I go by Laramie Castiel. In case you’re not sure, it’s not my real name. Anyway, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you. 🙂
Before I get stuck into my blog, I wanted to introduce myself.
Born and raised in Australia, I consider myself a veterinary nursing student (though at the time of writing this, I won’t be back in college until June/July) and have almost finished a retail course. In the future, I hope to become a fully qualified veterinary nurse, or further my studies and become a veterinarian. Much, much easier said than done for the latter, so we’ll see how I feel two or so years from now. I’m not comfortable with revealing my exact age, but let’s say I’m definitely 18+. Outside of visual novels, I like watching some anime, reading some manga, video gaming and creative writing. I’m not an outdoorsy person whatsoever!
I can’t remember which one I played first, but the earliest memories I have of playing some kind of VN is in the early 2000s: a DNA² one, a Love Hina one and a Galaxy Angel one, all fanmade. Well, they’re more like dating sims with visual novel storytelling in between the stat-raising. It wasn’t until late 2010 that I had played a “proper” visual novel to completion. It was the popular BL game, Luckydog1. I then got curious as to what other types of visual novels were out there.
Also, I greatly enjoyed Hirakawa Daisuke’s performance as Ivan Fiore, so I looked up what VNs Hirakawa-san was in and it all continued on from there. I learned of Starry Sky and School Days. Starry Sky ~in Spring~ was the first otome game I ever played, and honestly, my impression wasn’t very good. However, since I dislike leaving a series unfinished, I soldiered on and played the rest. I enjoyed ~in Summer~, somewhat liked ~in Autumn~ and didn’t care for ~in Winter~ at all. Since I liked Miyaji Ryuunosuke and Haruki Naoshi from ~in Summer~ and ~in Autumn~ respectively, I searched for what else their seiyuu had done, and so the “chain” of searching for new visual novels went on.
After I completed School Days, I got more curious about male-targeted eroge, and looked for some more titles, using VNDb.org to help me choose some new stuff. Nowadays, I just look up official sites or other review blogs to try and keep up-to-date with those that even vaguely interest me. I pretty much play anything without worrying about genre, target audience, sexual content, etc./ I like to think I’m relatively open-minded and will try 90% of games/drama CDs I come across. Having said that, I currently prefer otome stuff the most. I consider myself a “true” otome fan since early 2012. So all-in-all, I wouldn’t call myself as having a ton of exposure to the otome world yet.
As for drama CDs, it’s more of a recent phenomenon. I listened to my first one in 2012, which was vol. 1 of Diabolik Lovers (Sakamaki Ayato). The content wasn’t anything to write home about, but I did enjoy the dummy head mic experience. I wondered what the rest of the brothers’ CDs were like (plus again, I don’t like not finishing a series). After finishing all 6 Diabolik Lovers CDs, I ended up just playing more visual novels and didn’t really get back into the drama CD scene until mid-2013. That’s when I tried listening to some doujin works, and found that I quite enjoyed them. As a result, I got back into commercial drama CDs too. These days, I keep an eye out for new drama CDs I think I’ll like as enthusiastically as visual novels.
I like many seiyuu, but my favourite male actors are Hosoya Yoshimasa, Kakihara Tetsuya, Kishio Daisuke, Ono Yuuki, Oosaka Ryouta, Sakurai Takahiro and Takahashi Hiroki. My female seiyuu favourites are Inoue Kikuko, Kitamura Eri, Mizusawa Kei, Saitou Chiwa and Sawashiro Miyuki. I suppose I could be considered a seiyuu otaku, but I don’t entirely agree with this because I have no interest in them beyond keeping abreast of their professional happenings, acting merits and of course, their voices alone. Don’t care what they look like, who they’re dating, what they do outside of professional boundaries and such. I do fit the bill of “meticulously keeping track of aliases and what they perform in” quite well, however! :S
Since I like otome media the most, I think most of my posts will be about it. However, there may be a BL, bishoujoge or a misc. VN review every now and then. At least, that’s my plan. Maybe I’ll end up making this blog solely about otome media. I’m not really sure yet.
Here’s how I plan on scoring things in my reviews:
Games will be scored in the following categories, with F being the minimum and A+ being the maximum:
Music and Sound
Gameplay and System
CDs will be scored in the following categories, with F being the minimum and A+ being the maximum.
Music and Sound
The grade of each category should be able to relay where I think the strengths and weaknesses of the game/CD lies. Here are the grades and what they represent:
A = Outstanding, or even perfect. I have little-to-no complaints whatsoever in the category. Sometimes, this might even indicate I think it’s one of the best of its category I’ve come across (at the time of the review).
B = Good. Shows a high standard in the category.
C = Average. I have no extreme negative or positive opinions in this field.
D = Bad. Something saves it from being completely irredeemable, but it’s significantly lacking.
F = Abysmal. I honestly think there is nothing redeeming in this department. An “F” can safely be interpreted as one of the worst of its category I have encountered thus far (at the time of the review).
Pluses or minuses next to a grade will indicate that I feel that something isn’t completely one or the other. For example, I may assign something a “C-” because I think it’s below average, but not necessarily “bad (D)”.
Anyway, I think I have written enough already… many thanks to those that read this through until the end! So I just wanted to sign this off saying that I hope you enjoy reading what I write as much as I enjoy writing it!
See you around,