Visual Novel Book Club // Soon Reading: 極限脱出 9時間9人9の扉 (Zero Escape: 999)

Not sure yet if I’m going to participate here (as my Japanese is… well I’d say below intermediate) but I love the idea!
I’ve played a ton of VNs - in English, not Japanese and really cherish the medium
… also I’m kinda heart broken to find out that Amnesia would be recommended as a first Japanese read - and I even have it on steam! but my version doesn’t have Japanese text, only voice :frowning: very sad :frowning:
Nonetheless thanks to this thread I found some resources and finally understood how to use VNs for Japanese studies which is amazing in itself - thanks guys! :slight_smile:


Well, if you already bought it… :pirate_flag:

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well yeah
I mean… that would’ve been perfect
I’ve already played through the majority of this game, years ago, too ^^
But for some reason they didn’t include the Japanese Interface and Subtitles in this version :frowning:


I’m currently playing a JRPG with Japanese audio and English text. But then I didn’t get it to practice Japanese (I think it has Japanese text too). It is really nice listening practice though, where I can instantly check my understanding. So can still be useful for studying, but for listening comprehension. (Obviously I have to look away from the text box until the voiced lines finishes. ^^ )

But it is kinda sad when they don’t make the Japanese text available too. :frowning:


Is it on Steam? I’ve heard that sometimes you can get the Japanese version if you set your account to Japanese


I tried the demo also. I feel I have a little problem with vocabularies, and harder if the sentence isn’t read.

Another difficulty is the shear length just to finish the prologue, and getting to the first selection of choices.

However, it might not be too difficult if I don’t chew too many at once. (Saving is always available.)



I am not exactly sure how difficult are other games, based on few screenshots…

About Steam (+Proton) on Linux

Apparently, it can’t play this demo on Linux. And, Proton needs to be enabled to download at all.

Also, I can’t find it in Google Play Store on my phone.

I think it is designed to be impossible in VirtualBox and such, due to PlayDRM.


I did read a bit of Atri in English back when it was first released a few years ago and I kind of thought this would be a difficulty. Based on the themes in the game, it seemed like it would have a lot of vocabulary that would be considered more obscure and that seems to be the general consensus from what I’ve heard from people who have played the game in jp. The game does have dual-language option if people get completely stumped but the TL kind of freestyles it so I think it’d be better not to check in my opinion. We have the club to ask questions anyways :slightly_smiling_face:

With that said, I don’t really mind some harder vocabulary, especially with being able to texthook it and look it up instantly with yomichan, its not really an issue to me. Plus if you have an interest in post-apocalyptic sci-fi stories, then some of the vocab should be helpful for future readings.


Actually, imo, words might not be that obscure, although a little on the harder side. Kanji also, sometimes without Furigana. Like, (かんぬき) or 埒があかない.

Though, of course, many words are attached to the themes, like medical, marine, or robotic. So, unseen outside the specific themes…


Yeah that’s pretty much where I land. It’s a little hard to boil down vocabulary in a specific domain into being a pro or con because it depends both on what the individual wants to get out of their reading and how they go about doing it. In general I think the VNs recommended so far look like they’re on the fairly gentle side in grammar complexity and whatnot so it’s like… if their vocab DOES land in an area of interest for someone, there’s basically no better way to get started learning those words.

Super pleased to hear that! If you have any troubles setting all that up, let me know. Shame to hear about the VN you mentioned – a whole lot of games and VNs split into non-Japanese versions for some reason, which gets so inconvenient.


I found this trial one in Google Play Store (for Android smartphone) – I still find ATRI not available in my region, even with Google account set to Japanese region (or I don’t know how).

Even if my region isn’t Japan, only Japanese version is available anyway.

The language isn’t too difficult (or at least, I expect myself to know the words, but not yet). Audio and playback dialogue too (although MC doesn’t speak). I think it is good so far, but it is too early for me to give a real assessment.

In any case, Android smartphone is going to be far most available to me. I do take my laptop everywhere, but it is primarily Linux, though I can restart the laptop to boot into Windows. My Android tablet is as available as my laptop. I have a Windows PC at my dorm, but it is immovable…

Anyhow, I am new to VN, so I might have wrong expectations (e.g. on how fast I can make decisions, rather than following along). Also, not much to compare with, as I have no experience.


So this is like a VN read along? I’m totally down, have played some stuff before. Most recently the Muv-Luv series, but in English only. I still have to figure out how to do texthooking :disappointed_relieved:

Planetarian is one that could work. Only concern I have is the somewhat disturbing content? But it’s pretty mild. Other than that, it’s very accessible, cheap, and short.


Yeah! Sorry I kinda skipped explaining how this would actually work on the basis of there being other book clubs on Wanikani, but we’re going for vote for a VN to read and there’ll be a thread (or threads? we’ll see how we’re structuring things when we get our choice…) to discuss what we think of the content, or to ask questions about the Japanese itself. In my experience these book clubs have always been extremely helpful for making reading more accessible, so it’s my goal to make this club like that, too.

A lot of the main WK clubs will split up the books/manga into chunks with a weekly reading schedule, but at least for our first VN, we’re just going to have an end date and let people check in as they want (with heavy use of spoiler tags of course). Visual novels not being easy to flip through the way a book is make close scheduling more of a challenge, but we might try it in the future.

And yeah, Planetarian totally fits the criteria! Feel free to make a nomination post for that if you’d like. It came up briefly before and the only concern was that it’s possibly a step up in reading difficulty from most of what’s been recommended so far, but that’s just going to be something for people to judge when they vote.


ルーパーズ / L∞PERS

Developer: Key
VNDB Play Time: 6h 15m
VNDB Link: L∞PERS | vndb


Let’s set out to find a real treasure.

Tyler is a high school student who is obsessed with geohunting, a GPS-based treasure hunting game.
One day during summer vacation, Tyler and his friends get drawn into a mysterious incident while out treasure-hunting.
The real and imagined become interconnected. Thoughts are thrown into chaos. Tomorrow becomes today.

Swallowed up by a time vortex, they are trapped in a never-ending time loop, repeating “today” again and again.

Then they meet other “loopers.”
Simon, the leader, and the mysterious girl Mia.
If they join forces, will they be able to break out from this eternal prison…?
[From vndb page]


PC: DLSite, Animate Games, DMM Games
Android, iOS (Japan only)

Personal Opinion

A short, recent game by big industry name Key sounds like a nice introduction to VNs for the club, plus the synopsis seems intriguing. Apparently it’s pretty short and has the usual perks (voiced, log, voice replay…) so it should be pretty accessible for a first VN.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Available on several platforms (PC, Switch, mobile)
  • Text-hookable (on PC)
  • Quite short
  • Voiced with replay ability and log
  • Interesting premise


  • Probably can’t expect a super developed story in such a short time
  • Not on Steam




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


I haven’t played the game yet but I do own it and previously checked to see if it was text-hookable (I almost nominated the game too) and you can texthook it with no issues :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s great! Thanks for telling me, I’ll edit it right away.


It’s been about a week now! I’m going to be fairly unavailable for the weekend, so I’ll just give it a few more days and hopefully be in a good position to start nomination voting next week.

@Kazzeon Just wanted to give you a quick nudge in case you do want to nominate one of those VNs you mentioned.


For anyone who’s interested in ATRI, it’s currently 40% off on steam through the 23rd! :grin: (also in a bundle with this other Japanese folktale VN which has a cool looking art style :eyes:)


Off topic, but I was looking at this book list and knew I saw that somewhere. :eyes:


Ah the (かぜ)つよ influence expands :eyes: That’s cool! Nice that the Japan Foundation thinks I have good taste sometimes :laughing:


Time for our first vote!

For some reason I had the feeling there were more nominations, but I think a small list works fine because after this first pick we’re likely to expand our possibilities so that’ll be like a small refresh, anyway.

The poll will run for one week. Two of our nominated VNs have been on sale recently, but at that time there will be a Steam summer sale, so if the game chosen is on Steam, we might be able to get it cheaper. Worth keeping an eye out for anyway!

You can vote for up to 2 VNs! Please refer back to the first post for links to each nomination for more information on them!

  • キラキラモンスターズ
  • マルコと銀河竜
  • ATRI -My Dear Moments-
  • ルーパーズ

0 voters

After voting ends June 27th, when would you prefer to start? Can select multiple.
  • ASAP (July 1st)
  • In a couple weeks (July 15th)
  • In a month (August 5th)

0 voters