Too Kyo Games 4Gamer Interview Translations (Kodaka, Nakazawa, Uchikoshi)

At the end of each year, the Japanese gaming news website “4Gamer” interviews Japanese game creators from a wide variety of companies: from major companies like Square Enix and Capcom to even minor game studios. In these interviews, the creators are asked about things they considered influential from this year, and discuss their aspirations for the next year.

This year, three members of Too Kyo Games: Kazutaka Kodaka, Takumi Nakazawa, and Kotaro Uchikoshi– were featured in this year’s 4Gamer interviews. I have translated their interviews and featured them in this post for those curious.

 


Kazutaka Kodaka

Representative work(s): Danganronpa series

1. What was the most admirable (or shocking) game released in 2018?

God of War.
One cuts thrived in 2018. One Cut of the Dead, a zombie-themed movie, was one of them.
For games, that one cut would be this game.
I recommend playing it while paying attention to see if it really is a one cut.

 

2. What media released in 2018 left the deepest impression on you?

One Cut of the Dead.
It makes me bitter to say this, but I have to give it to this movie, including its popularity.
The reason why I’m bitter is because I also once dreamed of being an independent movie director.
When I learned that this movie which was made almost like an indie movie had become such a hit, I wondered what the look on the face of the me who gave up on that dream would be like.

 

3. Which person attracted the most attention from you in 2018?

Tenshin Nasukawa
The first hero I’ve seen in a long time in all my decades of watching martial arts.
His stance when he challenges gives me the chills. I’d like to see him fight Takeru [Segawa] in 2019.

 

4. Please give a message about your aspirations for 2019 and for 4Gamer readers.

In 2018, we presented the formation of Too Kyo Games.
It is quite challenging for us to do with no backing, but I wanted to take on creating works with no protection whatsoever.
Whatever becomes of the company, we will create content the likes of which the world has never seen before.
Please look forward to it.


Takumi Nakazawa

Representative work(s): Root Double -Before Crime * After Days-, Ever17 -the out of infinity-, Punchline

1. What was the most admirable (or shocking) game released in 2018?

God of War.
I was rendered weak in the knees from the constant stream of super-dreadnought level production from the opening battle onward, the likes of which I’d never seen before.

 

2. What media released in 2018 left the deepest impression on you?

Coco.
I cried twice when I saw it in the theater.

 

3. Which person attracted the most attention from you in 2018?

Yuusaku Maezawa
He attracted my attention in all sorts of ways (though I think it was the same for everyone).
It’s a shame they changed the Zozosuit from the initial model. I had been looking forward it.

 

4. Please give a message about your aspirations for 2019 and for 4Gamer readers.

This year, I transferred to a new studio known as Too Kyo Games.
We’re already working on multiple projects, but one of them, Death March Club, has already been announced.
I’ve been working on it with my fellow Too Kyo coworkers Kazutaka Kodaka and Kotaro Uchikoshi, along with other superb staff members. By putting our talents together, we are creating a very fun game.
The release is still a ways off in 2020, but we plan to start full-fledged promotion next year and gradually convey its appeal to everyone. Please look forward to it and put some pressure on us.


Kotaro Uchikoshi

Representative work(s): Ever17 -the out of infinity-, 999: Nine Hours, Nine Doors, Nine Persons, Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

1. What was the most admirable (or shocking) game released in 2018?

Detroit: Become Human.
To put it in a single phrase, it was a game that left me feeling “envious.” Its structure was a kind any visual novel game creator has envisioned at least once, but usually never seriously considered presenting when faced with the generally expected costs. And what particularly surprised me was that this game barely reused any backgrounds. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And industry-wise, it fulfilled several conditions for a “concept that is difficult to pull off.” Despite that, writer/director David Cage succeeded. It was a very shocking game in the sense of “what sort of presentation skills are needed to pull off this concept?” And the story was very interesting too, of course!

 

2. What media released in 2018 left the deepest impression on you?

For anime, it would be Pop Team Epic. It had been a long time since I’d seen an anime this insane. “Bob Epic Team” was particularly crazy. It even made me want to make something as breakthrough as this… Eisai Haramasukoi! For movies, it would be Baahubali. I saw both The Beginning and The Conclusion. All the theatrical elocution was wack but cool, and I found myself so mesmerized I was taking notes. Perhaps it resonated with Japanese subculture with its alluring beauty of form aspects. Baahubali! Baahubali!

 

3. Which person attracted the most attention from you in 2018?

Rou-sama
I thought NieR:Automata (it came out last year but I played it this year) was to die for.

Chiaki Mayumura
I think she’s probably a genius.

Daniels
“Arita Generation” was hilarious.

Yuriyan Retriever
“Documental” was hilarious.

Charlie Brooker
Producer and screenwriter for Black Mirror. Personally, I find Black Mirror to be really amusing. Looking forward to season 5!

 

4. Please give a message about your aspirations for 2019 and for 4Gamer readers.

June 2018. I lost my wallet in Kabukicho, but it was returned to the police with everything still intact. July. I left my tablet PC in my airplane seat, but safely recovered it through the efforts of several people. September. My iPhone disappeared in Shibuya, and I thought it had been stolen, but the next day, I miraculously found it lying in a bush. December. I forgot my bag at a meeting hall, but through the cooperation of the organizer, it was safely returned to me… So my resolution for 2019 is “don’t lose anything!”
Incidentally, 2019 is the year AI: The Somnium Files will be released. I created it for visual novel fans. If you like visual novels, then I think you’ll enjoy this for sure! I am also eagerly working on Death March Club. This one is also to die for! In addition, I am also carefully toiling on titles I can’t announce yet. I hope they can be announced next year, so keep an eye out for them!

Too Kyo Games Unveiling Livestream Summary

Yesterday, at 7 PM JST, Famitsu hosted a livestream for the unveiling of a new gaming company, “Too Kyo Games“.

Members of Too Kyo Games:

Representative: Kazutaka Kodaka (Danganronpa)
Composer/Arranger: Masafumi Takada (Danganronpa, No More Heroes)
Character Designer/Illustrator: Rui Komatsuzaki (Danganronpa, Fate/Grand Order)
Illustrator/Character Designer: Shima Drill (Danganronpa, Fate/Grand Order)
Director/Scenario Writer: Takumi Nakazawa (Infinity series, I/O, Root Double)
Novelist/Scenario Writer: Yoichiro Koizumi (Absolute Despair Hagakure)
Director/Scenario Writer: Kotaro Uchikoshi (Infinity series, Zero Escape series)

Their main roles will be focusing on developing projects/original concepts, design work, scenario writing, music, and planning. They will also cross over into other medias, such as anime. They wish to create “strong IPs”, as well as delve into their own indie work.

Too Kyo Games began around October/November last year, and currently, they have four projects in the works.
Project #1:

*Slogan: “Kodaka & Uchikoshi Joint Scenario Project! ‘Extreme’ x ‘Despair'”
*Kodaka normally writes alone, but he’d wanted to do a joint scenario ever since creating the company.
*Uchikoshi heard many overseas fans requesting a collaboration from the two.
*Kodaka came up with the original concept, while Uchikoshi kneads it together. Currently in production.
*All the other members are involved as well, with the designs being split between Komatsuzaki and Shima Drill.
*The title, platform, genre, and release window are undecided. Kodaka asks for people to send their opinions.

Project #2 (Anime):

Slogan: “Everyone is a Villain.”
*Anime.
*Original project produced by Studio Pierrot.
*The director is Tomohisa Taguchi (Persona 3 movies). The scenario writer is Norimitsu Kaiho (School Live, Danganronpa 3). Kodaka is in charge of the plot.
*Going for a 90s action movie aesthetic, along with movies like Kill Bill and Snatch. Everyone is a villain. Only criminals show up.
*Concept art by Komatsuzaki.
Project #3:

Slogan: “Death game for kids, by kids”
*Illustrations by Take (Zaregoto)
*Elementary school kids in a death game. Incorporates children’s juvenile nature. Similar to the halcyon days of one’s childhood. Different from a normal death game, the likes of which have never been seen.
*Uchikoshi working on the scenario, while Kodaka is the senior supervisor. Koizumi is the secondary scenario writer, while Nakazawa is the director. Death game with the familiar Nakazawa x Uchikoshi combo.
*Films such as E.T. and The Goonies were an influence.
*The concept art incorporates the game’s message and themes. Many secrets are hidden, so maybe it will be fun to guess them.

 

Project #4:

Slogan: “Dark fantasy-esque adventure by Spike Chunsoft x Too Kyo Games”
*Kodaka wanted to continue working with Spike Chunsoft though he is no longer with them, so he came up with the project and was very enthusiastic about doing it.
*Wanted to play a detective adventure that takes place in a peculiar town where a murder case occurs. A dark fantasy with a world like something out of Tim Burton.
*Danganronpa members like Takada, Komatsuzaki, and Shima Drill are participating as well.
*Novelist Takekuni Kitayama, who came up with plot twists in “Danganronpa V3”, will be participating as well.
*Cyberpunk-esque.
*Wanted to create the kind of world that would be difficult to describe.

Regarding the Danganronpa series, Kodaka said that he might go back to it if all his projects turn out to be a success, but if they turn out to be failures, he wouldn’t want to go back. Otherwise, he’d feel like he was just doing it for money, which would be rude. So he would rather wait and see first, but is up for the idea.

Additional:

*Though not related to Too Kyo Games, Nakazawa also announced that he is working on an original anime as the concept writer and screenwriter.
*Genres are “two worlds”, “boy meets girl”, and “battle”, genres which Nakazawa has not delved into before.
*Studio and title of anime still unknown.
*On another note, Uchikoshi announces that production of “AI: The Somnium Files” will not be affected by any of this, and he is still working as its director.

 

(Credit for article images and summarized text goes to https://gamestalk.net/post-105114/)

Hoshi Furu Yoru no Farnese Official Site Page TLs

Late last year, the title “Hoshi Furu Yoru no Farnese” (Farnese of the Night of Falling Stars) was announced by VN company Miti. A fantasy adult visual novel currently scheduled to be released on September 29 this year, it has been noted by several VN fans that Takumi Nakazawa (of Root Double fame) has been named the producer of the VN. As such, I’ve seen a multitude of people curious about the project itself, as it has not receive extensive English coverage and there are many people who are unaware of what exactly it is about aside from the fact it’s a fantasy adult visual novel. So in order to help spread awareness of what this VN shall entail, I have translated several pages from the VN’s official Miti site. These pages cover the specs, staff, story, world, game systems, and characters of the visual novel.

Please note that as I wish to keep my blog free of erotic content so that it may be readable to an open audience, I have decided not to translate any of the scene excerpts, or any of the other erotic content on the site. Furthermore, while I will provide links to the pages that I have translated, the site I am linking to is quite NSFW, so please do not click any of the provided links unless you are above the age of 18.

Also note that this publication does not indicate any official involvement with this game in any shape or fashion. This is a purely unofficial translation, and is not to imply any current or potential future involvement with the official game. For that same reason, the translation of any names and terminology that are not already Romanized on the official site should not be taken as official translations.
The pages are linked below:

Story
World
Game Systems
Characters
Specs/Staff

Baldr Force EXE Review (No spoilers)

For those of you who may have been familiar with me in my earlier days, I used to write VN reviews on the old Lemnisca blog. After going official, I took down those reviews and since then have generally found myself too busy to devote much time to playing actual VNs. But recently, I decided to try writing a VN review again for a VN I finished a little while back, Baldr Force EXE. Please note that by principle, I avoid writing about spoilers in my review, so you can feel free to read without worrying about spoiling yourself on the route. With that said, I hope you enjoy reading the review.

Continue reading

Welcome!

Welcome to Komorebi! I am John Hooper, a Japanese->English translator. For those of you who don’t know me, I am the CEO and lead translator for the Japanese->English localization company, Lemnisca LLC. We focus mainly on the translation of Japanese software, most notably video games and visual novels, or VNs. We made our debut with the translation of a VN from the company known as Regista, Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition. From 2015-2016, I worked at Regista, where I also worked on the visual novel Dies irae ~Amantes amentes~ as the localization director and one of the translators. A few years earlier, I also was involved of the fan-translations of Never7 -the end of infinity-I/O, and Killer Queen (along with the never released fan-translation of 12Riven). As for the future, well, let’s just say it’ll be more fun for you to see and find out!

I’ve set up this place as a way for me to talk about things that may not directly related to Lemnisca, whether it’s random thoughts on virtually any topic, musings about the translation projects I’ve worked on, or highlighting any particularly interesting games or other such works. As such, I hope you find this blog interesting.

For those of you who are unaware of the meaning of the blog’s name, komorebi, or 木漏れ日, is a Japanese word that means “sunlight filtering through the trees”, one of my favorite Japanese words that has no single English word equivalent. It is a word that I feel represents the work of a translator quite well- a job where we find the way to take that which is normally incomprehensible and convey it in a way to bridge the barriers between languages and cultures.