There are many ways to express your love for a visual novel and its characters, and a Muv-Luv fan decided to have an iconic (and slightly "out there") scene from Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative on one of Times Square's giant screens in New York City.
Using the Take Over Times Square service and app, people are now able to have a 15-second clip projected on one of the famous location's large screens. The fee for your moment of glory is $40, and obviously, Twitter user red!!!! (who appears to be a big fan of Muv-Luv heroine Sumika Kagami) decided that it was an appropriate price to pay to share their love for their favorite character with the world.
Interestingly, they picked a rather funny scene, portraying Sumika Kagami while sitting on a toilet, as you can see below. Before you worry, it's fairly safe for work, enough to appear on the console versions of the visual novels
WE WERE THERE GENTLEMEN SUMIKA HAS ARRIVED IN TIMES SQUARE pic.twitter.com/kZr7xC76c3— red!!!! (@redwol344x) July 14, 2023
The event also caught the attention of the series creator Kouki Yoshimune, who seemed definitely pleased and amused.
The hilarious scene likely requires an explanation for those who aren't familiar with the Muv-Luv series. Of course, you should keep in mind that there are mild spoilers ahead.
In the original Muv-Luv Extra visual novel (which is the first part of the duology simply titled Muv-Luv), hero Takeru Shirogane unwittingly walks into his house's toilet to find his childhood friend and potential love interest (depending on the route you pick) after she waltzed into his house to ask about dinner (it's complicated) and was affected by a sudden urge.
He only has time to weakly argue that she might want to lock the door before she punches his lights out. Yes. Sumika has a rather powerful straight.
The scene acquires even larger significance (and it turns from hilarious to moving) as it reappears in the sequel Muv-Luv Alternative, but be careful because the spoilers ahead are much bigger.
Takeru has been projected into a time-space continuum loop (I'm greatly simplifying here) in which he found himself in an alternate version of Earth that is fighting a desperate war against ruthless alien invaders named BETA.
Our hero is involved in the war as a mecha pilot and every time he dies(horribly) in battle, he's sent back to the moment in which he first appears in this world, but retains his training and part of his memories (and trauma).
Incidentally, while alternate versions of most of his friends can also be found fighting against annihilation, Sumika is nowhere to be found (it's very complicated).
When he finally finds a way to return temporarily to his original world to find something that could save the alternate one, his consciousness is projected back into his old self exactly when he enters the toilet and Sumika punches him into oblivion.
This is the first physical contact he has with her after fighting and dying in an endless war, possibly multiple times, in a world apparently condemned to annihilation, which creates a rather poignant moment.
Yes. Muv-Luv is very dark. It lures you in with the funny, light-hearted story of Extra and then makes a complete U-Turn, punching you into the heart so many times until it leaves you a sobbing mess.
Let's just say that there is a reason why Attack on Titan mangaka Hajime Isayama cites the series multiple times as one of his main sources of inspiration.
Not only it's considered by many the best visual novel story ever written, but it helped popularize the ideas of isekai and death loop when they still weren't really a thing.
Having released in 2003 (Muv-Luv) and 2006, they certainly pre-date Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow, movie and even its explicit inspiration, the light novel All You Need Is Kill.
If you're intrigued, Most Muv-Luv visual novels are currently available in English on Steam (while Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative have also been released on PS Vita in the West and PS3 and Xbox 360 in Japan only) alongside the early access action game Project MIKHAIL: A Muv-Luv War Story.
The Muv-Luv Dimensions mobile game has just been released in Japan after achieving 450,000 pre-registrations, while plenty of plastic model kits of its mecha (Mecha design is another strong point of the series) are being gradually released by Kotobukiya.