Why is this the all-time best VN?

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#1 by bobby-k
2021-02-08 at 04:10
< report >Hi there,

I've sure someone's done a similar thread before, but I thought I'd do a more updated one since the VN rankings have changed a bit over the last couple of years.

I've found Muv-luv to be a story worth reading but I would not rank it as one of my top five VNs. This is not intended to be a detailed critical review, but rather I want to throw out some questions which I hope will attract some answers from people who contributed to MLA's No.1 spot on VNDB. My own thoughts on each question provided for reference.

1) Did MLA score any points with you for its technical aspects (i.e. art, music, etc)?
Personally, I would rate the art average at best, even considering its antiquity. (F/SN was made around the same time as MLA, but in my opinion, has art that's noticeably more refined.)

2) How much of its high ratings can be attributed to the mecha genre?
I neither like nor dislike mecha, but would it be fair to say that much of its popularity is due to the mecha element? As a general observation, I would like to point out 3 of the top 10 VNs at least have a mecha element to them (MLA, Muramasa, and Baldr Sky Dive 2).

3) If you had to rate the full Muv-luv story (Extra + Unlimited + Alternative) as one work, would you rate it much lower?
Muv-luv is ranked No. 1087 with a rating of 6.97. Clearly, this is markedly different than MLA. To my mind, it doesn't seem logical that a sequel can be reasonably rated separately from the original work at all, but I think this large discrepancy warrants a question.

4) General comments / reasons for why you rate MLA so highly

That's all for now. Thanks in advance for any participation!
#2 by forever-here
2021-02-08 at 04:22
< report >when a VN makes me sit down and continue reading and not make me alt-tab subconsciously, that's when I know it's a good VN. very few VNs could make me do this.

and funnily enough it's not because of the mecha or the military genre that made me sit down through this. it's Takeru really. sure a lot of his internal monologue is just him being edgy but to me it's the right amount of edge. MLA without Takeru is like Saya no Uta without Saya.
#3 by forever-here
2021-02-08 at 12:24
< report >
MLA without Takeru

btw from what I heard, The Day After series is basically an alternate version of MLA but there's no Takeru in it. the votes will tell you how its not well received. trying to milk MLA like the disgusting parasites they are (lol). no idea about Schwarzmarken.
#4 by wertville
2021-02-08 at 14:53
< report >1) Yes. The sprite animations and effects are great even in the original and by modern day standards. The art style itself is subjective, but I think the silly hairstyles and designs are important exaggerations of the generic harem genre of the time it was trying to emulate and overall I like them a lot.

I do like classic Type Moon art more, but I don't think that alone is enough to drop it below FSN for me.

2) For me, none at all. The only other mech show I've watched, off the top of my head, is Code Geass. Though, maybe my naivete regarding the genre contributes to my enjoyment?

3) Not personally, no, I gave MLE an 8 for reference. But you are correct that the existence of MLE as a separate work contributes to MLA's score- It acts as a gatekeeper, and most people who would rate MLA lower stop there.

However, there's also a group of people who fell for the "You don't have to read MLE" meme who likely rated MLA lower than they otherwise would have, so it goes both ways.

4) I liked it because the drama and action were consistent enough to keep me invested and the twists were interesting and well-executed enough to make it memorable.

While I haven't had enough time to keep up with all the big VN releases in the past few years, I really haven't read anything that nailed every element quite as well as MLA did.
#5 by ninius
2021-02-08 at 15:54
< report >I gave it 9/10.

1) I like the art, animating, and voice acting. That affected the score quite a lot.

2) I don't really care for mecha, I usually avoid it. Then again, I'm a female. Maybe men like mecha action in general?

3) Not really. If you combine them, then you get much more 'whole' experience which would lead the score being the same as MLA.

4) I found the story progression etc. enjoyable and interesting even if it had its downs too. The fact that I managed to read it without struggling tells a lot to me. I have quite bad concentration difficulties if I don't like something so I would've dropped the thing if I didn't enjoy it.

Why I didn't give it a 10/10 was because of some pet peeves, the last ~2 hours of the story (cringe af), and the pacing which was ridiculous sometimes. For me a 10/10 novel can't have literally ANY negative things, not even small ones, it has to be perfectly paced, and a well written story that I enjoy 100%, without even doubting giving it a ten. And MLA wasn't those things. Doesn't even come close to being a masterpiece like FataMoru, Umineko, and SubaHibi.
#6 by zakashi
2021-02-10 at 02:03
< report >As for your questions/points.
1)Character designs were fine, Sumika had the best design IMO, the art regarding the BETAs and robots kicked ass, pretty good. The OST is meh.

2) No idea but I found the explanations about how the robots work and all that pretty boring.

3) Extra is meh, Unlimited is very good, Alternative is awesome, so as a whole I give a 7.3 ;)

4) One thing I liked a lot here is the buildup of the enemies, and threat they actually posed, I felt like I was in danger all the time they appeared lol. Takeru's development was awesome also, the times of his full despair was pretty well written, when Extra Sumika dies and he goes to jump off the rooftop I thought "Holy Shit this VN is awesome".Last modified on 2021-02-10 at 02:07
#7 by lemonov
2021-02-12 at 20:23
< report >probably because it's really good
#8 by shinytentacool
2021-02-12 at 21:08
< report >It's a sequel of sorts isn't it? So how many voters are coming in fresh as opposed to people who already like Muv luv? I feel that that characteristic is at least partially a reason why it stands above the rest. Someone who doesn't like the series wouldn't even get to MLA and instead it would be ML getting their negative vote
#9 by lemonov
2021-02-14 at 22:05
< report >#8 Not much, because only and idiot would start reading a book from the middle opposed to just starting at the first page.
And stop assuming things. Muv-Luv is one huge narrative, but Alternative is in a completely different genre from Extra.
Read it yourself before assuming things.
#10 by oysterkeeper
2021-02-15 at 06:31
< report >Just gonna throw random thoughts.

More or less for me, I was so invested and immersed in the story. Everything that hurt Takeru, hurt me. I was excited/terrified/whatever and on edge for like half of ML:A. The sound track is great (at least a good portion of it was), the UI and accessibility hold up better than some more modern VNs I've played, and although I originally wasn't a big fan of the art, it grew on me quickly. I rated the original game a 7 even though I didn't like Extra much at all but because I really enjoyed Unlimited.

This was my first big-hitter VN so I'm pretty biased and I do have many gripes with Alternative but the experience as a whole made me feel things no other story has before which results in it being my favorite thus far.Last modified on 2021-02-15 at 06:33
#11 by leulight
2021-04-08 at 12:10
< report >I think MLA is a masterpiece, one of the most ambitious and well written stories ever told, yet to matched in Japanese media.

Similarly, I don't understand why anyone would give F/SN a 10. So yeah it's just a matter of one's experience.
#12 by flvbycjctnheheh
2021-04-09 at 04:22
< report >People love MVA for similar reasons why people love early Shingeki no Kyojin (which was inspired by MVA, btw). Fundamentally, both stories are about a war to protect humanity and about self-sacrificing heroism. Of course, both are also have unexpected deaths of well-liked characters and a bunch of mysteries/plot-twists. Still, I personally don't think it's worth 10/10 because, interestingly enough, the heroines from the MVE don't play as much of a role compared to the girls from Kiminozu, lol. And the endings was kind of rushed and anticlimactic.
In the end, almost no one considers your 1 and 2 points when they rate a story, in the end it's all about the emotions a story made us feel. And yeah, I'm sure that if MVE and MVA were one story, it would be rated much lower and way more people would complain.
#13 by tremmy
2021-04-09 at 04:48
< report >vndb has a sponsorship with twizzlers to keep it at the top.
#14 by antherus
2021-04-09 at 07:13
< report >Because Muv-Luv Alternative is a master class in storytelling, and affected me emotionally unlike any other VN has. It's a gripping, harrowing tale perfectly told, Takeru's character arc was masterfully executed, and Yuuko is one of the greatest written characters in fiction.

I've read plenty of VNs over the years, and this is the ONLY one I've ever given a 10.
#15 by lemonov
2021-04-09 at 08:56
< report >#12 Muv-Vuv.
Impressive, very nice.
#16 by dillpicklely
2021-04-17 at 07:57
< report >I don’t think it’s the best VN of all time, contrary to popular opinion. Muv-Luv suffers from a basic rule in literature; show don’t tell. It has more Uranian expositions than all of Disney’s acquisitions. It has more shock value than Steven Seagal’s humorous cue. It has more h scenes than Bill Cosby’s prison cell. If the universe still tells me it’s a masterpiece, I’m still calling it that tissue paper I throw in the trash.
#17 by funnerific
2021-04-17 at 08:39
< report >
It has more h scenes than Bill Cosby’s prison cell.
I suppose 2 scenes in the giant that is MLA is too many...
#18 by kiru
2021-04-17 at 08:45
< report >Stories can work in two ways:
-They are written well.
-They cater to your tastes.

MLA is the second. It might not be well written, but if you enjoy the harem antics, the character and whatnot, that's okay. I hated those. There was absolutely nothing in the work to made me reconcile and get invested either.
It's kinda like Sword Art Online and whatnot. Definitely not well written, but its fans love the idea. Fanfiction also often works like that.


If you expect popular works to be well written.. you just get sad. That almost never happens. Stories, especially for a relatively mainstream audience, are always catering to expectations, demand and what's popular to begin with. And perhaps also what the writer simply likes. You will never get past that, so it's always a good idea to find writers that like things you do as well.
#19 by lemonov
2021-04-17 at 09:20
< report >#18 got filtered by Extra and it's painfully obvious.
Buddy, MLA has no harem, barely has any SoL, and follows a single herione.
Also you trying to pretend that it isn't well written is hilarious as well. Just admit yourself being filtered and stop lying.
#16 haven't read it either, judging by how much details he gets wrong. Probably got his info from some anecdote and made up some reasons to be contrarian in the process.
#20 by dillpicklely
2021-04-17 at 23:39
< report >#19 We need to reconcile to the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that slandering other peoples’ takes isn’t going to do the game justly. I did in fact binge read through ML and MLA and I don’t think it deserves to be in the discussion of best VN of all-time. Quite frankly, I think several members in the MLA fanbase are a bit too self-indulgent. Love it or even if you hate it you’ll respect it, the best VN of all-time is House in Fata Morgana.
#21 by ichigokami
2021-04-18 at 02:09
< report >no its white album 2.
#22 by leulight
2021-04-18 at 08:50
< report >#20 Fata Morgana exactly suffers from not telling us too much lol, which is why the original VN will never be a 10. Still the 3rd best VN though, After MLA and Umineko.
#23 by lemonov
2021-04-18 at 09:35
< report >#20 You were greatly exaggerating the lore dumps, telling us that 2 H-scenes in 60 hours is some pop culture reference I don't get, and talking about shock value even though there's exactly one shocking scene in the entirety of the VN. At least, exactly one scene where the reader is meant to be shocked. Of course I would think that you just saw the chomp clip somewhere online, read up some negative reviews to strenghten your dislike, and then went on with hating MLA. If that's not the case, sorry.
I can go into an entire discussion about why the lore dumps were needed and only strenghten the VN's narrative, making the world more believable, but I don't really see the point. It's just funny how you call it "tissue paper" first and then quickly backtrack with the classic "it's just an opinion gaize" at the first sign of offense. If you want me to respect your opinion, respect mine first.
#24 by dillpicklely
2021-04-19 at 04:26
< report >#23 I don't know what you're on about, but the best sci-fi of all time is Tron Legacy followed by Evangelion. I bought Muv Luv brand new, but the plot was second-hand. I want my money back.
#25 by encrypted12345
2021-04-19 at 05:49
< report >I don't think MLA quite deserves a 10 (though being my favorite pure VN is why I rated it a 9.1 despite thinking all of the VNs I rated a 9 are all about the same level of quality including MLA). It's a bit too flawed for that, especially pacing wise, not to mention the fact you have to suffer through Extra. That said, its highs are definitely high, and it's many peoples' favorite for a good reason, even if the mecha aspect is a big reason as to why it is mine.

@20
>opinion is subjective
>Objectively, MLA shouldn't be subjectively considered one of the best VNs of all time.
>Fata Morgana is objectively the best VN
Almighty Lord, there is so much wrong with this post. I like Fata Morgana for sure, but I can't rate it higher than an 8.