I just learned today that 07th Expansion is releasing a manga adaption of a story from their upcoming game, TRianThology, for free online. It’s part of a collaboration between 07th Expansion and Nico Nico Seiga, the manga side of Japanese website Niconico, which is better known for online videos and tons of bizarre memes.
As we learned at last year’s ACen Panel, TRianThology will be made up of three linked stories:
- School friends from the country drifting apart after moving to new places, and then coming back together.
- A science fiction war story.
- A galge-like setting ala To Heart.
It looks like this manga, titled Country Girl, is based on the first story. Despite Ryukishi07’s other forays into manga, it’s clear that TRianThology will definitely still be a game, since the artist’s comments hope we can “look forward to the game while reading leisurely.”
The 1st and 2nd chapters are posted now on Nico Nico Seiga, and it says that new chapters will be posted on the third Thursday of each month. Unfortunately, it’s only in Japanese so far, though it’s just begging for a fan translation. Skimming through the 72 pages posted so far, it reminds me a bit of Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. Sort of an “alas, the care free innocence of our youth has been replaced by such jaded cynicism” sort of plot. This is the story written by Tanaka Romeo, so maybe it’ll get as a dark as A Drug That Makes You Dream did (not the best VN out there, but a nostalgic gateway drug for me!).
Even though the Higurashi franchise is well over 13 years old by now, it’s still getting new adaptions and content. The latest one, just announced today, is a live-action TV series. The main cast will all be played by members from the NGT48 idol group (a Niigata sister group of AKB48), who are in auditions for it now. It’s planned to begin broadcasting on May 2016.
You might remember that Higurashi was previously adapted into two live-action movies, which covered the 1st and 6th visual novel arcs. They weren’t critically acclaimed by any measure, but can be a fun watch. This new adaption will be aired in eight 1-hour episodes. I’d assume each episode will cover one of the VN arcs, finally telling the full story in a live-action form. It’ll be tricky to stuff all the VN’s content into such a short run-time; the anime had more than twice as much time, and it even it couldn’t do the job perfectly.
Either way, I’m optimistically neutral on this. Will it probably be bad? Yes. Could it possibly be wicked awesome? Also yes.
Higurashi fans got a little Christmas present yesterday, with the release of a voice and graphics patch for the 2nd chapter of its new release from MangaGamer. Just like with the 1st chapter, the patch adds voice acting and changes the sprites to the PS3 versions by Alchemist. There’s also a voice only patch, for those who’d prefer to play with the original sprites (like me!). You can download the patch here, after getting the game from Steam or MangaGamer’s site.
I want to pause a moment to consider all the wonderful work done by modders and translators, given freely just for their love of the series. Where would we be without people like that?
Art by ８０８ on Pixiv
Enjoy, readers, and Happy Holidays!
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:
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).
You 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.
DMM has posted a trailer for their upcoming game Iwaihime, with writing by Ryukishi07:
It looks like the game will have a big focus on romance, perhaps even more so than horror. Or maybe that’s just a bait-and-switch tactic. We’ll see when the game comes out November 27th in Japan. Either way, that tree (?) thing with the glowing red eyes is wicked cool.
The voice acting that starts at 2:00 in the video has been translated by Garlstadt on reddit:
Go, and curse your powerlessness.
Yours is not a destiny you can alter.
You are ten years late…
A hundred years late…
A thousand years late!
Someone has also posted a full version of the OP song, performed live by Rinne Yoshida:
Not among my favorite OPs* for a Ryukishi07 game, but it works.
* And for an extra bonus list, those would be!:
1. Pithos in the Fog (Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru)
2. Dusk is what Love Crosses Over (Higanbana no Saku Koro ni)
3. To That Day (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou)
4. Love is Omerta (Rose Guns Days)
5. Brand New Way, Broadway (Rose Guns Days Last Season)