IxrecMediaVisual novels

Ranking Title Difficulty Explanation Description Picture
Very Easy ツユチルレター海と栞に雨音を Simple overall. Has some handicraft vocab, but it's sparse, and only a few words from it. Lots of repetition from both girls point of view makes it easier further. The prestigious private girls' school, Kikyou Academy, educates young ladies from elementary age to university. With cell phones forbidden on school grounds, letter writing is a pastime for many of the girls. One day, Shiori Minato is asked out by an older girl she doesn't know--Mikoto Kurahashi.
Very Easy はなひらっ Practically no difficult grammar, extemely short. The story revolves around four girls who attend Saint Michael Girls’ School and highlights all their cute dokidoki yuriyuri love for one another during and after school.
Very Easy ネコぱら Some baking stuff, but other than that pretty standard Slice of Life. Has dual language support, which can be helpful if it doesn't turn into a crutch. Pretty short all things considered. Minazuki Kashou moves out of his parents' home to start his own patisserie, "La Soleil", to escape the pressure from his father to follow in his footsteps and become a Japanese sweetsmaker. Shortly after opening shop, he receives a large package, containing... two of his family's catgirls, Vanilla and Chocola? Kashou wants to send them back home, but they plead to stay and help in his store. Initially reluctant, he gives in and shenanigans ensue.
Very Easy-Easy ルーシィ彼女が望んでいたもの Very short with a very approachable writing style and overall simple story featuring a minimal cast of characters. No special vocabulary, except perhaps for a small handful of sci-fi / technology related words. A tiny difficulty spike in the epilogue. Another great beginner pick. In the near future, androids have become the way of the norm. Emotionless husks of metal have become a part of human society, much to the dismay of the boy. The robot he found at the dump site though, this one was different. It laughed, it cried, it smiled, it has dreams, just like a human…
Easy narcissu Simple and very short (around 100k characters), should be very approachable to any beginner. Super emotional and will make you cry. The anonymous protagonist is diagnosed with a terminal illness shortly after his twentieth birthday, and is admitted to a hospital in Mito, Ibaraki. There he meets Setsumi, a woman a few years older, who is also terminally ill. Finding that they both reject to die either in hospital or at home, they steal a car and run away together.
Easy narcissu -SIDE- 2nd The prequel to narcissu above so the same things apply. Narcissu: Side 2nd's plot revolves around Setsumi, the heroine from the original visual novel, and the people and circumstances that formed her into the character presented in the first game. She will share the limelight with new characters, including Himeko, Yuka and Chihiro.
Easy ナルキッソス 姫子エピローグ Extremely short, same difficulty as the original Narcissu and Narcissu -SIDE- 2nd. Vocabulary is slice of life with a handful of religion-related terms. This visual novel wraps up the story of Himeko, who was introduced in Narcissu -SIDE- 2nd, so be sure to play that first!
Easy なないろリンカーネション Mostly easy slice of life vocab since the majority of the game is spent following Makoto navigate through his daily life with the demons by his side. Iyo speaks with a dialect which might throw beginners off but other than that there is only mild infodumps in the later half of the game regarding his Grandfathers past. Kagami Makoto inherits the house of his passed Grandfather. His childhood friend Iyo turns out to be a ghost and one of the maids that raised him introduces herself as a demon. Makoto takes over his Grandfathers work in helping the police solve unusual cases where it's his job to ensure wandering spirits pass on to the afterlife with the power of clairvoyance passed down through his family that allows him to see spirits.
Easy 銀色、遥か Easy slice of life Moege, some harder parts regarding their individual life dreams, probably very beginner friendly although really long which I think is a good thing given that you get used to the authors choice of words plus it is full of very frequent daily vocabulary and grammar. In this game you follow the protagonist (you name him yourself) from Middle school, all the way to after college into adult life. After the prologue you choose one of the girls and follow their romantic relationship until adulthood.
Easy 9-nine Has supernatural elements in it but it's coupled with a fair amount of standard everyday vocabulary. Grammar is relatively easy to follow. Protagonist is voiced which is helpful. After a sacred treasure of a temple is damaged, the protagonist, Niimi Kakeru, begins to be wrapped up in mysterious events that threaten the town he lives in. Kakeru teams up with others in order to protect the town and stop those that are behind these strange incidents.
Easy 夏ノ終熄 Has a lot of food-related works that might be overwhelming at the beginning, but once you get used to that, it's smooth sailing, grammar- and vocab-wise. Not terribly long (200k-ish characters?) and lots of repetition (e.g. every morning they air their futons, make rice, check the garden, and have breakfast) help as well. Yuuji lives alone in his grandparents' home in the countryside after a global pandemic has left a lot of people dead. One hot summer day, he meets Mio, who made her way to the countryside from the city. She's dehydrated and exhausted, so he offers to let her stay at his place so she can rest up and recover. Every day, they forage and hunt and unwind on the front porch after a long day's work. Will the pandemic leave them unscathed as they get to know each other better and grow closer?
Easy 嘘から始まる恋の夏 Medium length visual novel with nothing standing out regarding difficulty. Writing style is simple, vocabulary is overwhelmingly slice of life, school and romance related. A great beginner pick. On a hill overlooking the sea is Minatocho’s Aoba Dai-ichi High School. One night, 2nd year student, Tachibana Kaoru is completely heartbroken by her middle school homeroom teacher, Shimotsuki Mirei. That scene is also seen by Minagi Shiori, a model student who is also in Kaoru’s class. In state of despondence, Kaoru opens up to Shiori about her past with Mirei. After listening intently to Kaoru’s story, Shiori, with a mysterious air about her, poses a question.
Easy 推しのラブより恋のラブ It's mostly a slice of life setting, and very short for a vn. Some of the otaku vernacular was confusing and required google searches, but I don't think it was very important to the overall story. "—I wanna marry you."

Those simple words set in motion a ♀ yuri ♀ game of cat and mouse!
Easy アイカギ Easy slice of life with no notably hard parts. Good starter VN. There are minimal food parts that can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with that vocabulary. It was the last winter of his school life and with entrance exams and graduation edging closer, Nozomu didn’t know what to do. He was told to become independent, but he couldn’t find a suitable place to live by himself. His childhood friend Shiori couldn’t stand watching him in his current state and suggested that he live with her. While he thought that it wouldn’t really make him independent, his parents readily agreed to the idea. Before he knew it, they were living together under the same roof.
Easy アオナツライン Decently easy slice of life, nothing too hard. Good starter VN. A bit on the longer side though. Tatsumi and his childhood friends Miki and Chihiro talked every day about what they would do during the upcoming summer vacation. By chance, they befriended the overly-honest ojou-sama Yui, who transferred to their school, as well as kouhai Kotone, who had failed to make lasting friendships after trying too hard to fit in. This new group of five friends (?) began to plan for a memorable bittersweet summer vacation that happens only once in a lifetime.
Easy コイヤスミ夕立に濡れた幼馴染み Countryside setup but other than this, nothing very hard in there. Could be used as a starter VN. The protagonist, Izumo Hiroki, is a university student who is tired of living in the city. He returns home to the countryside during the summer holidays. His parents have left the countryside and only his grandmother remains at home. He headed for his parents' house as fast as he could and barely evaded the evening showers. When he returned home, he met his soaking wet childhood friend, Inaba Usaki. For one summer, the two are under one roof...
Easy 時計仕掛け Students go to an academy that has magic and there's a "night time" where different students appear out of nowhere. There's the episodic type of situations where magic-related stuff occurs and the protagonist and his friends have to solve. The language is easy besides a few specific terms but they occur so frequently and are so few that you'll know them when you see them. Trilogy, the picture here is the first one. In a mysterious school where day and night are two separate worlds, a mismatched trio works to resolve magic-related incidents.
Easy 忘却執事と恋するお嬢様の回想録 Nothing really stands out outside of some business vocabulary, pretty approachable. There was something missing.
It was memories of his childhood.
It was the key to locked memories.
It can’t end like this. It can’t remain unrequited like this. We can’t be happy like this.
Even if it’s only one thing, I want to know the truth.
This is a normal story, a normal love story, that happens everywhere.
A story between a young lady and her butler.
Easy マルコと銀河竜 Has a bit of slang and is incredibly fast-paced, to the point of being confusing at times. Has some unhookable animation sequences, but the plot can still be followed without understanding them 100%. Some space and sci-fi jargon, although not too bad. Only 80k, so beginners should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the going gets a bit tough. Marco is a girl who has space treasure hunting adventures with Arco, a very powerful space dragon, after losing her mom as a small child. On one of their adventures, they steal the legendary Lizard stone and find themselves in the crosshairs of the evil Astaroth, who desires the power of the stone to conquer the universe. Marco also stumbles upon a hint to the whereabouts of her mother on a very familiar planet: Earth. Can she stay out of Astaroth's reach and piece together the story of her mother?
Easy 夢と色でできている While this has some plot to it, it is still easy grammar structures and basic vocabulary, so it shouldn't pose too much of a challenge. In their childhood, a group of seven friends called themselves the World Defense Force. Led by Hiiro, the group embarked on adventures together. However, when Hiiro had to move away, she entrusted the leadership to Ai, the protagonist. Sadly, not long after, Ai disbanded the club, and the group gradually lost touch. Years passed, and in high school, Hiiro established a new school club called the Shrine Defense Club, with a mission to protect the school's peace by listening to students' problems.
Easy ゴールデンマリッジ Simple romcom dating sim, with simple romcom vocabulary and grammar. Approachable as a first visual novel. “So long as there’s love, then I don’t need money”… that’s a lie! There’s no way that one could live without money. But that doesn’t mean that “pure love doesn’t exist, money is everything in the world”. It is only human to have these feelings, even if one cannot place a value to them. They balance their dreams and reality in this love drama of sorrow and joy, which leads them towards the ultimate end: marriage.
Easy 日向千尋は仕事が続かない
Good starter VN with some mild business/office vocabulary here and there. Other than that, mostly slice of life vocab. Three years after joining the workforce, high off the success of a recent client engagement, my boss takes the team out for a night on the town. In the fervent night, that cliche teasing question comes up again. "Have you gotten rid of your virginity yet?" "I can't believe you're being made fun of just for being a virgin. Doesn't it frustrate you?" A chance reunion with Himukai Chihiro.
"Why don't you graduate from your virginity with me and go to work tomorrow as a new man?"
Easy HarmonEy
Feel-good lovey dovey VN, there's not much going here that could cause issues to new learners. Focuses on the loving and sensual relationship between our protagonist and his wife, Ako. Enjoy a utopian, healing bond as they spend their days off together, free from societal pressures in each other's company.
Easy ノットフィクション!
Similar as the one above. Nukige so the hardest part will come from the sexual content. Pretty easy. Even though she and the protagonist Yuu are married, their relationship is still like that of an older sister and a child. There’s plenty of teasing and doting, and of course plenty of ecchi from a rather forward girl.
Easy アムネシア The story can have confusing bits and cannot be hooked with agent but most of it is voiced thankfully. A story that takes place in a fictional world...
It was the 1st of August.
That morning, when she awoke, the heroine found herself without any memories from before August 1st...... Everything, from the sort of life she lived, to the relationships she had, was a blank......
A young boy named Orion appeared in front of her, referring to himself as a "spirit." Under Orion's guidance, the heroine began the struggle to regain her memories.
Easy あやかしごはん Slice- of-life with cooking and yokai/ayakashi vocabulary. The visual novel is 600k long, the heroine is voiced and it can be a good first vn. A heart-warming story involving ayakashi, humans and delicious meals.
Easy-Medium 喫茶ステラと死神の蝶 A few tricky words but overall a simple moege. MC gets hit by a car but instead of dying, simply goes back to the morning of the day above. To appease the gods, has to work in a café with cute girls.
Easy-Medium 天使々 RE-BOOT! Typical yuzuge, so similar in difficulty to Café Stella above. Some fantasy vocabulary but pretty alright. Turns out the main character is the reincarnation of a demon lord from another realm. Turns out he can transform into said demon lord involuntarily. Cute girls come to his help and yuzuge goodness ensues.
Easy-Medium のーぶるわーくす Standard yuzusoft title (see above), which means it has some plot, but it shouldn't be too difficult to navigate. Takumi is a normal guy who barely gets by with part-time jobs. One day, he was asked to attend the prestigious private school Rokuroku Gakuen while impersonating a rich student that looks just like him. Although he was hesitant to accept this strange request, circumstances (mainly financial) compelled him to agree to do it. However, he knows nothing about the celeb world. Will he be able to keep his cover?
Easy-Medium ナルキッソス スミレ Only a small step up in difficulty when compared to the original Narcissu and Narcissu -SIDE- 2nd. The VN takes place in the same setting, carrying similar themes but with two new MCs, Akari and Sumire. Akari's story is a bit less straightforward, hence the difficulty step up. Also contains a small amount of video game / MMORPG related vocabulary. Narcissu Sumire is another chapter in the Narcissu series, once again revisiting deeply personal stories of living and dying. It follows the journey of two heroines, both are filled with deep regrets over mistakes that they've made in the past.
Easy-Medium ナルキッソス ゼロ Only a tiny step up in difficulty when compared to the original Narcissu and Narcissu -SIDE- 2nd due to vocabulary, which is still mostly SOL but this time with a tiny addition of some healthcare related words. Prequel to the original Narcissu and Narcissu -SIDE- 2nd.
Easy-Medium ナルキッソス 小さなイリス Writing style is still quite simple, without complicated sentences or dwelling on details, and the story is mostly straightforward but expect a decent amount of "fantasy" and religion-related vocabulary. Fantasy (or rather, medieval) spin-off sharing nothing in common with the other Narcissu VNs except for some of its themes.
Easy-Medium ハミダシクリエイティブ Easy slice of life vocabulary, pretty standard grammar structures as well. It's a bit long but that's about it. Widely known to be of asocial character, Izumi Tomohiro is quietly spending his day in the corner of their classroom... or so it should have been. "Congrats on being elected! It has been decided that you are now the next student council president!" By the school's initiative, an election via lottery took place. And Tomohiro is the lucky bastard who won the prize! Suddenly placed underneath the spotlight, he unanimously became the talk of the school. Unable to back down, he started hunting for fellow members.
Easy-Medium イブニクル Light eroge JRPG with mostly simple slice of life dialogue and a lot of gameplay with the occasional more challenging dialogue related to politics and fantasy. In a world where the more a knight achieves, the more wives he can obtain, a young man sets off on an adventure with lust in his heart. Walk the land, sail the seas, fly through the sky!
Easy-Medium 恋愛×ロワイアル The vocab isn't relatively difficult, but the textbox often has a lot of text in it and longer sentences, so it ends up looking pretty dense at times. "I, the new transfer student Hanamaru Mari, like Komachi Hirotaka! Please go out with me!"
Being agitated by his juniors;
Hitting on the student council president;
Chasing after idols.
The protagonist who lives every day carelessly, Komachi Hirotaka.
Easy-Medium Angel Beats! -1st beat- Nothing too difficult, can be read as a first visual novels without too much problem. Angel Beats! is set in the environment of a high school in the afterlife, a type of limbo for people who have experienced trauma or hardships in life and must overcome them before passing on and being reincarnated. The story follows Yuzuru Otonashi, a boy with amnesia who ends up in the afterlife.
Easy-Medium Summer Pockets Some fantasy elements with some shrine-related vocabulary, but nothing too difficult. Summer Pockets is set on an isolated, rural and peaceful island on the Seto Inland Sea called Torishirojima, which has a population of about 2,000 people. The protagonist is Hairi Takahara, a young man not native to the island. Hairi grew up in an urban setting, but after an unpleasant incident he uses the recent death of his grandmother as an excuse to come to the island to take care of her estate sale.
Easy-Medium 穢翼のユースティア For the most part not too hard to follow but there is keigo being used in the latter half. Caim is a former assassin living in the lowest stratum of the floating city, Novus Aether, which is the last bastion of humanity after the world had been corrupted. One day Caim meets a girl who reminds him of a major collapse over a decade ago that claimed the lives of many, and condemning even more to the lowest stratum's inhospitable conditions. Caim takes it upon himself to find out if there's a connection between this girl and the event that radically changed his and countless others' lives.
Easy-Medium AIR Sentences are pretty easy, there is a character who speaks kansai-ben so that could be an obstacle if you are not familiar with it. In the latter half of the game, there is a story/route that takes place hundreds of years ago and there is lots of uncommon vocab that is used, so it takes a bit to get used to. Besides that everything else is pretty easy to work through as one of your first visual novel. Kunisaki Yukito's deceased mother left him with the doll and her last wish that Yukito look for the "girl in the skies" because it is his destiny to save her. Only half-understanding what his mother meant, Yukito has been traveling across Japan, vainly searching for this myth-like girl his mother told him about. His latest destination is a small, sleepy town where summer has just arrived; and his encounter with a young girl named Misuzu there sets the wheels of destiny turning...
Easy-Medium フレラバ ~Friend to Lover~ The vocabulary isn't too difficult, it's very standard dating sim romcom fair. Suitable for a first visual novel, although it is a bit long. Standard dating sim where the main character realizes he really wants a girlfriend. Advance through the game and make the right choices to end up with the girl you want.
Easy-Medium 甘えかたは彼女なりに。 Standard dating sim vocabulary, nothing too complicated going on, doable as a first visual novel. “It’s not like I can’t make friends. I just don’t want to.” That’s what Hiroto says as he pretends that it was his own choice to be alone. His classmates also kept their distance from the strikingly beautiful Tomomi, who would chide anyone who bothered her. One day, Tomomi came up to Hiroto in the courtyard while he was enjoying lunch by himself. He thought she was going to confess to him, prompting a stern rebuke from her, as she was flabbergasted at his unexpected misunderstanding.
Easy-Medium 海と雪のシアンブルー Standard romance visual novel with standard romance visual novel difficulty, so decently easy. As he prepares to graduate and move to Tokyo, Shion takes his goodbyes to the place he grew up at and everyone he grew up with. While he's at it, he also recalled the bonds he had forged, the feelings he realized for the first time, and the signs he was finally able to notice. He spends his remaining days with the feeling of loneliness on leaving his hometown, mixed with the feeling of excitement of new world he's about to go.

This is the story about what "graduation" means.
Easy-Medium 彼女と俺と恋人と。 Slice of life romance vocabulary with simple grammar. There's nothing too difficult to find here. Haruto saved Ayano when he jumped out in front of an errant vehicle that was heading for her, but he got hurt in the process. She came to visit him every day while he was in the hospital and they gradually got closer. Even after he was discharged from the hospital, she helped take care of him until his injury was fully healed, spending every day like lovers. However, their sweet time together was soon interrupted by his childhood friend Yuuko, Ayano’s best friend Tsukushi and her younger sister Konoka.
Easy-Medium 初情スプリンクル While the setting suggests fantasy, it's still mostly slice of life romance vocabulary and sentences, so you shouldn't be too scared of jumping into it. The protagonist, Kamishiro Souta is a second year high school student who is unusually active and has very high sexual desire. One day, Meidou Hazuki appeared before him. Calling herself a "witch" who inherited demon genes she told Souta that he too, has for some reason awakened as a demon. Moreover, out of all seven deadly sins he possessed magic power of "lust", of all things his magic power acted as aphrodisiac causing women around him to get in heat.
Easy-Medium アマツツミ Outside of the fact that the text bubbles are placed on different parts of the screen, the language is mostly easy. The vocabulary and grammar is standard romance stuff, so nothing too difficult. Our hero, Makoto, possesses the power of "kotodama" which allows one to control people with the power of one’s voice. Having an interest in the outside world, he leaves the hidden village he has lived in all his life. However, he found himself woefully unprepared and collapses on the side of the road in a small town almost as remote as his village. Just as he's resigned himself to death, he's saved by Oribe Kokoro, a girl whose family runs a cafe in that town.
Easy-Medium アマエミ-longing for you- Generic romcom visual novel vocabulary, grammar, sentences... It's not that difficult, you will get used to it pretty quickly. The protagonist, Nabeshima Tatsuya, was a world-renowned painter. However, after a certain incident, he disappeared from the public eye. Now as a social studies teacher, he spends his days away from the art world. However, with the arrival of the new school semester, a new wind begins to blow.
A life of dullness, like being dead inside while living. Now it is being colored in gorgeous and vibrant colors by the three girls.
Easy-Medium 神頼みしすぎて俺の未来がヤバい。 Has some plot, but nothing that difficult. It should be very approachable. “If you don't tie the knot with the person of your dreams within the next year, you'll be in big trouble.” So forewarns Urara, the self-proclaimed Goddess of Matchmaking, when she appears before our hero Hajime Kanbayashi. Just as Hajime begins to despair, Urara teaches him about three candidates potentially written into his destiny along with their respective “destiny counts,” which represent the distance he'll have to overcome to win their hearts and the goal is to reduce the number to zero.
Easy-Medium ドットカレシ-We're 8bit Lovers- Mostly slice-of-life with JRPG words and characters. Everything is voiced, and the protagonist only talks through emoticons and the choices you make. Pretty short, so can be a first visual novel. Series of three visual novels in which the protagonist gets transported in a JRPG game where she can romance different JRPG characters.
Easy-Medium レムレスブルーの午前2時 The story can be confusing, but the vocabulary is mostly slice of life. Not voiced. Aoi appears to have the key to a rose that is said to bring eternal youth to the living and give life back to those who have died. What could be the secret behind this phantom flower, the "Lemures Blue", and the lost prodigy, Akane, and why does everybody want to win Aoi's heart?
Easy-Medium ヨスガノソラ Pretty standard vocabulary, nothing too difficult jumps out. Some of the action occurs in a shrine but other than this, decently easy. Could be used as a first visual novel. Two twins - Haruka and Sora, are going back to their grandfather's house. Nothing has changed. Good memories and a silent atmosphere heal the sadness.... However, the peaceful life gradually changes.... A secret promise made a long time ago. A lost treasure. The real reason for moving to the town. Feelings long kept a secret. The story now starts under the summer sun...
Easy-Medium planetarian ~ちいさなほしのゆめ A very short game with an easy to follow story, using overall simple grammar and medium length sentences at most. Difficulty is raised mostly by military vocabulary as well as some astronomy-related stuff. There is one long chapter with a moderate difficulty spike (vocabulary-wise) in the latter half of the game. It is thirty years after the failure of the Space Colonization Program. Humanity is nearly extinct. A perpetual and deadly Rain falls on the Earth. Men known as "Junkers" plunder goods and artifacts from the ruins of civilization. One such Junker sneaks alone into the most dangerous of all ruins—a "Sarcophagus City." In the center of this dead city, he discovers a pre-War planetarium. And as he enters he is greeted by Hoshino Yumemi, a companion robot.
Easy-Medium Flyable Heart Mostly slice of life romcom dating sim, but the story has fantasy elements which make it a tad bit harder than the average slice of life. One day, an admission pamphlet to a famous academy arrived, containing an “all-you-can-eat” cafeteria pass. That alone was enough to lure our hero into visiting the super-prestigious Otori Ryouran College Community, home to students who excel in a variety of fields. Offbeat and unique students like a robot seem natural at Otori Ryouran. Organizing this odd student body is the responsibility of two groups ―― the Student Council and the Ryouran Society.
Easy-Medium ATRI -My Dear Moments- Easy to follow story, mostly basic grammar without long sentences. All characters except for the protagonist are voiced. Most chapters are pure slice of life while the rest of them contains light to moderate amount of seafaring, science and technology (energetics, robotics) related vocabulary. In the near future, a sudden and unexplained sea rise has left much of human civilization underwater. Ikaruga Natsuki, a boy who lost his mother and his leg in an accident some years earlier, returns disillusioned from a harsh life in the big city to find his old countryside home half-swallowed by the sea. Left without a family, all he has to his name is the ship and submarine left to him by his oceanologist grandmother, and her debts.
Easy-Medium fault - milestone one Some sci-fi and fantasy stuff going on and that sweet, sweet katakana for a lot of in-universe words and names. Plot isn't terribly complex but easy to lose track of if you're not fully grasping what the characters are saying because of the sci-fi stuff. No voice acting, which might turn some people off. Part of an ongoing series, but I only read the first one, so can't give more info. Selphine is princess of the kingdom of Roughzenhaide, which she has to flee with her Royal Guard Ritona after a brutal assault on the kingdom by unknown attackers. Using magic, the two of them get teleported to a place far far away, where magic has become a rarity as technology has become more advanced. They meet Rune, a mysterious woman, and become entangled in a dark family history.
Easy-Medium 9RIP Otome game where you date ghosts. Dialogue uses easy grammar, there's an in-game dictionary for game-specific terminology that's easily accessible, and it's hookable with agent. Some words that are usually kana-only have furigana on them, and many words are repeated over and over again, so it's like natural SRS. Slice of life, with some Buddhist terminology (it's about ghosts). Protagonist Misa Isshiki is a second-year high school student. It was around the beginning of fall when her best friend said this to her, which gave her a shock. “I don’t believe in being spirited away, so I’m alright.” That’s right, she doesn’t believe in it. She just… feels lost because of a major distress—her career path. She hears a creepy voice whisper in her ears. “Let us find your path. I am the one who will tempt you into the darkness.”
Easy-Medium 夢見鳥 While slice of life, the lines are long and there are difficulty spikes here and there. Makoto ended up living with his brother after his parents moved abroad for work, but his life keeps going wrong... But he won't be able to figure it out until it's too late.
This a BL visual novel full of yandere boys.
Medium 白昼夢の青写真 For the most part standard written VN language with some slightly more difficult SF parts at a few times. Difficulty spike at the end. 3 different stories spanning through very different settings with romance as their base but each different in nature, eventually accumulating in a true route rich in plot, worldbuilding and moving at its core. The production in terms of music, art and writing is stellar. Probably the most universally liked and also captivating VN I know.
Medium Steins;Gate Overall easy vocab and grammar besides some science terms in the beginning. There's also some otaku slang and references throughout the VN. It's quite long if you want to complete all the routes however. The story follows the mad scientist, Okabe Rintarou and his rag tag band of friends who discover a means of changing the past via text messages, using a modified microwave. Their experiments into how far they can go with their discovery begin to spiral out of control as they become entangled in a conspiracy surrounding SERN, the organisation behind the Large Hadron Collider, and John Titor who claims to be from a dystopian future.
Medium イハナシの魔女 Generally slice of life vocabulary but also tends to have lore dumps, especially 琉球 culture. One chapter in particular is harder. Requires a special texthooker to hook. A boy moves to a remote island in Okinawa and is informed that his grandfather, who was supposed to take care of him, has evaporated. When he is ready to fend for himself on the remote island, he meets a girl who calls herself a witch. The girl deals with magic from another world and life on a remote island where Ryukyuan culture is deeply rooted. What fate awaits them both?
Medium 忠臣蔵46+1 Set in Edo period so you get samurai Japanese and all that. It's not actually that hard to understand the plot it's just there's mentions of a lot of places and things that you'd be unfamiliar with if you don't know Japanese history. I don't think it makes the game harder to understand. Protag from current era ends up in edo period in the body of someone with the same name, he passes it off as him losing his memory, and realizes he's living through the history of the 47 rounin except all of them are women instead of men. Through his interactions with them he tries to find his place among them and also struggles with his morality and trauma when it comes to fighting and potentially killing.
Medium うみねこのなく頃に Sentences have a normal difficulty and the vocabulary isn't anything too out of the usual, though it occasionally has some challenging topics to follow, like philosophy, politics and finance being mentioned. Considering the length of the VN, those aren't commonplace. The story focuses on a group of eighteen people on a secluded island for a period of two days, and the mysterious murders that befall them. Readers are challenged to discern whether the murders were committed by a human or some other, supernatural source, as well as the method and motive behind them.
Medium ランス Average difficulty sentences with a lot of fantasy elements and occasionally also historical elements but other than being very text-heavy, fairly normal for a JRPG. The Rance series follows the titular character, Rance, as he saves a number of kingdoms, defeats demon invaders, and causes mischief in the in-game world, "The Continent." He has appeared in most of the main series games as the playable character, accompanied by his loyal slave, Sill Plain.
Medium ドーナドーナ いっしょにわるいことをしよう Overall pretty normal language and a high gameplay focus for an eroge. It has some politics talk that can be challenging at times and the H-scenes themselves have more challenging language than the rest of the game. Asougi City, on the Seto Inland Sea, is dominated by the corporation whose name it now shares. The Asougi Group ordains every aspect of the citizens’ lives, but as those everyday lives are peaceful, few people object or question it at all. Only one thing disturbs the city’s harmonic order: the activities of the “Anti-Aso” hunting clans, who snatch people off the streets by force and then hustle their bodies on those same streets to customers.
Medium MUSICUS! Grammar and vocabulary are nothing special. The most distinctive characteristic is the longer sentences which seem to be a staple of the author's style. I'd imagine it can be difficult if you're not that comfortable those kinds of sentences, but a lot of them are voiced and aren't actually too complex. There are a handful of forced auto-read sections, around 4 if I'm remembering correctly, that were just way too fast but they're not too lengthy. Main protagonist Tsushima Kei is asked by Yagihara, the president of a music production, to accompany their band on their upcoming tour. A few days later after that memorable first live, Kei found out that they were disbanding. Unable to accept the sudden news, he approached Korekiyo many times to convince him to change his mind, but no argument could sway him. Instead, Korekiyo asked him:

“How about you play rock in my place?”
Medium 扉の伝説風のつばさ The text is pretty simple, the difficulty mainly comes from the absurdly long text. Lucia Maverick has worked as a maid in the remote village of Kast, home to many fleeing their pasts, for the last five years after the death of her parents. But her sick little sister, Anna, grows weaker by the day, and so Lucia plans to set out on a journey to Lestaria in hopes of finding employment as a Royal Guard on her fifteenth birthday, thereby securing funds for Anna's treatment. But things do not go as planned, and the return of a past terror is just the beginning of a small yet massive adventure...
Medium 夢幻廻廊
Vague plot with many unanswered questions left for interpretation. Mugen Kairou, released by Black Cyc, asks the question of how our lives would be if our entire existence is based on BDSM. Taro is placed within this situation as he lives as a cattle in a mansion full of mystique. Taro's existence would be akin to that of cattle or a pet, a being completely subservient to his masters' whims and desires. As time progresses, we see the events that occur, the mysteries that unfold, and the life that Taro has decided upon.
Medium ALPHA-NIGHTHAWK Has sci-fi terms and slightly longer sentences than average. A story of political conflict as danger looms, threatening mankind's very survival. A space opera of racial and ideological disagreements as the conflicts of everyday life continue to consume our lives. And finally, a tale of hope in a desolate world as two people strive for a better future.
Medium シュヴァルツェスマーケン Grammar overall is relatively simple which makes the sentences easier to understand, but along with the sentences being on the longer end at times, there is a lot of military vocab and 6-8 kanji-long compounds that take some getting used to. After reading it for a short while it gets easier since the same vocab is used often. If you are coming from reading unlimited/alternative muv luv in japanese then it will probably be pretty easy. Related to Muv Luv.
The story follows the East German Army's 666th TSF Squadron in its battles and political conflicts during the BETA's westward push in 1983. The East German Army 666th TSF Squadron "Schwarzesmarken" (Black Marks) are a special-forces unit tasked with assaulting BETA forces through unconventional tactics; specifically, they target Lux and Magnus Lux to deny the BETA the advantage of ranged firepower.
Medium グランシード Somewhat difficult fantasy speech, uncommon expressions, elementals that speak solely in katakana, and a great deal of metaphors. The game also has some puzzles that require text input in Japanese so note taking is necessary. Dialogue text can be parsed easily with texthooking (see Neko Project II). Akira Ichijou is an ordinary Japanese high-school student. One fine Sunday, he goes out to meet his lovely girlfriend Kanami. Suddenly they see a strange glowing ball. When they touch it, they enter a portal that leads to a parallel dimension named Grounseed. It is a medieval world with spirits and magic. Naturally, it was no coincidence that Akira ended up there: the balance of both worlds is in danger, and only a person from our dimension can restore it.
Medium ダンガンロンパシリーズ The overall level of grammar and vocabulary isn't too bad, but it's important to follow the various lines of logic of the characters accurately and come to your own conclusions to advance the story. Sixteen talented students who stand out in different fields are trapped by a bear-like machine, Monokuma. Monokuma traps the cast into killing games. The cast is trapped for the rest of their lives in an establishment and the only way to return home is by killing another person and avoiding being found guilty during the class trials.
Medium NORN9 ~ノルン+ノネット~ Mostly slice-of-life with all the characters being voiced except the naration/character's thoughts, but has SF and supernatural vocab, with difficulty spike at the end. The story takes place a little in the future. Guided by one particular song, young elementary kid, Suzuhara Sorata is warped through a timeskip to an unfamiliar place much like the Meiji and Taisho eras from his textbooks. In this world, he meets 3 young ladies and 9 young men, and joins them on a journey aboard the mysterious ‘Norn’ ship in the sky.
Medium オメガヴァンパイア Overall harder than a slice of life. In a world in which humans and vampires coexist, the protagonist after an accident get transformed from Beta into Omega and gets tangled into the world of vampires.
This is an Omegaverse BL.
Medium 神学校-Noli me tangere- One milion characters visual novel that is overall managable, except the theological/biblical specific vocab, and some difficult spikes here and there. Good as a starter to get into the medium level visual novels. On the eve of their Christmas holidays, the twins return home eager to see their family only to find them dead and their home in flames. On the wall a bizarre mark, the mark of a secret society found in their very own theological school - a secret society which worships the devil. Having forsaken God, the protagonist starts investigating in hopes of getting revenge.
Medium-Hard Fate/stay night There are a lot of SoL scenes that are easy to read, but explanations and fight scenes which are harder to follow are just as common. Nasu's writing style may take a while to get used to, but due to the sheer length you'll be sure to be used to it by the end. Its length, topic-matter and subsequently large vocab-size might make this less suitable for most beginners but you'll have an easier time every route that you finish. Multi-route-mystery, battle-royal extraordinaire that doesn't need an introduction. One of if not the most popular VN of all time: Fate/stay night.
Our protagonist Shirou unsuspectingly ends up involved in the Holy Grail War and fights to the death in order to change his Fate.
Medium-Hard White Album 2 Lots of slang and long sentences, you need to follow the plot too so can be decently hard. Really tense and emotional romantic drama. You will cry.
Medium-Hard 月姫 -A piece of blue glass moon- Has a lot of chuuni vocabulary and some difficult words now and then, but overall not too bad. Tsukihime chronicles the story and life of a teenage boy named Shiki Tohno. As a young boy, Shiki suffered a life-threatening injury. As a result of this injury, Shiki became able to see "death lines" on objects and people; if Shiki traces these lines with a sharp object, the person or object that they belong to will die or be destroyed.
Medium-Hard 東京NECRO A fair amount of sci-fi terminology, including made-up words for the setting. Grammatical structure is fairly standard. The ice-cold and snow-covered wasteland Tokyo of gunpowder smoke, living dead, crime and cybernetics. But in this frozen hellscape people have survived, protected by the guns and cybernetics enhancements of the Living Dead Stalkers. Now begins the battle of the living dead stalkers and the heroine with their lives at stake.
Medium-Hard きっと、澄みわたる朝色よりも、 The writer's writing style is often not very straight forward with lots of symbolism and wordplay. Many kanji puns that are important to understand for the story. Set in Autumn, the main character finally meets his old friends when he enters a prestigious art school in the mountains, isolated from the rest of society. Often called "Asairo", this VN is one of the most Japanese VNs you can find. It heavily relies on Japanese mythology and themes throughout its storytelling.
Medium-Hard BALDR SKY Dive 1-2 Has some hard sci-fi dumps but a lot of words have English katakana which makes parsing easier. There is also quite a bit of action gameplay which is difficult in and of itself. While Kou is asleep in his bed, the scream of a girl wakes him up. He rises to see in front of him a battle full of gunshots and flashing bombs exploding. He realizes that he is wearing an iron armor. "What's this?" He doesn't know what's going on.
Medium-Hard 幕末尽忠報国烈士伝 MIBURO Mostly easy, however there are a handful of scenes where they overload you with a bunch of domain names and minor retainers or whatever which can slow you down a lot since. Overall though they do dumb it down for you, even if your knowledge of Japanese history is nonexistent you will be able to keep up since the game knows natives won't be all too familiar with the content. The only stuff you have to know is stuff like who is the emperor? What does the shogunate do? What is Sekigahara? It is the Bakumatsu era. There has long existed a mysterious sort of power... The legends say that this power awakens within a chosen person when the nation is on the cusp of fate. A person with this power can read an enemy's weaknesses like an open book, and can cut them down with a single stroke.
Medium-Hard 剣が君 It has 江戸時代 vocabulary (but the in-game dictionary can assist you), arhaic usages of kanji, references and grammar; hard prologue, but the slice-of-life parts are easy to get used to; 1milion characters long. Some extra are not voiced. The protagonist under the pressure of the bakufu departs on a journey with six samurai for bodyguards on a marriage promenade. On her journey, she becomes tangled up in youkai business, as well as the ‘Sword Retrieving Imperial Match’ that concerns the legendary five great swords, which is really a cover for a sickening ritual being performed…
Hard 装甲悪鬼村正 Lots of fight scenes and a good few infodumps. Quite large vocab but the text is generally easy to follow. Really fun armored suit battle game that hits super hard emotionally. An all-time great.
Hard うたわれるもの 偽りの仮面 While its predecessor used a lot of obscure kanji and weird katakana words, this one seems to have more "standard" terminology. However the language is much more descriptive and elaborate and there's a lot more narrative passages and sequences compared to the first one. I'd say the level of the language is slightly harder than the previous one and people who played the first one but aren't good with visual novel language might struggle a bit more with this one. Sequel to the original utawarerumono game. See the Video Games section for a description of that one.
Hard いつか、届く、あの空に。 Combination of huge vocabulary and bizarre narrative structure in the second half. Lots of kanji puns too. Cool mythology game with a fun cast and some really cool aesthetics.
Hard 終のステラ Lots of science vocab related to AI and futuristic technology, author prefers to use Kanji for common Katakana words. Post apocalyptic earth far into the feature, humanity has almost been erased by "singularity machines" and technologic progress has been set back by hundreds of years. The protagonist is a transporter that goes into deserted human cities to bring back lost technology. One day he receives a request to deliver an android girl that wishes to be human to a huge space elevator that pierces the sky. Can she become human? And what awaits them at their destination?
Hard Dies irae ~Acta est Fabula~ Has easy SoL scenes but mainly focuses on long fight scenes. Grandiose language, lots of kanji and rare words and chants. Characters speaking in a very vague manner and it being a multi-route mystery also play a part in its difficulty. Quintessential uber-chuunige by Masada from the 森座万象シリーズ (also encompassing Paradise Lost and 神咒神威神楽) - if you really like chuunige you'll probably like it, if not it may not be for you.
Hard 神咒神威神楽 Has a lot of complicated vocabulary and abstract writing/depictions that are harder to interpret. Has infodumps, chuuni chants and buddhist vocabulary. Plus it's Masada which means flowery prose. In ancient Ashihara no Nakatsukuni, generals fought each other to gain the favour of the emperor. They attempted to invade the uncharted eastern lands, but suffered total defeat at the hands of demons more intelligent than humans. Three hundred years later, the land of the gods, Shinshuu, has locked itself away from all foreign countries, but an air of gloom begins to drift in from the east. They are forced to head east again to drive away the demons.
Very Hard 鬼哭街 The Cyber Slayer One could argue Hard would be better since the VN is actually quite short, but it is harder than anything above. Novel-like writing, complicated 漢語 to the point of using actual Chinese words, infodumps about Kung Fu and technology, immense vocabulary... Very rough. That being said the writing is great, it's just that you won't have seen these words from reading other visual novels alone. In this age where technology is changing the face of combat, heirs to the ancient martial traditions have developed anti-cyborg techniques for the sole purpose of defeating cyborgs with one's bare hands. Kong Taoluo, one such master and former asssassin in the Qingyun Society, returns to Shanghai after being betrayed by the syndicate and assumed dead. Discovering what has happened to his sister during his absence; Taoluo swears an oath of vengeance and sets out to murder those responsible.