Visual Novel Book Club // Reading ルーパーズ

It’s here! :partying_face:

Here we will go where one club has ever gone before, and read a visual novel together!

Currently reading ルーパーズ

Come join!

A Visual What?

Learn what a visual novel is

Visual novels exist at the intersection of books and videogames, often on the PC but sometimes on videogame 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 often 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.

Resources

Useful tools for finding VNs and getting easy lookups

VNDB, a detailed visual novel database

If you haven’t done any of this before there’s some first time setup involved, but as soon as everything is ready to go, all that will be required is to launch the texthooker, select your game, and then select the “hook.” It takes mere seconds once you know how it works!

A guide to installing and first using Textractor, also features the below links

Textractor (allows extracting VN scripts in real time for Yomichan lookups)

Yomichan (instant browser dictionary lookups)

Clipboard Inserter (allows for using Yomichan on text extracted by Textractor)

A page to put the extracted text on

VN Proposals

Currently closed until we determine what parameters to allow for our next choice!

Necessary elements of a proposed visual novel (almost definitely subject to change after our first reading)
  • A length that does not exceed 15 hours on VNDB
  • No sexual content, or a version that cuts the sexual content (there is a “no sexual content” tag to verify with on VNDB)
  • Linear route, essentially a “kinetic visual novel,” but allowing for a little more in the way of insignificant choices. Basically, no game with multiple routes to potentially fragment us, just yet.
  • Limited gameplay (hard to draw an objective line because I think reading related-gameplay like puzzles in Zero Escape/Ace Attorney/Danganronpa are fine). Just keep in mind this is of course a reading focused club, and we don’t want too much time spent on pure gameplay or potentially excluding members who don’t play videogames.
  • A PC version available for legal purchase in Japanese

This VNDB link filters to linear route, no sexual content, 2-10 hours, and sorts by rating. We’re allowing for a little more time, but VNDB seems to only allow length in preset chunks, with the next being 10-30, so this is the best I can provide, but is not an exhaustive list by any means.

Many of us will be somewhat flying blind on our picks so just do your best with nothing hugely offputtingly difficult (websites like jpdb.io are occasionally helpful, but take their ratings with a grain of salt). For pros and cons, things you might consider, as well as you know them: ease of access, wider availability (consoles etc.), ease of texthooking, presence or absence of voice acting, writing style and subject matter, difficulty, etc.

Proposal Template

Taken, and then adapted, from the beginner book club.

Copy this template into a new post when proposing a visual novel.

# Insert Title Here

Developer:
VNDB Play Time:
VNDB Link:

[details=“Summary”]
Add summary here.
[/details]

## Availability
Insert links to online stores here (ensure Japanese is available when using stores like Steam!)

## Personal Opinion
Insert why you think this VN would be good to read, personally and for the book club here.

### Pros and Cons for the Book Club
#### Pros
* Insert pros here.
#### Cons
* Insert cons here.

## Pictures

[details=“Screenshots”]
Insert images here (screenshots from you, the internet, VNDB, etc).
[/details]

## Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this VN?

[poll type=regular public=true]
* No effort at all
* Minimal effort
* Moderate effort
* Significant effort
* So much effort my head might explode
* I don’t know
[/poll]


Current Proposals


Feel free to ask questions about texthooking, verifying information on visual novels, getting VNs to work, and anything else! This club will be run without a set schedule for now, simply an end date, but that may change in the future.

25 Likes

Hopefully this works for now. These big posts take up a lot of effort, even when borrowing a template! You people who have been running book clubs for a while are very impressive!

Anyway, I have one question for members (I accidentally capitalized the S after VNs but you know it wouldn’t be a post by me without at least one problem):

  • I’ve read several VNS
  • I’ve read a VN or two
  • I’ve never read a VN

0 voters

6 Likes

Missing option: “I started one in English, but since I had already seen an anime adaptation, I didn’t get more than maybe five minutes into it.”

But I suppose “I’ve never read a VN” is close enough :wink:

8 Likes

うぷぷぷぷぷぷぷぷぷ noises intensify :bear:

9 Likes

Such a fun series.

I’ll be back with my own nomination later – up to this point I’ve gotten pretty lucky about whatever I wanted to read working with the texthooker, and my general impression is that most of the time it’s fine. But I was going to propose Narcissu (it’s free and allegedly good!) and found that during testing, seems the texthooker can’t actually find the full lines of text. Very unfortunate. especially since my brain only turned on to remind me to check after I made most of the post

We COULD advise game2text in some OCR like that in some cases if our desire to play something outweighs loss of convenience, but usually when I used it it was just touchy and janky enough that it does require a little extra attention. Especially at the start of the club I want to make things easy and highlight benefits of the medium, like how well texthooking works on the games where it does.

3 Likes

I would like to revisit Danganronpa 1 in Japanese. But I have filled any and all free time I have with other Japanese stuff. Games/VNs are on the backburner for now.

4 Likes

I have used game2text in some situations and while it can be helpful, I’m not sure if its best to use it for the club. With some games, it just can’t read things accurately at all and you’ll be spending more time trying to fix the mistakes it makes more than anything. I guess in the end you could list that as a pro/con when you nominate a game and the club could make the decision then but personally, that would probably be too off-putting for me.

I’ll try to make my nomination post either later today or tomorrow. I wanted to nominate 9-nine but since it technically has two routes, I’ll throw something else up and keep it in mind after the club is more established.

4 Likes

Yeah I think that’s more or less how I feel too honestly, was just trying to come up with any possible take on what could be done about games Textractor doesn’t help with. We should have enough options anyway; I’m just aggravated about running into it already heh. I could see demand outweighing the annoyance in a sense for people if this was more like the clubs that read manga where sometimes something gets really popular and people just really want to do that, but there aren’t exactly VNs making big splashes likely to get all of WK rushing to come read that all at once, haha. Maybe if another Doki Doki Literature Club type phenomenon rolls around :wink:

3 Likes

I mean, there are people who read books on paper or manga without furigana, so while it significantly lowers the hurdle for beginning readers to have a texthooker in place, I‘m not sure it is necessary to exclude those that don’t allow for a texthooker? If you clearly list this as a con, like AzusaChan said, then the people can decide for themselves, would be my take.
weasels off to the sidelines again and shuts up :wink:

13 Likes

I think we’re essentially in agreement here – I’m not making it a hard requirement that one can be texthooked. I’ve made it through the first Ace Attorney with Game2Text so I know I can put up with that if I want, assuming it’s not a random game G2T won’t behave on either. It just is truly a pretty big negative for me as well, enough that I don’t personally feel so strongly about Narcissu that I wouldn’t rather just pick something else that allows for texthooking. I’m terrible about letting unknown words go haha. Maybe another I feel that strongly about will come up sometime though.

It’s also the most annoying thing to check because unless you can stumble on people online incidentally mentioning texthooking a VN, or someone here happens to know, the only way to check is to get the VN yourself and try it. So I’m not exactly… requiring that people find out if it can or not before they propose them? I’ll do my best to check on some when they come up but I have no good answer there, since plenty of people might nominate something they don’t own yet or simply not be a texthooker type person.

All the same, on we go, and it’s gonna be great :sweat_smile: Input from the sidelines is still very appreciated too!

3 Likes

Just make enough choices, so that it can be decided by interesting factor. Though, I might be more likely to play if there are companions playing it.

I have never setup game2text, nor being serious about OCR, so I can’t tell, but generally I am OK with searching in a dictionary app with my finger writing. (If with audio, it’s even easier to key in by Kana.)

I definitely have played games with text dialogues and characters moving minimally (and usually have Japanese audio); but not as far as choosing a route. (Although I have in English.) It can be classified as somewhat VN, but not quite, I guess.

4 Likes

Does Fire Emblem count as a VN, I wonder…? If so, then I’ve played more than one or two… :wink: I kid, of course. Looking forward to seeing nominations; hopefully there will be something I can fit into my schedule! :grin:

4 Likes

Umineko? うみねこのなく頃に

I think it’s free of h-scenes, but if not the steam version should be clean. It’s a classic and text-hookable :slight_smile:

:eyes:

“I can’t wait to read umineko” :baby:

“That was pretty good” :older_man:

6 Likes

I decided to vote for never having read one, because I’ve never read one in Japanese. And the only ones I’ve done in English are the Ace Attorney games, so kinda on the game-y side. ^^

Considering I look up things with my phone/tablet while reading paper manga and such, not being able to use this textractor thingy isn’t a must. In fact, what would make me more likely to join is whether it is available on Switch. :joy:

Looking forward to the nominations. ^^

7 Likes

Found this one that is kind of short and looks interesting. People seem to like it.

Kodoku ni Kiku Yuri or Lonely Yuri

It’s on steam and on a JP website where you can buy it. Like 4-5 bucks.

Kodoku ni Kiku Yuri | vndb

I know there’s a bunch of info I should share, but I’m on my phone… and I’m lazy…

Lonely Yuri on Steam

It’s around 2 hours.

Apparently it’s on sale for 10 more days here: https://www.dlsite.com/home-touch/work/=/product_id/RJ079647.html/?unique_op=af&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=yorunohitsuji.xii.jp%2F

But it’s p cheap on steam.

I think it might be a good idea to start with something short, plus I didn’t find much I was interested in in the 2-10 hour range, so I was checking the other ones.

Since you don’t need to wait for a book to arrive, we don’t really need to choose several things in advance, and it’s an easier commitment for something short?


This one also looks interesting.

Ambre

Ambre | vndb

Around 2 hours.

It’s free, 76% positive.

Ambre - a heartbreaking kinetic novel on Steam

There are no Japanese pictures, but it seems pretty simple, though you can never tell what could happen.


Or this one… (I’ll stop)

Hitomebore

Hitomebore | vndb

Love at First Sight on Steam

3 hours, 5 bucks, romance stuff but…

images (1)

This just turned into me wanting to read VNs again… :weary:

Which one sounds more interesting so I can actually nominate it?
  • Lonely Yuri
  • Ambre
  • Love at first sight

0 voters

4 Likes

The switch is a bit of a haven for vns, luckily. :smiley:

I’ll nominate something in the next couple days, most likely. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Read a few in English, but not in Japanese. Got a steam deck and that made me consider playing some VN’s for practicing Japanese. Of course then I saw Persona 4 Golden being verified and have been playing that. It’s like half a VN anyway (:stuck_out_tongue: ) and I’m eyeing the upcoming Digimon Survive game which has elements as well. So it’s not like I’m not already thinking about it.

4 Likes

By the way, you can add more tags, such as Japanese language, and add a length column, so you can easily see what’s available. It also narrows medium VNs to 66, so you can just check the lengths right there.

I did end up finding some good ones.

2 Likes

It becomes troublesome as we need to consider platforms as well. Well, the issue is practically similar to Japanese Gaming thread.

  • Windows PC with good graphic card (prob not needed for VN)
  • OS-independent + Steam (I actually prefer Linux on laptop); or OS-dependent
  • iOS: iPhone vs iPad (I don’t use iOS anymore.)
  • Android
  • PlayStation or something that connects to a monitor (I have a monitor, but not a console device.)
  • Handheld devices: I don’t have a Switch. 3DS might be borrow-able. I know very little about Steam Deck.

I can see that Windows or OS-independent (but on PC), might give most availability. And yeah, I want to solve this problem for general gaming as well.

1 Like