A while back I ended my journey through Rose Guns Days, a doujin visual novel written by Ryukishi07, developed and published by 07th Expansion. An English translation was made by Witch Hunt, this is the version I read. In my personal opinion this VN gets underestimated by a lot of people, including my former self, and deserves some more attention! You wouldn’t expect it, but this story contains the cruelest scenes Ryukishi has written so far.
This review does not contain any spoilers but will be in depth.
And please forgive me for the references to other 07th Expansion works.
I have finalized the Broaden your view: Reading VNs in Japanese post, reorganized it and wrote my personal conclusion of my journey as beginner in the Japanese language. I will keep updating the reading experience page with new VNs I finish or try in Japanese. This week, I’ve started a new journey. Continue reading
In Tokyo there is one district that we explored in its entirety: Akihabara. Akihabara is often called the electric city and is stuffed with stores where you can buy all kinds of electronics. We saw a store selling random old computer parts, we saw a large store where one floor was covered with graphic cards only, the next with HDDs, the next with computer cases…, we saw one store that only had CABLES, cables everywhere! Of course this is not the (only) reason us youngsters would want to visit this place… Akihabara is also stuffed with all kinds of Japanese media and character goods for people obsessed with those media (otaku). As someone who loves Visual Novels and collecting figures, I didn’t go to Akihabara without a list of stuff I wanted to look for. Also for recommendations of stores that I think are must-visits, see the bottom of this article.
Some personal learning updates to the Broaden your view: Reading VNs in Japanese post. I’ve been gradually climbing what is only the foot of the mountain that is called “the Japanese language”, but lately I notice it’s getting steeper. Besides getting more experienced in reading easy-medium Japanese VNs with the help of tools, I’ve been concentrating some more on learning the other aspects of the language as well: writing and talking. Since my first goal will remain reading, I’ve still been mainly focussing on expanding my vocabulary knowledge (including kanji). Continue reading
An Octave Higher is an Original English Language Visual Novel (OELVN) developed by Kidalang (Yohan Alexander and Yusdi Saliman) and published by Playism. The game is available on Steam or on the developer‘s website. I have to admit that I’m normally really sceptic about OELVNs, but this experience ended up being a pleasant surpise! Throwing all typical Japanese stereotypes out of the window, this was a refreshing experience. For the sake of introducing VNs as a successful entertainment medium in the west, I think more OELVNs like An Octave Higher should be made.
This review does not contain any spoilers. Continue reading
While there are still many great translated novels left for me to read, I decided to no longer limit myself to only translated ones. I have a lot of untranslated titles I really want to read, and I’ve finally reached the point where I know enough Japanese to be able to follow a visual novel of medium difficulty. By enough I mean I’m able to understand grammar and can read basic sentences with the help of parsers and text hookers, which allow me to open a dictionary to all vocabulary and kanji. Mind that using these tools has nothing to do with reading a machine translation, these are only for distinguishing words and looking up kanji. In this article I will write a bit about firstly the steps I took to be able to read easy Japanese VNs, secondly about my learning progress and difficulties I encountered and last, what my experience was with certain VNs I read, including difficulty and my progress in Japanese while reading. This post links to a page that contains my experiences with the Japanese in certain novels, that page will be updated everytime I tried or finished a new VN in Japanese. At the end of that page I also made a list for myself to keep track of what I want to read in the future and what level of Japanese I will probably need to read it. Continue reading