Announcing: Kara no Shoujo

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”~Dante’s Inferno

For those who want something different from moe, school romances; for those who enjoy the thrill of unraveling a dark mystery; for those who wish to taste the depths of despair as you try to stop a psychotic murderer; we at MangaGamer are proud to present Kara no Shoujo.

Verily, the journey is wrought with death and suffering.  You must descend into frozen darkness so deep as to emerge on the other side if you are to gaze upon that sublime sky studded with stars.

March, 1956.
Tokyo; a metropolis finally starting to recover ten long years after Japan’s defeat in the War.  Private eye Tokisaka Reiji accepts a strange request from a girl in Inokashira Park.“I want you to look for something. Me. My true self.”

Meanwhile, a series of bizarre murders is plaguing the area, one where young women are disappearing, only to turn up dead and maimed with their wombs torn out. Seeking assistance on the case, Detective Uozumi Kyoko called up his old friend and former co-worker, Reiji.

Ouba Girls Academy; a school on the outskirts of Hoya City.
Reiji’s little sister attends this school, where two young women have mysteriously vanished. Saeki Tokio, the vice principal, calls in Reiji to investigate their disappearance, giving him his third case.Reiji infiltrates the academy as a substitute teacher to glean information from the students—but that’s when he meets her once again.

Kuchiki Toko—his first client, the girl who asked him to search for her true self. Her manner is distinctly boyish as she remarks:

“Heya – so we meet again, Mr. Detective.”

The body count continues to rise.What should be a simple search for some students is starting to grow out of control. For some reason, the number of missing people and unidentified bodies don’t match up.

Who will be chosen as the next victim?

As the endless cycle of tragedy continues, what mysteries lie behind these new cases? Behind a similar series of murders from six years ago?

Innocent Grey presents an original, psychologically thrilling mystery for your pleasure. Here, your investigative work and deductions directly influence the course of the story. Will you be able to use the clues contained in your notebook to piece together the truth in this pulse-pounding mystery thriller?

With a cast of more than thirty characters, there’s no shortage of complicated relationships, drama, and riddles. You may let out a scream. You may be this close to letting the killer get away. But what every you do, don’t let this amazing work slip under your radar!

Perhaps one girl’s smile might await beneath the shell of tragedy…


Yet another product we have helped fan-translators legitimately bring to the West, Kara no Shoujo was an outstanding competitor in the 2008 Bishoujo Game Awards, taking home the gold medal for BGM, as well as coming in third place for both Scenario and Graphics.

We at MangaGamer are proud to say that Kara no Shoujo will be available for purchase this Summer.
(Some changes were necessary for our release, which we will discuss in another post later this week.)

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  1. >(Some changes were necessary for our release, which we will discuss in another post next week.)
    dont worry i wasnt going to buy it anyway

  2. “Some changes were necessary for our release, which we will discuss in another post next week.”

    Not sure if want. Will remain cautiously optimistic for now. Hopefully we don’t pull another Koihime Musou here.

  3. Bleh, the store page says no voice. Interest fading.

  4. Awesome, but judging from the game page in MG website, it seems Kara no Shoujo will be unvoiced like Koihime (see the “No Voice” tag).

    I just hope they won’t censor/remove gore scenes too 🙁

    And I think you should add some gameplay screens on the page too, since this VN has some actual gameplay.

    Kara no Shoujo review :殻ノ少女-review/

  5. Seeing as how the changes probably just involve sex or voice work, neither of which effect the story (though admittedly voice overs do go a long way towards helping the atmosphere) I’m almost definitely picking up a copy! Thanks for taking up another plot driven title.

    Also, when ya say that you helped fan translators, do you mean you bought Apoptosis’ script?

    • Yes. The script was entirely translated by Apoptosis. Any edits to the scripts or image texts were either made by him during his final pass of the materials, or approved by him, and the majority of our Beta Testers for the game came from the original fan-TL team as well.

  6. no voices? i guess more unofficial voice patches will be needed xD

    but i didn’t plan to buy this anyway, not my cup of tea so to speak.

    good luck with ur sales X3

  7. Definitely buying this one when it comes out. BTW, question I posted in the previous blog post:
    Since in Kara no Shoujo there aren’t any routes and only endings, does that mean it’s like 999 in that there’s only 1 true ending and the rest are bad ends or is it unknown which ending is canon?

    • Yeah, one true ending, and quite bad endings.

      • So like in 999 do you have to clear all the other endings in order to unlock the true ending or just some of them?

      • One true ending, a few neutral endings, and tons of bad endings. Tread carefully, and don’t be ashamed if you have to resort to a guide. Some of the clues you need to pick up along the way are really easy to overlook. The investigation scenes aren’t like in Phoenix Wright where you can’t leave until you find everything. Certain things CAN be missed. So choose your actions carefully, because failing might just mean another body turning up in the park.

        • All of Inogure games needs to be played with guide, i can’t believe if there’s people who can reach true ending without a guide D:

          even using the same guide can make three people playing the same game can have three different ending D:

  8. just wondering are you gonna do the same deal with this as koihime musou where if it sell some-odd number of copies we will get the voices or are just screwed

  9. Nah, let’s just hope people are prepared for disappoinment. Inogure’s visual novels are not something easy to transliterate, especially to a certain amateur translator group.

  10. There don’t seem to be any loli characters in this game so I doubt any of the ero scenes have been altered. My guess is the other change (voices aside) is that some of the music’s been changed or replaced because the license for them was too expensive.

    • I hope not, since the OST is really nice.

      You can hear it yourself, here’s the music that plays at the title screen :

      • i doubt the ost would be taken when they where saytng how good it was i mean saying it was “the best vn ost of 08” and then saying “and you don’t get it” a week later would be just plain mean unless they were trying to get people to hate them. that would be bad for business and i don’t think they want to lose business

  11. I was jumping up and down when I heard that Kara no Shoujo is arriving in English (we really need more horror and mystery VNs).
    However “changes” filled me with dread. Thank Gods MG won’t censor gore (and hopefully the sex), but ripping voices again are gonna anger lots of people. I’m still gonna insta-purchase Kara (fan patches FTW), but people who forgave you the first time might not be so forgiving again. I just hope I’m wrong and we’ll get voices.

  12. Just curious, but how does the anime (the two episodes released) compare to the game? I noticed it uses the game opening music as its end theme.

  13. Interesting coincidence that this game is officially announced the day of release of LA Noire, a murder mystery game set in the 1940s.

  14. ShockingAlberto

    While the apparent removal of voices is a concern, I will be buying Kara no Shoujo. It looks absolutely amazing and the surprisingly low price (assuming it’s correct) makes it a no-brainer. (Plus there’s always the option of a f*n p*t*h.)

    And, by the looks of things, no lolis! More games with no lolis plz. They’re not looked upon too fondly where I live, and that means there are many games of yours I can’t buy.

    • canada?

    • You are rather funny. Most characters in erogames if people wanted to push it could be stated to be below 18 if they didn’t have huge cleavage. So what’s your point? And do you really think your country check what you get via MangaGamers?

      • ShockingAlberto

        You are rather dense. It could be argued that some characters in this game look under 18, but it could just as easily be argued that they do not. Koihime Musou? No chance. You get it now?

        I’d rather not have blatantly illegal material on my PC. If that’s okay with you?

        • i get it you couls say these girls are 18 and in their last year of high school while in koihime some of the character at oldest look 10 maybe 13

  15. So voice removal has become somewhat of a pattern now? Not exactly happy about that but if it means more and better VNs I’m all for it.

    Definitely going to buy this one.

  16. I’m stoked about this but everyone’s gonna be full of mad about the “No Voice” thing. Please rethink this, if finances permit.

  17. Kouryuu’s got a post on things coming up soon, but I’ll get this out of the way now: This isn’t a case of “MG is poor/trying to spur sales” with the voices. This is a case of the agency that owns the track remembering the anime boom and refusing to negotiate to the realities of the current market.

    Personally, I feel the title is strong enough to be carried even without the voicing, but I’m a bit biased as I went through the entire thing as a series of Word files and was still thoroughly entranced.

    • I’m not sure if I understood that correctly, do they really think it will sell better without voices?

      • No, they (the recording agency) think they can charge tens of thousands of dollars for the voices, because anime and visual novels are so very profitable in the West right now. And it’s no loss to them if Kara no Shoujo doesn’t get a quality English release.

  18. Awesome! and…

    Grrr… why have take the voices away? (although it hasn’t been announced officially)

    Why can’t there be two versions? A moderately priced non-voiced version…
    And a full-priced voiced version? [Which would pave the way for a packaged version with voices.]
    Gah, surely there’s a way to get voices…

    I mean I guess I can get behind another, you need 2000 sales to get the voices, as I have great interest in this title; and I think a lot of people will share this interest…

    • Because if there were two versions; voiced and unvoiced. People will buy the unvoiced version, then apply some sort of unofficial voice patch. At least that’s what I’d do.

  19. Im so lookibg forward to this, gonna insta buy. The voice thing bothers me though, but probably wont be as bad as koihime, the voices was 90% of koihime for me..

    But still, not playing till a voice patch is out.

  20. I really do hope this will result in more Innocent Grey localisations in the future. They have such great games and I’m a sucker for these myster/detective games.

    A must buy in any case, but the lack of voices is quite the let down.

    I’m also curious as for what those changes are that needed to be made. Hopefully it’s nothing to relevant for the enjoyment of this game?

  21. Well, this announcement was to be expected after so many people brilliantly identified the tease as Kara no Shoujo.
    I am glad that MG is getting a title like this again, but I do have to say this is not my type of game. I LOVE mystery, but the gore is what turns me off, sadly.

    And I await to see what has been altered in this game.

  22. This looks great! It looks like it would really satisfy my detective mystery urges. So, I guess this would be a darker 999, which is already a darker Phoenix Wright. But hey, if it’s not as gruesome as Saya no Uta, I am pretty sure I can handle it.

    I think a voice drive for this title might be easier if the goal is still set at 2000, this is a mystery visual novel which would be able to attract a lot more people than Koihime Musou and it might actually help Kohime Musou as the larger audience catch might get more people interested in more lighter visual novels.

    • well i’ve never played this or saya no uta but it says the killer is going around ripping women’s uterus out so im thinking its at least as gruesome if not more so than saya no uta

  23. Not big into a lot of gore but, from what I’ve heard and from this post, the vn looks amazing. Plus, I like interactivity and I love a good mystery so, voices or not, I’ma more then likely pick this up when it’s out =D.

  24. “(Some changes were necessary for our release, which we will discuss in another post later this week.)”

    Looking at koihimes sales,I can safely say voices will never happen.


  25. No voices, no sale.

    Stop wasting your time if you can’t get the full release. You’re butchering your potential sales.

    • This. You’re hurting your sales. I’ll still buy because I really want to see other Innocent Grey titles released. No voices aren’t really a problem since somebody will probably make a patch for them anyway.

    • In the end, it’ll be your loss for ignoring a fantastic detective plot because it doesn’t have voices. The game has so much more to offer, be it with the investigation bits or the actual story. Passing it off simply because there are no voices is a pretty shallow decision.

      Besides, there aren’t any really famous seiyuu in Kara no Shoujo (which still doesn’t help agencies realize that games won’t sell the same as they do in Japan on the West), and the music is easily one of the best I’ve heard in any VN. Personally, I wouldn’t be too bothered by the lack of voices, nop.

      • Is it really his loss when he’s just going to pirate it?

        I do agree, though, it’s an infantile reason for those who feel the need to justify it.

      • I’m not sure what fame has to do with anything. I wouldn’t play L.A. Noir without voices. I wouldn’t watch The Godfather without voices.

        Apparently you would, because you like incomplete experiences and find it acceptable for people to rip important content from art and other media.

        • You probably also don’t read books and comics, right? Because those must be incomplete to you too.

          A story can be told without a voice to tell it. A Visual Novel is just what it’s name implicates it is. A novel with visuals. And as that you can fully enjoy it even without voices.

          I do not like the fact the voices won’t come over here either, but well.. if sales aren’t that awesome, it’s no wonder stuff like this happens. Bitching about it and not buying any games from MG any more only leads to one thing: MG not earning enough money to bring over more games. And I don’t really like the thought of killing the only company that is releasing eroge/visual novels in a language I can read.

          • How are they incomplete? I love books and comics. No one it trying to take the words away from comics are they?

          • No voices, remember? Or are you going back on your “I wouldn’t play L.A. Noir without voices. I wouldn’t watch The Godfather without voices” analogy?

      • Also the fact that you would support people that destroy art like this is sickening.

        • I’ve actually played the game though, and I can tell you that the removal of voices, while a pity, will not have an impact as big as a lot of people making it to be.

          Besides, it’s the fact you “do not support these people” that make them unable to release a fully voiced game. That and Japan’s own inability to realize certain things.

          To each his own, however.

          • Thank you. You said it better than I ever could.

          • Basically, yup.

            The game is absolutely wonderful even without them. Neither our editor nor our tester who hadn’t experienced them before felt anything was missing and thoroughly enjoyed the game.

            As for why they were removed, that’s one of the key points we’ll be discussing in the changes post later this week. Though I suppose I should say this for now:

            This is not a matter of “You will get voices after # sales”. There will be no voices.

        • The fact that you would willfully do everything in your power to prove the removal of voices to be a prudent decision, disgusts me.

  26. “Yet another product we have helped fan-translators legitimately bring to the West, Kara no Shoujo”

    More like forced..They pretty much had no other choice,IMHO.

    I’ll still buy it tho ;_;

  27. Definitely interested in this for the story. Uncertain about the gore aspects (I like a bit of scare but I have a weak stomach). Lack of voices isn’t a deal-killer for me, but they certainly do help with emotional attachment…

  28. It looks really promising. A good adult plot, at last: not again another whole of childlike anime banalities plus a lot of sex.

    Please, more of these.

  29. Yep no voices should not hurt this much Kara no Shoujo isnt some comedy afair were the voices do matter(like in Koihime Musou). This looks promising and a lot different for the better from the rest of manga gamer catalog.

  30. Are the references to Dante actually in the work, or they just kouryuu9’s personal style?

  31. I’m very excited that the opportunity to play this is finally within sight. It’s a shame about the fate of the voices, but as long as unofficial solutions remain, it won’t be a deal breaker for me.

    I hope very much to see more from Innocent Grey in the future, and I think it will add very nicely to the variety of MG’s catalog.

  32. while the removal of voices isnt going to help the title at all with sales, aslong as this means we get better visual novels in the future then im all for it.

    and there is always the unofficial solution to fixing that problem anyway xD

    I’M IN.

  34. “This is not a matter of “You will get voices after # sales”. There will be no voices.”

    Ehhh,never mind then!

    • i guess MG figured that “hey, we will never get the needed sales anyway so lets just scrap them all together”

      least that’s better than saying we could get them and never do xD

  35. News that the voices have been removed indefinitely:
    Ha! I have a copy of every Innocent Grey game except CausCaus, so I can just do things the super legal way and play the english version with the JP version if need be and that applies to whatever else is acquired from IG’s library.

  36. Osu! goriest games i’ve ever played were Higurashi and then Umineko… i wonder will this top it? *tremble* how could anything get more frightening than those two. heh but i’ll buy it anyway! ganbare, mangagamer!

    • higurashi only discribs the violence kana no shoujo shows it so its more violent than both higuashi and umineko by alot

  37. Exciting announcement! It seems like a fun game. 🙂

    It is a shame that there will be no voices, but the way I see it, MangaGamer didn’t need to release this game. They could have easily passed on the title and chosen to release some other title that does have voices.

    In that way, we are lucky to actually be getting this game in the first place as opposed to nothing at all. It would have been brilliant had the voices been included, but I’m sure MangaGamer would have included the voices if it were possible.

  38. I’m still on the fence about this game after thinking it through. I really like the character designs and the story really does sound intriguing, but the gore, the GORE. “Women’s wombs being torn out,” AHHH!! My stomach!! The price is also a bargain….I….can’t decide.

    • =3 Just suck it up, puke like a man, and enjoy it. The game is that good.

      • Blaaargh….Kluaagghh….*cough*….Bwuaaakkk!! HUUUUUUhaaaaa! HUUUUuuuhaaaa! Okay seems good so far. Now Ima enjoy it!

        For some reason that really sounds encouraging lol

        • I’ve seen some of the CGs and actually the gore isn’t that bad.

          Black Cyc’s games (like Gore Screaming Show) is gorier than Kara no Shoujo.

          • I’m not sure what you mean, but Gore Scream Show really wasn’t gory at all, and I’ve got all the CG images on backup to prove it.

            Kara no Shoujo is just brutal in comparison. I wont regurgitate what has already been said, but there’s no way Gore Scream Show is worse than Kara no Shoujo.

          • It kinda depends on how you look at it. GSS is more over the top in its use of gore (you see this mainly in the evil harem scenario, which sucked BTW) while Cartagra and Kara no Shoujo are more detailed in its showing of gore.

  39. I am definitely getting this one. I’d much rather have a voiced version, but between having Kara no Shoujo in a language I can understand and unvoiced or not having it all, I’ll definitely choose the former. Thanks for bringing this over!

  40. Is there going to be a hard copy of Kara no Shoujo?

  41. I would buy this too, but only if MG tells me that they are working on getting the voices like Koihime Musou. 🙂

  42. I love the soprano saxophone in the video… I’d like to find out who the performer is.

  43. Good story? I’m in! Gotta save some money right now. :3

  44. Will definitely pick this up, though the “I want you to search. me. me true” part of the promotional movie (at 1:46) makes me slightly worried about the translation. ^^;

    • The OP is the original Japanese OP. None of the English in that is done by Manga Gamer’s translators.

    • That specific line is actually not translation, but rather the Engrish IG had in the original promo vid. Basically, where you see English+Kanji, is where translation was applied to the video. Where it’s just English, that was originally there when Innocent Grey sold it in Japan.

      • Ah, ok, thx! ^^
        That make this the 2nd highest anticipated release I’m looking most forward to, behind Deardrops ^_^

  45. I wasn’t planning on getting this game to begin with however I began to get sold upon reading more into it. The changes make me hesitant though and if there are no voices I see no need to purchase this game. The plot intrigued me but I heard the voices actually made it that much more intense so if there are no voices I see no reason to pick up a game I originally did not plan on getting in the first place.

    I have to say the lack of voices in games will probably lead to the end of Mangagamer. It’s a sad fate when mangagamer has bigger balls than Jast USA (when releasing “questionable content”) but sadly does not know how to properly use them and thus makes the smaller but better performing Jast USA look all the better.

    Getting rid of content in something which is already way overpriced in overseas markets (Europe, U.S., etc.) I’m sorry to say but 35 dollars is the max I would pay for this game WITH voices. To charge 35 for a game that is missing a third of what makes it good is outrageous. The game itself is actually pretty short (10-30 hours) and those games usually get about a 35 dollar price tag. Without voices though the game should be $24.95 (hell Jast sells short games with voices for this price).

    I am very disappointed in this continuance to release games without voices. I though Koihime would be a one time thing which is why I bought it. I also was hoping we would eventually get voices for it but that has yet to happen and likely never will. To pull this stunt again? Not good marketing techniques. I can already tell a ton of pirates will be stealing this and probably more than usual. I have yet to decide whether I will be purchasing the game. I like to actually contribute to the industry but when the industry tries to pull stunts like this? Not sure if I will want to contribute for this game or not. I’m also not a huge fan of gore I do like the detective aspect and that alone might interest me in this game but time and my wallet will tell. I’ll wait and here what you say first before I make up my mind to bother purchasing and playing this game…this looks like one game I could probably do without…might get kotori instead.

    Ef better have voices or don’t bother trying to sell it. Ef is one of my favorite games/anime that I’ve recently had the privilege of playing. I am willing to buy it should the release be quality and missing nothing. Any news on this by the way?

    • This is different from Koihime in that the voices are removed permanently regardless of how well the game sells. The reason, according to what I’ve heard, is because the recording industry decided to charge tens of thousands of dollars for use of the voices, which is something a small company like MG (or even a bigger one like JAST) simply can’t afford. It seems this is a situation similar to Yakuza 3 where Sega had to either cut some content or not release the game at all. Having played Yakuza 3, I have to say it’s an acceptable loss.

    • Protip: Euros dont convert to dollars 1 to 1.

    • i sadly have to agree with this, while a lot of people will say “oh well, you can understand the voices anyway” thats not the issue, a lot of times the voices make the scenes what they are, without voices i would not have liked KM as much as i did.

      i can understand MG cant afford to use to voices, but they need to make there stuff known…when i first started reading VN’s about a year ago i had no clue MG even existed until i ran into them on VNDB.

      MG you need to find a way to advertise ur games before you complain about poor sales, and removing voices just kills more sales on ur already poor number as is.

      • From what I heard, the voice acting company was asking for prices on par with that of mainstream anime licensing companies since they’ve obviously seen how well Kara no Shoujo has sold in the past, so unless Manga Gamer was somehow making as much as, say, Funimation, they didn’t have a chance in hell.

    • It ain’t a “stunt”, it’s a matter of releasing a good game without voices or not releasing it at all. Japanese seiyuu agencies think “if the game sold x in Japan, then it’s only fair for western company to pay the same as any other Japanese company did before”. Except, of course, this doesn’t work like that. I have no numbers of either market, but it’s clear that the english eroge market doesn’t sell a lot, and I’d say most of the time it’s safe to assume there are games which won’t even get to break even/net a profit.

      Honestly, I said this up there and I’ll say it again, but I don’t think Kara no Shoujo is a title which will “stop working” with the loss of the voices. They were okay, but there aren’t any really famous seiyuu in the first place. On the other hand, the writing remains just as good, and so does the soundtrack. Those two things together setup the mood and create a really good atmosphere, even without the voices. Besides, it’s a mystery game — dumb argument or not, but any mystery fan is used to reading “unvoiced” things and getting a blast from it. You don’t need voices to create a fantastic mystery and some great atmosphere, and those two qualities are what define the mystery genre the most.

      As an aside, you can always count on the eventual voice patch, too. Knowing the Internet and from the hearsay that a voice patch would be easily doable, it’d be naive to think that one won’t pop up eventually.

    • We’re probably only getting this game because people were willing to buy Koihime Musou unvoiced. If everyone had thrown the bitchfit that some people did, Kara no Shoujo would have seemed hopeless due to the dicks that own the voice rights.

      Thank you, MG, for having hope despite the lack of voices. I will be purchasing the game when I have time to play it. I just beat KM today, and only the first play-through T.T great ending. <3 Shuri.

      (KnS looks awesome, btw. I may hate live-action gore, but animated gore is loads of fun. Erm… barring some gore porn that is just over the top.)

  46. Koihime needed voices to be enjoyable IMO, b/c the story was bland, characters weren’t that interesting, pacing was bad and it was essentially a romp. (flame shield on).

    Kara no shoujo will do fine without voices b/c the narrative is strong. Just like how Demonbane is only around 20% voiced, but It’s still great b/c you actually get a sense of the atmosphere/situation just from reading the text and the personality of each character just from reading their dialogue (plus back ground info where applicable).

    • Not to say full voice wouldn’t make it better. But it’s not a necessity. MG isn’t the reason we’re losing the voice either so suck it up and be glad they’re bringing over something great.

    • If Kara no Shoujo is anything like Cartagra, the voices are indeed not that big a loss. IG’s games are more text heavy compared to Koihime Musou; meaning you’ll be doing more reading than listening to the voices anyway. I only half finsished it, but Cartagra contained scenes written well enough (bear in mind I was using a dictionary and online translator while doing this)that either kept me on the edge of my seat or really drew me in, even when things actually got pretty damn disturbing. The only times the voice acting got my attention was in either the ero scenes or the comical scenes; in the more important story scenes I sometimes ended up skipping past voices because the actor was talking slower than I was reading and wanted to see what happened next.

    • It’s sad that I have to agree about your opinion regarding Koihime.

  47. Are we going to get a demo for this?

  48. I don’t really see why people make such a big deal out of it. I also would have liked if we could get the voices with the visual novel, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.

    But someone will make a voice patch eventually so we will still get the voices.

  49. It seems I’m going to puke again like the one I had with Saya no Uta.

  50. Dang! No pre-order option? Between my VN aficionado friends and the things I’ve heard about this one, this is definitely a day 1 purchase for me.

    I like dark, well-written VN, so this is right up my alley.

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