Visual Novel Book Club // Now reading: ISLAND

Thank you!

We wanted to do voting starting next week, so I think we would need any nominations done before the 15th

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ISLAND

62630

Developer: Frontwing
VNDB Play Time: 35h
VNDB Link: ISLAND | vndb
Character count: 664900
Number of weeks to finish: 26-29 weeks

Summary

Urashima is a small island, far from mainland Japan. It’s a true utopia, blessed with rich natural beauty. But the island harbors a difficult past, and it’s about to be erased, silently, from history.

Soot blight syndrome, an endemic disease, has brought about a rift between the island and the mainland. An offshore platform intended for marine research has long been left abandoned; five years ago, three separate incidents brought the once influential Three Families of Urashima to near ruin. Rumors about children being spirited away have become part of the local folklore, alongside another legend, one that has been repeated on the island since time immemorial…

“Let me tell you the legend of this island: it’s a story of tragic love…”

The key to saving the island lies with three girls, each of whom belongs to one of the Three Families. These girls aren’t able to change the fate of the island by themselves, but might they succeed with the help of the young man who’s just washed ashore? Claiming that he’s traveled back in time, the man immediately sets out on a lonely path, challenging the longstanding traditions of the island, and seeking to change the future. But those aren’t his only goals…

How will his presence transform the lives of these three girls, the future of the island, and the fate of the world…?

Availability

Steam: ISLAND on Steam
Nintendo Switch: ISLAND ダウンロード版 | My Nintendo Store(マイニンテンドーストア)

Personal Opinion

I have started this VN and have finished one main route so far. I think I enjoy it because it is quite chilled, a bit but not completely slice of lifey. I also like it because I find the writing beautiful and quite funny at times. And for language practice, I feel like it is all useful vocabulary (as opposed to something very niche / S.F. or the like), though a bit advanced. Very much novel like due to more descriptions and inner thoughts than dialogs (at least from what I’ve seen so far)

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • The story structure is quite easy to divide in threads for the club 1 prologue 110.000, and 3 main routes afterwards. I have completed one and it was 110.000 characters too.
  • It has a JPDB premade deck Island – Prebuilt decks – jpdb
  • On PC and on Switch

Cons

  • The main character is not voiced
  • More expensive than some other games? Though as with most VNs, usually often enough on sale
  • Quite long?

Pictures

Screenshots

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this VN?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know
0 voters
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Just a reminder that today is the last day for nominations and we will vote tomorrow.

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Time to vote! Voting will be open for a week and we’ll have 4 votes as usual.

0 voters
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The poll is up now, hopefully I didn’t miss anything! Can someone please change the title to indicate we are now voting?

@Akashelia I missed it in your nomination post the other day but I had to change the number of weeks in the poll to 22 for Island since we voted some time ago that 22 weeks would be the max length for any VN.

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Ah I missed that too. Should be fine, the vocabulary is not something niche, plus if you take only the main roads the total char count should be less than what I wrote I estimate 440.000 char so that’s only 20k/week

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Bumping the thread to remind everyone its the last day to vote.

I have noticed that the amount of people voting has gone down a bit the last few times. I was thinking it might have been because of the holidays but not too many people have voted so far this round & I’m not sure if the other book clubs had that issue? Not sure what we will want to do after this round or if people are fine with the club being very small? It was already a small club to begin with but it does suck a bit for it to get even smaller :grimacing:

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I think I would finally be able to handle joining the VN Book Club, reading speed wise, but I have too many in progress things right now to join something new. However, one of those things is the ISLAND VN, so if it wins I will participate too :smiley:

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To be fair, I voted but I’m struggling to find time to play 徒花異譚. I might have time to read it right before the finsh line (which have been shorten by 2 weeks if I understood well ?). Fortunately, I’m not reading in japanese yet, or else it just would be impossible :sweat_smile:

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Yeah I have noticed as well that it seems especially quiet lately, for the last few months. I’m not sure if there’s not much interest in VNs in general from new users, if the club’s organisation is not working for previous members or if there’s a lack of advertisement for the club in other wanikani places (not many people talking about the VN club in other threads, if at all, as opposed to other book clubs), or any other reason. Last I checked Natively’s was also going slow, though with a few more people interested. I do know some are taking a break due to their own reasons.

I have no actual solutions but I do share your concerns. It also feels a bit harsher to take a bit longer to read stuff since there’s so very few people posting :sweat_smile: .

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Yeah compared to buying a manga, a VN is quite an investment, plus it requires a good level of Japanese already (or good tools and patience), so I understand that it’s less popular than other book clubs.
But why it got so much less popular, than it was, I don’t know :frowning:

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If it helps a little, I’m relatively new to the forum, but I was happy to discover that such a club existed and that I could progress thanks to it too when the time comes.
I hope that you older members are not too discouraged :orange_heart:

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Y’all are probably not counting me as one of the members that fell more silent, considering I’ve only been there for the very first VN we read, but for me the main reason is that I can simply not keep up with your speed. I’m getting faster, but it’ll still be a whole while until I can manage 20k+ characters per week. Because of that I’m also concentrating on shorter VNs, which seem to be less popular here at the moment anyway.

So, I’m definitely interested in general, but it’ll be a while until I can join you again!

Our current club is down to 4 people by its 3rd week, so… not a ton of active participants either.

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I was hoping that the new format we tried for 徒花異譚 might help with getting more people to try it since there are no weekly threads people wouldn’t have to worry about falling behind and can read at their own pace. Since most people check the club threads long after the initial start date, there would still be discussion if people posted later on I think. Having a deadline before the next VN starts makes it so you do have to read at a certain pace over that x month period if you wanted to be ready for the next VN though so I can see how that is still a detriment.

For me, I always thought VNs were a lot easier to read than novels. I think I’d put the VN club right in between the intermediate & advanced book clubs here based on difficulty/pacing. Looking at past advanced book club picks, their pacing would be around 18k~ per week but the stuff they read there is significantly harder than VNs. I mainly read VNs though so I might be biased in thinking they’re easier since I have more experience with them but my reading speed for novels has been much slower in comparison for the few novels I have read.

Glad to see there is still interest in the club from people though! I don’t post in too many other threads so maybe if I advertised it elsewhere on WK more people might check it out? But at the same time, people can see the thread at the top of the forums when we make new posts so I assume they would check it out then if they had interest :thinking:

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I thought about that too so I posted the vote in the Reading Everyday Challenge thread which is quite active with quite a lot of different people but not sure it attracted anyone. Posting in the IBC and in the ABC would make sense I think.

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I’m not sure many people know about the new format unless they are already actively reading this thread or participated in the 徒花異譚 club.

Personally, a self-paced club doesn’t make it more attractive for me. I like the feeling of reading together in active book clubs. Self-pacing sounds like it would disperse participation more. (And if I wanted to self-pace I can already do it in any book club just by reading slower.)

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It was an actual concern when we were discussing it, but the previous format was just very taxing to keep for whoever was organising at the time. We had 3 transfers in thread ownership in a relatively short time, and when asked many people weren’t able to lead. I enjoyed organising 9-nine- but when it ended I also was a bit relieved from the many months I wasn’t able to take a week off (though I also enjoyed managing it and had fun with it, so it was okay). We’ve adopted this format (we’re trying for now) so that the leading part is as frictionless as possible, and so that it also allows people to read freely without text hooking, e.g. consoles; as well as to accommodate different reading speeds. I’d say most of us who participated in the club before are overall fine with the weekly 25k, even people who tried the club for the first time in Zero Escape 999 or Fatal Twelve had no major issues that I remember of, but I might be misremembering. We agreed that it was an amount that felt good in terms of advancing at a pace that allowed the plot to develop, so that we had something to discuss in the threads; and to avoid boredom. With the length of most VNs it would take extremely long to finish one and keep things interesting long term. But it’s also true that this club steers towards committing a good part of people’s reading to it, and hasn’t proven to be very compatible with the usual WaniKani culture of participating in multiple clubs. I’ve said it before at different points, but perhaps it’s just a matter of WaniKani not being the place for this. Neither Natively seems any better.

The format is free but there’s still a template we use for discussions with choice marks and whatnot. To successfully test how active the threads would be with people actively reading we would need more people reading, but I’m afraid we can’t really properly test how it’s working with 3 people. I’m stubborn to give up the idea yet :joy: . But yeah at least four previously regular readers aren’t active at the moment, and it sure feels the most quiet the club has ever been. I wish more people had an interest, and I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with the club itself, or there’s just no interest whatsoever, which would be unfortunate but fair.

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I have previously joined the Fatal Twelve (Wanikani) and Marco and The Galaxy Dragon (Natively) visual novel book clubs. We were reading approximately 25k and 17k weekly, respectively. Regardless of the quantity, visual novels have been more challenging compared to reading regular novels. In fact, even though the second one was shorter, I couldn’t keep up with the schedule and was able to finish it months later. The main reason visual novels pose such a challenge for me is this: I can carry manga and novels with me and read them wherever I want, but this is not possible for visual novels. I need to dedicate one or two evenings per week entirely to reading visual novels on the computer. Currently, I don’t have such free time, so I haven’t even voted in the recent polls. However, I still follow what is shared here and take note of the ones that pique my interest.

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Thank you everyone for giving your thoughts on this. Not sure the best way to proceed with the club after this round, although I would like to give the self pace reading another try like Rikai said. It works well with the Flowers club but that one is also very small :stuck_out_tongue:

It looks like Island won the nomination this time! We can read that and judge how everyone is feeling about the club in general then? @Akashelia Are you okay with running the club for Island? I’m not too familiar with the VN and haven’t looked much up about it yet so not sure how the routes etc are handled. Do we want to try the self paced format again with a single thread or something else?

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Cool, I’m excited to hear what other people think of Island and to finish it myself!
I can host the club :slight_smile: I think it could be same format as Flowers because the format is the prologue, then depending on the choices there you go to route A, B or C. Could be multiple threads too but I’m not expecting that much participation that it would justify it. Will set up the thread today.

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