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General Discussion Theres a Clannad of AIR-headed Kanon fodder being shot by the Little Busters After Tomoyo on a Planet-arian.

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  #1  
Old 2006-09-09, 19:19
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Default Planetarian and Narcissu

Well... what can I say?

There's really no words to describe how poignant these visual novels are. So, rather than trying, I'm just going to recommend that everyone read them. I know there are lots of threads about these visual novels already, but I kinda feel inclined to say something about them, as well as how much I enjoyed them.
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Old 2006-09-10, 23:20
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To get this topic going, I'd ask this... which do you think is better, Naricissu or Planetarian?
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Old 2006-09-11, 22:51
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Personally I think Planetarian was better, but it's kind of unfair to compare those two since one was from a doujin company and the other was a professional work by Key. I would say both are very good in their respective story genres.
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Old 2006-09-11, 23:25
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They're both really excellent, and I enjoyed the translations. I can't say much bad about them, so that's not really a fair question to ask which one is better or worse. They're both great.
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Old 2006-09-11, 23:50
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Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges...
(almost said shimapan and nopan -_-)
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Old 2006-09-12, 00:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zalas
Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges...
How about changing the question to 'Which did you like better as a matter of personal opinion?'

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Originally Posted by zalas
(almost said shimapan and nopan -_-)
紐パン派の俺の立場が!
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Old 2006-09-12, 08:37
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I felt that both works missed the mark (good concept, questionable effectiveness in terms of execution). However, I liked the Planetarian script more.
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Old 2006-09-12, 10:45
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Konnichi wa minna

Narcissu to me is more fit as a novel rather than a visual novel given the material. Visual novels usually have captivating backgrounds and character art where as I felt Narcissu didn't. I may try and go back and read it at a later time given I'm a medical nut. XD

planetarian on the other hand was beautifully illustrated and scored. The story was easily captivating unlike Narcissu. Of course, comparing commercial and doujin works is like trying to compare novels with fanfics due to a little thing called resources, but I just felt Narcissu was lacking in momentum. Then again, what can you write about to capture people's interest about terminal illness and death and dying =P

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Old 2006-09-12, 10:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRaiKetchum
I just felt Narcissu was lacking in momentum. Then again, what can you write about to capture people's interest about terminal illness and death and dying =P
I'm guessing you stopped playing before chapter 2. :P

There are even some action scenes if you read far enough...
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Old 2006-09-12, 12:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
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Originally Posted by JRaiKetchum
I just felt Narcissu was lacking in momentum. Then again, what can you write about to capture people's interest about terminal illness and death and dying =P
I'm guessing you stopped playing before chapter 2. :P

There are even some action scenes if you read far enough...
If I remember correctly, I stopped reading when... gurl jrer fgrnyvat uvf cneragf' pne naq yrnivat gur ubfcvgny.

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Old 2006-09-12, 12:30
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Ah, that's the bit I assumed you couldn't have reached, because it's where the pace starts to pick up a bit. ^^;

I'm interested, now: did you stop there because you were already losing interest and the plot movement came too late to redeem the slow start, or was it that you deduced from the nature of the new turn of events that the remainder of the story was unlikely to be the kind of thing that interested you?

I'd be the last person to claim that Narcissu is a universally relevant work of genius that everybody should read, but as somebody who liked it enough to translate it, I naturally have something of a personal interest in the particular flaws that various people find in it. :)

(If infinity is still around, I'd be interested to know what specific failings you felt made the execution of each game questionably effective, too.)
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Old 2006-09-12, 12:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
Ah, that's the bit I assumed you couldn't have reached, because it's where the pace starts to pick up a bit. ^^;

I'm interested, now: did you stop there because you were already losing interest and the plot movement came too late to redeem the slow start, or was it that you deduced from the nature of the new turn of events that the remainder of the story was unlikely to be the kind of thing that interested you?

I'd be the last person to claim that Narcissu is a universally relevant work of genius that everybody should read, but as somebody who liked it enough to translate it, I naturally have something of a personal interest in the particular flaws that various people find in it. :)

(If infinity is still around, I'd be interested to know what specific failings you felt made the execution of each game questionably effective, too.)
I'd lost interest prior to that part. I'm mildly ADHD ^^; I have to push myself sometimes with stories that have a slow start like Narcissu. I know a few anime I've discarded because of a slow start (like Shakugan no Shana) that I wish I hadn't the more I read about them! As far as deducing the nature of the story, I love a good tearjerker now and then. (Like UFO no Natsu, Iriya no Sora) ;) And as I said before, I'm a medical nut. I love stories dealing with medical matters. Heck when I read Iressa and Non-small cell lung CA in the first few paragraphs I was interested XD. Ah, the things you become interested in when your mother is a nurse. X)

I still have it somewhere. I plan on trying to give it another try later. Maybe read it while having a nice hot cup of green tea, my personal ADHD treatment XD

-Rai
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Old 2006-09-12, 14:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haeleth
but as somebody who liked it enough to translate it, I naturally have something of a personal interest in the particular flaws that various people find in it. :)
Well, I am probably one of those various people, so if you want to know... ;)

I'd say it was not my style - I believe that a basic idea, the heart of the story is always simple and can be expressed in many ways - in a stupid example, you could probably think of many variations of the Romeo & Juliet thing - and you could also imagine that the story and its points or philosophies when presented in different ways, work differently with different audiences. And as far as the things that Narcissu had to say go, I would be much more touched by a (perhaps completely) different approach. I don't *exactly* know what approach this might be, because I've read it twice and still couldn't pinpoint what the true idea behind the project was - so it's hard to think of what a more me-like presentation could look like. But I could probably do without the excessive mood, and probably also without the ending - it reminds me too much of the old proverb that 1 death is a tragedy and 10.000 deaths is a statistic. This said, I enjoy "meaningless" conversations and actions, and I can often digest a lot of filler text, if the project is all about mood - but although the middle part was a lot like that, the whole Narcissu wasn't. So I think it was in the approach - I ended up enjoying it as a moody and thought-inspiring thing, but nothing more. Still, I don't take this as a problem of the game (it's not commercial and therefore I don't expect it to make an effort to please me specifically because I bought it) or as my personal inability to understand something - I don't claim to understand anything Japanese and IMO it's normal, I wasn't raised there, and you can't really understand the mentality of a community completely if you're not one of them, and I'd think Narcissu is very Japanese in its essence.

On the technical side, I think the book aspect dominates the experience a bit too much, they say it's a minimalistic approach, but it looks like a book with added pictures - and you can actually read it without missing anything - as a printed out story. And since this is basically the normal fiction literature with a realistic setting, I often wondered if real-life photographs wouldn't fit much better.

There go my 2 cents.
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Old 2006-09-12, 14:37
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There are spoilers in this sea of text, but I imagine most people who've read down this far have read both by now - if not, don't read this unless you want to be spoiled. Any objections, poke and I'll rot13 it; it just looks even longer in the rot13 window >_>

Anyway, looks like I get to go against the flow, I preferred Narcissu by quite a bit, though I liked both. May as well get the reason most of this board will object to out the way first:

Reverie did my head in for half the story.

Pause for shocked reactions. Seriously, the '*talktalktalktalk*' 'god shut up' routine got tiring for me earlier than it apparently did for most, and I can't say I enjoyed at least the first hour of the story because of it. She had a few okay moments, but that was it. I didn't really start to enjoy it until the planetarium scene, which is going to be etched into my memory for years to come because of how quickly it changed my opinion of the story - the way it was done made it easier than I expected to empathise at least partly with the protagonist and how he must've felt to see all those stars for the first time, and the music underscoring it was definitely the best track on the OST (and the extended version is even better - try listening to it in the bath some time). After that she became a lot more tolerable, then we get to the scene with the... er... shooting thing. That was well done, tense and whatnot, then suddenly, Revvie! I admit it, I did feel sad for her - but that was it. I still didn't feel like there'd been enough there to sympathise with her, and so the final scene lost a bit of its power instead feeling like the sadness had passed and it was being dragged out for the sake of it. I remember one line, "...even though the people that needed her had gone long ago" that got to me, but it felt like it was dragging after that. Maybe I missed the point, maybe people ranting about it had made me expect more, I don't know.
Time felt like crap afterwards: ~3 hours.

Narcissu, on the other hand, hit me full in the face. Not only was it shorter, it never felt like it was dragging, and the characters never annoyed me. I could sympathise with the protagonist, and, maybe partly because of her condition, Setsumi didn't annoy me either. The writing felt moving even from the first few lines (I read Haeleth's translation btw, it was nice to read a translation of something like this in British English for once) and the music is some of the most beautiful I've heard. There were a few scenes I was intentionally clicking through more slowly than I would have otherwise so I could hear every track properly, and now it's finished I barely listen to the soundtrack because it brings everything back (especially 'Rather than a life of finality') in one fell swoop. The tense scenes felt tense (which was probably more proof of how the characters and situation draws you in - suddenly them stealing money/petrol seems perfectly okay) and Setsumi's monologues were powerful in how much pity they brought on. The art worked perfectly too; it was simple, but it did the job fine, and Setsumi's design looked really pretty in a fragile sense, which was probably what they were aiming for. And the final scene hit hard; my initial reaction was one of frustration when they just started playing the happy music like that, I was actually expecting it to be drawn out at least slightly, but it just ended and she was gone. Then it hits you - she's gone. And then you feel really empty for the next 3 days because of how horribly unfair it was that her fate had been like that. The sudden change of music felt like a stupid idea at first, but after a while it's not hard to believe it was intentional.
Time felt like crap afterwards: ~3 days

Too long; didn't read summary - Reverie took time to grow on me, the planetarium scene was beautiful but I didn't like her enough for the final scene to feel anything other than dragged out, whereas Narcissu captivated me the entire time with sympathetic characters, a beautiful soundtrack that I'd love to buy and a tragic story that didn't feel overdone - it felt more like an emotional description of events than the writer constantly checking to see if you were crying or not.
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  #15  
Old 2006-09-13, 04:22
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I think the fact that Narcissu starts off 'slow' is irrelevant.
That kind of story, that kind of writing, either draws you in or it doesn't... and i think it has more to do with the subject matter and the style, than the speed. No one minds a slow moving story if everything said is interesting to you.

Personally it drew me in from the very start, and wouldn't let go. Not once did i think, "man, this is slow, i wish it would pick up the pace a bit."

Planetarian on the other hand, though my favourite piece over all, felt rather repetative and slow at the beginning to me.
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