YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World[a] is an adult visual novel adventure video game developed and published by ELF Corporation. It was originally released in 1996 for the PC-98 Japanese home computer and later ported to the Sega Saturn and Microsoft Windows platforms without the sexual content of the original version. The story follows the protagonist travelling between parallel worlds to solve the mystery of his parents' disappearance. Although parallel worlds are a familiar concept in science fiction, the game uses concepts from physics, mathematics, philosophy, history and religion to construct a unique fictional universe. The "Auto Diverge Mapping System" (A.D.M.S.) that displays the branching parallel worlds and storylines as a tree helps the player navigate the game world.
|YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World|
Sega Saturn cover
|Developer(s)||ELF Corporation (original)|
|Artist(s)||Ryō Nagi (remake)|
Kazuhiro Kanae (original)
Keishi Yonao (remake)
NEC PC-9801, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows
PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
|Genre(s)||Visual novel, adventure|
YU-NO was written and produced by Hiroyuki Kanno, and its FM-synth music soundtrack was composed by Ryu Umemoto, Ryu Takami and Kazuhiro Kanae, who had previously worked on C's Ware titles such as Eve Burst Error (1995).
In 2017, 5pb. developed and published a remake of the game for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. Spike Chunsoft plans to release this version for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows in 2019. The game has also been adapted into a four-part hentai original video animation, a manga and novels, and a TV anime series by Feel that premiered in April 2019. The TV anime series is licensed in North America by Funimation.
The bound of this world (この世の果て kono yo no hate) referred to in the title is the location the protagonist reaches at the conclusion of the game. Yu-no is the name of a girl central to the story. The creators said "YU-NO", which comes last word in the Japanese title, is meant to be a subtitle. The English version of the title that is used in some artwork is stylized as "YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world.", with a period.
The PC-98 and Sega Saturn versions of the game are slightly different. Unless otherwise noted, the following information describes the PC-98 version.
Players travel between parallel worlds using a reflector device that uses stones to mark positions as returning locations so they can retrace their steps and enter an alternative universe. The game implements an original system called Automatic Diverge Mapping System (A.D.M.S.) that at any time in the game displays a screen showing the direction in which the player was heading along the branching plot lines. Similar systems have later been used in the 2010 role-playing video game Radiant Historia  and the PSP version of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
When a branch in the storyline nears, an indicator on the game's reflector device blinks. When the players' choice advances the storyline, their routes are recorded in the "divergence map" and the device plays a sound. The player is tasked with collecting eight jewels that are the power source of the reflector device; the divergence map shows the locations of all jewels within the storylines even before the player has reached them. In this way, A.D.M.S. is used to search through the parallel worlds. The divergence map displays time from left to right and concurrent parallel worlds are shown vertically.
Another noteworthy feature is the "jewel save". The jewels that power the reflector device can be clicked to place a mark on the divergence map, which consumes the jewel. The divergence map can later be opened and players can return to the mark instantly, regaining the jewel. If a jewel save is made before a story branch point, players can explore one scenario then quickly return and explore an alternative. This feature is akin to saving or loading the game. Key items can be carried from one world to another through the jewel save.
Prologue and epilogueEdit
Sections at the beginning and end of the game have a more traditional visual-novel-style gameplay, in which players choose commands like "Look" or "Speak" from a menu. There are no branching paths in these sections and it is not possible to use the reflector device there.
- Takuya Arima (有馬 たくや Arima Takuya)
- Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (1997), Susumu Chiba (1998 OVA), Yū Hayashi (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Eric Vale, Emi Lo (baby) (2019 anime) (English)
- The protagonist of the game. A third-year student at Sakaimachi Academy whose mother Keiko apparently died when he was young. He often dreams of his mother. Two months before the start of the game, his father was killed in a rockfall.
- Yuno (ユーノ Yūno)
- Voiced by: Kimiko Koyama (1997, 1998 OVA), Ari Ozawa (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Sarah Wiedenheft (English)
- A mysterious girl Takuya encounters.
- Kanna Hatano (波多乃 神奈 Hatano Kanna)
- Voiced by: Yuka Imai (1997), Ayaha Takazuka (1998 OVA), Maaya Uchida (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Kristen McGuire (2019 anime) (English)
- Mio Shimazu (島津 澪 Shimazu Mio)
- Voiced by: Yumi Tōma (1997), Yui Takama (1998 OVA), Rie Kugimiya (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Megan Shipman (2019 anime) (English)
- Mitsuki Ichijō (一条 美月 Ichijō Mitsuki)
- Voiced by: Rei Sakuma (1997), Kaori Okuda (1998 OVA), Saori Ōnishi (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Kylie Stewart (2019 anime) (English)
- Eriko Takeda (武田 絵里子 Takeda Eriko)
- Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (1997), Mie Sonozaki (1998 OVA), Yū Kobayashi (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Morgan Garrett (English)
- Kaori Asakura (朝倉 香織 Asakura Kaori)
- Voiced by: Michiko Neya (1997), Mari Adachi (1998 OVA), Rena Maeda (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Kara Edwards (English)
- Ayumi Arima (有馬 亜由美 Arima Ayumi)
- Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (1997), Ai Uchikawa (1998 OVA), Kaori Nazuka (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Dawn M. Bennett (2019 anime) (English)
- Takuya's mother-in-law.
- Kozo Ryuzoji (龍蔵寺 幸三 Ryūzōji Kōzō)
- Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (1997), Taiten Kusunoki (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); David Wald (English)
- Ume Ryuzoji (龍蔵寺 梅 Ryūzōji Ume)
- Voiced by: Reiko Suzuki (1997) Maki Izawa (2017)
- Kozo's mother.
- Masakatsu Yuki (結城 正勝 Yūki Masakatsu)
- Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (1997), Yūki Fujiwara (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Justin Briner (English)
- Hideo Toyotomi (豊富 秀夫 Toyotomi Hideo)
- Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (1997), Takuya Eguchi (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Kyle Igneczi (English)
- Amanda (アマンダ Amanda)
- Voiced by: Yūko Mita (1997), Marina Inoue (2017)
- Ailia's younger sister.
- Ailia (アイリア Airia)
- Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (1997), Kyoko Sakai (2017)
- Amanda's elder sister.
- Kodai Arima (有馬 広大 Arima Kōdai)
- Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (1997, 2019 anime), Keiji Fujiwara (2017) (Japanese); Barry Yandell (English)
- Takuya's father.
- Keiko Arima (有馬 恵子 Arima Keiko)
- Voiced by: Chizuko Hoshino (1997), Aya Endo (2017, 2019 anime) (Japanese); Marissa Lenti (2019 anime) (English)
- Takuya's mother.
- Atsushi Hōjō (北条 篤 Hōjō Atsushi)
- Voiced by: Takeshi Aono (1997), Yōji Ueda (2017)
- Marina (真理奈 Marina)
- Voiced by: Chinami Nishimura (1997), Ayano Yamamoto (2017, 2019 anime)
- A Security guard.
- Mayor Shimazu (島津市長 Shimazu Shichō)
- Voiced by: Eiji Yanagisawa (1997), Takehiro Hasu (2017)
- Mio's father.
- Sayless (セーレス Sēresu)
- Voiced by: Miki Takahashi (1997), Haruhi Terada (1998 OVA), Asami Sanada (2017)
- Yu-no's mother.
- Sarah (サラ Sara)
- Voiced by: Yumi Takada (1997), Mari Doi (2017)
- Bazuku (バズク Bazuku)
- Voiced by: Tessho Genda (1997), Biichi Satō (2017)
- Yurika Imagawa (今川 由利香 Imagawa Yurika)
YU-NO was released as an adult game on December 26, 1996, for the NEC PC-9801; it was the last MS-DOS game developed by ELF. The price at the time was 9800 yen. Both floppy disk and CD-ROM versions were released; the CD-ROM edition contained arrangements of the music but was otherwise identical to the floppy edition otherwise.
YU-NO was released on the Sega Saturn console on December 4, 1997 with a recommended minimum age of 18. The price was 7800 yen, or 9800 yen bundled with a mouse. Several illustrations underneath the CD tray can only be seen after opening the game. A disk containing extra content that was later mailed out with the PC-98 version was integrated into this version. As in the Windows version, some incest references have been removed. Graphics were repainted to use more colors, animation sequences were added, the music was rearranged, character voices were added, two jewels were added (total of 10) and explicit sex scenes were removed.
The PC-98 version of the game was ported to Microsoft Windows as part of the "ELF Classics" range and released on December 22, 2000. The graphics and music are equivalent to the PC-98 version but the sexual content was removed.
An English-language fan-made translation patch for the Windows version was released in September 2011 by TLWiki. As well as the translation, it provides re-inserted voices from the Sega Saturn version, explicit sex scenes, Ryu Umemoto's original FM score and Sega Saturn CGs. Hardcore Gaming 101 praised the patch for the quality of its translation and called it "one of the finest examples of fan efforts in video gaming".
A high-definition video remake of the game was released in March 2017. It features a remixed soundtrack and new artwork, with Ryo Nagi of Ar Tonelico as character designer. It was developed by 5pb, which acquired the rights from the now-defunct ELF. It was announced in December 2014 and its release date was delayed several times – first to February 2016, then to the second quarter of 2016, then late 2016 and finally to March 2017.
|YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World|
(Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shōjo YU-NO)
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Katsuma Kanazawa|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Kanno (original) |
Osamu Kudo (screenplay)
Katsuma Kanazawa (storyboard)
|Released||October 23, 1998 – September 24, 1999|
|Written by||Sōji Ishida|
|Original run||March 14, 2017 – March 15, 2018|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsuo Hirakawa|
|Music by||Keishi Yonao |
|Original network||AT-X, Tokyo MX, ABC, BS Fuji|
|Original run||April 2, 2019 – present|
In 2016, a new anime adaptation that was produced by Feel in collaboration with MAGES and Genco was announced. The new anime premiered on April 2, 2019 on AT-X, Tokyo MX, ABC, and BS Fuji. The series will be a six-month-long series with 26 episodes. The anime is directed by Tetsuo Hirakawa, and the characters are designed by Mai Otsuka. Kazuya Tanaka is the sound director, and Keishi Yonao and Ryu Takumi are composing the series' music. Asaka performed the series' opening theme song "Kono Yo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shojo", while the closing song "Shinri no Kagami, Ken no Yō ni" was performed by Konomi Suzuki.
Hirakawa said the anime includes the same characters and routes as the original game. In contrast with the game's first-person perspective from protagonist Takuya's point of view, the anime will depict the relationships of the girls surrounding Takuya. Hirakawa said the anime would outdo the game in dirty jokes, that Mio would be even more tsundere, and that Kanna would be even more mysterious.
|1||"The Spectacle of Seduction"|
Transcription: "Yūwaku suru Jishōtachi" (Japanese: 誘惑する事象たち)
|2||"The Concerto of Strange Incontinuity"|
Transcription: "Furenzokutai no Koncheruto" (Japanese: 不連続体のコンチェルト)
|3||"The Cinderella of the Junction"|
Transcription: "Bunkiten no Shinderera" (Japanese: 分岐点のシンデレラ)
|4||"The Goddess Sings at the Edge of the World"|
Transcription: "Sekai no Hate de Megami wa Utau" (Japanese: 世界の果てで女神は唄う)
|No.||Title||Original air date|
Transcription: "You Know?" (Japanese: You Know?)
|April 2, 2019|
|2||"Parallel World Constitutive Theorem"|
Transcription: "Heiretsu Sekai Kōsei Genri" (Japanese: 並列世界構成原理)
|April 9, 2019|
|3||"Tears That Can't Be Stopped"|
Transcription: "Tomerarenai Namida" (Japanese: 止められない涙)
|April 16, 2019|
|4||"Dirtied White Skin"|
Transcription: "Kegasareta Shiroi Hada" (Japanese: 穢された白い肌)
|April 23, 2019|
A manga adaptation by Mario Kaneda was published in Enix's G Fantasy magazine from 1997 to 1998. A manga adaptation by Sōji Ishida ran in Enterbrain's Comic Clear magazine from March 14, 2017 to March 15, 2018.
According to statistics compiled by Digital Media Insider, 45,844 (30,553 CD edition, 15,291 floppy edition) copies were sold by November 30, 1997, excluding ELF's direct mail-order sales. In the 1997 annual ranking in Digital Media Insider, the CD edition was listed in 14th place, with number-one-ranked "SHOCK PRICE Mah-jongg" selling 77,102 copies, and the top-selling adult game "Sadistic King Rance" at number three, selling 72,572 copies. The March 1997 edition of Comptiq stated that YU-NO had already sold over 100,000 copies.
At Hardcore Gaming 101, Audun Sorlie wrote that YU-NO helped revolutionize the visual novel genre, particularly with the A.D.M.S., which was touted as "revolutionary" at the time. At Gamasutra, Sorlie wrote that audiences soon began demanding large-scope plotlines and musical scores of similar quality and ambition to that of YU-NO's, and that companies responded by hiring talent: "The genre became an all-new arena for young artists and musicians once again, with companies willing to take chances on fresh blood; the market thrived with the excitement and the risks that were being taken, and became a hotbed of creativity".
YU-NO won a reader's choice award in Blitz King's "2nd Video Game Awards Grand Prix" in May 1997. The game also was ranked ninth in E-Login's "Game and Heroine of the year 1996", and fifth in Comptiq's "1st Video Game Awards Grand Prix" in 1998.
The news that the PC-98 edition would be ported to Saturn was reported by several magazines including Sega Saturn Magazine, Dengenki Saturn, and Famitsu. Sega Saturn Magazine included a four-page feature on YU-NO. Sales reports of the Sega Saturn edition range from 139,509 to 240,820 copies.
RPGFan gave the game a 97% score, including ratings of 100% for story, 100% for control, 85% gameplay, 80% graphics, and 80% sound/music. Reviewer WooJin Lee said the story is "amazing" and praised the A.D.M.S. for adding replay value, concluding that "I feel this game to be THE best Graphical Adventure game ever, which from me (I play tons of these games) is a huge compliment".
The remake sold 40,000 copies within its first month of release, March 2017, which 5pb celebrated by releasing a YU-NO-themed wallpaper.
- Japanese: Kono yo no hate de koi o utau Shōjo YU-NO (この世の果てで恋を唄う少女YU-NO)
- Sorlie, Audun (2011). "Yu-No". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Obituary: Ryu Umemoto (1974 - 2011)". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- "YU-NO/EVE Game Creator Hiroyuki Kanno Passes Away". Anime News Network. 2011-12-25. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Eve & YU-NO Creator Dead at 37". AnimeNation. December 26, 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Spike Chunsoft to Release YU-NO Visual Novel on PS4/PC in 2019". Anime News Network. July 6, 2018. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- WooJin Lee. "YU-NO". RPGFan. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "Radiant Historia Preview for DS from 1UP.com". 1Up.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "To those of you that asked about Radiant Historia". Destructoid. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, GamesRadar, February 15, 2011
- "Uchuu Saikyou no Seiyuu Database - Kono Yono Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO [YU-NO - A girl who chants love at the bound of this world.] (1997/12/04 Sega Saturn)". tenshi.org.uk. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "YU-NO Anime's 1st Promo Video Reveals Cast, Staff, April Premiere". Anime News Network. September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Funimation. "[Master Thread] YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World (Dubbed)". www.funimation.com. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "YU-NO Anime Reveals Visual, Returning Cast, Theme Song Artists". Anime News Network. January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
- "YU-NO". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "5pb. Remaking Classic Visual Novel YU-NO". Siliconera. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "YU-NO remake confirmed for PS4 and PS Vita, launches February 18 in Japan". Gematsu. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "YU-NO remake delayed to spring 2016 in Japan". Gematsu. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "YU-NO remake launches November 17 in Japan". Gematsu. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "YU-NO remake delayed to March 16 in Japan". Gematsu. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "YU-NO/第1幕「誘惑する事象たち」" (in Japanese). Pink Pineapple. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- "YU-NO Sci-Fi Visual Novel Gets Anime Project". Anime News Network. December 26, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
- "YU-NO Anime's 2nd Promo Video Previews Asaka's Opening Song". Anime News Network. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- "YU-NO Anime Project to be 2-Cour Series". Anime News Network. December 29, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- "YU-NO Anime Reveals Director, Designer, Plans to Depict All Routes". Anime News Network. March 3, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- "Funimation Adds YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world. to Spring Streaming Lineup". Anime News Network. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- "YU-NO Manga Ends in 2nd Volume in March". Anime News Network. February 8, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- Sorlie, Audun (September 25, 2012). "Memorial: Composer Ryu Umemoto". Gamasutra. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "１９９７年 テレビゲームソフト 年間売上 ＴＯＰ１００（ファミ通７００号記事ベース）". nifty.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "RPGFan Reviews - Yu-No". rpgfan.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "YU-NO remake total sales top 40,000". Gematsu. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- Official site for the remake (in Japanese)
- YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World at The Visual Novel Database
- YU-NO (OVA) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Hardcore Gaming 101's in-depth review of the game and its history
- Yu-No at MobyGames
- Yu-No at GameFAQs
- Official anime website (in Japanese)
- YU-NO (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia