Horror visual novel by Ryukishi07 with chara-designs by Clannad’s Itaru Hinoue launches this Winter in Japan. Comments from the staff and cast included.
Entergram and 07th Expansion announced Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope, or Kaleidoscope of Phantasm Prison. It’s a horror visual novel for PS4, PS Vita and Nintendo Switch. Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope features a scenario by Ryukishi07, character designs by Itaru Hinoue, and music by Dai and xaki. The game will launch this winter in Japan.
Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope is described by Entergram as a “girls mental suspense” game. Ryukishi07 commented on the game, asking if we’re ready to plunge into the “bottomless”, “darkest” parts of his writing. He mentioned Itaru Hinoue’s designs have a feeling of cuteness and innocence you rarely find in other designs. He also said the story is about a group of four close friends who will get everything ruthlessly stolen from them. Ryukishi07 also compared Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope to the mix of joy and sadness one would get when destroying a tower of blocks they spend so much time piling up.
The official teaser site mentions further details will be published on August 18. For now, the names, seiyuu, and artworks for the four main characters have been revealed:
- Fuuka Gojo, voiced by Himika Akaneya
- Karin Tamaru, voiced by Minori Suzuki
- Mina Yuasa, voiced by Moe Toyota
- Doremi Hanabusa, voiced by Asami Seto
- Sora Motoki, voiced by Fuuka Haruna (unpictured and only seen in the opening movie below)
Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope’s first opening movie was published as well. Entergram purposefully mentioned it’s the “first” opening movie, meaning the game will have other openings as it gets more and more screwed up. The song playing is titled Beautiful World. The lyrics and the singing were done by Emily, and it was composed by Hisao Sasaki.
The official teaser site also has another illustration for the characters if you click on the card, along with the game’s logo. The alternate illustration is much darker, with each character wearing a collar.
Some of the staff and cast also published comments on Twitter:
— 茜屋日海夏(i☆Ris) (@iRis_a_himi) August 8, 2019
Himika Akaneya mentioned it was a dream come true to work with Ryukishi07 on a game. Akaneya previously played protagonist Rose Haibara in the stage play adaptation of Ryukishi07’s Rose Guns Days. Akaneya also mentioned Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope’s recording was pretty “heavy” on her heart, and how she still remembers the comfortable, exhausted feeling she felt once it was over. This means the game is really dark.
— 鈴木みのり official (@minoringo_staff) August 8, 2019
Minori Suzuki is happy that the game finally got officially announced. She mentioned she grew up watching Ryukishi07 related anime and looking at Itaru Hinoue’s illustrations, so she was extremely happy to work with them.
— 春名風花 official (@harukazechan) August 8, 2019
Fuuka Haruna said she’s happy the game finally got announced, and to look forward to it.
— xaki（サキ） / 崎田 浩一 (@xaki_k_sakita) August 8, 2019
xaki said that as part of Higuumi Sound, the game’s sound team, each member expressed all the ideas and feelings of Ryukishi07 and Itaru Hinoue with the BGMs.
— だい (@higu_dai) August 8, 2019
Dai mentioned he worked on the game as part of Higuumi Sound. There’s a BGM he made in particular which sounds a lot like a Higurashi BGM.
— mzk(みずき) (@MizuKiIAIA) August 8, 2019
Illustrator Mizuki mentioned she worked on the game’s coloring design.
— エンターグラム広報 (@entergram_info) August 8, 2019
Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope‘s official abbreviation is “Gerokasu”.
Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope was first teased back in March 2018 under the code name Sangeki Sandbox. Back then, they revealed nothing but that it’s a project involving Ryukishi07 and Itaru Hinoue, but it was already enough to hype many, myself included.
While I’ve never been into horror, I’ve always liked Ryukishi07’s horror works as they rely on psychological horror. Despite being dark, his stories always have deep instances of friendship or family love and are full of positive lessons overall. They always make you feel these sleepless nights were worth it. I also like Himika Akaneya’s voice acting, as she’s part of Iris, a six-person idol seiyuu group closely linked to the Pretty Series franchise.
Anyway. I don’t really think you need an introduction for all the staff members I’ve cited if you clicked on this article in the first place, but here goes:
Ryukish07 is famous worldwide among anime fans as the writer of Higurashi and Umineko, part of the When They Cry series. The newest part of the series, Ciconia When They Cry, has its first episode launching on October 4. MangaGamer is supposed to simultaneously release the game in English. Ryukishi07 recently spoke in detail about Ciconia and also revealed it’ll have 4 Episodes in total.
While Itaru Hinoue is currently freelance, she was one of the founding members of Key. She’s one of the most famous character designers when it comes to visual novels, as she worked on Key’s most famous games, Kanon, Air, Clannad, Little Busters, etc.
Dai and xaki both worked on Umineko, creating many of its awesome BGMs.
Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope will definitely come west at some point seeing Ryukishi07’s popularity.