To Heart

From Academic Kids

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Toheart_pc_screenshot.jpg
Chatting with To Heart characters Shiho and Akari on the way to school.

To Heart is a ren'ai game by Leaf/Aquaplus released in 1997 for the PC. It was later ported to the PlayStation and made into a 13-episode TV anime by KSS in 1999. A second anime, To Heart: Remember My Memories aired from October 2004. To Heart was an influential ren'ai game with a large cult following; it has been the inspiration for a great deal of fan art in the dōjinshi community.

To Heart falls into the specific subgenre of ren'ai games known as visual novels. It is text-intensive, text covers the screen rather than sitting in a box at the bottom, and most of the text is first-person narration rather than dialogue.

To Heart is remarkable for the purity of its concept: it represents in many ways a minimalist distillation of the ren'ai game genre. It is almost 100% linear, with on the order of one menu choice per fifteen minutes of gameplay. It is a pure high-school romance, without gimmicks. (This is particularly notable since most of Leaf's other games are high-concept.) Its atmosphere is relentlessly bright, full of sunlight and cute pop music. There is little continuity in the narrative, and nor is there much drama: the game is a succession of short character vignettes. To Heart focuses almost entirely on its writing, quirky characterization, and the dynamic of the relationships between its characters.

One of the game's secondary characters, a green-haired robot maid named "Multi" (model number HMX-12), is one of Japan's most popular fictional robot girls. The dakimakura that started the recent fad for them had a picture of Multi on it.

The game has never been translated into English, although the anime will be released by The Right Stuf International (http://www.rightstuf.com/) in the latter half of 2005 in the US. The series is also licensed in Germany and in the Philippines. A manga version by Ukyou Takao is also available in Japan by Media Works, and in the US by ADV Manga.

To Heart 2 was released on December 28, 2004, exclusively for the Playstation 2. Two styles of its limited edition are to be released, only the "Delux Pack" contains PlayStation 2 version of To Heart.


Anime: To Heart ~Remember My Memories~

A sequel to the original To Heart anime was aired in Japan from October 2004. It featured the old cast from the original series in their third and last year of high school.

The character design has reverted to that of the original game, instead of carrying on the adaptations made for the original anime.

Seven DVDs will be released once a month starting from January 2005 in Japan.

The characters

  • Hiroyuki Fujita (藤田浩之 Fujita Hiroyuki), protagonist
  • Akari Kamigishi (神岸あかり Kamigishi Akari)
  • Shiho Nagaoka (長岡志保 Nagaoka Shiho)
  • Masashi Sato (佐藤雅史 Satō Masashi)
  • Serika Kurusugawa (来栖川芹香 Kurusugawa Serika)
  • Ayaka Kurusugawa (来栖川綾香 Kurusugawa Ayaka)
  • Aoi Matsubara (まつばら あおい Matsubara Aoi)
  • Remy/Lemmy Miyauchi (宮内レミィ Miyauchi Remii)
  • Kotone Himekawa (姫川琴音 Himekawa Kotone)
  • Rio Hinayama (雛山理緒 Hinayama Rio)
  • Tomoko Hoshina (保科智子 Hoshina Tomoko)
  • Multi (HMX-12)
  • Serio (HMX-13)

Official Sites

ja:To Heart

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