Japanese Recommendations list

Preface

Some things to keep in mind when using this list:

This list isn’t intended to be the end all list to which people should restrict themselves to, but as a tool that people can use to recommend things that they read while starting out and share their experiences on with how challenging they were to tackle. Those that have no idea on what to read can make use of it for ideas on what to play and an idea on how the struggle will be like.

Please don’t feel that you should only stick to things listed on it, if there’s something you want to play that isn’t, then feel free to just try it out and see how it goes and maybe one day you’ll be sending it in as a recommendation.

The list isn’t only just for titles which can be played as a first experience, but also a bit beyond that. There are also titles on it which would be better to play after acquiring a few titles worth of experience first and thus are marked as so in the "Recommended as first experience" section.

If you have any titles you wish to recommend or if you’ve noticed anything you disagree with or think is plain wrong, please send a message here: https://discord.gg/0m4q60Ni2kMCjddw

For recommendations, please send them in the format below so that we can add them more easily and have all the information needed to do so.

Lists:

Visual Novels section

Video Games section

Manga section

Visual novels

Be aware that the difficulty may change as you go farther into the VN, ESPECIALLY in the  final route. Visual novels are 18+ unless marked ALL AGES

Character Driven

Plot Driven

Axanael

Hanahira

(All ages)           

Hanahira!

Unred Night

Unred Night

Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-

(All ages)

Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-

Koiiro Soramoyou

Koiiro Soramoyou

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: everyday life

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: school life, everyday life

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: School life, Everyday life, news

Good idea for a first read?  Yes
Common vocab: Oujousama-talk, school life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: slice of life, school life

Comment on difficulty:

Has short sentences and is pretty easy grammar-wise. Narration is almost non-existent and the game is fully voiced, so it's like Hanahira, but with an actual plot. Obviously, more difficult, but still a lot more easy than most of the games in this list.

Comment on difficulty:

Almost no kanji and there isn’t much of need for them either. The story is non-existent with no depth. Perfect choice for a throwaway practice VN. The sentences are short with little grammatical depth and to the point with no flair in its prose. It is also quite short. This is about as easy as a VN can get unless you can find VNs aimed at children.

Comment on difficulty:

 This game is not very difficult

Comment on difficulty:

While the keigo/honorifics may confuse you, nothing the characters talk about will confuse you much.

Comment on difficulty:

Because of the floating boxes, it seems that there is a limitation for how much the characters can speak as all the characters spoke even more concisely than usual.

Potential pitfalls:

Some characters speak in unusual manner, so it may be confusing. The game itself isn't very popular, so it may be not for everyone (mostly thanks to Shimokura's sense of humor).

Potential pitfalls: 

it might bore you so much you get put off from learning the language forever.

Potential pitfalls:

Texthooker sometimes misses lines after scene changes.

Potential pitfalls: 

They speak in a way you usually don’t see in other VNs as in very formal talk.

Has some unhookable dialog

Potential pitfalls:

They speak in a way you usually don’t see in other VNs.

Recommended because:

Again, the game is quite short. This is a perfect choice if you feel that you're ready for something more plot driven. If the humor and characters don't put you off, you'll get a pretty fun game.

Recommended because:

If you insist that you MUST have a throw away VN and do not want to be overwhelmed by kanji, then this is about as easy as it can get. There is no story so I cannot recommend this to anyone who just wants a good VN to read.

Recommended because:

It's super short, and has a nice story. It's also free and can be downloaded here -> http://www12.plala.or.jp/zeek-heil/URN.htm

Recommended because: One of the few yuri VNs that is not a just porn based or a light hearted character driven story to make you feel all fuzzy on the inside and has is pretty decent.

Recommended because: Floating text box is nice?

Hook code:

(needs version 1.10 of the game)

/HA-8@48DE10

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi. 

Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi.

Hatsuyuki Sakura

Hatsuyuki Sakura

Nanatsuiro★Drops

Dracu-Riot!

Dracu-Riot!

ALICE=ALICE

ALICE=ALICE

Good idea for a first read? Not really.

Why not? Contains voice only lines

Common vocab: everyday life

Good idea for a first read? Not really

Common vocab: Supernatural and bunnies

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab:  Everyday life, School life, Magic

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab:  slice of life

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: alice in wonderland references.

Comment on difficulty:

Has short sentences and is pretty easy grammar-wise.

Vocab shouldn't be much of a problem either, because most of the time you'll be seeing just the usual daily life conversations.

Comment on difficulty:

While it may get harder to read in the later parts, the beginning is quite easy.

Comment on difficulty:

The easiest out of the Unison Shift: Blossom titles (Flyable Heart, Ley-Line). It also has a partially voiced protagonist and the added benefit of having an anime adaptation.

Comment on difficulty:

It's mostly a character based game, it's easy to tell what's going on from the context and the sentences are short.

Comment on difficulty:

While the original Lewis Carroll’s Novel may be strangely written, this interpretation of Alice in wonderland is rather easy to read especially if you read the original novel or watched the disney movie.

Potential pitfalls: 

There are a few points at which character will be speaking without the text box on the screen. While the lines itself are simple enough, this might still be confusing for some.

There is a character that speaks only in kana, which could be tricky to deal with.

Potential pitfalls: 

The true route may not be enjoyable if you have to look up every word

Potential pitfalls: 

The intro of the game can’t be hooked.

However, a transcript can be found here.

Also has an auto progressing and unhookable segment near the end of the game (unfocusing the window pauses the game so you will probably be able to manage).

Potential pitfalls: 

Some of the infodumps might be a bit hard to understand and it get slightly more difficult toward the end of some of the routes.

Potential pitfalls: 

Some characters like the chesire neko speaks strangely and that may confuse people

Recommended because:

First of all, the game is quite short, so it's a good choice for anyone who doesn't want to invest a huge amount of time into reading a single VN. Also, totono is a pretty (in)famous nitro+ game, so it's worth reading anyway. It might not really be that good and some people don't like it, but the main idea is still quite unique and you won't lose much of your time whether you like it or not.

Recommended because:

Considered one of the best Nakige(which means it will probably make you cry)  out there. If you like these in general, you should plan to read this sooner or later.

Recommended because:

Not only is it the easiest out the Unison Shift: Blossom titles, it's also the shortest by far. The vocabulary used in the Unison Shift: Blossom titles is quite similar, so if you intend to read Ley-Line or Flyable Heart you'll have a much easier time if you read this VN first. It is divided into short episodes, and the true route can be read without reading any other route. A short heartwarming romance story.

Recommended because:

The cast is enjoyable and if you like SoL it's a decent story.

Recommended because:

It is pretty short and the plot should be clear to most people already so if you can get past some of the weird speaking patterns, it should be ok.

Hook code: /ha-8@48d456

Hook code: none

Hook code: (Before patch) /HBC@43FE50 | (After patch) /HBC@43FCC0

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Flyable Heart -The future has already begun-

Flyable Heart -The future has already begun-

Lovely x Cation/Pretty x Cation series

(All ages version available)

Lovely x Cation

Sanarara

Sanarara

Twinkle ☆ Crusaders 

Twinkle ☆ Crusaders

Tokeijikake no Ley Line Series

Tokeijikake no Ley Line -Tasogaredoki no Kyoukaisen-

Good idea for a first read?  yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life.

Good idea for a first read? yes, but make sure you can read the unhookable content in the gameplay.

Common vocab: Daily life, dating (obviously)

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: everyday liye, school life, scifi

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Non-sensical conversation, magic, and school life

Recommended as first VN: yes

Common vocab: everyday and magic

Comment on difficulty:

Mostly short and simple sentences.

Comment on difficulty:

It’s a dating sim where the only purpose if for the mc to find a girl so it is easy to follow. Lots of CGs to provide cues to the plot if you are lost.

Comment on difficulty:

The VN is actually collection of 7 different stories with each story only about 3-5 hours long. The conversations between the characters are short and simple with the narration also being easy to follow. The scifi element is explained in very easy terms

Comment on difficulty:

The actual sentences themselves are not anything out of the ordinary nor are the vocabulary that difficult.

Comment on difficulty:

Very straightforward plot and very simple sentences. It does have mystery aspect to it, but it should be easy for even beginners to figure stuff out.

Potential pitfalls: 

Early on it is quite boring and lacks focus, hence you might end up dropping it before reaching its good parts.

The text in the character profiles can't be hooked.

Due to it having a mystery that’s spread over multiple routes it is very recommended that you read most, if not all the routes.

To be able to follow the story it is necessary to at least read Kururi's, Yui's and Suzuno's route, and the final two routes in the fandisc, Flyable CandyHeart.
It would be a good idea to avoid using a 100% save file.

Potential pitfalls:

Depends on whether you like dating sims or not and willing to learn the mechanics of the games.

Potential pitfalls:

Despite looking like a regular nakige, there is actually scifi element to it which could be confusing for some people.

Potential pitfalls:

For about the first 30 minutes, nothing will make sense because the writer seems to be insane. After that is calms down but some of the characters speak in a non-sensical manner

Potential pitfalls:  It is a trilogy and the best bit won’t happen until the 2nd part. There are some bits about magic that may stump beginners

Recommended because:

Because of its emotionally touching story and interesting mystery.
FCH features a summary of FH, which is great for just in case you missed any crucial part of the plot.

Recommended because:

More offering for the waifu wars? There is really no other reason to read this other than to date 2D girls.

Recommended because:

Genuinely good VN that doesn’t try to be more than what it actually is, which is making the reader sad. The navigator system is also used in very interesting ways

Recommended because:

It’s fun to read crazy things and this certainly is one. Don’t expect much from the gameplay though.

Recommended because:

Good cast and good plot that is short.

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: 

/HBN-4@463D76
/HSN2C@463D65

Hook code: none

Hoshi Ori Yume Mirai

https://a.pomf.cat/mvgsuz.jpg

Clover Days

Clover Day's

Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish Upon a Shooting Star-

Hoshizora no Memoria -Wish upon a Shooting Star-

ef - a fairy tale of the two

ef - a fairy tale of the two.

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days-

(All ages)

Root Double -Before Crime * After Days-

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: kansai ben (one character), everyday life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life, astronomy

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Biology, Physics, Science in general

Comment on difficulty:

It’s a dating sim where the only purpose if for the mc to find a girl so it is easy to follow. Lots of CGs to provide cues to the plot if you are lost.

Comment on difficulty:

It’s a standard cute light hearted character game..

Comment on difficulty: This is a no brainer as anyone who has read it knows that there isn’t much complicated material in the VN. The characters speak in short concise sentences and while there some astronomy terms used, it shouldn’t stump most beginners.

Comment on difficulty: Another very easy to read VN in Japanese. This one also has the “benefit” of having an anime adaptation so you should have no problem following the plot.

Comment on difficulty:

Short lines without much out of the ordinary writing wise and a plot that doesn’t make itself hard to follow.

It uses many specialized terms, but despite that, it’s still very manageable.

Potential pitfalls:

It’s very long if you want to finish the entire VN.

Potential pitfalls:

The kansai-ben aspect may stump people.

Potential Pitfalls: Some of the supernatural elements may confuse some people.

Potential Pitfalls: You have no control over how fast you can read the VN since you do not have control over the text in some parts.

Potential pitfalls:

The infodumps might not be very hard to read, but there are many of them, especially near the end of the game. Might make it tough to get through those parts.

The in game terms dictionary (TIPS) can’t be texthooked, however, you can freely read it whenever you like to and the vocab is the same as that that normally appears in the game, so if you’re having trouble you can always retry later when you’ve improved a bit.

(not to mention most of tips aren’t really important)

Recommended because:

If you want a VN that goes into long term relationship, this is one of the more famous ones.

Recommended because: you may have a kansai-ben fetish and this will absolutely satisfy on that front. It is a solid cute story so if you want that while reading something actually worthwhile, this is it.

Recommended Because: It’s an ok starter VN as well as being easy to read in Japanese. The true route is the highlight of the VN so expect to slog through some routes.

Recommended Because: It’s a very solid romance VN that is bound to leave some people crying by the end.

Recommended because:

It’s for the most part a fun ride. if you like the zero escape games you’d probably enjoy this

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: /HSN-C@BE00!319577E4

Little Busters! (or any other Key VN except Rewrite)

All ages (exempting Little Busters! Ecstacy)

Little Busters!

Dot Kareshi -We’re 8bit Lovers-

Dot Kareshi -We're 8bit Lovers-

Amnesia: Memories

(All ages)

Amnesia

Subarashiki Hibi ~Furenzoku Sonzai~

Dekinai Watashi ga, Kurikaesu

Dekinai Watashi ga, Kurikaesu.

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life,

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: RPG terms

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life

Good idea for a first read? No

Why not? See pitfalls
Common vocab: everyday life, school life, philosophy/religious, mathematics, science

Good idea for a first read? Not really
Common vocab: Everyday Life, Random Trivia

Comment on difficulty: The prose in Key VNs are quite simple so it shouldn’t be too difficult to understand what each lines says.

Comment on difficulty: This is a relatively easy VN to read and good for practice. In addition it’s split into 3 parts so even if you don’t like it, it’s short like Hanahira.

Comment on difficulty: Without any narrative, it becomes very easy to read. The conversations themselves shouldn’t be too difficult to handle as most of the conversation is around everyday life stuff.

Comment on difficulty:

The difficult parts are noticeable but seldom such as the part at the end of Rabbit Hole 1. Other than that, interactions with Ayana will make you double-take.

Comment on difficulty:

Game's difficulty varies depending on how well you know your standard Kanji, and how well you know your japanese pop culture.

Potential Pitfalls: The downside is that during the emotional scenes, the impact may be lessened if you try to look up several words every line.

One of the minigames has voice only parts.

Potential Pitfalls: The MC likes to speak in emojis for some reason and you may get rightfully annoyed.

Potential Pitfalls: This is one of the very few VNs you can’t really go wrong with as the narration is usually the most difficult part to read and this has none.

Potential pitfalls:

The sentences themselves are pretty straightforward in that there isn’t much grammatical complexity, however you must be 100% sure what you are reading to fully understand what the author is trying to convey. There are some parts that are in fact challenging but they’re relatively short Combine this with the fact that it is the prose and the atmosphere that wins this VN praise for being a kamige, makes it difficult for beginners to fully appreciate this VN. If you read this as a beginner, make sure to re-read it at a later time.

Potential pitfalls:

Has a lot of comedy,  so one may find this repetitive and overbearing. The "meat" of the VN is in Shino's route and the True route.  Comparing these with the other character routes is like night and day. May have pacing issues.

Recommended Because: One of the best well known key VNs. While it’s not the best nakige out there, it’s still not bad.

Recommended Because: It is rather an interesting concept to have the VN set in an MMO game.

Recommended Because: Very good looking bishies. The fact that it has no narration and the MC almost never speaks is strange but very solid otome VN.

Recommended because: It is one of the best games that messes with your perception of what is happening because it all connects very well and has a clear purpose. There is an incredible array of characters and is extremely thought provoking. It can’t be really simply summarized into a genre and is unlike anything else out there.

Recommended because: 
Likeable characters, meaningful message. A roller coaster of feelings

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: Requires you to hook a 32bit version of ppsspp with ITHVNR or VNR

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Akatsuki no Goei

Baldr Sky

Aiyoku no Eustia

Aiyoku no Eustia

Harumade, Kururu.

Harumade, Kururu.

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Good idea for a first read? No

Why not? The high amount of typos will make it though to go through with 0 reading experience

Common vocab: Words related to body-guarding(?).

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: Mechs, Computing, Cyberpunk

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: Daily life, Religious, Fantasy

Good idea for a first read? No

Why not? See pitfalls

Common vocab: Sex terms, school life.

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: everyday life, school life

Comment on difficulty:

It’s not easy as some other VNs but the sentences are still straight to the point. The plot is non-existent so it’s pretty much impossible to get lost. The plot eventually comes up in the 3rd part of the trilogy, but you don’t have to worry about that on this.

Comment on difficulty:

Everything is straightforward from the dialogue to the info-dumps.

Comment on difficulty:

Straightforward sentences structures and plot. Plot is still fun enough to keep the reader interested until the very end. Nothing too elaborate compared to most plot-oriented VNs with short sentences so it’s easy to follow.

Comment on difficulty:

Very straight forward like all the other VNs that share its rating.......kind of.

A transcript of the text at the start of the game can be found here.

Comment on difficulty:

A standard slice of life character based game where you follow characters around in their school. More difficult than many other standard character driven games but there isn’t too much of a plot for one to get lost in until the true route.

Potential pitfalls:

The writer pretty much wrote this for the jokes more than the actual plot. As a result, unless you know what they are saying 100%, the jokes will make no sense and it will be quite boring. Watching manzai humor on youtube may help.

Also has a lot of typos that will be hard to deal with as beginner.

Potential pitfalls:

Has tons of tutorial material to read that is displayed as image, which cannot be text hooked.

Is also extremely long at more than 4mb of text. You must also learn the gameplay mechanics to get to finish the VN.

Potential pitfalls:

The vocabulary will be difficult to get used to at first due to the fantasy element and unique vocabulary that  comes with such settings. so expect to move at a snail's pace for chapter 1. Occasionally there may be some grammar that may be difficult to look up at times.

Potential pitfalls:

Be ready for never ending collection of H-scenes in the very beginning. The game becomes more interesting once you manage to overcome those, so try not to drop it before then.

(The h-scenes in question are hilarious, though)

There are some hard parts later on in the game, it would be a good idea to find somebody

(who has finished the game), that you can ask questions when you reach those.

Potential pitfalls:

Much more difficult than your standard character based game since the characters actually do stuff.

Recommended because: It’s a good comedy VN and later in the trilogy it gets into some series materials.

Recommended because:

It’s incredible and you will gladly put in 100+ hours.

Recommended because:

Extremely fascinating setting that will keep you hooked until the end. By the end of this game, you will be familiar with 敬語 whether you like it or not.

Recommended because: Good sci-fi VN even if it may have some rough edges.

Recommended because:

It’s fairly good slice of life VN with fun characters. The cat, Gizaemon, is pretty awesome too.

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm

(All ages ok)

Artemis Blue

(All ages version available)

Artemis Blue

Evenicle

Evenicle

Chusingura 46+1

Fortissimo EXS//Akkord:Nachsten Phase

(Note: Get this particular version (EXS//Akkord:Nachsten Phase). The other games are incomplete.)

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: school life, everyday life, flight specifically the flying circus

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Engineering terms

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: Fantasy setting words

Good idea for a first read? Not really

Why not? Makes use of archaic japanese

Common vocab: Vocabularies relating to samurai/shogunate/bushido. Some old versions of everyday words.

Good idea for a first read? No

Why not? See pitfalls

Common vocab: School life, magic, fighting terminology, Chuu2 terms

Comment on difficulty:

It does devote a lot of time on preparing and taking part in the flying circus, but it’s not as elaborate as one may think. It does have lot of SoL parts in the script which are comparable to other character based games out there.

Comment on difficulty:

Straight forward dialogues in standard Japanese. Because all the characters are all adults, they don’t use weird speech patterns you would normally see in anime. The plot does get complicated but it should be relatively easy to follow as it is straightforward. Many of the infodumps have technical words which are translated very well into English.

Comment on difficulty:

About as easy as you could get for a VN with gameplay. The story is easy to follow and you will never be confused about MC’s motivation for doing things.

Comment on difficulty:

Yes it’s set in the 1800’s but the mc is from the modern age and with him providing the narrative and lot of the dialogue is centered around him, it is still possible to still read this VN.

Comment on difficulty:

The game in general, tends to be fairly descriptive and a tad bit artistic with the author’s way of putting things together. There’s a tendency to usually cram lots of information in long sentences and have the reader work around several ideas when abilities are being introduced (he’ll talk about what the ability entitles, how impossible it’ll be to overcome it, what would happen ‘even if’ something happened, show how the ability gets beaten, and more explanations on how the interactions occurred). The story is not difficult to follow, but it is easy to get lost in the fights if you aren’t paying attention. With that said, it’s completely manageable provided that you’ve read a few VNs first.

Potential pitfalls:

The flying circus and the narrative that comes with it may confuse some people at first. But after a few times I think it should be ok.

Potential pitfalls:

Even though individual technical words may translate well, put in an actual sentence they may confuse some people.

Potential pitfalls:

The fantasy aspect may be too much for some. The gameplay aspect is also unhookable so you may have trouble figuring out what different abilities do. Also expect lots of H-scenes.

Potential pitfalls:

However, just because you can doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to read this as your first VN. Some of the conversations from other characters will seem even more foreign to you than normal and some words will not even be in modern dictionaries as they are archaic. The VN is also very long and takes time for the plot to start so be ready for that.

Potential pitfalls

The game has long sentences, relatively high vocabulary including 四字熟語 and uncommon expressions.

There’s some less common grammar used, such as んとする、んばかり、らしからぬ、せん and some slang among the characters (most notable in the beginning with somebody who talks in Kansai ben)

Recommended because:

A good well paced VN with something futuristic sport added in to keep you interested. There is also the anime so if you liked that, you should read this.

Recommended because:

While not the best VN you can read, it’s a good introduction to a more realistic scifi VNs. Also one of the few VNs with a single mom MC.

Recommended because: The gameplay is genuinely fun and the story is not too bad either. Most people will find the gameplay to be too easy though.

Recommended because: It is a unique take on the story of chusingura and is a prime example of a doujin VN done right.

Recommended because: It’s a fantastic introduction to the world of chuuni that isn’t overwhelming difficult but remains challenging enough for you to get used to the expressions and vocabulary of more notable works (Dies Irae, Fate Stay Night, Comyu).

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Parfait

Parfait ~Chocolat Second Brew~

Kimi no Tonari de Koishiteru!

Kimi no Tonari de Koishiteru!

Stargazer -Shoujo wa Hoshi no Yume o Miru-

Stargazer -Shoujo wa Hoshi no Yume o Miru-

Duelist X Engage

Duelist x Engage

Satsukoi ~Yuukyuu Naru Koi no Uta~

Satsukoi ~Yuukyuu Naru Koi no Uta~

Good idea for a first read? No

Common vocab: Cooking, Business, Everyday Life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Everyday Life, School Life, some Athletics (track and field)

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Everyday Life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Everyday Life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Everyday Life, , some minor mythological vocab and biological

terms.

Comment on difficulty:

It comes off as a normal character based game at first and you will be able to follow everything for a while. The emphasis on the word while. Do not be fooled into thinking you will be able to understand everything as time goes on if you pick this as your first VN.

Comment on difficulty:

It won't give you trouble outside of things mentioned in the pitfalls section, but you might read it too slowly as your very first VN to be able to enjoy a lot of the comedy / character interactions that rely on comedic timing and/or decent comprehension.

Comment on difficulty:

Has everyday vocabulary and grammar, lots of simple dialogue.

Comment on difficulty:

For a large part the text is simple slice of life. However, it gets a little more complicated when it starts to focus on matters related to royal family such as politics, inheritance and etc.

Comment on difficulty:

Other than the occasional uncommon terms it's very simple and straightforward.

Potential pitfalls:

While it is a character based game, the prose can get complex further into the VN. Also unlike most VNs where it’s set in high school, this is set in college and in a restaurant setting so you maybe not be able to recognize some of the common words associated with those. The characters also don’t fall into your usual trope  filled characters so don’t expect them to stick with short sentences. This is definitely a good example of how Japanese people would actually speak.

Potential pitfalls:

Sometimes there are short text-less dialogue exchanges between scenes that cannot be texthooked, but they're pretty simple and you can jump back to the line before it using the backlog to re-listen if you want. The grandmother might be a bit hard to understand sometimes. Nagisa's route ending has an 8~ minute voiced epilogue that has no text and cannot be paused/texthooked, so be prepared to record that if you want to re-listen to specific bits of it.

Potential pitfalls:

None really.

Potential pitfalls:

All three princess routes are considered to have better story than the non-princess ones due to in-depth plot regarding royalties. Has standard archetype characters that might bore readers. The story starts to get interesting once a route is established. Route is very dependent on choices.

Potential pitfalls:

It moves somewhat quickly so you might miss details, but the VN will fill you in so you wouldn't be lost for very long.

Recommended because:

The writer of the game, Maruto, is a very good one

Recommended because:

Overall a solid, short-ish (15 hours on EGS), and easy moege with plenty of comedy and entertaining character interactions that you can still mostly understand as a beginner.

Recommended because:

Short, sweet, free, and has a voiced heroine. It's character focused and has an easy to follow story.

Recommended because:

It is really fun to read. The characters are lovable and each route fleshes out each heroine splendidly. The jokes are not forced. Has a solid plot regarding issues concerning royalty. One of the writer is Konno Asta, who also wrote for If My Heart Had Wings.

Recommended because:

It's a short and sweet story driven VN that keeps things moving so you won't have slice of life scenes that feel never ending.

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Watashi no Real wa Juujitsu Shisugiteiru

Watashi no Real wa Juujitsu Shisugiteiru

Storm Lover

Storm Lover

Good idea for a first read? Yes

Common vocab: School Life, Everyday Life, Nerd/internet culture

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: School Life, Everyday Life

Comment on difficulty:

Just general everyday school life. Each route isn't that long so it's pretty easy to keep up with the story, even with the flashbacks.

Comment on difficulty:

Conversations are short and sweet, so if you don't get something you move onto the next scene pretty quickly. There isn't too much of a plot either to keep up with.

Potential pitfalls:

None

Potential pitfalls:

None

Recommended because: Easy to understand, with a great and hilarious otaku heroine. And it's free.

Recommended because: It's funny, cute, and has fun characters. In a world of otome games filled with assholes, this stands out nicely.

Hook code: none

Hook code: none

Video Games

Kiseki series (7 games so far)

http://gekicore-gamelife.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/jan4956027125843_thumb.jpg

Zwei II

http://www.4gamer.net/games/208/G020849/20130319006/SS/009.jpg

Mahou Shoujo

Good idea for a first read? Not really

Why not? The torrent of vocab quickly gets overwhelming and will tempt you to avoid talking to the awesome npcs

Common vocab: pretty much everything

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Aircraft, rpg terminology, daily life

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Casual dialogue (The text consists of almost entirely dialogue). Some sci-fi related terminology.

Comment on difficulty:

Most of the text in the games is regular dialog that isn’t hard to follow, but the vocab used is very broad so prepare to be looking up things very often for a long time.

Has many characters using various kinds of speech ranging from heavy keigo to delinquent speech to a kansai accent.

Has so much text it that could be a bit overwhelming to get the fullest out of them games.

That said, if you’re willing to look up words often it’s even possible to play as first game.

Comment on difficulty:

Has pretty straightforward to read text, but to get the most out of it, it would help to get used enough to reading so you don’t get feel like ignoring the npcs forever.

Comment on difficulty:

Pretty normal difficulty. The vocab is quite spread out, with not that much repetition, but text is not particularly difficult. Most difficult part is probably reading casual-ish dialogue without voice, and the sci-fi portions.

Every scene and every line sort of matters.

However, if you do end up liking it, the VN is very replayable (More than one person has said that it was during their 2nd play-through where they really appreciated the VN.)

.

Potential pitfalls: 

Starting from the 4th game (the 4th one has a pretty bad pc port) of the series, the game switches to being console only, so no text hooking. That said, by the time you’ve finished a few of them you can probably manage.

Potential pitfalls: 

Has various things that aren’t hookable.

Potential pitfalls: 

The old game system.

No romance.

Lots of SPRG battles (if it bugs you, I’d recommend using a program like MHS to speed up the game during the end-game battles).

Very character and character-interaction focused.

Recommended because:

it’s one of the best rpg series out there

Recommended because:

It’s a fun game with some good writing.

Gameplay isn’t the best ever, but still fun enough in it’s own right.

Recommended because:

Huge cast of characters, each given a detailed character, attention, and freedom to interact.

It's like if you took a reasonably solid setting+plot skeleton and built on in it until you made one of the most moving and heartfelt large-cast character games ever.

Hook code:

(using any of these on a no-dvd.exe will crash the game)

Sora no kiseki First Chapter:

/HB4*0@4A6370 /KF32:16

(need to patch your game to this version first, overwrite the exe with this and use VNRITH as texthooker)

Sora no kiseki Second Chapter:

/HB4*0@4C29A0 /KF32:16

(need to patch your game to this version first)

Sora no kiseki  the 3rd:

 /HB4*0@49C0C0 /KF32:16

(need to patch your game to this version first)

Hook code: 

(using any of these on a no-dvd.exe will crash the game)

/HSN-20@425629 /KF

(need to patch your game to this version first)

Hook code: 

None

Manga

Espirit

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZS%2BYABdEL.jpg

Qualia the purple

Murasakiiro no Qualia

Love Hina

m

Tsuredure children

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mr0KSNBoL.jpg

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Sailing, school life, (shounen) fighting terms

Furigana: yes

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: Science, Philosophy

Furigana: yes

Good idea for a first read? yes

Common vocab: daily life

Furigana: yes

Good idea for a first read? no

Why not? No furigana

Common vocab: school life

Furigana: no

Comment on difficulty:

Very straightforward read, some of the power explanations could prove a bit confusing however.

Comment on difficulty:

The dialogue boxes are usually pretty succinct and all kanji has furigana so it’s extremely easy to look it up.

Comment on difficulty:

Furigana on everything. Situations tend to be quite straightforward (i.e. MC walks in on someone changing and then they get angry). In other words, there's not much subtlety or reading between the lines you have to worry about.

Comment on difficulty:

Incredibly easy to read, but no furigana kicks the difficulty up.

Potential pitfalls: 

Nothing much

Potential pitfalls: 

There are pretty complex ideas integrated into the plot which might make difficult to follow.

Potential pitfalls: 

One of the characters isn't good at Japanese and thus misreads kanji, but that is pretty minor.

There's more text than a 4-koma but no info dumps or anything.

Potential pitfalls: 

Laughter might make your stomach hurt.

The site is ordered it blog form so you have to use the sidebar to read the stories, otherwise you might end up reading them in reverse.

Recommended because:

Might not be the best thing ever, but is still an enjoyable ride with nice art that’s not very difficult to read.

Is also a battle shounen with a female protag, which is somewhat rare.

Recommended because:

It’s brilliantly executed and I find it to be superior to other works in the genre such as Stein’s;Gate.

Recommended because:

Can be funny and It's a pretty laid back manga.If you like harem-comedy manga then it's a nice intro to reading them in Japanese.

Recommended because:

Feels.

Is also pretty funny