L.G.S. is the latest classic Chinese novel adaptation, coming this summer from Otomate from the PSP. I’ve translated the character relationship diagram on the website. Enjoy!
Taikoubou – a famous, genius military strategist. He makes excellent decisions on the battlefield to win, but will ruthlessly discard anyone he doesn’t see as useful. He’s arrogant and pushy, and a perfectionist, and strangely also very cheap.
Koutenka – A bright, gentle fellow sennin of Yousen’s. He was a human, but was kidnapped by the sennin. He’s a very hard worker. His demeanour is usually very polite and respectful, but once in a while shows his sharp tongue.
Shinjin – One of the 12 head sennin and Yousen’s master. He doesn’t talk a lot, and never gets emotional. Because of this, people think he’s cold, but he actually has very strong feelings, and considers Yousen very precious. He’s also very unlucky.
Kihatsu – a narcissistic prince who’s very odd, and sometimes confuses Yousen. However, in his base he’s fairly innocent and is the group’s moodmaker.
Quinrose’s newest game is about a bounty hunter and the men she gets tangled up with – both the wanted men she hunts, and other bounty hunters. Not too much info right now, but here are the characters.
Heroine: Riza Bernet
Adolf Rooto – An up-and-coming bounty hunter who decides that Riza is his rival, he often shows up to compete with her. He also really looks up to Bremen.
Bremen Marsh – Riza’s mentor and former bounty hunter, now he runs a bar where bounty hunters come for info. He seems very nice, but actually still has underworld connections and is very crafty.
Henzel Nashkatz – A conman and thief who uses traps.
Gretel Nashkatz – With his older brother, also a thief who specializes in traps. Both brothers love sweets.
Jure Rosmond – An assassin who uses both knives and poison. He’s always sleepy and is often late.
Rapunzel Doturm – A master spy and thief, he pulls off really unusual stunts. Apparently the heroine met him in her past.
The goodies this month are soooo goooood, this is why I can’t stop buying these magazines. GS3 PSP decals!!! Can I use right side Seiji, left side Arashi? Yeah, I think so
HUGE double-sided UtaPuri poster for Debut and a cute memo pad.
And lots of pretty mini-posters, including one of the to-die-for B’s Log cover (Ruka)
OK, enough of that, on to the news!
There’s a big spread on Toki no Kizuna, which is spelled 十鬼の絆 （Bond of Ten Demons) in Japanese, in Girl’s Style.
Story: It’s a year after Toyotomi Hideyoshi died (so, 1599), and the human world is once more falling into war. The head of the ten oni clans, Yase-hime, becomes worried about the future of the oni people. She travels to each of the ten clans, now scattered across the land, and asks them to retreat from human contact. On the night that they obey her and all gather in the Yase village, she’s kidnapped and put into a deep sleep. The oni heroine, Suzumori Yukina, is the head of the Suzumori household and was also strong enough to be the ninja guardian Yase-hime. She’s serious and respects the old ways, and has a hawk companion. (Sounds awesome!). Throughout the game, she must decide whether to look for a cure for her princess Yase-hime in the human world, in spite of Yase-hime’s request not to deal with humans.
Chitose (CV: Itou Kentarou) – The oni head of Kyuushuu. He’s outgoing and friendly, but sometimes is overconfident. He fights with one sword.
Kazuya (CV: Kamiya Hiroshi) – The cool and reserved oni head of Mutsu, he is respected by the Yase people. He fights with two swords handed down through his family.
Kazutake (CV: Nomura Kenji) – The oldest of the ten oni, he’s reliable and good at taking care of people. He fights bare-handed.
Shin (CV: Hino Satoshi) – The very proud oni head of China who, unlike most oni, is revered by humans.
On Friday I’ll probably do more on LGS, Kami-sama to Koigokoro and Grimm – although maybe I should wait for their seiyuu…
Well, I thought my B’s Log would get here today but apparently not. Tomorrow it should, so I’ll have the full news update. From twitter and wandering around the net, here are some short tidbits:
And finally, a new PV for Hitofuta Kihyou by Profitrolle, coming out for the PC on March 30.
I’ve been so focused on Hakuoki (one friend already downloaded it and is playing through it intensely, I love it), I haven’t been doing too much new gaming, though I picked up Uta no Prince-sama again and am finally working through Otoya’s route. I tried to find a PV for the new game coming up, Debut, but couldn’t find any. Oh well! Since I did upcoming PV’s last week, I thought I’d put up some vids that are a little different.
Party games! I’m thinking of putting out my only “party” otome game (now I wish I’d bought the Hakuoki one!) but I’ve never actually played it.
First, Hakuoki Yuugiroku – after the 1.5 minute mark it shows more of the games:
And B’s Log Party, which I have:
Hah, does anyone remember Hanayoi Romanesque Ai to Kanashimi: Sore wa Kimi no Tame no Aria? It was interesting.
I thought Takuyo Mix Box would be good too, but it seems that it’s only an intro of several of their games. Too bad, because their games have some fun mini-games.
Speaking of Hiiro no Kakera (you watched the last vid right?), my friend reminded me of the futuristic Hiiro no Kakera last night. For anyone who’s played Hiiro no Kakera, the seiyuu for #1 and #4 are the same, but they REALLY change their voices (except Sugita, his is similar ^_^). I remembered a vid I saw that actually shows their voices to compare – I wish the clips were a little longer, but it does the job.
Hiiro no Kakera Koe Kurabe
Lastly, did anyone ever watch Rurouni Kenshin? It was one of the first anime I really got into, and I got ALL the fansubs – way back when they were on VHS! Picture my shock when I hear that, after all this time, they’re making a live-action movie for it. And even more shocking, it looks like it might be decent!
Kenshin movie trailer
I also found a bunch of Hakuoki fan vids, I might put some up later, although most require Japanese ability to understand.
The podcast about Hakuoki and otome gaming in general is now up! Thanks so much to Anne from Video Game Writers for joining me on my first ever podcast, with all the hiccups that go along with it! It was lots of fun, we started discussing Hakuoki, went into voice actors a bit, mentioned Tokimemo, Harutoki, and Starry Sky, and then came back to Hakuoki. I’m sorry it took me a long time to edit – mostly because of noob mistakes. There are some moments where there’s static in the feed, I tried to get rid of most of them but some are right when we’re talking, so I had to leave them in.
You can either download it by right-clicking or left-click, and it will open in your browser. Let me know if you enjoy it!
Update: BTW, I saw this interview of the script rewriter that might explain Anne’s question about Hijikata.
My podcast chat with Anne on Hakuoki and otome games will be ready tomorrow. I’m almost done editing but I have to prepare it for being on itunes etc. and I don’t want to rush it.
This doesn’t happen often – a game released for the SAME platform twice – and two companies are doing it almost at the same time.
Otomate and Furyu are releasing a new, improved version of Aoiza Kaika Bunmei this year, with scenes and stories that ‘couldn’t get told’ in the original. I don’t know if they mean that they ran out of time on the original, or that they were added. I’ve been playing Aoiza recently, and it’s true that there are many questions that aren’t answered fully in this version, so it might be the former case.
D3 is also releasing a powered-up version of Storm Lover called Storm Lover *Kai*. It will be about 2 years after the original release date. This one will also have extra scenes and events.
But I have to say, I think it’s kind of unfair to release the same game twice on the same platform, fairly close together. There have been a few cases of this – Hisui no Shizuku Hiiro no Kakera 2 was re-released with significant changes as Shin•Hisui no Shizuku after the original did poorly, and Quinrose re-released Wizard and Master. However, Wizard and Master was after five years with totally new art and voices、I don’t consider it the same at all really.
Since these are both on the PSP, couldn’t they make the extra stuff available as a download on the PSN? Why make people buy it all over again if they want the new material?
Another game that did something similarly annoying was Harutoki 4 – its “fandisk” was more of an extended version, except the extra material was all in flashback-type screens; I don’t even think there were more CGs. I thought that was a bit much as well (though I bought it because I was hoping for more).
Though I’d like to play the new material, I don’t think I’ll get these – I just checked, and Aoiza was released in August, and the new one comes out in May. 9 months between the original and the ‘improved’ version…no.
I know we often complain about companies emptying our wallets, but has there ever been a game that you REALLY felt ripped off by? I might add Love Root Zero to my list, as I found it had unacceptably low production values.
I just read an interesting article on otome games which focuses a bit on Hakuoki and asks whether otome games could be successful in Western markets. (It’s a month old, I wish I had seen it before!) The author, Anne Lee, doesn’t really think the market will work, but I disagree for a few reasons.
First of all, even in Japan otome games are really fairly new. Though Angelique came out in 1994, it wasn’t until around 2005 that otome games started to come out regularly, with established brands and creators. That means that even though we as otome gamers might wonder why a breakout could happen now, the genre is really just maturing now.
Also, I feel like otome games are not just for women who want romance, but also women who just want something made for them – with the female gaze in mind. And recently the female gaze has been getting a lot of attention, growing from BL and shoujo and the slash community into anime, and now into Western mainstream film and TV. A lot of otome games aren’t heavy-handed with the romance (part of this is due to the young target audience and characters, but whatever), and I could easily see women, who are still a growing share of the gaming market in general, embracing otome games not only for the romance but for the overall atmosphere that they’re made for them.
One of the points brought up in the article was that bishoujo games(1 male/many females harem games) had a few localizations that didn’t do very well, so otome games might not either. To rebut this, let me throw a few stats at you:
From RWA – Romance Writers of America – Industry Statistics:
2010 Romance Fiction Sales in Comparison (ed: this is as a share of all fiction)
(source: Simba Information)
I got into otome gaming not only because I love playing videogames, but because I love romance and am used to buying romance novels. Culturally, women are about a thousand times more likely to buy a piece of romantic fiction, whether it’s a novel, movie, or a game, than men. In 2010, romance as a genre sold almost TWICE as much as its closest competitor, and overall was 36% of the fiction market. That is a huge number yo! And most romance is bought by women. So…I really believe that otome games might succeed where bishoujo didn’t.
And to finish, I checked out Hakuoki’s Amazon.com rankings. The first thing that surprised me was that the limited edition is doing better than the regular edition! Aksys definitely hit the right price point there, I think. And it’s currently in the top spot for Adventure PSP games!! However, looking at the other games in the category, there’s not much new there. In total videogames it’s #784. Now that sounds really low, but taking a look at the top 100, a lot of those are actually accessories >.>;; Hard to tell what it really means.
Anyways, of course I want Hakuoki to do well so more otome games are localized, and so I’m inclined to be optimistic, but I really feel otome games have a chance in the Western market. Now I have to go and plan my Hakuoki party!
Diabolik Lovers is the new series being published by Otomate. As you can see by the banner add on the right, the art’s pretty nice, and the character designs are interesting. The story is that the heroine has to transfer schools because her parents move abroad for work, so she moves in with her relative and transfers to a night school that’s full of up-and-coming entertainers. It also has a shady reputation though, and the heroine’s relative runs (or lives in, not sure) a boarding house where six troublemaker brothers live. There are even rumours that someone was attacked by a vampire, but the heroine doesn’t believe them. In the drama CDs that are coming out monthly, the brothers actually suck your blood (they’re all vampires, and S).
From the left: Subaru, Shuu, Kanato, Ayato, Raito, Reiji
The six brothers are the other main characters (apparently Kanato, Ayato, and Raito are triplets), and they’re all vampires:
Ayato (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru) – A huge S, loves teasing, and has no commonsense
Kanato (CV: Kaji Yuuki) – the smallest and weakest, he’s easily sent into temper tantrums, and is also S and kind of yandere.
Raito (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke) – a perverted S who’s often suspended from school for harassment, he talks fast when he gets excited.
Shuu (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) – the oldest brother who’s lazy and unspirited about everything except music (also S).
Reiji (CV: Konishi Katsuyuki) – he acts and talks kind of like a butler, but is a very strict S about etiquette and sometimes makes up his own etiquette rules. His hobby is collecting fine china.
Subaru (CV: Kondou Takashi) – the youngest brother and violent S, he’s a loner who’s quick to start fights and doesn’t like his brothers prying into his business. He usually stays in his room.