[News] 2018: Upcoming otome localisations

Following on from my previous post, where I reflected on some of the English otome releases of 2017, it’s time to look forward to what will hopefully be another great year for otome fans around the world °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

Some of these upcoming localisations have been announced quite a while ago (wasn’t the Code: Realize fandisc supposed to come out in Winter 2017 anyway?), but others may have slipped under some people’s radars.

So let’s have a look at the otome goodness coming our way in 2018~

Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms

Release date: March 13, 2018 (US) | March 16, 2018 (EU)

Chizuru Yukimura traveled from Edo to Kyoto in hopes of searching for her father who had mysteriously vanished. Along the way, she encountered the Shinsengumi, and spent the next four years working with them to locate her father. In 1868, the final year of the Bakumatsu Period, the Shinsengumi, with Chizuru at their side, took part in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi to decide the future of the Tokugawa Shogunate against the rising tide of Imperial Nationalism. Unfortunately, defeat for the Shinsengumi came swiftly at the hands of the Imperial Army, and they retreated back to Edo in shame.

It was a bittersweet homecoming for both Chizuru and the warriors of the Shinsengumi, as the city of Edo resembled very little of its former self, engulfed by the harrowing winds of change that were sweeping through the country. As the Shinsengumi’s survival came under threat, they were faced with a choice: discard their principles, or give up their lives. Some of them had no such choice, and they cloaked themselves in darkness to protect the Shinsengumi’s greatest secret: the Furies.

This story is about a girl who allies with the warriors of the Shinsengumi, who are struggling to uphold their faith in an era of rapid social change in Japan, and the fate of those who sought to resist that change….

(Story summary taken from the official website)

Musings

I personally can’t wait for the sequel to Kyoto Winds. I’ve always loved the look of the characters in their Western outfits, and the fact that there are six more routes than in the original game makes everything all the more exciting. Where Kyoto Winds was a bit lacking in the romance department, as the game kind of ended at the point where the feelings between Chizuru and the members of the Shinsengumi just started budding, Edo Blossoms will make up for that. So bring on more Shinsengumi goodness! ♡

Where to buy?

Edo Blossoms is getting a physical release in both the US and Europe (hurray!), and a limited edition in both regions as well!

Physical and digital editions can be bought here:

UK: The regular physical edition can be ordered on Amazon.

US: Similarly, you can buy the regular physical edition on Amazon.

Steam: If you prefer playing the game on PC, you can purchase it on the Steam store!

Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~

Release date: March 30, 2018 (US) | Spring 2018 (Europe)

A girl, once called a monster, knew love.

Together with the five gentlemen, she painted the happy days she’d always wanted——.

And, maybe, a possible future with【them】.

The future, visited by the girl who discovered love, what is it like——?

(Translation of the official Japanese website’s story summary)

Musings

Future Blessings is the first Code: Realize fan disc on PS Vita, which I thought was originally scheduled to be localised late last year. Either way, it officially has a release date now, which is definitely reason to celebrate! More romantic scenes and happily-ever-afters with the Code: Realize boys… mark your calendars!

For those unfamiliar with the concept: a fan disc is generally not considered a true sequel, rather, it’s additional content that’s released when a game has been quite successful. The content is usually of a less serious nature than the original game, including new CGs, fluffy stories continuing the romance with all your favourite bachelors, bonus scenarios with “new” characters (in this case Herlock Sholmes and Finis), etc.

Where to pre-order?

Although there currently isn’t a definite release date yet for Europe (so no pre-order links yet), Aksys has confirmed there will be a physical edition for both the US and Europe. The Limited Edition however will only be released for the US.

US: The regular edition or limited edition can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Code: Realize ~Bouquet of Rainbows~

Release date: March 30, 2018 (US) | Spring 2018 (Europe)

Musings

Unlike the other Code: Realize titles that have all been released on PlayStation Vita, Bouquet of Rainbows is coming out for the PlayStation 4, and is in fact not a new game, but a bundle consisting of the original game, Guardian of Rebirth and the fan disc, Future Blessings. Hello bigger and better CGs  ♡ ~(‘▽^人)

Where to pre-order?

As with Future Blessings, there currently isn’t a definite release date yet for Europe (so no pre-order links yet), but Aksys has confirmed there will be a physical edition for both the US and Europe. The Limited Edition however will only be released in the US.

US: The regular edition or limited edition can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

7’sCarlet

Release date: May 25, 2018 (US) | TBC (EU)

Summer vacation——.
A town surrounded by nature, Okunezato.
One year ago, in this town, her older brother suddenly disappeared.

This town, shaped like a crescent moon, gives off a nostalgic atmosphere, and is known for having many myths and legends. Due to the declining population, the number of modern-looking buildings has increased on the main street, and the town has been drawing attention amongst young people thanks to rumours of it being a “mystery spot”.

One day before Summer vacation, the protagonist and university student Hanamaki Ichiko is invited by her childhood friend and classmate, Kagutsuchi Hino, to go to Okunezato, where her brother disappeared. Hino discovered a website called the “Forbidden Okunezato Club”, where visitors discuss the mysteries and legends of Okunezato, and he suggests attending the site’s offline meetup that will take place during the Summer break, in order to look into her brother’s disappearance. With a little push in the back from Hino, Ichiko decides to go to Okunezato.

The members of the “Forbidden Club” gathered at the Fuurinkan hotel: the live-in chef, Amari Isora, the cat-loving otaku, Kushinada Toa, the medical student, Tatehira Sousuke and the owner of Fuurinkan, Murakumo Yuzuki. Others including, the genius middle school student who helps with managing the hotel, Hirasaka Yuki, the landscape photographer, Tsukiyomi Kagura, the unsociable novelist, Karasuma Chikage and the hotel employee and female gamer, Sasano Yua, also become caught up in this mysterious case.

The town’s “other side” gradually comes to light, with rumours floating around of the “Legend of the Dead”, that many consider to be real. Each time she follows in the footsteps of her vanished brother, she stumbles across mysterious incidents, forbidden places, and the existence of a legendary flower, said only to bloom in this town… The truth behind these incidents leads to a shocking and unexpected conclusion——.

(Translation of the official Japanese website’s story summary)

Musings

Colour me intrigued by 7’sCarlet! When it was released in Japan, I wasn’t incredibly interested—mainly because the opening movie didn’t give you any idea about the contents of the game, nor did it show you much of the romance side of things.

Now that I’ve actually read into it though, I’m excited to see how much they managed to keep it as a “mystery” game, without forgetting the fact that it is still, in essence, an otome game. That, and the seiyuu cast has tickled my interest, and the character design is done by Kurahana Chinatsu, who also draws the Uta☆Pri characters… so I’m definitely keeping an eye out for this game! (✧ω✧)

Where to pre-order?

Pre-orders have opened on Amazon (US), along with a (tentative?) release date for the game. Aksys hasn’t announced any details yet of a European release, nor has there been any news on whether or not the game will get a limited edition.

US: The regular edition can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly

Release date: April 27, 2018 (US) | TBC (EU)

While falling deeper and deeper, she could hear the sound of rain. And also, something’s bestial cry.

When she woke up, the girl found herself in a Western-style building. The confused girl is soon attacked by an unknown, ugly monster. As she’s running away from the monster, the girl thinks:

“Where the hell is this place?”
“More importantly—— who am I?”

The girl, who has lost all memories of her own past, joins up with some men who are in the same situation as her.

All of them hold weapons that seem to be mysterious pistols.

From here, they must try to survive and participate in the “Black Butterfly Hunt”, whilst collecting “kaleidoscope fragments” held by the monsters.

Inside the Western-style building, swirling with despair and betrayal, will they be able to find hope for the future——?

(Translation of the official Japanese website’s story summary)

Musings

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard of the Psychedelica games before the localisation announcement—which confused me a bit as this game sounds right up my street. But then, I only recently started playing otome games in Japanese and Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly was released in Japan in 2015.

My ignorance aside, to someone like me who plays a lot of mystery visual novels—preferably with dark and twisted plots—the concept of this game ticks a lot of boxes. The art isn’t what I’m used to in otoge, but the almost trippy use of colours certainly fits the name of the game, and I like games that dare to stray a bit from the norm. Combine that with a lot of reviews praising the well-written and relatable characters, and you get a game that is worth looking out for.

Where to pre-order?

Pre-orders have opened on Amazon (US), along with a (tentative?) release date for the game. Aksys hasn’t announced any details yet of a European release, nor has there been any news on whether or not the game will get a limited edition.

US: The regular edition can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk

Release date: June 29, 2018 (US) | TBC (EU)

A town where the two forces – the family of the Hawk (Farji) and the family of the Wolf (Volg) – are in equilibrium. A girl born with a right eye which turns red as her emotions rise.

In this town, red eyes are considered “proof of being a witch”, a taboo existence. The girl, afraid of persecution, lives in a decaying tower in the forest outside of town, disguised as a boy. Living together with her is a man who refers to himself as the Lord of the Tower.

The girl, while hiding her gender, was enjoying her fun and peaceful days, surrounded by friends.

Until one day, a mysterious treasure, the “Kaleidovier”, is stolen from the town’s church. As a result of this incident, the girl starts to learn about the secret surrounding her own birth and the “manastone” hidden in the town.

A girl, at the mercy of the opposing families’ strange fate. Will the girl’s choice be a gentle despair or a scarred hope——

(Translation of the official Japanese website’s story summary)

Musings

Truthfully, I’m not sure what to expect from this game. I’ve read that it’s not really a sequel to Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, which you don’t need to have played in order to play this one. The only thing you might miss is some references to the first game, but it shouldn’t be game-breaking as Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk has a completely different set of characters and a mostly(?) unrelated storyline. Don’t take my word for it—I’ve done minimal research into this game as I’ve read the Psychedelica games are best played with as little prior knowledge as possible.

Even though the art is done by the same person for both games, I’m not too sold on the character design in this one—aside from the protagonist who looks awesome! Maybe it’s the medieval fantasy setting that’s just not doing it for me? But I seem to be more excited for the other Psychedelica game that’s being localised. Either way, I want to play it with an open mind, I might get pleasantly surprised!  (´ ∀ ` *)

Where to pre-order?

Pre-orders have opened on Amazon (US), along with a (tentative?) release date for the game. Aksys hasn’t announced any details yet of a European release, nor has there been any news on whether or not the game will get a limited edition.

US: The regular edition can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Final thoughts

It’s pretty promising to already have this many otome localisations lined up for 2018, and I hope more announcements will follow! I’m personally keeping my fingers crossed for some of the games that were announced at the Otomate Party 2017 to get localised—although if they do, it won’t be for this year…  ( ; ω ; ) Games I’m paying special attention to include: Collar x Malice -Unlimited-, CharadeManiacsPiofiore no Banshou and VARIABLE BARRICADE.

As well as otoge on consoles, there’s always an abundance of mobile otome games that could be worth exploring if that’s your thing. I’m personally looking forward to the English version of Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Shining Live that is scheduled to be released this year—even though I’ve been playing the Japanese version already anyway because I was impatient („ಡωಡ„)

I will be updating this post with release dates and pre-order links once they become available, so watch this space! Also, bear with me on the translations of the story summaries, I’m still not all that confident on my kanji readings, but I am working on it! (ฅ`ω´ฅ)


Banner image (left to right):
– Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms | IDEA FACTORY / DESIGN FACTORY
– Code: Realize ~Future Blessings~ | IDEA FACTORY / DESIGN FACTORY
– 7’sCarlet | IDEA FACTORY / DESIGN FACTORY
– Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly | IDEA FACTORY / DESIGN FACTORY

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