Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


In just two days, Harmonia, Key's latest work, will release on steam (with an English translation) for a mere $9.99.

This is truly amazing considering that just recently Key wouldn't even allow people to import their games from Japan.  Now we're getting a simultaneous release, pre-translated, for both Key's American and Japanese fans.

Any work by Key is enough said.  This company has never made a bad game.  They are the best storytellers, composers, and artists in the world and their products always reflect that.

This is Key's 15th anniversary product.  It's been a long journey since Kanon, Air, Clannad, Planetarian, Little Busters and Rewrite.  Jun Maeda has a faulty heart and will likely die soon.  Itaru Hinoue, the illustrator and character designer for virtually all of Key's games up until now, is quitting the company to pursue more wide ranging artistic goals with this as her final masterpiece.

Without either of these luminaries, Key will be a very different company moving forward.  It may never produce a good game again.  But at the very least we know Harmonia will still be great.  This may be the punctuation mark of the company's life, but it's going to be a very strong punctuation mark.

The heroine is voiced by the inimitable Kaori Mizuhashi so we know the quality of the voice acting will be as high as the illustrator's.

Meanwhile, Utawarerumono 3 comes out in Japan today, the conclusion to a decades long project by Leaf, the company that Key spun off from.  If Key didn't exist, Leaf would be talked about as the high lord of visual novels, and a lot of it has to do with how good Utawarerumono is.  Like Harmonia, this is a can't miss story.  Unlike Harmonia, there's no English translation.  Unlike the 2nd game in the franchise, there's no announcement of an anime adaption for Utawarerumono 3 either.  If you wanted to know the dramatic conclusion to a decades long series in the making, 2/3 of which already has a fantastic animated and subtitled adaptation, well guess what, too bad.  You're an American, so the joke's on you.  All the previous content was just to lure you in to caring about a cliffhanger whose resolution you will never know.

And a few days later, Da Capo III With You will come out in Japan, likewise eternally out of our grasp, likewise the continuation (perhaps the conclusion?) of a decades long continuously told story of epic grandeur and scope.  Da Capo I and II was just translated and animated to make sure you squirmed all the more when Da Capo III was released to complete radio silence.  You live in America?  No ending for you.

When you compare Key's treatment of Harmonia with these two other games, you realize just how blessed we are.  Thank goodness Key has changed its mind and tries to include overseas fans, unlike Leaf and Circus, because they were the most important company from the beginning.  At the very least, this means the best of the best visual novels will always have an (eventual) English translation.  If we were stuck on a desert island and could only choose one VN company to be translated, it would have been Key, so it's somewhat of a relief that reality turned out to be exactly in accordance with our wishes.

While on the topic of visual novels, Dracu Riot should be fully translated soon.  This is a classic English fans have been salivating over for a long time now, but the wait is nearly over.  If you have plenty of other VN to read, though, it may be best to hold off even on the fully translated patch, since the translators have promised a more thoroughly edited product some time in the far future.  My best advice is to download the patch the moment it comes out just to have the finished product in case nothing new is released, but wait to actually read it until the final product is actually finished.  That way the situation is win/win no matter how eventualities play out.

New Game's anime isn't truly over.  A bonus episode is planned for the blu-ray release.  But even after that episode, I don't intend to add New Game back onto my wishlist.  There's not enough manga content, as of yet, to justify a second season.  This is a good stopping point for now.  What a satisfying ride it's been.  For a short, lighthearted series, this was as close to perfect as a show can get.

Summer Olympic documentary films are very precious treasures for those who weren't old enough to see these past spectacles live.  Also, for anyone whose memories are fading, it's a great way to jog them again.  Youtube has a great playlist of these documentaries that everyone should watch:

However, the documentary for the Munich games has to be reached through other means, the one on the playlist is just the opening ceremony, a waste of everyone's time.  The Beijing documentary can not be found through any means, you can't even buy it anywhere.  The London 2012 documentary (titled 'First') isn't available on youtube, but is purchasable from Amazon, so I'll at least be able to stopgap this hole in the playlist's programming.  There doesn't seem to be any documentary of the 1984 games in L.A. so all you get is a few teaser highlights. If you're really dedicated you can just watch the individual sports events one after the other, which are available at youtube, though.  In the case of the women's gymnastics portion, I did exactly that.

But no summer Olympics history is complete without the original 1896 games.  Without television or movies having been invented yet to cover this monumental moment in history, a miniseries remake was created to relive the memories instead.  This fantastic tv show, 'The First Olympics,' is also available at Amazon for the low price of, again, $9.99.

I've finished volume 9 of Unlimited Fafnir.  Just three volumes to go and I'm all caught up.

I'm 3/4 of the way through my Symphonia portion of my Tales music listening project.  What a long haul this has been.

I'm a few episodes away from my complete Fairy Tail rewatching project's completion.  This has been quite the long haul project as well.  It's only part of my overall project, however, which is to watch every series I label great at least twice.  If I can watch something twice, I figure anyone else can at least be bothered to watch it once.  In this way, I'll only ever recommend the shows I absolutely love.  Once my rewatch of Fairy Tail is over, the fact that it hasn't resumed yet's loneliness is really going to sink in.  On the bright side, Fairy Tail's latest oav (#7) has finally received a decent translation, so now's definitely the time to download and watch that.

One of the series on my anime wishlist is a sequel to Nanoha Vivid.  Rumors abound that this wish will come true sometime in 2017.  If so, I'll gladly remove my current wish for something else, like more New Game.  Recent additions to my anime wishlist include remakes of the Slow Step and Mujaki no Rakuen oav series, which are woefully insufficient to bring out the full charm of the manga source works.  With them in the mix, every manga series in my manga rankings which doesn't already have a sufficient anime adaption is properly on my anime wishlist demanding a proper adaption.  It's the least I can do for a group of manga series I insist are the best of all time.

If visual novels, light novels, anime, video game music, Olympic documentaries, World of Warcraft:  Legion, and college football are not enough, X-Men Apocalypse and Captain America:  Civil War are now available for HD viewing.  Jus' sayin'. . .

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