Hirameki International

By bluemist on July 6th, 2005

Hirameki International

Slowly but surely, this company is getting my attention.

Last year, it caught my attention by releasing an English game called Hourglass of Summer, which we would know to be Natsuiro no Sunadokei. While not as big-name as other visual novels of its kind, it had its share of popularity as a game and anime OVA. But more importantly, releasing this game (which is actually an interactive DVD played on DVD players) is a rather unprecedented move. Why? Almost ALL of the bishoujo games released in English are of the hentai/ero variety. This is probably one of the rare few non-hentai bishoujo game being released in English. And a moderately popular one at that. It was amazing, although I didn’t know of the company’s fate after that. Did they sell well with Hourglass, among with their other Anime Play DVD games? Seeing their lineup, it’s actually rather stellar.

Now, the company is back with a vengeance, and is seemingly doing rather good but risky business again. They are now launching big-name titles in their Anime Play PC division (this time games that can be played on computers). The highlight is Ai Yori Aoshi. The anime community definitely knows of the anime series, and so they would probably take notice of this. But the game that has caught me stunned was their upcoming release of Ever17! As they described, yes, Ever17 could be seen as on-par with the big ones. Demo downloads of both of these games are already available, by the way.

More importantly though is that this company is initiating the new wave of visual novels. Their big point is the non-hentai part. They seem to be on a mission to prove that visual novels are not just about the H, and that it can be seen as a viable form of mainstream entertainment, in the same way that anime is emerging right now on the western world.

Another big scoop here: (quoted from their site)

From July to September, HIRAMEKI International will be setting up a booth at conventions primarily along the west coast to demonstrate English versions of Japanese Visual Novel Games. We will be showing to the public for the first time, of course DVD format games, but expanding our line of products with games that operate on a Windows PC platform. Currently in Japan, “Kimi ga nozomu eien” and “Tukihime” have been made into many anime episodes and we’re sure that anime fans attuned to what is happening are dying to play the game that kicked off the craze these anime have created. Please be on the look out for news from HIRAMEKI, which was created with the objective of meeting the needs of these fans. We are working hard to see that we have some big titles on the horizon for you. If you would like to test a game, drag yourself out to one of the venues listed below and tell the HIRAMEKI staff exactly what is on your mind.

While I won’t believe that they could be licensing Kiminozo and Tsukihime anytime soon, this proves that they seem to have an eye out on anime fans, specifically, those who download fansubs. I think this can be a double-edged sword on them, mainly because it is both a risk and opportunity. Will international anime fans bite, and finally play the kind of popular visual novels the Japanese fans play? Are they heading for success, or failure? Time will tell. In any case, Hirameki International definitely has something good up their sleeve. I dig it.

This is a Summer of Bishoujo feature


Posted By: Markmcm On: July 06, 2005 At: 5:32 pm

m… after seeing Ever17 and Tsukihime, I feel pretty impressed with the company. After all these two title are one grand achievement of the visual novel.

btw, isn’t tsukihime also H (but not as focused)?

Posted By: Satoshi On: July 06, 2005 At: 7:46 pm

Wow, thanks for letting us know about this, bluemist. As someone who’s been looking for non-H renai games, this is good news. (managed to import standard editions of Air and Kanon, but aside from those and TokiMemo no others come to mind..)

I’d heard about Hourglass of Summer but decided to pass on it, in the end. With Ai Yori Aoshi being released though (and on PC to boot), I’ll have to check it out..

Posted By: bluemist On: July 06, 2005 At: 9:02 pm

Yup, Tsukihime doesn’t seem to have an H focus, so it’s possible to have a cleaned-out version.

Wait, heck did I forget to note that there are actually demo downloads over at their website! Satoshi, Ai Yori Aoshi has a demo, along with Ever17, over HERE

Posted By: moyism On: July 06, 2005 At: 9:52 pm

The possibility of Tsukihime being ported over to the US… well, gosh darn it bluemist I think you just made my day!

Posted By: TokenAsian On: July 06, 2005 At: 10:31 pm

MUST BUY THESE… I have to get these.

Posted By: albert On: July 07, 2005 At: 8:26 am

Ironically, Revolve are over halfway done with their fan-translation of Tsukihime. Considering all the loaded technical jargon and backstory Type Moon games are filled with, I have to wonder how good a job Hirameki could do. http://nrvnqsr.proboards20.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=1118012032

Posted By: translator On: July 12, 2005 At: 5:00 pm

Hehe. I’ll let you in on a secret (not really). Revolve is actually 100% done with translation, we’re just going through and standardizing some of the terminology and things. The insertion process will take some time as well…The current script is just a little messed up right now.

Posted By: Marc On: July 14, 2005 At: 4:05 am

Hi Bluemist ; thx for letting us know.

I also have a request because I am trying to download the demo of Ai Yori Aoshi and Ever17 for several days now but their fileserver is so slow that it takes more than a whole day to download these files.

Maybe it is possibele to put a azureus magnet link on your blog so that we can download the demos with the much faster bittorrent protocol 🙂 ?.

Posted By: Lala On: August 28, 2007 At: 10:43 am

Ouch, I feel sorry for hirameki because even if they do release tsukihime, not too many people are going to buy it since there’s already a free fan translation floating around the internet. it’d be great if kimi eien got released though, but then i’d have to feel sorry for the fan translation group who’s already over 30% done with it.