Navel

By bluemist on July 20th, 2005

Navel

Games
Shuffle!
Soul Link
Tick! Tack!
Bokutachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai – under the innocent sky (upcoming)

Anime
Shuffle!

Generic Disclaimer: Of course I wouldn’t know how the bishoujo games industry truly works, so some info below may be wrong or misinterpreted. This feature is from an outsider’s point of view, namely, my point of view.

Now this is a company I really know nothing about.

Navel is apparently a new contender in the bishoujo wars. With two games released so far (and two more upcoming), I think they’re relatively new, but nevertheless a force to reckon with. Why?

imageimageimage
As far as I know, their very first game, Shuffle, is an extremely hyped game. I should believe so, because even I were not supposed to know about the game back in early 2004. But nevertheless, I saw the game OP, and I became hyped too. Why? Because the character designs are extremely beautiful! But when I talked to someone who played the game… er… it didn’t live up to the hype. It’s a good game nevertheless, but not that good.

What went wrong? Dunno.

It really had a lot going for it. For one, the character art is drawn by Aoi Nishimata. I only recently recognized her work, but it’s really absolutely amazing. She also did the designs for Princess Soft’s Final Approach game. More importantly, Navel was literally ‘brave’ enough to release it alongside Fate/stay Night, a major, major game by TYPE-MOON. With the same release date, you could imagine the event somewhat like a bishoujo version of two major movie blockbusters battling it out in the box office. Of course, the latter won, but bishoujo gamers were thinking “If Shuffle had the balls to go against Fate/stay Night, it must be really good too.” Well, it has become popular ever since, having a manga serialization, a current anime series, and an upcoming PS2 version with added characters.

The rest of the games are relatively unknown to me.

imageimageimage
Only found a bit about Soul Link. It has a kinda space and military theme to it. The artwork is nice, but the girls seem a bit “out of proportion”, if you know what I mean…

imageimageimage
Tick! Tack! This game seems to be a Nerine afterstory with a twist. Assuming that you finished Shuffle with a Nerine ending, Tick! Tack! transports the player and Nerine… into the past! Actually, it seems to be Nerine’s home world too. They meet various characters, such as new girls Sage and Ai. All seems good, but the problem is… one of them may be Nerine’s mother! Ooh, it will screw up the space-time continuum this way!

Bokutachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai – under the innocent sky looks like another huge hype machine similar to what Shuffle had dealt with before. This is another intricately beautiful CG work. My jaw dropped when I saw these scans. It’s the kind of drawing that makes me go “ooh~”. I’ve never seen bishoujo girls this beautiful and appealing to me ever since Pia Carrot 3. I’ll definitely catch it, and I hope it does have a story to tell at least.

So that’s it. Navel is churning out some good stuff, both in anime and games front, so check them out.

image
This is a Summer of Bishoujo feature

4 Comments

Posted By: Chan On: December 19, 2005 At: 10:53 pm

The problem was…Shuffle! was pretty much a generic high-school romance, with some fantasy elements that went…Nowhere. The character designs were good, but most of the plots went nowhere. (Try Nerine’s story.) That’s not saying that the stories were bad; They were actually really good, but kinda predictable.

FATE/Stay Night was a deep, quite dark story about the nature of heroism, with strong characters and a protagonist you found yourself rooting for. Even the ‘bad guy’ had a reason for his actions that made sense, in a crazy way…Not to mention, Kinoko Nasu wrote the story.

Posted By: OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol On: February 07, 2006 At: 7:42 am

Navel isn’t really “new”. In essence, it is the “resurrection” of BasiL, a company which released 3 games (“Bless ~close your eyes, open your mind.~”, “21-Two One-” which was ported on DC and “それは舞い散る桜のように”) and “died” somewhen in 2002-2003.
Its main appeal is, of course, its character designers: Nishimata Aoi and Suzuhira Hiro.

Posted By: Dianna On: July 08, 2007 At: 4:45 pm

I lack the ability to read Japanese and I was wondering if anyone knows what the story or summary of “Under the Innocent Sky”? Please let me know. It looks really awesome when I went to the site but I really can’t understand it. Thanks

Posted By: Takai Hikei On: August 15, 2007 At: 6:23 pm

Hmm… how come Shuffe! Really? Really! isn’t included in the list of games that navel makes?

-->