Anticipating Hakuouki in English / Otome Games are Visual Novels!

I love this MAD so much! ❀(*´◡`*)❀ All my thanks to the creator for making it and to Kokia for creating such a beautiful song. Kazuki Yone sure draws good expressions for the guys and for Chizuru, she’s unbeatable in this aspect.

Anyway Hakuouki English version will be coming in February 15th! I’m looking forward to it :3

Being the first otome game to be localized in English, Hakuouki is getting a lot of attention. The problem is, it feels like a lot of people are getting the wrong idea of otome games, and it saddens me when they think they’re just dating sims for girls and that the point is to get a love-love ending with the guy you want. First of all, most otome games including Hakuouki are not dating sims, but are visual novels. The word ‘novel’ should be emphasized much more because that’s essentially what it is. It has more qualities of a novel than of a game. Think of a novel with romance themes.. for example Twilight, or Meg Cabot’s stuff. The main character (a girl) meets a hot boy, usually more than one for the drama, and she falls in love with one of them while the story unfolds. The difference is in a VN, there isn’t only one ending. Suppose if Twilight were a VN, what if Bella had chosen Jacob instead of Edward? How would we know what happens to her and how the story turns out? Thats where the choices come in, to determine which scenes you’d get to read. If there’s only one choice, then it’d be too easy.. your choices could lead you to different endings with different characters, or a Bad End. You can explore the ‘what if’ possibilities by viewing all the scenes, devouring the story from different viewpoints. Second, to get a good ending with the guy you want is NOT the point. Why do people read romance novels? To reach the words ‘The End’? Just for the romance? You are meant to enjoy the story similar as you would when reading a book, not to win anything. The word ‘game’ misleads. Aksys’s product descriptions don’t do much good in solving this misunderstanding. Too bad Hakuouki counts foremost as a game so it draws more attention to typical gamers than those who would be interested. That and the cultural difference is just so large.

I don’t know if the English version of Hakuouki will be successful, though I hope it will be.. just so more people can enjoy what I enjoy ‘w’ Just as a side note, it was pretty easy for me to get hooked into otome games. I like reading books (mostly novels in English), I like anime/manga, I love RPGs and games with a good story.. I always wished there was more romance those stories.. Now I prefer otome games more than books/manga because of the extras (voice!, bgm, visuals). Yet I still enjoy a little bit of everything because everywhere there’s always something unique. I’d be happier if I had more time to clear the games in my backlog.

PS. I’m buying Hakuoki Limited Version to support Hakuouki and Aksys. It’s really cheap compared to the games/books I import from Japan. (Japanese LE w/o shipping costs twice as much as Hakuoki LE w/shipping) Even though I hate the logo font srsly + it annoys me that there’s a ‘u’ missing in the title. I literally read the English version as はくおき.
PS2. Come to think of it, Twilight and Hakuouki are rather similar. They’re not the best of their category but both enjoy huge popularity and countless adaptations etc. I do admit that the story and characters in both titles have a lot of charm. (´・ω・`)
PS3. I still think its a big shame Aksys couldn’t localize Hakuouki Junsouroku (PS3 version). I’d get that with even less hesitation. Even better, they should try port it to Apple’s products and distribute it through iTunes. Everyone has iPhones/iPads nowadays and have free time to spend with it.
PS4. I have an unfinished Okita Souji fangirl post in my drafts orz 済ませたいんだけど..けど!

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43 Comments

  1. lol im so lazy i always write hakuoki for some reason, I think its better for the noob English otome gamers this way anyway xD as long as they dont make heisuke listen to my chemical romance anywhere in their translations orz

    Reply
    • Part of why I’m going to play the English version is curiosity over how they’ll translate it. ‘w’ I can’t wait to criticize them *evil*

      Reply
  2. I think they won’t go with Junsouroku since the risk / cost will be higher. “Hakuoki” doesn’t sound right to me either, but that might be because I’m so うるさい over the small details. While I hate how people think otome game = dating sim = dating FAKE animu boyfriend, a part of me feels glad that those people are staying away from otome games … (´・ω・`;) I still can’t get over Souji’s “bark of laughter”, the captions in Aksys’ Hakuouki gallery, or the magazine they made for Heisuke, so I don’t think I’m gonna touch the English version. I’ll be looking forward to your impression instead. xD

    Reply
    • Yeah, that post and the reactions to it pissed me off so much. And well, it’s not like the English market means anything to us since we can enjoy the games anyway. Just sigh. Seriously I’ll rage so much if Souji ‘barks’ in the real game…=_=”” Hopefully they fix those..

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  3. ゆきるちゃん~素敵なポスト、感動しちゃったww(○´3`)ノ!

    I’m not against the localization of Hakuouki and instead I’m looking forward to it too since I like sharing what I enjoy with people as well. Although I have to admit that I’m a little worried about what’ll happen to the fandom with a localization for it coming out.. though I suppose it can’t be ruined anymore from what happened to it after the anime was released ;D. Maybe it’s a good thing half of us bloggers haven’t seem to reviewed Hakuouki yet? wwww I’m sure we’ll get crazy comments after the localization comes out like poor Hinano and Rin.

    On another note, I definitely agree with what you said about picking up a romance novel not just to get to the end, but to experience the story and enjoy the journey (SHINIGAMI TO SHOUJO~ 8D;;). So I think Hakuouki was a good choice for Aksys to localize because it isn’t as romantically/dating-sims’ inclined as some other games are like Storm Lovers or Amnesia. Heck, it’s totally viable for people to just play through the normal route of Hakuouki where they don’t end up with any guys and it actually counts as an ending rather than a bad end/game over. I love how it’s pretty accurate to the history too of the Shinsengumi, so it’s also teaching you about the state of Japan back then.

    To sum it all up, Hakuouki isn’t just a dating game for girls and I hope people give it’s story a chance to hook them. Even guys could do it by playing the normal route ;3 though when I tried getting my brother to play it he lost interest after 5 minutes orz.

    PS. うわああああぁぁぁー私のポスト;w;。

    Reply
    • Oh! PPS. I forgot to agree about the Junsouroku. It’d probably be harder/more costlier to localize it for PS3 like what Rin said, but I feel that it’s a shame too ;w; What are they going to do about Zuisouroku? Just ignore it? Localize it later?

      PPPS. I think I’ll be picking up the English version for speedy reviews and to make fun of the translations too Ψ(`∀´)Ψ. All in good fun though~ since I can’t say mine are any better. I take creative liberties too wwww I’m sure I snuck in “bark of laughter” in Nate’s post i-it fits because he’s a wolf! /shot.

      Reply
      • WAHAHA *w* Let’s make fun of the translations together. Although I secretly hope we’ll be able to give them some praise too. I guess Zuisouroku depends entirely on how well Hakuoki is received. Fans should just buy 2 or more copies. I don’t mind though, I can play Zuisouroku and Reimeiroku anytime I want *evil again* This is just my opinion, but I don’t think Zuisouroku and Reimeiroku will ever be localized. It’s not a full game and the US market just doesn’t work like the Japanese market.

    • イリちゃんん、わざわざもう一度コメントを入力してくれてありがとうございました!ミュミュ(´ε`* )

      I forgot to think about what will happen to the fandom lol. I guess otome games will become more popular? Yay for more popularity to Hinano and Rin’s blogs. 😄 My blog isn’t really meant for non otome game players because I only write about a limited number of games so maybe I’ll be saved? 😀 That reminds me I want to write about Shinigami to Shoujo so bad but I also want to keep playing it so bad too ;w; Ahhh *dilemma* You really share so many of the same thoughts as me *sends more telepathy waves to make you play CZ XDD*

      I don’t think boys enjoy reading romance novels much. It’s just natural they won’t be interested in otome games and I don’t mind one bit. The boys have their own VN/eroge to enjoy.. and there’s plenty of neutral anime/manga/games that both genders can enjoy a good story. ‘w’

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  4. I agree with your description about otome games. I also like to play it, not because of the gameplay or what, but because there’s story in it. And mainly, I will prefer sad story with puzzled endings and touching theme, beautifully arranged dialogues. That’s why I love CZ (Takato’s monologue in all of his feeling of love for Nadeshiko), Shinigami to Shoujo (for the beautiful poem-like monologue), and Noise (for its puzzled story that connected to some different world?).

    Speaking of Hakuouki translation, I’m not against it. I know Aksys’ will make that kind of weird English like of BlazBlue. Really, I don’t understand most of BlazBlue’s conversation because of it. But I don’t know if I wanna play it again for the translated ver. or not since Hakuouki isn’t my preference of a story (like I’ve always said: I love Hiiro no Kakera theme more than Hakuouki). I’ll prefer new games more that will come up one by one this year. But the sad thing is, maybe due to my graduation, I won’t have enough time to play many games anymore because I must find a job. Ah, at least I wanna play Atelier Elkrone!

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    • Right! It made me so angry when people who don’t know anything think we otome players just want to date boys in games. Shinigami to Shoujo will probably become a favorite of mine too. And I think I will find time to play Noise some day ‘w’ (Too bad I couldn’t say the same for Kami naru Kimi to even though it’s supposed to be sad and touching too) I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes complicated stories!

      Ugh, I hope Hakuouki’s translations won’t be so bad it’s un-understandable.. but I want to know how they translate for myself. Speaking of Hiiro, I can’t wait to see the anime and I’ll be looking forward to your review on Hiiro3’s FD.

      Even if you can’t play as many games, you can still play some and enjoy them slowly (like me) ^w^

      Reply
      • I will play it slowly after taking a job. I’m glad you count noise to your list. There’s just small bunch of people playing it. I can’t fangirl-ing like what I did to CZ and StS..

      • I want to fangirl StS but I keep accidentally spoiling myself.. I want to write something about Hinase ;w; I love him so much! I’m quite sure I will play Noise sometime (I’m trying to get my hands on it this very moment) even if I don’t really like its art, but I like its theme and my eyes just sparkled at the word complex lol. I also pick games by music.^-^♪

  5. Silvra

     /  January 19, 2012

    I agree with what you said about visual novels. Few days ago I wrote a comment about it, and it was pretty similar xD I’m into VNs more for the story part than the romance part (if every single VN was only about romance, I’m sure I wouldn’t be playing them by now xD), and since I always loved reading it’s great to have something like a book with added visuals and audio ^w^ It makes me sad that so many people misunderstand what a VN is… I hope one day people will become more open to new things and be more willing to at least try to understand that what is unknown to them (instead of criticizing everything even though they only have an extremely vague idea of what that something is, or even no idea at all). I’m not going to buy the English version of Hakuouki, but I hope it will be successful enough, so that more people can understand what a VN is. I’m looking forward to your review of it xDD trying hard to ignore all the Twilight mentions

    Reply
    • Wait.. do you hate Twilight? Because the truth is I ditched it at the beginning of Vol.2, hated it afterwards and never went to watch any of the movies. One part of the plot and what the characters did just seriously got on my nerves, I would have thrown the book out the balcony into the pool had it been mine lol. It’s a personal opinion anyway and I don’t use it to judge the whole series as bad, it’s undoubtedly well written and has it’s charms (I spent some time discussing it with a friend).. just I don’t like it. I mentioned it because it’s pretty well known amongst every audience, and is a good example.

      I enjoy story more than romance too, but I enjoy romance when its present. I tend to stay away from games that seem to focus more on characters and less on building a setting which will drive a story *hi-fives you and seconds your wish for people to be more open-minded*

      Reply
  6. Silvra

     /  January 19, 2012

    haha, yes. Though it’s mostly me being unable to comprehend why it’s THIS popular and how brainless some of it’s fans are, orz. I only read the first book and summaries of the other two (wtf, I’m so glad I didn’t read them, what’s with Bella’s child x.x)… The first book wasn’t all that bad on it’s own, but looking at this as a trilogy makes it a pretty bad series in my eyes. I was never a fan of vampires, but even then the idea of them *sparkling* is hilarious and sad at the same time ^^;;; Actually, even more than the books I dislike the hardcore fans, most of them are plain crazy x.x I didn’t see the movies either, but the trailers speak for themselves I think. I don’t really mind that you gave Twilight as an example because I understand where you are coming from and what you want to say there, it’s just that seeing this title always gives me very mixed feelings. The saddest thing is that many people who are fans of it treat it like the best piece of literature ever and they don’t care about other books or about other people’s opinions :/ Seriously, I know all too well that people have their own opinions and preferences (I have them too after all), but that doesn’t give them the right to badmouth others just because they happen to disagree, and this is what many Twilight fans do. And I’m not talking about the cases where both sides are at fault. But that’s a whole different story.

    Ohh, I enjoy the romance as well 8D It’s just that I need something that doesn’t focus mainly on romance from time to time, otherwise I get really bored (even annoyed sometimes). I also don’t like if the romance is too sweet and full of cliche lines and situations (one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy Starry Sky). I love it the most when romance is integrated with the story, so it feels natural :3 But I also don’t mind when there’s not much romance in otoges, as long as the story is compelling.
    I love character-driven stories, but it’s really hard to come by something really good in this category, because for it to work I have to like most of the characters and that’s hard. For me awesome characters will make even a otherwise boring story into something I want to read xD But building a setting properly is very important, too. In the end, the best games/books/movies will have both a well set up setting and a story that focuses on the characters as well (and their development). *high-fives back*

    Reply
    • You know what? I’m amazed how you can always bring out the 本音 in me lol because usually I’m talking about something else keeping other stuff out of the way to keep from straying off topic, then somehow we’re in discussion about something I never thought I’d get to discuss about. Like hating Twilight which I’ve secretly wanted to do for who knows since when lol XDDD *secretly satisfied* I’ll give you another reason (even if I don’t know if you really want to hear it or not *tells you anyway* you can brick me after) The thing is I hated it how both of them were just madly in love with each other to the point that they didn’t value life anymore. I know the author was trying to impress the readers about a love so deep, even deeper than life.. but to me, that’s not a message that I deem valuable nor insightful っていうか大嫌いです。Then to convey that theme, the characters had to act extremely stupid, the stupidest misunderstanding had to happen, etc, the story did nothing to redeem itself and was heading in a direction that would happy end with ‘now we know we both love each other more than life, let’s never part’. It’s really sad how a story I think so lowly of became so insanely popular.. I can’t understand it either but I accept it as a fact. Perhaps I was missing a point or the entire point, but there’s other better stories to enjoy. If the Twilight fans are as bad as you say, I wonder if one will try to kill me with a straw doll now…*rolls eyes* Crazy fangirls are just UGH ^^;

      Although I don’t know how crazy I am over CZ myself 😄 *confident that no one can hate anything about CZ* ←

      うんうん!*enjoyed reading your thoughts* Adds something to best story = one that has a well-built setting; focuses on the characters and their development/relationships; a story that drives the character’s actions (and interactions) but then the story is in turn, gets driven by the characters; and gives something to the audience as valuable insight or is heart-touching. That’s pretty idealistic but I like to think there’s something enjoyable and insightful about every story even if it’s not perfect. ‘w’

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      • Silvra

         /  January 22, 2012

        That’s my special skill xD *bricked* /// It’s because there’s so much to say, I always have troubles staying only on one topic… because one thing leads to another. Sometimes you can’t explain something properly without mentioning something else, and more so because we’re still getting to know each other. And this is the beauty of discussion 8D Twilight is one of the topics that are better not touched upon too openly because it’s so popular that you never know whether you’d be offending or even enraging someone (unless you don’t mind people getting at you for saying something they happened to disagree with; but I’d rather not have crazy fangirls going after me lol), so it’s “safer” to just talk about it in the comments between ourselves (but we still should be careful so that we can stay alive B|) www
        lol, there’s no way I’ll be bricking you 😄 Even if you wrote me an essay about what you don’t like in Twilight (or just any essay in general www) I’d still gladly read it 8D I love getting to know other people’s opinions and impressions about something. I 1000% agree with what you wrote, and I didn’t like that they didn’t value their lives, either :/ It was taken way too far and shown in a rather negative, not to say creepy, way x.x And let’s face it, Edward is a freaky stalker. I don’t think I’d be happy if my boyfriend-to-be stared at me sleeping through the whole night ^^;; Vampire or not. And I’d hate it if my boyfriend tried to control me in any way :/ That was the first time in a book where I read about the heroine wanting to become a vampire and deny her humanity… and while I could still accept that *somehow*, the way she treated her father (who was actually really kind and was probably one of the best characters in that book lol) and her friends like they were her worst enemies standing in her way to “happiness” was just too much >.> I agree that the story has nothing to redeem itself. It seems that it’s only getting worse and worse with each book, too… I don’t think we’re missing the point here, we just have different values and we read enough books to know what we like and what we don’t. *hides from crazy fangirls*
        LOL I can assure you you’re on the sane side of fangirling (unless you’re tattooing huge Takatos on your back or making yourself a Takato tapestry or something or talking to others like they were CZ characters etc, that is). It’s ok to love something a lot, as long as you remember it’s not reality XDD (I dunno why would anyone hate CZ, either)

        That is idealistic, but it’s also my ideal, too. And because I know it’s an ideal that’s very hard to achieve I always try to find something good about the books I read, games I play, movies I watch etc. I think it’s more interesting to look at something from different perspectives instead of just simply deciding that it’s not “perfect” and dismissing it. I like to give everything a chance before I judge, because I often end up liking something that initially was not my type at all in the beginning 😄

      • *eats you* ごちそうさまでした 長いコメントありがとうございました! Sorry for late reply

        I really like having these discussions, it’s been a while since our last 😀 And come to think of it, this isn’t the first time we’ve had a conversation that involves hiding from crazy fangirls. Though each time, I think we’re both reasonable and there was absolutely no bashing or anything like that. So technically if any fangirl wants to hate us for it, it’s just proof that they are crazy. *casts reflect for both of us, spreads a picnic sheet on the ground and pulls out tea and cookies*

        *laughs at Edward is a stalker* 😄 But on Bella, I’ll side with her on wanting to become a vampire because if I were her, I’d HATE to grow old while Edward stays eternally young / she can possibly die = leaving him to spend eternity on his own. I also don’t think becoming a vampire = losing humanity (because then I’d have to say Edward/the Cullens are unacceptable inhuman beasts). I think Bella has the right to choose her own life. Point is the one who she should be angry at is Edward, for forcing his ideas on her rather than at her family and friends. That’s just -_- But then she was dumped, upset and heartbroken; people lose rational sense under extreme grief so oh well. The one I was major pissed off with was Edward. Everything that happened was because he was so stupid. He dumped her, forced his ideas on her, acted like an idiot stalking her afterwards, misunderstood that she had died (I thought he could read minds, was that even possible) and attempted suicide in the silliest manner I can’t even imagine, ignoring the love of the Cullen family for him. Both of them pretty much ignored the love of their parents, because that was part of the theme too. Twilight is a rare case when the theme destroyed the whole creation for me. I thought Bella didn’t have to be that stupid but her actions had to match with Edward’s or else their love wouldn’t be equal, so I blame Edward and the storytelling. I’m pretty sure this kind of plot would never come up in a Japanese creation.

        I guess I’m still a safe fangirl *relieved* ←
        I successfully refrained from getting CZ bracelets and stuff from Otomate’s winter festival. The only thing I’m considering is to get a CZ-themed iPhone4 case 😄 Problem is my iPhone’s not 4. ;w; *saves money for next CZ item*

        Straying off-topic, but speaking of really good stories, won’t you play Shinigami to Shoujo? 😀 *RECOMMENDS* ←

      • Silvra

         /  January 30, 2012

        It’s ok xD My replies are always late, too x.x More so because we tend to write so much, it takes a lot of time to finish just one comment xD

        I enjoy our discussions, too 8D Speaking of the last one, I still didn’t finish writing that seiyuu comment ^^;; I have it saved on my laptop, but when I read it a second time I realized it’s mostly Sugita spam lol so maybe I should just forget about it xD
        You’re right, and I’m generally not the type to bash something publicly, because I can understand that there are people who may like something else than I do (and I’m usually on the careful side xD). It’s a bit different with Twilight though, because I just can’t understand how can someone be THIS crazy about it and think that it’s “an awesome and deep story” ^^; and since now I know that you don’t like it either, I don’t feel so restrained xD But you’re right, we’re mostly just saying why we don’t like it instead of just hitting the HATE button, so anyone who’d want to kill us for that would indeed be crazy x.x *joins in the picnic* /o/

        I read Twilight a long time ago, so I don’t remember most of the details, but reading what you wrote made me remember some of them xD Actually, I didn’t mind that Bella wanted to become a vampire (I even thought that was a nice change from how the characters usually want to become humans instead… I think I mentioned that when I played KamiKimi xD), it’s just the way she pretty much ditched everyone around her who were kind to her and only thought about her well-being (mainly her father) made me angry with her. She’s not exactly a kind person in my eyes. The way she treated her friends was really rude, too… I mean, I can still understand that she wouldn’t want to be the center of attention, but there’s a difference between politely refusing something and obviously ignoring someone.
        I don’t think that becoming a vampire would equal losing their humanity, either. Especially me being a fan of anything non-human, as long as it has feelings xD If that even makes sense lol I mean, non-human characters can be as human (or even more) than humans themselves, because the way they look at many things, life itself included, is different. And for that, they have to be something more than a beast who is driven by instinct alone. 100% agree on everything you said about Edward. It’s hard to imagine that Bella would love someone like him this much… No matter how much the author wants to tell us that a character is awesome, kind, noble etc. it has no meaning if the actions of that character won’t confirm that. I prefer actions rather than words. In fact, I tend to like charas who kept being praised by the people around them less than the ones who are not so talked about, but whose actions show me that they’re nice people. I like to choose my own favs and not being told that I should like this and that. To me, Edward didn’t prove that he is a good person. Or at least not a person that I would end up liking.
        I thought Bella didn’t have to be that stupid but her actions had to match with Edward’s or else their love wouldn’t be equal, so I blame Edward and the storytelling
        this so much. And that is exactly why their love feels so fake and forced. You can think of so many better alternatives for their actions, but in the end it’s just Bella being dragged around by Edward’s selfishness and stupidity orz.

        I hope you can get the items you want the most 8D I think those iPhone cases are really pretty, but they’re out of reach for me because I don’t have an iPhone ;w; I’m sure that I’ll end up buying one of those cases if I ever get my hands on one though xD (I always thought that the hardest thing as a huge fan of something is restraining yourself; it’s really hard to make yourself not buy the things you won’t even need just because they look so pretty and have your fav charas on them T^T lol)

        Like you know by now, I started playing it today xD I’m a sucker for mysterious atmosphere and this game has it *w* Straying even more off-topic… I wanted to write something about Takuyo’s games (I was thinking about it ever since we talked about their games on twitter xD). StS is really different compared to their previous games, they usually don’t have such deep themes and are mostly comedies (sometimes really crazy ones, too xD) with some weird themes (ppl changing into frogs; having to marry a prince from a different world and collecting other people’s auras in order to avoid that; heroine being a phantom thief who has to steal someone’s love in order to pass a test; a girl entering a previously boys-only school and having to deal with guys who have no common sense whatsoever lol; dating a huge oyster etc.), but that’s what I love about them xD That comes with a price though, as these games have very little romance, it being mainly just a side effect of character development rather than a plot device. The games focus mostly on individual characters’ stories, and it feels more like they fall in love because they were able to change through the heroine’s friendship/things they experienced together, rather than love being the factor that changes them. Because of that many people don’t play their games because they want more romance… which makes me a bit sad because they have really nice stories as a whole. The main reason why I say that I don’t mind otome games that don’t focus mainly on romance is because of Takuyo I guess xD I’m not sure how it is for StS? I guess I’ll find out while playing xD
        Ok, that was really random, sorry xD; I just wanted to get it off of me I guess – I don’t know many people who played any of Takuyo’s games, and most would pass them by because of the art/cast, like you mentioned on twitter. Or because they heard there’s not much lovey-dovey scenes in them. So I don’t have many opportunities to talk about their games xD I myself wouldn’t play them if it wasn’t for Kaitou Apricot having Sakurai in the cast and Little Aid/Panic Palette having Sugita, but after I started I ended up enjoying the story a lot :3 which led me to playing some of their other games as well. My favs so far are definitely LA and PP though xD *ends this comment before she enters a dangerous fangirl territory*

  7. You’re gonna play the English version? I look forward to your thoughts then! I think it’ll be hard for me to play an English version because there are certain, subtle meanings in the original language which can get lost in translation and I don’t like that LOL.

    Nevertheless, I think Hakuouki is a good choice of game to localise. Plus, the language barrier for Hakuouki seems greater to me than other games due to its historical context and the traditional language (am I making sense haha). Personally, I don’t think that Hakuouki and Twilight are similar though. For certain reasons, cough. ;;

    And yeah, it’s certainly not a dating sim. People really shouldn’t judge if they haven’t played both types before. And you’re right about the “what if”s. A lot of times in manga, people just wish that the main guy didn’t get together with the female character, and prefer the side characters – and that’s what otome games allow us to read. Moreover, story is one of the most important elements. Sure, there are games out there which mainly focus their efforts on the pretty graphics and a glorious cast. But at the end of the day, there are SO many otome games out there, and they need a distinguishing factor – that’s where either story or characterisation come in (at least for me). And if they succeed in that, you want to play more! Hence the fandisks. But I can’t deny that games like StaSka or Utapri…well they’re distinguishing for a different reason.

    Whether or not the English localisation will be successful or not: sure, it depends on the choice of game and its quality, the atmosphere of the market when it starts selling, the quality of the translations etc. It’s up to the company to do their research and predict the market if they want to be successful. I remember that there was once an online survey asking about English localisations (was it by Aksys?). They can’t be 100% sure that those who said they wanted Hakuouki in English the would buy it but yeah. I guess my point is that it annoys me when people say so certainly that it’s pointless to localise when they don’t even know much. The company made a considerable investment when they decided to localise Hakuouki, and I presume that to back the decision up they would’ve needed to convince the higher-ups with data. But if somehow the sales screw up in the end against their predictions, then it’s just unfortunate.

    /sorry for the long comment, I wasn’t expecting myself to rant so much. orz

    Reply
    • The subtle meanings that get lost in translation is one of the reasons I’m so happy I endured learning Japanese until my current level. (The other reason is just for purely being able to understand it at all) But if I had a choice between the two versions, there’d still be other factors I’d consider between them because the time/effort I need isn’t equal. I’d love to be able to read Japanese as fast/fluent as in English. If I’m not really interested in it I wouldn’t mind doing the translated one. For Hakuouki, I’ve already done Okita’s and Saitou’s routes in Japanese, so I don’t mind about losing some meaning in the other routes (which I may never play if I had to play them in Japanese.. I’m just that lazy lmao) But I’m going to (happily) play Okita’s route again just to see the difference (in the end, I’m just so biased! lmao).

      I may have been vague on Twilight references.. the only similarities I meant were on popularity and that the story is charming to be able to attract that much fans (to most people in general, not to me coz I like Hakuouki but dislike Twilight), but not that I think the story/elements of these two titles are anywhere similar. Well, and maybe the presence of vampire-related plot element although both stories used it in a totally different way. Ahaha Do you like or dislike Twilight?

      Me too! I wrote this up as a response to other people’s reactions, they just really pissed me off. The ones who say the localization is pointless are the worst! It was really nice of Aksys to give it a shot and undoubtedly it’ll make lots of people happy. At least, they should wait to say whatever in their reviews after they’ve actually played it, then I’d just respect their opinions.

      /色々の意見を聞かせてありがとうございます!面白かった!Sorry for the late reply

      Reply
      • My reply is even later. orz

        It’s true that the time I take to read Japanese and English varies a lot. Moreover when you’ve to review the game lmao. But I guess I’ve always had that slight resistance as I grew up bilingual yet I have trouble expressing myself in English vs. Mandarin sometimes. So given a choice I would try to go for the original if I can. I’ll look forward to you giving your viewpoint when you play Okita’s route again lol.

        As a disclaimer, I’ve never read Twilight and don’t plan too so I can’t say anything specific – but I was never one for teen romances involving fantasy elements like vampires so that’s a bias already……I did hear other friends’ reactions though so…haha. My impression was that they weren’t too impressed.

        Yeah I agree. I’m sure there are people are happy with the news and we’ll wait and see how the sales and reviews go. ^^

  8. Wait you have to buy this right?? or is it just a download for the computer? Confused

    Reply
    • Yes, it is a localized product so you should buy it if you want to play it. It’s for Sony’s PSP console so you can’t play it using a computer. There’s also the method of borrowing it/the PSP from friends etc;)
      More information here http://hakuoki.com/

      Reply
  9. Rita

     /  January 27, 2012

    You know, it bugs me a lot since there seems to be a lack of overlap between otome gamers and previous Aksys fans :S I quite liked the job they did on Fate/Extra, which had a pretty huge chunk of text since….well, it was basically an RPG-VN hybrid spinoff of Fate/Stay Night. And I’ve always loved there translations for the Argarest series. I don’t think I’ve ever quite laughed that hard before.

    The problem is, I’ll be the first to admit that Aksys is not a strictly by the book translator. Which I’ve never minded, because at least they didn’t pull a NISA and ruin the story with bad translations. Their translations always conveyed the storyline fine and were fun to read, which I think is the most important thing about dialogue to begin with.

    That being said, the types of people who spent years learning Japanese are probably more picky about things like that. I can’t really relate since….well, I grew up bilingual so I never struggled and plowed through years of Japanese classes to play video games. :\

    While Aksys has done a superb job on 999, another visual novel for the DS (really, cut them at least a little slack, they have translated more text heavy games than most other companies) and their stylization works for 999 and Fate/Extra and Argarest because most of them are drama and fantasy, I do worry a bit about a game set in traditional Japan in the late shogunate era. BUT, if you were going to ask me who I wanted to translate the first English otome game for me, besides Xseed, Aksys is arms and shoulders above almost all the other game companies. If only because I loved all the other VNs they translated.

    It does make me sad that so many English gamers have already played Hakuouki so they’re not going to buy the English one.

    Well, I’ve still got a backlog the size of Manhattan, so I suppose I wouldn’t mind either way whether it flops, but still….

    Reply
    • Rita

       /  January 27, 2012

      AH right, because I forgot to mention. Someone mentioned BlazBlue’s English version. For the record, the translators aren’t the same. The translator for Hakuouki is the same one who worked on 999 and Fate/Extra, so it’d probably be better to use those as a reference instead.

      I still love 999’s English release to death and back though. *stubborn*

      Reply
      • Thanks for commenting! It’s interesting to hear something from an otome gamer who is also an Aksys fan. I admit the articles and screenshots on Hakuoki gave most us otome gamers a pretty bad impression of Aksys .. have you read them? I was shocked. I can only roll my eyes at the Souji barked thing and that Heisuke article, because that sort of translation or whatever they made up to spice things up is the exact sort that can simply ruin the characters and mood. I’ve played Ever17 in English and overall the translations didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the game so I’m not against translations and I know they can turn out good. In the first place, I enjoy scanlated anime/manga and don’t mind them either. I wouldn’t doubt Aksys as much had they not shown a lot of bad examples (on Hakuoki itself not counting other games).. but as I mentioned I’m still getting the game so I can see for myself how they did in the final piece. I won’t be specifically looking for faults (I’m not an idiot or anti-Aksys party to do that) nor praise (not a blind supporter), but I won’t be playing their Hakuoki without observing them. Of’corse I want to see and look for positive things about everything if I can.

        BTW, 999 caught my attention a while ago (I didn’t notice it was by Aksys) I want to play it! I hope I can find some time for it in the future 😀 There’s so many games and no one has enough time to play all so I don’t blame those who’ve already finished the Japanese ver. for passing this for new games. Logically it’s what I should do too but I don’t mind *curiosity for Aksys’s Hakuoki wins new games*

      • Rita

         /  January 28, 2012

        Ah those, by the marketing committee.

        Yeah, those were atrocious. But I’m not really surprised since that was a marketing shot towards people who’ve never heard of Hakuouki OR otome games.

        I read it in context and blanched. I read it out of context as a stand-alone satire styled ad and…well, it wasn’t as bad. I met the girl in charge of marketting at AX last summer, but I’ve also seen some of the other marketing stunts Aksys pulled in the past, which made me simultaneously laugh my ass off and cringe, so there’s nothing new there. Ah Argarest….both fond and slightly perturbed memories abound….>_>

        That being said, I’ve seen Ben’s translation snippets and cries for extra hours of sleep on the forums, and I’m still fairly confident that they’ll do fine in terms of story. What I’m worried about is the setting. I KNOW what sort of translation the two mains sides are expecting. For people who know Japanese (or are Japanese like me) and are familiar with otome games and Japanese culture and history will be expecting a much more traditional translation for a much more traditional setting and story. Those who are Aksys fans will be expecting the more clever and freestyle translations they’ve done for their other visual novels, which works magnificently on it’s own. 999 is a perfect example of how to adapt a game in a more westernized novel format while still keeping the atmosphere and story that drove the original game.

        But Hakuouki is a whole other can of worms. If for no other reason than the fact that Meiji era Japan and 1860’s America are about as far on opposite sides of the spectrum as possible. I’m more worried about things such as titles, honorifics, cultural standards (義理 for starters). I’m definitely more worried about the cultural shock >_>

        That being said, can I just add, that the novel NOVEL part of the story (not dialogue or advertising or whatever) seems very nicely done at the time. The narration I mean.

      • Rita

         /  January 28, 2012

        For the record, I finished Hakuouki ages ago, but I’d still buy Aksys’s version just to support them XD; Truth is, I finished Fate/Extra in Japanese ages ago as well (now eagerly awaiting CCC). But English games are incredibly cheap compared to their Japanese versions especially when coupled with overseas shipping @_@ so this is actually easier on my wallet. I just swap one of the Japanese games I planned on buying with this one.

  10. Rising_Fortune

     /  May 22, 2012

    Yuki-chan beli Hakuoki dimana? kepengen bgt maenin

    Reply
  11. Rising_Fortune

     /  May 23, 2012

    ah sorry without realize I use my own language.
    Anyway, where did u buy it??? >__< I really want to play it

    Reply
  12. Rising_Fortune

     /  May 23, 2012

    wah thx!! btw, what’s the diff between regular edition and limited edition? o.o

    Reply
    • There’s a small book with illustrations (from the game) and a CD with the original soundtrack added for the limited. The illustration book is nothing compared to the Japanese ones.

      Reply
  13. Rising_Fortune

     /  May 24, 2012

    thnk u Yuki-chan! ( ´ ▽ ` )

    Reply
  14. Rising_Fortune

     /  June 2, 2012

    ano Yuki-chan, this is Hakuouki-demon of fleeting blossom right? hyaa >__< I got Reimeiroku one. btw is the ps2 already have an english version?

    Reply
  15. Rising_Fortune

     /  June 2, 2012

    or maybe zuisouroku? I’m confuse T__T aaa

    Reply
    • Yes, there’s only one localized version and it’s the Fleeting Blossom one by Aksys for PSP only. The other ones are in Japanese and the ones with whatever-roku names after them are fan disks, spin-offs or PS3 versions.

      Reply
      • Rising_Fortune

         /  June 2, 2012

        waa I see, sankyuu! Do u know which Hakuouki that already have an english ver? as I know psp has xd

      • As I said, there’s only one localized version means there’s only one English version, which is the PSP version that you already know. None of the other versions are in English.

      • Rising_Fortune

         /  June 4, 2012

        aaa (_ _) my bad!

  16. zaldar

     /  December 8, 2013

    where can I find this? Twilight and romance novels are not my bag usually and visual novel type games I might like would bend more toward Rance or Hirugashi When they Cry as opposed to this but like to support translations when I can.

    Reply
    • Yukiru

       /  December 8, 2013

      Aksys’s Hakuoki? It’s localized in the US by Aksys so it should be easy to find. I don’t really think this game is your cup of tea because it’s not like Higurashi at all. This one’s theme is historical Japan based on the legend of the Shinsengumi. The fan service is also orientated towards girls ^^.

      Reply

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