For those who haven't been able to pick up the paperback Kingdom Hearts publications that have been released in the past couple years, Yen Press has now conveniently begun releasing their English publications electronically via e-books. On March 21, 2017, Yen Press released Kingdom Hearts: The Novel electronically for $7.99 USD.
Furthermore, on April 18th, Yen Press will be releasing Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories: The Novel electronically for $7.99 USD.
With these electronic releases, Yen Press will also be releasing the newest publications Kingdom Hearts II Vol. 4 ($6,99 USD electronically) on May 23rd & Kingdom Hearts II: The Novel Vol. 1 ($7.99 USD electronically) on June 20th, both available for the first time in English and for purchase electronically on day 1.
You can click on book titles to check the book page and find out where to buy each e-book.
- Mar 28 2017 03:21 AM
- by Dengojin
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Acrylic Stands now available on Square Enix North American store for $19.99, releasing end of June 2017; available on Square Enix Japan e-Store for ¥1850, releasing May 20, 2017
Update: The fully-colored acrylic stands are now available for pre-order at the Square Enix (Japan) e-Store, releasing May 20, 2017. They are available at 1,850 yen each.
The Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue acrylic stands are now available for pre-order on the North American store. They cost $19.99 USD, and are in full color.
The acrylic stands 'COMING', 'AIR', and 'BOND' were available exclusively in Japan for some time as a pre-order bonus for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and also in limited stock at Amazon Japan. However, they were not in full color.
These acrylic stands are scheduled for a End of June 2017 release. You can check out pics of AIR, COMING, and BOND below!
- Mar 27 2017 10:28 PM
- by Jake
The Xemnas crash with Limit Form in the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX has been fixed
In the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX for the PS3, there was a bug that would cause the game to crash when you went into Limit Form during the first Xemnas fight and activated the first Reaction Command. View footage of this old glitch below:
Thanks to KingdomHops on YouTube, who got the game early, we now know that this has been fixed for the English version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX for the PS4. He streamed the game and tested it out. View him testing it out in the archived stream below:
(The testing begins at around 52:26.)
Also, if you didn't catch it, Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.
Thanks to @Bizkit047 on Twitter for the tip!
- Mar 24 2017 01:10 AM
- by Elfdemon_
Director of the cancelled Kingdom Hearts TV show, Seth Kearsley, recently pitched the idea of rebooting the pilot episode to Disney. In a series of tweets he has revealed that it will not go forward at this time. However, this does not rule out the possibility completely. You can view the tweets below. Be sure to check out KH13's exclusive interview with Seth here.
- Mar 23 2017 08:50 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
With the launch of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] in Japan, five new main story quests have been added. The newest story update introduces the concept of "Union Cross", and the characters within say that it would be good for the player character to do missions with their fellow Keyblade wielders. You can view an untranslated video of the new quests below, courtesy of Everglow. A translated version of this video will be available soon.
UPDATE: The translated video of the new quests by Everglow is now out! Watch the video below:
Are you excited for the launch of the multiplayer update? Let us know in the comments below!
- Mar 23 2017 08:50 PM
- by Raxaimus
Square Enix has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on March 23, 2017. It has been titled Fight the Darkness, and is available in an English dub with French, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.
You can watch the trailer in English below:
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX releases for the Playstation 4 on March 28, 2017 in North America, and on March 31, 2017 in Europe.
UPDATE: A new 60 second long version of the Fight the Darkness trailer has been released by the official Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel. View this 60 second trailer below:
At the same time as this 60 second long trailer's release, they also released a 60 second long version of the Familiar Faces and Places trailer as well. You can view that trailer here.
- Mar 31 2017 03:39 AM
- by Mystics Apprentice
With Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX releasing on March 28, 2017 in North America, and March 31, 2017 everywhere else, some fans have already received their copies of the game in English before release.
One lucky fan in particular, YouTuber KingdomHops, already got their hands on an early copy of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX in English, showcasing on stream how Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix HD is running on the PlayStation 4. You can take a look at the stream below:
- Mar 22 2017 04:17 PM
- by Dengojin
The major update coming to Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ is now available in Japan! Featuring new story elements, multiplayer gameplay, and other additional features, Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] is available as a new update for the original application of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ.
Check out the notes for this new major update that has released in Japan. Thanks goes to Discord user WinterHartz for translating these notes.
New Update [22/03/2017] - Stated in Japanese Google Play Store
- Addition of Multiplayer Mode (Union Cross)
- Addition of Awakened Abilities for Medals (AKA Traits)
- Introduction of Buff and Debuff going for up to 7 tiers.
- Change of Application Icon
- Change of Opening Movie, Title Name and Title Opening Screen
- Addition of Theater Mode
- Change in UI Interface
- Other minor fixes
Title opening screen music
Title opening screen
App Store Promotional Screenshots
- Mar 23 2017 08:53 PM
- by Jake
Today is March 24th 2017, meaning the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - is taking place in the Central Hall Westminster in London! Welcome to KH13's coverage for the concert, which will include music from all titles throughout the series, and will serve as a 15th anniversary celebration since the first game, Kingdom Hearts, was released.
Some of the KH13 team members (including Andrew Hankinson and Fàtima Kàiyum) will be attending; they have planned a KH13 meet-up in London for you to come visit and/or attend the concert with us! We'll be collecting fan messages in a special "Thank You" booklet for Yoko Shimomura, as well as distributing exclusive KH13 stickers! You can RSVP to the event and get updates on our #KH13MeetUp on our Facebook event page.
There were quite a few reveals for the concerts in Japan and Paris, such as Union χ[Cross]'s reveal and the exclusive canon backstory from Kingdom Hearts III with Kairi and Xion's Japanese voice actress, Risa Uchida, and Aqua's Japanese voice actress, Megumi Toyoguchi. Tetsuya Nomura also stated that there is a possibility for new information regarding Kingdom Hearts III to be displayed at one of the concerts taking place this year.
Stay tuned to KH13.com for full live coverage of the event and don't forget to also stay tuned to our social media accounts for instant live updates!
(March 23, 2017 - 10:30 AM GMT) Series composer Yoko Shimomura has already arrived in London and has posted a picture of the orchestra rehearsing for the concert!
(March 24, 2017 - 2:45 PM GMT) The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in London will still occur as scheduled, though additional security will be enforced around the area.
(March 24, 2017 - 5:02 PM GMT) Zanda (@Door2Darkness_) is arriving to the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in London!
(March 24, 2017 - 6:01 PM GMT) The KH13 Meet-up has begun. Andrew Hankinson and Aquaberry have arrived and have taken a group photo with everyone there!
(March 24, 2017 - 6:41 PM GMT) Zanda (@Door2Darkness_) shows us the pricing for some of the merchandise available at the concert!
(March 24, 2017 - 6:43 PM GMT) Yoko Shimomura gives us some shots from inside Central Hall Westminster.
(March 24, 2017 - 7:10 PM GMT) The doors are opening. Andrew and Aquaberry are heading in to take their seats for the performance.
(March 24, 2017 - 7:15 PM GMT) Zanda (@Door2Darkness_) gives us a fantastic view of the stage.
(March 24, 2017 - 7:35 PM GMT) Kai (@Kai_Drawings) has a closer view on the stage.
(March 24, 2017 - 7:48 PM GMT) A selfie of Andrew and Aquaberry has been added as they're about to enter the concert in five minutes!
(March 24, 2017 - 8:05 PM GMT) Aquaberry has meet up with Square Enix community manager Dan Seto!
(March 24, 2017 - 8:07 PM GMT) The concert is about to begin!
(March 24, 2017 - 8:30 PM GMT) The concert was delayed due to extra security in Westminster. The concert will begin shortly.
(March 24, 2017 - 8:44 PM GMT) The orchestra has now begun!
(March 24, 2017 - 9:03 PM GMT) Katie Gray (@hownottodraw) managed to get a photo of the orchestra on stage!
(March 24, 2017 - 9:50 PM GMT) The first half of the concert is over! The songs played were Hikari, Dearly Beloved (KH2 ver.), Destati, Organization XIII, Twinkle Twinkle Holidays, World of KINGDOM HEARTS, and Threats of the Land.
(March 24, 2017 - 9:54 PM GMT) Harry Milner (@SkyminHAZBOZ) shared his experiences leading up to the intermission, including text from Andrew's booklet!
(March 24, 2017 - 10:20 PM GMT) During the performance of many of the concert's songs, fans were treated to Japanese recordings of several characters' voices, including Xion, Kairi, and Aqua!
(March 24, 2017 - 11:00 PM GMT) The second half of the concert is over! The songs played were Heroes and Heroines, Lazy Afternoons/At Dusk I'll Think of You, Vector to the Heavens, Wave of Darkness, Daybreak Town -The Heart of χ-, The Other Promise, Let Darkness Assemble, and Passion. At the end of the concert, Yoko Shimomura went on stage and played piano for the final piece, Fantasia alla Marcia!
(March 24, 2017 - 11:30 PM GMT) Fans are waiting in queue for Yoko Shimomura's autograph!
(March 25, 2017 - 1:44 AM GMT) The event is over. Thanks to Aquaberry and Andrew Hankinson for helping put together the Meet Up and thanks to the people the showed up to help sign Yoko's card! Wishing another amazing experience to everyone attending tomorrow's concert!
KH13 Meet-up Gallery
- Mar 25 2017 09:36 PM
- by neil98
Monogram Direct have announced their Kingdom Hearts 3D Foam Key Rings collection will grow with the addition of Series 2. Monogram Direct announced Series 1 back in September.
Included in this series are Final Form Sora, Lexaeus, Vexen, Larxene, Zexion, Ansem (Seeker of Darkness), Yen Sid, Anti-Form Sora, Maleficent, and both Oathkeeper and Oblivion Keyblades.
It's currently unknown when the figures will be available. We'll update once we find the release date. Thanks to KHInsider for the tip.
- Mar 23 2017 08:54 PM
- by Leamax
Welcome to KH13's coverage for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in Paris! Taking place in Salle Pleyel today and tomorrow, the concert will feature live music from various Kingdom Hearts games, with series composer Yoko Shimomura overseeing the orchestra. The concert begins at 8pm CET (7pm GMT).
Many exciting reveals for the Kingdom Hearts franchise were displayed at the previous concert in Japan, such as the announcement of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] and exclusive canon back story for Kingdom Hearts III. Series director Tetsuya Nomura has also stated that new Kingdom Hearts III information is possible at one of the concerts.
Hours prior to the concert, boxes of merchandise were spotted outside the venue! You can view the image here thanks to @kristiswat.
KH13's very own @everglow and many other members are attending the concert, so stay tuned to KH13 and all of our social media accounts for any interesting developments!
(March 18th, 2017 - 5:47 PM GMT) Exclusive merchandise will be available at the concert! This includes a phone case, a T-shirt, a collector's Keyblade and the album of the orchestra.
(March 18th, 2017 - 6:08 PM GMT) People are queuing up for the concert! There is also playable demo of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 outside the hall. In addition, banners for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue are in the lobby.
(March 18th, 2017 - 7:00 PM GMT) They are showing the trailers for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX before the concert begins!
(March 18th, 2017 - 7:02 PM GMT) The concert has begun! We hope everyone in attendance enjoys the show!
(March 18th, 2017 - 8:30 PM GMT) The Kairi, Xion, and Aqua backstory from Kingdom Hearts III was showcased during the first part of the concert!
(March 18th, 2017 - 10:25 PM GMT) With the conclusion of the show, VIP ticket holders are now waiting for the meet & greet with Yoko Shimomura!
(March 18th, 2017 - 10:52 PM GMT) Time to go home! Better quality pictures of the French concert guide will be uploaded soon!
(March 19th, 2017 - 4:12 PM GMT) Better quality pictures of the French concert guide are now available, which include interviews and more!
- Mar 24 2017 06:57 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
The official Kingdom Hearts Twitter account has released a new trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. You can view the trailer below:
- Mar 17 2017 12:53 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
Update 1.02 now available for Japanese version of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, includes KH2FM damage/gauge 60fps & other defects fix
Square Enix has officially rolled a new update for the Japanese version ofKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. This update, which is 1.02, fixes the damage and gauge problems caused by 60fps in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, and has fixed other various defects within the collection.
The update is 235.3 MB big.
You can check out screenshots of the update (in Japanese and English) thanks to @aibo_ac7 and @churroz.
UPDATE: Square Enix has announced that they will be offering a Day One patch for North American and European players for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX. It is stated that the patch is to resemble that of which was released in Japan.
- Mar 23 2017 08:55 PM
- by Jake
The European store, GAME, just announced an exclusive pre-order bonus for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX which includes an exclusive 15 year anniversary poster print, we will provide new images of the poster once they become available. You can take a look at the promotional picture below.
- Mar 15 2017 02:19 PM
- by Dengojin
Thanks to 4Gamer.net, sales for the latest Japanese game releases are now available. Ranking second in sales is Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX, which sold a total number of 62,770 units in Japan for the first week of release.
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX released on March 9, 2017 in Japan and releases on March 28, 2017 in North America, while releasing everywhere else on March 31, 2017.
- Mar 15 2017 12:19 PM
- by Jake
Square Enix has announced that Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ will be updating to Kingdom Hearts Union χ in Japan on March 23, 2017. Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] is the newest updating coming to Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ which features multiplayer gameplay, new story updates, and other different gameplay features.
In addition to the release of Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] in Japan, fans can also receive a new wallpaper for their Android or iPhone devices. Check out the different wallpaper designs below. You can download the wallpapers directly here.
In case you missed it, you can check out the Japanese teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] below with English translated subtitles.
Trailer text: Let us meet again here tomorrow
Ava: You are one of the 5 chosen by Dandelion. You 5 have to become a foreseers, lead a union and guide everyone.
Master of Masters: There is no need for memories of the calamity in the next era. Here and in other worlds, I want you to experience a time without calamity.
Ava : Is that really possible ?
Master of Masters: Don't worry I can do it. First take care of these 5.
Third dialogue :
Skuld: Am I the second one ?
Ephemera : Skuld ? Is that you ?
Skuld: More importantly, I wonder who are the 3 others.
Ephemera: I was sceptical when Lady Ava told me to come here so I didn't even think who would come here too.
Skuld: Ah ! Someone is coming
Fourth dialogue :
Skuld: You are the third one.
Ephemera: Did Lady Ava send you ?
Ventus: Yes, she told me to come here once everything is over.
Ephemera: My name is Ephemera, nice to meet ya.
The trailer concludes with a handshake between Ventus and Ephemera.
The English update for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] will be arriving sometime in April.
- Mar 23 2017 08:58 PM
- by Jake
Interview from Famitsu with Tetsuya Nomura discussing Kingdom Hearts III, Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - and Kingdom Hearts Union χ
Famitsu has posted an article that has an interview with the Kingdom Hearts series' Director Tetsuya Nomura discussing the recent Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour -, Kingdom Hearts III information, and Kingdom Hearts Union χ. You can read the interview below, translated by goldpanner.
KH3 news somewhere along the World Tour...
On March 10th 2017, the Kingdom Hearts (hereon KH) orchestra concert tour Kingdom Hearts Orchestra -World Tour- kicked off at the Tokyo International Forum. After the very first show in Tokyo, we were able to get a little time with director of the KH series, Tetsuya Nomura. Here is a mini-interview with him where we asked about interesting parts of the concert and things to come.
—Did you have any orders regarding the choice of music for the concert?
Nomura: (Ms Yoko) Shimomura was the one who made the setlist for the show this time. I might have tweaked some things, but the setlist stayed basically the same. I had the order of some things changed based on the performances by the voice actors and such, that was about it. The setlists for both the wind concert last summer and this concert were made at the same time, and we treated them both like two halves of one whole, so I thought about how their structure should match. The way both the last concert ended with and this one began with Hikari was one way it was structured to reflect that.
—So, on the whole, you were mainly in charge of the videos and the dramatic readings, right?
Nomura: Yes. We only just barely got it ready on time, but we made it (dry laughter). For the acting guidance of the dramatic readings, we asked external sound supervisor Mr (Yoji) Shimizu, just like with the games. This concert counts as one of the works in the series, after all. Overseas, we will play recordings of Ms Toyoguchi and Ms Uchida's voices, with subtitles on the videos.
—Our interest was piqued by how the video that played during Kairi's reading was the only one done in live-action.
Nomura: Kairi is speaking pretty specifically about events happening during KH3, so we didn't have any cinematics that really worked. So, we matched it to a live-action video that fit the vibe. There are pieces of imagery that link to the content of what she is saying, for example, how it shows a scene of a sunset at the part where she says, "He stares at my face."
—On the first day, we were surprised when you came on between performances and blessed us with your talk. During the trailer that played, the hall went pretty wild when Ventus came on screen.
Nomura: Well, the first day is special (laughs). It was perfect timing with the announcement planned at an event overseas, so I decided to have it debut at the concert that was happening a few hours earlier. Of the five new Union Leaders, the remaining two will be revealed from April on. I've finished writing the story for the 4th and am about to start on stuff for the 5th, so please look forward to it.
—There was also an announcement that information about KH3 would be revealed during the world tour.
Nomura: We announced that KH Unchained χ will become KH Union Cross right after the release of KH -HD 1.5+2.5 -ReMix-, so we have touched a little on KH3. Please wait for more information on this.
- Mar 23 2017 09:01 PM
- by neil98
Thanks to @Vidxad on Twitter, you can now view the first Japanese Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] trailer with English subtitles. Check it out below:
- Mar 14 2017 12:25 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
Square Enix have announced that the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - album is now available for pre-order on the Square Enix Japan E-Store. It will be available on the E-Store for a limited time only. The album will release on April 14, 2017.
The album was previously announced to be amongst merchandise merchandise exclusive to the events, along with the concert guide, Keyblade baton, and Kingdom Hearts Orchestra t-shirt, wallet, and purse.
The Square Enix E-Store also features the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - T-shirt and purse among recommended items, with a listed release date of May 8, 2017. However, clicking on them leads to an error page.
The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - officially began on March 10, 2017, with its first show in Tokyo, Japan. Check out the upcoming show dates and locations here!
Will you be attending any of the shows? If you're attending the London show on March 24th, don't forget to come to our pre-concert #KH13MeetUp!
- Mar 23 2017 09:02 PM
- by Aquaberry
Exclusive canon back story for Kingdom Hearts III shown at Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in Japan
During the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in Japan, the Japanese voice actress of Kairi and Xion, Rise Uchida, came onstage and performed lines. The Japanese voice actress for Aqua, Megumi Toyoguchi, later came onstage and performed some lines as well. These lines are canon to the story of Kingdom Hearts and explain some back story for Kingdom Hearts III.
You can view the translated Kairi lines thanks to @momo_krys on Twitter below:
I didn't notify you but you might've already heard from Yen Sid-sama.
I've come to train to become a Keyblade wielder.
Until now, I've only been waiting for you guys to come back from your journey.
Maybe with this I can at least help out a little.
The magician Merlin-sama can use magic that surpasses time.
Here, we can forget about the flow of time.
Isn't it great?
Lea's training with me.
He apologized to me over and over again.
But he'd keep on apologizing...
At first I was a bit scared but
As we trained together we started talking to each other.
I found out Lea also has a best friend he wants to save.
I felt like, he's not a person that I can bring myself to hate...
Sometimes..... He'd stare at my face
So I'd ask him, what's wrong?
"I don't know, but I feel like it's something I must recall", He'd say...
Your journey is a journey that will help many people
and the people you'll meet from now on
I have a feeling these people you meet will also need your help
The journey might be hard but
Please stay as the cheerful and bright Sora I know
Because your smile, will save many hearts.....
You can view the translated Xion lines thanks to @momo_krys on Twitter below:
On the day you first called my name
It made me feel like I had a heart
If I hadn't met the two of you
I wonder how my "everyday" would've been.
Day by day, repeating the days which were the same as every other,
The red, setting sun,
The taste of ice cream.
Those days when nothing happened were the most precious to me
All of it is my treasure.
Thank you for calling out my name.
Thank you for inviting me to the clocktower.
Thank you for picking up shells for me.
Thank you for coming to bring me back.
Thank you for letting me be your friend.
I wish... those same old days could have continued on longer....
We wanted to go to the sea....
@momo_krys hasn't translated Aqua's lines, but he says they were pretty much something like "Ven, Terra, become the light that will guide me through the darkness!" He says that it was essentially just her saying that she wanted Ventus and Terra to guide her in her darkness and to become the light that shines her path.
If you didn't know, last year during the Kingdom Hearts Concert - First Breath - in Japan, a similar situation to this happened. The Japanese voice actor of Terra and the Japanese voice actress of Naminé came onstage and performed some canon lines for Terra and Naminé. You can view those lines here.
UPDATE 1: View images of Kairi and Xion's voice actress, Rise Uchida, and Aqua's Japanese voice actress, Megumi Toyoguchi, performing their lines thanks to Game Watch below:
UPDATE 2: For all the other orchestras around the world, they played recordings of these voices with English subtitles. The recording of Kairi's voice played while Dearly Beloved played, the recording of Xion's voice played while Vector to the Heavens played, and the recording of Aqua's voice played while Wave of Darkness played.
- Mar 27 2017 10:46 PM
- by Elfdemon_
With the announcement of a multiplayer function and Kingdom Hearts Union χ, more news for Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ , (soon to be rebranded as Union χ) arrives!
On March 11th, 2017, EvangelKaltz was able to meet and interview Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Producer, Hironori Okayama, Co-Director Hiroyuki Ito, and the North America Operation's Producer of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, Steven Nguyen at PAX East. During this interview, the men confirmed that they are looking to bring the highly-anticipated Mickey & Broom medals into the North American port of the game, as well as raise the "power level" of medals to be on par with that of Japan's Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ. They also stated that they are looking to improve communications between the team and players.
The interview can be viewed below, thanks to player Pigginatti:
UPDATE: During PAX East 2017, The NOVA Project on YouTube asks Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Producer, Hironori Okayama, about Mickey & Brooms and directly confronts him with a joke "WANTED: Mickey & Brooms" sign. Okayama laughs and replies with a "Soon." View the funny moment in the video below:
- Mar 23 2017 09:11 PM
- by faemarch
During the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - held in Japan on March 10th, 2017, Yoko Shimomura discussed the music played at the event in the Official Concert Guide. You can take a look at her thoughts on the brochures provided by @RedMakuzawa and @jsjunshen.
There is also an interview with her providing information on her inspirations, an image showing the artworks for all three Kingdom Hearts HD collections and how they connect, and some new scans.
We will update the article with higher quality scans once they become available, as well as a proper transcription to read for both Shimomura's thoughts and interview.
- Mar 23 2017 09:12 PM
- by Dengojin
Tetsuya Nomura and Yoko Shimomura interviewed at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in Japan
During the first concert of the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - in Tokyo, Japan various merchandise was available to purchase! Amongst this merchandise was a brochure containing an exclusive interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura and series composer Yoko Shimomura.
In the interview, Nomura shares his music interests and states that he likes Oswald The Rabbit when asked about his favorite Disney character!
Surprisingly, this is your first joint interview. Can you tell us about when you met?
YS: I'll be Mr. Nomura doesn't remember (laughs).
TN: I don't. I don't remember meeting any of the staff for the first time. We should've done this interview then. I don't remember what happened fifteen years ago.
YS: I remember it clearly. When I joined the company, I went around introducing myself to everyone. When I got to Mr. Nomura's desk, he turned around and said, "I'm the monster guy, Nomura." I wasn't sure if "monster guy" was a job title (laughs). Someone then pointed out that Mr. Nomura was working on the monster art.
When did you first come to "notice" each other?
TN: I want to say during the production of Parasite Eve in LA.
YS: I remember asking him about the concept of Final Fantasy VII. I hadn't had a chance since we were never on the same team. We finally were, and that's when I also learned about his doodle art.
TN: That's when I started drawing them.
YS: It was a while before the production of Kingdom Hearts 1.
Why was Ms. Shimomura chosen to do the music for Kingdom Hearts?
TN: She was available (laughs).
YS: That's it? (laughs)
TN: There were a few candidates, but the coordinator of the sound department at the time recommended her saying she showed the most promise. My reaction was, "Oh, her. Shimomura."
YS: What was that supposed to mean? (laughs)
TN: After the first title, I had her stay on because I don't like changing pivotal members of the staff midway.
YS: You probably don't remember, but when I decided to go freelance, you came to see me.
TN: I did?
YS: You asked me about my plans after I quit. When I said I had no idea, you told me you didn't care whether I worked here or not, you wanted to keep me on the series. That's when I realised freelance was a real possibility. It's a pretty great story!
TN: I don't think the guy who said that is the same guy who's here right now (laughs).
YS: Don't ruin my story!
It Was Supposed to be Scrapped...
How do you communicate during the development process?
YS: For Kingdom Hearts I would suggest music to Mr. Nomura--
TN: I usually make requests through someone, so we didn't talk much directly.
YS: For the first title, I brought you a demo MD. I left it on your desk and sent you an email about it. I remember talking to you on the phone too.
TN: I don't remember that at all.
YS: Generally, I would talk to someone else regarding which type of song should be in which part of the game, but I handed your the demos directly. I would submit them to a planner on the project first, though. I remember some of the songs getting rejected because there was no use for them, but then later finding out that you heard and liked some of them. "Dearly Beloved" is one example. I thought it had been scrapped, but then I saw in an interview you had said, "I don't remember scrapping this!"
In your mind, which song is the KINGDOM HEARTS song?
TN: "Dearly Beloved" is used often; it's a great song. But the title is hard to remember. What does it mean?
YS: Someone precious to you.
TN: Oh, really? Well, now I know. "Precious." Like The Lord of the Rings (laughs).
YS: I didn't use the internet back then. I was using a dictionary and saw it and thought, "This is it!" I can't believe it's been fifteen years and you can barely remember the title... Speaking of titles, there's a song called "Sunset Horizon" in the KINGDOM HEARTS II secret movie. I didn't want to use the word "sunset," but you did; the poor mediator had one tough job. Don't you remember?
TN: No... I wonder why I wanted to use that word so badly.
YS: I can't remember why I didn't want to use that word (laughs).
TN: I wonder if it's because I often went to Sunset Boulevard during the production of KINGDOM HEARTS II (laughs). Nevertheless, all your titles are hard to figure out. Some are in English, some in Italian. What is it you're trying to do? (laughs)
YS: They're generally in English, with a little bit of variety thrown in the mix...
TN: None of your titles help me realise, "Oh, that song!" You shold keep them simple.
YS: My English isn't very good... A part of me would like to name them in Japanese...
TN: We've come this far, it'd be confusing if we switched now (laughs). When I'm making a trailer, I have to listen to every song because I can't tell which title goes with which song. You should've named them in Japanese from the start!
YS: There was a discussion regarding naming the songs in English so they'd be understood by a wider audience.
TN: Speaking of song titles, I remember during the production of KINGDOM HEARTS II, we'd been referring to Roxas only as "the mysterious boy," but you named a song after him and put his name out there.
YS: That you remember (laughs). It wasn't supposed to be released yet because it was a spoiler, it went out anyway. It was supposed to be released after the game.
TN: There was a reason we'd stuck with "the mysterious boy" since the beginning... See, this would've been a perfect opportunity for you to use one of your hard-to-understand titles! (laughs)
YS: But all of the other characters' themes were named after them. Anyway, it went on to become a popular song so it all worked out.
Not Living Up to Me
Mr. Nomura, what's your stance regarding the music?
YS: During Kingdom Hearts Concert -First Breath-, he said something I'll never forget. He said, "I demand only good music." It was a compliment; I was thrilled, but at the same time, I felt I was shouldering a great responsibility. (To Tetsuya Nomura) You must remember that.
TN: No... (laughs)
YS: When I was creating a new song for 0.2, you told me "You're not living up to your own standards." I wasn't living up to myself...
So you're saying all the songs are great.
TN: That's why I give them the OK.
YS: Sometimes the team says yes, but Mr. Nomura says no.
What song required the most back-and-forth?
TN: That I remember. The music from Twilight Town.
YS: "Lazy Afternoons." You said it was lacking "melancholy" and "wistfulness." Remember?
TN: I do. I ended up telling you exactly what I wanted.
YS: After he told me, he green-lighted the first title I submitted.
TN: I generally don't specify what I want.
YS: I wish you would...
TN: It's not a good idea because you'd put too much focus on that. I have a certain image in my head, and I'll keep asking for more until I get it.
YS: I'd love to know what that image is...
Mr. Nomura, what kind of music do you usually listen to?
TN: I don't listen to a lot of music, and I don't play any instruments. I don't know why I'm so picky when it comes to music; at least I'm aware that I am.
YS: When a song is rejected, I ask why, and the response generally begins with, "I don't know much about music" and continues with "I just know something's off." That "something" is what I'd like to know (laughs). But maybe now knowing is how we manage to keep creating something new.
Who's your favourite artist?
TN: There are a few artists I like, but lately I've been into loud rock (a genre born from heavy metal and hard core rock).
TN: I like the tones of a piano.
YS: It's hard to choose, but I've played the piano for a long time; it will always be special.
Are there any other Kingdom Hearts concerts you'd like to see come true?
YS: Rock!? With a band? Weren't you saying before that you wanted a musical?
TN: A while ago. When I watched the movie Les Miserables, I thought, "We should do a musical!" But I wanted to incorporate it into a game, not an on-stage production.
YS: There was a musical number in Kingdom Hearts II. That was rough.
TN: In Atlantica. But that was a music game. I wanted a musical cutscene.
YS: Thank goodness that never happened... (laughs)
TN: Well, I was watching a show the other day, and it had a musical number. It made me want to create a musical, a production where everyone bursts into song.
Who's your favourite Disney character?
TN: I've come to like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Figaro's cute too, the cat in Pinocchio who's always staring at the goldfish. I also like the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland.
Conveying the Concept with Music and Video
How did the concerts come to be?
TN: I've been saying we should do it for a long time now.
YS: So have I, and so have a lot of fans.
TN: We've tried several times, but it just never happened.
YS: It took a while to go from "wanting" to "doing."
TN: Speaking of fans, there's a reason I wanted the opening night to be the day after KINGDOM HEARTS HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX was released in Japan. This doesn't apply to the overseas fans, unfortunately... After the previous concert, many people said it made them want to play the games all over again. We decided to release the games the day before, so people can go home and play to their hearts' content after the concert.
YS: I hope people don't stay up all night playing the night before the concert and end up falling asleep during the performance (laughs).
How did you decide on the program?
YS: I came up with a rough plan, which Mr. Nomura checked.
TN: I wanted both concerts to be connected, like two halves. This time all the music will be accompanied by video, and that will convey the concept and emotions even better. I can't tell you exactly what the program will look like right now because the video still needs to be edited, and new songs will be announced. The plan may change.
Are you directing the videos?
TN: I plan on working closely with the movie director like I do when making trailers and such.
YS: It's like creating a trailer for each song. It must be rough...
TN: I want to make sure the music fits just right.
YS: It's a live performance; that might be difficult.
TN: I plan on treating this like any other project.
The Concert is Like Any Other Kingdom Hearts Project
Are there different themes for the previous concert and this one?
YS: We wanted drama. We wanted the audience to feel as thoguh they're playing the game; we wanted to tell a story. We needed to keep the popular songs, but have variety. Some songs were better suited for a wind ensemble, others for an orchestra, some both. We had a plan.
TN: The plan was good, but I had to make some changes (laughs). Some songs were too similar. I wanted "Hikari" performed in the last concert; she didn't.
YS: I wanted the concert to end on a happy note, which is why I wanted "Dearly Beloved."
TN: But I stood my ground and that was that. Aren't you happy the concert didn't end with you performing the last song, a nervous wreck on stage? (laughs)
TN: I can just picture you backstage. "I messed up!"
YS: I wasn't that bad! I got better with every performance.
TN: Don't use the concerts for practice! (laughs)
YS: I was nervous; I'd never played on such a grand stage with a wind ensemble. And if it were the last song, I wouldn't have performed!
TN: I didn't get a chance to watch the first concert as a spectator. I only caught a glimpse during rehearsals, too.
Do you plan on participating in the overseas performances?
TN: As many as I can. I want to go to Singapore. The LA performance is around the same time as E3, so there's a good chance I'll make it to that one too. I'm not sure about the others. (To Yoko Shimomura) You're going, aren't you? On your own dime?
YS: There's no way I can afford that! (laughs)
What would you like to say to the audience?
TN: This concert is like a Kingdom Hearts project, just like the games and other productions. We have video to accompany the songs this time, but as they'll be performed by different orchestras in each country, no one knows how it'll all come together in the end. I'm excited to experience the different performances in each country. During the last concert, even the Tokyo and Osaka performances left varying impressions despite both of them being held in Japan. Concerts are live and you never get the same experience twice; it's an appealing factor that I hope everyone is looking forward to.
View the images of the interview from the pamphlet thanks to @RedMakuzawa on Twitter below:
And thanks to @jsjunshen on Twitter for the tip!
- Mar 23 2017 09:15 PM
- by The 13th Kenpachi
The time has come! Since the release of Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover, fans have awaited the continuation of the main story of Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ with bated breath. As of March 10th, 2017, five new story quests have been added to the Japanese version of the game. While small, this update is a large development to the story, focusing on events within Daybreak Town, as well as the game's divergence from the ending of Kingdom Hearts χ[chi]. This update seems to be laying the foundations for the upcoming re-branding to Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross]. You can view info and trailers for Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] here.
UPDATE 1: We have received an untranslated playthrough of the update, courtesy of our good friend Everglow, so please take a look! Translated footage will be available soon.
UPDATE 2: We now have an English translated playthrough of the update, courtesy of Everglow! View it below:
Are you excited for the long-awaited continuation to Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ, and the lead-in to Kingdom Hearts Union χ? Let us know in the comments!
- Mar 23 2017 09:16 PM
- by Raxaimus
Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - has officially begun. With the first of the Tokyo concerts complete, the tour will be in full swing for the rest of March, May, June, and into July. Here's the dates of the upcoming concerts:
-Saturday, 11 March 12:30 PM JST Tokyo International Forum Hall C, Tokyo Japan
-Saturday, 11 March 6:30 PM JST Tokyo International Forum Hall C, Tokyo Japan
-Saturday, 18 March 8:00 PM CET Salle Pleyel, Paris, France
-Sunday, 19 March 3:00 PM CET Salle Pleyel, Paris, France
-Friday, 24 March 8:00 PM BST Central Hall Westminster Official, London, England
-Saturday, 25 March 8:00 PM BST Central Hall Westminster Official, London, England
-Saturday, 6 May 8:00 PM SGT Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore
-Sunday, 7 May 8:00 PM SGT Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore
-Saturday, 13 May 8:00 PM MYT Plenary Hall KL Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
-Sunday, 28 May 7:00 PM CST Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai, China
Event: https://www.facebook...85809321593692/ (Check update below)
-Saturday, 10 June 8:00 PM PDT Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, California
-Sunday, 11 June 8:00 PM PDT Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, California
-Wednesday, 14 June 5:30 PM PDT Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, California
-Friday, 23 June 8:00 PM EDT United Place Theater, New York City, New York
-Saturday, 24 June 8:00 PM EDT United Place Theater, New York City, New York
-Saturday, 8 July 7:30 PM JST Orix Theater, Osaka, Japan
UPDATE: The Shanghai concert on May 28, 2017 has been moved to Hong Kong and will be on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 4 PM CST at AsiaWorld-Expo Runway 11. You can buy tickets here.
Are any of you attending any of these concerts?
- Apr 14 2017 04:31 PM
- by Leamax