With Anime Boston and Sakura-Con running concurrently, this has been a very busy weekend, especially for VN fans! MangaGamer and Sekai Project were present at both conventions, and announcements were made at both over the last couple days. There’s some doujin games, there’s some expected announcements, and there’s one utterly surprising bombshell that I promise you won’t anticipate. Let’s get into it!
Starting off MangaGamer’s announcements is Imouto Paradise 2! This one has been rumored to be in the works for a while now. The first game was a very popular nukige for MangaGamer, and there are plenty of fans out there looking forward to the sequel. Expect pretty much more of the same, for better or worse. MangaGamer has said nothing of a release estimate, but I suspect it won’t be very long before a release.
The other two announcements were a set of Kindred Spirits drama CDs and a physical edition for Free Friends. The Free Friends hardcopy is available for pre-order now (NSFW link) and will ship on May 20th. The Kindred Spirits drama CDs are a series of after stories for the original game’s many characters. The first CD is slated to be released in April in a subtitled video format for $10 on Steam, with each successive CD release trailing around a month behind the last. Kindred Spirits was such a splendid little title and I’m sure these will be great for fans who want more of its great character interactions.
If these announcements didn’t tickle your fancy, then you may have to wait a little while longer. It seems like MangaGamer is holding back during their early conventions this year. Their next convention will be Anime Central on May 20th, with a new partnership being teased. However, expect the true big guns to not come out until their summer conventions, Anime Expo and Otakon, as is usual for MangaGamer. See their announcement site for more info.
Sekai Project came out swinging. Across both Sakura-Con and Anime Boston, they announced 5 new VN localizations, two of which are major Japanese VNs, in addition to one English VN announced online. Starting with the doujin works, Companion is a Taiwanese VN that promises to be a bit of a tragic story with apocalyptic themes. Sekai Project has compared it to Planetarian, and I’m personally seeing some similarities to eden*. You can check out the official site here. A release is coming in 2016.
Next up is the Korean VN Still, I Miss Her. Originally a mobile-only VN, SP is bringing this one to Steam in 2016. It features many themes not typically seen in all-ages VNs, such as NTR. It’s hard to tell from the description and screenshots alone, but it looks like it may be taking a more whimsical approach to the subject matter than most VNs of that genre. You can find the official site here. Although I have to say, if that site was written by their translator, that’s not very encouraging. As of the time of this writing, the English is rather appalling.
Moving on, Just Deserts is an Indonesian-made dating sim that has been on Steam Greenlight since December of last year. They technically announced a partnership with Sekai Project earlier in the month, but it seems no one noticed until SP formally announced it at Anime Boston today. Whoops! Anyways, Just Deserts appears to skew much further towards the dating sim side of things than the VN side (to the point where it’s not and probably will never be on VNDB), but I know a lot of you are fans of both. The Indonesian VN/dating sim scene is absolutely massive, so it’s nice seeing more commercial activity from them. You can check out their official site here. A Steam release is planned for 2016.
And next, we have an English Boys Love VN titled Monstrous Lovers, announced by SP today via Twitter. Currently on IndieGoGo and asking for $11,500, this BL title has a neat sounding premise and some great art. If you’re into BL, please give it your support! I know you BL-fans are out there! Current release estimate is August 2016.
And now, onto the big name stuff, starting with A Clockwork Ley-Line: The Borderline of Dusk, or as we’ve been calling it in our weekly VNTS updates for years, Tasogaredoki no Kyoukaisen. That’s right, the eternally stalled Ley Line project from Kohaku Translations was picked up by Sekai Project and will be released officially on Steam. Ley-Line is a comedic magical high school mystery series. This game is the first in a series of three, with the sequels being crucial to the plot. As we all know, translation has been basically complete for close to a year now. Assuming SP’s TLC and editing process doesn’t take too long, we will hopefully have our hands on it soon. And who knows, maybe if it does well, we can get another certain gem from Unison Shift that I’ve been pining for… Official site here.
And finally, we have Maitetsu! Maitetsu is the latest game from Lose, released just yesterday. Taking place in a fictional Japan where trains became the dominant mode of transportation even in the modern era, trains are controlled by humanoid control modules known as “Raillords.” A boy is victim to a train related accident, and later in a chance encounter meets one of these Raillords, becoming her owner. It’s an unusual premise, to be sure. The hot button issue at hand is that Lose is known for pushing boundaries and having what are probably the most scandalous VNs in the mainstream moege/charage space. Their games feature some very young looking heroines. For Maitetsu, Sekai Project has only confirmed an all-ages version, and are supposedly “looking into” the possibility of an 18+ release, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.
So here are some facts about Maitetsu: Throughout the entire main story, there are no h-scenes. There is some occasional nudity that will likely be covered up (although other VNs on Steam have proven that nudity is okay), but there are no scenes should necessitate removal. It depends on how safe Sekai Project will want to play it. All of the h-content in Maitetsu exists solely within the extras menu after completing the game, similar to eden* Plus Mosaic. So for those of you bemoaning the lack of an 18+ version, at least know that it is unlikely anything of substance will be cut from the core game. Some further word from Sekai Project on how they plan on handling the Steam release would be appreciated. The official site is here.
So there you have it! Which of these are you all looking forward to? I’m personally probably most pumped for Ley-Line, but only if they manage to snag the whole series. What about you?