Until I thought of this post, I realized I don’t buy a lot of serialized manga, even digitally. I gravitate towards one-shots or super-short series for fear of getting into a long-running title, being betrayed by a sucky ending, and raging at the waste of money. But sometimes, there are previews that impress me immediately and make me put down the money to follow it as far as I can, hopefully up to its ending.
Of what I bought, it turns out if I filtered out the titles that (at the time of drafting) are untranslated or don’t have an anime adaptation, I was down to six, all noteworthy to me in some way and deserving of more attention, or at least an English description. One of these later got licensed in English, but I reckon it’ll be hard to garner interest for the rest. Maybe it’ll be useful to illustrate that there’s a lot of manga out there where a handful of fans wish it could be shared in their mother tongue. Too bad I lack the magical powers to instantly translate, distribute, and make sales from them. One can dream.
The titles I think deserve more attention today are:
josei seinen manga about a high-school competitive dancing club that has less dramatics than Welcome to the Ballroom, a little more slice-of-life, is down-to-earth, and psychologically more mature.
- A deftly crafted boys-meets-girl story more ambitious than the art and premise would have you believe.
- An essay manga by a popular shoujo manga artist who works hard, plays hard, and illustrates those experiences amusingly well.
- The story of a talented actress cursed with an ugly face, who finds herself with the means to take on another’s beauty and might stop at nothing to sustain this.
- The shenanigans of a college student cohabiting with an actually invisible ghost, while digging into why that ghost can’t seem to leave his room, much less this very earth.
- An unlikely motorcycle duo in 1963, Outer Los Angeles.
Come dive with me and peek into my world.
Well, I hoped there would be a localization announcement to tie this to, but such is not the case as of AX 2018.
The Japanese website put up some small Q&A for the main voice actors to commemorate the end of recording sessions. Read out of curiosity, stayed for Saitou Souma’s metal comments (who voices Mineo), translated for fun. They were all asked the same three questions:
- Overall impressions now that recording is over.
- Highlights and favorite scenes from the After Story?
- Highlights or impressionable scenes from non-After Story content?
Light spoilers from the first game and meta-spoilers for the fandisc (i.e. if you don’t want to know the specific nature of the routes).
(Versus expectations.) I didn’t/couldn’t go, I merely relied on the kindness of strangers i.e. the Internet, and wanted to round things up. By necessity, I mostly paid attention to game announcement events.
In chronological order:
Sweet Clown doesn’t have an artbook or collected material of any kind, so I sated my thirst on the next best thing: staff blogs rife with the dev stories I wanted. I translated them the way I did with the CxM posts…and the total content was massive.
This is Part 1 of 3: OS Messages. Part 2 and 3 to be posted later on.
Translation follows with Cran and Ras.
■ Character Speaking Tone
01: Windows Start-Up
02: Windows Shut Down
03: Program Error
04: System Error
05: Message (Alarm)
06: Message (Notification)
07: Message (Inquiry)
08: General Alarm Tone
09: New Message Notification
10: Empty Recycle Bin
Cran: What’s thisss?
Ras: Today’s blog topic. They take each thing above and stick it to a character going, “How would this person say this?” and write it down. It’s a basic doc they write up before starting on the script.
Cran: How do they make it?
Ras: They show it to the staff and have them capture the character’s personality.
Ras: The stuff below is some of the old docs, so there’s some stuff different from the final results but don’t mind that.
Cran: Aren’t there any updated ones~?
Ras: Prolly not.
Page 1 covers the main characters, Page 2 the sub-characters. Spoilers for all routes and the endgame of Sweet Clown.
“yay the english C:R fandisc came out! but typos and translation???” What you’ve all been waiting for! Maybe. There were not a ton of issues hawked on the interwebs upon this title’s release, so already one hopeful sign. The good news is I did not have to be so exhaustive as with Collar x Malice. For that reason, QAQC and Mistranslations (and glowing spots of localization!) will be in one post for this title.
For new readers: QAQC and Mistranslations are separate issues. QAQC are typos you only need English to find. Mistranslations mean knowing Japanese to figure out, “Wait, that meaning is completely wrong.” And then there’s localization, which for our purposes is making the text sound natural in the target language and rewriting into native context if necessary.
The short of my assessment is, there were still QAQC and mistranslations, but the least egregious and distracting of Aksys Games’s otome I’ve seen so far. (Disclaimer: I haven’t tested Period:Cube, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, or 7’scarlet. But I also heard no uproar over them, so I assume they’re not too terrible either.)
Ye of curious disposition, hop on in. No spoilers for the fandisc, slight spoiler for Code:Realize if anyone hasn’t completed at least one route.
What will be new about the Psychedelica series for English-speaking otome gamers is its flowchart system. You can jump to wherever you scenes you read without hitting “Skip” and waiting for new text or a choice.
With this handy system, it’s pretty painless going back for new endings, but the last handful tripped me up on a blind run and I consulted a guide. Having it distilled and in English would help progeny. Plus, how does one get good at that mini-game? (A: The manual tells you, but not the game.)
General tips outlined first, after the jump. Specific (and unavoidably spoiler-y) walkthrough on page 2.
After discovering AmazonJP is the cheapest place to bulk-order oversize books from (if importing into the U.S.), I went on a wee binge for reference books and artbooks I had my eye on for a while.
It was Christmas spread out over a three-month period.
Got my second delivery recently, which completes my wishlist. I’d been meaning to do a review of some artbooks from my first batch, so may as well do them all at once. After the jump: brief unboxing, exploring why AmazonJP is cheaper for oversize books, and mini-reviews for each—namely:
- Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk (Haitaka)
- DanganRonpa Reload
- Collar x Malice Art Works
- Taishou Alice
Live to tell your fairy tale. (vndb)
You’re walking through a dark world with no memory of who you are. He’s in the same situation except he thinks his name is Alice (“Isn’t that a girl’s name?” “Isn’t this where you shut up?”) and helped you out. Together, you find a mirror and leap through it into a land of inverted fairy tales. You become the heroine who needs to save the prince from his fairy tale.
Execution wasn’t perfect, but it was overall unique and respectable, and would recommend it. What is there beyond the looking-glass?
Review is spoiler-free.
I’d embed the trailer but the end becomes flooded with spoiler thumbnails, eesh.
In the undying notoriety surrounding this title three months since its release, it was impossible to keep away from all spoilers—though you know it’s not what it seems with content warnings being the first text to greet you—but for better or worse, I was still unaware of its bigger surprises.
After enduring them, the lingering impression is of the stellar technicals—and little else. Even its sensitive content isn’t handled with knowing respect, used more for shock value than for meditating on and conveying a message, which doesn’t impress me.
Spoiler-free review on Page 1. Spoiler-related (and potentially more interesting) remarks reserved for Page 2.
Belatedly wishing everyone a happy new year. Still wondering “how do I blog?” but for the moment, writing about little-known factoids to the English-speaking community is a start.
One of the games I completed late 2017 was NIS(A)’s A Rose in the Twilight, courtesy of a generous Halloween sale. It was decent and hell of a lot more accessible than its spiritual predecessor, htoL#NiQ (or Hotel Neek, spiritual cousin to the Bates Motel). After completing both titles, I allowed myself to go through its Japanese artbook, which combines both games and is available digitally on any Japanese e-bookstore.
It is chockful of comments from the director (Yoshitani Masayuki) and by the image boards for the Library area (p. 112), he noted, “I especially had fun designing the gimmick behind the stained glass. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot. It’s triggered after you complete the Collection.”
That said, it isn’t crucial to plot, but it’s a cute bonus. Get all collectibles in Rose in the Twilight (i.e. trigger the trophy) and head to the stained glass. Meet you after the jump.