According to creator Kouki Yoshimune, this is the time period during which he developed the plans for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Muv-Luv. The two games were intended to complement each other, by focusing on the same theme from two different angles, and were intended to come out at roughly the same time. In fact, the Hakuryo Hiiragi winter uniform seen in Muv-Luv was designed first, and the summer uniform seen in KimiNozo was designed afterwards by modifying the winter design.
The gaming magazine Tech Gian announces both KimiNozo and Muv-Luv, with a tentative Autumn 2001 release window for both.
Age announces that Muv-Luv will be released in November 2001.
July 21 2001
Tech Gian includes the first episode of Akane Maniax in this month’s issue. The idea is that Akane Maniax will run for five months, ending in November, cleaning bridging the gap between the KimiNozo and Muv-Luv release dates. This is the first time fans get a clear look at the Muv-Luv characters.
August 03 2001
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is released to immense acclaim, selling far more copies than Age could have imagined. Age begins to rethink their approach to Muv-Luv. They had to scale back their original vision for Muv-Luv, due to both technical limitations and available manpower – however, the money coming in from KimiNozo could change that. Age decides to funnel the profits from KimiNozo into making Muv-Luv even better.
September 10 2001
Accordingly, Age delays Muv-Luv from November 2001 to a “Winter 2001 – Spring 2002” release window.
February 23 2002
Age announces that Muv-Luv will be released on April 26 2002.
March 25 2002
Figure maker Volks puts up a teaser page featuring their future Muv-Luv offerings. The illustration on the page shows Meiya wearing a strange pilot suit and a robot silhouette. Fans begin to wonder if there might be a science-fiction/mecha component to Muv-Luv.
March 27 2002
Age delays Muv-Luv from April 26 2002 to June 28 2002.
April 03 2002
The Muv-Luv single CD is released from Lantis. This was meant to coincide with the April release of Muv-Luv itself, before the game was delayed.
April 24 2002
The drama CD “Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Drama Theater Vol. 3: Akane” is released. Chizuru plays a supporting role – this is the first time fans are able to hear one of the Muv-Luv characters voiced.
April 25 2002
Volks updates its site to show off its offerings for Dolls Party 7. Among its offerings are “Meiya Mitsurugi: Type-99 Surface Pilot Fortified Suit”, “Takemikazuchi: Meiya Unit”, and “Takemikazuchi” (a white version of the Meiya Unit). Volks does not offer any additional insight into what these terms mean or how they are related to Muv-Luv. Fan speculation begins to intensify.
May 16 2002
Age delays Muv-Luv from June 28 2002 to “Winter 2002”. Fans begin to grow increasingly frustrated. Unlike the other delays, this is essentially an admission that Age themselves don’t know when the game will be finished.
May 23 2002
Age releases Akane Maniax as a fan-club exclusive game. This version combines all 5 episodes from Tech Gian into a single game, and is fully voiced. This is the first time fans are able to hear the voices of the full Muv-Luv cast (besides Meiya, who does not appear in Akane Maniax).
July 11 2002
Age releases a trial version of Muv-Luv through its fan club. The trial plays from the beginning of the game to October 26, the day before the cooking competition. Of note, this version features Kozue Yoshizumi as Meiya, rather than Kazumi Okushima. Yoshizumi played Mayu in KimiNozo, and would eventually go on to play Meiya’s twin sister Yuuhi in Muv-Luv Alternative.
July 24 2002
Minami Kuribayashi holds a live performance at Shibuya Eggman. During this concert, she performs the Muv-Luv Extra ending theme “I will” and the Unlimited ending theme “Harukanaru Furusato no Uta” for the first time. As a secret special guest, Masaaki Endoh (then famous for Gaogaigar) appeared to announce and sing the Muv-Luv song “Carry on”. At the time, it was unheard of for somebody as famous as Endoh to perform a song for an adult game. Of course, this only sparked a new wave of speculation as fans tried to figure out how this song could fit into the game.
September 10 2002
Muv-Luv Prelude is released by Enterbrain. Prelude is a small book containing new information on Muv-Luv, but more importantly contains an expanded Muv-Luv trial. This version contains all the content from the original trial, plus a second part stretching from October 29 to November 1 (the early part of the lacrosse story).
October 25 2002
Volks updates its page with additional offerings. These new offerings include “Fubuki: Takeru Shirogane Unit”, “Fubuki: Meiya Mitsurugi Unit”, “Fubuki: Chizuru Sakaki Unit”, “Fubuki: Kei Ayamine Unit”, “Fubuki: Miki Tamase Unit”, and “Miki Tamase: Type-99 Surface Pilot Fortified Suit”.
December 21 2002
This month’s issue of Tech Gian includes a Muv-Luv short story called “Your Name is Takeru”, taking place before the main story. Like Akane Maniax, this version is unvoiced – it would eventually be collected in Muv-Luv Supplement (and later in Muv-Luv photonflowers) with voices.
December 29 2002
Age mercifully announces that Muv-Luv will be released on February 28 2003. Recall that it has now been over half a year since Age made any official mention of a release schedule.
January 21 2003
This month’s issue of Tech Gian includes a second short story called “My Name is Meiya”.
February 28 2003
Betraying expectations, Age actually manages to release Muv-Luv on this date. (Age would eventually admit that they were simply out of money and could not afford to keep pushing the release out.) At the same time, they also announce that the third and final chapter of the game could not be finished in time, and was not included in this release. As a result, the Takemikazuchi model that had introduced fans to the mecha side of Muv-Luv ends the game sitting in a hangar, unused – a particularly harsh blow for Volks, who now had to sell figures of it despite nobody ever having seen it in action. The highly anticipated Masaaki Endoh song also fails to appear in the game. And, of course, anybody playing the game to the end will find that the major mysteries of the story go completely unresolved.
Not to worry, Age assured fans. The story for the third chapter was already complete, so the follow-up game should come out very shortly.
But that’s a story for another time . . .