Let's Read Japanese Visual Novels!

If you would like to propose an official Kazamatsuri Bookclub, then feel free to contact me with your proposal and we’ll see what we can do. There’s already quite a few Bookclubs on the table though, and it would be pretty disastrous to have more than one Bookclub running simultaneously, so more Bookclubs will require active preparation to avoid any clashes.

It’d be strange to have a Kazamatsuri bookclub for a non-Key VN, I feel, so I’ll probably hold back on that. Unless we choose Angel Beats!, which is actually looking really, really likely so far. In any case, I’ll let you know!

Poll results are out!

Angel Beats! ~1st beat~ won by a large margin (almost everyone voted for it), while four other VNs tied for 2nd (Leyline, Flowers, Little Busters! Ecstasy, and Harumade).

We were also split on when (50/50 between ASAP and much later). The only thing we agreed on is the absolute, infallible supremacy of Angel Beats! above everything else.

With that, here’s the plan: with the Clannad Bookclub running, we’ll just take it easy and enjoy the bookclub until it wraps up. For those eager to start, I’d advise reviewing grammar, learning more vocab, and trying to read simple sentences like you can find in the NHK Easy News or try a free trial of one of these easy works: Hanahira! (ridiculously simple sentences); Yozora (most recent one on this list); Axanael; or HoshiMemo. There’s also planetarian on steam already, which can be switched to full Japanese. You can also play Battlefield 4 in Japan, which is surprisingly popular over there, from what I’ve heard. Or not surprising, since everybody loves explosions.

As for our precise start date: let’s shoot for beginning the Angel Beats! ~1st beat~ Japanese community reading program on March 1st! This may be adjusted as we draw closer to that date.


I’m interested in joining too, this definitely sounds like a fun activity which has the neat side-effect of getting better at Japanese. I have two questions though.

How will be decided which path is/decisions are going to get picked? I heard that AB in particular has tons of decisions, all which affect the game in some way.
How will reading progress be measured? For example, is it going to be a chapter a week/every two weeks/etc?

Depends on how you see it. The three routes aren’t that hard to complete. Then if you want achievements, you have take on this monster: http://seiya-saiga.com/game/key/ab1st.html

Welcome! We’d be glad to have you join us :smiley:

Nope! We haven’t a clue! It’s a ways away still, so when we draw closer, we’ll think about what way we want to do it. We can do it totally unfettered, free-for-all (I never use guides, and I never will! #stubborn), and just chat about whatever we chose to do; we can vote on what path to take/route to actively pursue in what order; or we can ask whatever @Yerian’s preference is and do the opposite. It’s really up to y’all.

There’s no requirement for reading, but the leader(s) discussion posts will go at some defined pace; it’s hard to say exactly what “length” it will be. As we get closer, we’ll look over the format of AB! and see if there’s an average length marker to go by. Chapters and days can widely vary in a lot of VNs, so we have to be wary about changing the approximate time needed to finish each week.


Nope! We haven’t a clue! It’s a ways away still, so when we draw closer, we’ll think about what way we want to do it. We can do it totally unfettered, free-for-all (I never use guides, and I never will! #stubborn), and just chat about whatever we chose to do; we can vote on what path to take/route to actively pursue in what order; or we can ask whatever @Yerian’s preference is and do the opposite. It’s really up to y’all.

Personally I’d prefer a more organised approach; I feel like that would make it easier to talk about, especially since most of us seem to be at beginner level in Japanese (?). If someone has trouble understanding a certain scene it’s easier to help out if everyone is familiar with the context. And there’s no danger of spoiling other routes. I’d say it’s worth a thought to vote for which paths to take in which order. :grinning:

I’m really looking forward to this!


Alright, guys! We’re around 10 days until the start of our collective Angel Beats! ~1st beat~ reading. Hopefully, y’all have either figured out how you’re getting a physical copy or you’ve decided to buy the download version. In any case, you should likely test it soon to make sure it works on your computer.

In addition, if this is your first Japanese reading thing ever, it might be a good idea to practice on some simple exercises beforehand to help get a little bit used to general Japanese sentence construction.

For short bursts, you can try the NHK Easy News. Each article is written in very basic Japanese; it’s a good place to practice reading and compare answers with a community.

It might also be a good idea to keep something like Tae Kim’s grammar guide open in a tab for easy reference as you read. And, of course, check out the Let’s Learn Japanese! topic for more resources.

Alright! Now it’s time to ask a rather important question.

It’s a fact that beginners are going to go slow, mainly because you have no idea what they’re saying until you slowly decrypt the meaning of each line. This means that it might take some people a really long time to get through a hundred lines, while another might make it through several hundred plus every day.

In other words: we’ll likely be reading at all kinds of different speeds. It’ll only get more confusing if we’re also going different routes, choices, and the like. In fact, Angel Beats! is actually super duper long, with about two hundred million choices.

But! There are several “main” routes we can go on, namely: Iwasawa, Matsushita, and Yui.

While I’m not much of a lover of guides, I’ll make sure to avoid choices that will lead me on other paths. So which one do y’all want to shoot for first?

I’m cool with either of the cute grills. No offense, Matsushita.

Poll time!



Tough decision, had to go with matsushita since his route puts a lot of question marks in my head.
Also, wouldn’t you recommend reading the manga first? Especially before playing matsushita’s route.

The manga is really long. For learning purposes, manga is also generally more tedious to read. From what I’ve seen, the VN is made to give you the whole story; having read the manga will let you in on more jokes, but that’s about it.

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Alright! The three were almost precisely tied, but Yui barely won. So we’ll be going Yui’s route.

We’ll begin in six days! In the meantime, test your system and make sure the game works; maybe play a little to get used to how the text-hook works. Or you can just start.

In any case, on Tuesday, March 1st, we’ll start discussion with the very first opening scene (not very long) and then move on from there!

Also, I’ll look into the guide, so we don’t drift away from Yui’s route on accident.

I have a problem here, I’m going back to my county today so I tried to run AB’s original disk on my laptop but it’s not working. I bought the game so I wouldn’t mind downloading a pirated copy of it but I don’t seem to find a working turrent/downloading link

@RyuuTamotsu, do you have some cracking program? http://cafe.naver.com/msnlovely/80994 That’s the one I use; there are others.

Also @ghagler were you intending to discuss here or distribute stuff between the normal topics? Questions about translations aside, I feel discussion about the plot is better placed in the appropriate topics for consistency’s sake.

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Participants can, naturally, discuss whatever they want wherever they want; however, for the sake of linear progression, the weekly summaries and discussion will be here, since the proper topic is “how you experienced reading the book”. So we’ll talk about the weekly reading here, though participants can go also write in other topics when they get solid thoughts on those characters/routes/etc.

I ask that we do this, please. This topic should be reserved for organizational stuff. Same reason we do it that way for the Kaza Bookclubs. Of course in this case, TL/meaning help could probably go here, but actual discussion should go in discussion topics. No reason to isolate discussion - and it’ll be much better for when other people come along later and read.

Here’s the general AB! topic: Angel Beats! - General Discussion
The -1st beat- topic: Angel Beats! - Visual Novel General Discussion
And the Yui topic, since we’ll be reading her first: Angel Beats! - Yui Route & Character Discussion

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I felt this could be useful too since all other series have one Angel Beats! - Common Route Discussion

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Alright! It’s March 1st, so it’s time to begin the Angel Beats! community read-through! yay~

So here’s the plan for now. This first week will likely be the hardest; you’ll have to dive into reading another language when you’ve possibly never done so before. Because of that, we’re going to shoot for a modest target.

I’m assuming everyone’s seen the anime, or at least the first few minutes of Episode One. So you should know that our obedient boy wakes up, meets Yurippe and her sniper rifle, and then gets shanked by the angel of God.

So we’ll just read that far. Once you get shanked, you’ll wake up in a sickroom. That’s where we’ll shoot for. It’s not very far, but it’s far enough that you’ll be able to spot how, in general, the rest of your readthrough will go, and you’ll hopefully figure out how to do stuff like: looking up new grammar; looking up new words and phrases; trying to understand what a certain particle is doing with that other particle; and so on. After that, it’ll probably be more of a free-for-all with regard to pacing, since everyone reads at different speeds.

If you can get shanked with at least a general understanding of each sentence you’ve read, then you’ll probably be set.

General rules suggested by those (hopefully) wiser than myself:

  1. Don’t freak out. It’ll be slow, probably, and not all of the sentences will make sense. But do your best to research what doesn’t make sense, and try to understand the meaning of the sentence.
  2. Don’t attempt to translate every word. Try to understand the sentence. In some cases, that might mean you get the idea even though the English translation isn’t super apparent. That’s fine, as long as you understand what that idea is. If you’re just lost, then do more research!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (but don’t spam them either). That’s why this place exists. Also, there’s /r/visualnovels which has a Discord for learning Japanese: I think this is the right link. So they might be able to help you too.
  4. What he says.

With that, I’ll go ahead and begin reading! I’ll post an update Friday or Saturday to check where we all are.

As suggested by previous notices, check out the topics for discussion on the individual characters, routes, and the like.


Still, I can’t run the VN .___.

Well, what kind of stuff have you tried?

I tried everything I did with the previous VNs I played,
But since I upgraded to windows 10 I can’t run VNs anymore idk why