I’ve been meaning to join this community for some time now, but better late than never, right?
Anyway, I’m a 23 year old Computing student from and living in London, England. Some of you may recognise me from my involvement in the English language translation of the Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni visual novel.
Fun fact: I just ran the numbers, and I can say that, between August 2016 and July 2017, we have received over 1,400 downloads. Considering our translations been out for a few years now, I’m glad so many people are still checking out Higanbana for the first time!
I first became aware of 07th Expansion in 2008 or 2009 when a friend of mine tweeted a positive comment about the music from something called “Higurashi”. My curiosity was piqued, so I hopped onto Wikipedia to find out more. I didn’t really understand what it meant by a “sound novel”, but as a fan of mystery stories, the premise appealed to me. However, I learnt that it was in Japanese only. At the time, my Japanese knowledge was virtually non-existent, so I closed the browser tab and carried on with my life.
My first foray into visual novels came when, in 2010, I read this article on Destructoid about Kira Kira, which was translated by MangaGamer. I thought it sounded interesting, so I gave it a try. Though I would later try Kira Kira again much later and love it, it didn’t appeal to me the first time round. Even so, it introduced me to visual novels and, crucially, MangaGamer, whose website I decided to check out.
Whilst browsing MangaGamer’s website, I noticed an entry called Higurashi When They Cry. This rang a bell for me. Could this be the same Higurashi I had wanted to check out but had been unable to because of my lack of Japanese ability? Naturally, it was. In the time since I had first learnt of Higurashi, MangaGamer had started translating the visual novels. I gave it a try and instantly fell in love with it.
After reading the Higurashi visual novels, I read the Umineko visual novels. Again, I enjoyed them immensely. I also watched both the Higurashi and Umineko anime, which I have mixed feelings about. When I learnt about a project to translate Higanbana, I offered to lend a hand, and the rest is history.
I have since read Rose Guns Days, though I have yet to experience Trianthology. Whilst my Japanese has improved a fair amount over the years, reading Japanese novels is still a slow process for me, so that has put me off slightly. Even so, perhaps I will attempt it as some point.
Higurashi is still my favourite 07th Expansion story, perhaps because it was the first I read, but likely moreso because the message of the importance of friendship resonates deeply with me. It completely changed my outlook on life and, in a way, has made me a happier and more positive person.
To answer the couple remaining prompts, I found Rokkenjima through @Aspirety, who mentioned it to me some time back. I have to say, this looks like a fantastic website. I’m glad there is a place collating new information about 07th Expansion. It’s a big help for someone like me who has been out of the game for a while.
Outside of 07th Expansion, I enjoy programming, playing video games, reading books, listening to music, watching films and TV, and learning Japanese.
I think I’ve written far more than I originally planned, but anyway… It’s good to meet you all, and I look forward to being a part of this fantastic community!