BL-focused JAST USA branch, JAST BLUE, has announced multiple Nitro+CHiRAL English releases as part of their panel at Anime Expo. JAST BLUE had already announced Sweet Pool, but now Togainu no Chi, Lamento -Beyond the Void-, and DRAMAtical Murder will be getting released in English too!
With none of Nitro+CHiRAL’s visual novels having official English versions yet, this is huge news for yaoi fans! What’s more, the games will be based on the original uncensored PC releases, rather than any of the altered versions released on various Sony consoles. Here are some brief overviews of what each one is about from VNDB:
Togainu no Chi
After being devastated in the third World War (known as The Third Division), Japan was divided in two. Several years after the end of the war, a crime organization called Vischio has taken control of the destroyed city of Toshima (formerly Tokyo, Japan’s capital city), where they are holding a battle game known as “Igura”. The game’s main character, a young man named Akira, is falsely accused of a crime. Once arrested, a mysterious woman appears before him, offering him freedom if he agrees to participate in Igura and defeat Igura’s strongest man: the king, or “Il re”. The story follows Akira’s life in the harsh, lawless Toshima as he fights both to survive and to unravel the mysteries developing around him.
Lamento -Beyond the Void-
The game takes place in a fictional world inhabited by Ribika (who look like humans but have cat ears and tails). Their world has fallen into dark times — a mysterious void has made some places (and even animals) impossible to touch, causing major food shortages. A strange and deadly disease that has killed off a large percentage of the female Ribika population is also spreading.
The hero, Konoe, exists in this miserable world, living alone in the starving village of Karou who have turned to cannibalism. The story begins with Konoe in Karou, where he suddenly begins to see horrible dreams and strange marks appear on his body. This is believed to be a curse so Konoe heads off to Ransen (the big city) in order to heal his body…
A time far in the future.
In Midorijima, an island to the southwest of the Japanese islands.
People and nature once coexisted on this plentiful island.
However, due to being purchased by the leading company of Japan “Toue Company”, one third of the island has been changed into the extravagant amusement facility “Platinum Jail”. Equipped with the latest cutting edge technology, Platinum Jail has gathered attention. On the other side, the islanders who became victims of forceful development are forced into the “Former Residents District”, and have no choice but to carry out their lives in a place that is by no means prosperous.
The protagonist Aoba spends his days working part-time at the junk shop “Heibon” inside the Former Residents District, living together with his grandmother Tae.
Among the young people of the Former Residents District, a certain game has become popular. In “Liebstiez”, teams are created and days of human-bullet turf wars unfold. On the other hand, “Rhyme” is an electronic brain online game using a virtual world as its setting which “Rhymers” are going crazy over. Aoba shows no interest in either one, thinking that it would be nice to just live peacefully with his grandmother.
But the disaster that will shake up those peaceful days has already begun…
Finally, here’s an overview of the first of the four to be released:
Yoji is a little bit nervous because he goes to school for the first time in several months. From that day, his surroundings gradually change…. Tetsuo unexpectedly approaches Yoji. Yoji asks Tetsuo why, but he never answers…. Yoji gets scared of Tetsuo. Zenya also approaches Yoji at the same time. One day, Zenya suddenly whispers Yoji, “It’s all your fault….” Strange pain…. Vivid nightmare…. Are they just illusions? What are Tetsuo and Zenya’s purpose?
I honestly never expected to see the day where even one of these would be coming out in English, so to have so many announced in quick succession is incredibly amazing! Not to get ahead of myself, but I wonder if this means there’ll be a chance for Slow Damage to be localised when it’s released too!
It does still strike me as rather odd to lead with Sweet Pool when it’s the third one Nitro+CHiRAL released and quite possibly the most divisive though. It’s been over 10 years since JAST last released a yaoi game, and I can’t help but think the choices in titles then may have had an impact on why it’s only now we’re seeing more. Please don’t let Sweet Pool be another Enzai!
There are currently no release dates for any of these titles, but Sweet Pool is first up and is expected to be released relatively soon. This is so exciting!
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