Visual Novel Book Club // Now reading: ISLAND

I didn’t look at it on jpdb but I’m surprised it is only rated a 5 on there. Tanaka Romeo is the writer for that VN and he’s known to be pretty confusing (he’s most famous for CROSS†CHANNEL and Yume Miru Kusuri I believe). From the few people I’ve talked to they mentioned its on the tougher side and not beginner friendly.

It is a Key game but different writers so I’m not sure how similar they would feel (Loopers doesn’t really feel that similar to other Key games to me tbh) but I definitely understand wanting to be safer and avoid Key burnout. It is something I am interested in reading in the future though!

8 Likes

To be fair, the very little I played of the demo (I was only seeing if it could be texthooked nicely) surprised me in terms of terminology, I was also surprised with the 5 in jpdb :smile: . It was very little and couldn’t properly judge its difficulty overall because I didn’t want to spoil anything, but it did feel like a jump, definitely.

Another downside is that I think it’s not available for Switch, only PC if I remember correctly.

7 Likes

It does still look interesting so I’d second going for it if you want! I’m probably overstating similarities and either way that’s the kind of thing for the voting to sort out since you know you personally would be into trying it.

I know we have at least one member who is reliant on Switch ports and I don’t want to be excluding people but it sadly may just fall that way sometimes – accessibility has gotten a lot better recently, but this is very much a PC first medium.

7 Likes

Thinking about nominations has made me really wish a whole bunch of VNs I want to read were like 5-10 hours shorter, haha. I also wish Suda51 had just made Silver Jiken a pure visual novel because I really wanted to nominate that as an oddball pick, but it seems like it has too much cumbersome-sounding gameplay to be a good fit.

6 Likes

@Akashelia It would be worthwhile to also mention that it has a Switch version. Some of us only play VNs on Switch. :slight_smile: It seems to be available with Japanese text even in the UK/US/English eshop so totally available.

I know I might miss a pick because I only read on the Switch. I hope no one stops themselves from nominating something or voting for something because of my choice.


On that note, I checked the length of my otome VNs and the vndb results were depressing. I have a couple that are pure otome which I feel like might not be right for this group, that are short enough at like 15h. (Two of the Yoshiwara otome games. One of them was also a gacha game to start I think? Anyway, definitely pure dating game, the very short prologue lead right to the main character needing to pick the guy you want to start dating first. (I haven’t played past that yet.))

The ones I thought might interest people here. One with ninjas set after sengoku war is over and another in an alternative new york city with some mystery/crime. Well, they are 30h and 33h respectively. :sweat_smile:

Not sure I should nominate either, but in case someone is curious and want to encourage me to nominate one, they are: the ninja one is Nightshade (百花百狼 戦国忍法帖) and the NYC/crime/mystery one (vndb doesn’t mention otome, but other places calls it one, so maybe the mystery elements are more prominent than I thought?) is Bu$tafellows.

8 Likes

I hear a lot of nice things about Bustafellows and have had it recommended a lot. I was checking the vndb page and see it lists an English PC version but not a Japanese one. The steam page also says it only supports English text, not Japanese. I wonder if anyone here has it by chance and can confirm if that’s right? It seems weird to port it to PC for English but not include the original language. If the VN won, I’d definitely be interested in reading it but I’d probably have to skip out if there is no PC version (don’t let that stop you from nominating it though!)

7 Likes

I think the PC port was done specifically by the english publisher so there isn’t a Japanese PC version. There is an app version for both android and ios though.

7 Likes

On that note, just crossed my mind, I did have “PC version available in Japanese” as a specific requirement just kinda following the logic that this medium is on there primarily (honestly that might be less true of otome? showing my lack of experience with them heh) and assuming most people would be texthooking. I still think most people are doing it that way so having no PC availability should be very clearly labelled and might seriously hurt a nomination’s chances? But, for fairness sake now that we know some people aren’t going to be playing that way I’ll go ahead and just make it a Japanese version on any platform rather than requiring my preferred one haha – that said, if we vote for something that doesn’t have a PC version, I myself may or may be out and we should talk about having someone else run that round, heh.

6 Likes

Oh, I completely missed that note haha. I think most otome are on PC too but some VNs regardless of genre are randomly console exclusive for some reason (Chaos;Head Noah for example was a console exclusive for over a decade until it finally got a PC release the other week). But yeah, I am in the same boat where I most likely would not be able to participate if there is no PC version.

7 Likes

Yeah I’m not totally ruling it out because I have relatively good access to platforms, but up to now I’ve basically exclusively read things that I could get immediate word lookups on one way or another (largely Yomichan, also a Kindle), outside of getting started in manga and a few easier videogames. I guess it would really depend on how I find the difficulty of the particular VN to be. I’m not actually good at Japanese; I just have tools!

7 Likes

It’s more or less the same for me. I’ve tried to play some jp mobile games with no texthook and its okay if the scenarios are shorter or its really simple slice of life stuff but I’ve definitely been spoiled by yomichan + texthooking. My Japanese would need to be a lot better to want to read a full VN with no texthook since the time difference of having to do manual lookups is very significant

6 Likes

Same here. It’s to the point that I don’t think it’s a good use of my time to read something without that kind of easy lookup method, however… another option I think is a good middle ground is if we happen to find anything with furigana. I’ve never seen a VN targeted at the younger age group which is why I probably never see furigana, but I think there’s something to be said about never having to guess a reading on a new word.

All of the stuff on my actual wish list is either huge or part of a series, so I’d never actually nominate them for this club. This kind of turned my stance with this club into “I’ll try anything they do that will support text hooks”.


On a slightly more humorous note I was glancing through jpdb’s vn list sorted by character count ascending. At a whopping 5024 characters was “Onegai Shimasu. Pantsu wo Misete Kudasai”. It even had the “No Sexual Content” tag, so I was really tempted to make a joke nomination.

Edit: Sorry for the reply. I goofed

7 Likes

In my limited experience reading jp VNs, I think furigana is only used when the author throws in some really obscure kanji, introducing someone’s name for the first time or when the author uses a different reading than what matches the kanji (I can’t remember if there’s a name for that technique? I’ve seen it in VNs a few times but more commonly in manga). I also checked VNDB and apparently their “furigana support” tag was removed since it had never been used before so I’m not sure if any VN we find will have continuous furigana like we’d find in manga, unfortunately.

6 Likes

Figures. The only other uses I’ve seen where the the sort of inner voice readings, where the kanji and the furigana were clearly expressing different things. I was hoping the surge of Switch popularity might have shifted the trend a bit, but such is life :-/

6 Likes

alright I flaked out of loopers but I’m still putting this up

D.M.L.C.-デスマッチラブコメ-

Developer: Kemco Corporation
VNDB Play Time: 27h (but only based on 1 vote)
VNDB Link: D.M.L.C -Death Match Love Comedy- | vndb

Summary

Death Match Love Comedy, does the exact opposite of usual visual novel, as having a girl fall in love with you could mean your death.

Basically, the premise of the game is that the player is a guy that just got transferred to a new school, and if a girl confesses her love to him, he explodes… and dies. To make matters worse, he falls into some sort of love triangle with two beautiful girls, leaving his fate up in the air.

Unlike other dating simulations, where your goal is to get girls to fall in love with you, in Death Match Love Comedy, you’ll be doing everything you can to avoid just that, as you try to figure out the reason behind the love-fueled explosions.

Additionally, there will be other mysterious phenomenon, such as angels, a friend who has some sort of prediction, weird dreams and whispers, and a strange pink cat-like creature.

While you’ll be doing your best to avoid an explosive death, there will be many other events that could result in the death of the protagonist. Witnessing just how the poor high school boy dies will be one of the game’s attractions, according to the developer.

^ That’s just the summary from VNDB. I’ll note that Raging Loop is basically a loosely-related prequel, if anyone has seen/played that.

Availability

Steam
PS4
Switch

Personal Opinion

I’ve read Raging Loop by the same writer, and that made me interested in this. It looks like a pretty silly light-hearted game (although I assume there are Plot Moments). I think it’s structured similarly to Raging Loop: there are a few main routes that must be played in order, and within each route are choices that either continue the route or lead to an immediate bad end. So even though there are choices it’s still mainly a linear story. …And even if that’s not how it’s structured I’m pretty sure there’s a flowchart, which will make coordination/navigation simple. Since it takes place at a school, hopefully it also has relatively grounded vocabulary.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Neat balance of genres (romance, SOL, action, comedy, mystery?)
  • I think text-hookable (Raging Loop was)
  • Has choices but not a mess of branching paths

Cons

  • Choices will still need to be coordinated
  • Not voice-acted
  • $30 ($20 on sale)
  • Might be kinda long for the club’s pace

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

9 Likes

W-w-w-what?! A VN that my preferred platform for is probably the best platform to read it on? :open_mouth: (I don’t think a 30h VN would be nice to read on a phone, but maybe that is just me, and I guess it would probably include tablets, which would be fine.)

I had no idea. I assumed it was available for PC, because why wouldn’t it be? O_O

I guess I won’t be nominating that. Because we’d lose too many people. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Bustafellows is definitely an otome. Though the romance is takes place after the main story, so In theory you can play the story first and not play the romance part. You do still have to pick and play a route though.

6 Likes

I had heard a lot of good things about Bu$tafellows as well, shame it doesn’t seem accessible on PC. I’m not familiar with the other but it does seem to be pretty good too. 30 hours concerns me a little but I’m open to reading it so maybe it’ll catch other people’s eyes enough to make up for it? Who knows. If nothing else, we’re always getting better, and a round or two from now… :muscle:

7 Likes

If the VN is accessible on phones/tablets, there are programs, such as Bluestacks, that let you run the phone apps on your PC. I’m not sure how it would play along with texthookers, though, to be fair.

5 Likes

I’ve tried to use a texthook with a few games on Bluestacks but it has never worked for me. I’ve tried using a switch emulator as well but no luck there either. Although I’ve read if you are able to extract the script files from the game you can do something so the texthook will work while you’re reading (people did that for the newest Fate VN) but that is way over my head to try such a thing

5 Likes