’s going to go to her aunt’s house this second and runs back to her room to pack her stuff. Relying on the momentum to push her resolve, she’s about to leave until her mother comes to stop her.
Although this book is coming from the perspective of a teenager, just judging from this part of the book alone, I think its important for parents to read this too because sometimes we forget how much stress our kids are put through, especially when parents fight over their problems in front of children. It makes me sad reading all of the issues between her school and her family she has to go through, and as a mom, I would never want my daughter to feel like she can’t talk to us about something because she realizes we already have a lot on our grownup plate to deal with.
The other thing that I frown upon is this whole throwing and breaking things during fights especially when someone is drunk. Unfortunately, this is a real problem in Japan with all the stress, particularly men, go through at work. Due to this, they pretty much expect their wife will be the one to take care of the things at home and offer them their own little safe haven to release their stress. That isn’t to excuse the father’s violent behavior by any means, but this sort of expectation in Japan is normal particularly with people brought up in the Showa era. Drinking and yelling at your wife if she didn’t clean properly or cook properly was a normal thing, but fortunately, this behavior is happening less and less with the new generation.
Anyway, I’m glad Hanabi is finally standing up for herself! If her father was really the abusive type, she probably wouldn’t be able to say anything, but it’s clear that he does love her so she feels safe expressing her opinion openly in front of him and her mother. I’d like to see Hanabi leave and do what she wants, but if I remember correctly, it’s already nighttime, and it’s probably not a good idea for her to just leave without any real plan. How much pocket money does she have? But I reckon she’ll be going to her aunt’s during Golden Week at the very least. Hopefully her parents will realize how poorly they’ve acted recently and change too.
Vocab for Reference - New words are bolded
もたもた・slowly; inefficiently; tardily; dawdling
そびれる・to miss a chance；to fail to do
張り切る・はりきる・to be eager
脇・わき・aside; to the side; away; out of the way
存在感・そんざいかん・presence (impressive quality)
熱中・ねっちゅう・going nuts (over something)；enthusiasm
二言三言・ふたことみこと・a few words
妙・みょう・strange; weird; odd; curious
クスっと・unintentionally；slipping out (e.g. a chuckle)
遠ざかる・とおざかる・to go away；to become more distant；to fade away
っ放し・っぱなし・keep …-ing; have been …-ing; leaving (something) on; leaving (something) still in use
詰まる・つまる・to be at a loss; to be hard pressed
ひとり言・ひとりごと・soliloquy；monologue；speaking to oneself
観る・みる・to see; to look; to watch; to view; to observe
呟く・つぶやく・to mutter; to murmur; to grumble
紛れる・まぎれる・to be diverted from (negative emotions, etc.); to forget about
覗き込む・のぞきこむ・to look into; to peer in
曖昧・あいまい・vague; ambiguous; unclear
我慢強い・がまんづよい・(very) patient; persevering
グリグリ・grinding against; pressing or rubbing with turning movements (e.g. someone’s shoulders with one’s elbow)
撫でる・なでる・to stroke; to caress; to brush gently; to pat; to rub
浮かべる・うかべる・to show on one’s face (smile, sadness, etc.)
とは言え・とはいえ・though; although; be that as it may; nonetheless
不機嫌・ふきげん・pout; displeasure; ill humor; ill humour; sullenness
どっかり・flumping (into a chair)
下す・おろす・ to drop (an anchor, curtain, etc.); to let down (hair)
交じる・まじる・to be mixed; to be blended with; to be combined
ぐったり・limply; wearily; listlessly; languidly; exhaustedly; unenergetically
にらみ付ける・にらめつける・to glare at；to scowl at
言い争う・いいあらそう・to quarrel；to dispute
尖る・とがる・to taper to a point; to become pointed; to become sharp
刃物・はもの・edged tool; cutlery
塞ぐ・ふさぐ・to cover (ears, eyes, etc.)
逸らす・そらす・to turn away (one’s eyes, face, etc.); to avert; to divert (e.g. one’s attention); to evade (e.g. a question); to change (e.g. the subject)
猛者・もさ・tough guy; wild one; fearless fighter
ほっと・with a feeling of relief; with a sigh of relief
ガシャン・crash; smash; crunch; bang; breaking sound
割れる・われる・to break; to be smashed
慌てる・あわてる・to hurry; to rush; to hasten
いい加減にする・いいかげんにする・to put an end to something; to get something over with; to quit something one has been engaged in too long or to an excessive degree
溢れ出す・あふれだす・to begin to overflow; to start overflowing; to pour out
居場所・いばしょ・place where one belongs; where one fits in; place where one can be oneself
遮る・さえぎる・to interrupt; to obstruct (a view, someone’s way, etc.); to block (light, wind, etc.); to intercept; to cut off
詰める・つめる・to stuff into; to jam; to cram; to pack; to fill; to plug; to stop up
押しのける・おしのける・to push aside; to brush aside
That is a wonderful invention! Thanks for sharing! I have a feeling they have something of the sort at Daiso or something. I mean, they have pocket scissors that look like pens and other somehow convenient things you didn’t know you need, so I wouldn’t be surprised!
I also wish I had the foresight to bring this page holder (it’s like a glass or very thick plastic bent in the shape of an open book that you use to hold down your book so you can read and do other things like write). It came in handy in grad school and I never imagined I’d be a mom wishing I had someone to hold down my book while feeding my kid, so I didn’t bring it with me… forgot what it’s called or where I ordered it from, but I’d like to get my hands on another one! All I remember was it was kind of pricey.
Day 34: February 3rd
Time spent: 20 min
Today’s color: 紅梅色 (こうばいいろ) - pink with a hint of purple, like plum blossoms
I feel like there was a similar color to this one earlier Ah, it was 薄紅梅!
- 早春 (そうしゅん) - early spring
- 色づく (いろづく) - to change color (esp. of leaves, fruit, flowers); to turn crimson (e.g. leaves in autumn); to begin to redden; to ripen; to grow ripe
- 蕾 (つぼみ) - (flower) bud
- 花開く (はなひらく) - to blossom; to flower; to bloom
- 王朝 (おうちょう) - dynasty
- あたかも - as if; as it were; as though (usu. as あたかものようだ, あたかものごとし, etc.)
- 極彩色 (ごくさいしき) - richly colored
- 慎ましい (つつましい) - modest; reserved; quiet; humble
- 控えめ (ひかえめ) - moderate; reserved; conservative; humble; mild-mannered; self-effacing; unassuming; well-behaved; low-key; temperate; in small quantities
Time spent: 7 min
Today’s reading was about the custom of 豆まき (まめまき) - scattering beans to drive out evil spirits on 節分. I have heard of this, but I had not heard of 柊鰯 (ひいらぎいわし), which is a charm that you make by spearing a sardine head with a holly branch - apparently you place it next to the front door to ward off demons.
What else did I read?
Amount read: 7 pages
Time spent: 47 min
Wheeee learning about orcas and sharks and dolphins and whales~ I love the format of this manga, actually, it’s informative but in a way that’s fun to read (おるかちゃん is very hyper/enthusiastic haha). I knew that orca pods have different “languages,” but I guess different orca families have different taste preferences also? Like some only eat squid/fish, some eat sharks, some eat mammals…I did not know this and I find it weirdly endearing lol, orcas why are you so human I also learned that sharks have no ribs I have never actually thought about that before haha
Lots of good words today
- 方々 (ほうぼう) - here and there; this way and that way; everywhere; all over
- おふくろの味 (おふくろのあじ) - mom’s home cooking; taste of mom’s cooking; taste of home cooking; food like mom used to make
- 軟骨魚類 (なんこつぎょるい) - cartilaginous fishes; chondrichthyans (like sharks)
- 肋骨 (あばらぼね) - rib
- 気絶 (きぜつ) - faint; swoon
- 卒倒 (そっとう) - fainting; swooning
- 時速 (じそく) - speed (per hour)
- 襲いかかる (おそいかかる) - to rush on; to attack; to swoop down on
- おびき寄せる (おびきよせる) - to lure someone; to entice someone
- 仕留める (しとめる) - to bring down (an animal, opponent, etc.); to kill; to shoot dead; to shoot down
- 文武両道 (ぶんぶりょうどう) - being accomplished in both the literary and military arts; doing well in both school and sports (this was used when talking about how orcas are smart and also athletic/powerful but it makes me think of orcas going to high school and that makes me smile xD)
- バンドウイルカ - bottlenose dolphin
- 潮吹き (しおふき) - spouting (e.g. of a whale, blowhole, etc.); blowing water
- 豪快 (ごうかい) - hearty; tremendous; magnificent; glorious; splendid; heroic; stirring
- 直訳 (ちょくやく) - literal translation; direct translation
- ツチクジラ - Baird’s beaked whale
- ハクジラ - toothed whale; odontocete (in kanji, 歯鯨)
- 亜目 (あもく) - suborder (biology term)
- セミイルカ - Northern right whale dolphin
VN talk, not to like bust in
I’m not super well-versed on VNs, but I would hesitate to recommend Danganronpa as a first VN attempt in Japanese. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it and if you’re at all interested you should definitely play it, but I don’t think it’s the most like… approachable?
My experience with it in Japanese is very very limited so take this with a grain of salt, but I think it has some of the same difficulties light novels tend to, with that specific light novel brand of vocabulary and kanji use and the like. This is definitely something you can fight through and learn a lot from (I can attest to this lmao hey 錆喰いビスコ), but it could also be frustrating depending on your patience/expectations/etc.
I just played through a little bit out of curiosity (from which I’d say it’s fairly comparable to 999 which makes sense) and I didn’t notice like an incomprehensible amount of role language, but I know at least one of the characters uses Touhoku dialect I believe? I don’t remember how extreme it is but it’s something to be aware of. I haven’t played any of the class trial segments in Japanese, but as Daisoujou’s been saying they move pretty fast so you’d probably need to figure out some other way to tackle them, maybe like reading the dialogue out of a walkthrough or script or something? Idk, I’m sure there are ways!
ANYWAY all that aside, if you’re interested in trying it then go for it! Worst comes to worst you’ll play it for a bit and realize it’s too hard for now and put it aside, but who knows! I definitely have no room to discourage people from trying things that might be above their level, that’s basically all I do
Yeah I’m speaking from zero experience with the Japanese, but this is probably true? It strikes me as a step up from something like Ace Attorney. Which I wouldn’t want to push on too hard, but before I reached that final case, it felt like a fantastic entry point if someone is ready for games/VNs. It’s had the most helpful repetition of key words in anything I’ve read yet, too. JPDB, for whatever it’s worth, also slots DR at one point higher in difficulty than Summer Pockets.
I of course don’t have firsthand experience, but if I was just idly recommending some VNs to people based on how they look and what I’ve heard about their difficulty, the more slice of life stuff like Little Busters looks like a good call, and is almost what I started with. Aokana seems to be widely loved, is allegedly not too hard, and is available in Japanese on Steam. Yuzusoft stuff like Sanoba Witch is apparently really easy to read (also in Japanese on Steam), but I have no firsthand experience with them, and that’s increasingly approaching the kind of stuff people avoid VNs for, haha.
It’s hard to make recommendations because what’s easier is mostly the very slow paced slice of life stuff which puts some people off. Plus, most of what I’ve played in English is not really suitable until you’re more proficient with the language. Stuff that’s more plot-heavy and weighty. Like looking at what @BadWeather has played, I want to go for more mystery stuff like Raging Loop, but I imagine Raging Loop is more suitable with a little more experience. Higurashi/Umineko are the best calls for people into this kind of stuff, but they’re known for being relatively hard to read.
I hear Himawari isn’t too hard to read and has a bit of a sci-fi slant (also haven’t read it), but that one isn’t available in Japanese on Steam, though the price looks more reasonable elsewhere. And it has an All Ages Version, so there are options. Not that I really want to be having this particular conversation here but I also don’t want to indirectly recommend something with very explicit stuff without making that clear, heh. But it doesn’t have to. That’s probably true of a lot of others because not always, but often, that stuff is removed in the Steam release (but can often be readded in patches if that’s your wish).
ANYWAY! Recommending under constraints is kind of hard. I wish this stuff was more easily accessible.
So stressed from work, so tired. Almost forgot to read yesterday but saved it with two pages of Yotuba. Read today. Impulse bought a physical copy of Asuka magazine (one of those >900 pages ones that cost an extra 2000 yen to ship). Call it a gift since I just plunked all my Christmas money straight into my savings account.