For the longest time, with a few exceptions, the international visual novel market has been dominated by three major publishers – MangaGamer, Sekai Project and JAST USA. With a goal of giving “the world a novel way to play”, Aniplex last year launched their ANIPLEX.EXE brand, dedicated to the planning, production and publication of visual novels to international markets. Inviting players to “take the plunge into a little town enveloped by the ocean” or “visit a mystical realm of illustrated books”, the first two visual novels being offered through the ANIPLEX.EXE brand is ATRI -My Dear Moments- from studios Frontwing and Makura, and Adabana Odd Tales developed by Liar-Soft.
Both due for release sometime in 2020, you can read more about each of these works below:
ATRI -My Dear Moments-
Development Team: Frontwing and Makura
Written by: Asuta Konno
Art/Character Design: Yusano/Moto4
Music: Fuminori Matsumoto
Art Direction: SCA-ji
Background Art: y.ish
Kamishiro Minamo: Minami Takahashi
Nojima Ryuuji: Yoshimasa Hosoya
Catherine: Yoko Hikasa
Nanami Ririka: Anzu Haruno
In the near future, a sudden and unexplained sea rise has left much of human civilization underwater. Ikaruga Natsuki, a boy who lost his mother and his leg in an accident some years earlier, returns disillusioned from a harsh life in the big city to find his old countryside home half-swallowed by the sea.
Left without a family, all he has to his name is the ship and submarine left to him by his oceanologist grandmother, and her debts. His only hope to restore the dreams for the future that he has lost is to take up an opportunity presented to him by the suspicious debt collector Catherine. They set sail to search the sunken ruins of his grandmother’s laboratory in order to find a treasure rumor says she left there.
But what they find is not riches or jewels; it is a strange girl lying asleep in a coffin at the bottom of the sea.
Atri is a robot, but her appearance and her wealth of emotions would fool anyone into think she’s a living, breathing human being. In gratitude for being salvaged, she makes a declaration to Natsuki.
“I want to fulfil my master’s final order. Until I do, I’ll be your leg!”
In a little town slowly being enveloped by the ocean, an unforgettable summer is about to begin for this boy and this mysterious robot girl…
Adabana Old Tales
Development Team: Liar-Soft
Planning/Scenario: Nozomu Umihara
Art/Character Design: Ryuko Ooishi
System Collaboration: Silky’s Plus
Music: Momoko Sapporo, Shinichiro Matsumoto
Kurofude: Wataru Kato
Shirohime: Saki Minami
Hanasaka Jiisan: Yuki Tamai
Otohime: Yuki Kuwahara
Urikohime: Natsumi Takamori
Momotaro: Haruki Ishiya
A girl finds herself in a dark and unfamiliar forest when a monster appears out of nowhere and attacks.
A mysterious boy, wielding a brush like it was a sword, appears just in time to cut down the monster.
He calls himself Kurofude, and he addresses the girl in familiar tones as Shirohime.
Yet she does not recognize him or the name he calls her. She has lost all of her memories. According to Kurofude, they are in the land of Adabana, a realm of illustrated books.
Their tales are like dreams; no matter how deeply one immerses oneself in them, once one wakes up, they are gone. Thus the name Adabana—a name given to flowers that will never bear fruit. Their duty is to travel through story realms and look for signs of distortions in the tales.
Shirohime, a girl with seemingly all the agency of a doll, accepts this explanation and opens a book handed to her.
The title: Hanasaka Jiisan.
As she opens the dilapidated illustrated book with its pages riddled with worm-eaten holes, the pages glow brightly and whisk the girl and boy away to a fairy tale realm…