Visual Novel Book Club // Next: 徒花異譚

Thanks! I’ll update it. Though since you mentioned one near the beginning I looked it up on Youtube and this Japanese playthrough does have JP subs on the part I think you mean so… who knows! But this does confirm some amount of listening segments.

Oh I didn’t actually know that’s what P5 was meant to be, but it would be great. There’s so much to explore about Japanese adult life, for uhh, better or worse. I hope it happens someday. I’ve been meaning to explore otome stuff sometime myself, I’ve played a decent chunk of VNs but none of those. Definitely the plan to branch out to that, just have to choose very carefully right now when mid-long VNs end up taking me months and months at my speed :smiling_face_with_tear:


Oh huh, I tried to put on jp subs in the game myself to test it but it wasn’t showing up. I didn’t look too hard on how to do it though but based on that video, looks like it is possible. Guess I was just rushing through it too fast and missed something :sweat_smile:


Is there anything in particular in the otome space you might be looking for? Some are higher or lower on romance than others. It’s a pretty broad genre. I personally enjoy it for its focus on character development. That being said, I am terrible at finishing games. It’s not even because it’s in Japanese, it’s a language-universal trait for me sadly :joy: Especially when there’s multiple routes, oh man.

I also bought Robotics;Notes like, 6 months ago in English because I just needed any sort of VN for my Switch and didn’t have a JP account at the time. Not even halfway through the first route :sob: It’s a pretty chill game though for people who want small town island summer vibes (it’s on Steam too). Probably a bit of an easier read than Steins;Gate too because the MC isn’t a 中二病 using weird super-villain talk.


Ehh, not particularly, just looking for good stories. I guess I lean a little more towards preference for narrative over character stuff but I think more than anything I just want variety, something different from whatever I just finished, so there’s a place to slot in hard romance character stuff too. That’s kinda why I’ve ended up just lumping it as “more VNs” in my brain and not specifically going out of my way to find much otome up to this point… the problem likely being that because I end up getting my ideas for what to play from VNDB or whatever VN community I happen to stumble across, otome seems to be somewhat more minimized in those spaces and there are just communities that exist for otome fans specifically, y’know? So I end up not checking them out, but not by any willful effort to avoid them.

I’ve been meaning to check out the science adventure series more too, on that note. I played Steins;Gate for a bit (in English, a while ago) but I think I burnt out before the point where it tends to hook people. Now all of that is in the enormous mountain of games I’m going to do “some day when I read Japanese faster”


Yeah, if I ever was to participate in a VN, it must be one without schoolchildren. I mean, seriously, even my children are out of school already! I’m over and done with this kind of shenanigans :rofl:
luckily there are many many Japanese book authors who write about topics outside of school. So it seems like it’s books for me then. I don’t mind at all :joy_cat:


Yeah I get it. I think r/otomegames is a decent place to get recommendations but the overwhelming majority of posts are about games in English and there’s a ton of otome that’s JP-only still (although it’s rarer in the Switch-era than the Vita one). They do have threads on untranslated games sometimes though. That’s where I found out about 剣が君 which was originally a PSP game, now on Vita/Switch/Steam. It’s historic fiction but not too difficult a read aside from ocassional scenes of old men talking politics. Lately I’ve been curious to try Cupid Parasite which is supposed to be more of a comedy. Most of my games lean more towards the serious side of things so I could use a break :sweat_smile:


Clearly the answer then must be Dandy Shot :stuck_out_tongue:
(not an actual recommendation, I’ve never played this game)

But I now know that VNDB has a tag for “only adult heroes” Tag: Only Adult Heroes | vndb


“a group of high-class older men.” - that could actually be hilarious if they have good voice actors :joy_cat:

Yay! What can possibly go wrong :thinking: :joy_cat:

I must admit, I don’t actually play games, nor do I watch TV or movies on a regular basis. So I’m definitely not the target audience here :grin:
But what I got really into a couple of years ago was an iPad game called The Room (video game) - Wikipedia - it’s a collection of puzzles that one needs to solve in order to advance through the game. If something like that was available as VN, e.g. a bunch of puzzles, or a detective story where one would need to find out something in order to proceed, that would be interesting. (But potentially hard I guess :woman_shrugging:)


Just bought this myself the other day for reading practice! I can’t give a verdict as to how advanced it is, but it’s fully voice acted, allows to display Japanese and English subs at the same time with shortcuts for toggling English subs so you can toggle it to double check your own translation (SHIFT+E toggles on, SHIFT+N toggles off).

Pretty much exactly what you want from a VN from a language learner’s perspective, and it works great with the text extraction tool mentioned in the original post.


Not quite a VN, but you might be interested in the Professor Layton series of games if that’s the sort of thing you enjoy.


There’s a decent amount of escape room and puzzle games out there, I think. The Zero Escape series is a pretty popular VN/puzzle series you may have heard of before Kyokugen Dasshutsu - 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no Tobira | vndb

There are a lot of detective type VNs out there as well although they mostly just follow the normal VN format of reading long passages with occasional choices that will change how the story plays out. But the Zero Escape series mentioned above does have puzzles for you to solve in between dialogue etc


While looking at reviews for Dandy Shot (because I had to know what it was about :joy:), I found this list of otome games on Switch (that are in English, but I assume Japanese language option or Japan region version will exist for most/all) from 2020. Some of them also have reviews from the person who put together the list.

I though I should share since the list seemed useful to me.


That sounds very interesting as well! Thanks also for your and @MrGeneric other recommendations - will keep them in mind :blush:


Can definitely recommend Professor Layton, I’ve enjoyed those games a lot. (Although I’ve played none of them in Japanese, only in English.)


Innocent Grey has a lot of good VNs that tend to fall under the detective/mystery genre. Only downside is that majority of them are rated 18+ and are generally considered utsuge (“depressing/melancholy game”) so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Outside of their game Flowers, I think all of their MC’s are mid 20s/30s but there are some characters that appear in the story that are teens.

The 殻ノ少女 series might be of interest if you the stuff mentioned earlier doesn’t bother you.


ATRI -My Dear Moments-

Developer: Frontwing,
VNDB Play Time: 13h
VNDB Link: ATRI -My Dear Moments- | vndb
Character count: 235k
Number of weeks to finish: 10-11 weeks


In the near future, a sudden and unexplained sea rise has left much of human civilization underwater.

Ikaruga Natsuki, a boy who lost his mother and his leg in an accident some years earlier, returns disillusioned from a harsh life in the big city to find his old countryside home half-swallowed by the sea.

Left without a family, all he has to his name is the ship and submarine left to him by his oceanologist grandmother, and her debts.

His only hope to restore the dreams for the future that he has lost is to take up an opportunity presented to him by the suspicious debt collector Catherine. They set sail to search the sunken ruins of his grandmother’s laboratory in order to find a treasure rumor says she left there.

But what they find is not riches or jewels; it is a strange girl lying asleep in a coffin at the bottom of the sea.

Atri is a robot, but her appearance and her wealth of emotions would fool anyone into think she’s a living, breathing human being. In gratitude for being salvaged, she makes a declaration to Natsuki.

“I want to fulfill my master’s final order. Until I do, I’ll be your leg!”

In a little town slowly being enveloped by the ocean, an unforgettable summer is about to begin for this boy and this mysterious robot girl…


Nintendo Switch JP Store

Personal Opinion

I think this one was brought up at some point and when I was looking around for stuff it seemed interesting! It seems to be a really well-received and emotionally impactful story, so should be good motivation to push through when it’s challenging. I messed around with the demo (!!) a bit and it has about a billion settings to customize your experience: you can change UI and game language separately, and have multiple languages displayed simultaneously if that’s your jam, even connect TTS to read unvoiced lines if you want, save favorite voiced lines, the list goes on.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Available on Steam (with a free demo to check it out!)
  • Texthooking appears to work
  • Voiced aside from MC
  • Log with the ability to replay voices and bookmark lines
  • Multi-language settings
  • Highly-rated


  • On the longer side at 13 hours, though that allows for more complex narrative stuff
  • Uncertain of difficulty; in the bit I played there was bit of weirdness that I think is just getting used to writing style, but it doesn’t seem ridiculously hard. If I had to guess, Atri might have some weird speech being a robot and all? But that’s speculation; jpdb has it at a 4/10 for what it’s worth :man_shrugging:
  • I don’t actually know the story so take this with a grain of salt but it seems like it’s probably sad, if that’s not your thing
  • Not fully voiced
  • It doesn’t seem fan-servicey but it’s a bit on the cutesy side which might not appeal to everyone





Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters


@natarin Oooh yeah, Atri was catching my eye too. As long as the robot girl doesn’t speak in all katakana we’re good :stuck_out_tongue:

For what it’s worth, it has the nakige tag, and speaking broadly the term does mean “crying game,” so expect it to try hit those emotional peaks. That said, my impression of the term is there’s usually an effort to not actually end at pure sadness, despite how that might sound. Like, bittersweet at worst, but kind of granting some form of catharsis or meaning at the end after the sadness. I can’t 100% promise that’s correct, but it’s my best guess based on what genre knowledge I have. Sounds like that will be relevant to @MissDagger .


Can confirm she doesn’t :joy: I’ve only seen one scene with her which was like a heroic declarative intro kinda thing so my perception might be skewed, but she used stuff like つつある if that gives you a sense of the vibe


Really hard to guess effort for this one based on screenshots. :joy: Probably the easiest dialogs in the game, amiright? xD

Really appreciate this heads up! If I know about it, I can look up spoilers (spoilers don’t ruin stories for me, but I don’t look them up unnecessarily).


Haha, most of the screenshots online were like that! Others just said いらっしゃいませ and whatnot heh. I can probably grab a few manually from the early game myself, later. Figured more than anything it’d be “look at these pretty pictures” for now :sweat_smile: