Popular visual novel hub Fuwanovel is back on its feet

If you’ve been looking for a place to hang out and talk about visual novels, Fuwanovel is a new community just waiting for you to join. Well, actually it’s a rather old and well-established community — but after a period of dormancy, it’s been given a new breath of life.

If you’re a western fan of visual novels, doubtless you’re aware that there are certain… considerations when it comes to online communities that celebrate the medium. Most notably, one of the largest visual novel communities online is moderated by a figure that is… somewhat controversial, to say the least, and the continued presence of this individual has caused quite a few tensions among the visual novel fan community at large, and particularly between fans, developers, localisers and publishers.

It’s been clear for a while that something needed to change, and that’s why we’ve seen the re-establishment of Fuwanovel in the hope it will once again become a premier destination for people to hang out and talk about visual novels, including otome titles, eroge and nukige.

Fuwanovel’s resurrection has been managed by the rapidly expanding and primarily German-speaking site Visual-Novel.info, whose management had been keen to broaden their coverage to a more global audience over time. Thus, in collaboration with the staff’s former staff members Zaka, Emi, Poltroon, Dergonu, Plk_Lesiak and Clephas Aurenius, Fuwanovel has been brought under the Visual-Novel.info banner, and is now intended to be the site’s international English-language arm.

In years gone by, Fuwanovel was probably best known for its forums, though, and the site’s posts go back about 10 years or so. The threads from the site’s original incarnation are still fully intact, so it’s possible to look back over a decade of posts about the history of visual novels in the west, guides to a variety of titles, tools to help you play international releases and fan translations of titles that haven’t yet had an official localisation. The site is keen to stress that there is “no discrimination between official translations or fan translations”.

One nice feature of Fuwanovel is that the forum features the ability for its users to post their own blogs, allowing for a nice centralised community of more substantial posts than your usual forum messages tend to offer. Fuwanovel is also happy for those who have existing sites to publish their work to post excerpts on Fuwanovel and hyperlink to the full posts, making use of the community to get more eyes on your work.

This is a good and somewhat “retro” way of handling community posts — gamers of a certain age may recall when big gaming sites like 1up.com, GameSpot and IGN provided the facility for readers to have their own profile pages with blog posts, clubs and mini-forums. That kind of thing isn’t so widespread these days — but bringing it back for a specialist community like Fuwanovel, where people will be inclined to want to talk about their passions at length, is a great idea.

The site also features its own official blog with an international team of writers, and the long-term intention is to match Visual-Novel.info’s German-language output in English. And, as is obligatory for most online communities today, there’s also a large and active Discord server to add to your anxiety-inducing sidebar of things that are impossible to stay on top of. Or perhaps that’s just me.

Anyway, with Fuwanovel’s proud return, they’re obviously keen to attract both new and lapsed members — so if you’ve been looking for a place to hang out and talk about visual novels that isn’t run by a complete sociopath, be sure to stop by, join up, say hi and perhaps even post a blog or two. You can find the forums here, the main blog here, the Discord here, the Twitter account here and the Facebook page here. There’s also a “master links” page featuring links to all their offerings in one place — well worth a bookmark.

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Pete Davison
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