Anime Expo 2016 Announcements

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Better late than never! Here’s my Anime Expo 2016 visual novel announcements wrapup.

Oh boy was this a packed con in terms of announcements! It seemed like my entire Twitter feed was there enjoying the action and I had major envy. I’ll definitely make it out there next year! Anyway, let’s go right ahead and dive into the games. I’ll list basic info for each game, categorized by publisher, then add some brief personal thoughts for each title.

Mangagamer

sukisuki

Title: If You Love Me, Then Say So!
Studio: Chuablesoft
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

Mangagamer has a new partnership in Chuablesoft and will be localizing one of their newest moege titles. It looks very standard, but also really cute. I’ll probably end up playing it at some point.

hadaka

Title: Hadaka Shitsuji – Naked Butlers
Studio: Mada Koubou
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

Of all the BL games they could have chosen…why did it have to be this one?! It’s hardcore and good for the lols, but not really my thing.

bocchi

Title: Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome
Studio: Kalmia8
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

If I’m not mistaken, this will be the first 18+ otome game localization! This is great news for otome fans who are bored with all the squeaky-clean pure-hearted stuff, and I’m personally really looking forward to playing it.

ds

Title: D.S. -Dal Segno-
Studio: Circus
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

The successor to the well-loved Da Capo, only released last year in Japan. I’ve never played DC but the artwork for this has me interested.

maggotb8s

Title: Maggot baits
Studio: ClockUp
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

Wow, I have to give kudos to MG for having the balls to go for this full on guro fetish game. I would have rather they’d gone with Fraternite, as I actually have an interest in playing that (I suppose I can still check it out in Japanese!), but this one definitely has the shock value to snare fans of extreme media.

Comments:
I was really impressed by the diversity of the Mangagamer announcements. They’re branching out further into BL and otome titles while continuing their commitment to bringing quality 18+ content out of Japan. Well played!

JAST USA

eiyuu-senki-the-world-conquest-listing-thumb-01-ps3-4nov15

Title: Eiyu Senki
Studio: Tenco
Release date: 2017
VNDB

A combination of strategy game and visual novel, I’ll probably skip it since the gameplay isn’t really my scene.

Katahane.full.72621

Title: Katahane
Studio: Longshot
Release date: 2017
VNDB

This will be a localization of the remake that’s releasing in Japan this August. As a yuri title with gorgeous art and an interesting-sounding story, I’m on board.

m_vis

Title: Princess X: My Fiancee is a Monster Girl
Studio: Poison@Berry
Release date: 2017
VNDB

Monster girl nukige. Pass.

top_09

Title: Sweet Home
Studio: CODEPINK
Release date: 2017
VNDB

Nukige with subpar art. Pass.

Comments:
While JAST’s two non-nukige title announcements are good ones, given their past record I have to wonder how long it’ll actually take for them to release them, and how much marketing they’ll get. Also please step up your PR game, JAST, there wasn’t even an official blog entry on the announcements.

Sekai Project

baldrsky-visual

Title: Baldr Sky Dive1&2
Studio: Team Baldrhead
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

Well. This is big news for VNs in the West. Like, really big. It’s probably sacrilege for me to admit this, but…I’m personally not really interested in the game. But I understand what a big deal it is for the industry as a whole, and for that reason alone I’m buying into the hype.

top_top

Title: Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki
Studio: Palette
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

This moege with lush art from Tsubasa Izumi will have both a Steam and an 18+ release. It’s a solid moege with a touch of the supernatural and I hope it’s well-received.

to_head_ch_wlogo

Title: Boku to Koi Suru Ponkotsu Akama.
Studio:
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

Sayori-san’s gorgeously vibrant artwork is the selling point for this silly, funny nukige featuring a variety of totally useless devil girls. It’ll be available exclusively through Denpasoft, which I think is a first for SP/Denpa. I’m not that into nukige, but as a fan of Sayori-san I checked it out and found it a lot of fun.

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Title: Shining Song Starnova
Studio: Love In Space
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

An idol-themed VN from a Western developer with Japanese voice acting. The trailer was…weird. I’m not a fan of idols, but I suppose the characters could be interesting if handled well.

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Title: A Magical High School Girl
Studio: illuCalab
Release date: Summer 2016
Website

A crafting-based RPG coming to iOS and PC. Pass.

Comments:
Other notable announcements included a Nekopara figure set (I am DEFINITELY getting that!), plans to Kickstart a Nekopara anime, tentative October 2016 release date for Japanese School Life, as well as various Vita ports of existing games. Sekai Project sure has come a long way! They’re branching out into new medium as well as continuing to localize Japanese titles and support non-Japanese games too. While the rest of the world piddles themselves over Baldr, I’ll be hyping up SakuSaku and KoiKuma.

Frontwing

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Title: Island
Studio: Front Wing
Release date: TBA
Website /  VNDB

I’ve heard really great things about Front Wing’s latest (all-ages) title, so I’m excited for this. I’ve been holding out for the Japanese PSVita release, but the English PC one might end up coming first, in which case I’ll play that. Either way I need to keep avoiding spoilers!

Aksys Games

ogp.jpg

Title: Bad Apple Wars
Studio: Otomate
Release date: 2017
VNDB

ogp (1).jpg

Title: Period Cube ~Torikago no Amadeus~
Studio: Otomate
Release date: 2017
VNDB

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Title: Collar x Malice
Studio: Otomate
Release date: 2017
VNDB

Comments:
Aksys Games are already familiar to otome fans for bringing over the Hakukoi series, and now they’re localizing a bunch more otome titles for the Vita! I haven’t played any of them, but from what I can tell they’ve picked newer games with interesting premises and art styles from Otomate’s extensive catalogue. I definitely want to give all three a try, whether in Japanese or English.

Phew, that was a lot to get through. This year’s AX was better than ever for visual novels, and I hope that this trend continues year on year. Sure, we don’t know when many of these will actually be released, or what the quality of the localizations will be like, but I want to look forward to them with a positive and open mindset. It still amazes me just how far the industry has come in a few short years, so let’s keep this momentum going!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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