FuRyu Corporation, the Japanese entertainment company that specializes in video games, has recently announced at AnimeJapan 2018 that they are producing three new anime out of their original video games. The titles of these games are THE CALIGULA EFFECT, RENAI BAKUMATSU KARESHI, and PASTEL MEMORIES. Though not much is known yet about a few of the anime adaptations, their announcement included a few updates with new trailers and character images.

THE CALIGULA EFFECT’s Metacritic score isn’t terrific but, gameplay aside, critics seem to agree that the best part of this role-playing game is its ideas and storyline. RENAI BAKUMATSU KARESHI is a fairly standard dating sim for smartphones. Its story is simple, but its setting makes it somewhat unique within the genre. Finally, PASTEL MEMORIES is also a pretty simple smartphone game. However, it’s popularity and unique setting similarly makes it a standout choice for an anime.

CALIGULA, the First 2018 Release

Scheduled for an April debut, CALIGULA will be the first of the three anime to come out. Touko Machida (AKAME GA KILL!) will write the show and Jun’ichi Wada (LOG HORIZON) will direct at Satelight studio. Check out the trailer for there series below:

There’s a lot going on in that trailer and it is probably very confusing. The anime seems to follow the game’s story pretty closely though, so it may help to have played the game. Here’s the synopsis straight from CALIGULA’s Anime News Network page:

“Tadashi Satomi is a virtual idol known as μ who performs user-inputted songs and gains self-awareness through exposure to users’ bitter feelings and dissatisfaction toward reality. Wanting to save humanity…she lures people to a virtual reality world called Mobius with her songs. She then imprisons them in Mobius…Nine members of the “Going Home Club,” a club that was formed because the characters want to escape from Mobius and go home, try to find a way out.”

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BAKUMATSU, the Second Adaptation

BAKUMATSU will be the second anime to come out this year from FuRyu. There is not an exact release date for this anime as of yet. However, FuRyu has stated that it will come out in 2018. While the game was a romance simulation, the anime will apparently have more of a sci-fi focus. Masaki Watanabe (CODE GEASS: AKITO THE EXILED) will direct the series at studio DEEN. The first trailer has been released and the official website and Twitter have been opened. Catch the trailer here:

It is not yet entirely clear just how different the anime will be from the game. In the original game’s story, the nameless heroine is in Kyoto for sightseeing when she receives a mysterious pocket watch. The heroine wears the watch and passes through a shrine’s torii gate and is immediately transported 150 years in the past, to the Bakumatsu era of Japan. The heroine must then try to find a way back home to the present.

PASTEL MEMORIES, the Third and Most Mysterious

This is the only adaptation that retains the same name as it’s source material. As of yet, there is very little information out about this anime. Yasuyuki Shinozaki (ZOIDS: FUZORS) will be directing the show at studio Project No.9. FuRyu also released the character designs of the three main characters: Izumi Asagi, Michi Edogawabashi, and Saori Rokugou.

Izumi, Michi, and Saori from PASTEL MEMORIES are displayed in an imaged released by FuRyu via their announcement at AnimeJapan 2018
The characters of PASTEL MEMORIES: Izumi, Michi, and Saori | Image: Anime News Network

Set in the year 20xx, the game takes place in the town of Akihabara. Though once called “The Holy City of Otaku,” Akihabara’s culture has been in decline. Those who are obsessed with computers and aspects of pop culture to the detriment of their social skills are considered otaku. Players take the role of a manager of one of the few remaining “otaku shops.” Together, with the girls who hang out at the shop, the player fights viruses that steal peoples memories. It has a very steampunk vibe if you ask me.

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From Games to Anime

This isn’t the first time a game has inspired a longer narrative, and it won’t be the last. Gaming has come a long way since the days of simple side-scrollers like MEGA MAN and SONIC, both of which have their own animated adaptations. As gaming evolves, gamers crave more and more interesting narratives from even the most simplistic games. It shouldn’t be too surprising then that two of these anime are based on smartphone games.

Have you played these games? Are you excited for the anime they’ve inspired? One thing is for sure, it will be interesting seeing whether a smartphone game can make for good television. Couldn’t be worse than the ANGRY BIRDS movie.

Featured image courtesy of  Crunchyroll

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