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!
It’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.
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.
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:
- If this is an alternate timeline for Miyo(ko), what happened to Hinamizawa?
- 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).
- 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.
Art by 塩素 on Pixiv
I was already intrigued by Ryukishi07’s new manga series, but now I’m approaching a critical mass of hype. Turns out it will be explicitly connected to the When They Cry series, through the antics of our favorite fragment-hopping voyager witches. Check this translation of background text on the book’s product page, kindly emailed to me by Isae (who has an excellent Higurashi blog and tumblr, check them out!):
“The way to play with this Fragment is very easy. And the conditions for winning are also very simple. If you can escape alive, you win. See? Even for you, this should be easy to play, right?”
“Ah this is nostalgic. The stage of this is the Japanese countryside. Reminds me of Hinamizawa.”
“In that case, I’ll go with this piece. Let’s go, my other self.”
Also, a Japanese fan who’s read the prologue tweeted that the story is a challenge between Bernkastel and Lambdadelta. Takano Miyo is the main character. Higanbana and Rose Guns Days might have had expy characters, but nothing on this level of explicit connection.
It might not be a sprawling epic like the VNs, but I’m glad to see that the When They Cry story isn’t over yet! The meta-fiction setting it’s established has so much untapped potential. I can’t wait to see what new characters get caught up in their immortal struggle against eternal boredom. My question now: can we only expect short VNs and manga in the immediate future, or is this just an interlude before WTC5?
The manga magazine Gekkan Action has just announced a new series written by Ryukishi07 and illustrated by Nokuto Koike. It’ll be called Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni (When the Fireflies Burn)…not quite the next “When they Cry,” but close!
The series will be previewed by a prologue in the upcoming Umineko book, Umineko no Naku Koro ni ~The Last and First Gift~. That’s coming out on December 16, according to Amazon.co.jp.
The last manga by Ryukishi07 (Higanbana) was somewhat disappointing, until he ended up expanding its story into a VN. Still, this series looks rather intriguing, even if I know basically nothing about it’s plot. The artist has a cool, mature art style, and it is being printed in a seinen magazine. In an odd coincidence, just a few days ago we saw the first ever English print licensing from this magazine, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
EDIT: While digging through the magazine’s Twitter, I found some of the original character designs drawn by Ryukishi07 for the series: