MangaGamer staff interview with Lolinia of We Touch Games – Game: Kindred Spirits on the Roof – Developer: Liar-Soft – Publisher: MangaGamer – Genre Visual Novel
So, there’s been a bit of a buzz on social media about a #yuritopia coming from MangaGamer for a while now. The buzz is all about their upcoming release titled Kindred Spirits on the Roof. Curiosity got the better of me and I stretched my arms beyond merely playing games and asked for an interview with the translator (Amy) for the game. I also briefly spoke with John Pickett about MangaGamer itself, but most of the focus was on the game itself. Without further delay, here’s the interview in full.
- Before we get into the game, let’s have an introduction of sorts. What is MangaGamer and what’s your mission statement?
— (John) MangaGamer is a coalition founded by several Japanese developers of visual novels who wanted to expand and cultivate the market for visual novels here in the West. To that end, we strive to license a variety of visual novels in order to showcase the diversity the medium offers and how it can offer to appeal to all ages, genders, and fans of any genre. We also take personal pride in producing the highest quality localizations on the visual novel market.
Wow. That’s very humbling for me to hear, John. Thanks for the answer! However, I am wondering….
- How did you hear about Kindred Spirits on the Roof and what made you want to bring it to the western audience?
— (Amy) I was vaguely aware of it as “a liar-soft yuri game,” and since we were already translating a game of theirs, Gahkthun of the Golden Lightning, I decided to check Kindred Spirits out to see if it was any good. Long story short, it surpassed all my expectations and I knew we had to bring it over. It strikes this perfect balance, I think, of not taking itself too seriously but still having pretty grounded, relatable characters. I really wanted to share it with anyone who’s tired of yuri stories that are unnecessarily tragic or that are just fluff without much real romance.
Oh? Sounds fun. So fun that I want to know…
- What was the most fun thing about working on Kindred Spirits?
— (Amy) I really enjoyed just reading the story when I was playing the game before I worked on it, but when you’re translating something you have to read everything a lot more closely to figure out how to convey it in another language. I had a lot of fun really getting into the heads of all the characters and seeing aspects of them I missed or didn’t pay much attention to the first time I played through the game.
Ah, I know that feeling. Whenever I reread visual novels, I always find something new about a character and see them from a different light. It’s a great feeling. You spoke of reading it before starting to translate it, but…
- What was the translation process for Kindred Spirits like? Were there any snags during translation that were particularly difficult to overcome?
— (Amy) On that same note, since Kindred Spirits is all 1st person narration through the eyes of sixteen different characters, it was fun coming up with distinct voices for each of them, but it was pretty challenging, too. We really wanted to be able to release the game around Valentine’s Day, and we did make that deadline, but it was a little tight since there was just so much fine-tuning my editor and I had to do with the script.
SIXTEEN? JEEZ. I’m looking forward to reading this even more, now. Nice to hear that you made the deadline you wanted! Did you have any outside help with the translating? Such as getting another company to help with it? What I’m meaning to say is…
- Is the translation completely in-house or was there any outsourcing?
— (Amy) With the exception of some puns that came about bouncing ideas around with other MangaGamer staff, I was responsible for the translation of the entire game. So all in-house, yes.
Thank you for your hard work! There’s been buzzing bees about with Kindred Spirits for a while, so many people are truly looking forward to its release both on MangaGamer and Steam. However, some of the MangaGamer games on Steam have been shunned by some of the community. What I’d like to know is…
- How do you feel Kindred Spirits will be received on Steam?
— (Amy) Well, I think a lot of people have some misguided expectations for the game due to previous reporting on it, so I’m sure some people are going to be disappointed to find out that it’s not the “sex game” they were promised. I’m hoping that a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised with the story the game tells, though, since it’s so much more than its erotic content. On the other hand, I really hope people who would normally avoid visual novels with adult content will enjoy the way Kindred Spirits utilizes its erotic scenes for more than titillation. I’m anticipating a lot of exceeded expectations, basically!
Well, then. Thank you! I hope the game is well-received as well! Kindred Spirits on the Roof is up for pre-order on MangaGamer’s site, right now, and releases at Midnight EST on February 12th, 2016. The Steam version of the game releases later that day at 7PM EST. Look forward for a We Touch Games review of the game in the near future! Peace~