Statement on the Visual Novel Translations on Petals’ Garden

The partnership between MangaGamer and St. Michael Girls’ School represents a significant step forward in the business plan of St. Michael Girls’ School. In light of this, I have deemed it necessary to make significant changes to the administration of Petals’ Garden. Effective immediately, Petals’ Garden will no longer host content of questionable legality and will take greater measures to respect the copyrights of Fuguriya, Yurin Yurin, and St. Michael Girls’ School. Only the visual novel translations are affected as they contained images and code copyrighted by at least one of those companies. The light novel translations contain cover images freely available on Fuguriya’s website and entirely original text. The web page and video content are labeled free to redistribute. Other parties may continue translations of the visual novels, but they will not be endorsed by Petals’ Garden.

Update 10 July 2015: Petals’ Garden will also no longer support the translations on Yuri Project, but the translations posted there remain the property of their authors and can be continued at their discretion.

The goal of the visual novel translations was to raise awareness of the series as a whole and demonstrate interest in official Western releases. The partnership between St. Michael Girls’ School and a major Western publisher of visual novels signifies that they have succeeded. However, Petals’ Garden was created strictly to promote A Kiss For The Petals, and the responsibility of visual novel translation and distribution now belongs to MangaGamer, the official partner of St. Michael Girls’ School. As I have written in the past, the creators of A Kiss For The Petals have been aware of the fan translation efforts since their inception, but such efforts are now subject to greater scrutiny by all companies involved. For the reasons above, there is no longer any legal justification to continue to distribute them. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but as Petals’ Garden is recognized as a major English news source for A Kiss For The Petals developments, this change is necessary to ensure that the partnership will be a success and maximize the chances of future English licenses. I thank you for your understanding of this decision in this crucial time for these two companies.

Anonymous asks: Why do you love pantyhose so much?

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This was a surprisingly difficult question for me to answer directly. The following is the most comprehensive answer I can provide at the moment, and I will expand on it in the future for those interested.

It is an augment for a natural attraction to female legs. The skin-tight fabric that constitutes tights and pantyhose changes the appearance of the lower body significantly. The complete coverage waist to toe makes for a kind of perfection–a completion–that is not intended with stockings. While much has been discussed about the zettai ryouiki phenomenon, it is directly at odds with my own preferences. Stockings and thigh-high socks leave the thighs exposed, whereas tights cover the thighs and allow them to enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the leg. In the rare occasion that the waist and hips are exposed as well, the effect is even greater, as the border between the waistband and the exposed upper body can create an effect I would venture is similar to the zettai ryouiki. I am averse to patterns, fishnets, and damage to the fabric, as the perfection is lost with even the smallest aberration in the fabric.

To repeat some information from the two “Apparel For The Petals” posts on Cray’s Notes (part 1, part 2), the color and denier (thread density) can create a wide range of effects that other garments cannot, all of which heighten the femininity of the curves of the legs–in particular, the color gradient (preferably not skin tone), reflectivity, and the ability of the tights to cover imperfections in the skin. Examples include white tights creating an image of purity, opaque black tights showing the wearer as proper and formal, and other colors having all manner of other effects depending on color warmth, none of which are possible to the same extent with bare legs or partial coverings. In addition, I use the term “tights” as it specifically refers to opaque fabrics and deliberate colros, while “pantyhose” most often refers to sheer fabrics close to skin tone. However, black and brown pantyhose that results in dark colors dissimilar from the natural color of the legs are equivalent to tights for the above purposes.

All of this being said, it is the feet that are affected greatest by the wearing of tights and pantyhose. While the foot fetish is the most common worldwide, I have a particular fondness for feet in tights, pantyhose, and similar coverings, and do not care for bare feet except in allegorical contexts. All of the above applies doubly for the feet. It is uncommon to see characters wear tights or pantyhose without shoes, but these cases are the most ideal in showcasing the above points. Depending on the position and prominence of the feet in the image, they can have highly contrasting imagery. When visible and not the focus of the image, tights-covered feet can imply innocence, but when they are presented forward with the sole, they paint the subject as aggressive or seductive. While bare feet do the same, the covering from tights largely eliminates sanitary concerns.

In addition, it is becoming increasingly common for animated works to feature ensembles with at least one character in tights. In animated works, skin-tight coverings of different material can appear to be the same depending on their opacity and how they are depicted to reflect light. However, if it is clear that the material is not nylon or anything similar to real world materials used in the manufacturer of tights and pantyhose, the effect is greatly lessened.

Anonymous asks: What have you been playing recently?

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The most recent games I’ve played are Geometry Wars 3 and Nuclear Throne, two arena shooter games that have similar controls but contrasting design. Both games are similar in that they are very challenging to the point that the average length of single gameplay sessions are about the same. I feel that where they differ most is in their progression.

Geometry Wars challenges the player by constantly changing the playfield with enemy waves of variable density and speed. Although there is some degree of randomness, the player’s abilities change very slowly and the layout of the levels are static. The player can set for themselves a helper drone and a limited super ability before the level begins, and the only upgrades available for firepower change the firing rate and direction. As a result, the player is encouraged to constantly shoot at everything without fear of depleting ammunition or self-destructing and focus on positioning against and dodging enemies with erratic movement patterns that generally do not fire back. There are a number of gameplay formats that engage the player’s limited options in a variety of ways (some of which restrict them), which present in order in the Adventure mode and in the Classic modes at the player’s demand.

By contrast, Nuclear Throne‘s procedural generation systems instead have the player character constantly change with many different types of weapons and upgrades, and the challenge comes partly from improvisation with the randomly selected options given to the player in each session. As of this writing, there are 12 characters with unique special abilities, rather than a single ship that depends on combinations of modules to enhance its odds of survival. The levels are linear and have randomly generated layouts and enemy placement. With limited ammo available to the player and enemies with more sophisticated AI, the focus shifts from careful movement to careful planning of attacks. Because most enemies do not have to be near the player to become a threat to them, dodging incoming enemy fire now shares importance with dodging the enemies themselves. As a counterpart to Geometry Wars, there is only a single gameplay mode with the ultimate goal of reaching the ending rather than the high score.

Anonymous asks: Why do you keep your site worksafe when it’s all about a hentai?

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The reasons include hosting regulations and a desire to widen my audience as much as possible.

My previous web hosts restricted explicit content. Although the translation patcher programs contained data for explicit images, they were not obvious or accessible until they were installed. I was able to link to websites with non-safe graphics as long as they were clearly marked, and I was able to promote Fuguriya’s work without using any such images myself for several years. Earlier this year, I transferred to a company that offers unmanaged VPS hosting, where restrictions on adult content are much more lax. I am now able to feature explicit material freely, and in fact I do have non-worksafe content on my personal blog here.

However, because I have managed to build an audience for an adult-oriented series without using its main draw for this long, I hesitate to change this unless my audience expressly approves of it. A sudden change in this policy can have unexpected reactions and would limit my ability to rank on search engines. Approval from my readers would have to justify the impact of the latter, as I am making a concerted effort to rank for the de facto English name “A Kiss For The Petals” as a search term.

Anonymous asks: Is Anzu Hana really her actual name?

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Ok, I know it’s mentioned before, but is Anzu Hana really her actual name? What else does she play as? I heard that she plays Squid Girl, but I could be wrong. What’s your opinion on her?

Performers in adult-oriented media almost always use aliases. It is unlikely that Anzu Hana is her legal name. Her website and her Japanese Wikipedia entry have more information about her work.

The Squid Girl is voiced by Kanemoto Hisako, who is not the same person.

I am impressed at the amount of dedication she has shown to A Kiss For The Petals since she became a part of it in 2007’s Joined in Love with You. She has performed many of its theme songs, played two characters, hosted Reo-ppoi Radio for over three years, released four CDs under her name through Fuguriya, and held her own fan event at Girls Love Festival on 2 March 2014. That said, I have not yet worked out a means to establish regular correspondence with her over the radio, as she has not responded to any of my letters on the show since October 2013.

Anonymous asks: How did you end up being an Editor for the English Translations of Sono Hanabira?

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In March 2010, I discovered an English translation for My Dear Prince by Kamyu Aaru and shijima that was approximately half completed. At the time, the translation had stalled, but at the same time, I had come across tools dedicated to editing the visual novels created by Proger_XP. Inspired by the success of Count Pacula’s prior translation of the first A Kiss For The Petals visual novel in February 2010, I took it upon myself to finish their work with my own abilities in text and image editing and contacted the translators to complete the script. I offered to proofread their work and edit the graphics in order to minimize their workload. I learned NSIS scripting for the express purpose of automating the file patching process and released the first version of the translation on 9 January 2011.

The success of that release attracted other translators for the following visual novels, some of whom came directly to me to begin new translations. For those groups that began their own projects independently, I came to them and offered my support for all editing tasks so that they can focus solely on the translation, and as of August 2014, eight visual novel translations had been released with my support. I now supervise all translation projects for this series at Yuri Project, where in January 2012, the four translation projects I was working on at the time — Whisper With A Kiss, Dyed With An Angel’s Petals, Sweet Grown-up Kisses, and Lily Platinum — were migrated and made open for everyone to contribute, whereas my past projects were kept closed out of misguided concerns that doing so will attract undue pressure from the translations’ audience.