Archive for the 'visual novels' Category

Instant-ish Review: CROSS†CHANNEL

Friday, September 11th, 2009

CROSS†CHANNEL ~to all people~1 is a ~visual novel~2 written by Tanaka Romeo and recently fan-translated. It was good, you should read it if you want to do that kind of thing. Don’t try to find out the plot first, as it seems like every single element is a spoiler.

The main character is wildly immoral, but as he’s supplied with both a good reason (the apparently ever-present mansions full of child torturing rich people) and some actual self-awareness and intelligence, it’s certainly better than most other popular games I could mention. And I thought the moral was pretty obvious, though well meaning, but obviously otaku haven’t paid any attention to it. Maybe they didn’t play it.

It also seems to have completely confused some people, but I didn’t see anything difficult about it at all. But nobody I know has finished it yet, so I can’t discuss it. Come on, guys!

Tanaka Romeo, beyond the pen name and his constantly making off-topic jokes, is a pretty good writer, so I wish he’d move to some other format. Beyond my feeling kind of silly about discussing literary merit in porn, it seems like it’s nearly impossible to have a single ending to one of these stories without invoking time loops, and I’m getting tired of them. It’s almost as bad as how all mysteries have to start with long discussions about locked rooms, as if they’ve all only ever read the same Agatha Christie novel over there.

UPDATE: Tower of Friends is pretty real.

  1. Tildes mandatory. []
  2. Tildes optional. []

Comic Market 75 Day 1 Report

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Did Comiket really end just a week ago? It all seems so far away and dreamlike, except it’s one of those bad horror story dreams where you wake up and you’re out like 700 bucks and there’s a pile of doujin right next to your pillow. Also, a crystal skull.

I decided to take day 1 of Comiket relatively easy, since all I really wanted was the Type-Moon set from industry (really long line), things here and there from Toranoana (how long could it be??), and some stuff from schatzkiste, who managed to grab a small booth, and then stuff from some smaller booths down in the pits of the lower floors, like the booth that was selling the Daicon 7 opening movie, a guy that was purporting to sell a book with viewership numbers for tv anime from 1990-2004, a guy with a book about “politics within 00′s japanese otaku culture”, and some genre circles as well as a fair bit of stuff for friends such as my co-author on this here blog. In this case, “taking it easy” meant taking the 6:00 monorail from Shimbashi, which means arriving at the event at 6:30ish.

Unfortunately, I am incapable of not having something go wrong at a day of comiket. For those who haven’t been before, you can save your place in the line to get in the event (the event starts at 10am) once you get there and sit down, until 8:45, when they lock the line down and make everyone stand up. Normally I spend the whole time from whenever I arrive until 8:45 sitting down, listening to podcasts, and wondering what the hell I’m doing in Odaiba, but this time I made the very unwise choice to use the bathroom without a friend in the line. I left to the bathroom at 7:50, thinking that I’d have plenty of time to make it back. I left the bathroom at 8:40, after a line that rivaled a lot of shutter circle lines, only to find that basically everyone had already stood up, rendering me totally unable to find my spot, which I had tried to mark with my bag with my lunch and my hall maps inside. I tried to grab a spot in line roughly 30-50 feet behind where I thought I was, hoping to find my bag as everyone marched in, but I had no such luck, and I probably made a bunch of people think I was cutting in line in the process. oops.

Mapless, hungry, and frustrated, I sat in front of the Big Sight, watched the sun rise from behind the Washington Hotel, and tried not to lose too much body heat until the line finally started moving at around 10:25. This was actually the first time I’ve gone to a big industry line, since I normally either skip out on day 1, or just go at around 10 and browse kooky genre booths (A-Team x Night Rider yaoi, etc), so I was fairly surprised to see a special sign telling me that in order to line up for Type-Moon, I needed to leave the big crowd going into the event hall and follow the smaller trickle moving in the direction of the sign. This trickle lead me from the fourth floor of the Big Sight back down the opposite side of the building, away from the Big Sight by about 100 meters, through a parking lot, and then back into another queue that was vaguely near the building. I was fairly surprised to find that the line moved relatively quickly, and I managed to climb back up the Big Sight and finally get into the building to buy my 11,500 yen set of goodies by around 11:30.

Now, when I was browsing the Type-Moon website during pre-event planning, I wasn’t planning on buying everything that was on sale, specifically the Shiki “moe-moe bathtowel”, for reasons that I hopefully do not have to explain. However, after having a pretty miserable day so far (my ipod had also run out of batteries while in the T-M line, so no more AWO, no more Marxy vs Patrick Macias, no more Ira Glass, just the sound of a hundred thousand nerds buying porn), once I got shoved inside and suddenly found myself in front of a cash register, I just said “one of everything” and threw a ton of money at the lady behind the booth. So that’s why I have this “moe-moe bathtowel”.


The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, All-Around Type Moon 2, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel

The set: Bag, Neck Warmer, Concept, Clear Poster Set, Moe-Moe Bathtowel. Humping Dog not included.


Concept is an illustration book full of concept and promo art used throughout T-M’s years as an industry vendor, starting from C65, Winter 2003. 130 pages of color illustrations that act as a tribute to T-M’s own successes as well as the holiest of nerd battlegrounds, Comiket.


Concept front cover

Concept front cover

Concept back cover

Concept back cover

poor quality sample page

poor quality sample page

part the second

part the second


The other goodies are pretty self explanatory, the neck warmer is a neck warmer bearing the AATM2 logo seen here, and the moe-moe bathtowel is a moe-moe bathtowel with a moe-moe picture of Shiki that you can see on the same page. There’s also a clear poster collection of tall, thin clear posters, all packaged in a neat box. There are 22 posters in all, illustrated by a bunch of different artists. Some I would not mind putting up somewhere, others, well,


Clear Poster Set box

Clear Poster Set box

HELLO, LADIES

HELLO, LADIES


To tell you the truth, I’m still wondering how Naasu, Takeuchi, and co. managed to extract that much money from me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I still haven’t played Tsukihime or F/SN. At least I didn’t pay the 20,000 that second-hand retailers are charging!

I then proceeded to Toranoana’s booth, as it was the second of the three booths that I knew how to find, since it was directly down the hall from T-M. As an industry hall virgin, I was going by the advice of 西-4 vets and they said that Toranoana wouldn’t have that bad of a line.

Turns out they were wrong, since I ended up spending about a half hour longer in the Tora line than I spent in the T-M line, since they happened to be doing a Touhou New Year’s set and a Touhou calendar, and anything Touhou sells infinite copies. I was there for the Fate/Zero Tribute Arts limited edition box, so I wasn’t terribly heartbroken when they announced that all the Touhou stuff had sold out, especially since it meant that over half of the line cleared out. Fate/Zero Tribute Arts, as the name suggests, is a collection of outside artists doing Fate/Zero art. I mostly decided to buy this book when I found out that huke was contributing, and because I’m one of those people who will go from “considering a purchase, i guess” to “will line up for 2 hours to buy” if you dangle the word “limited edition” in front of me. The LE came with a slipcase and a 40-page black and white sketchbook (Rough Material), if you were wondering.


front view of set

front view of set

back

back

LE sketchbook pages

LE sketchbook pages

2

2


Akibablog has a bunch of good pictures of the book, for those interested. On an amusing side note, Toranoana apparently sold out of their entire stock of Touhou and Fate/Zero goods on day 1, which seems kind of unusual (and possibly fan-enraging) for a large booth to do, but what do i know.

Dead tired, I shoved my way to Schatzkiste’s little industry booth and bought their cd-roms and 4-koma collection. For those not in the know, Schatzkiste is the best maid cafe. They’re also closing in 2 months. ;_;

schatzkiste cds, 4koma

schatzkiste cds, 4koma


Meido-cho smiled and let out a little laugh when she saw me at the booth, basically making my day.

After that, I got the hell out of the Big Sight, and like any sensible person would do, went to Akiba for reasons I don’t quite remember and ended up going to Go Go Curry and Try Amusement Tower with a friend and not buying anything while in Akiba. Went to sleep at 8, since the fight starts for real on day 2.

news snippets: Over 1350 Touhou Circles at C75, Mahou Shoujo Ai San May be the Year’s Summer Days

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I’m about to go to my last class for the next 3-4 weeks so I promise I’ll do reviews and other things that aren’t stupid nerd news some time soon, but until then:

Zepy had a good post about Comiket circles doing Touhou stuff over the years back in August, and the folks who made that have updated for this year: 1356 circles doing Touhou, up from 885. Good lord.

The other thing that came up last night that I was too busy watching Rosario + Vampire on tv to post about was that some folks on 2ch apparently got the new Mahou Shoujo Ai game a few days early (1, 2, 3), and well, if they’re telling the truth, the game didn’t really get a look-over before going gold, or something. As was pointed out to me by irc last night, this would normally not be a problem, since who the hell looks at anything but tentacles and the various parts that said tentacles interact with, but the problem is that in some scenes, the tentacles are missing. More than the tentacles, actually, it’s that some scenes are missing any art at all, and even the paper dolls might be missing in some scenes.

This is compounded by the fact that the game is a third of the size of the previous installments (500mb on a dvd?!) They’ve also caught some flack for apparently using CG from previous games on their website and on the game box as promo art for the new game. Of course, this could all be a very elaborate, awesome troll (one of “epic” proportions, as i hear the kids say these days), or maybe they got the Doom 3 devs to make this new installment, but otherwise… Matsuri da!!

I Am Convinced By This Advertising

Monday, November 17th, 2008

My busy schedule of sleeping/possibly studying/marathoning Tales of Vesperia doesn’t leave me much time to do much other nerdy things, so I have a queue of three or five visual novels I’ve been meaning to play someday. It looks like I’ll have to stick another one on now, maybe after FSN (if kransom ever finds me a copy of that), because Shikkoku no Sharnoth has the greatest character list ever:

I went through a scene or two in the trial and the narration is doing its best to pretend to be Nasu, with everyone repeating everything six times for effect. I stopped after they spent half an hour of reading time drinking tea, but I’m sure optional gameplay and HP Lovecraft event CG await. No, not like that.

edit: i can’t spell