The Uzi Import Report: Kagerou Project

Posted on Jan 20 2014

Uzi Import Report Kagerou Project

Welcome to the first edition of the Import Report!

This bi-monthly column will be looking into anything from Japan that deserves (or at least people wish) to be localized outside of Japan. At the end of the article, I’ll give the series a rank based on its chances of localization. The rankings will go from zero to three:

  • 0: No chances
  • 1: Slight chances
  • 2: Moderate chances
  • 3: Extremely likely

This week we’ll be looking into one of the hottest sensations currently hitting Japan, Kagerou Project.

What is Kagerou Project?

Kagerou Project is a Vocaloid song series created by Shizen No Teki (aka Jin). The Vocaloid used in the series is IA. Twenty seven songs have been released to date. A majority of the songs were uploaded to the internet in the form of music videos. The songs were uploaded to Nico Nico and garnered a vast fanbase in just a matter of weeks upon release.

The story follows the lives of these children who traveled through the phenomenon known as the Heat Haze Days (or Kagerou Days) and came into possession of eyes with special powers. Among these children are a girl who can erase her own presence/existence, a boy who can deceive others on what they can see, an indestructible cyborg and AI, and a hikkikomori/NEET (who doesn’t have powers, but is essential to the story overall). Each character possesses a dark past, and the series follows their struggles in the present.

Kagerou Project

The series has also received manga and light novel adaptations, both going by the name of Kagerou Days. An anime series will be produced by SHAFT and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (director of Madoka Magica and the Monogatari series). The anime will go by the name of Mekakucity Actors, and will premiere in April.

Localization Rank:

  • Songs: 3
  • Manga & Light Novels: 1
  • Anime: 2

Reasons for the Rank

The series gets three ranks due to its three different versions: music, light novel, and anime. You may be surprised that the songs category got a 3, but that’s because the songs are available for digital download on iTunes and Amazon. On the other hand; if you ever wanted a physical album, you would probably have to import it. The manga/light novels get their rank because of two reasons (one for each). First, Kagerou Project has little presence in the West, and the manga usually rides off the popularity of the song series in Japan. Second, light novels are nearly a non-existent medium outside Japan; however, Yen Press may defy these expectations since this series seems right up their alley. Chances for these media to be localized may rise once the anime releases. For now the anime gets a 2, precisely because it’s a Studio SHAFT work. The series will be directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, director of Madoka Magica and the Monogatari series. Aniplex has localized both series, so it would be pretty strange for them not to license this one.

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Comments
  • Kayarath January 20, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Welcome aboard Uzi! Hope you enjoy your time here!

  • MakiMaki January 24, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    OH IA! I’m surprised that with the popularity of vocaloids that something like this hasn’t been done. Looks promising, if for nothing other than the great music! Of course if I had to choose (bias) I would prefer Luka Megurine (I said I was biased, right?) LOL I know the pain of having to import numerous music CDs, concert BD/DVD and such for bands that I like. You can find some in iTunes, but as Kana would agree…having the physical copy is soooo important for stuff I like!! :D Anyways, nice read and as Kay said, welcome aboard! :D

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