Gust has unveiled the latest title in its Atelier series of alchemy (and latterly, moeblob) RPGs, “Atelier Ayesha- The Alchemist of the Land of Dusk” (English title not yet confirmed) for the PS3 – along with the unexpected revelation that is is dumping Kishida Mel as illustrator along with all the 2D event scenes, prompting something of a stir online.
Update: The official title has since been confirmed as “Atelier Ayesha.”
Hidari is perhaps best known for producing the character designs to ill-fated Yamakan tombstone anime Fractale, along with some Vocaloid art – not that he is anything but highly skilled, as can be seen from some of his previous works.
Since the game takes place in an entirely new setting (rendered in English as either “The Land of Dusk” or the “The Land of Twilight”), it is not clear what plans Gust has for the existing Arland series, although some Kishida-illustrated titles intended for fujoshi delectation should be in the offing.
The Atelier series has of course changed art-style a number of times, although most would probably consider the franchise’s recent popularity in no small part due to Kishida’s hyper-moe art-style – not that it would do for the games to become too tied to Kishida’s slightly monotonous art.
As far as the game goes, Gust apparently claims 2D event scenes will be dumped in favour of 3D model usage throughout, but that this will be accompanied by more detailed models and a wider variety of animation.
The models do indeed appear to be improved:
The story centres on Ayesha’s search for her carelessly lost but immensely precious imouto Nio, amidst a formerly glorious civilisation in its twilight years and a world in decline.
Another major change to the story will be that the game will apparently not enforce a time limit for completion as in the previous titles.
The game is due in Japan on the 28th of July for the PS3, with the barbarian edition as yet unannounced.
The title is now confirmed as “Atelier Ayesha”:
(No official romanisation of the title (アーシャのアトリエ – “Aashaa no Atorie”) has yet been revealed, but some digging online reveals “アーシャ” to have already been used in the names of a few minor enterprises as a rendition of the vaguely French-sounding “Arcier,” and with the alternative being “Arsher” it can only be hoped this is correct.)
All of this change has prompted a generally positive reaction amongst fans, who do not seem overly concerned about one superb artist being replaced by another:
“It’s looking a bit more mature, great.”
“Looks better than Mel.”
“The atmosphere looks to have gone back to how it was before Arland.”
“It’s alright. Not got the impact of the Rorona.”
“The modelling has really advanced.”
“Imouto-chan is too cute…”
“The 3D looks great.”
“Nah, the first one is probably an illustration!”
“The modelling improved? You’re pulling my leg. It’ll just be rubbish Wii level 3D again.”
“How could anyone be unhappy with this!”
“Look at those boobs!”