Friday, January 4, 2013
We have traditionally "celebrated" the 4th of January anniversary of the beginning of our project in one way or another, often with a blog post relating to the passing year. Now that the date is also the anniversary of the game release, it's a nice excuse to keep the tradition going for one year more. As expected, releasing Katawa Shoujo didn't mean that it would let go of us, and much of the year has gone with wrapping our heads around the aftermath.
Living Up to the Hype
The waves of Katawa Shoujo's release splash have somehow lasted through the entire year. That there is an actual fandom spawned around KS is incredible, something not very many visual novels can claim, and we're happy and surprised to have so many people come to love it. Apart from the reactions of people, the emotional resonance and such, the things that have left an impression are the many new creative projects inspired by the Katawa Shoujo (as well as the direct fan creations), and the new fan communities spawned around the Internet. There has been lots of more personal communication as well. Many people wrote to us with stories of how KS struck a chord with them, but by far the biggest impact for me came from the comments of RAITA, the creator of the concept art that birthed the project. A few kind words about our perseverance and his satisfaction in the end result were enough to give me a feeling of validation beyond anything any other person could've given. It's funny, isn't it? With that, I felt the circle truly coming to a close.
As an anniversary present of a sorts, we release the digital edition of the summer 2012 4LS artbook, Tomorrow/Today. The 32-page full colour artbook featuring Katawa Shoujo illustrations by 4LS staff and our friends was originally released in Los Angeles' Anime Expo in June, followed by the Japanese edition in Tokyo's Comic Market 83 in December. You can download the digital release from this link.
This Is Not a True Ending
What about 2013? Well, at the very least we hope to to go public with some new 4LS projects that have been in the concept/early development stage in 2012 (and before). There's been some pressure to do so, and I suppose at least for me personally, it's a solidifying thing too, plus I enjoy engaging with the public. Look forward to that. Depending on how things go this also could mean that we actually need to recruit some people in 4LS. And finally, don't be surprised if you see a new artbook coming from us this year too. That's the future foreseeable from here, but who knows what is going to happen this year. Let's hope it will be good and precious things only.
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