Why Kanon(2006) anime is better than the visual novel, outside of one area

This pertains to Kanon(2006), I never watched the 2002 version since it kind of creeped me out. The beginning parts talk about Air and Clannad, and some exposition, you can skip the the third paragraph for the actual topic.

When I was younger, the Key anime series were a big thing. It might still be, with Rewrite, Angel Beats and Little Busters; I don’t really know and it’s not really important for the topic at hand. But Clannad, Kanon and Air were the big three, each having their own successful anime(not sure on 2002 version).
For the most part, the novel will be better than the anime but it requires a much longer time to finish. Is it worth it? That’s dependent on the person. For example, Air’s anime adaption to the main route was well done, but Kano barely has any air time(Minagi was done much better, but of course not fully due to route issues with the main route). On the other hand, I felt the final scenes in the anime was much more emotional than in the vn, even with a more developed understanding of everything(though Minagi emotional moment was done better in the vn). It’s mainly a trade of a complete experience for a much more effective time frame.
It’s kind of the same case with Clannad(this whole paragraph is about Clannad, you can skip it), the anime adaption was solid and it saves so much time compared to reading the vn. Yet, while it’s solid, it also missed a shit ton of details(some important, some not). Something not so important would be Kappei’s route, but it was a great route. Toshio is a much lesser example than Kappei, but I was also rather sad in his small route. Kotomi’s route was done better in the anime, but misses a lot of scenes that are endearing. Naoyuki was done better in the novel, and I also believe Tomoyo was done better as well. Yukine’s route, however, was much better in the anime. The rest are kind of dependent on the person, but I believe Naoyuki(MC’s dad), Tomoyo and Misae was done better in the novel. There’s other points but you get it already. Outside of these minor details, the whole story is explained better in the novel. The anime just shoves it off and basically call it magic, which kind of destroys part of Tomoya’s journey and emotional growth.

Now we’re finally hitting what I wanted to talk about, the rest was exposition like I said before. Let’s just get around to what the novel did better so it can get out of the way. I feel Nayuki and Shiori’s routes were done better in the novel than the novel. And that’s it. Makoto is a huge little shit in the novel that she’s basically a saint in the anime. Mainly because her antics keeps on going for so long. Mai’s route doesn’t really change at all, it’s basically the same. Ayu’s route isn’t as emotional in the novel as it is in the anime, at least for me. In short, I can understand why the anime can’t be as good as the novel overall. But when the anime does almost everything better, there’s almost not point in reading the novel. Outside of one point.
That point makes this novel more of a utsuge(depressing) than a nakige(crying). I’m probably wrong with it but that’s how I interpreted it. In the novel, you can cause one miracle. For example, save your aunt, save your girlfriend, etc. Now, the miracle comes from a certain girl(now called X), and she’s forever gone once it’s used, so you effectively killed her for your own reasons. The aunt is kind of situational since it only happens on Nayuki’s route, so let’s say that happens only there. So you saved your aunt, which is great, but you actually killed ‘X’, let Shiori die and Makoto is technically dead as well. You save Shiori, but now the others are dead. You’ll always have to make a sacrifice. In the anime, basically everything is A OK(my memory is fuzzy on Shiori but I think she got better too).
In short, there’s good and bad between the two, and there’s different nuances that change parts of how I see the story. I feel like the anime ended better, not because it’s an overall happier ending(which I believe so), but it was just an ending that had you care more Ayu than in the novel.

Lucy: The eternity she wished for: Short Review

This is a korean novel, so it might be a little different from I normally do.
It doesn’t have a high budget and the translation isn’t great(or tried to be too one to one leading it to be stilted). The ost is pretty good though, while mostly forgettable, it goes well with the scenes. And there is a few memorable ones alongside it anyway.

I’m always on the fence when putting in a description. Either you a;ready know, or it takes a minute to find and read it, but I guess I can shorten. You’re a guy who finds an abandoned android. You choose to save it(albeit begrudgingly) only to find out the model is extremely advanced in multiple ways. But your dad who has a stick up his ass comes along as the main conflict.

All around, the cast is kind of douchey and it does take a bit until the story gets going(when you think of its short length). Yet, when the exposition is done, it does know how to tell a story and how to tug at your heart from time to time. And most importantly, it ends strongly, even compared to some novels from well-known companies, which is what leaves the largest impression after time has passed.

Funny enough, if the last 1/4 was taken out I might call this meh. Yet, I think this is better than Planetarian in terms of what I felt during it when the last quarter is added. Is it written better, is the quality better, does it transition better, is it more interesting than Planetarian, I’d say no to all of those. But if you could only read one, I’d still choose this one.
Do check out Planetarian though, it’s quiet nice. Though I felt bad for the main character at times, stronger than what you’d assume pity, like looking at a person with leprosy.

Steins Gate 0 – The unneeded sequel

steinsgate0

This is going to be a ramble, I’ll try to keep a straight thought process, but I might jump around.

Steins;Gate 0 can be compared with Lion King 1.5, except that’s already Steins;Gate Senkei Kousoku no Phenogram(will now be referred as S;G Phenogram). Steins;Gate 0 is like Steins;Gate 1.98.
It’s a lengthy novel of how the timelines came to be, to create the entrance to Steins;Gate, a timeline that doesn’t end in catastrophe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really needed; What wasn’t explained in the first one, was implied well enough in the original novel. The only gripe would be this nagging feeling on why Okabe is alive when his death was (I think) a convergence point. Except the original already explained how you can trick convergence points(even though it was obvious what they were going for, and honestly a lot of the original novel is obvious(but it was charming in its own way, like observing a child trying to figure out the current dilemma even though you knew the solution for a long time)). It’s like your favorite fighting or sport anime, you know the end result, but you’re invested on how what new stupid thing they do to succeed. Going back on topic, it wasn’t really needed.

Not to say it’s a bad novel, it’s pretty good( B+ ~ A) and sometimes too good for its own good (look at that, 3 goods in one sentence). And that’s because it’s very inner monologue oriented. It’s not really about the time machine, the concept of time travel, about the new characters nor further development of the original characters. It kind of does the opposite of what S;G Phenogram did. It’s no longer about what every character is going through, but more of a window to Okabe’s mindset and how he struggles to put his life back together( something to this effect also happened in the beginning of S;G Phenogram(and honestly I felt more emotional there than here due how tragic it was)). And due to its focus being majorly on Okabe, the writing and the pace is incredibly consistent, which is great in a literary perspective, but it also gives the opportunity to bore the reader. And it can bore the reader specifically due to how the original was made. A man who was serious on one moment, to mocking, to scared while still making it feel realistic, so you can relate. 0 is a consistent downer with an interval of showing the lives of the other characters to liven it up a bit (until certain events, one of them being my favorite scene).

In short, it was a great novel, but an unnecessary novel. The reader can understand what Okabe was going through in the middle of Steins;Gate. It’s then further developed in S;G Phenogram but also added how all the other characters were going through(except I never got to finish it). Sure, did it explain it more thoroughly? Of course, but everything was implied. Do we need another novel for each important D-mail? No. And this is what it basically is, a thorough story about something that we understand in a lesser level. We understand that a laptop battery is recharged by a power adapter, but not in a technical level of how it works. We understand how Okabe got to Steins;gate, we didn’t need a 30 hour novel explaining the whole thing. It’s at the level of making novel about Faris and her life with her living parent through her D-mail, it’s not needed, we understand.

————–
And now that the main topic is done, guess I’ll go over a few other things. The art of Okabe feels inconsistent at times, sometimes with Maho as well but in a much lower scale. But I think that might just be me. I also miss the weird design in their hair, it always felt like it had a outer space design, now it’s just normal hair.
Some of the support cast was just there for fluff for to convey other characteristics of main characters(that was already implied).

Aside from that, everything is topnotch. But my favorite thing might be the title itself, or rather how they designed it. It’s a 0, yeah, but it can also be seen as branches, or major world lines. Alpha, Beta and Omega(I’m not completely sure but I think Omega is Steins;Gate)(the one going in between). Now was it intentional, who knows, but it’s pretty neat.
steins-gate-0-logo

“Suddenly I’m falling in love with you”: Visual Novel Review

ikikoi-5
So it’s really called Ikinari Anata ni Koishiteiru, except no one is going to say that. Ikikoi is what everybody calls it, I think even the launcher is called that.

Honestly, having the title be called “Somehow I fell for you” would be a better option as it gives the same meaning while also illustrating that they already have feelings for the main character. It’s in the damn description, “since there‚Äôs four heroines who are already at max affection with him”.

Anyways, to the review. It’s a really hit or miss title. It’s like one of those harem animes where the main character gets physically/verbally assaulted half the time, at least until you hit a route(and might continue onward depending on the route). And while I don’t really enjoy that type of trope after the over saturation from the past, I still quite liked most of it in this novel. More so on the Tsumugu’s more subtle way of doing it in comparison Eika or Ryou. Honestly, the worse of it comes from the first 2-3 hours of the novel, then they lessen up on it and then it’s fine. This is both a dumb and smart move. On one hand, they’re going to lose readers, as I can see people just dropping the novel all together. On the other hand, if you get stung by a bullet bee, a normal bee sting can be seen as a blessing in comparison. Basically they’re numbing you to a point where a lesser dose can be enjoyable, instead of being a constant 20~ hour annoyance.

Anyways, aside from the complaints of Eika and Ryou being little shits, there’s really nothing bad about the novel. The ost is fine, the art quality is fine and each route has their defining moments, to the point where you’ll see it as a good investment of your time.

There’s four routes, Eika, Ryou, Onigase and Tsumugu. I put them in that order because I feel that’s the best play order. Though honestly if you want the most development and coverage, I guess Ryou and then Onigase are the two that should be read. Yet, I had I had quite a bit of fun with Eika’s route, as it feels like a joke route, and Tsumugu’s route because it feels like the true route.

ikikoi-1
Eika: MC’s sister, classic tsundere, mainly the verbal kind. While I found it enjoyable, it also feels like it has more hscenes than all the other routes, but that might just be from them being close to each other. It’s also the most perverted of the routes. And while it’s interesting because it covers more of the past, you can not know about it and be fine for the overall experience. Though it is a scene I enjoyed a lot.
C

ikikoi-2
Ryou: MC’s cousin, also a tsundere but in a more cruel fashion(and she switches from cute to ass, which goes out of the field of classic tsundere), and is quite strict. The route has powerful scenes, but they’d then followup with a scene that kind of ruins it. Otherwise I might put it to B. She’s the meanest of the group, while being both a masochist and a sadist depending on where you are on the route. I’ll also put a spoiler part in the end explaining why the plot doesn’t make much sense if you pay attention in other routes.
C

ikikoi-4
Onigase: The deredere air head. It’s kind of the cliche route, but I quite like it. There’s a few action scenes and you do get to interact with the sidekicks more often in this route; And that’s great, because they’re pretty funny.
C+~B

ikikoi-3
Tsumugu: Basically the weird one, but the most classy of them all. Also seems like the smartest and most experience, despite not having a formal education.
Honestly, this is probably bias as I like this character archetype. There’s no extreme moment, it’s just nice and sweet throughout. It’s more of a normal relationship than anything else.
B

In short, it’s a decent novel that comes with both a bundle of laughs and constantly being made fun of in the first act. My favorite is Tsumugu, alongside Karen who’s a comedy relief character that is in most if not all routes. If you like Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate then you might like this, though I think KoiChoco is better. You can also go with Majikoi if you want to go with the comedy aspect of it.

Now that the review is done, I’ll be spoiling a bit on Ryou’s route, and how it doesn’t make any sense.

In Ryou’s route, and pretty much every route, Ryou has to go to her home town for family business. Now when you go with her route, you find out that she can’t leave said hometown for the rest of her life due to family tradition. And part of the route is saving her. Now, in other routes(I believe both Tsumugu and Oginase), she comes back later on. wtf

Memory’s Dogma: Short Visual Novel Review

memory-dogma

I finished this a few days ago, I believe it’s the first part of a trilogy series.

It’s kind of hard to write about this novel. The art style and VAs are topnotch. While the music was good, I couldn’t remember any of it aside from maybe 3-5 tracks the day after I finished it. However, the tracks work with the atmosphere of the scene(for the most part(the final confrontation track was a weird choice in my opinion)). The op was really well done too, and that’s something that’s normally a divide between novels; Some are thought out well and even have sound cues, and other times it feels like the teams were working separately so the feeling given by the scenes don’t meld well with the track.

The major fault of the novel is the story itself. It starts off decently strong, then drags for half of the plot to only end strongly again. And honestly, that’s much better than being great all the way through and then flopping at the end. Most of the characters felt like padding, or just to have an explanation of why x happened so the main characters can keep on progressing. The antagonist for the majority of the novel was also rather weak.
And honestly, a novel dragging on does happen quite a bit. Clannad and Umineko do a few times, but they’re still regarded highly. The difference is that they’re rather long and there’s normally some kind of point of being that way.
It really felt the writers knew how they wanted to introduce the characters, and how to end story points but didn’t really think of how to make the in between flow well.
Not to mention it goes into the fantasy genre when it’s lead to be believe that it was a scifi fugitive oriented story.

I believe it’s 14~15 dollars, and that’s a pretty good buy for the overall quality of the novel(especially considering all those Sakura games are meh and are 10 dollars). On the other hand, 10 more dollars gets you Umineko’s question Arc or Fata Morgana. Enigma and Myth are also 15 dollars, but I don’t know if it’s better or worse yet.

In short, it’s a pretty topnotch novel that starts great until other genres get mixed in until it ultimately rises to it’s peak for the last 1/5 of the novel.

C+

Clannad: The rambling of a madman, why you basically need a walkthrough

multiwalkthroughFirst note: This will contain spoilers.
Second note: This is just what I think(just in case someone thinks it’s not just the rambling of a random guy).
Third note: I’m not really sure if you can go straight into After Story if all you did is Nagisa’s route. The post assumes you can’t.

Nagisa is considered to be the first route that happens, as that is the only route that plays the vn OP video. This may or may not be the first encounter with Nagisa, who can tell. The reason behind that are fantasy world segements. Both Nagisa and Tomoya know of the tale, yet neither really recall where.
You can see it many ways.

A) The other world doesn’t follow the same timeline, thus Tomoya could experience it before the child was born.
B) This is the nth experience, he just can’t remember.
C) The girl in the fantasy world is just whoever shares it, it simply passed from Nagisa to Ushio, thus Tomoya is experiencing it gradually.

Though I’d go with B.

After Story happens right after Nagisa, no other routes have been tried. You basically just started the novel, went out with Nagisa and started After Story. Then transferred back, this is when the player first plays the game, you’re technically on playthrough #2.

Considering as how there’s a Tomoyo After novel(and to a much lesser extent the, Kyou OVA), every route is a “true” route, as each is its own parallel world(Except that only Nagisa can be the first route). Thus the orbs Tomoya gains gets transferred into the fantasy world(A world that’s continually rewinded after a set point could be valid as well if you don’t consider Tomoyo After as canon, though considering Maeda I’d like to believe the “every route is true route” theme). The orbs are talked about in multiple routes, the basic concept is that it’s really rare to the point where it’s a myth. They come with high happiness, and they have powers akin to miracles.

Tomoya potentially failed countless times, and in the reverse perspective, there was most likely many more orbs that he obtained that were simply just not routes(like Yoshine’s). This can also illustrate all the orbs in one of the final scenes were produced by Tomoya, but I doubt that.

He doesn’t remember his goal with every loop, he starts with a shitty start point to boot. As he naturally drawn to Nagisa in most routes, you can say that his feelings subconsciously stay intact per loop. This would also include his negative feelings, and why he’s a downer when he’s alone. It would also explain why he subconsciously hates change as somewhere inside him, he knows that is also the coming of Nagisa’s death.

In short, without the walkthrough, you’ll fail several times. You might end up in the same route multiple times. You have to dredge through your choices and see if the outcome will be different. The reason for all that is that you are Tomoya, someone who is lost and trying to accomplish the impossible. No one to give you hints nor a straightforward route for most of these characters. Especially when there’s multiple fail points for some of them, like Ichinose.

I can see what they were going with this, and it’s rather interesting. Mainly, I like it because it took some balls to do, as you are technically locked out of the final outcome unless you get to the end of all the important route(and that’s basically all of them aside from 2-3)

How I think Clannad should be played in route order

Honestly, you can play the routes is almost any order and it’d be fine, give or take some confusion.
And what I find to be the correct order is going to be a hassle as it requires to do Nagisa twice(like 95% is skipped since the novel knows you read it already).

Before I go along with that, here’s the normal order most people take(because it’s part of fuwa’s walthrough)
Misae -> Tomoyo -> Yukine -> Ryou -> Kyou -> Kappei -> Sunohara -> Ichinose -> Fuko -> Toshio -> Nagisa+after

This is how I went through it:
Ryou/Kyou->Misae->Yukine->Tomoyo->Sunohara->Kappei->Ichinose->Fuko->Toshio->Nagisa+after.

Which is kind of a weird way to do it.

The remaining after the new order is just explanations of why it’s ordered that way.
So, I’d go with Yukine->Misae->Ryou/Kyou->Kappei->Tomoyo->Fuko->Sunohara->Toshio->Ichinose->Nagisa.

When I say Sunohara, I don’t mean the joke gay ending. It can also be called Mei’s ending or the Sunohara Siblings ending. But Mei is just another catalyst, it’s really about Sunohara and Tomoya.
Ryou is optional, but it’s short and it flows better with Kyou and Kappei’s routes, so do it before those two.
Sunohara should be done before Toshio.
Honestly, I don’t see much with Misae and Tomoyo. It could’ve been any character but most stories don’t have the MC go to the festival so it leads to Tomoyo’s route that gets you the orb.
Ichinose should be played right before Nagisa as it’s good to keep the concepts of her route in mind for After Story.
Yukine and Misae should be played together. It all depends if you want to know the answer and then experience Misae, or experience and then get the answer from Yukine.

Now, there’s another way to see the routes in, but that alludes to my next post so I’ll leave till then.