JACKJEANNE is an upcoming Nintendo Switch game, part of a bigger multimedia project that is in collaboration between mangaka Sui Ishida, creator of Tokyo Ghoul, and Broccoli, well known for their Uta no Prince-sama franchise. The JACKJEANNE project has said to have been in production for 3 years now. The game is projected to release on the Nintendo Switch in 2020, which is quite a while away.
Just a refresher: Otome Watch posts is where I make posts about upcoming games/content and hopefully give it some attention. Though I usually focus on otome/josei-muke content with these posts I’ll make a special exception with this post (considering I’m unsure if this is otome or josei-muke).
I’ll be referring to a couple of articles from Japanese sites such as Famitsu, Dengeki Online and Natalie. In addition I’ll be referring to some tweets from the official twitter account. I’m not 100% fluent in Japanese, so take this information with a grain of salt but otherwise I’ll try my best to make it as accurate as I can.
JACKJEANNE was originally announced back in March 15, 2019. At the time the only information available was that it was a collaboration between Sui Ishida and Broccoli, the name of the project and the 7 characters shown above (plus short teaser trailer).
On April 22nd an event was held at Imperial Hotel Tokyo to formally announce JACKJEANNE–a project, which will start with the release of the Nintendo Switch game in 2020. The game genre is described to be a “boy opera simulation” (or at least something along the line of that). There is also plans to make an anime, mobile game and CDs (possibly character songs and/or drama CDs) further down the line of this project’s development.
Sui Ishida has also remarked that he would like to draw over 100 stills (also known as CGs) for the game.
On April 23rd the embargo on articles were lifted and promotional video was released.
Broccoli will be in charge of planning/producing the game. They are known for making visual novels (as of late focusing on the otome genre) as well as manufacturing scaled figures.
Sui Ishida will be in charge of character design, scenario writing as well as world building and original concept. Ishida is known for creating the manga Tokyo Ghoul which has spawned an anime series, sequels, spin-offs and live action film adaptations.
Shin Towada will also be in charge of scenario writing alongside Ishida. Towada has worked with Ishida before with writing novelisations within the Tokyo Ghoul universe with Ishida illustrating the covers. Towada has also wrote novalisations for the Naruto series.
Lownine / 浪人 will be in charge of concept art. They have previously worked on projects such as Nier Automata, Bayonetta 2, Pokemon etc as a concept artist/illustrator. You can check out their twitter account here.
Akira Kosemura will be in charge of music. He is a music composer, debuting while he was still in school. A sample of his work can be listened to here.
Seishiro will be in charge of choreography, possibly for the 3D rhythm game aspect. Seishiro is a dancer/choreographer director, having choregraphed some of Nogizaka46’s (rival group of AKB48) routines.
To put the story synopsis on the website in my own words, basically there is a theatre company–Tamasaka(?) Theatre–that only accepts males. In that company the males play both the female roles (Jeanne) and male roles (Jack), many of the actors being alumini of Univeil(?)/ユニヴェール Opera School.
The opera school only accepts talented pupils and is male only school. There are 4 classes: Quartz, Onyx, Rhodonite and Amber (Just think of them as Hogwarts houses for now). There is a competition within the school to see who gets the title of “top class”.
After giving up on theatre, protagonist Kisa Tachibana is given the opportunity to be a student at Univeil(?) Opera School but on two conditions.
Condition No.1: Kisa must land the starring role in the final performance at the end of the year.
Condition No.2: Kisa must also hide that she is female.
The game will have two parts. The “simulation” part is where you play as Kisa Tachibana and aim to get the starring role as well as deepen your friendship over a 1 year period. The “rhythm game” is a rhythm game where 3D models of characters dance in performances that happen 5 times a year (so a possibility of a rhythm game happening 5 times during a playthrough?).
*Note: this going to be rough to read because I have little information to go on for each character, especially with how the sentences are phrased in Japanese I’m afraid I won’t do it justice in explaining each character.
(First name can be changed, no voice)
The protagonist who has to conceal that she is a girl in order to attend Univeil(?) Opera School, an all boys school.
Her brother is a talented actor Saki(?) Tachibana, who was an Ace Jack during his school days.
She has the potential to play both Jack (the male role) and Jeanne (the female role). She is in the class “Quartz”.
Voice Actor: ???
Appointed as head Jeanne (leading female role), also known as Arjeanne(?, unsure how its romanized). Has graceful dance skills.
Hates formal things and always seems aloof, but his intuition is sharp and watches people very closely.
During his first year he was paired up with Univeil’s legendary actor to perform on stage. Even now that has become a shadow in his heart.
Voice Actor: ???
Appointed as head Jack (leading male role), also known as Jack Ace. He is teamed together with Sarafumi Takashina.
Even though he prefers time quietly alone he often sticks his head out for those in Quartz, always lending a helping hand for students in need.
He often thinks about what he can do as a Jack Ace.
Voice Actor: ???
Leader of Quartz. He is a genius who has a wide range of talent, not only acting as both Jack and Jeanne roles but also script writing and directing for Quartz.
With his eccentric attitude, he often gets students of Quartz involved and caught up in his whims of making the best stage play.
Voice Actor: ???
With a girl-like appearance and high singing ability he is known as the songstress of Quartz, performing in Jeanne roles.
Dancing and acting may not be his strong suit, but he does not fail to work on singing/songs as his weapon.
Doesn’t seem to care about others but is always accurate with advice/pointing things out. He is a 2nd year student.
Voice Actor: ???
With eye-catching brightness, he performs male roles in the same class as Kisa.
He entered the school to follow in the footsteps as Kisa’s famed Jack Ace brother who he looks up to.
He’s the class clown and will strike up a conversation with anyone. In order to become a Jack Ace like Kisa’s brother he pushes himself everyday.
Voice Actor: ???
Wanted to attend the school as a Jack role. In the same class as Kisa.
He is Kisa’s childhood friend, since they were little they would play pretend theatre with her older brother.
He knows of the conditions of Kisa entering the school as well as her being a girl. He has strong thoughts about the stage but cannot express it well and often worries about hiding in Kisa’s shadow.
In my opinion, it seems to be a pretty ambitious project especially with wanting to make not only a console game but an anime and mobile game (probably somewhere down the line). I’m not sure who came up to who to say “I want to make this big franchise”, though I wouldn’t put it past Broccoli going up to Ishida and say they want to make a million dollar franchise like they did with Utapri… just pure speculation though. Maybe Ishida was the one who went up to Broccoli 😆
Though it is interesting to see Ishida write something that may not be too tragic compared to Tokyo Ghoul, but I guess its good to have a change of scenery after finishing a series like that. Ishida even joked in an interview that he won’t be killing off anyone in this.
As for my opinions on it (possibly) not being an otome? I think its okay. Most Japanese games I’ve played that had a female protagonist usually involved romance and stuff so it might be a nice change of pace seeing a girl forge some friendships with some boys and striving to achieve her dream. Then again I don’t even know if it is confirmed that there is no romance.
As for whether it’ll get an English localisation? I have no idea. Broccoli has a bad track record of shunning foreign countries, while back they would have region locks on their videos promoting their games. But maybe Broccoli has seen the light considering how they launched a global version of the Uta no Prince-sama Shining Live mobile game. Plus Sui Ishida has a good amount of international fans who would like to see/experience his future projects. Who knows really.
It’ll be interesting to see how this develops so I’ll keep an eye on it. Hopefully the 3D models they’ve been talking about don’t look bad.
Thanks for reading!