I've been watching anime, reading manga, and playing visual novels for over a year now and in that time I've experienced some real extremes. I'm talking crazy, normal, pandering, and worst fictional messages. Here's some of the worst offenders (or perhaps best offenders) and vice versa.

This whole article was essentially stream of consciousness and is written in no particular order at all, or with any kind of quality assurance. Oh, I also use colorful language occasionally.


Most Fanservice:

Show: Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero


And HOW. The mere ratio of normal minutes to minutes of nudity or panty shots is almost too great to speak aloud. It's a truly incredibly shameless show that involves a lot of contrived instances of nudity, lots and lots of censor steam, and the main character using a special ability to make the girls basically piss themselves.

I couldn't make this crap up if I tried.

Show: Strike the Blood


A show where a young vampire with superpowers unlocked by sucking blood, and his vampiric urges are activated by being turned on.

Nothing to see here folks, seems normal to me.

Show: High School DxD


I don't even understand why I'm fessing up to watching this. I can't even remember what it was about after I ran my brain through the wash after seeing it.

Side note: You have no idea how difficult it is to find a Safe for Work image for this show.


Most Exceptionally Exceptional:

Visual Novel: Muv-Luv


It's actually about romantic comedy in a Japanese city.

Show: Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova


Humanity is on the brink of destruction after we lost control of the seas, and it's up to Chihaya Gunzo to save us all.

Except for that bit where the show wasn't really about him at all, it was about the ships. Hell yeah.

Most Insane:

Show: Valvrave the Liberator


Immortal Body-Swapping Space Vampire Gundam Pilots.

That's what it's about. Also there's social networks, batshit insane idols, nice childhood friends that become prime ministers, and a group of schoolchildren declaring independence.

Oh, and there's an idol episode followed by an episode where people die. There's your crazy litmus test.


Visual Novel: Dra+Koi


Starts out innocuously and then it goes downhill fast (or uphill fast if you like batshit insaneness). There's a dragon that destroys everything but really wants to understand human interaction, so she effectively rapes the protag. Oh, and the foster mother of said protag really, really likes him too much.

Oh, and did I mention it's batshit insane? Because it is. It's totally batshit insane.

But hey, it at least understands it's totally batshit and runs with it. Props.

Visual Novel: Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia: Rin's Route


This isn't what it looks like.


Actually, this is exactly what it looks like. Don't ask me to explain... please.


Most Incomprehensible:

Visual Novel: Da Capo and Da Capo II


Don't ask me to explain this series.

Alright fine. Da Capo is a visual novel where you get together with one out of a bunch of girls and then you play through their routes.

Oh, and there's also like magic and stuff since the protagonist can make candy appear out of thin air and the idol girl can read people's minds, and all this is made possible because of the Cherry Blossoms on the islands, so if the cherry blossoms all die, your powers are f*cked. Not that that's ever a plot point or anything.


But all that is just side-story nonsense that has no real importance. The real story of the first game is the true route where you and your somewhat ill sister (probably due to magic or something) get together.

Then the second game is a game where you get to play the exact same game again with slightly different characters. The idol character still has pink hair, and the sister is instead replaced with two step-sisters with independent routes. Oh, and there's also a route about an android.

And in the second game, two prominent characters from the first game come back and haven't aged a single day, with no explanation, despite the fact that it's been decades since.


I repeat, I couldn't make this crap up if I tried.

Show: Glasslip


No, no it doesn't. Didn't stop you before though, Glasslip.

Most Normal:

Visual Novel: Da Capo Fandiscs: Kotori's Stories


Take away all Da Capo's insane magic candy powers, cherry blossoms, immortality, and mind reading, and you're actually left with a ridiculously normal story.

Some of Kotori's stories are still magic (your daughter from the future comes to visit, no I'm still not kidding), but most of them are pretty normal, especially the after story that, while basically textbook "fandisc seller" material, actually contains absolutely nothing confusing or contrived.

Visual Novel: Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia: Sakura's Route


From the same visual novel as route-which-shall-not-be-named, Sakura's route is surprisingly normal for the fact that the entire setting is based around magic (or maybe I'm just being too nice since Rin's route was fucking insane). Yeah, it's probably just because Rin's was fucking insane.

Basically Kazushi is roped into a challenge where Sakura declares that she'll get him to fall for her. It doesn't really go well... at first anyway.

Worst Accidental Aesops:

Visual Novel: Da Capo Fandiscs: Kotori's Stories

Yeah, that fandisc-selling after story I talked about? Yeah, the unintentional Aesop of the story is that your happiest ending in life is if you never talk to another woman ever again after you get married.


Enjoy, sucker.

Game: Valkyria Chronicles


Intended Aesop: You shouldn't have to hide your differences to fit into society.

Actual Aesop: -Except for when you're a Valkyria. Then you should completely ignore your heritage, hide it, and become a baker instead.

Best Engrish:

Visual Novel: Muv-Luv Alternative

This obnoxious excuse for an article might be the first of a few. If you liked it, do tell me so I know I should make another one.


Otherwise, 'til next time.

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