|#1 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-07 at 22:50
|< report >Can you give me some examples of titles that 'transcend beyond a mere piece of fiction'? I think I understand what you are saying but im not sure.|
|#2 by Hudunnit|
2023-06-08 at 06:54
|< report >Sure, #1. |
What I meant to do with the phrase 'transcend beyond a mere piece of fiction' is to simply seperate and define the difference between a well written story and an impactful story. There are many well written stories, Fata Morgana being the topical example, however there are very few stories that are able to leave a strong unwavering and personal impact on the reader.
Of course this is largely subjective, hence the side note at the bottom, but what I was attempting to get across in my thoughts was that a story's quality is not the deciding factor on whether a story is impactful or not, for while I am aware and heavily enjoyed Fata Morganas high quality work, I was nevertheless unable to connect with it on a level that 'transcends it beyond mere fiction.' In my review I hypothesised this was perhaps as a result of its inherent safe or foundations-over-risk approach, however simply being satisfied with that answer would be overly reductionist. In truth, there a numerous reasons, many of which are most likely dependent entirely on a subjective reader, that could cause a piece of work to not reach this supposed echelon.
A transcendental piece of fiction, to me, is a work that leaves the reader with a strong lasting impression. This can range from leaving the reader with philosophical questions as a result of challenging their world views, or resonating with the reader on an emotional level at an atypically high level, to potentially changing how the reader acts or thinks about things outside of the VN, or even something as simple as being a piece of work the reader ends up loving with all their heart. This is an evidently rather broad explanation, but I hope it illuminates you a little bit more on my thought process here.
As for some examples, I personally found works such as Higurashi + Kei, Umineko + Chiru, and Saya no Uta such that personally met that criteria for me. I apologise I could not recommend more niche work if you were attempting to get recommendations for such though, haha.
These revelations may not be new or particularly enlightening to you, however to me they were quite so. I find Fata Morgana an interesting personal case to me, for despite critically thinking that Fata Morgana as a story is more masterfully done when looked at simply quality-wise, I still find works such as Higurashi vastly more memorable and enjoyable. Thus leading me to believe that perhaps a works quality and impactfulness are not directly parallel, and that perhaps a story written at a lower standard of quality can still end up being more impactful overall. This isn't to say Higurashi isn't excellent in its own right, but perhaps an equilibrium must be achieved mixing experimentation/fresh ideas with solid foundation, in order to truly stand out, at least to me.
Thanks for your comment, and of course I would very much be for discussion on Fata Morgana have you any difference in opinion you think might be interesting to bring up.Last modified on 2023-06-08 at 10:17
|#3 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-08 at 13:01
|< report >In that case sure im interested. This may be very longwinded. I tend to ramble.|
I understand that you are being subjective, and I would like to talk about this for enjoyment sake.
The main thing im going to relate to, for this entire work is emotion, and empathy.
If I was forced to name only a handful of VN's that rely heavily on the empathy of the reader, I would probably stick Fata at or near the top of my entire read list. This vn demands a lot of it, and I think this is a double edged blade. I lean to the empathetic side so it's difficult for me to view it the other way, but I can imagine that it would be an issue when reading this vn for that side. Not being able to resonate might have adverse effects to the major dramatic twists in this game.
On the work being foundations-over-risk.
Fata Morgana got a bit of controversy due to the lgbt issues that are present in the game. It's a pretty sensitive topic and plays a large role in the games story.
There's various other things that are disturbing but those hover around standard thriller/drama elements I suppose not worth going further into.
I would say that the vn took it's risks in depicting such a character in a serious way. Perhaps this passes by for anyone that has not experienced this kind of thing through the lens of their life be it friends, family, or even themselves. For me personally though, it hit me in quite a soft spot as I have a close friend that struggles with this very thing. Let me tell you as well, the way Fata depicts it on an emotional level (though dramatic) is accurate. Especially when it came to the conflicts with my friends family, though I will stop there on that particular point since it's rough to talk about.
As for any other mentions in terms of things that were unique, I would mention the music as well. I felt like it was truly unique compared to other things that I have played. Much of it had vocals but the difference was the vocals were not intrusive. What I mean by this is they did not get in the way of the experience. They felt part of the music itself, as if they were instruments. I never get distracted by it. I thought that was unique and wonderfully executed. The vocalist behind most of the tracks has such an amazing voice. I also felt like the artstyle and theme was unusual vs the norm, but it was pleasant and grew on me quickly.
So then onto the lasting impressions.
Well, it goes without saying the above topic also did that for me. But there were quite a lot of things for me personally that I will never forget. Be it things that people may never have noticed, like reading the backlog on a certain chapter disturbed me. Emotional scenes that hit me, such as a certain character breaking down infront of someone and baring everything to them which still makes me tear up just thinking back to it.
Or the twists that I knew were coming, but I did not want to believe them to be true that hurt to read.
The inner conflicts of all the characters all made sense to me, which I feel is something worth mentioning.
Michel's door is probably the most grueling thing I've ever read through in any visual novel. Even the deepest depths of Umineko's cruelty and heartache just don't reach the soul-crushing lengths of this entire segment for me. It's a tale of suffering and tragedy, about innocent people who did nothing to deserve the cruelty that was played out upon them.
There were many other scenes that did this to me, and very few vn's have driven this much emotion out of me.
Then I have the more pleasant, sometimes funny memories such as the upbeat change of pace with Dammi una Sigaretta playing in the background, with my fave character Jacopo being the way he is.
All of this accompanied by a lovely gothic artstyle, and masterful music tracks such as Fabula escrita, Everybody's Crying, Girlhood in Shambles and of course The House In Fata Morgana. Which you could search and replay right now, and if hearing those tracks once more do not stir you in any way then there's something missing in your heart.
I may be starting to get off track here so yeah, when were talking about lasting impressions again Fata is probably on the top of my list. I will never forget this story, it's music, it's characters, and how much emotion it drew out of me.
So when I see words such as the ones that you layed down. I was rather sad, for anyone that was unable to experience this the way I did.
As for those examples, I have read all of those titles. I adore the Um&Hig series, though Saya did not click with me.
The last thing I want to say is just a suggestion. I don't mean to offend you but I think it might be helpful in the future to use a bit plainer english in your text, in consideration for the general person who may read the review and/or posts. It's a very minor thing so feel free to disregard that.Last modified on 2023-06-08 at 13:20
|#4 by Hudunnit|
2023-06-08 at 16:56
|< report >--In regards to my English--|
No offence taken, I am aware that my English when attempting to write seriously can be a bit pretentious in the sense it uses bigger words than necessary. I'll attempt to amend it from here on out.
--In regards to your response to my 'foundations-over-risk' argument--
In your first point I will have to agree with you. Truthfully, I did not consider the LGBT themes to be much of a risk, and, yes, this is potentially due to my lack of proximity to any LGBT related issues. Considering the fact that such themes are often controversial, especially back during Fata Morganas original release time, I will concede and say that perhaps Fata Morgana is more risk taking than I originally believed.
Despite that I'd like to clarify I did empathise with the themes greatly, while I have no experience in the specific elements of the themes described, I believe there to be great overlap in many of the feelings and events portrayed with things I can relate to, and despite not having personal experiences with the specifics, I am still able to understand and sympathise from a baseline morality viewpoint, though, of course, claiming it's equivalent to yours or someone who's experienced such things first hand would be disingenuous.
As for the music.. While I agree the OST is certainly both top class and very unique at the same time, I'm not sure if I would intuitively define its uniqueness as a risk. Thinking about it further however, I find no reason why I wouldn't, and so I'll agree with you for the times being, however something about this claim rubs me wrongly. Not really sure.
--In regards to your response to my lasting impressions argument--
I'm not really sure how to approach a response to this segment, truthfully. I too felt disturbed by the backlog, hit by the emotional scenes, felt pained by the twists, and found all inner conflicts sensible. Evidently not as strongly as you, which is the only real difference I can say in this regard. I suppose it's simply a matter of personal tastes. As for Michel's Door... I agree with you in saying I haven't read anything near its level in Visual Novel format, but I have consumed content far more gruelling in other forms of media such as movies or books, and so I suppose that could be why I did not react so viscerally as you seemed to have. That being said, If there's any scene in Fata Morgana that truly did irk me, it would have to be Morganas backstory, specifically when she was initially enslaved and drained for blood by the first lord.
"So when I see words such as the ones that you layed down. I was rather sad, for anyone that was unable to experience this the way I did."
Don't be. I find it interesting that we can have differing opinions and experiences of the same piece of media at all. I was glad seeing you respond to me in such length, and with such differing opinions too. The fact that said response also changed my perspective at all (ala risk taking) further shows how worthwhile it all was. And if it means anything, Jacopo too is my favourite character, meaning we did, even if only for one character, experience things similarly.
This is all to say that I did genuinely like and enjoy Fata Morgana, and this is evident in the fact I consumed it in only a weeks time, despite the many other things that jived for my attention. 7.5/10 is, to me, a very high score, with 9s and 10s only really being saved for my absolute favourites, so please do not think I in anyway disliked it.
I'm glad you adore the Um&Hig series as I do, and while I would like to inquire more about your thoughts on Saya no Uta, it would be rather off topic.
I hope my English was easier to read this time around. >_<Last modified on 2023-06-08 at 17:13
|#5 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-08 at 21:43
|< report >Oh yeah way easier this time so nothing to worry about it was a very minor thing. Curious though do you use writing as work/hobby in any way? because I heard that sort of thing happens with people that do without them intending to. I never thought that you were doing in purposefully to appear in a certain way or anything like that either, it's way easier to spot those 'kinds' of people to be honest.|
I understand if you can't quite relate to me fully. A lot of what I said was backed by a sort of passion that only comes out from somebody who values something greatly, with a bit less logic used. Which is quite unlike me to do to be honest. Though you related to most of it so that's good.
I would say the thing I talked about with the music was something that simply came out of me as I was writing, perhaps it felt off because I was not quite sure how I wanted to relate it to what we were talking about. It may not have fit anywhere with the topic. That's the sort of rambling side of me where sometimes I will come out with something that maybe does not relate enough to the original topic, since I talked about something as being unique despite the original statement being about risk.
Which are two things that may not relate to eachother properly. I tend to struggle when it comes to where I should put my thoughts, sometimes I will move an entire paragraph somewhere else later. Or perhaps add something 5 mins after I post something, similar to that kind of moment where you walk to the next room and suddenly remember something that was important. It's habit at this point.
The main thing that I wanted to drive home when it came to most of the points I made was something I failed to mention in the end since I felt that I was getting a bit too longwinded, but basically all the points that I was making were leading toward a statement I forgot to do at the end. The thing that made it a masterpiece to me, is what it was capable of drawing out of people on an emotional level not only from me but many others that shared such sentiments with what it did do.
Rather than there being any sort of requirement for the game to be truly unique in the literal sense of the word (such as the contents of the story itself). So in my personal opinion, what it did not do was release something that has never been seen or done before (a difficult task to say the least) in some form or another. However that did not matter to me, due to everything else that it did achieve.
I will also cheat a little bit here and throw in a snippet from my past review since I failed to mention this before.
''The main thing that made it a masterpiece for me though is that nothing felt wasted. Every scene and story had a reason and meaning. There were no annoying tropes, for example.. no pointless slice of life, no lazy conclusions to the plot, and the comic relief scenes and characters were rare so when you did get that it actually was a relief and fun instead of irritating and/or boring. There was none of what you see in almost ALL other visual novels. None of that is relied upon, which for me is what made it so impressive.''
I don't take any issue at all with the scoring, everyone has their own way of sorting out in their minds how things stack up to eachother and that's perfectly fine. I only would have pointed that out if it was like 5 or below or something like that.
For me I take a bit more of an averages approach to it where I score everything based on my observations of what would be a high or low rating on this site, this is not correct or incorrect.
The result is my perspective varies in the sense that from what I have observed below 7 is poor on this site, while 7 is about average, and 8-10 being good-masterpiece. While I am sure that plenty of people do not see it in that sort of perspective. So with that said I don't see anything unusual in the score you gave at all, since it makes sense based on what your experience of it was. You never gave it a bad score. The main thing that spurred me into replying was the written text, after all.
As for Saya no Uta, the issue with that one was when I read it. It was something that I had gone through so long ago (I think around 10 years ago or longer) that I simply don't remember specifics, and only remember that it did not click with me. At the time I was not someone who read vn's as a hobby. Infact it was not until about 3 or so years ago that I started to pick them up regularly. If anything qualifies for a second read it would be that game, if I do get around to it.
If there was any single reason I could put down it would probably be that it did not match my tastes. It seems to be that it is also the kind of vn that will either click with someone or not, because there's quite a large duality between people with that title. They either love or hate it. I'll just chalk my experience down as a lack of it at the time, and I may have been unable to pick up on things that I perhaps could today.
On a last, completely random note. Since you loved Umineko you should try this out - Umineko no Naku Koro ni Musu. It's a complete shitpost just for fun, figured you would find it funny.Last modified on 2023-06-08 at 23:13
|#6 by Hudunnit|
2023-06-08 at 23:19
|< report >Consider your curiosity quenched, I am indeed technically a hobbyist writer, however this is a very very new development (in fact my whole reason for reading Fata Morgana when I did was in order to get a larger understanding of how a visual novel should be written, in which it helped exponentially), and is not the reason for why my writing is the way it is. I most likely developed it as a teenager in order to sound smarter online, lol. |
I can relate to your issue in regards to rambling. I have similar issues though nowadays they typically showcase themselves when speaking due to being unable to keep track of consistency by rereading, something I'm able to do typing/writing. Despite that I still end up editing my posts several times, as evident by comparing the post date to the last modified date - Removing sections, adding sections, minor word differences, it's never ending.
Regarding your clarification on your prior points:
I believe I was able to gather such from your prior reply so do not concern yourself with any potential misunderstandings. I truly think that perhaps then it simply was a matter of personal experience, because while it certainly did drive emotions out of me, it was definitely not to the same level it did to you or other like minded individuals.
Regarding your snippet:
I do agree with you in saying that Fata Morgana felt very mindful in its lack of waste, however to me I actually found this somewhat of a negative. I actually believe Fata Morgana would've been more impactful had it contained more slice of life scenes, more pointless comic relief. (Maybe even more tropes? I for one enjoyed Higurashis trope usage in its SOL scenes very endearing and charming..)
Of course I'm not arguing Fata Morgana should've been needlessly bloated, like most visual novels are, but I do believe that slice of life, even somewhat boring slice of life, can further the impacts of the twists and emotional moments of a story. For this I will give you an example in Higurashi.
In my first reading of Higurashi, I found that Chapter 1s SOL segment, that is to say, the first half or so of Higurashi, to be somewhat boring and a little hard to get through. I thought it was pointless, needless SOL filler that kept me from the main thriller mystery plot. However as I continued Chapter 1 into its latter half, I realized that this SOL filler actually plays an important role in properly familiarizing you with the characters and their relationships. This makes the subsequent twists to be a lot more impactful than if say, the SOL was considerably condensed (as it is in the anime.) As I continued Higurashis chapters, each of their respective SOL segments only furthered this opinion. Simply put, what seemed to be needless SOL filler ended up being crucial in justifying the stories later attempts at tugging at me emotionally, for it needed to properly familiarize and justify the emotional stakes it attempted to pass off. It worked, to me, and as a result shifted my opinion on whether filler should be considered inherently bad.
I feel like Fata Morgana could've done with slightly more filler in a similar vain, Michels relationship with his brothers, or Michel and Giselles romantic relationship while alive are two aspects of the story in particular I greatly wished had more slice of life or seemingly pointless moments to them, because I feel that way I'd have been able to more latch onto the characters, their relationships, and the subsequent twists and pains that went along with them, having been more familiarised with them as a result. A lot of said twists and pains almost didn't feel justified enough for me to truly reach an emotional level similar to yours due to this issue. I hope this section makes sense.
As for scoring, I tend to try stick to the numbers base meaning rather than assigning a relativist approach as you do, however I keep in mind said relativist approach when reading other reviews, such as yours.
My scoring system is rather simple. a 1-4 is bad, a 5 generic, a 6 good purely as a surface level piece of entertainment, 7 very good and 8 is an outstanding piece of work. As you already know, Fata Morgana falls between the last two. 9s are left for masterpieces, as I don't really consider anything to be deserving of a perfect score of 10 when attempting to score things a little bit objectively. As such I reserve 10s for Higurashi, as it is my favourite VN to date. So you could say the only difference between my 9 and my 10 is that my 10 is my favourite.
I do recommend rereading Saya no Uta if your memory of it is as hazy as you remember. Whether or not you like it is a different matter, however I believe even if you don't like it it's a very thought provoking piece of fiction, not just for the story itself, but also to illuminate to you as a reader what you enjoy and don't enjoy about several aspects of fiction.Last modified on 2023-06-08 at 23:21
|#7 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-09 at 00:10
|< report >Haha well I apologize if that made you feel like I caught you out on something, that got a bit of a laugh out me I have to admit since I never thought that was the case. |
For me it was kind of the opposite, I have been slowly learning how to voice my thoughts better over time. At first I was terrible at it and the way I put things down was extremely simple. Though I feel like I have always kept a rather straightforward approach throughout all of that process.
I agree, SOL is always a good thing if done well, and very important for character development and worldbuilding, as well as a good laugh. I believe it to be one of the more difficult sections to make interesting, so when it's done well it is something to appreciate a lot.
The other end of it comes when it is not done well, since it often serves as an introduction to a story or vn it can have poor first impressions to a reader if they get bored so early into the game.
That said, I would also have welcomed more of it in Fata myself without issue given how much I already cared about a lot of the characters.
Higurashi is a good example to be honest, since the introduction proves how important it is to have enough development via sol and a common route while at the same time demonstrates how noticable the effect can be if it is not done well. I will be frank, the introduction to the game (its initial sol and common route) were probably the weakest part of the game as a whole.
Thankfully though it had good purpose for its genre shift, but I have no doubt that if the intro was less boring it would have only served to improve the game. The issue is when other title's dont use it correctly, Higu applied it well. There are other titles that do not, and simply have a lot of it to make the game larger. So in short, when I mean no pointless slice of life I would also apply that to Higurashi as well, since even if it was poor it was not pointless.
If it's something you appreciate a lot. Then I recommend trying out the common routes in Summer Pockets, and Rewrite since both have excellent SOL and common routes. Even Majikoi if in the mood for a much more unserious comedy read.Last modified on 2023-06-09 at 00:11
|#8 by Hudunnit|
2023-06-09 at 11:08
|< report >If it means anything, I found your arguments to be compelling enough to warrant proper reflection on my own views of Fata Morgana. I think both properly voicing and reflecting on your thoughts are almost necessary skills to have if one is even slightly interested in discussion, so of course making an effort to improve said skill set is a valiant and worthwhile one. I too am an amateur when it comes to properly expressing myself, with less than perfect prose - part of the reason I decided to write any reviews at all was in an attempt to improve said abilities, and being able to discuss with you has also been beneficial to said cause. |
I agree, SOL is incredibly hard to do well and is usually very binary in the fact that it's either very enjoyable or very unenjoyable. It's quite a fine line and even well written SOL can overstay its welcome. I too think Higurashis initial SOL in chapter 1 is most likely the weakest part of the game, though I'm glad that subsequent SOL does not follow that trend. Umineko seems to improve upon this aspect, as its SOL aspects never once felt grating to me, though it arguably has less of it.
And yes, of course SOL for the sake of filler is also a prevalent issue that I'm not particularly a fan of, which is why I could appreciate Fata Morganas clean cut approach to its narrative in that aspect, even if i think it could've used just a pinch less trimming.
As for your recommendations:
Firstly I want to note I did not see your recommendation for Umineko Musu in your last comment, just to make it clear I did not ignore that section. I actually HAVE read Musu, and I did also thoroughly enjoy its faithfulness despite being a shitpost. I am surprised that it is on VNDB however, and I'm not exactly sure how right it would be to add it to my list of VNs...Hmmm....
I've been meaning to read Rewrite for a long time.. I actually have quite an odd relationship regarding Rewrite, despite having never read it myself. Considering it's also been recommended to me several times I ought to bump it up the priority list.
As for Summer Pockets, I can't say I've ever heard of it before but it kind of reminds me of ARIA. I quite enjoy good slow burn SOLs like ARIA that are even a bit more on the quiet side (Yokohama Kaidashi Kidou being another example) and so if my impression of it is correct, my interest has been piqued.
|#9 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-09 at 20:08
|< report >Yeah it was fun for sure, it's a nice little side hobby for me. No real end goal in mind when it comes to it or anything. Yeah no worries I edited in that last sentence on musu way after the original post, I thought it was a bit funny that it was on vndb as well. |
Well a bit of info on those vn's they are in the Key's line of works ( link ) I have read most all of these, and the popular stand out vn's are in release order; Clannad, Planetarian, Little Busters, Rewrite, Summer pockets. They are most known for making dramatic and plot-oriented titles, and the Nakige tag (tearjerker). With enjoyable sol and common routes as well.
For me I read most of Key's stuff in release order, though the most early stuff is rough around the edges they have a charm to them and I enjoyed doing it that way since I experienced how that brand grew and improved over time. I stuck to mainly the main games, skipping things like fandisk content though.
An interesting thing I learned recently is Key are doing a remake of ONE ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~ which was made all the way back in 1998, a little before Key's founding so its missing on the list but still written by Jun Maeda. Which is on my list since I never read the original.
|#10 by Hudunnit|
2023-06-09 at 22:58
|< report >I have read Planetarian, and both Little Busters and Clannad (Little Busters moreso) are both works that I've been meaning to read for a while along with Rewrite. I heavily enjoyed Planetarian (Its OST is also one I found quite memorable), so I assume I'll enjoy the rest of their work too, though of course I know the difference in length is quite large. I think it's interesting that you read them in release order, that sounds pretty enjoyable being able to see their improvements in real time like that. Perhaps I'll adopt said method, as it's a pretty unique case for me to be interested in a company's whole body of work in the first place, and so it'd be a while till I can have the option to try that again. |
I haven't heard of ONE - Kagayaku Kisetsu e -. but its art instantly strikes me as a predecessor of Clannad, with the eyes being especially reminiscent.
|#11 by cheekyman07|
2023-06-10 at 03:12
|< report >Yeah it was enjoyable for me, ofcourse not everything I read was a hit but that was fine. That was just how I progressed through things, if I read something I liked I would look up everything else made by the same people to see if there are more promising things to read.|
So it has resulted in my having a particular fondness for a handful of writers/devs, which fortunately are organized pretty neatly on here. Making them easy to look up. Fortunately bad experiences have been pretty rare for me to date. I still have a lot of stuff left to read, and that's just the for vn's. Time is the main enemy for me.
Well anyways were pretty off topic now, hope you enjoy whichever vn's you decide to read in the future. Thanks for the interesting conversation.Last modified on 2023-06-10 at 03:18