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Personal profile for pleasereadthemanual

Registered: 18 November 2021 at 8:25 pm UTC
Last Login: 14 January 2022 at 7:50 am UTC
Article Comments: 25
Forum Posts: 0
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A little about me
I most enjoy playing visual novels in Japanese. It's a great way to learn the language—while the medium has some of the most unique stories to offer in terms of Japanese media. うみねこのなく頃に is a story that would have been difficult to tell in any other way—though they've certainly tried to adapt it. My favorite aspect of visual novels is their length; I get to spend dozens of hours with a story and learn to love the characters.

I also like indie games the most. However, I've always been a big fan of the Halo series and have put thousands of hours into Halo 3 alone. It's the only reason I still dual-boot Windows on my desktop PC, though I haven't played much lately.

I'm also a free software advocate. These are the free software tools in my arsenal for learning Japanese:

1. mpv - the only media player worth using
2. Anki - the only SRS worth using—it's a flashcard program that decides when to present cards to you depending on your answers
3. yomichan - browser add-on that allows installation of J-J and J-E dictionaries to lookup Japanese words/phrases/kanji
4. AnkiConnect - programmatically create and update Anki Cards
5. mpvacious - automatically copy subtitles to clipboard (with clipboard monitoring turned on in yomichan) to lookup words in background, then create high-quality flashcards in Anki by inserting a screenshot/audio snippet from the show
6. easycrop - mpv plugin that allows non-destructively cropping part of the video to crop out hardsubs
7. ames - quickly capture audio and images from other native material like VNs. It automatically updates the last flashcard edited using AnkiConnect with the audio/image captured by ames
8. Aegisub - retime subtitles
9. yt-dlp - download anime to strip them of english subtitles and add Japanese subtitles to them, allowing quick lookups with yomichan so I can quickly add new words to cards in Anki
10. Lutris - a game launcher and library for games on GNU/Linux using WINE, emulators, or natively.
11. Textractor - automatically hook (most) VN text (only works through WINE)
12. Gazou OCR - high-quality OCR for Japanese (better than KanjiTomo)
13. unar - decompression application for .rar archives and more—this is necessary for a lot of DLSite archives which use a Japanese character encoding a lot of other decompression tools on GNU/Linux can't process.

HiDive is my favorite streaming platform. FUNimation is my least favorite. I refuse to use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime as they require the installation of Widevine decryption modules in my browser, and because I fervently believe the open web is no place for DRM, I do not want to encourage these practices.

I despise DRM. I do not buy Blu-Ray discs for this reason. As the vast majority of visual novels are "protected" by DRM, I contend with it on a regular basis.

This is my advice to GNU/Linux users who wish to play Visual Novels in Japanese.

- Don't buy from DMM; their Soft-Denchi DRM doesn't work on GNU/Linux. I have yet to find a VN sold from this platform that does not contain 1 of 2 invasive forms of DRM that are incompatible with WINE.

- Be careful about the VNs you buy on Steam. I have yet to come across a VN that does not work through Proton, but I have had incredible difficulty getting Textractor to work. A good deal of VNs also do not include the original Japanese text. Be sure to check for this on the store page if this is important to you.

- Buying VNs physically is also problematic. You will most likely end up with a VN that uses AlphaROM as a DRM protection scheme. This will not work through WINE; however, you can input the code that came with the disk on SETTEC for a profile to bypass the check. Some VNs are protected with Siglus's DRM scheme, which while I haven't tested it, seems unlikely to work through WINE, and there does not appear to be a way to bypass it. Other games, like Rewrite, require the Japanese version of Windows 10 to work; changing your locale is not enough. These games will likely not work on WINE.

- Buy from DLSite! PlayDRM works fine through WINE (you just need to input a serial number that you're given after purchasing), and they also sell a surprising amount of DRM-free games.

- Buy from GOG! They have a tiny selection of VNs with the original Japanese, though Higurashi is included in this category. These VNs are DRM-Free and this is pretty much as good as it gets.

- Use unar for decompressing archives that use Japanese characters. Most other decompression tools will garble the characters and make it impossible for the game to find necessary files to play the game.

Following this advice, you can still end up with a sizable list of good VNs to play. If you are a Kopimist, none of what I'm saying will concern you, as the games themselves, sans the DRM, work perfectly well on GNU/Linux most of the time through WINE or Proton.
PC info
  • Distribution: Arch Arch
  • Desktop Environment: GNOME
  • Do you dual-boot with a different operating system? Yes Mac
  • RAM: 32GB
  • CPU Vendor: AMD
  • GPU Vendor: Nvidia
  • GPU Driver: Proprietary
  • Monitors: 1
  • Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • VRR (Variable refresh rate): No
  • Main gaming machine: Desktop
  • Gamepad: Xbox One
  • PC VR headset: Not planning to get one
  • Session Type: x11
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