Corona Blossom is the latest offering from the company which developed The Fruit of Grisaia, it’s sequels and spinoffs. Since then Frontwing has begun to self-publish on Steam with Purino Party, The Afterglow of Grisaia and of course Corona Blossom being the most recent. Corona Blossom, in particular, is interesting as it’s the first game that’s been translated in-house by them and has been released in the west before Japan. With the help of Frontwing, we were able to conduct an extensive E-mail interview last week with the director of the game Hatenbosi. In this first part we go over some general questions regarding Corona Blossom, including its theme, the E-mote system, and present a message from the Director. Please enjoy and be sure to grab a copy of Corona Blossom on Steam as well as the 18+ Patch from DLsite ecchi.
Operation Rainfall: What is the central theme of Corona Blossom?
Hatenbosi: Hi, this is Hantenbosi, the director of Corona Blossom.
To sum it up, it’s a slightly erotic slapstick comedy about aliens who land on Earth. It’s got romance, comedy, and philosophical themes, I’d say. Volume 1, in particular, is about close encounters with cute aliens. On a deeper level, it asks whether we’re able to accept life with alien races, but you don’t have to think too deeply about it – just have fun!
OR: Space and machines seem to play a big role in the story, what made you decide to combine these two elements together in order to create Corona Blossom?
H: Our three main elements are space, mechas, and pretty girls – things Japanese have loved since the dawn of time. There have been lots of anime that contain these elements as well. We also looked further afield to globally popular franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, since we wanted to connect with everyone all over the world. We’re hoping these elements may help Corona Blossom get an anime adaptation, too.
“The elements that speak to me [about Corona Blossom] most on a personal level are the charming scenes of daily conversation, the beautiful CG, and the lifelike movement the E-mote system provides.”
OR: The Heavy-Duty Industrial Robots (VORKS) seem to be used for a variety of tasks including sports (the VAILAORA). How did you go about creating an all-purpose mech and then customizing it for athletic competitions?
H: You find all sorts of labor mechs in Japanese animation. In the world of Corona Blossom, we have labor mechs, sports mechs, and many more. (I believe there are also models for deep sea exploration, space exploration, as well as military use.)
In the countryside area where the game is set, there are a number of local workshops, each with their own highly-skilled industrial engineer (outskirts like these are rather common in Japan).
Although prosperity has somewhat declined in the area around these workshops, they remain active in creating all sorts of custom VORKS models.
OR: The opening theme [song] Happy! Corona Blossom by Haruko Momoi is a very energetic opening theme. Was it difficult to craft an opening video around such a fun song?
H: Haruko Momoi, who we’ve worked with quite often in the past, provided us with a wonderful Japanese style theme for the game – and she handled not just the singing, but the composition and lyrics as well.
(By the way, the “jyuu, kyuu, hachi…” bit, in the beginning, is a countdown in Japanese – by all means, learn it and sing along!)
In regards to the opening movie, we got a few words from our resident video editor:
“I feel like the world we’ve created in the game is just as fired-up as the opening theme, so creating the opening movie to show that went relatively smoothly. If you watch the opening and let your imagination run with it a bit, I think you’ll get a good idea of what the game is like.”
OR: What makes Corona Blossom stand out from your ‘average’ Visual Novel?
H: The elements that speak to me most on a personal level are the charming scenes of daily conversation, the beautiful CG, and the lifelike movement the E-mote system provides.
On top of that, the soundtrack meshes very well with the story and greatly enhances the experience as a result.
OR: One of the key features is the “E-mote” system. How does this system contribute to the immersiveness of Corona Blossom?
Watching E-mote in action is a lot of fun in and of itself! I think the system really lends a lot to the portrayal of the characters and allows for a deeper connection with them.
There [are] a few scenes which have the heroines running into view from the background, and if you play the game in fullscreen mode you might be worried they’re coming straight for you! I recommend playing the game on a 27-inch or so monitor to get the most out of the experience.
OR: How complex was it to develop [for] the “E-mote” system?
H: With E-mote, how the character motion ends up looking depends greatly on the experience of the designer. With this in mind, we sought assistance from some of the most well-versed E-mote designers in the country.
That being said, there are also a number of things which must be paid close attention to at the drawing phase – layer separation, background preparation, and more. Creating characters for E-mote certainly takes many times as much effort as regular character drawing does!
“We’ve poured all our creative talent into Corona Blossom, so please give the game a shot (and maybe fall for one of our heroines too).”
OR: Out of everything, what would you say is the most appealing aspect of Corona Blossom?
H: This won’t happen until Vol.3, but the way we get R-ne back home will knock you off your feet!
Getting to see R-ne go from not being able to speak at all, to slowly learning words and finally developing emotions and growing up fully is another key point – and so is seeing her use her liquid metal form to do ridiculous things like hide in a pipe or cool off in a drink dispenser. nanaca mai’s SD illustrations are top-notch as well!
The mood changes a bit in Vol.2 – lots of people “getting lucky” and lots of titillating scenes – so look out for that as well!
I also noticed that the scene in the demo with Shino and the watermelons seems really popular – the comment “スイカが３つ” (“three watermelons”) is all over the place.
OR: Do you have anything you wish to say to our readers directly?
H: We’ve been producing visual novels at Frontwing for 15 years, and we’re finally able to share one with fans around the world simultaneously. That makes this quite an impactful release for us.
We’ve poured all our creative talent into Corona Blossom, so please give the game a shot (and maybe fall for one of our heroines too).
We’d love for the game to do well enough to make an anime adaptation a possibility, so we’re counting on your support!
Everybody say, “ニャン・ニャー！！” （”MEW MEOOOOW!”）
This is Part One of a Three-Part Interview.
Please return on Wednesday at 9 am for Part Two, where we talk with Hantenbosi about the title being crowdfunded on IndieGogo, translating the game into English, and the inclusion of 18+ content.
What are your thoughts so far? Are you eager to see the way R-ne gets home? Do you have any thoughts on the E-mote system? How awesome are that opening theme and video? Let us know on Twitter, on Facebook, and of course in the comment below.