Aikasa Collective, the creative team which brought us Mizuchi, has officially launched the Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming project, Red Rebellion! Furthermore, an alpha demo was also released and is available to download and play through.
The indie studio has been steadily working on Red Rebellion for over 3 years now and that was readily apparent to me as I experienced the alpha demo. The premises of the visual novel is both ambitious and original interesting as it combines several fairy tale characters from previously separate works. For starters, Red Rebellion has the protagonist Robin take the mantle of the legendary Robin Hood to aid the poor villagers by robbing the rich, but she’s also aided by a Witch and by Red Riding Hood. There’s a lot going on already, but with the inclusion of other characters who have their own agendas Red Rebellion is shaping up to become a layered story of intrigue, shaky alliances, and bitter choices.
As with how they handled Mizuchi, Aikasa Collective has gone to great lengths to keep the visual novel both educational and immersive through meticulous handling of fine details. The accents different characters brandish go a long way towards achieving those aforementioned ends for instance, but the usage of terminology relevant to the actual time period of late Medieval England personally reeled me in (and AC was kind enough to provide a glossary to aid players) and definitely impressed me with Aikasa Collective’s trademark dedication to research.
Another thing that impressed me is the large LGBTQIA-friendly cast. Per Roxie, the Studio Co-Founder and the Writer AND the Director (who also wrote Mizuchi and co-wrote Starlight Vega), the game will explore the real history of queer folk (and an actual LGBT+ history consultant may have been brought aboard on the team to make sure the depictions are accurate, last I heard). I’m excited and am looking forward to the result. Some of the cast can be seen below – the masked characters are to debut post-demo and won’t appear in the alpha demo. That leads me to another thing – aren’t the design of these characters beautiful? I think Nalcyon (Artist and Lead Colourist of both Mizuchi and Red Rebellion) and Candace (CG Director) did a great job. The backgrounds are also extremely detailed and well-done – We have Anybangchu, the BG Director, to thank for that.
I also enjoyed how the dialogue was swift and didn’t dilly-dally. Perhaps I’m completely off the mark, but I have a preconceived notion that the folk from Medieval times practiced flowery diction and conversations would drag on. Or that sometimes a character (particularly in anime and visual novels) recite lengthy monologues while spiking a volleyball, for instance. That is definitely not the case in Red Rebellion where the cast does not waste words and jump straight to the point in general. To me it makes for engaging conversation as it feels like Robin and the others are trying to get stuff done without wasting too much time on idle chatter. It forces the reader to lean forward and pay attention to avoid missing details while also keeping the progression of the visual novel steady, which I think are strengths in this sort of media. So props to Roxie, Reina (the Scripter and Marketer and Voice Actress AND Yuri Fan), and Geckcellent (the Line Editor who also worked in the same role for Mizuchi) for their efforts here.
We unfortunately don’t get to hear too much of the original soundtrack in the alpha demo, but the sneak peek we do get at the title screen is quite nice. I left it on and played mahjong for a bit and it helped me not tilt haha. Glim, who was the soundtrack composer and audio engineer for Mizuchi, is also the Composer for Red Rebllion and I’m looking forward to hearing more of his tracks.
In short, go play the demo. Spread the word. Share your thoughts. Then pledge and back the campaign if you liked what you saw and want this project to come to fruition. I for one am looking forward to Red Rebellion and will certainly be pledging.