Hello and Good Evening (or Morning, or Afternoon where it applies). It’s been a year already, hasn’t it?
I don’t often note the anniversaries of this very corner of the Internet for various reasons. Hell, I’m bad enough at celebrating my own birthday, so anniversaries and what not tend to escape me. But, ten years is an anniversary worth noting, in my humble opinion. This month in 2011, I started what would be a long-term interests in the visual novel subgenre. It’s an opportunity for reflection, celebration and, when necessary, change. Let’s start with the former and we’ll get to the latter.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who has patronized this site over the last ten years. From VN developers, to readers, to my critics and fellow members of the immortal Nepotism Circle, and others whom I’ve gotten a chance to know personally, I am deeply grateful for you allowing this Southern kid from a relatively quite corner of the world to be apart of your lives: even if only for a moment. I have always been humbled that anyone would read anything I scratched down and continued to be humbled to this day. Celebrating this milestone is just as much about celebrating you as it is this website, and while I won’t be giving away a car or a million dollars, I do hope you know how much appreciate all of you: especially during some pretty interesting times in my life while I was running this site.
One of the reasons I was able to stay so consistent early on in the life of this site is because, frankly, I had an abundance of time to. I was just leaving college and starting to cut my teeth in my field. It wasn’t easy and, even though I didn’t know it at the time, a lot of my work led to what I can only call necessary trouble in my life. Looking back, it’s easy to see why I had to go some rougher patches and black moods. But, one of my concerns was that this had been one of the benefits of that period. I even remarked to someone who asked how I was going to deal with VNs growing in the future that I didn’t know. I surely wanted to be there, but I had no idea what was going to happen as they got longer nor did I know what was going to happen to me that could impact how I covered them. Gratefully, what has happened in the last few years that has caused disruptions on the site has been good in my personal and professional life. Last year especially even with a global pandemic thanks to the political season deciding to never end in my country and especially in my state (I live in the United States by the way…you should be able to figure out the rest from there).
However, one of the things that comes with age is accepting responsibility and the reality is that even with those good things, the bad is that VNs Now has been inconsistent and often distracted from its initial mission. I am sorry: not only to you the readers but also to developers expecting me to review their work and instead of telling them outright No, I was immature and didn’t keep my word. There are, thankfully, much more consistent reviewers that have stepped up during the last five years. I am glad they are here because while I want this site to be here and still enjoy playing VNs and EVNs, to tell you guys we’re going back to what this site was from 2011 to about 2016 would be a lie and that’s a habit I’m working to break. I recommend them all, especially VN Game Den, Blerdy Otome and the Fuwanovel Review Hub.
So, what does that leave for us?
What I can tell you is that incremental changes will happen to better ensure some consistency around here. This started last year when I made the decision to keep going at least to next year. These things will be scheduled at the beginning of the month, so on the first of the month moving forward I will put out what you can expect from me month of. (Luckily for me, I’ve spent the beginning of the year specifically working on posts to make this announcement with some confidence, so I have a significant head start which means nothing announced won’t happen and will happen on time.) That scheduled will be buttressed by me letting you guys know on the fifteenth of the month whether or not anything is going to happen in the next month. This system will still require refining, but you can expect for a schedule on the First, followed by a notice on the Fifteenth and that will govern what happens at least for the next six months.
To that end, I am closing recommendations for reviews at least until this September. I deeply appreciate everyone who asked me to review their work knowing I have been inconsistent: you don’t know how much it means to me. But out of respect for you and your efforts, I’m not going to lie to you while I’m putting this portfolio together. Thank you in advance.
So that’s all of the reform stuff and the appreciation. Guess it’s time to celebrate huh?
Luckily the first month of the new scheme is already set! Here is the celebration schedule for our ten year anniversary:
- June 5th: Years Later – Jisei: The First Case
- This is a video idea I toyed with years ago and after a decade, now is a great time for a retrospective video on the EVN that led to this site’s existence.
- June 11th: Fifty EVNs JP Recommends (50-30)
- This one has been a long time coming. Long have I been asked where I think someone new to the VN or EVN scene should start. I have given many answers to that question over the years and this month I’m going to rank fifty of the all time recommended. Bring your popcorn for this one.
- June 18th: Fifty EVNs JP Recommends (30-10)
- June 19th: Years Later – Cinders
- June 25th: Fifty EVNs JP Recommends (10-1)
- June 26th: The VNs Now Podcast – Walkerman
- Long have I used the audio medium to rant about the gaming industry. Starting this year, I’m going to try and leave the news behind and focus on just a singular VN to deep dive into: sort of a one-man book club. We start with what I’d argue is a current gen classic: the Walkerman series.
- June 29th: …………Sorry, this one is a surprise. This I have long teased for those who know me fairly well. At long last, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. The final part of the ten year celebration will be revealed day of.
I think I’m going to enjoy this month. I hope you guys enjoy the celebration as well. Here’s to the road we’ve travelled so far and the one we’re about to head on. Salud.
JP the Third