Update: This title has been licensed by MangaGamer. Please see the announcement post for further updates.
Yurin Yurin opened its website at midnight Japan time on 21 July 2012. The site is twofold: one for Yurin Yurin itself, and another for their first product: A Kiss For The Petals – Maidens of Michael (その花びらにくちづけを ミカエルの乙女たち Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo – Michael no Otome-tachi), which was released on 30 November 2012. (This is a tentatively translated title.) Proxy pass-through is not required for either of these pages for images to load, as is the case with Fuguriya’s website. The site for the new release is not a single page, as with Fuguriya’s works; this new visual novel is much larger than anything Fuguriya has produced.
In anticipation of this release, Yurin Yurin is currently uploading a YouTube mini-drama series entitled Risa-Miya Theater, after the visual novel’s main characters. See my first post for it for more information. Yurin Yurin also posted “countdown voices” featuring very brief voice dramas between each couple for the last 12 days leading to the release. These are no longer available, so I am archiving them at this post along with English translations.
As a reminder, the possibility of an English license for this franchise depends entirely on the success of this first release. If at all possible, please support the developer. Your direct support is now more critical than ever.Update 18 April 2013: Please see State of Localization for Yurin Yurin Products for updates on this topic.
Update 30 November 2012: A Kiss For The Petals – Maidens of Michael is available internationally at J-List. The price is currently $130.00, not including shipping.
Update 4 April 2013: Yurin Yurin has released this visual novel on Gyutto.com at a price of 6,800 yen ($70.60 USD, €54.61 EUR, £46.36 GBP). See this post for buying instructions, which have been verified to work with U.S. credit cards.
Update 29 August 2014: Maidens of Michael is no longer available at J-List. See the Buying Guide for information on alternative places to purchase.
In the event that JAST USA obtains an English license for this release, those who purchase the visual novel from J-List will receive a free download code for the English version, as was the case with My Girlfriend is the President. However, this is entirely dependent on Yurin Yurin’s decision to follow through as there is no guarantee that JAST USA, or anyone else, will be granted a license, regardless of sales.
If you have played this visual novel, feel free to post your opinion of it in the comments, as well as link to reviews on visual novel website, be they positive or negative, but please do not submit spoilers. I will collect them in a future post.
A promotional video was published on 23 October 2012 and shows six scenes not currently seen elsewhere. See this post for a translation of the text. Below is a translated version of the video, an updated version of which you can download at the above post.
Much of the information of interest is posted on the website’s character page, including images, voice samples, and a relationship chart. The character designs have been redone and unified for this new release. You can see the new character images currently available in these two posts.
The new characters seen above are Azumi Risa 安曇璃紗 (left) and Ayase Miya 綾瀬美夜 (right). They are the lead couple for this visual novel, despite some fans’ expectations that no new couples would be introduced after the current five. Their information has been translated below from Getchu by Ralen.
Class Representative of the Year 1 “Snow” class, and a classmate of Miya’s. Has an earnest and hardworking personality. As a hard-nosed person, she often finds herself in leadership positions. She’s what you might call a high-class tsundere girl.
While she naturally does well academically and has common sense, whenever she gets into it with Miya, she always gets outreasoned and frequently stomps her feet. Having an unusually strong sense of shame, she gets flustered and briefly digs herself into a hole when thrust into a romantic relationship.
The half-Japanese daughter of a foreign company with a British mother. Built like a model, and the owner of enormous breasts.
A student of the Year 1 “Snow” class, and a classmate of Risa’s. A prominent genius on campus, but has difficulty in social situations. Doesn’t really take issue with people other than Risa, and socializes as little as possible.
Whenever she speaks with Risa it’s always abusive, but she’s actually covering her own embarrassment. Her speech and behavior always keep others at a distance. She rarely shows her soft side and is unflappable. When she does show her soft side, she becomes timid and casts nervous glances from beneath her lashes.
Although you wouldn’t guess it from the way she talks, her behavior is actually quite ladylike. Possessing one of the most prominent intellects on campus, she has been offered the chance to study abroad and even skip grades, but she hates interacting with others, so she enrolled in the not particularly academically demanding school for high-class girls, St. Michael’s.
In addition to Risa and Miya, there is a previously unnamed character new to this visual novel named Houraisen Rena. Her profile has been translated by Procyon. See this post for more information and my past speculation on her debut as a newly on-screen character.
A new teacher at St. Michael’s. Runa’s older sister and Takako’s former tutor. Stylish and stunningly beautiful — the perfect girl. Outgoing and easygoing. Although she’s blunt and untidy, for some reason she has the kind of likeable personality that’s impossible to hate. An alumnus of St. Michael’s, at the time, the teachers all praised her for being a well-behaved lady. But in actuality, she was chasing skirts left and right, regardless if they were seniors or juniors. It’s rumored her lovers numbered at nearly a hundred.
On 10 September 2012, Yurin Yurin published a diagram of all characters’ relationships as of the start of this visual novel. On 6 November 2012, four voice samples were posted for each character.
Character relationship diagram translated by Ralen and edited by me and Saluki.
Some profound implications can be seen in this diagram that affect the visual novel continuity. Nanami, Sara, and Risa are grouped together as friends. This implies that Nanami and Sara are in the same class, which is not explicitly stated in any of Fuguriya’s works. Also, Mai is grouped with class representatives Yuuna and Kaede. In Joined In Love With You, Mai states that she is treated like a representative by her classmates, but she never actually was one. The grouping implies this was changed. Additionally, Rena is a homeroom teacher for the first-year class, presumably Nanami, Sara, Risa, and Miya’s class, which would give Takako and Runa a tenuous connection with the rest of the campus, whereas in the past they’ve been secluded from it.
The story brief tells of a plot that covers at least three months and takes place in the winter, and also directly involves every character introduced in the franchise so far, all firsts for the series. It has been translated below by Ralen.
Today at Saint Michael’s School for Girls, the class representative for the first-year “Snow” Class, Azumi Risa, had once again been fighting with the class troublemaker, Ayase Miya.
Risa, who is earnest and hard-nosed, and Miya, who hates to cooperate with others, couldn’t have been less right for each other, as they were always on the verge of tearing each other’s throats out.
At the time, the whole school was in a festive mood with Christmas just around the corner.
As couples and spur-of-the-moment couples alike were flirtatiously carrying on, the whole school was abuzz with excitement over the “St. Michael’s Best Couple” poll being conducted by the student volunteers.
Risa, who was single, figured it didn’t concern her…
So then how did she and Miya end up being chosen?!
Although Risa naturally denied that they shared that kind of relationship, the classmates who had selected them would just smile with the reasoning of tempered young ladies who had been raised in respectable families and say, “You always look like you’re having so much fun.”
Resigning themselves, the two decided to go along with it, “Just for appearance’s sake,” and it seemed they would have to stick it out through the coming holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s Day along with four other couples as the committee members for various events.
And what’s more…
Those other four couples were practically the student council:
The president of the Environmental Protection Committee, Matsubara Yuuna, and her junior, Oda Nanami.
The renowned student model, Kitajima Sara, and her cousin, Kitajima Kaede.
The singing sensation of the cultural festival, Kawamura Reo, and her girlfriend, Sawaguchi Mai.
And last, but not least, the girls of the Lily Platinum fan club, exchange student Shitogi Eris, and the school’s foremost scribe, the highly respected Kirishima Shizuku.
In other words, only the most preeminent couples on campus.
Will the big name couples be able to handle the events that follow? And will Risa be able to survive the lovers’ holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s with Miya?
The twelve images currently available in the gallery confirm the return of every major character of the previous visual novels. Three observations can be drawn from them:
- Not only is every character present, but they are all seen with girls other than their girlfriends, with the exception of Takako and Runa. They are sequestered from the other pairs as they are in a different part of campus far removed from the two buildings that comprise the senior high classes. Previously, the couples of Takako/Runa and Shizuku/Eris were kept separate in official works from the first three couples, and although Shizuku and Eris have been integrated with them, it’s still not known if Takako and/or Runa will also be seen with them. However, as noted above, Rena’s position as homeroom teacher is very likely to change this.
- Risa is the only character seen more than twice in the sample images, and she is seen with Nanami and Sara. This visual novel therefore takes place in the same year as the rest, including those featuring Takako/Runa and Shizuku/Eris. In the cover illustration, Runa is seen with her uniform from the earlier visual novels, implying that she is still in the same grade as before.
- The fourth image in the gallery is reminiscent of a scene from the Comiket 81 extra volume. The fortunate timing of its translation in Xenocross and the release of that image is coincidental and I am very pleased with it.
An issue that most non-Japanese fans may not be aware of concerns Nanami’s voice actress from the visual novels, Haruna Yumi (春奈有美). Shortly after recording for the sixth visual novel, Kuchibiru to Kiss de Tsubuyaite (唇とキスで呟いて), was completed in 2009, she took an immediate hiatus from voice acting due to illness. She has not been heard from for three years. Nanami was played by Yasaka Nana (八坂菜々) in the drama CD Dream-like Days (夢のような日々 Yume no you na Hibi). Although Yumi was originally slated to return in Maidens of Michael to reprise her role, it was announced on 19 October 2012 that she was replaced by Takanashi Konoko (小鳥遊このこ). The voice samples for Nanami seem to be similar in pitch to her voice in Dream-like Days. The reason for this sudden change is currently unknown, but it was due to unforeseen circumstances.
Maidens of Michael will go on sale on 30 November 2012 for 9,240 yen, currently equivalent to approximately $118.05 USD, €92.37 EUR, and £73.02 GBP. If you are interested in pre-ordering from a Japanese source, see this page for various pre-order prices and incentives by store. It is expected to be far more substantial and lengthy than any of Fuguriya’s earlier works — it will ship on a DVD-ROM, as opposed to CD-ROMs as with all of Fuguriya’s products — but it is unknown if there will be more than one route. It is also unknown if there will be a downloadable version available in addition to the disc version. The Download section currently contains Twitter icons and 2048 x 1280 wallpapers, a higher-quailty version of the promotional video and hotlink code for promotional banners. The wallpapers are optimized for use on Twitter but can also be used on your desktop.
You can follow Yurin Yurin on Twitter (@yurinyurin_soft), where they post updates for the site and retweet images of promotional material for Maidens of Michael at Japanese game stores. Anticipation for this new commercial product is robust in the Japanese markets, as can be seen by the numerous store displays featuring Yurin Yurin’s banners. They are also capable of communicating in English, so feel free to follow and tell them of your anticipation of the new visual novel directly.