Re: How do you extract texts into a text format that you can copy and paste from visual novels?

Should these questions be on-topic for this site, or should they be moved to Super User?

  • 1
    Even when I know there's relationship between visual novels and Anime/Manga, I don't think software related questions are on-topic. Also, I think this is not a technical aspect of a visual novel, but one of the visual novel engine.
    – Kirby
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:26
  • 3
    @Kirby visual novel engine is the technology behind visual novels, that's why it's a technical aspect
    – Ken Li
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:29
  • It's too early to answer this question. We have first to attract more VN questions to show what good questions about that topic are: it's normal to have borderline off-topic questions right now. We should not repeat the error made during the first phase of the beta, where some users leave due to high restriction, causing our user base stop to grow.
    – chirale
    Commented May 27, 2013 at 5:43

4 Answers 4


I think as a matter of practicality, the people who are qualified to answer these questions will be in greater abundance here than there. As such, assuming it's on topic on both sites, here is probably the better place.

As for whether it is on topic here, I'm all for including it for now. Maybe it doesn't formally match the proposal description, but these sorts of things should be ironed out during the private beta, rather than just following the description. If we find that these questions are overwhelming the more directly relevant ones we can remove them, but I think they are likely to be uncommon and will be a good reference for those who use the site provided that they stay that way.


Visual Novels, Manga and Anime largely share the same target audiences, market venues, niches, cultures, and even categories (shoujo, harem, shounen, hentai, etc.) so I really think this is relevant to this site, and should be included in the FAQ.

  • I don't believe genres of anime need to be made explicitly on topic. Maybe H-series, but I don't think we need to enumerate shoujo, shounen, and subtypes such as harem comedy as well.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:43
  • @Aarthi what do you mean? I'm only saying VNs cover the same topics as anime/manga. I'm not saying we should enumerate these in the FAQ, I was talking about just defining VNs on topic. Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:50
  • Ahh, my mistake -- I misread your answer! My apologies.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:51

Questions like this are more about the process of extracting text from a compressed video file. These are not questions unique to the anime/visual novel medium (they could apply to other types of files that fit the same parameters) and are thus off-topic.

Super User is a good choice. Also consider Digital Signal Processing.

By extension, this applies to questions asking how to extract subtitles from a compressed file.

  • 1
    Visual Novels are not video files, they usually are combinations of text, script and graphics (sometimes video). Extracting text from these games is such a particular matter to Visual Novels, that software exists only for this purpose (such as AGTH) Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:32
  • @CamiloMartin By your own description, they're analogous to videogame files. My answer still stands -- they're better asked on DSP or Super User.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:35
  • 3
    What the heck does DSP have to do with this? As I've said, this largely involves extracting plaintext from a Visual Novel's engine memory at runtime, and visual novels usually use the same game engines and therefore are a very particular subject that anime/manga people are much more likely to know. Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:39
  • 2
    Being nearly computer-illiterate myself, I wouldn't know how to ask this question at a site like Super User or Digital Signal Processing, and even if they gave me the right answer (which anyone will tell you is AGTH/ITH, both of which are VN-specific) I would likely not be able to follow the instructions. What the problem is with allowing occasional technology-related questions that are also anime-related, so long as they don't overwhelm the other questions (which they aren't as of right now)? The argument that they are not in scope is ridiculous, since we are currently setting the scope.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:21

I'm inclined against the question being on topic. It is entirely a technical question, and does not involve plots/themes/trivia of the medium at all.

The relevant variables in this question are:

  • Operating System
  • Applocale or base locale switching?
  • Full Japanese OS or just Japanese Language package?
  • Game platform (which technology base is the Visual Novel using)

... all but the last are utterly irrelevant to this site.

The analogous question to this one over on movies would be "How do I digitize my Betamax movie collection?". Although it's true that movie-buffs are more likely to have an answer, it's also offtopic.

With that said, if we create an 'enhanced FAQ' entry that specifies whether Visual Novel questions themselves are on/offtopic, I think it would be good for that FAQ item to include the answer to this particular question as a snippet. (I'm also contemplating adding it to the resources FAQ over on the Japanese language site.)

EDIT: I think those who support this question as ontopic need to explain whether "I can't play Episode X of anime Y from group Z, help!" is ontopic or not. Or heck, even "Why can't I play Visual Novel X?" These are just examples of other technical questions that are peripherally related to anime... that anime fans are most likely to have the solutions for.

  • Is there a reason why a question must have a plots/themes/trivia at all? Is the site really better off if we restrict ourselves to those topics? (I'm not claiming that I have an answer to that question, but just want to throw that around)
    – Ken Li
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:17
  • @KenLi: edited the answer a bit for more examples of the ontopic/offtopic clarity that's needed here.
    – Kiruwa
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:26
  • To answer your edit, this is a question of general interest to a fairly broad audience, myself and probably a few others on this site included. This is evidenced by the fact that the question has several upvotes. Any particular question of the form "I can't play Episode X of anime Y from group Z" is likely to be of interest to exactly one person, and is better answered on the site of that particular group. Also, such a question involves illegal activities (fansubbing). There was somewhat of a consensus that we would avoid such topics here on area51. By contrast ITH is perfectly legal.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:39
  • @Kiruwa "Why can't I play Visual Novel X?" should probably be on-topic, assuming that the question is well-formed and it's something we can answer, and does not involve anything illegal. "I can't play Episode X of anime Y from group Z, help!" should not because the question itself relates to illegal activity. Again, the standard guidelines of SE on what constitutes a good question does apply to all questions, if these questions become very localized then it should be closed as such.
    – Ken Li
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:46
  • @KenLi I still wouldn't like to see "Why can't I play Visual Novel X" because it seems pretty localized. The linked question is good because the answer is applicable to many people. However, I'd have no problem with a question "What troubleshooting steps should I go through when installing/playing Visual Novels." Note that some of these are very much specific to Visual Novels (e.g. I have to change my timezone and date/time display format to get some of them to work, which I don't think I know of any other software like that).
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 0:59
  • @Logan: The decision on where to draw the ontopic/offtopic divide does belong to the community, but treating upvotes as a proxy for topicality is invalid. This has been shown over and over on nearly every StackExchange site.
    – Kiruwa
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:01
  • @Logan: "What are some troubleshooting steps..." is a fine blogpost, but it's a terrible question.
    – Kiruwa
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:02
  • @Kiruwa I did not say that the upvotes are a proxy for topicality. I said that they are a proxy for interest in the topic. In any case, that was a fairly minor point in my argument.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:05
  • 1
    @LoganMaingi The problem of localized question is outside the realm of scope definition, it's a question of following the SE guidelines.
    – Ken Li
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:07
  • 1
    @Kiruwa The question of if "What are some trouble shooting steps..." is good question is also in the realm of SE guidelines, not scope. They should be treated on an individual basis whether or not if they are good questions in general.
    – Ken Li
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 1:08

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