MangaGamer has announced that game company Front Wing will be joining them this year at Anime Expo 2010. They will be bringing three illustrators as guests to the event — Fumio, Kuuchuu Yousai and Akio Watanabe. Front Wing is most likely known for three of their game franchises — Yuki/Sora/Hoshi Uta, Makai Tenshi Jibril, a popular series involving girls who transform into either heroines or villains and fight each other out, and Time Leap, Front Wing’s excursion into fully 3D animated eroge and
IDOLM@STERdancing simulations. One of Front Wing’s older titles, Tea Society of a Witch was localized in English and released by Hirameki International as a DVD-PG game. Although these artists are coming with Front Wing, they also have their share of well-known work outside of Front Wing. Fumio was the character designer for Key’s Tomoyo After ~It’s a Wonderful Life~. Kuuchuu Yousai is the character designer behind Queen’s Blade’s Nanael. Akio Watanabe was the character designer behind The Soul Taker, Nurse Witch Komugi-chan, Popotan and assisted in the production of the opening animation to Leaf’s ToHeart2 and the animated adaptation of Bakemonogatari. In addition to these guests, character goods for Front Wing’s games will also be available at the booth.
The announcement was preceded by several hints as to what the game company was supposed to be:
- Your first hint, is that we’ll be announcing another guest company for #animeexpo
- #animeexpo Hint 2: They released their first game in 2000
- #animeexpo Hint 3: The company has produced a game (or more) which features a girl (or more) who fight using magic.
- #animeexpo Hint 4: At some point in the company’s lineup, one of their girls has worn a maid outfit.
- #animeexpo Hint 5: They’ve had a game where a heroine is covered in blood in one of the CGs.
- #animeexpo Hint 6: In one of their games, you have to have sex with a girl in order to supply her with power.
- #animeexpo Hint 7: The main character in one of their games has the ability to ’see death’.
Debate (such as on this thread from 4chan) ensued as each hint was dropped, and as the hints progressed, many people started wondering if this may be TYPE-MOON. TYPE-MOON originally released their first game, Tsukihime in 2000, fitting Hint #2. The two TYPE-MOON games out so far do have female characters who fight using magic, fitting Hint #3. Hint #4 was a rather useless hint, but Hisui and Kohaku from Tsukihime fit the maid description. Hint #5 ruled out several companies who have no violence in their games, but obviously this did not eliminate TYPE-MOON. Hint #6 made many people think of the mana transfer scene from Fate/stay night. Lastly, Hint #7 made people think of Shiki’s ability to perceive lines, that when cut, bring death to an entity.
However, unfortunately for the TYPE-MOON fans, these hints also fit the bill for Front Wing. Front Wing released their first game, Canaria ~ Kono Omoi wo Uta ni Nosete on August 4, 2000. Front Wing’s Makai Tenshi Jibril series features girls who transform into heroines and villains to fight each other. Maids appear in several Front Wing games, including Hoshi Uta and Time Leap. Azrael had at least one CG where a female character was covered in blood. In Makai Tenshi Jibril, you have sex with the main heroine in order to empower/train her for battle. Lastly, the main character in Azrael takes on the role as an acting death god, and gains the ability to spot people who are about to die. Thus, while the hints obviously led the audience to thinking of TYPE-MOON, they also fit for Front Wing as well.