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First Details for Punch Line Game, Interview With Kotaro Uchikoshi

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We’ve gotten the first details (via Famitsu) for the newly announced game adaptation for Punch Line, a popular series featuring a boy with a peculiar ailment.

If the protagonist Iritatsu Yuta sees the panties of the heroines, a gigantic asteroid will hit the earth and wipe out humanity. This was the subject of the TV anime Punch Line. This time the game has many of the same aspects of the TV show, with laughs, tears, and brief glimpses of women’s underwear.

We’ve compiled the core details below:

Characters

Daihatsu Meika

A genius inventor. She loves her grandfather. Voiced by Kugumiya Rie. Works as the landlady for Korai Apartments. Lives in room 201. Considerably good at computer hacking.

Chichibu Rabura

A spiritualist who looks like a gyaru. Voiced by Tomatsu Haruka. The inhabitant of room 202. Even though she was born into a long family of itako and works as a spiritualist, she does not believe in the existence of spirits.

Hikiotani Ito

A shut-in who plays online games. Voiced by Kotobuki Minako. Lives in room 102. She’s registered for an elite private girls’ school, but at the moment is not attending classes, focusing all her attention on online games instead.

Narugino Mikatan

Voiced by Amamiya Sora. The inhabitant of room 101. She’s one of the members of the idol group Seas May. She is currently acting as a hero and fighting for justice.

Story

Where is the Sacred Book of Korai?

Yuuta lost his physical body in a busjacking incident. He is guided on his quest to find his physical body by Chira Nosuke, who advises him to find the Sacred Book of Korai, the Nandala Gandala. This book is supposed to be somewhere in Korai apartments.

Chira Nosuke

A strange cat which follows Yuuta. Voiced by Yoshida Yuri. The inhabitant of room 203. It is the same kind of spiritual existence as Yuuta. He gives advice both to Yuuta and to players of the game. Yuuta sneaks into the heroine’s rooms to look for the Sacred Book. He observes their daily lives and can cause pranks based on key features of the rooms. Pulling a prank increases his Spiritual Energy Level. Once that hits a certain point, Chira will give you some instructions to follow. Do what he commands and you can advance the story.

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Gameplay

Butama Gauge

If you pull of pranks successfully, the heroines will be surprised and you can pull out their spirits. If he collects them, his spiritual power will increase. You can use spiritual power to move objects existing in the physical world.

Bupatsu Gauge

When looking for the Sacred Book, if you carelessly look at a heroine’s undies, this gauge on the right will increase. If it fills up, an asteroid will collide with the earth and wipe out humanity, which is the end.

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“Let’s peek in on the daily lives of the people in these apartments!”

Was there something un-revealed in the tv anime? The television anime ended on June 25th. The new game is being poised as a game where you can write a new ending for Punchline.

Finally, we translated the interview with Punch Line’s producer and scenario writer, Kazuhiro Ichikawa and Kotaro Uchikoshi, respectively.

Q: This game is marketed as an adventure game. Can you tell us about what adventure games are?

Ichikawa: This isn’t a simple adventure game. It has many puzzle elements. We’ll carefully think about what genre it fits into and will release that information later.

Q: This is a game with unique system for pulling pranks on girls.

Uchikoshi: Yes. Play pranks on the girls and you can charge up your spiritual power. You can use that to move heavy objects.

Q: In the TV anime, increasing the spiritual power level was a major element. Will there be a system like experience points for that in this work?

Uchikoshi: The original anime had a spirit taking element, but the makers didn’t put a lot of of stress on its appearance. By the way, just like the anime, if you goof trying to pull pranks, you’ll see the girls’ panties. If you see those too many times, an asteroid will hit the earth, prompting a Game Over, just like the anime.

Q: You’ve also set up a gauge to measure Yuuta’s excitement over what he sees.

Ichikawa: That’s right. It’s a gauge to remind you not to look at panties. It’s very important.

Uchikoshi: But if you make a mistake and end up looking and undies, it’ll get really stressful for you. Or rather, that’s the reward you get.

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Q: Now I want to make more mistakes. What happens after you pull a prank?

Uchikoshi: In that part, Chira gives you a command, beginning a chain of pranks. There’s an education show called –Gora Switch. Much like the devices used on that show, when you begin one prank, the opportunity to chain into another begins, and you can carry out the command. In fact, when you carry out a command, it calls it the “Mitazura Part” (TL note: a portmanteau of mitasu – to fill or fulfill and itazura – a prank). Figuring out what to do will require you to think, so it reminds one of puzzle games.

Q: Will watching the TV anime make it easier for you to pull of those pranks?

Ichikawa: Nope, that won’t be useful as a reference (pained laughter). We’re aiming to create unusual developments you have to deal with to succeed in pranking, and adjusting things for balance.

Q: I understand that the story’s pacing is the same as the anime’s, but are there original developments in the game?

Uchikoshi: For things that weren’t represented or remained mysterious in the anime, see the game. Playing the game will answer questions that you may have. One particularly important thing is that the ending is different.

Q: It’s different?

Uchikoshi: Yes. The content of the game is different from the tv anime. The frequency of time loops is also different – the game has more.

Q: So, about the ending . . .

Uchikoshi: What to say? The TV anime ends at episode 12, but the game adds in about 10 episodes’ worth of content.

Q: That’s very different.

Uchikoshi: There was an upper limit on how many times the tv anime would be shown on the air. The anime’s story was constructed with this in mind. For the game, one day is one episode. It starts on 12/21 in game time and ends on 12/31.

Q: That few?

Uchikoshi: Yes. But in that time, we’ll see how the characters’ hearts change and after many exchanges with them, understand them better.

Ichikawa: I think people who saw the tv anime will understand, but during the second half, when Yuuta loses his spirit body, he loses the ability to pull pranks, and the game’s mechanisms change greatly.

Q: Oh! There’s a section where you don’t have a spirit body!?

Ichikawa: Yes. Please look forward to that.

Q: This time, I saw Mikatan and Ito’s room. Can you go to any of the rooms in the apartment building?

Ichikawa: We want that to be the case. As far as systems like that are concerned, let me refer you to some core member staff such as Matsubara Tatsuya (producer for Steins;Gate) and Nakagiwa Takumi (director for Ever 17). We’ll have them explain these things.

Q: Nakagiwa-san is working as the director. Let us know what position Matsubara-san is serving in.

Ichikawa: Matsubara is serving as the technical director, and is mostly providing us with support for the 3D portion. Right now he’s busy with Steins;Gate Zero. We’ll have him look at this and provide an interview at some point in the future.

Q: Please do! You mentioned 3D! The modeling for that looks very nice.

Ichikawa: Flight Unit, who is well-known for their quality when it comes to 3D characters, is being tasked with those. However, the character models we have now are not the final versions. We plan to make better ones, so please look forward to them.

Q: I’ll look forward to them.

Ichikawa: And this doesn’t have to do with 3D modeling, but animation adds a lot of impact, so we’re preparing a lot of new cuts.

Q: So that means that there will be 3D characters that can move, animation, etc. I imagine that development will be very complicated.

Ichikawa: Yes, it’s going to be tough (laughs). But Uchikoshi-kun is here, and so are Matsubara and Nakagiwa. We have the best staff working for us, so I am confident it’ll be an interesting game.

Q: The person making the music for this is the same one who designed the music for the tv anime, Komuro Tetsuya.

Ichikawa: He’s working hard on the music. There are many pieces of music from him that I’d like to use in the game.

Q: It looks like there are many elements that will please the fans.

Ichikawa: Oh yes. We’re at the point now where if we couldn’t sell the game after getting this team, we’d have to retire. That’s the level of resolve we have. Please look forward to it!

Uchikoshi: As Ichikawa-san said. The anime staff, the voice cast, etc. are all excellent. Ever 17’s Nakagiwa-kun is packing new elements. In terms of the game, we’re facing a new challenge that we’ve never dealt with before. I believe this is going to be very good. Please look forward to the work!

The Punch Line game is expected to release in Japan some time this winter.

Claude Smith

About

I cover all manner of unusual games and other media from Japan. I love anime, manga, light novels, and games and am happy to be a part of the fun here at nichegamer.