A History of MangaGamer’s Final Secret Project

A Kiss For The Petals – Maidens of Michael was revealed as one of MangaGamer’s license announcements for Otakon 2017 on 11 August 2017. At the presentation, it was labeled as “Secret Project #1,” one of six such projects listed in their convention schedule and project status in February 2017. Projects 2 through 6 were fully revealed throughout the year at previous events, but it was number one that was the most mysterious.

Listed as 100% translated and edited since its revelation in February, some have asked why it would be kept a secret even after such progress had been made already. In truth, though the translation had already been completed, work started only this year in all other aspects of the project, including programming and graphic processing. In addition, the translation and editing work were in progress for over four years.

In May 2013, six months after the Japanese release of Maidens of Michael on 30 November 2012, unofficial translations of the visual novels were still in development. At my request, series translator Ralen began work on Maidens of Michael after it became clear that only he was willing to undertake such a tremendous endeavor. He would do this even without a guarantee that his work would be later be used for an officially licensed product—at the time, licenses for any A Kiss For The Petals products were a lofty vision, though they have always been the end goal of the unofficial translations.

The translation project started as a community effort at Yuri Project, who had collaborated on fan translations of previous visual novels. A number of individuals contributed to this translation in various ways, but it was led largely by Ralen’s own ambition. In July 2015, the decision was made to discontinue the public side of the translation in order to focus on our new project with localization company MangaGamer, which would become A Kiss For The Petals – Remembering How We Met. With MangaGamer now responsible for English localizations of A Kiss For The Petals visual novels, we were no longer able to justify publicly supporting works which we are not licensed to work on.

However, Ralen and I were committed to finishing our work on Maidens of Michael in secret, without the aid of the community, as we agreed in 2013 that we would do so even if a license for it would never materialize. There were a few hiatuses throughout the four-year period—thank you for supporting us via Remembering How We Met and The New Generation!—and by early 2017, we were able to present our finished work to MangaGamer for consideration.

There were some challenges that pushed this reveal into one of the final announcements of the year.  However, three keys made this a reality: the existence of a complete, high-quality translation, created over four years on an entirely voluntary basis; the results of the previous two MangaGamer English license surveys, placing A Kiss For The Petals in the top five in 2016 and 2017; and MangaGamer’s continuous efforts behind the scenes to surpass all other obstacles. The existence of Secret Project #1 was made known at the start of this year, and at MangaGamer’s presentation at Otakon last week, I had the privilege of unveiling this secret to the live audience.

The onus now falls on me and the rest of the team at MangaGamer to bring four years of work to its conclusion. This will be my largest translation project to date officially or otherwise, larger even than The New Generation. There are many more characters, routes, and images to process for the English version compared to our previous work. I am honored to have the responsibility of bringing the most hotly demanded title in the series to Western audiences at last, and I thank you all for your support which made this a reality.