MangaGamer Publishing Indie Visual Novels

By Ishaan . December 2, 2012 . 1:30pm

Visual novel publisher, MangaGamer, have begun to publish OEL (or Original English Language) visual novels of late. Among their first lot of OEL titles are Jisei and Kansei, two short mystery visual novels by an indie developer named SakeVisual, who were founded by voice actress, Apphia Yu.


Jisei is about a teenager with no name, who wanders from city to city, burdened by the weight of an extraordinary ability. When he’s accused of murder, he begins to try and prove his innocence, while a voice in his head warns him to watch his step.


Kansei is a follow-up game and involves the death of the owner of a high-profile corporation. In Kansei, the protagonist teams up with others who appear to have abilities as strange as his own, but they might pose a greater threat than the killer they’re all looking for.


MangaGamer are selling Jisei and Kansei as a single bundle on their store for $25.91 (€19.95). Both games are all-ages titles.


Meanwhile, another game, Host Holic, skews more toward the otome side. You play as someone who’s in Japan to teach English for a year, and begins to explore the dating scene in Tokyo. The game requires you to balance your job as a teacher and your dating activities with the four potential male partners you meet.


Host Holic is available for $20.71 (€15.95). The game is classified as an all-ages title, but MangaGamer say that it is “recommended for a mature audience”. Host Holic is developed by Visual Novel Games.

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  • Jisei is a great game! but it’s way too short… =/

  • Himiko

    This is cool.

    I always support Mangagamer by buying there Eroge. So I shall try this!

  • Oltheros

    That’s cool I guess, it doesn’t even require translation efforts. I just wish they would release some of the more popular VNs instead of going for those that can be licensed for pennies.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      The JP companies banking MG still haven’t quite understood the difference between the two markets. Nothing has sold more than a few thousand copies and their products still suffer from ‘compared to western software’ pricing. Yes, the prices are ‘more fair’ if looked at under the glass of JP eroges, but that hurt the ef release, which saw steps taken to protect against reverse importing.

      The straight sex romp games actually see a small profit at those sales figures but bigger titles like KnS or Kohime Mousou are a bit more of a making $$$ struggle.

      • Oltheros

        But I think their even their sex romps are bottom-of-the-barrel. There’s stuff like Bishoujo Mangekyou out there. Never in a million years would they license that.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          MG has its share of games with sex the loli events, but I agree something that blatant would be totally off limits. The publishers and ‘brands’ available are pretty much the issue, where the strong focus is on nukige gang rape games or ones with graphics that fan games put to shame.

    • Ladius

      As sad as it is, nukige fans actually buy their games and support them making them profitable, while quality eroges and all ages visual novels have apparently an hard time making a profit, at least on PC. As I said above, Boob Wars has already sold more than Dengeki Stryker and is about to surpass Kara no Shoujo.

      Then again, it seems that physical editions have doubled Mangagamer’s sales (for the affected games, obviously), and that will probably improve their situation compared to the digital-only period when they couldn’t benefit from the physical-only audience made by collectors.

      • Himiko

        That’s good to hear. I’m really enjoying Oppai Sensou. :D Definitely well deserved on their part.

        • Ladius

          I’m not saying nukiges should disappear, I recognize the right of different people to enjoy different things, it’s just that I would like to see a more varied visual novel lineup on PC without having to resort mainly on fantranslators.

          Then again, I respect you nukige fans for supporting the games you like, something many of us fans of all ages visual novels or story driven eroges apparently can’t be bothered to do… Until people start actually supporting publishers and developers they like things aren’t gonna change.

          • Himiko

            Not to worry, I wasn’t saying you were. You’re a lot fairer than people who can’t accept it and outright call us disgusting. XD

            I’m guilty of that sometimes as well. For example, Steins;Gate. I am grateful there’s so much effort from a small team put into translating so much text, but I’d like a proper localization version.

            Maybe it can change. Marketing it is hard.

  • Ladius

    Glad to see Mangagamer expanding their offer to more all-ages visual novels, oel or Japanese that they may be. I also think it’s important to support the budding oelvn scene by helping out its best developers, and teams such as Sakevisual, Hanako Games or Dischan probably need better venues to sell their games to begin with.

    After all, since Mangagamer seem unable to sell its games on Steam thanks to Greenlight’s requirements, their best option is to became the Steam of visual novels and otaku-oriented games, and the inclusion of oelvns and shoot’em ups like the eXceed games is a step in the right direction.

    I also hope Mangagamer can resume offering us quality eroges or all ages games instead of the horde of nukiges seen in the last months, as much as I understand that nukiges sadly see better sales than most other visual novels on PC (Boob Wars just outselled Dengeki Stryker’s LTD sales and will probably overcome Kara no Shoujo in some days…). They told us they will talk with Innocent Grey again in February, so I hope we will have some news on either Kartagra or Kara no Shoujo 2 in 2013.

    • Göran Isacson

      Have to admit I’m curious now- what are the requirements of Greenlight that prevent Steam from accepting Visual Novels? Or is it just that the voting audience on Greenlight don’t approve of Visual Novels?

      • Yerld_CK

        The latter is a problem. They put Higurashi and Go! Go! Nippon! on Greenlight, but there’s so little support among Steam users. Not only are the games struggling to get positive votes, but there are apparently a lot of negative votes (and comments on the page) as well. Only Valve knows the exact criteria for a successful submission, but it’s rumored that at least 500,000 positive votes are required.

        Trying to convince Valve to carry the titles was a tall order. However, the shift to Greenlight seemingly kills any chance of it happening (and kinda vindicates Steam’s reluctance to approve such games).

        • Juan Andrés Valencia

          The problem is that you are giving the option of releasing a game to people that think that:

          1.- The game is a visual novel which apparently also means “LOL HENTAI PORN TENTACLES” (This one is false, hell, you can play Saya No Uta, Fate/Stay Night and Katawa Shoujo without the sex scenes and you’ll barely miss anything).
          2.- That anything anime related is awful.
          3.- That the sprites are ugly (There’s a fairly unofficial patch that replaces them).

          It’s pretty sad but if I had to pick between this and getting another game like Revelations 2012 or Bad Rats in Steam I’d rather pick the first option

        • Göran Isacson

          Gotcha, so it’s mostly people being anti-VN that is the problem… the tyranny of the majority in display, I guess.

    • Alphabet Soup

      I’m curious as well on what Goran asked. I’ve heard there have been many issues with Steam’s Greenlight program, so I’m curious to see what’s hurting visual novels.

      • Ladius

        You must gather enough votes on Greenlight for your game to be approved (as of now, the number isn’t disclosed, but it’s probably well in the thousands), and since visual novels are instantly bashed and downvoted by a large crowd of haters, people who don’t believe visual novels should be sold on Steam, people who think every vn is porn (despite Go Go Nippon and Higurashi being all ages) and, as sad as it is, some people who sound like simply anti-Japanese aside from videogame genres, it’s pretty unlikely a vn would ever be successful with that model.

        It’s funny to see how arbitrary this process is, since Analogue A Hate Story and some other oelvn were able to get on Steam before Greenlight hit Steam, while now there’s pretty much no chance in hell to see another vn released there unless their model changes dramatically.

        Personally, I think Greenlight’s principle is wrong, since it seems to imply that a game can only be worthy (or profitable) when it appeals to an extremely large crowd, discounting the idea of niche games doing well and the variety which is one of the biggest strength of PC gaming.

        Valve seems to want to discard part of their own selection process to employ a 100% Greenlight selection on new devs, which not only seem a really unprofessional choice, but would be extremely troubling for developers and publishers new to Steam.

        What is more infuriating is that Steam pretty much IS PC gaming nowadays, and if you can’t get in there you will be excluded from the largest venue in that market.

        • Alphabet Soup

          Thanks for the explanation. I had seen Higurashi on Steam and seen some nasty comments, but I didn’t realize about the ability to down-vote or how arbitrary the threshold was. It is disappointing, because Steam could be a great venue for niche games!

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Has anyone been able to garner a direct public response regarding Valve’s attitude? I know Peach Princess tried ages ago and got blocked. I’d guess fear of that one picture which creates a massive PR/legal crapstorm far out of proportion to the sales provided by a VN.

          Valve’s own games have always carried enough nods to elements of Japanese manga and anime that the folks there can’t be unaware of the products.

  • neetyneety

    Ahh, good ol’ SakeVisual. They did RE Alistair ++, the only otome game I liked.

  • neu

    Jisei is a *really* good game! So good, in fact, that I was hooked from start to finish. The one and only problem I had with it, is that it is waaaay too short for the purchase price. Seriously.
    I still have yet to play the second installment, though.

  • Alexandra Cordes

    An otome? Please have at least one cute guy, please just have at least one guy who’s my type…

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