[Tutorial] [VNR] How to play any japanese VN and understand it


VNR is a very cool program that can translate any visual novel text automatically for you so you can play it even if you know nothing about japanese and still understand a lot of the content.

Here is a tutorial on how to set it up and enjoy it.
Also check the Textextractor tutorial, it is lighter and has a simpler setup.

The features

VNR is a program that can attach to a visual novel  and translate the text and a lot of more things. If you used agth, ith and other text hookers before you’ll be glad to kown that VNR has a game database that automatically gets you a working /H code so you don’t have to worry about it.

Users can submit a translation for any text on the novel and in the absence of that it can automatically use google translate, baidu, babel and a lot of online translators to make a translation for you.

Also, in the image above, note that the machine translated line has “Liselle” underlined… this is another cool feature, VNR has a shared database of phrases and words that can be used specifically for a novel(like names and terminology) or general phrases that appear a lot.

Finally, if you can understand a little bit of japanese or are trying to improve it you can set up mecab to make the kanji display furigana above it, making it so if you click on the kanji a dictionary will popup. It also has text-to-speech to read the japanese for you want it.

And if you want a more imersed experience, you can set so VNR automatically displays the translated text into the game instead of the japanese. This can also work with some interface elements and gameplay menus.


Finally there is also comments, users can submit comments that will popup in the screen at specific dialogs. Its cool to read peoples thoughts at the scene sometimes, but for some reason 99% of the comments are chinese and the other 1% are korean so I usually disable them.


Installation is very simple, just download and execute the program.

Here is a link http://vnr.aniclan.com/upload/Visual_Novel_Reader(EN).rar

And here is the site to create your user http://vnr.aniclan.com

I don’t see any real benefit to creating a user as you can do anything, including submitting subtitles as a guest. But I created one anyways.

This site is not actually the original one, the original host for this program disappeared a year ago and this vnr.aniclan changed the program host to its own new databse. Luckly it seems there were backups as there are tons of older subtitles there. But some of the program features like the forum, or VN reveiws don’t work anymore and will show as “could not connect to server”.

Setups, personalization and starting a novel

The first time you start the program the default settings are not very good. Firstly… it changes your cursor to a wierd arrows and enables subtitles from any language to show up. So it’s important to configure it at least once.

This program works as a dashboard for your novels. It’ll register the novels in a pseudo-desktop and you can start the novels from there in the future if you want.

By default if you have the program open and start a novel it’ll automatically detect the novel, link it with its database and add it to his dashboard automatically.

But first, some configuration.


If you ever lose track of VNR it should be hidden in the taskbar bellow.
So, click anywhere on the dashboard with the right click and go to preferences.

On the UI, disable the “Custimize mouse cursor” option… I don’t even know why that is a thing.

I’ll list the important settings:

Account: Set your language, if you ever submit a subtitle it’ll be on the language is set on the account setting, also, you don’t really need an account to change this.

Embedded:(optional): Select the box “Use VNR’s build-in hook instead of ITH if possible” to make it translate in-game like the second image.

Translation->translators: This is where you select which machine translation you’ll use. Some of them might not work. Anyways, just use “Google.com multilingual translation service”. If you have an offline translator like LEC or Atlas you can use it instead, just set the location on “Locations->translators” and enable them on the last boxes.

Translation->dictionaries: This is really important for those who want to improve their japanese, select “Display japanese furigana above game text”. Bellow are options to select if you want higarana, romanji above the kanji or even romanji above all text.
Just make sure to install mecab so this can work https://sourceforge.net/projects/mecab/
After installing mecab you can go to “Downloads->dictionaries” and download some dicts so it can better display kanji meaning when you click on the words… totally optional.

i18n: Select which languages to block… So you don’t get random french and german subtitles.

Text-To-Speech(optional): Select which voice that will read text to you if you want. There are a lot of online text to speech, including google’s. Some of them don’t work, so click the play button to text if they work first if you want to use this.

Launch:  You might want to disable “Automatically detect running game”. Or it’ll try to register any games that you open.

There are a lot of other options and custimization that you can do but this should cover the basics so you can have a good experience.

Starting the game


If you start the visual novel with the default setting to automatically detect games you’ll see a Icon of the game on your dashboard that you can double-click and start the game later.

If for some reason it didn’t detect the game you can open the game, and click the grey “rocket” icon inside the dashboard, it’ll ask you to detect the game by clicking on the game-windows and its done. The game will be added to you dashboard for future use.
You can “Edit” the icon to display a more readable name, it’ll be the japanese game name by default.

After starting the novel with VNR if you mouse over the side of the windows a small menu will show up. If you click the “option” it’ll display some settings like wether to display machine translations, user subtitles, comments, etc.

If you click “Sub” it’ll display a small bar bellow the window that you can submit a translation, it’s very easy and fast. Just note that the translation will be for whatever text is showing currently.

Speak” is used to automatically read the text to you. There are a lot of options to make sure that only narration are spoken or wether you want the japanese or translation to be read. You can even set so each character on the novel will be read with a different text-to-speech bot if the novel doesn’t have voices and you feel like it.
Also, you can middle click on the line to make it speak too even without this option.
Note: preferences text-to-speech needs to be enable for any of these to work.


Hope this helps you to enjoy more japanese novels.

I’ll be waiting to see more english comments and subtitles on novels from now on.

PS: I’ve already submited some subtitles here and there. Let’s slowly translated novels together \o\.

Update: Setting up the text

I forgot to add this and I saw a lot of people asking so I’m updating it here.

Some games might not show any translated text, get the wrong text to translate or even display gibberish numbers and letters. In most cases this is just VNR getting the wrong defaults and can be very easily configured.

Most visual novels, including recent releases work fine with VNR even without needing Hcodes.


Right click anywhere in those blue buttons on the left side of the game windows and select “Text Settings”. It’ll open a new window.


The text that’ll be translated is indicated by the blocks on the lower part. At first there might be none so you’ll need to play the game and when it detects some text it’ll appear in those blocks on the lower part.

Find the block that better corresponds to the textbox and select it as “Dialog“. This will be the text that’ll be translated.

You can also choose “other” in case you’re playing an RPG novel. Sometimes itens descriptions and other informations are displayed on a separated box. “other” basically means that if the box with “dialog” is not updated, it’ll show up the box with “other” that was updated(there can be more than one, it’ll just pick up the first).

Those red checkboxes above can correct some texts when the japanese characters comes in doubles. It’ll detect it and remove the repetition.


Lastly, some rare games might come with gibberish text like the image above. This is because VNR is reading the text in the wrong encode. By default VNR will open with Japanese Shift-JIS encode but some games like this one uses UTF-16.

To fix that just click the dropbox(upper arrow) and select UTF-16 to see if the text now shows up correctly.

After adjusting everything. Don’t forget to “Save” uptop. The changes are already in effect but if you close this window without saving it’ll revert back.

You just need to do this once per game because VNR will save the configuration for you. Except some rare games that change the text thread address changes everytime.

Hope this can solve some of your problems.

PS1: When a game has an HCode registered on VNR and you launch the game displaying “Can’t initialize HCode” on those popups, pressing the rocked button on VNR to resync the game after its already running can make vnr input the HCode again correctly.

PS2: In extremelly rare cases(old games) when no text are showing in the threads and the game has an option for “removing antialiasing on the text”, removing the antialiasing can make it display the text thread correctly. I’ve only seen this on a couple of old doujin games.


92 thoughts on “[Tutorial] [VNR] How to play any japanese VN and understand it

  1. McDuck January 17, 2023 / 12:19

    Hi, I am Having trouble with my translator. I ticked google.com multingual translation service but the translated text is still in Japanese, Do I need to tick anything else? also if you can can we chat over discord if you have one?


    • McDuck January 17, 2023 / 12:43

      UPDATE, I test the settings, it is now showing eng but it is like half English sentences and half romaji

      For example


      Particularly act no saichuu no image ha, suspension shi tail conjunctive particle indicating a cause or reason ari while, hageshi sa ga quite clearly understand hodo.

      what am i doing wrong?


  2. McDuck January 17, 2023 / 12:50

    Hi, I set up the translator alr but i got a new problem. it does translate but the words are all half eng and half japanese, for example

    Konna image ga photography sa re te damn it! Called fact.

    What am I doing wrong?


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