(@natarin @AzusaChan Oops I did the thing early – it occurred to me that getting it off the ground will take a little time so I should probably go ahead and see how things look sooner rather than later)
The idea of running a book club for visual novels came up in the read every day challenge. It’s something that’s been on my mind but there are various extra difficulties beyond what books present, and I was unsure about the level of interest. Well, now we’re going solve the latter question by taking it directly to the people.
For those not familiar, visual novels exist at the intersection of books and videogames, often on the PC but sometimes on consoles as well. They are written stories that always feature at minimum the written text, accompanying music, and images. They often but not always also include things like voice acting, multiple choices (which lead to different routes, with a full playthrough of a visual novel generally involving seeing all of said routes), and occasionally even some gameplay elements. Games you may be familiar with like Danganronpa, Ace Attorney, and 13 Sentinels sort of sit on the edge of being considered the most game-y that visual novels reach.
I consider visual novels an extremely good medium for learning Japanese, and they’ve been one of the primary ways I’ve done so thus far. Most feature a solid mix of narration and dialog, with characters falling into various types of role language, to get a pretty wide variety of practice. They usually feature a log to look back at past lines, when they have voice acting they often allow replaying lines, and the mix of voiced dialog with usually unvoiced narration (and often an unvoiced protagonist) allows for a mix of reading and listening type practice. Above all, many can be easily “texthooked” with outside programs to allow for instantly word lookups, and if Anki is your thing, you can turn those into instantly created cards through Yomichan.
If you’d like to look into any visual novels, vndb.org is an excellent resource.
So, as a general concept, what do you think?
- I am interested in joining!
- I might be interested in joining
- I’m not interested in joining but simply must click a button
I’ll do my best to run things and work it out as I go, but primarily right now I want to see whether people will even join me if I do this. That said, there are various elements we can start to discuss for those interested. I had thought the best way was to mostly minimize these wrinkles in our initial choices, and that might still be a good idea, but above all else, the best way is to just see what the people involved think. So here are some things we have to think about
Visual novels tend to be quite long, and reading in a foreign language is significantly slower for most of us. Do we want to try to limit our choices to a relatively shorter one? I’m willing to commit to whatever, but that might not be true for all of us, nor a good way to start.
Making a schedule is really difficult because we can’t see how the VN is divided ahead of time very well (if it even is) by chapter or whatever, nor can we really know how long said sections will be the way the book reading clubs can. Is there any way we want to try to tackle that, or do we simply make an open club to check in as we progress?
VNs with multiple choices and routes could further fragment us from each other. We could either aim for a visual novel without meaningful choices right now, or we could figure out how they work and pick an order, whether through voting or some other means?
Some visual novels feature, well, strong sexual content. I consider a lot of them really good stories that happen to have that thrown in and am usually willing to overlook it, but unless we end up with a group of people totally willing to do the same, I feel like we likely should aim for VNs that lack that or have versions available to cut that content so we don’t alienate potential members?
There’s probably more! Planning this is a lot of work. Now I want to hear from you or not. I figure we can handle specific reading choices in the next thread once we’ve hammered out that this is indeed going to happen and some general gameplan for it, but if you have things you’ve been wanting to read or other thoughts, have at it. I recognize VNs span a lot of genres so it’s hard to say “yes I definitely want to do this!” blindly because this is equivalent to asking people if they want to read a book, with no more detail given lol.