Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien is one of the most beloved visual novels released in the early 2000s, and now it's coming back on PC via Steam.
The game was was initially born as an eroge, and it was never localized officially in English even after it launched on PS2 and Dreamcast with its adult content removed for the console audience.
Yet, the anime that it inspired was published in the West as "Rumbing Hearts," providing us with a glimpse of an extremely deep and complex story made of moving romance, tear-jerking tragedy, and even quite a bit of craziness.
The crowdfunding project which aims to bring Kiminozo (which is the way it's affectionately called by its fans) to Steam with a renewed all-ages version, has recently been fully funded but it still has about a month left on the clock.
To hear more about the project and what we can expect, TechRaptor talked to Kouji Morimoto, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Redevelopment Project Team Leader.
Giuseppe Nelva: How is the crowdfunding campaign going compared to your expectations? Are you satisfied?
Kouji Morimoto: First, we’re really grateful for everyone’s support. This kind of crowdfunding is something that’s new for us, and to be honest, there were parts that we underestimated on how complicated it would be to prepare for. We ended up having to redo our project page, for instance.
As a result, we weren’t able to get information out as quickly as we wanted, so we’re running a little behind where we hoped to be. From now on, we’re going to be more aggressive about getting the word out on rewards and the project’s status, and we hope you’ll bear with us as we learn more about how to do this right.
Nelva: Why did you decide to allow fans from outside of Japan to participate in this campaign instead of doing a separate one for the West?
Morimoto: This project has always been something intended for a Japanese audience. We had plans to bring the game to a global fanbase after the Japanese version, but never any plans to do that via crowdfunding.
When we started the project, though, we got requests from people around the world who said they wanted to participate, and we looked to see if that would be possible.
We found out that it was possible for overseas backers to get rewards via services like tenso.com, and so we decided to set up a way for them to participate.
Nelva: Did you receive a lot of support from fans from outside Japan?
Morimoto: I don’t have an exact number, but it’s a few percent.
Nelva: Do you have an approximate idea of how long English-speaking players will have to wait for the translation of the game?
Morimoto: We don’t have an exact date for you yet, but we’re aiming for the summer of next year.
Nelva: How are you approaching the removal of the adult scenes?
Morimoto: All of our changes are based on the 2003 PS2 version of the game, “Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~Rumbling Hearts~”. It’s not a straight port of that game, though. We’re looking at what modifications need to be made as we go through.
For some of the changes we’re making, it’s that times have changed since then, and what was OK at the time simply isn’t accepted anymore, so we’ve had to be a little stricter.
Nelva: Is there anything else that is being changed or tweaked from the original latest edition of Kiminozo?
Morimoto: We’re updating the menus and giving the game a whole new UI! We’re also adding content from the Special Fan Disc.
Nelva: The Muv-Luv series is coming to Nintendo Switch. Have you considered porting Kiminozo as well? Since it’ll be an all-ages version suitable for consoles, it seems to me it could be a natural next step.
Morimoto: Right now, we haven’t made any plans for this. We’ll be watching to see the level of support it gets from our users and making our decision based on that.
Nelva: What about a mobile version?
Morimoto: Same as above. If this is something you want to see, we’d love to hear it!
Nelva: You mentioned that, if the campaign is successful, it’s only the start, paving the way for remakes, anime, and more. Can you explain more in detail what kind of projects you’re considering?
Morimoto: A lot of this is going to depend on the success of the crowdfunding project, so, unfortunately, I can’t say a lot about this now.
Nelva: Is there any chance that, if the campaign is successful, it could open the door for a similar project related to Kimi ga Ita Kisetsu?
Morimoto: We’re not going to rule out the possibility, but we haven’t made a decision on this for the moment. Right now, we’re just doing our best to make this project a success.
Nelva: Is there anything else that you’d like to share with your English-speaking fans?
Morimoto: The goal of this particular crowdfunding is to make it possible for players in Japan to get their hands on an all-ages version of the game. But as you’re aware, we’re preparing an English translation for people around the world to enjoy.
It’ll take a little while to get it to you, but if it’s something you’re interested in supporting, we’d love for you to consider backing us.
Full disclosure: The author of this post supported the crowdfunding campaign for Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien.