07th Expansion Announces New Work on April Fool’s Day, Possibly Not (?) A Joke

Visitors to 07th Expansion’s Japanese site are being greeted with an image announcing a new work, Tri-Anthology.

ent150401According to the image, Ryukishi07 will be once again collaborating with Romeo Tanaka and Tonokawa Yuuto (of Key/Visual Arts) on it. He’s worked with them previously on the VN Rewrite.

Readers might want to take this with a grain of salt, since it’s already April Fool’s Day in Japan. Still, this announcement fits perfectly with the “science fiction” work Ryukishi07 was originally planning to release last winter Comiket, in December 2014. The translated teaser for that work states:

“And now, for a tale of the future.

Three worlds draw a spiral. Who is it at that lies at the end?

One world exists in the distant future. The General Earth Alliance advances into outer space. Past the sun, they voyage into the depths of the Milky Way.

Now, can you see the tiny fireworks flickering in the depths of space?

Those tiny fireworks, they are the light of the 200 pentillion warships from both sides of the UA$ galactic war fleet, sunk in space warfare that has endured from the beginning of civilization. Both sides, having amassed immense losses from war in the depths of space, avoid galactic conflict. Several colonial planets, last thought of in a time before the Galactic Century, shall be entrusted to become the location for the war’s skirmishes.

Coming in Winter 2014!”

Three worlds…three writers. Tri-Anthology. It makes a bit too much sense for a prank.

ryukishi07 sfThe new image has the same character as in that teaser, but with a different costume. It looks like it’ll involve characters traveling between three different words, with one science fiction, and another fantasy reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. What’s next? The real world? A hellish nightmare of horror?

It reminds me of Aliens, in which one prominent designer did all designs for humans locations and technology, while another did everything related to xenomorphs (of course, it’s H.R. Giger they actually remember!) I look forward to seeing how their different authorial visions will comingle and conflict.

UPDATE: It’s been confirmed to be real, and is listed as “Coming Soon” on its new site.


In Defense of A Closed Cat Box

An unsolved mystery is an open canvas. It invites endless speculation and debate.

As long as it remains unsolved, it can continue to live. To provide the solution, though, is to kill it.

Art by gungun

Art by gungun

I loved the ambiguity of Umineko’s original ending. One solution to the series core mysteries was strongly hinted at, but never outright confirmed. I feel like this was the perfect balance between providing closure, while still keeping the mystery alive. Unfortunately, many readers hated it, both inside and outside of Japan.

The manga adaption has spelled out the “official truth” much more explicitly. Ryukishi07 recently did an English language interview with the gaming site APG Nation, and confirmed that “by no means is the manga version an individual interpretation. It is an official answer from me.” It’s hard to say whether did so in response to negative feedback, or intended to all along. Quite possibly the latter, considering his comments in the Higurashi Kai staff room about mysteries without a “solution book.”

Either way, I’m disappointed that Ryukishi07 had to open the cat box. Whether or not the cat has died, the mystery certainly has.

At least I’m heartened whenever I see the small mysteries that remain in Umineko. We can still find some shadowy corners where the light of an “official truth” has yet to shine: solutions of individual puzzles, Erika’s existence, and others.

It might seem irrational to seek out solutions, only to feel disappointed when given one. Sometimes, though, the journey is more important than the destination.

Ryukishi07 to Visit US Convention For First Time This May

Good news for anyone planning to attend Anime Central in Illinois this May. They’ve just announced that Ryukishi07 and other 07th Expansion members will be attending the con as guests.

Ryukishi07 2015.guest picThis will be the first time that Ryukishi07 has appeared at a US convention. He’s visited  France for Epitanime in 2012, where he was well received. We already know that Ryukishi loves his fans outside Japan. He even wrote a letter to the fan translators for Umineko, and made an homage to them in the game itself.

Since it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I’m planning on going myself. Fun times ahead…stay tuned for a thorough write-up!

Yen Press Licenses 「Rose Guns Days」 Manga

rose guns days manga

Yen Press has just announced on Twitter that it will release the Rose Guns Days manga in English. The first volume will be coming out this Fall.

I’m pretty psyched about this! Rose Guns Days was a big change of pace for Ryukishi07. Instead of supernatural horror, it deftly combination of alternate history and a noir crime story.  The VN starts out a bit slow, but quickly crests into an intensely gripping read. I’ve heard that the manga improves on some parts of the VN, too.

So far, Yen Press has only announced plans for the First Season manga. Hopefully it sells well, and convinces them to license the two spin-off stories as well: Aishuu no Cross Knife and Fukushuu wa Ougon no Kaori .

Yen Press has already released the Higurashi manga, and is currently releasing the Umineko manga.