Hello, everyone! John Hooper here!
Today is May 1, 2017. In the real world, today may turn out to be just any other day, but May 1, 2017 marks the day that the events of the 2002 KID visual novel “Ever17: The Out of Infinity” begin. The second game of the acclaimed “Infinity” series, preceded by “Never7: The End of Infinity” in 2000 and “Remember11: The Age of Infinity” in 2004, Ever17 was also one of the earliest story-based visual novels to be officially translated in English, released in December 2005 by now defunct visual novel publishing company Hirameki. In both Japan and in English-speaking regions, Ever17 became highly acclaimed at the time of its release for its elaborate plot loaded with twists that used the visual novel medium to its advantage in a way few have ever shown before or since, and is still remembered to this day.
To us at Lemnisca, Ever17 was a key influential work for us, helping to inspire some us to begin our careers in visual novel localization. Here are a few comments from myself, John Hooper (CEO/head translator) and H. Anthony Israel/Blick Winkel (frequent translator collaborator):
John Hooper (GundamAce):
Being new to the visual novel genre, I had found the first few ones I had played fun, but I didn’t really see them as anything beyond electronic “Choose Your Own Adventure” games at the time. But Ever17, with its stunning twists that fully utilized the visual novel medium, gave me an experience unlike anything I had ever faced in my life, and it opened my eyes to the amazing capabilities the visual novel medium possessed. It taught me that visual novels contained creative possibilities far beyond any other medium. As such, I became interested in the Infinity series afterwards, and when I learned that the first game in the series, Never7, was still untranslated, it made me want to translate it in hopes of completing the series in English and share my experiences with other players in English. That project led to the formation of the core team that joined me in the founding of Lemnisca Translations and translating of even more visual novels of similar atmosphere to Ever17, which eventually came to a head when we went official and localized Root Double. And while my days as a fan-translator are long behind me, it was still thanks to Ever17 that Lemnisca was founded and that we ended up the way we are today. I cannot stress enough that my life would have likely taken a very different path had I not discovered Ever17.
H. Anthony Israel (Blick Winkel):
Ever17 changed the way I read visual novels and literature in general. Without the Infinity Series, I would not be the Blick Winkel you know today. I myself would not have gotten as involved in visual novels as I am now, neither in playing, nor in translating, neither as a fan, nor through official means. Though we may come across obstacles along our way, we will always get back up and try again. No matter how long or how many times it takes. Our story is not at an end yet. And we will keep you in the loop.
As such, to commemorate nearly 15 years of Ever17 and the day in which it started, we conducted an unofficial interview with Ever17 original concept/scenario writer Kotaro Uchikoshi, and director Takumi Nakazawa! This interview will take an in-depth look into the development of Ever17 from many different aspects, including stories never even shared with Japanese audiences before! Even if you’re not a fan, the interview contains many interesting details about visual novel development in general, so I encourage those who are interested in the creation process of a visual novel to give it a read. As a note, the interview will be divided into three parts: a non-spoiler section for fans and non-fans to read, a spoiler section diving deep into the games mysteries, and a final section containing closing thoughts (these concluding thoughts are non-spoiler, so anyone can read them without worry). So without further ado, enjoy!