A few weeks ago I did a video covering five visual novels that I felt needed an official English release, regardless of the fact that they were already available through fan translations. This time, I’m going to list my top five visual novels that do not have an English translation in any form, official or fan-translated. Of course, this opened up the potential choices considerably, as I could now pick from the majority of the VNDB database, which is the site I used to make the last video and now again for this video.
After some struggling, I did manage to narrow it down to just five visual novels from my much larger translation wishlist. I expect many to disagree, but again, this is just my top five, so do keep that in mind. I should also note that this list is in no particular order, I just threw them all on there randomly. So without further ado, let’s get right into it with the first visual novel:
If you’ve watched any of my previous visual novel videos, you’ll know that I am a massive Key fan. As such, it’s pretty much a given that I would include Summer Pockets here, the latest release by Key, having come out around this time last year. From what I’ve seen, the art style is a definite departure for the studio and looks more in-line with what I’d expect from a visual novel released in the past five years or so. A sort of “modern” art style if you would. I can see some having issues with that, but it honestly doesn’t bother me, so long as the story is good.
And speaking of story, while I didn’t recognize any of the scenario writers by name, I do know of some of their previous works. Spread between them is Hatsukoi 1/1, Hatsuyuki Sakura, Majo Koi Nikki, and Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai, all of which I know have been received positively. One of the writers, Kai, has also worked on several previous Key works, including my all-time favorite Clannad. As such, I do have some high hopes for the story, especially given that it also comes with the nakige tag.
It is worth noting that this is the only visual novel on my list that has a fan translation in progress. At the time of writing, that fan translation is only 35.4% complete, so we might have to wait another year or two before that finally comes out. If it ever does, I will definitely be looking to review it for the channel.
Re: LieF ~Shin’ainaru Anata e~
Now this is one I have only known about for a few months, but I kept thinking about it when making this list, so I decided to include it. What had originally put it on my radar was its unique art style, one that I don’t think I’ve seen before. In fact, I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s definitely different from what we usually see in the medium, but still maintains that distinct “visual novel” look. I don’t want to use the term “realistic”, but it’s definitely leaning towards it.
Now as for the story, it should be mentioned that this is from a relatively new studio, one by the name of RASK. In fact, this is their very first visual novel. I looked at the writers and saw that most of them lack credits elsewhere and those that do have prior work didn’t really work on anything noteworthy. However, the genres here are right up my alley. We have a sci-fi mystery with multiple endings and one true ending. As such, it’s a bit of a toss-up as to whether or not the story will be any good, but if the VNDB rating is anything to go by, it will at least be a decent read.
Out of all of the visual novels in this list, this is the one that is most likely to see an official localization, as the studio has yet to form relations with localization companies abroad and is more likely to accept an offer to help themselves get out there. It also helps that the game is only 10-30 hours long, so it wouldn’t be as expensive to localize. I can totally see this one being picked up by maybe NekoNyan or Sol Press.
Soukou Akki Muramasa (Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa)
This one comes from Nitroplus, a prolific studio that has brought us several notable visual novels, including Saya no Uta, Hanachirasu, and Phantom of Inferno just to name a few. FMD Muramasa is a visual novel of theirs that I have seen come up in countless discussions over the years. Not only is it one of their longer visual novels, but it is currently sitting at the #13 spot on VNDB with an average rating of 8.56. That puts it above Ever17, Danganronpa 2, and Kara no Shojo, all visual novels that I consider top-tier. That’s really good for a visual novel that has yet to see an English translation.
On top of that, the tags make it out to be a very complex story. It’s a mix of mystery, mecha, philosophy, politics, action, and has that “utsuge” tag (which means depressing game). It also makes use of one of my favorite story setups: a multiple route mystery with one true ending. I’m a fan of all of those tags and the fact that it makes use of such a story setup puts this one up pretty high on my wishlist. It’s also worth noting that this comes from a single scenario writer, the same guy that wrote Hanachirasu. Most of the visual novels on this list come from a team of writers, so this guy really put in the work here, especially given that it’s a 50+ hour VN. Given its length, it would be hard to translate, but it is definitely a VN I would like to see in English one day.
One of the visual novels I discussed in my last VN video was Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai, a 50+ hour pure love story by a studio by the name tone work’s. Well, after that was released, tone work’s went on to release Gin’iro, Haruka, another 50+ hour pure love story that takes place in the same world as Hoshi Ori. I’ve included it on this list for much of the same reason why I included Hoshi Ori on my last list: that being that we simply don’t get a lot of well written pure love stories translated.
Most of the pure love stories that we do get translated are oftentimes full of pacing issues and are far too short to get any sort of meaningful story out of. tone work’s games do not appear to have this issue, if the length and high ratings are anything to go by. It is for this reason why I would like to see their games translated, Gin’iro Haruka being the one I want the most.
It also helps that the game has a nice, clean art style — one that I wouldn’t see myself getting tired of over the course of the game’s extended runtime. However, this is another one of those super-long visual novels, so a translation coming out is unlikely, but they have had their past two games translated, so maybe that trend will continue here.
Sakura no Uta -Sakura no Mori no Ue o Mau-
Now, I did say that this list is in no particular order, but Sakura no Uta is my most desired visual novel translation by far. Not only is the art great, but the writer is SCA-ji, the same guy that brought us Subarashiki Hibi, or Wonderful Everyday in English. His writing there is some of the best in the entire medium and makes me wonder how that would translate to a romance story like Sakura no Uta.
Obviously it does to some extent, as the game is one of the highest rated visual novels on VNDB and one I constantly see referred to as a “kamige”, which literally means “godly game”. One thing SCA-ji does really well is incorporate philosophy into his writing and Sakura no Uta does have the philosophy tag, so that’s even more of a reason for me to look forward to it.
However, it is very unlikely that we’ll see an official release. I’ve heard that Wonderful Everyday did not sell too well and Sakura no Uta is a much longer game, listed at over 50 hours long on VNDB. As such, it would be a rather expensive undertaking. A fan-translation is much more likely, but the game has been out for almost four years now and no group has taken it up. Regardless, I still hold out hope that I may be able to play the game in English one day. That or maybe my Japanese will improve enough within the next few years that I won’t need to wait any longer. Whatever the case may be, I do look forward to playing it.
And we have arrived at the end of my list. Again, these are the top five I would most like to see translated, so I’m sure there is going to be some disagreement. Most of these are pretty long though, so whether or not they get translated is entirely up to chance, but I still hold out hope regardless. Perhaps I am just being overoptimistic again, but a man can dream. Anyways, thanks for watching and do subscribe for more videos like this. I’ve got quite a few planned that I’m excited to get started on and if you have suggestions of your own, do leave a comment down below.