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Button Trance: Ar tonelico 2

One area in which HD has long been deficient is the realm of console gaming. One area in which HD’s web coding expert Jetfuel has long been proficient is, by coincidence, said console gaming – particularly of the “moe” variety that incorporates game play elements from roleplaying and tactical sims. Occasionally he gets to thinking about these things, and when he offered to put digital pen to paper and write some of those thoughts down for a new HD column I happily accepted. Here then is the first installment of Button Trance, featuring none other than Gust/Banpresto’s Ar Tonelico 2. We hope you enjoy! -Shingo

Bishoujo Game News: more on Ar Tonelico 2

Loyal Ar Tonelico fan and HD webslinger Jetfuel today represents with a translation of the Dengeki Online article that appeared on October 25th in commemoration of the Ar Tonelico 2 release, describing the premium event held on the 21st with the game’s seiyuu and producers. Reproduced here with his permission is the full translation of the article, which contains some amusing anecdotes from the production staff as well as an explanation of part of the game system:

Next was the explanation of “Dualstall”, sometimes called the “Bath System”. Dualstall is a system by which you submerge a Dualisno crystal into a bathtub, then the heroines bathe together, warming up their bodies and gaining power.

Read on for the full translation!

Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico 2 goes on sale

Ar Tonelico 2, the most highly anticipated console RPG title of the year (in my own brain, at least) is now on sale! Its release was commemorated on October 21st by a premium event held in conjunction with the currently running Akihabara Enta Matsuri at which the creative talent behind the game rocked out, literally and figuratively, in praise of the title’s many obvious merits. Those wondering what all the fuss is about are advised to check out the demo movie available via the “special” tab on the game’s official website; the Wikipedia entry for the original game may also be of service. If you’d like to support HD with your purchase the game is currently available (Japanese version only) at Play Asia, as is the OST; shots of what you get if you are truly insane below:

Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico 2 promotional video online

The October 25th release of Gust / Banpresto’s Ar Tonelico 2 looms closer, and in anticipation a promotional video was made available in the “Special” section of the official site yesterday (accessible via the Flash interface, or via direct download in WMV format here). As I don’t own a PS2 my enthusiasm for the title is hard to explain, but this game is looking seriously awesome – the music is just as good as in the original, and this time around they’ve really upped the ante in terms of the 2D and 3D animation. So pretty… As the original game was released by NIS America in English I’m guessing we can expect a conversion of the sequel as well, but those looking for instant gratification can pick up the R2 release of Ar Tonelico 2 at Play Asia (the soundtrack is available as well, for poor PS2-less sops like me who can only enjoy the game vicariously). (no more)

Figure News: Max Factory’s Ar Tonelico 2 Luca on display at TGS, in color

Reports are starting to roll in from this weekend’s Tokyo Game Show (alas, HD will not be in attendance). First up is news from GA Graphic that Max Factory, via Bandai/Namco’s Banpresto corner, was showing off a colored version of their Luca (Ruka) PVC figure from Ar Tonelico 2 (first scooped uncolored at Wonder Festival)! The sculpt is from Max’s Kuroda Masanori, and she’s scheduled to go on sale in February ’08 at 1/8 scale and an as-yet undisclosed price. We’ll be keeping close tabs on this figure along with all the other Ar Tonelico fans out there. (no more)

Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico 2 official site updated

Via Moon Phase: the official site for Gust / Banpresto’s upcoming PS2 bishoujo RPG Ar Tonelico 2 was updated yesterday with new character, system, and world information, as well as a downloadable wallpaper. Reisha (pictured in the thumbnail) is my favorite of the characters introduced thus far. :3 Eagerly anticipating further updates… (no more)

Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico II official site open (with music!)

Scooped here earlier this week, the official Ar Tonelico II site is grand open today! It currently contains information on the three main characters, the game world, and various elements of gameplay in addition to a “special contents” section that boasts a downloadable wallpaper. When I visited the site earlier today I was dismayed to hear that I could hear nothing – unlike the website of the game’s predecessor (and the AT2 teaser site up a few days ago), the otherwise fully Flashed site was silent. I was quite pleased upon checking the site again tonight to hear that a wonderful BGM track was put up in my absence, however, and it’s on loop as I type this – the same track that was in the teaser, I believe, but still a great listen. I’d recommend visiting the site for that alone, if not for the stunning visuals and scads of attractive moon language scrawlings. (no more)

PS2 Bishoujo Game News: Ar Tonelico sequel announced, teaser site online

News in from Moon Phase today that a sequel is in the works for one of the premiere RPG titles of 2006, celebrated for its phenomenal soundtrack and innovative gameplay, Ar Tonelico. Dubbed Ar Tonelico 2: Sekai wo Hibiku Shoujotachi no Metafalica (“the girls’ creation song that resounds through the world”), it will feature the return of the creative team of Gust and Banpresto with the same band of accomplished musicians and artists to bring another tale from the same vivid universe as the original, and is slated for release later this year. The teaser site is up here; I strongly recommend you drop everything at hand and head over for a watch (and listen – the track accompanying the flash animation is sublime). We’ll be following this eagerly on HD just as we did its predecessor. Edit: those looking for a bit meatier scoop can head over to Famitsu, where they have a respectable number of screenshots up and introduce a few of the new gameplay features. (no more)

Figure News: Goodsmile / Max Factory’s March ’08 lineup unveiled! Includes maid Rider, AT2 Ruka, Bridget

Figure maker Goodsmile updated their official site today with three new items scheduled for release in March of next year. First up is what they’re billing in English as Rider Fantasy: Modest Maid, featuring the vituperative antagonist of Fate / stay night in a rather more mild setting. She’ll be coming from Goodsmile at 1/8 scale (21.5 cm tall) and 5,800 yen. Next up is Ruka, one of the two main heroines of Gust / Banpresto’s bishoujo RPG Ar Tonelico 2. She’ll be coming from Max Factory at 1/8 scale (19 cm tall) and 7,200 yen. Finally Max Factory brings us the androgynous Bridget, the (in)famous gender bending fighter from the Guilty Gear game franchise. He’ll be out at 1/7 scale (22 cm tall) and 6,800 yen retail. It’s good to finally see some of these figures we’ve been tracking for months finally online, and with preorders just around the corner! (no more)

Mainichi Junk: The Importance of Being Earnest

In today’s update: four new anime projects from Konami; a bushel of other anime announcements including Muteki Kanban Musume, Project Blue Chikyuu SOS, and Pinky St.; Geneon and WOWOW represent at the Tokyo International Anime Fair; an amusing flash animation in English accompanies the grand opening of the Tokyo Anime Center; eroanime scoops from Vanilla, Himajin, and TinkerBell; the week in eroge releases; and Max Factory / Goodsmile finally cough up Al Ajif and Mahou Shoujo Rin PVCs, respectively.

Mainichi Junk: Magna Carta

In today’s update: Brave Story games, Morning Musume member voices the lead in Kirarin Revolution, you can illustrate the Leaf Fight TCG, Magna Carta, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest for the PSP, the next Ar Tonelico?, Weekly Web Radio Roundup, Les Mis meets bishoujorama, Alice Soft puts a complete eroge from their backlog up for free download, Valis Cross pricing details, and figure news of the day.

Mainichi Junk: Year of the Dog

Comic Markets come and go, the calendar flips a page, but the news marches on and HD with it. In today’s update: a blizzard of new anime series are announced, including a couple that may actually turn out to be good; a trio of new games from Jellyfish, an eroge surfaces after four years (!) of development, Comiket 69 reports start to snowball, and a new year is upon us.

Mainichi Junk: April 22nd, 2008

Today’s Updates

This post is truncated here for the sake of keeping the front page tidy, but there really is stuff worth seeing below:

Mainichi Junk: Contractual Obligation

In today’s update: the precursor (and post-cursor) to Shinobuden gets a drama CD, Melty Blood: Act Cadenza streets August 10th for the PS2, Ar Tonelico rises from the grave, Gainax dumps another layer of embalming fluid on Eva – for the next fifteen months, Galkko previews the big upcoming ota-love title of fall ’06, and “Nard” becomes “Nerd”. Sieg Zeon!

Mainichi Junk: Girding for Battle

In today’s update: anime returns to the silver screen with the announcement of Dennou Coil, an Ar Tonelico OVA and manga, the Disgaea 2 OP animation, Kyou no 5 no 2 promo clip and cast details, REC’s DVD release costs $1 a minute, the weekly web radio roundup, Leaf’s Fullani music player, Terios’s next eroge title announced, Kotobukiya’s Sela-chan PVC to be reissued, Gun x Sword trading figures on sale along with Cowboy Bebop’s Spike and the Fastech 360S train girl, and a few last Wonder Festival scoops leading up to tomorrow’s event.

Mainichi Junk: Oni-tama~

In today’s update: Master of Epic anime announcement crashes the game’s servers, Yonna in the Solitary Fortress theatrical trailer online, Hellsing OVA vol. 1 on sale today, Ar Tonelico drama CDs announced (possible anime to follow?), eroge brand Sukaradog launch scooped, Zoids Genesis swimsuit edition capsule figures, customizable figures from Volks, prepainted [ERO] Saber and Rider kits from Art Road at Wanfesu, etc. etc.

Mainichi Junk: Infinite Loop

In today’s update: Single man animation tour de force Yonna in the Solitary Fortress is introduced to the world, Air TV on blu-ray, Ar Tonelico vocal albums on sale, Puyo Puyo 15th anniversary, an official site launch for Leaf’s Fullani, a major Tsuma to Mama to Boin update, more Type Moon mania, a bizzaro eroge recap, several Wonder Festival scoops, Yujin’s SRDX Kotona in color, a Sela-chan review preview, and a whole lot more.

Mainichi Junk: House in Order

In today’s update: the Witchblade anime is mangafied by one of the few Japanese artists who could show up the American comic through sheer force of will, A third Ar Tonelico play preview movie is online, Banner of the Stars IV (?!), a chance at Tony’s C69 limited edition pillowcase and sweatshirt, three new albums from Key (Clannad-themed and others), and a primal stampede of figure news so vast it could not possibly be contained in this excerpt.

2009: The Untranslatables

Thinking about the problems facing the transplantation of manga kissa to the new world, I got to thinking about the vast number of otaku cultural elements that are wildly successful in the Other Country, and simply do not exist anywhere else. Even in the relatively short time that I have been interested in anime and manga, the official releases seen in North America have seen an exponential increase in both quantity and quality. Things that it seemed would never get an official release even two or three years ago are now considered perfectly normal. It’s now possible to find genuine gachapon in all sorts of places, genuine manga anthologies are showing up in otherwise normal locations, and translated light novels are coming out almost every month.

However, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, we need to remember that an otaku’s work is never done. For all the progress that has been made, it is important to remember how much further we have to go. Certain things are still not suitable for release in gaijin-land, and no matter how badly we may want them, they probably never will be. I promise that I won’t make a habit of doing posts that are nothing but enumerated lists, since I think that pretty much every other blog on the tubes has got that style covered, but since it is the beginning of the year I would ask you to grant me this one indulgence. Without much further ado, I would like to present a list of ten things that will NEVER be officially released in English for a North American market. I would invite all those reading to please prove me wrong.

Wonder Festival 2007 Summer: Goodsmile / Max Factory lineup

The Goodsmile / Max Factory collective was out in force at Wonder Festival, with dozens of past, present and future kit offerings on display. We’ve got a roundup of most of them here, including all of the new figures with officially speculated dates and several that were “display only” – lots of great stuff in the pipeline that it is highly advisable to click upon and peruse at your leisure!

Creator Spotlight: Momo Pax

In the first installment of HD’s new Creator Spotlight feature we interview doujin game developers’ duo Momo Pax, who provide us with details (and exclusive screenshots!) from their upcoming STG/ADV hybrid Soft Landing, along the way answering questions about the creative process and fandom that keeps them moving forward. Fans of Touhou and side scrolling shooters, check it out!

Mainichi Junk: Incontinuity

In today’s update: Pumpkin Scissors anime announced, Comic Yurihime vol. 4 on sale, Witchblade takes a gang of ten to Anime Expo, eroge demo movies galore, Pink Pineapple’s next project, otaku renai how to, and even more shots of Daiki Kougyou’s Akuma-san PVC.

Mainichi Junk: Gyakuten Saiban

In today’s update: Chocotto Sister TV anime announced, ufotable’s newest anime project unveiled (and it’s not Manabi Street?!), Kimikiss gets a street date along with Demonbane for the PS2, Dengeki magazine deluge, Noantica pillowcase, the monthly batch of Milky (ero) Anime, a new promo movie for the Kimura Takehiro-designed Ano Machi no Koi no Shi, and a brace of really bad metaphors.

Mainichi Junk: Tatemaki

In today’s update: .hack//G.U. media blitz scooped, Etna and Flonne cosplay, xxxHolic anime site grand opening, Ray TV characters, Touhou game news, and May PVC offerings from Alter (Nanoha, Sei) and Megahouse (Yoruichi, Rangiku). An update so well-rounded it’s practically spherical.

Mainichi Junk: Descriptive Title

In today’s update: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime details, the final DVD-only episode of Kamichu is scooped, Kimikiss Chu-ning Up, a couple of minor eroanime news bits, Atelier-sai’s Kaede PVC on sale, Kotobukiya’s Tokiha Mai on display, and a shipment of Alter Asukas straight from China.

Mainichi Junk: Wonder Festival Hype ENGAGE

In today’s update: official Tokko anime site online, more Mardock Scramble info, elementary school students star in Kyou no 5 no 2, Cartoon Network worships Hale Bopp, otaku hate literature, 41 eroge on sale this week, Milky Anime Press scoops new ero releases, a Sorayama Hajime Art Collection PVC figure, and Wanfesu Corner open.

Mainichi Junk: A Time for Heroes

In today’s update: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime gets design sketches, Brave Story exists, infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters churn out a list of 2006 winter shows, Toranoana is market savvy, Rin gets a stuffed doll, Maritan DESTROYS THE EVIL POWER, and fans of striped undergarments dance in the streets.