07th Expansion Wiki

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Overview

Ryukishi07 (竜騎士07(リュウキシゼロナナ) Ryuukishi Zero-Nana, lit. Dragon Knight Zero Seven) (birth name unknown) is a Japanese author and artist who is well-known as the creator of the When They Cry sound novel series, consisting of Higurashi When They Cry, Umineko When They Cry, and Ciconia When They Cry. He is the representative member of the group 07th Expansion.

Biography

Ryukishi was originally born in Chiba Prefecture.[2] As an adult he worked as a civil servant until he was 30.[4] During his time as a civil servant, Ryukishi developed a hobby in doujin circles and was part of a group to produce a work called Flowers, but it never released since the circle disbanded. Ryukishi later formed his own doujin group called 07th Expansion with his two younger brothers[5] and created cards for the card game Leaf Fight.[6]

Inspired by the visual novel Tsukihime created by TYPE-MOON, Ryukishi and his brothers decided to make their own novel game. Ryukishi had previously written various stage play scripts and took one called Hinamizawa Bus Stop and reworked it into Higurashi When They Cry.[7] Higurashi has since become a pop culture phenomenon, and 07th Expansion's members grew as Ryukishi became involved in many more visual novel works.

"Ryukishi07" is a pen name, inspired by the character Reina of Final Fantasy V: "07" in Japanese can be pronounced as "reinana", and "Ryukishi" means "dragon knight", referring to the dragoon job in Final Fantasy. The character Rena Ryuugu, primarily associated with Higurashi, was originally a heavily-modified fan-rendition of Reina as well.[8] The uniform worn by Reina, a highly modified rendition of the dragoon outfit, would also become the Angel Mort costume worn in-universe by Higurashi characters before becoming emblematic of 07th Expansion as a circle.

Style

Art

"At any rate, my drawings are terrible (sweat drop)."
— Ryukishi in Alone in the Dark: An Interview With the Creators of Higurashi When They Cry

Ryukishi's artwork is (in)famous for its poor quality, which initially contributed to early difficulties in Higurashi's growth since it was one reason not many doujin stores wanted to sell it.[9] Ryukishi considered his art style intentional however, wanting to lure readers in with a false sense of security in thinking it was just a romance story.[10] Ryukishi is especially criticized for the way he draws hands, which he is conscious about.[11]

Writing

Ryukishi describes his writing process as like building a rollercoaster: he gets readers excited and hopeful with fun and happy scenes before putting in cruel scenes.[12] He enjoys seeing people react to his work, especially if they're horrified.

Ryukishi also thinks of his writing process as like playing a game with the readers. Ryukishi looks up fan reactions to new installments of his work and will change or add parts according to reception; sometimes he'll reference popular fan theories, but other times he'll throw out future plans and rewrite things from scratch, as he did with Umineko Episode 3.[13] When it comes to fan-made derivative work, Ryukishi has shown great support for it.[14]

Themes

Recurring themes in Ryukishi's work are social issues such as child abuse and familial relationships, which are seen as realistically written due to his experience as a civil servant.[12]

"One part of my fictional world/character settings are similar, or pretty much borrow the concept of star system, making you feel 'Oh, there is that character!'"
— Ryukishi07 in Higurashi Gou SP Live Talk

A wanya from Ryukishi07's bio on the Gerokasu website

Another recurring aspect is characters with similar appearances and names to those in his prior works. He sees his characters as actors and compared using similar character designs to Harrison Ford playing both Han Solo and Indiana Jones: the person behind the role is the same, but the character they are playing in each movie, or in this case game, are very different.[15]

More recent works produced by Ryukishi have seen the presence of the wanya, a blob-like creature that seems to be his author avatar.

Works

Early Work

Before he started using the penname of Ryukishi07, he was involved with making an 18+ doujinshi, however it saw limited success. The first use of the Ryukishi07 name was for another, "all-ages" doujin.[16] After this, Ryukishi started creating custom cards for the game Leaf Fight, making some based on characters from Tsukihime and the Key visual novels AIR and Kanon.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2002-2006)

The cover of Higurashi chapter 1, Onikakushi

The horror-mystery-thriller Higurashi was Ryukishi's first successful commercial work, and arguably his most famous. The original eight story arcs were released from August 10, 2002 to August 13, 2006, with an additional set of arcs released on December 31, 2006. During that original serialization period, Ryukishi became involved with manga, anime, light novel and drama CD adaptations, and manga spinoffs of Higurashi as its popularity grew. Almost 20 years later, Higurashi continues to get extensive console remakes, spinoffs, and sequels.

Kaidan to Odorou, Soshite Anata wa Kaidan de Odoru (2005)

Kaidan to Odorou was a light novel serialized in Faust magazine from November 11 to December 20, 2005. A mystery-horror work, it featured ostensible connections to Higurashi and would establish a trend of cross-series references between Ryukishi's future work.

Gakkou Youkai Kikou (2006)

Gakkou Youkai Kikou was a horror light novel that was serialized in Dragon Age Pure magazine starting on November 29, 2006. It would form the basis for Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni, a sort of remake.

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (2007-2010)

The cover to Umineko Episode 1, Legend of the Golden Witch

Umineko was Ryukishi's second visual novel work, and a followup to Higurashi as the second part of the When They Cry series. Similar to Higurashi, Umineko had eight story arcs that were released from August 17, 2007 to December 31, 2010. Ryukishi also had a hand in manga and anime adaptations of Umineko during that time, and he also wrote a multitude of short stories expanding on Umineko's characters and world.

Verokia Dragoon Story (2007-2008)

Verokia Dragoon Story was a historical fantasy web novel serialized in Shonen Alchemist from May 11, 2007 to January 25, 2008.

Okamikakushi (2009)

Okamikakushi was a horror visual novel published by Konami and released on August 20, 2009.

Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni (2010-2012)

Higanbana was originally a manga series that was serialized between May 2010 and November 2012. It took the setting and characters introduced in Gakkou Youkai Kikou and expanded upon them.

Higanbana was then adapted to visual novel format and became the third visual novel work produced by Ryukishi with 07th Expansion. It released two installments on August 13, 2011 and December 31st, 2011.

Rewrite (2011)

Rewrite was a visual novel collaboration with Key and the writers Romeo Tanaka and Yūto Tonokawa. Ryukishi wrote Lucia's route.

Rose Guns Days (2012-2013)

Rose Guns Days was the fourth visual novel release by 07th Expansion. Rose Guns Days was a historical action-drama, and unlike previous works, featured playability through fighting minigames and character artwork by many manga artists that Ryukishi had grown acquainted with during Higurashi and Umineko's manga adaptations.

Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni (2016-2018)

Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni was a horror manga series serialized in Gekkan Action from March 25, 2016 to February 24, 2018.

Iwaihime (2016)

Iwaihime was a horror visual novel released for PC on January 29, 2016.

TRianThology (2016)

TRianThology was the fifth visual novel produced by 07th Expansion and released on August 31, 2016. Ryukishi once again collaborated with Romeo Tanaka and Yuto Tonokawa, with each one writing a different story.

Harem Royale (2016-2019)

Harem Royale was a harem-thriller manga serialized from 2016 to 2019.

Ciconia no Naku Koro ni (2019-ongoing)

The cover of Ciconia Phase 1

Ciconia is the sixth visual novel series produced by 07th Expansion and the third installment of the When They Cry series. It began release on October 4, 2019.

Bakemonotachi ga Usobuku Koro ni (2019)

Bakemonotachi is a horror light novel that was released on December 16th, 2019.

Gensou Rougoku no Kaleidoscope (2020)

Gerokasu is a visual novel that was released for consoles on December 17, 2020.

LOOPERS (2021)

LOOPERS is a visual novel that was released on May 28, 2021. It was a collaboration with Key, with Takeshi Matsuyama and Romeo Tanaka to write two other visual novels Project:LUNAR and Project:PORTER as part of the project.

Miscellaneous Work

  • Arietta Company (アリエッタカンパニー) is a novel that was serialized in Dengeki G's Magazine from September 30, 2005 to March 2006.[17]
  • Higurashi Daybreak is a fighting game spinoff of Higurashi produced by Twilight Frontier and released on August 13, 2006. Ryukishi had a hand in writing the story.
  • The Story of Coffee is a short story published in PANDORA Vol. 2 Side-A on October 10, 2008.
  • Natsu no Kagerou was another video game collaboration with Twilight Frontier that began development in 2010, however it was cancelled. Only a demo was ever released.
  • Ryukishi wrote the script for the xxxHolic first-run limited edition volume 13 drama CD.
  • Ryukishi appeared as a guest on the radio show Genchoken, made to advertise the anime Genshiken 2.[18]
  • Kaitō Tenshi Twin Angel features some bonus illustrations by Ryukishi.
  • Kannagi featured a bonus illustration by Ryukishi in volume 2.
  • Pani Poni Dash! Episode 17 featured an endcard illustrated by Ryukishi.
  • Kamaitachi no Yoru: Rinne Saisei, a remake of Kamaitachi no Yoru, featured a new scenario by Ryukishi. The game first released on February 16, 2017.
  • Haworthia is a drama CD released on October 29, 2017. It served as a prototype for some of Ciconia's concepts.

Song Lyrics

  • To You Who Are Not False (偽らない君へ) is an insert song in Lucia Konohana's route in Rewrite and in the 10th episode of the anime adaptation.
  • Sunbright (サンブライト) is an insert song in the 5th episode of the Rewrite anime adaptation.
  • You -Sotsugyou- is an insert song in Higurashi: When They Cry - SOTSU.

Trivia

Ryukishi's cameo appearance

External Links

References

  1. Calculated given his birth year and birthday.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Famous Scene Investigation File 100
  3. Onikakushi light novel Volume 1 bio.
  4. Ryukishi07 Interviews (Epitanime 2012)
  5. The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers
  6. Higurashi Booster Book Interview
  7. Alone in the Dark: An Interview With the Creators of Higurashi When They Cry
  8. Illustration of Reina from the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Official Character Guide
  9. Higurashi 15th Anniversary Dengeki Online Interview
  10. Alone in the Dark: An Interview With the Creators of Higurashi When They Cry
  11. Production Journal entry on July 7, 2009: "Here is the [Matsuribayashi] cover image before it got cropped.There were a lot of emails saying that her right hand is a left hand. Sorry for being bad at drawing. Maybe it’s because of how I cropped it, but I see, her little finger looks like a thumb, isn’t it. Though in my drawings little fingers are as big as thumbs *sweat* I am sorry for being bad at drawing…" (Translation by rockmor)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ryukishi07 Interviews (Epitanime 2012)
  13. Another Round of Red Truths with Ryukishi07
  14. 07th Expansion Main Site FAQ: “The law divides infringement and non-infringement into black and white categories. But if you create from the bottom of your heart, with love for the material, as long as you do so with respect, even the law cannot help but notice and appreciate your work and put it into a grey area.” (Translation by Emily Schendl)
  15. Another Round of Red Truths with Ryukishi07
  16. Higurashi Booster Book Interview
    Yano: Speaking of erotic, you’ve made an ero-doujinshi once, right? Even if it was an all-ages one, and everyone was with their clothes on, it was more erotic than any 18+ doujinshi.

    Editor: What did you say?!

    Ryukishi: Ah, there was something like that, wasn’t it *sweat* It’s embarrassing, don’t talk about on public, please!

    Editor: When was it released?

    Ryukishi: I think… it was more than 4 years ago. The name “Ryukishi07” was actually made for this. After that, we’ve released 7 original card products for Leaf Fight. We’ve put the most energy around the time we were creating sets based on AIR and Pia Carrot. There were no any titles that were interesting enough to work on after that. And after struggling with what to do next, we’ve decided to make an original product.

    Editor: I bet those who bought that doujinshi at that time couldn’t even imagine that its author would create something like Higurashi.

    Ryukishi: Only 20 copies were sold back then… By the way, I even touched that in a Staff Room a little bit, but before I took the name Ryukishi07 I took part in creating a 18+ doujinshi, though it sold 5 copies at most *bitter laugh*

  17. Archived 07th Expansion home page advertising Arietta Company
  18. Official website for Genchoken CD, listing Ryukishi07 as a guest.
  19. Festival Accompanying Arc Manga Volume 4 afterword
  20. Episode 8 Shinsou Kaimei Dokuhon Interview
    "Featherine is the closest thing to a god in that world, the world's guardian. So there's no doubt that she's the strongest character in the story. At the same time, it's pretty embarrassing. I made myself appear in my work and wrote "I'm super strong~!" (laughs) Isn't it like a fantasy novel with the author himself as the strongest hero?"
  21. 07th Expansion All Character Settings Collection page 82: "Tohya and Ikuko both continue to write under the same pen-name. They consider their series '~Witch' to have ended but a lot of fans are asking for a sequel to be written, which Ikuko thinks is a good idea: both for their fans and to help Tohya sort his feelings out."
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