Here we will go where one club has ever gone before, and read a visual novel together!
極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 (Zero Escape: 999) won the poll! Polls for schedule and start date happening over there!
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.
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)
VN 01 | ルーパーズ
VN 02 | 9-nine-ここのつここのかここのいろ
VN 03 | BU$TAFELLOWS
Guidelines for proposing a VN
As a general guideline, we will be aiming to read 22.5k-25k characters each week, and we limit the max length a VN will be read with the club to 5 months (ca 22 weeks). As a general rule, we aim to finish a VN in that time (or less). This puts the VN club firmly in an intermediate to advanced bracket when it comes to pace.
- No sexual content, or a version that cuts the sexual content (there is a “no sexual content” tag to verify with on VNDB)
- 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.
- Available for legal purchase in Japanese
Individuals are allowed to propose multiple VNs!
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: length, ease of access, wider availability (consoles etc.), ease of texthooking, presence or absence of voice acting, writing style and subject matter, difficulty, etc.
Taken, and then adapted, from the beginner book club.
Copy this template into a new post when proposing a visual novel.
# Insert Title Here
VNDB Play Time:
Character count: [if this can be found (at jpdb.io for example); otherwise take VNDB play time and multiply by 16k and 19k, giving a rough idea of how long it is, do mention it is an estimate from VNDB play time]
Number of weeks to finish: [if you have a character count divide it by 22.5k and separately by 25k, then show the span of weeks to finish, example 16-18; if not, and no VNDB play time exist, use any estimate you have access to/ask for help, worst case leave blank]
Add summary here.
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
* Insert pros here.
* Insert cons here.
Insert images with Japanese text here (screenshots from you, the internet, VNDB, etc).
## 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
- キラキラモンスターズ, 4-5 weeks (rough estimate*)
- マルコと銀河竜, ca 4 weeks
- ATRI -My Dear Moments-, 10-11 weeks
- fault - milestone one, ca 5 weeks
- 月影のシミュラクル, 12-13 weeks
- D.M.L.C.-デスマッチラブコメ-, 18-23 weeks (rough estimate)
- 終のステラ, 7-8 weeks
- 百花百狼 戦国忍法帖 (Nightshade), 20-22 weeks
- Fatal Twelve, 19-21 weeks
- 徒花異譚, 9-12 weeks (rough estimate)
- Side Kicks!, 12-16 weeks (rough estimate)
*rough estimate is added when weeks are calculated not from a known character count but estimates from playtimes or similar methods.
Previous 'Next VN' polls
Winner links go to the original nominations.
- Poll 01 - Winner: ルーパーズ
- Poll 02 - Winners: 9-nine-ここのつここのかここのいろ and BU$TAFELLOWS
- Poll 03 - Winner: 極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉
Feel free to ask questions about texthooking, verifying information on visual novels, getting VNs to work, and anything else!