Ages ago, Matt added White Album 2 to our pool of randomly-picked shows to watch, and after years of sitting on the list, we finally rolled it. I struggle to say that this was entirely a good thing, because my god, White Album 2 HURTS.
In fact, White Album 2 hurts so much that Matt and Zack end up spending close to an hour talking almost exclusively about the sheer agony of watching it! We aren’t even kidding. If you think you’re ready for White Album 2, then trust us – you’re not. But hey, you can at least swing in here and help us work our way through it! That would be really kind of you.
Now, I’m going to start this off with saying that I realize that this may not feel like it meets the definition for “anime” for some, but personally I feel that Doki Doki Literature Club is close enough and unique in its own way to at least consider it a part of the “anime-esque” media, considering it greatly pulls from the convention of Japanese visual novels. Oddly enough, I could probably be writing this about the actual Japanese visual novel Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (Totono) and make the same sort of comparison, but without any translation for it (something which I hope happens at some point), this is what I have to work with.
Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) is questionably innovative in what it does for this reason, but that doesn’t make it any less gratifying to see it play out in of its own. There’s something to be said about how we perceive media, and I think DDLC makes an excellent observation about that which can change how we view certain works in the future, while also giving us appreciation for the past works that led up to the creation of a better one. It becomes a sort of love letter to the creators and players of these sorts of games, which I think is pretty neat in its own regard.
Not all changes in someone’s perspective are necessarily beneficial to us; sometimes those changes cause us to experience more despair and pain. Unlike many of my previous 12 Days of Anime posts have shown and also contrary to the title of the game, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Danganronpa: THH) isn’t exactly a story brimming with positive moments from people undergoing changes within their lives. That’s not to say the game is nothing but unhappy events, but as expected from a narrative that’s mainly about high-schoolers trapped in a death game scenario, there’s definitely a lot of negative events that transpire and occur to the characters within it.
…Hey Riki, have you discovered the secret of the world?
*NOTE: This post contains HUGE SPOILERS about the visual novel and anime of Little Busters!/Little Busters! Refrain. If you have any intention to play or watch the anime without having the story ruined for you, stay away from the main content of this post. It won’t hurt your understanding of the concepts if you do decide straight into my post, but you’d be doing yourself an injustice by not reading the story first.*
Visual novels are a pretty interesting medium in regards to all of the other mediums within Japanese culture. They’re not quite stories, but not quite games; they are both combined to create a story told through audio and simple images. As a lover of both mediums, I get really excited when someone tells me about a good visual novel, considering lots of visual novels are… pretty lacking in the story department. Although, since it’s a medium that isn’t particularly common to find outside of Japan, you can mostly distinguish good novels from bad ones by simply looking at if they’ve been translated into English. Yet, the community always translates a certain company’s content as soon as possible.