Why Don't More People Read Visual Novels? Analysis

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#1 by NowItsAngeTime
2020-10-11 at 17:05
< report >I've always been kinda disappointed that visual novels aren't more popular. I thought of different reasons of why that may be and made it into a video, analyzing why.

#2 by ninius
2020-10-11 at 18:49
< report >Nice video, I subbed :) Interestingly though, I watched anime for 10 years before finding out visual novels. Haven't gone back to anime since then. Visual novels are the most superior media IMO, I don't like manga and now even most anime feels like it lacks depth.
#3 by literallolicon
2020-10-12 at 00:16
< report >@2 Same here with only 4 years tho. Love VNs since it's entry-friendly for even amateur groups/individuals, whose VNs, if dig deep enough, can lead to a lot of hidden gems.
Still, I'm kinda sad with the mainstream VNs being saturated with romance+cute girls nowadays. Maybe that's why it's not popular, because it just killed half of its female players.
#4 by shizukasensei
2020-10-12 at 00:21
< report >There's a bunch of otome vns tho, so I don't see the female players going
#5 by diabloryuzaki
2020-10-12 at 01:14
< report >#1
great idea, rather than explaining it in here you ask us to see your video. it make me wonder what is the purpose of "General discussions" then in here
#6 by ecchihieronymus
2020-10-12 at 01:17
< report >If by anime we include very mainstream stuff like PKMN then I've watched it since I was able to watch TV, I even remember some faint hints of Sailor Moon from the toddler years, never after those years.

I think VNs are at least 2 degrees of separation from the average JP entertainment media enthusiast. Like routes in VNs, either it takes you one (anime==>source material) or even more choices (H-manga==>Hentai anime==>look at others==>want to read source material for those) to get onto one. My path was even more windy (from winding): I started off with anime, then stumbled on R34 (shadman with The Lezzing of Korra, I see a pattern emerging with ATLA/LOK smut leading me to new media, wrote this after the last paragraph), then h-anime (Aniyome wa Ijippari's Animation), from there I stumble on others and wanted to read the source so I found h-manga, after that there was a big break from finding new stuff.

At some point early last year I wanted some ATLA smut games, stumbled on FET on F95 and then finally onto VNs on there (KS), although, now that I think about it, I played DDLC sometime in 2017/18 but I won't really count that.
#7 by shinytentacool
2020-10-12 at 02:54
< report >They're a worse version of anime and h-anime, in most peoples minds. If they are into those things they can just watch those. It's faster and arguably better

Same thng with books. No reason to read when you can wait for the movie
#8 by lucumo
2020-10-12 at 04:47
< report >@5: There are always the kinda people that abuse environments to further their own agenda (in this case, a Youtube channel). It used to be heavily looked down upon but as forum culture has deteriorated, so has the number of people knowing the etiquette.

@6: I came from the games' side, so there is only one degree of separation. Stumbled in the mid 00s upon the VNs translated in the late 90s, read them and was from then on generally interested in the sub-medium (also helped that I consumed anime as well of course).

As for VNs, I think they are too mainstream already. The community has become way worse since the influx of new people in the past six, or so, years (particularly Steam users).
#9 by forever-here
2020-10-12 at 07:27
< report >the biggest downfall with movies is that they're time constrained. surely you've encountered some movie adaptation of book/novel and find yourself either not understanding what's going on or feels very rushed.
#10 by bakauchuujin
2020-10-12 at 08:21
< report >I think one of the reasons is the hate some in the community has for moege and nukige.

Considering how VNs with harems fix some of the main problems with harem anime, manga and light novel, like being able to pick the girl you want the MC to end up with and having a conclusive ending with actual romantic development after they get together I think VNs are really good for harem stories.

As for nukige they can have a good ballance between getting attached to the character and sex scenes which is rare in other meduims which primarely are short and focus much more on just the sexual content not building up characters you care about.

Trying to just go with a broad apeal and saying something is good is not likely to get people to get into something which is hard to get into as pretty much every medium has some masterpieces.
I think instead if we want VNs to become more popular we should focus on telling people about what makes VNs unique from other mediums.Last modified on 2020-10-12 at 08:22
#11 by forever-here
2020-10-12 at 08:35
< report >at the same time I don't want the wrong people and fake actors coming to this weeb hobby and then cry things like sexism in anime/VN or how moe is muhsoggykneestick. like that godforsaken marysue website that is now shut down.
#12 by clorust
2020-10-12 at 14:11
< report >Double-edged sword. More popularity would mean more money filtering in, thus more translations, which would benefit me particularly since my chronic procrastination means I'll likely never learn Japanese. The trade-off with this traffic from likely the same westerners who made anime and manga popular over the last decade would be a vast decline in the quality of consumers and fans. Niche themes the casual consumer (who probably uses social media like Twitter extensively) doesn't like would be dogpiled, vilified and censored. These people use mediums like this as a pretext for socialising, drama, virtue signalling and internet memes, they have no investment in the visual novels themselves nor any desire to integrate into wherever they roam.

If at some point a universally applicable (and accurate, of course) machine translator is invented, then there's no real benefit to visual novels garnering western attention. Obviously them being popular in Japan would be more necessary since the source VN still needs to be produced in the first place.
#13 by butterflygrrl
2020-10-12 at 17:36
< report >ironically i don't want to watch your video for the same reason many people don't want to play VNs - it'll take too long and be a much slower, more uncomfortable way of taking in the information.
#14 by bobjr2000
2020-10-13 at 18:09
< report >reading bad boobs good.
#15 by fallenangel69
2020-10-13 at 19:59
< report >well, when I first heard about visual novels, how the hell am I supposed to enjoy doing nothing but reading with no animation, but when I first tried VNs, i wasn't doing it for story but only to fap (imouto paradise), when I tried it, I noticed that Visual novels isn't that bad, so I searched for a decent visual novel to try it, and when I did, I liked how there are many routes which means different possibilities; unlike anime and manga, and most of visual novels gives you a decent end, not open endings like anime.
#16 by ninius
2020-10-13 at 20:01
< report >Funny how VNs are considered "porn" in general but I never even thought it that way before coming here and realizing how huge amount of them are actually eroge/nukige LOL Most of VNs that I've read don't really have sexual content that much, if any.
#17 by ecchihieronymus
2020-10-13 at 21:20
< report >#16

And the more time you spend on the medium, the more you realise that the average moege/charage really doesn't need its H-scenes, or has bad ones. I'm experiencing that with WagaHigh rn. Decent H-scene-features for a moege, though.
#18 by mrkew
2020-10-13 at 21:47
< report >#17
#19 by butterflygrrl
2020-10-13 at 22:48
< report >many games have terrible h-scenes, many games have okay h-scenes but the game would be okay without them, some games have great h-scenes, some games have h-scenes that are integral to the plot, i think it's too broad to really say any one outcome
#20 by being
2020-10-13 at 23:45
< report >Assume that I'm not talking about Nukige for the following since Nukige obviously always needs to have porn.

A lot of people say comedy is the most subjective genre but I think porn might just overtake it. So what's "terrible" or "great" porn is really, really not something people are ever going to agree on. I've noticed a trend of people basically stating that all this porn and all that porn sucks as if it's an obvious fact, and others agreeing. But these scenes wouldn't be so prevalent if nobody liked them, and for the people that don't like them, they can usually be skipped without really losing anything due their generally "detached" nature. That's what makes it even more complicated. Any non-nukige Eroge is going to have a certain something going for it, a certain unique flavor if you will, regardless of its genre. But, porn is pretty much without fail an expected routine. Porn has to be porn, and will generally look very similar to other porn. It's basically like a homogenization of the medium. What all this means:
-If you generally like reading eroge for porn, you'll take comfort in this homogenization. You wouldn't want it censored or touched by groups that want the medium to change.
-If you generally don't like reading eroge for porn, you can often just skip through it without missing anything important.
-If you don't mind the porn existing, for reasons like freedom of expression, and more freedom opening up to more variety in storytelling, ihis means you might only enjoy it when it's written to flow naturally with the story, rather than being a detached fapping experience. I feel sympathetic to this side that appreciates the freedom of Eroge while still holding the porn to the same literary standards as the rest of the work. If you ask me though, the vast majority of porn scenes shouldn't be interpreted this way, and we don't need a world where they would be either. Why can't porn just be porn?
-You're flat out against the porn no matter what. I'm not sympathetic to this because Japanese VNs (ie: good VNs) and Eroge are practically synonymous. This side has carved out their own niché, and I would prefer it if they keep doing that, and not sully what I enjoy.

Personally, I'm in a mixture of the first 3 camps. Sometimes I like porn scenes appearing even if the story in no way demanded it, because I enjoy lewd art and sex scenes. Sometimes I really couldn't care less and will just skip it. Sometimes I wish porn scenes in general were written "better" (or rather, more up to the standards of the rest of the VN) instead of being standard homogenized porn. I don't know man, all I know is I think something important is lost when you take porn out of Eroge.Last modified on 2020-10-13 at 23:47
#21 by vninfohata
2020-10-14 at 02:44
< report >I love and live visual novels and I think they are the best medium to express all facettes of a story. Obviously they don't leave much room for imagination though.
#22 by rampaa
2020-10-14 at 07:20
< report >
Why Don't More People Read Visual Novels?
1) Most people don't even know they exist. For the majority of the cases, you have to be into anime/manga/LNs to begin with to even hear about VNs' existence.
2) They are time consuming. And unlike a regular book, you cannot read (most of) them in public to make a better use of your idle/free time, at least not without getting weird looks.
3) For a considerable amount of people, reading itself is a hard task. And unlike reading other popular (or "well respected") books, it won't have a social pay off. You won't be able to brag about how well-read you are, make witty references about them, or share your experience with your immediate environment in any meaningful way.
4) The fact that most of them have porn pisses moralfags off. (Their displeasure pleases me.)
#23 by ninius
2020-10-14 at 08:34
< report >@rampaa, I wuw u UwU
#24 by schlaefer
2020-10-14 at 16:32
< report >@22
2) Because of the "Visual" aspect they are pretty recognizable unlike books were you really have to stare to know what someone is reading. You would probably also get wierd looks if people realized you were reading "Mein Kampf" on a train/bus.
If you made the Lord of the Rings into a VN you would probably get stares as well. So it's not necessarily the content but the medium that causes attention.
3) It depends on your environment. If you were talking to someone who doesn't know much about books you could probably talk about Steins;Gate and get the same reaction as when talking about a book (that he doesn't know). Well the problem with Steins;Gate would be more the fact that it has a lot of Japanese culture references. Aside from that it has an interesting story and also NO porn.

In comparison to books, movies and games VNs are somewhere between.
They have voice, music and images like a movie, but not as much movement. And unlike a movie there is narration as you would have in a book. There is also interactivity like in a game. Not in way where you would need some kind of skill, but more to shape the story. There aren't many games that have a story that depends so much on your actions. On the other hand there's the matter of the perspective. Games and VNs are most often written in a first-person perspective, books and movies more from an outsiders point of view.
I think they are closest to point-and-click adventures.

Though, all in all I think it's more an issue of time. There was a time when the general mindset was "games are for children" and adults playing games were wierd. And now there are people in their 50s and 60s in MMORPGs.
So if young people like VNs I don't think they will stop playing just because they get older. In 10 or 20 years they might be more publicly recognized and you won't get funny looks anymore. (Although, an adult man fawning over little girls or watching porn in public is a different matter.)Last modified on 2020-10-14 at 16:34
#25 by forever-here
2020-10-14 at 17:58
< report >people will find VNs by themselves no need to "force" them into this.

some people say they were from the jrpg fad and they got fed up with the grinding to story ratio so their next landing was VNs.
some people came from anime. higurashi anime in particular. you can't hear higurashi without hearing visual novel.