UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming demand, the Umineko kickstarter has been pushed back by one week. The original article noted it would be for November 7th to December 7th.
Umineko: When They Cry has had a strong impact on the visual novel community for the past decade and even received adaptations in anime and manga form. In the past few years the original visual novel made its way to the west thanks to publisher MangaGamer, and recently it has been announced that a brand new kickstarter campaign is coming soon to make the release even better.
Known as Umineko: When They Cry Gold Edition, the crowd-funding campaign is a collaboration between 07th Expansion, Witch Hunt Translation Group, MangaGamer, Sound Cadence Studios and Catbox Creative. The aim is to offer a couple new features to the western release. These features will benefit both newcomers and also those who have already purchased the English release of the visual novel.
English Voice Acting
That’s right. The entire visual novel will be dubbed in English! The series creator Ryukishi07 has approved the chosen North American cast selected for this production. Voice actors Kyle Igneczi, Josh Grelle, Brittney Karbowski, Sarah Wiedenheft, Cynthia Cyranz, Wendy Powell, Kent Willains, Bryson Baugus, Bill Jenkins, Francis Henry, Amber Lee Conners, Howard Wang, and Sasha “Sachibelle” Schiller have been announced so far with more to be revealed soon.
The opening song “One Winged Bird” (“Katayoku no Tori”) was also sung in English. The original version was sung by Akiko Shikata and was also the main opening theme for the 2009 studio Deen anime adaptation.
The PlayStation 3 Sprite Artstyle
Hardcore fans of the franchise will know that the sprites used for the PlayStation 3 release was considered to be the best version of the lot. The western release used the original and Pachinko artwork, with the initial PS3 version nowhere in sight presumably due to licensing issues (the publisher Alchemist also went bankrupt). The good news today is that the crowd-funding campaign will offer the chance to use the PS3 version.
Details are pretty vague, but series creator Ryukishi07 has confirmed to be providing new content directly into this release.
Voices of Rokkenjima Audiobook
In addition to the English voice acting, the audiobook called Voices of Rokkenjima will also be translated and released as a free podcast series over on iTunes.
The kickstarter will commence between Wednesday 14th November 2018 to Friday 14th December 2018. Backers will be able to acquire new official Umineko merchandise depending on the pledge tiers they choose. As mentioned, if the campaign is successful the Gold Edition will be released as a free update for owners who have already purchased the game prior.
For more information on the kickstarter you can view the official website here. If you want to check out the current version for the western release of the visual novel, it is available to own on Steam.
Source: Catbox Creative, Featured Image is from the PlayStation 3 release Majo to Suiri no Rondo (The Rondo of the Witch and Deduction).