Here’s a special bonus for everybody. In the previous post I mentioned that in October 2002, Volks (specifically, their A-Brand division) unveiled figures for 5 Fubukis and Miki in her pilot suit. A few years ago, I went digging through some old magazines in my closet, and I found this issue of Dengeki Hobby Magazine, which actually had a feature on those new figures. It was a huge shock to discover that I owned something connected to Muv-Luv from so long ago, just sitting in my closet completely unbeknownst to me for over 10 years.
As a rule, I don’t post pictures on this site because I like to encourage people to buy them for themselves, but seeing as how this is a monthly magazine from 14 years ago, I think we can bend the rules a little. So here we go:
Some things of note:
The article writer gives Age a few gentle jabs at how the game still hasn’t come out yet, which warms my heart a little – even in 2002, the Muv-Luv tradition was alive and well. In fact, at the bottom of the first page, you can see the info box read “Release Date: 2002 – under adjustment”. That’s not a release date, that’s an admission that they don’t have a release date.
At the end of the article, the writer explicitly points out that there is no mech labeled 03, clearly inviting speculation as to why. Of course, now we know that the reason is because that’s Mikoto’s unit, and labeling it as such would have clearly shown that the Mikoto who pilots it writes her name with different, more girly kanji. Nowadays it seems clear that Mikoto is the missing character in this lineup, but back in 2002, Unit 03 could easily have belonged to Sumika, Kashiwagi, Akane, or even Kasumi (who by this point had appeared in promotional materials, but whose role in the story was still a secret).
Finally, the article finishes off with a special comment from Kouki Yoshimune himself – although this is from so long ago that the name “Kouki Yoshimune” didn’t even exist yet. During this time, he was known as “Yoshida to Iu Ikimono” (“The Creature Called Yoshida”). Here’s what he had to say for this article:
I’ve heard that the modelers at A-Brand are starting to get worried that the robots in Muv-Luv are just a gag, and they won’t actually appear in the game at all (sweat). For the record, they will indeed appear, so please be at ease!
The robots will appear starting about 1/3rd into the story, and these Fubuki models in particular will appear quite a bit. Still, this is a bishoujo game, so we can’t give the mechs more focus than the characters themselves. Instead, rather than focusing on one over the other, we are working to put all our efforts into both. After all, if A-Brand is going to put in this much work, we can’t back down either. Those of us working on the game are pouring our souls into making sure that we don’t lose to A-Brand’s figures!
To everyone reading Dengeki Hobby Magazine, I would be very happy if you take an interest in Muv-Luv after seeing these figures. . . . But to be perfectly honest, I would have wanted these figures much earlier (cries). If we had had these before, it would have been much easier to draw these robots . . .
It’s a pretty standard statement to give to a magazine, but what stands out to me is the “1/3” comment. It suggests that, even this late into development (they would release Muv-Luv only 3 months later), they were still hoping to include all 3 chapters of Muv-Luv into a single game . . .