Chapter 0 of Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni Translated

Chapter 0 of the Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni manga has now been translated, and can be downloaded here. The translation was done by Tarable Translations, who also did an excellent translation of the prologue short story. I scanned the raws and did the typesetting…so if something is screwed up, just let me know and I’ll fix it!

2-3sIt’s basically like the trailer for a movie, with a very cinematic feel. On one hand, I find it rather intriguing. On the other hand, it doesn’t get into the story proper at all, and the series won’t be continuing until 3/25/2016. So for me this is a teaser trailer, with emphasis on the word “teaser.”

Disclaimer: If you enjoy reading these scanlations, please consider supporting the official English releases of 07th Expansion manga! Yen Press has published the manga for Higurashi, Umineko, and Rose Guns Days, and they’re all fine adaptations. Hopefully they’ll continue to get enough sales to release new series and spin-offs from Ryukishi07 in English.

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First Chapter of Iwaihime Manga Scanlated

The Iwaihime manga adaption has been picked up by the scanlation group Hot Chocolate Scans. They just released the 1st chapter, which you can read here. I won’t give any spoilers, but the end sure takes an interesting turn…

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For those who can read Japanese, the Iwaihime VN was also released on Friday, and can be downloaded from DMM’s site. They also have preview CGs, a demo, a free 20-page guidebook PDF, and desktop and mobile wallpapers. The question for me is whether I read the manga, or wait for the VN to be translated.

Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni Prologue Translated

The short story prologue of Ryukishi07’s new manga series, Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni, has finally been translated! Big thanks to the translator, because it’s quite well done.

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The short story was released earlier in December as a bonus of the book Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~The Last and First Gift~, which collected previous Umineko TIPS.

After reading it, my first thought is “more, please!” On one hand, I worry about Ryukishi07 retreading the same ground too much. Once again we have the setting of a remote Japanese village with bizarre customs (remember Okamikakushi? That didn’t go so well). On the other hand, I’m loving all the fanservice in form of meta connections to Higurashi and Umineko. My main questions are:

  1. If this is an alternate timeline for Miyo(ko), what happened to Hinamizawa?
  2. Is this a world where the supernatural just plain exists, like Higanbana? (And you might say that the supernatural already exists in Higurashi, but I prefer a naturalistic explanation for it, which makes more sense after reading the God Violating chapter released with Higurashi Hou).
  3. Will Miyoko be the protagonist or antagonist of this story? Right now she reminds me of Erika Furudo, coming in to this isolated world of fragile emotions and just upending everything.

MangaGamer Releases New Version of Higurashi’s 2nd Chapter

MangaGamer has just released their new version of Higurashi’s 2nd Chapter, “Watanaganashi-hen” (Cotton Drifting Chapter). On Friday the 13th, too, for bonus points! The new release comes with an updated translation and all new character art (plus an option to switch back to the original art).

higurashi 2 mangagamerYou can buy it now at MangaGamer’s site or Steam. The version on MG’s site has less DRM, works on Linux and Mac, and comes with a free Steam Key anyways, for people who care about any of those things.

The question now is “Do I replay each chapter as it comes out, with maybe 6 months of waiting between each, or wait for them all to marathon?” I’m still mulling that over…probably the latter, since my VN backlog would thank me for it.

In other news, Iwaihime‘s release date has been delayed from November 27 to January 29, 2016.

Higurashi Rei Gets Full Translation and Graphics Patch

Finally, one more thing rescued from the towering pile of untranslated Higurashi stuff. Pearse Hillock has just released a translation/graphical update patch for the collection of side arcs, Higurashi Rei.

higurashi reiThe first arc of Rei, the Dice Killing Chapter. has been translated for a while, but the other two are both new. Like I mentioned when Sentai licensed the anime OVAs, expect lots of fan service and wacky hijinks. Also, the Dice Killing Chapter’s translation has been touched up a bit. If you have a copy of Higurashi Hou, the patch will work on it’s bundled version of Higurashi Rei as well.

One of the cool things about this patch is that there are multiple versions, depending on how you want honorifics translated, or whether you want to use the original graphics. Get either version of the patch here.

New Version of Umineko Coming From MangaGamer

I should have seen this coming. MangaGamer has just announced that they’ll be officially releasing Umineko in English! The format will be similar to their new release of Higurashi.

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The facts:

  • They’ll be using Witch Hunt’s translation, but working with them to improve it.
  • It’ll have all the original music.
  • Just like with Higurashi, they’ll be using new character artwork not used in the Japanese console version. The sprites in the teaser image are from the Umineko pachinko game, though there’s the possibility those are just placeholders. Either way, we’ll have the option to switch between the original and new sprites.
  • Just like with Higurashi, they’ll be releasing it episode by episode.
  • It’ll be released on Steam and their own site (I recommend buying from their own site since it has less DRM).

I’d bet 20 to the dollar some die-hard fans will complain about them messing with the translation. To be honest, though, some lines in Witch Hunt’s patch were rather stilted. I’m excited to replay Umineko through this version (even if it takes years to come out). The thing I’m really looking forward to, though, is the many new fans the increased exposure will bring to Umineko.

Some interesting stuff was also brought up in the Q&A of MangaGamer’s panel, which has a transcript from bayoab:

  • They might release the Umineko fighting game, Ougon Musou Kyoku, if lots of people buy Umineko.
  • “It would be great” if Higanbana or Rose Guns Days were also released in English. That’s a tight-lipped response, but the Japanese versions of those games are still absent from their site’s store, so an official release might be in the pipes for them.

1st Tragedy Looper Expansion Coming to English Soon

Z-Man games has announced they’ll be releasing an expansion for Tragedy Looper. If you haven’t read my review of it yet, Tragedy Looper is basically “When They Cry” in board game form…and totally awesome!

midnight circle and owaconThere are already 5 expansions for Tragedy Looper in Japanese, so we’ll still take a while to catch up. For this first release, at least Z-Man will be repackaging two of them into a single release. “Mystery Circle” and “Midnight Zone” become “Midnight Circle.” Instead of the original chronological order, they’re first releasing the two less complex expansions designed to be easier for beginners. Which is good, because Tragedy Looper can already be a daunting game. The expansion will be coming out in June, and is already up for pre-order.

Z-Man will also be releasing another board game from the same Japanese doujin circle, BakaFire. It’s Japanese name is “Old World and Code of Nines,” which will be shorted to “Code of Nines” for the English release. It’s theme is unique enough that I can’t give it justice:

“Players take the role of automatons wakening to the ruins of the world after the fall of humanity. ¬†Each player holds fragments of the will of the human race in their fading memories, and players must piece together the fragments to determine the final will of humanity and be the first to fulfill it.”

It’s like they designed a game for me, and my post-human peaceful apocalypse loving self. I’ve been interested in this game for awhile, since BakaFire really caught my eye with Tragedy Looper’s innovative design. Plus, all the mechanics sound right up my alley: deducing your opponent’s secret scoring conditions, bluffing, random set-up for huge replay value! Code of Nines will is also due in June.