Open Letters to Kazamatsuri

With Kazamatsuri closing its doors on the 1st of December, I wanted to create this topic as a place for people to leave open letters to the Kazamatsuri community, to express what Kazamatsuri means to them, to be archived in amber at the forum when it finally closes, much in a similar vein to this thread on Rokkenjima.

I’m still trying to find the words I want to pass on, so I’ll let someone else start. Feel free to take your time, you have two months to collect your thoughts. Let’s all reminisce on the impact Kazamatsuri has had on our lives together.

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To be honest, there are a lot of unpleasant things I could say right now, alongside the fact this is no surprise to me. However, I’ll refrain from that.

Kazamatsuri is responsible, directly or indirectly, for my entire existence as “soggysadboi” on the internet. The vast majority of people I’ve met since 2016 stem from choosing to join this forum three years ago. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Kazamatsuri dramatically changed the course of my life, despite having effectively left the site a good while ago.

So, for that much, I’ll say “thank you.” I’m glad Kazamatsuri welcomed me back then, no matter what happened later on. Meeting many of you was a pleasure, and I hope we can take this as a small chance for some of us to reconnect. Lots of fun memories to reminisce on – like becoming Kinnibros with @RyuuTamotsu – or even The Great Orca Invasion. I’m sure you all have a similar set of memories, yourselves.

I’m rambling and it’s 2 AM so I’ll wrap this up here, but I hope we can all take some time to remember these things. They’re worth a lot.

Anyway, see y’all around. :yahaha:

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It’s love.

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the few Kaza Irl meetings, even bonecuss who turned out to be Shawn from Mega64.

I will say those of you who I were able to meet indirectly from Kaza was an absolute pleasure. A special shout out to Glen, Tama, Aspy, Peter
As well as one of the coolest people ever, and my idol of all idol buff peeps.

Goodbye Kaza. Bonecuss was a mistake. (Not really but gotta keep on brand)

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Don’t know how to react about our graduation. I’m half-surprise half-accepting it, since I know our activities is no longer lively as before and many members have their own lives.

But the most important is that I can share my likeness about Key’s works to you all members here. I, maybe not a active member of this forum, but this forum is a place where I can discuss and know each other about Key. But truly I really grateful to know this forum and its member.

If we meet in the real life, don’t forget to say hi or talk about Key!

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I don’t know where I would be if Kazamatsuri wasn’t part of my life.
It’s had an immeasurable impact on all aspects of my life, still does every day, and its echoes will surely remain for the rest of my life.
It’ll always have its own place in my heart.

Just wanted to write something small, I’ll write some more soon. I’m glad that there will be an archive.

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Kazamatsuri actually meant quite a bit to me, While I have only been here for less than half of a year, I got to know other people in the community who also enjoyed the content from Key like I did. I first found out about Kazamatsuri when I was playing Little Busters! back in October 2018 from their guides, after that I found out they had a forum which I enjoyed reading in my free time, later around 3 months ago I decided to create an account so I can start chatting with community. During my time here, I got to beable to meet some great people and learn about them and speak with them here. Chatting here and reading all the analytical text the community has written has also helped me get more confident with writing in forums. And thanks to this community I was even able to meet up with someone in person at a local convention for my first time.

Seeing now that Kazamatsuri is now closing was sudden sad news to me, There was so much more I wanted to do in the future in this community like beable to participate in events like the bookclubs which I enjoyed listening to and start sharing my thoughts of some of the newer VNs.
Well I had a lot of fun with being in this community and I will never forget how much Kazamatsuri as a whole has meant me. I’m grateful to be able to join Kazamatsuri and thank you all for everything you have done.

…I might have went a bit off topic.

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Kazamatsuri had come in my life in one of my darkest moment’s in life, and the timing of me joining in and finally feeling like I had a place to belong to changed my life beyond of what I could think of.

Without Kaza, I would not have seen people have similiar viewpoints and psychological insights onto some of the Key works I always held, and wanting to share them.
I finally managed to find people that would accept me.
I would have been probably still alone if I didnt stumble upon Kaza.
I would’nt have made a megane girls topic.
I WOULDNT HAVE MADE A KAZAVERSARY VIDEO!
I would’nt have remixed Shalala Ecstasy.
And of course, I made literal best friends that I am super grateful for.
Without Kaza I would’nt even have met @Pepe @RyuuTamotsu @Glenn_Irish in Japan, @Bonecuss in UK and @Mogaoscar coming over to Czech to hang out.
Eventually, I finally got my own “Little Busters” which made me feel like I am alive again.

Its been a crazy ride and even still the Kazamatsuri forum is shutting down, I am happy that a form of communication will remain on discord.

It is crazy to think about how much Kaza has made an impact on my life and for that I am forever grateful as it has been only better and better ever since.
I’m also glad there will be an archive so we can look through old posts.

I might edit this later as there is so much going through my head I wanted to get my main points out of my head.

Goodbye Kaza, thank you for everything, and thank you everyone. You’ll always have a place in my heart.

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So, three years ago I was new to the world of VNs, and I read Clannad. On finishing and desperate to be able to put my feelings in written form - even if incoherent ramblings - I found Kazamatsuri, thought I’d make the one introductory post to express my sentiments and probably be done. What new things could I say about a work that most people had likely read years ago and been discussed to within nanometers of its death? I should not have worried, I wasn’t ignored and dismissed as a n00b but welcomed in and I quickly knew that many others felt the same way about this wonderful story and its creators. Not only that but there was desire that like minded souls could find a little haven together.

Not that Kaza has been a home solely for unquestioning fan worship; criticism, analysis and debate is as much a part of discussion as praise, and all the while on the basis of mutual respect for differing opinions. It’s also been an outlet for creativity in the fields of artwork, music and memes. There is a shared joy in the comedy of the works as well as the tragedy.

Without Kaza I almost certainly wouldn’t have tried to obtain the Key VNs not on Steam with official translation which would have been a big oversight on my part. The collective enthusiasm for them made me seek them out and knowing I’d be able to share my thoughts with others added to the anticipation. I’ve expanded my little anime library thanks to recommendations and comments in the forums.

When I had doubts about joining in The Winter Festival last year, and thinking of being not much more than a reluctant lurker, these were quickly dispelled as the team from all around the world got into the spirit of it and I soon got caught up in it, enjoying our own efforts but also those of the other members in the teams taking part. As someone who finds the Christmas & New Year difficult for personal reasons, this turned out to one of the most fun festive periods since I was a kid!

I can only wish that I had the confidence and insight to join in on some of the shared activities such as the podcasts…

It’s easy to take for granted free content on the web, and of course none if this would have been possible without the vision and commitment of everyone who helped to make the Kazamatsuri site a reality. Not just from the PoV of finances but to make time from the demands of real life and to try and make a virtual community here with quality at the fore - not easy in this cynical age! A huge thanks, and I hope that our paths continue to cross on Discord and elsewhere, and that we can keep a little light orb or two out there on the big bad web in the future.
~
Chiisana te de mo hanarete mo bokura ha kono michi yukunda
Itsuka kuru hi ha ichiban no omoide wo shimatte

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I may not have been a part of Kazamatsuri for long, but I can’t say that I don’t have strong feelings towards it. I got into Key back in early-mid 2014 and I’ve followed Kazamatsuri since then (back when it was still called “Kazamatsuri.Org”), and I have a lot of fond memories about it. I loved reading the forums, seeing the discussions, listening to the podcasts and seeing everyone’s reactions to Key officially localising titles among other pieces of news. I really haven’t seen anything like this – there’s no visual novel community like it. While there may be subreddits of certain series like Grisaia and Muv-Luv, I cannot truly call them communities when comparing them to this. I love Kazamatsuri. I love it so much. I love what it represents – a group of people that have been touched by Key in one way or another coming together. I still have yet to meet another visual novel fan in person, yet alone a Key fan, so this community gave me so much happiness knowing that it existed. Key is a huge part of me – it has defined many things about me, reminded me of so many things, helped me through the toughest times in my life and shown me how beautiful life is, so even just knowing that there were other people like that gave me so much happiness.

I’m generally a really socially awkward person, but this community gave me a reason to try to stop that. Kazamatsuri gave me a reason to talk to more people, a reason work on covers and remixes of music, a reason to look at the novels in depth, and a reason to love Key’s works even more. I honestly can’t think of a community like this. I can’t think of a community that allows for such in-depth discussions about visual novels, one that would make a book with info and fan art of each of the games, and I definitely can’t think of a community that is as kind, welcoming, encouraging and supportive as this one. I love the fact the people went out of their way to make this place exist. I love all the people I’ve talked to. I love the how open the community is, and how it is always encouraging people to try their best. I love the kindness this community has given me. I just love this place so much – I love it as much as I love Key. I only wish that I had the confidence to join earlier – that is my biggest regret.

Writing this out has been quite difficult because of how much this place means to me. I honestly can’t fully process that it’s leaving - it doesn’t feel real to me. I don’t want it to go – I want to have more community events and bookclubs and just have an excuse to get to know people more and hear their views on things. I want to get to know more people that share a love for Key and share experiences with them. I want to make happy memories with everyone because everyone here sure gave me some happy memories over the past five years. Being a part of this community has been so much fun, and I wish this site could just continue forever, but I know that eventually all things must come to an end and I have to accept that despite how much it saddens me. I do not hold it against anyone that this place must end - I am only thankful to those who made this possible, and to those who made this place what it is.

To quote Little Busters!, “The encounter is much more important than the loss. Losing people is sad and painful. Yet I now know that, compared to that pain… coming to know people and spending time with them is much, much more valuable… That those encounters are something precious and irreplaceable… Of course losing people is sad. But there are so many people waiting for me to meet them. There are so many precious moments waiting to be spent. And some day, I will make everyone know that having been born is such a wonderful thing. I will tell even those who are afraid of being born of all those wonderful people I met, and how happy they made me. I will tell people in another world, far from here. So… I will accept my birth. I will be born into a whole new world.”

It has been an absolute privilege and an honour being a part of Kazamatsuri, even if it was only for a small amount of time, and thank you to everyone for making it possible.

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I am both very sad and also kinda fine with this.

I began my Key interactions with the Clannad anime and then read Rewrite as next big one. I really enjoyed both, and I had a lot to talk about when it came to Rewrite. For some reason I enjoyed it even more, and wanted to talk about it. Back then I think I’ve heard about Kazamatsuri but did not really know what it was, and I think I’ve seen Aspi somewhere on social media every now and than.
Little did I know I’d enjoy it as much as I did when I joined eventually for the LB bookclub. It was a great time, and I came to love the community. Ended up using a lot of time camping new posts on the forum and even catching up what happened in discord over night. During that time Kaza was very active, and really treasured it. I really felt a vibe of familiarity.

However, around the time when the podcasts and the bookclub came to a hold, everything else kinda came to a hold as well. I got disctracted from catching up, the bookclub did not advance and so my reading slowed down a little as well in the beginning. When we got more active again, my life and habits had changed and never really got back into keeping to catch up, and I kinda regret that. Yet at the same time, I need to force myself to write something up myself, I am kinda bad at bringing my thoughts into words at times (count how many times the word “I” was repeated in this post and you’ll notice how bad I am at writing). I’ve used the title “Reader” for a reason, since that was my primary activity - less posting myself, more reading, but whenever possible, joining community events since I still like being here and doing stuff with others. In that regard, I am fine with Kaza closing down in a way - I can still read (although no new posts, but there is a lot unread for me still) and I can still interact with people in discord - so the community is staying as well.

Aspi said in the discussion on discord today

“Kaza started long after forums were no longer in fashion. And we proved them wrong for a good few years”

and I think that’s part of the reason why this is happening. I still really enjoy forums, but people tend to prefer shorter burts of communition and more direct dialogue nowadays. Setting aside less time for these kinds of things. Me included most of the time unfortunatly.

I still hold Kaza in big regards and enjoy being part of it, even when it’s down to a discord server in the future. I also enjoy the memories I have made. As I said, I am bit sad this is happening, but since so much will stay that is important to my enjoyment and feeling of this.
Thank you everyone who made this possible, be it actively working on it or just being part!

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So,the time’s come at last…
I remember that day. January 19th,2015. A brisk breeze rolled in,as I got a notification on Skype.
It was from @Bowiie “Hey,there’s an Air Bookclub going down on this site,get in here ya weeb”.

I know I haven’t participated in most of the Kazamatsuri events,but the ones I did still leave a strong impression on me. At times I find it strange how often I think about the AIR Bookclub,and how I probably would never have played AIR,or even liked it,if I hadn’t taken part. I’m the kinda guy that sticks his toes in a lot of pies. Ankle deep at most in the communities I involve myself in. I like to inwardly reflect,and I find it hard to keep up with personal friends,time to myself,and also be involved with multiple communities. Not many ever have such a lasting influence on me,that’s why I can say for certain that this one has always had that special “something”. Even something like the VN Bookclubs,or the Kaza Chorus’ is,in a way, out of character for me.

I’ve always been a huge memester,so things like breaking the mumble chat with kfe memes,when we were supposed to be recording,or the absolute state of my photo topic,will always remain with me. You can still google it btw Even my current picture,ever since I made it,I’ve never changed my Discord picture a single time,because in a way,it felt wrong. I made my Discord for Kaza in the first place,so I’ve always kept it out of a sense of appreciation,I suppose.

Even beyond that,though. I still have this strange attachment,and nostalgia for this community,which is rare for me,even despite my lack of presence. I’m not sure how to truly express my feelings Kazamatsuri,so instead I think I’ll personally thank @Aspirety,and everyone that supported him up to this point. I may be a bit of a ghost,but I’ll always be thankful for the great memories this community gave me.

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In 2009, the CLANNAD -After Story- anime became the first piece of media to ever make me cry.

After that, I had to know what else these people had done. I ended up finding a visual novel called Little Busters!, with just a single route translated - and the translation group’s IRC channel, where I’d hang out daily over the next couple of years. As it turns out, if a bunch of people gather over their shared love of a story about friendship (and muscles), that’s what the place becomes filled with. But as these things are wont to go, when the last route was done and it hit us all like a bus, activity started to dwindle, and people scattered elsewhere.

In 2013, one of my friends from that channel, @Aspirety, approached me about doing something to try to bring back that feeling, to create another place to bond over our shared love of KEY, friendship, and the Muscle Sensation.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect it to actually go anywhere - but hey, I’d be dammed if I didn’t at least try. So over my winter break, I rented a bottom-of-the-shelf cloud server, grabbed one of the early betas for this new forum software I’d seen mentioned on Twitter, and hacked something together. Some of you may remember the times when I had to take the site down for a bit, because the server didn’t have enough RAM to both run the forum and compile a new build.

In hindsight, listening to the person with the Kyousuke avatar coming out of nowhere and asking me to come play baseball was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I used to be a very quiet sort, struggled with a language barrier, and I related very strongly to Rin in Little Busters!. I was happy to just sit by the sidelines and watch, but Kaza gave even somebody like me a place to feel like I belonged. Today, I’m in a much better place, I’ve become somebody I never would have without you all, and I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime.

Kaza first opened its doors nearly six years ago. Back then, Little Busters! on Steam was a punchline, something that would never happen.

Since then, so many things have happened. We’ve done so much together. We’ve discussed our favourite stories together, argued over who’s best girl, debated the narrative value of H scenes until we all decided to just never mention it again (sorry!), built the entire Little Busters! school in Minecraft, cheered as the CLANNAD kickstarter hit stretch goal after stretch goal, shared deeply personal moments together, sung drunk karaoke together. I somehow own a copy of Little Busters! on Steam, and I’d like to think we had some part in making that happen.

And, one by one, many of us have moved on. I don’t see that as a failure. People change and so do our needs - I just hope that Kaza could be what you needed during your stay, and that it was something worth treasuring.

The natural end point of a community occurs when enough people have moved on, and activity tapers off. At that point, there are a couple of things you can do. You can change, try to be something new for other people, maybe bring back some of the people who moved on - but at that point, you’re no longer what they left behind. You can let it fall into obscurity, until nobody cares to keep the servers running anymore, and let it quietly fall off the face of the internet. Or, you can end it with a bang, throw a party, write emotional letters, then preserve it in amber - and let it live on in all of our hearts, forever.

Let’s go out with a bang. Let’s celebrate these six years, whether you’ve been around since the beginning, or you signed up yesterday.

Let’s keep sharing our love with the world.

Because Kazamatsuri is eternal.

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While I may not have frequented here as much as others, it’s plain to see the importance of this site. This site has touched the lives of many, and brought together those who most likely wouldn’t have met otherwise. For one, I probably wouldn’t have met my lovely wife @liclac.

I’ve poked my head in here a few times throughout the years and never once have I felt like an outsider. I have fond memories of @Aspirety randomly dragging me into a game of Tanka on Discord with no explanation and I ended up having a blast. Or when I went out to lunch with @cjlim2007 in California during Fanime 2016. There’s also been the movie nights which were also great.

I want to thank everyone for including me, despite me not being around very much. Kaza is a wonderful place because of people like you all. I know that attitude and mentality will live on even after Kaza is long gone.

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All things considered, this website lasted longer than I think anyone expected. It began at an age where Key and Visual Arts recoiled from the idea of western readers. It was a moment where Key were radio silent. It was quite a miracle that before running out of prime discussion material we were suddenly hit with not only an official English release of planetarian, but also many other Key titles. There were some super cool announcements of both Angel Beats and Charlotte which got everyone hyped. Sora no Method was a thing… The cursed AIR translation efforts were finally put to rest with two separate translations, and we got a bunch of anime adaptations that no one seriously expected to ever happen. It was possibly the most active period Key have ever had, so it really was lucky. It was a pleasure to live through those massive changes alongside everyone here.

Away from the forum, I didn’t spend long in the community, but that initial year or so was super chill and comfy. The Skype vs Discord debacle is a fond memory, and even after moving away from the Discord server the people here have treated me with nothing but respect. There are some wonderful people here. I feel like I’ve gained more from the site than I ever gave to it, and that leaves me feeling a bit guilty, but I guess it’s better than the opposite~
I’ll certainly miss checking the site daily and sending people messages.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Graduation

I haven’t been here in a while. In fact my email tells me my last visit was in like January of this year, and I dropped out of the Discord since I don’t talk much there anymore (I generally prune Discords I don’t talk in). I’ve always considered myself very nomadic when it comes to fandoms, drifting from one interest to another, and that’s probably the main reason I haven’t been around lately.

Way back in August of 2014, I was working my way through LB Refrain and I got this tweet sent to me from @Aspirety

It’s been over 5 years since then. Was a bit shocked when I read the news this morning that Kazamatsuri was shutting down.

I had a lot of fun here. I met a lot of good friends, been on one of the podcasts, played Danmaku, did IRL stuff like meeting up with cool people from here to eat food and sing karaoke in Japan last winter. I’m thankful for the good times.

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wtf am I supposed to use as my homepage now /s

It’s no exaggeration to say my internet presence wouldn’t exist without Kaza. Twitter, Discord, and Steam (3 of my most used apps) were made because of people here. Without exposure to those, I’d probably still be watching american sitcom reruns or something else to pass the time (I don’t even want to think about that…)

It’s so weird to think I have friends around the world thanks to Kaza, from visiting @RyuuTamotsu @Glenn_Irish and @daysofsummer in Japan, to making cool things for secret santa, to @NotKyon and his band of idiots, to hanging out with @liclac and @cjlim2007 at Fanime 2016, and to gaming with people on discord, it’s just so surreal that I can pick a random country and there’s probably a friendly Key fan from there willing to meet up. I hope Kaza secret santa and new years stick around. I can’t imagine going a year without it.

Another great thing I loved about this community is the acceptance to all forms of media. I’m not particularly analytical when I read VNs/watch anime, so I always felt that I had nothing to contribute to topic discussions. However I was able to show my love for Key in other ways I had more talent in, like 3D printing dangos, playing Dango Daikazoku on a CNC mill, and making stupid photoshop memes (I use paint.net but w/e :derp:) and it was well received nonetheless.

I feel like I should put something about @cjlim2007 but he already knows what he did. He has the power of shill.

I know its corny, but these lyrics from Boys be Smile have had my attention since I first heard it, and I’ve found them relevant every time a chapter of something in life comes to a close.

Donna tanoshii koto mo
Itsuka wa owaru mono
Omatsuri no you na mono de
Samishii dake

No matter how fun it is
It is something that will end someday
It’s just like with a festival
It just makes me feel lonely


There's honestly nothing I'd rather see when I open mozilla

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wtf am I supposed to use as my homepage now…
There’s a lot to unpack here but you know I had to at least bring this up again. Let it forever be known that the way I convinced him to join kaza was this picture posted in the voice channel of discord on 9/23/15. Thanks @Gnashes.
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You can probably see now why we are the way that we are… but so is the rest of kaza am I right?

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