It’s been a while since I’ve bothered to do a more personal blog post. The last time I did one was my A Year in Review post where I looked back on 2016 from the perspective of my blog career and talked about some of the highlights of that year in my opinion. Ironically despite being about my first year in blogging, my blog itself wasn’t actually a year old. Despite this I did talk about how my blog essentially came to be which actually took even longer to happen. I was going to make a similar post for my actual first anniversary of my blog but I missed it so that why there isn’t one.
I think instead I will use this post as a reflection on my actual first year writing about visual novels on this blog, what I felt went well and what I think I can improve on. I’ll probably talk about what I’ve been doing especially since I took some time off between my last couple of posts, some of my personal goals for content in the foreseeable future and then at the end I’ll answer some questions I was given.
Despite not posting much over the summer period, my blog has actually experienced a surprising amount of growth over that period up until now. I can definitely say that some of the more recent growth can attested to people giving this blog shout outs on their own blogs but from looking at my analytics there has definitely been a change in the types of content I’ve been putting out.
Reviews are and probably will be part of the core Identity of this blog but I’ve branched into doing editorials about specific Visual Novels or the Industry in general. Although some of these posts may have lagged behind in terms of views, My guide to steam summer sale and my analysis of Doki Doki Literature club actually got a fair amount of views and I enjoyed making them a lot too.
My posts have also been about Visual Novels which have been more recently released such as Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome or Grisaia: Phantom Trigger rather than what ever game I felt like reviewing at the time, which normally was the game I had just finished. Posting about more relevant games had definitely helped the growth of my blog and I should definitely keep that in mind when thinking about what to post.
That being said there have been some outliers with some of the posts that got a relatively high number of views. My review of If My Heart Had Wings is actually my highest viewed review which is surprising. I’m also kind of happy because It my favourite review I’ve written and I think it turned out really well.
My Review of A Profile actual got a surprising amount of reviews, I thought I would get very little because it’s a lesser known title. You would probably have only come across it if you were interested in the works of Akabeisoft2 such as The Devil on G String or Sharin on Kuni but I guess more people took interest in it than I originally thought.
I think as I continue to expand my blog my focus won’t move from Review content as its something I enjoy doing and Isn’t as time-consuming as doing Editorial style posts when you exclude how long it takes to beat some Visual Novels. When I eventually get more free time I want to do more posts like my analysis of Doki Doki Literature club as I enjoyed doing it a lot and the response to it was quite positive.
I actually have quite a few Ideas already lined up for Editorials but I just haven’t had the time to write them. I’d also planned, whenever I had the time to do it, to write about some Industry related stuff about some of the various studios and staff that work on Visual Novels. Time was the main factor in me doing this but also my Japanese isn’t great and is something I need to work on to do this properly (more on this later). I did a post on this a while back where I discussed the possibility in more detail which you can find here.
So I guess now I should give you an update on what I’ve been doing in the time I took off between posts. Well… I was playing Visual Novels, I don’t really know what you expected to be honest. Excluding the games that I’ve talked about on this blog already, I went back and played some of the longer visual novels I should have really played by now.
The first game that I played was Rewrite by Key Visual Arts. This is definitely a game I want to go back and review because I feel rather conflicted about this game. This Visual Novel has some great moments and I really enjoyed it but the story itself is so convoluted, jumping between many different genres and themes throughout the heroines routes mostly due to the number of writers working on it. Then there’s the Moon and Terra routes which are a whole beast on their own, this game would be something I would love to go back and analyse because the interesting design and narrative choices in the game. Rewrite also has some of the most incredible music in any key game or Visual Novels in general.
After that I completed my Journey through Grisaia by finally playing through the Eden of Grisaia. I don’t think it is much of a secret that I really enjoy the series, I’ve reviewed the original and made multiple posts on its successor Phantom Trigger, The Eden of Grisaia is no exception to this. This game finally resolves the character arc of the protagonist Yuuji and did so in a compelling and action packed way. The Girls themselves also get some time in the spotlight coming to help Yuuji instead of the other way round, which is a refreshing change. The last fight sequence of the game was also low-key Metal Gear Solid 4 just saying.
I then played through Tsukihime by Type-moon. I’ve never really resonated much with the work of Kinoko Nasu, I usually find them quite interesting when I read them but they never had much of a strong impact on me and I tend to forget about them once I’m done with them and that is the case here too. I enjoyed Arcueid and Akiha’s routes but none of the other characters routes interested me which was disappointing because I really liked the world and it’s setting a lot.
The Final Visual Novel series I completed was Muv-Luv and wow that was an experience. I won’t talk about this game in this post because there is so much to talk about and this post would get absurdly long. This series is such a compelling journey from the slice-of-life comedy of the original to the horrific, dystopian world of Alternative and the development of Takeru is incredible. Such a great read and I would love to analyse it more, so maybe expect to see something on this in the future.
In terms of anime, I haven’t watched much as you could probably tell from the list of 50+ hour Visual Novels I just played so It’s mostly just been the Idol anime of this season as you could probably tell from my twitter. There’s not really much to say on Love Live Sunshine or Wake Up, Girls because they are honestly more of the same but we have to talk about Idolm@ster SideM because that show is even better than I thought it would be.
I’m too lazy to give a real synopsis so for those who don’t know what it is It’s Idolm@ster with Male idols, pretty simple right? If your still somehow lost at what I’m talking about just google it. Anyway I was already a big Im@s fan and was familiar with SideM so I already knew what to expect going in but it exceeded my expectations. The show looks great with its animation and use of diverse art styles. The characters are also really fun and the themes in each episode have been quite compelling.
Episode 3 particularly resonated with me with how they handled Tsubasa’s character, his fear of failing and how he finds it impossible to try to do something in case he messes up out of consideration for others. They also have an Idol group called S.E.M formed from 3 High School Teachers and they had an episode centered around them this week and it was so wholesome, If this doesn’t convince you that this show is great I don’t know what to tell you.
Apart from that and my University work, I’ve been trying to more seriously study Japanese I have a particular goal in mind currently but I won’t mention it now in case it doesn’t actually happen but I also want to get better so I can start venturing into reading some untranslated Visual Novels I want to read. I’ve tried read Visual Novels in Japanese before with the help of a text hooker so I could search Kanji but I didn’t have too much success because I spent more time looking up kanji than reading.
It was probably my fault for picking Angel Beats! -1st Beat- as Key Visual Novels tend to have quite difficult vocabulary and sentence structure but this would have been the case for whatever I played. To be fair I did make it to the end of the First operation so I didn’t do too badly but it was rather frustrating. I’m now going back and studying up on Kanji and Vocabulary and then I’ll tackle something a bit more simple like Flyable Heart or Aokana then come back to it. So far this is going well but I barely have any free time now, I just need to stick with it though.
So as for what you can expect in the future, well the visual Novels I’m currently playing through are Little Busters and World End Economica so whenever I get around to finishing them you will see a review and possibly some analysis on these titles. I also want to try to do some more frequent content of a more personal nature such as these update posts or just what ever random thing happens to be on my mind that week. Doing some more personal posts will probably make this feel more like a blog than it does in its current state which is a good thing.
To finish off, I was nominated for the Unique Blogger Award by Irina. Her Blog is called I Drink and Watch Anime and it consists of her talking about anime and other related topics. As the name implies, each post comes with a recommended alcoholic beverage and drinking game so if you like anime, are an alcoholic or both you should definitely check this blog out.
The rules of this award are:
Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
Answer the questions.
In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
Ask them 3 questions.
The first question was What was my favourite post I read this week? This would probably be a post by Maho Shojo Gakuen called The Magic of Despair: The Dark Magical Girl’s Journey. To summarise, this post is a literary analysis contrasting the difference between the classic Shojo magical girls like Sailor Moon with the darker seinen magical girls like Madoka in the context of their journey and how their characters and world view develop and change. It’s a very good read if you like magical girls so check that out.
She also wrote a thesis on Magical Girls which I think is also incredible, you can check out the excerpt on her blog here and if you enjoy it there is a link to the full thesis in the post.
The second question was What is the best thing about your secret crush? (Does not need to be someone who “exists.”) Blonde, Definitely Blonde! No I’m kidding, kind of... I wouldn’t pick something that’s entirely superficial, I’m a gentleman after all. I would say their Kindness, Optimism and Cheerfulness as I can be quite serious and pessimistic so this balances out our personalities. I also tend to get swept up in their antics which makes them a good influence for me.
Finally the third question was What do you want to say to your boss, teacher or parents who haven’t read your blog? Please don’t read my blog, it’s way easier if I never have to explain what visual novels are and why I have devoted so much time to playing and writing about them. I think it would be more horrifying for them to find my twitter through my blog because then I would have to explain my obsession with Anime Idols and my weird Visual Novel related tweets which would be much harder.
I don’t know enough people who blog to complete the third criteria so I’m going to be lazy and openly nominate anyone who feels like answering my questions. I’ll make sure to check out anyone’s blog that uses my questions and I’ll shout them out at a later date.
So my three questions are:
- What is your favourite Visual Novel and why?
- If you had to live in a fictional world from an anime, where would you live? (you’re basically an Isekai light novel protagonist now!)
- Favourite Idol from Anime or in real life?
I think this covers pretty much everything I wanted to talk about in this post and I hope you look forward to the content I’m going to make in the near future. Make sure to follow me on social media If you haven’t already. Thanks for reading and I will see you on the next VN Completionist.