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New Otome Release 9 R.I.P. by Idea Factory!

This past Thursday, on June 29th, Idea Factory published their new otome visual novel, 9 R.I.P.. It was developed by Design Factory and Otomate and is available for the Switch on the Japanese Nintendo Store. You can also get the regular physical edition or the limited edition on the official website.
You can also get cute profile pictures from the game here!

For those who might find the art familiar, it is because the artist for the art and character design is none other than Yuuya, the artist behind Cupid Parasite, Café Enchanté, and Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo.

This game presents mechanics such as map navigation as one of the ways to determine compatibility with one of the love interests. You can also manage your spirituality, which will also influence whether you get a bad end or not.

“This city has long been a land of many being spirited away, and those who are mentally ill or heavily distressed are more likely to be taken. Are you alright?”

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.”

From that point on, strange things begin to occur around her…

from gematsu

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Promotional Video

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Opening Movie; horizon by Pluto

Download/Regular Edition

The digital edition (also known as download edition) for this game is available on both the Japanese Nintendo Store and the official website. The Regular physical edition is only available through the official website.
This is only for the game itself and retails for ¥7,480 (approximately $51.86), tax included.

Special Edition

The Special Edition is a limited edition and retails for ¥9,680 (approximately $67.12), tax included; you can buy it through the official website.
It comes with a drama CD (A gift from the gods) and a special booklet.

The game protagonist, a second year high schooler.
She is bright and kind, but has a tendency to be overly attentive.
Since childhood, she has had an unfortunate disposition and has experienced many unlucky incidents.
Misa does not want to attend the university her mother wants her to go to, but is unable to say so.
One night, after hearing a strange voice, her life begins to go into dismay…

VA: Toki Shun’ichi

He is somewhat frightened and afraid to come in contact with others.
He is only assertive and shows cheerful expressions towards Misa.
At times, however, his darker side might peek through…

The mirror that pulls you in ( 引きずり鏡 )

Hey, you know the mirror on the wall between the first and second floor landings of the central staircase?
Don’t touch it. The ghost in the mirror will drag you to the other side.

The Lore

Hibiki’s character is based on one of the Seven Wonders of the School (学校の七不思議), a popular collection of school ghost stories in Japan — specifically the one about a boy who lives inside the mirror. It is said that if you look into the mirror in the middle of the night, a stranger will look back at you. Another version says that a boy will grab your hand and drag you into the mirror. Other sources also mention that a large mirror on the school’s staircase landing is a port into another world – and if you stand in front of the large mirror at 4:44am, you will be trapped inside the mirror. The world inside the mirror is the exact opposite of the normal world, and the letters appear upside down.

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Promotional Video for Hibiki

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

First of all, I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. Hibiki-kun is a boy with so much growth. I could feel it all the way through, and it gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I have appeared in several Otomate productions, but this was the first time for me to play a character who falls in love with the heroine, so I was deeply moved by the recording.

  • What did you like the most about Hibiki?

Hibiki is probably the most undefined character among the characters — mentally as well as emotionally. I felt that he was an unstable boy who lacked confidence in his own life and had not established his own identity. But when he meets the main character, he takes a step forward and tries his best to change. Ghosts are, in a sense, immortal or permanent beings, and it is amazing to see them change themselves. In his route, you can catch glimpses of that in various scenes. Not only through his relationship with the protagonist, but also through his relationship with Kureha, and by the time everything is over, he has fully grown into the ideal man he idealized. I think that is what makes him so appealing.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

This is quite hard because I can’t give away any spoilers, but in a way I am grateful for that (laughs). In his case, many things over the story change — not only his relationship with the protagonist, but also with other people and the way he treats them. So, rather than any particular scene, I think the most interesting part of the story is his change in itself. I would like you to pay attention not only to the main character but also to the distance between him and Kureha. In the bonus drama CD, they become friends and are able to joke about each other, so I think the way they interact with each other outside of the main story is also a fun element. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the “change” in Hibiki.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

It is a truly wonderful story, and each route contains a lot of charm for the characters. However, the content is a bit scary (laughs). It is a little scary, but in the end, the story is not just scary; it’s also heartwarming. I hope that everyone will be able to read at their own pace and connect with the character they are pursuing. The story is filled with many emotions, so I hope you may enjoy it countless times.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Kakihara Tetsuya

He was a national idol during his lifetime.
He was cheerful and sociable, with a spirit of service to his fans.
Even now that he has become a ghost, he still looks dazzling.
However, when you see him, there is a somewhat uncomfortable feeling….
He is the childhood friend and best friend of Kouyou.

The young man gazing at the stars ( 星を流れる青年 )

I heard you can meet the ghost of Sena of S=CROWN at the seaside park!
Oh, you didn’t know? S=CROWS is a famous idol group.
Well, it seems that Sena collapsed on the lawn somewhere at the seaside park.
Rumor has it that he was found lying on his back, as if he was looking up at the night sky.

The Lore

One night, a man was gazing at the starry sky from his apartment. When the man looked at the apartment across the street, he saw a woman also stargazing. The man began to develop feelings for her. 
Sometimes, the man would notice that she would be stargazing even though the sky is cloudy. Eventually he becomes suspicious and decides to visit her at her apartment. When he opens the door, he finds her hanging dead by the window. 

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Promotional Video for Sena

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

I was quite free to act how I so desired while playing as Sena. The story is about spirits and urban legends, so I tried not to make the story too dark, but rather to add a bit of lightness to it. The recording itself went very smoothly.

  • What did you like the most about Sena?

He was a popular idol before his death, so he is very bright and cheery, but he also has a serious side to him — he keeps pursuing the dream he could not achieve before his death. At first glance, he is often seen as a light-hearted person, but at his core, he is very passionate for his dreams. The gap between his gentlemanly nature and his high aspirations to make his fans smile was a lot of fun to act out.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

There are a lot of things I can’t tell you. (laughs) Sena is a bit of a mystery. I thought it might be better to keep it under wraps for now. But if I have to mention anything, “Orihime and Hikoboshi” comes up. That was very impressive.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

Amongst Otomate’s works, I don’t think there has ever been a work that delved so seriously into ghosts, urban legends, demons, and overall weirdness. It was a very valuable experience for me to participate in such a dark work. I myself had a lot of fun playing the role, and I am sure you will find a route that will fit your taste. Sena’s route is a very bittersweet story, and I highly recommend it!

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Tachibana Shinnosuke

He displays courteous and gentlemanly behavior, and is quite a romantic.
A deceased man who works as the Great Warden at Hell Organization.
He earnestly tries to help Misa and hates Minami.

Hell Organization

Commonly known as HO.
People who sinned during their lives will go to HO after death.
The HO purifies the sinful dead by punishing them for their wrongdoings.
Most people who work at HO are already deceased.

The Lore

In the first 9 R.I.P. trailer, Seiya was referred to as the keeper of hell (地獄の番人). In Japanese literary, this refers to Enma, the God of Hell. In Buddhism, Enma is also the Lord of the Underworld, and the God who judges the sins of the dead. Enma’s court is equipped with a special mirror, which records all the deeds of the deceased during their lifetime and this will be shown to them during the day of judgment. Therefore, even if the deceased being judged lies during the interrogation, they will be found out immediately. 

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Promotional Video for Seiya

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

My initial impression of Seiya was that he was quite a yandere, or a man with a sick mind, but as I read the story, I got the sense that he was a very single-minded man. That was very surprising. The good person that Seiya is, by nature, oozes out of him. I enjoyed recording the story, feeling the gap between his slightly yan side and the way he felt towards Minami. I think I was able to play a very determined, masculine man with a strong core.

  • What did you like the most about Sena?

I think he is very serious. I am attracted to the fact that he is hardworking and serious about everything, but sometimes his seriousness goes in the wrong direction. To other people, he might seem rather obsessive. However, Seiya himself admits that this is part of who he is. In a sense, he is a very mature person. He accepts his perverted and deceptive self and pushes through regardless of what others think of him. I think he has a very strong mentality. Unlike his appearance, he has a strong heart, and I think that’s the most attractive thing about him.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

Basically, there were many scenes involving Minami. Of course, they are like monkeys — always fighting — but they do have an inseparable bond. They are always looking for each, no matter what they say. In this sense, his relationship to Minami is a necessary part of Seiya’s life, and I felt that he is an indispensable character in shaping Seiya. Also, the only person he can take his hatred out on is probably Minami. Basically, he can’t play with anyone but Minami because of his professional position. I thought he was a very interesting and important character for Seiya.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

This game deals with mysterious phenomenons, so there will be scary summer stories, but there will also be a sweet love part in it, making it a work that is twice as delicious. There are many mysterious characters in the PVs, and when you watch them, you may wonder if this guy has a dual personality. I did wonder that. I hope you enjoy both the horror as well as the romance. Seiya, the character I played, has both a deceptive and a single-minded side to him, making him a character that is twice a delight. I hope you will enjoy his route as much as I do! Thank you very much.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Azakami Youhei

A member of the Kokkuri-san family.
They are blunt and violent in tone, but at heart they are gentle and warm ayakashi.
The main character summoned Kokkuri-san, but carelessly removed her hand from the coin….
He and Yukimaro are (unwillingly) inseparable.

Kokkuri-san ( こっくりさん ) 

Kokkuri is an ayakashi that can be summoned.
If you follow the correct procedure, it will answer your questions.
It is important to note that you should never take your finger off the coin while you are summoning it.

The Lore

“Fox dog raccoon dog” is a type of fortune-telling that originated in the West (Table-turning). In Japan, it is usually believed to be an act of summoning the spirit of a fox (séance), and for this reason the character “Kokkuri-san” (狐狗狸さん) is applied. A piece of paper with the various words and a syllabary chart is placed on the table, and a coin (mainly a 5 or 10 yen coin) is placed on the paper with the index fingers of all participants. When all participants relax and call out, “Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san, please come out,” the coins move.

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Promotional Video for Koharu

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

I’m hungry. (laughs) It’s just that in Koharu’s route there are a lot of descriptions of cooking… I was wondering if my stomach would growl during the recording because of all the delicious-looking dishes such as egg rolls and parfaits. I kept thinking “won’t my stomach growl?” His story was a warm and heartwarming one, so I was able to finish the recording with a warm feeling in my heart, which was fun.

  • What did you like the most about Koharu?

He is what we call a tsundere, but in spite of his tsun tsun, he is not confident in himself. As the story progresses, we see his weak points and his human side despite being a demon. I showed him in many different lights, so I hope that everyone likes him.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

There were many scenes where the protagonist, Yukimaro, and Touka were all having a good time together. In this one, Koharu is the only serious man, so there is only one decent person. (laughs) I hope you will enjoy their interactions with a chuckle, just as you would enjoy a comedy or a manzai.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

Since the theme of the work is monsters and spirits, the characters are diverse and there are many different routes to take. One of the best things about Koharu’s route is that you can enjoy the various world lines, and the more you get to know him, the more you will be drawn into his charms, such as his kindness, his desire to be strong, and his surprising lack of confidence. The dialogue between the three of the spirits is also pretty fun, so I am very confident that everyone will enjoy it. Please look forward to its release.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Suzuki Ryouta

He is blunt and doesn’t show much emotion.
For some reason, he seems to be intrigued by Misa…
He knows a lot about the occult and has made contact with Kureha.
He and Sena are childhood friends and best friends.

Happy Mary ( 幸せのメリーさん )

When you hear the name “Mary”, you get a scary image right?
The one where you get a phone call saying, “I am Mary, and I am behind you right now.”
But it is rumored that this “Mary” at our town will deliver the words of the dead through the phone.
In other words, the Happy Mary will deliver messages from the deceased loved ones.

The Lore

When a girl moved out of her house, she was forced to throw away an old foreign doll named Mary. That night, the girl suddenly received a phone call.
“I’m Mary. I’m at the dumpster.”
The girl hung up the phone in disgust, but soon received another call.
“I’m Mary. I’m near the post office.”
After that, each call brought Mary’s current location closer and closer to her house. Finally, she said:
“I am Mary, and I am in front of your house right now.”
The girl boldly opens the front door, but no one is there. Then the phone rings again.
“I’m Mary. I’m right behind you.”

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Promotional Video for Kouyou

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

9 R.I.P. is a story about something out of this world… I have always loved urban legends and occult stories, so I was very happy to be able to participate in such a scenario. I really enjoyed the recording.

  • What did you like the most about Kouyou?

Kouyou has a very modern, young feel to him. He has a rather dry impression, with little emotional ups and downs, but he is also a very compassionate and loving person, especially with the main character. Like “Happy Mary”, he is able to extend a helping hand to those in need without hesitation. Above all, his strong feelings for his childhood friend Sena made me see him as a wonderful boy who can move without hesitation for the sake of his friend.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

I was strongly impressed by his feelings toward Sena and the episodes related to him. The other thing that really stood out to me was the situation that Kouyou himself is in. I would spoil the story if I told you everything, but it is not that he is emotionally inadequate, but rather that he is only able to express his love and emotions in the high of the moment. I was very impressed not only by his anger and negative emotions, but also by his ability to show affection even to those who had negative feelings toward him.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

Kouyou is a very modern character because he is a video distributor. In that sense, it’s easier to empathize with him and understand him, so I hope you enjoy his route. I have the impression that there are a lot of myths that occult enthusiasts will be drooling over, so I hope that you will enjoy them in various routes.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: KENN

Zashiki-warashi (apprentice).
At best, he is cheerful and lively; at worst, he is noisy and selfish.
He expresses his emotions clearly, which makes him easy to read.
He truly wants to make Misa happy, and follows her around without her permission.
He has been acquainted with Koharu for a long time.

Zashiki-warashi ( 座敷童 )

There are many stories about yokai, such as that seeing a zashiki-warashi brings good luck or brings wealth to your house….

The Lore

Zashiki-warashi love causing mischief. They are said to leave ash or bleaching powder on top of little footprints and at nighttime, they are said to make sounds like that of a revolving spinning wheel, and they would also make sounds in an inner room making sounds like that of a kagura performance. There are also tales told about how when someone in the family is sewing alone, there would be sounds similar to the rustling of papers or someone snorting, and when the wooden door is opened, there would be no one there. It is also said that at night, they would play pranks such as riding on top of guest room futons and turning over the pillows in order to not let the person sleep, and when attempts are made to stop it, it would be too strong and powerful for anyone to even affect its actions.

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Promotional Video for Yukimaro

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

I had heard that the Yukimaro’s route was a little different from the other routes. It had its own worldview. I had never played this kind of role before, so it was a fresh experience for me. His way of speaking was also unique. I think I’m going to get addicted to it. (laughs)

  • What did you like the most about Yukimaro?

He is a very gentle Zashiki-warashi. He may be childish in some ways, but he is not mean and puts the other person’s happiness first. What can I say, he’s the ideal man!

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

He is usually boyish and very expressive, but sometimes he can be cool with a dignified appearance. Other than that, I put a lot of effort into the “Tonodamaru”-related scenes.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

I heard that each character has a totally different story, so I hope you find your favorite!

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Okamoto Nobuhiko

He displays intense forms of human emotions (joy, anger, grief and pleasure), and usually acts based on his feelings.
He would put on a false facade to deceive others.
His goal is to make a “contract” with Misa and obtain her soul.
He really hates Seiya.

Incubus ( 夢魔 )

They appear in people’s dreams and give them nightmares.
There are many theories, but to resist their temptations, the countermeasure is to have a strong mind.

The Lore

An incubus is a demon in male form from folklore that seeks to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women — or homosexual men. In medieval Europe, union with an incubus was said to result in the birth of witches, demons, and deformed human offspring. Parallels exist in many cultures. According to “Demon Lovers” by Walter Stephens, some traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with an incubus may result in the deterioration of health, an impaired mental state, or even death.

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Promotional Video for Minami

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

Since this work is based on urban legends, demons, and dream demons, there were a lot of “Oh, I know this word!” It was a very enjoyable experience to record the scenario. For example, there is an urban legend called “Kisaragi Station” that appears in Minami’s route, and I myself felt nostalgic about it, so I think everyone will enjoy the immersive experience. The most difficult part was to express the change from the first cute impression to a more masculine one.

  • What did you like the most about Minami?

From the beginning of the story, Minami is very much like a cat, playing tricks in our protagonist’s dreams and provoaking her. Since he is, after all, a dream demon, I hope that the audience will be thrilled by his lewdness, sweetness, and distance. Personally, I think the character design is very cute, which is also a big plus!

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

Minami has a big secret, and his backbone is revealed in the process of “change”, as I mentioned earlier. The scene in which we find out the reason why he changes in the first place is the scene that left the strongest impression on me. In one of the scenes, Minami faces his other self and is in distress. As an actor, I sometimes experience similar feelings, so I played the role with a lot of emotion. Once I got over that part, we just flirted with each other. (laughs) The scene in which Minami confides his anguish and is freed from it was very difficult for me to play, so I hope you enjoy it.

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

Minami is a type of character I haven’t played very often in recent years. I think he is probably one of the top three cutest characters I have ever played, so I am sure many people were surprised by his visuals. (laugh) I worked especially hard on the part where he is wearing cat ears, so I hope you will listen to it.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.

VA: Masuda Toshiki

Contrary to the disturbing stories about him, he has a gentle personality.
He is straightforward and honest, but there is something about him that’s slightly off.
He seems to be attracted to Misa, but…

Karakara-san the bloodthirsty killer ( 殺人鬼のからからさん )

After school, inside the school building that is dyed in twilight – when you hear the sound of iron being dragged around (“kara kara”), don’t look back.
If you turn around, you will be asked questions.
If you can’t answer it or give the wrong answer, you will be killed.

The Lore

Kureha’s character is based on one of the Seven Wonders of the School (学校の七不思議), a popular collection of school ghost stories in Japan. A ghost with only his upper body is said to haunt people in the school hallway at dusk. He moves at a tremendous speed, and is commonly known as “teke teke” (テケテケ) because of the dragging sound he makes when moving with his arms. 

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Promotional Video for Kureha

  • Could you please give us your impressions after the recording?

Although the story unfolds rather from the player’s perspective in the beginning, I struggled to understand what the intention of each description was because of the alternating use between modern words and phrases specific to that era. It was difficult for me to make sense of the word choice and difficult words that Kureha would say.

  • What did you like the most about Kureha?

Although Kureha is one of the iconic characters in this work, would he be an “iconic” character in your typical otome game? I think he is not that smooth. He is not a character who whispers sweet words of love, so I am very much looking forward to seeing how the players will react to that.

  • What lines were particularly memorable? Were there scenes that you would like us to pay attention to?

Without spoiling anything… it’s definitely the scene where they first meet. It is an important scene, so I played the role with great care. I hope you will listen!

  • Finally, could you give a message to the users who are looking forward to the release of the product?

9 R.I.P. is a game that allows you to enjoy a variety of situations. In a sense, it is a game where you can freely choose according to your tastes and interests, so I think a wider range of people will enjoy it. Of course, we would be happy if you like Kureha and enjoy his route, but there are many other attractive characters in the game as well, so I hope that you will pick up the game and try it out.

From the official game website.
Note: This commentary section was translated using machine translation, so there may be mistakes.


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Much of the character profile information was taken from otomeology — go check their blog!

Thumbnail from the official product website.

fujoneko

Weird little gremlin who likes all the fucked up stuff; if a story doesn't leave you in shambles, what's even the point? Functional fujoshi, at your service.

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Rina
Rina
7 months ago

Ohhh thank you for the translations!!
This was very interesting to read.

I hope we get 9RIP localised someday!