To Heart

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"Toheart" redirects here. For the Korean band, see Toheart (band).
To Heart
ToHeartLogo.png
The To Heart logo.
トゥハート
(Tu Hāto)
Genre Drama, Harem, Romance
Game
Developer Leaf
Publisher Aquaplus
Genre Eroge, Visual novel
Platform Windows, PS, PS2, PSP
Released May 23, 1997 (Original Windows)
March 25, 1999 (PS)
Manga
Written by Leaf
Illustrated by Ukyō Takao
Published by MediaWorks
English publisher United States ADV Manga
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Dengeki Daioh
Original run October 1997December 1999
Volumes 3
Anime television series
Directed by Naohito Takahashi
Studio Oriental Light and Magic
Licensed by United States The Right Stuf International
Network TV Kanagawa
Original run April 1, 1999June 24, 1999
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
To Heart: Remember My Memories
Directed by Keitaro Motonaga
Studio AIC, Oriental Light and Magic
Network AT-X
Original run October 2, 2004December 25, 2004
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Manga
To Heart: Remember My Memories
Written by Leaf
Illustrated by Ukyō Takao
Published by MediaWorks
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Dengeki Daioh
Original run November 2004July 2005
Volumes 1
Game sequel
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

To Heart (トゥハート Tu Hāto?) is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Leaf and released on May 23, 1997 for the PC. It was later ported to the PlayStation and given voice acting. A second PC version, titled To Heart PSE was released containing the PlayStation version as well as bonus games. To Heart PSE and the PlayStation version had the adult scenes removed. To Heart is Leaf's fifth game, and the third and final title in the Leaf Visual Novel Series along with Shizuku and Kizuato. The gameplay in To Heart follows a plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the eight female main characters. A sequel of To Heart, To Heart 2, was released on December 28, 2004 directly to the PlayStation 2. A special bundle of To Heart 2 and a PS2 version of To Heart was released on the same day. The original PC release of the visual novel was titled To Heart, however the anime and the PSE versions later changed to ToHeart without any space between the words. The English release of the anime uses the former format.

To Heart was adapted into a thirteen-episode anime TV series by Oriental Light and Magic aired between April and July 1999, and a second anime, To Heart: Remember My Memories, aired between October and December 2004. The first anime was licensed by Right Stuf International for distribution in North America; the first DVD was released in March 2007. Two manga series were produced, both illustrated by Ukyō Takao and serialized in MediaWorks manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. The first manga, which ran between October 1997 and December 1999, was based on the original visual novel, and the second manga, which ran between November 2004 and July 2005, was based on the anime To Heart: Remember My Memories. A drama CD entitled Piece of Heart was released in October 1999.

Gameplay[edit]

Average dialogue and narrative in To Heart depicting the main character Hiroyuki talking to Lemmy.

To Heart is a romance visual novel in which the player assumes the role of Hiroyuki Fujita.[1] Its gameplay requires little player interaction as much of the game's duration is spent on reading the text that appears on the screen, which represents the story's narrative and dialogue. The text is accompanied by character sprites, which represent who Hiroyuki is talking to, over background art. Throughout the game, the player encounters CG artwork at certain points in the story, which take the place of the background art and character sprites. A gallery of the viewed CGs and played background music is available on the game's title screen. To Heart follows a branching plot line with multiple endings, and depending on the decisions that the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in a specific direction.

The game divides each school day of the storyline into four segments. These segments illustrate the events that occur during Hiroyuki's commute to school, during school, after school, and after he returns home at the end of each day.[1] Depending on the time of the day and the player's actions, he or she may be presented one of four types of events: dated events, which occur automatically during certain points in the game's plot line; affection events, which occur during certain periods of time only if specific conditions pertaining to a character's affection towards Hiroyuki are met; frequency events, which occur after meeting a character a predetermined number of times; and VS events, which occurs if two characters' affection towards Hiroyuki conflict with one another.[1]

At the end of each school day, the player is given the option to navigate to various locations within the game's setting.[1] Each choosable location is accompanied by an image of a heroine in order to allow the choices to be easier to make. Every so often, the player will also come to a "decision point", where he or she is given the chance to choose from multiple options. Text progression pauses at these points, and depending on the choices that the player makes, the affection rate of the heroine associated with the event will either increase, decrease, or remain the same.[1] This mechanism determines which direction of the plot the player will progress into.[1] There are ten plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. The game also contains a bad ending in which the player is unable to pursue the other scenarios. In order to view all of the plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different decisions to progress the plot in an alternate direction.

In the versions released since the original, there are six bonus minigames available that serve to lengthen the experience. The first game is a platform game called "Heart by Heart", in which the player controls a To Heart character in one of the thirty static, non-moving levels.[1][2] The player's objective is to defeat all of the enemies in the level using various attacks within a time limit. The minigame also features a two-player variation, in which the players may compete or cooperate with each other within the game's levels. The second, "CircleTriangleSquareX", is a puzzle game in which the player gains points by forming and eliminating lines of three or more blocks of the same shape. The player achieves this by swapping the preexisting blocks in the game's screen with those in a bank of blocks alloted to him or her.[2] The third minigame, titled "Ojō-sama wa Majō" (お嬢様は魔女?), is a side-scrolling shooter game featuring Serika Kurusugawa.[2] The player's goal is to progress through a horizontally scrolling level, while attacking enemies and dodging their attacks. "Katamomi Multi" (肩もみマルチ?, Shoulder-rubbing Multi) and "Katamomi Serio" (肩もみセリオ?, Shoulder-rubbing Serio) are bonus scenarios in which the player is given simulated massages by the characters Multi or Serio using the DualShock controller's vibration function.[1] Lastly, "Water Survival" (ウォーターサバイバル Uōtaa Sabaibaru?) is a minigame that appears in Shiho Nagaoka's scenario, in which Hiroyuki and Shiho attempt to shoot each other with water guns.[1]

Characters[edit]

Development[edit]

After completing Shizuku and Kizuato, main planner and scenario writer Tatsuya Takahashi began conceptualizing the third entry to the Leaf Visual Novel Series, which would later become To Heart.[1][3] Takahashi originally considered creating a story with dark fantasy and gothic themes, but changed his approach in order to avoid making three consecutive works with dark themes.[1][3] He then settled on creating a romance, and later incorporated comical elements.[1] Early in development, Takahashi consulted frequent collaborator Tōru Minazuki for the creation of the story. The two originally considered creating the story and characters entirely by themselves, but after Minazuki expressed his concern that having only six heroines is not enough to exemplify a romance theme, the two asked writer Saki Aomura and illustrator Hisashi Kawata to assist in the project's development.[1] Out of the ten heroines created, Takahashi wrote the scenarios for Akari, Multi, Tomoko, Serika, Aoi, and Ayaka; Aomura authored the scenarios for Lemmy, Kotone, and Shiho;[1] and the scenario for Rio was written by a third writer named Udaru Harada.[4] Minazuki designed and illustrated Takahashi's characters, while Kawata illustrated the remaining characters.[1]

The writers did not begin work on the story until the characters were created.[1] Takahashi felt the game's story is simply actions that represent what becomes of the characters.[3] He mentioned the story exists not because he wanted to write the story, but because he wanted to "illustrate" the characters.[3] Takahashi believed that such a writing style was unique even within the game industry at the time, but has since become the norm.[3] Although the story contains futuristic elements such as maid robots, Takahashi stated the story takes place during contemporary times.[1] Parts of the school in which the game takes place was based on the alma mater that Takahashi, Minazuki, and Aomura had attended, and Takahashi said the game's story reflects the staff members' school experience during the 1980s.[1] To Heart was released as an adult visual novel for Microsoft Windows PCs on May 23, 1997, following the releases of the previous Leaf Visual Novel Series titles.

PlayStation release[edit]

The original Windows version was followed by an all-ages version for the PlayStation on March 25, 1999.[5] Takahashi viewed the PS port as a "brand new game" under the disguise of a ported title, as he believed the original staff in the development team could not be satisfied with simply a straightforward port. Several changes were made to the PS version, including the removal of adult scenes and additions such as voice acting, new and rewritten scenarios, a new heroine named Ayaka Kurusugawa, and bonus minigames.[1]

Takahashi stated that the addition of voice acting was decided upon early into development. However, because of the high amount of memory needed to store the voice acting's audio files, the decision caused the development team to debate between using higher quality audio or a smaller number of discs.[1] Ultimately, the amount of data required by the voice acting caused the game to be released on two discs.[1] Aomura also made changes to the stories of his characters, and he admitted that he did not thoroughly understand Shiho's character while writing her scenario for the Windows version's development. He made revisions to the scenario in the PS version, and saw the result as a completed version.[1] Takahashi felt the majority of the scenarios were smoother without the erotic scenes present in the original version, and stated that the original's inclusion of fan service scenes was a natural decision made during development, despite how they felt forced to him.[1]

Subsequent releases[edit]

To Heart received two versions for the Microsoft Windows operating system in 2003. The first is a "renewal package" re-release based on the original adult version, and it was released on June 20, 2003 with additional support for Windows ME/2000/XP PCs.[6] An enhanced re-release, titled To Heart PSE, was also released for Windows PCs on June 27, 2003.[7] Unlike the renewal package release, PSE is an all-ages release,[8] and contains the additional content found in the PS version. The visual novel also received a version playable on the PlayStation 2, when the game was released as part of To Heart 2 '​s limited deluxe pack on December 28, 2004.[9] The PS2 version of the game was enhanced from the previous PS release, and it was not included with the limited or regular edition releases of To Heart 2.[9] Lastly, a PlayStation Portable version, titled To Heart Portable, was released as part of the To Heart 2 Portable '​s "W Pack" and limited edition releases on July 30, 2009.[10] Portable was also released individually as a budget-priced version on October 27, 2011.[10] Characters from To Heart are also playable in Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match, a fighting game developed by Aquaplus featuring characters from various Leaf games.[11]

Adaptations[edit]

Books and publications[edit]

A guidebook for the original visual novel titled To Heart Official Guidebook: The Essence of To Heart (トゥハート公式ガイドブック―The essence of To Heart?) was published by Enterbrain in June 2000.[12] The book contains a comprehensive walkthrough for the entire To Heart visual novel, along with a gallery of all the obtainable CGs, as well as stage-by-stage descriptions of all three bonus games included in the PlayStation and PSE versions. A To Heart Visual Fan Book (To Heart ビジュアルファンブック?) was released by MediaWorks, and contains images from the PS version.

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation based on the original To Heart visual novel was illustrated by Ukyō Takao and serialized in MediaWorks' shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh between October 1997 and December 1999; the chapters were later compiled into three bound volumes published under MediaWorks' Dengeki Comics imprint. The manga was licensed by ADV Manga.[13] A manga based on the anime adaptation To Heart: Remember My Memories was also drawn by Takao and was serialized in Dengeki Daioh between November 2004 and July 2005; one volume was released.

Anime[edit]

A thirteen-episode anime series adaptation produced by Oriental Light and Magic and directed by Naohito Takahashi aired in Japan between April 1 and June 24, 1999. The overall story centers around Akari Kamigishi's blossoming relationship with the protagonist Hiroyuki. Six short bonus broadcasts were produced and aired after selected episodes. They lasted around five minutes and followed the general style of the main anime, although the characters are drawn super deformed. Three pieces of theme music were used for the episode; one opening theme and two ending themes. The opening theme is "Feeling Heart" by Masami Nakatsukasa; the first ending theme is "Yell" by Ayako Kawasumi, and the second ending theme is "Access" by Spy. Different ending themes were used depending on the location of the broadcast. The DVD and VHS releases used "Yell" as the ending theme. A set of six DVDs, videotapes and laserdiscs were sold in Japan for the To Heart anime.

To Heart was licensed for North American release by The Right Stuf International at Anime Expo 2004 on July 3, 2004 at their panel.[14] Volume one was scheduled for late 2005, but the master's copy Right Stuf received from Japan were in bad shape, delaying the release.[15][16] Due to the fact that To Heart was animated in the process of cel animation, it was captured on film instead of digitally on a computer. Unfortunately, the film masters had been destroyed, and their only choice was to restore and digitally remaster the video that they had been sent.[17] All thirteen episodes and the six bonus extra was released on four DVD volumes between March 27 and August 28, 2007.[18][19]

A sequel anime series entitled To Heart: Remember My Memories is set a year after the conclusion of the first anime and completes the anime's storyline (deviating from the visual novel). The future of Akari, Hiroyuki, and Multi are also shown. In To Heart: Remember My Memories, characters' hair color changed, for example Hiroyuki's hair, which turned from a dark brown to a greenish blue. The Himeyuri twins from To Heart 2 make their debut appearances in To Heart: Remember My Memories as speaking cameos. The anime, which was produced by AIC and Oriental Light and Magic, and directed by Keitaro Motonaga, aired in Japan between October 2 and December 25, 2004 compiling thirteen episodes. The episodes were released on seven DVD compilation volumes in Japan. Seven short omake episodes titled Heart Fighters were released with the consumer DVD versions of To Heart: Remember My Memories; they are not available on rental DVDs. Unlike the bonus shorts of the first season, the characters are not drawn super deformed and there is an overall arching mini-story. The humor comes from its parodies of popular Japanese culture. Two pieces of theme music were used for the episodes; one opening theme and one ending theme. The opening theme is "Daisuki da yo (大好きだよ?) (Into Your Heart)" by Naomi Tanisaki, that ranked at No. 63 on the Japanese Oricon weekly singles chart,[20] and the ending theme is "Sorezore no Mirai e" (それぞれの未来へ?) by Haruna Ikeda.

Audio CDs[edit]

A drama CD based on the original To Heart visual novel entitled Piece of Heart was released on October 27, 1999. The story revolves around Serio at her assigned high school alongside and after the anime version when Multi is still studying at Hiroyuki's school. A drama CD released for the second anime series was released on January 26, 2005.

The original theme song was "Brand New Heart", as opposed to "Feeling Heart" which was used in all subsequent versions and in the anime. A music single for the game, "Heart to Heart", was released on July 2, 1997. The visual novel's original soundtrack was released on May 28, 1999. Leaf released a piano arrange album entitled Leaf Piano Collection Volume 1 released in July 2002. The album contains popular songs from several of Leaf's visual novels, including three from To Heart. The first anime's original soundtrack entitled To Heart: Animation Sound Track was released on July 9, 1999. The anime's soundtrack contains all the tunes heard in the anime, as well as TV size versions of the ending song "Yell". It does not contain the opening song "Feeling Heart", which is found on either the "Feeling Heart" single released on April 2, 1999, or the original soundtrack from the game. A single for the second anime, "Daisuki da yo (大好きだよ?) (Into Your Heart)", was released on November 25, 2004 and contains both full and instrumental versions of the opening and ending themes. The soundtrack for the second anime titled To Heart: Remember My Memories Soundtrack & Image Song was released on December 22, 2004; the image song contained is sung by the Ayako Kawasumi, the voice actress of Akari Kamagishi.

Reception[edit]

On release, the video game magazine Famitsu scored the PlayStation version of the game a 30 out of 40.[21] In the October 2007 issue of Dengeki G's Magazine, poll results for the 50 best bishōjo games were released. Out of 249 titles, To Heart ranked 19th with 14 votes.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w トゥハートオフィシャルガイドブック The Essence of ToHeart [To Heart Official Guidebook: The Essence of To Heart] (in Japanese). Enterbrain. June 2000. ISBN 978-4-7577-0106-9. 
  2. ^ a b c Aquaplus, ed. (June 25, 2009). To Heart 2 Portable Software Manual. Aquaplus. pp. 19–35. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "TINAMIX Vol. 1.31 Leaf 高橋龍也&原田宇陀児インタビュー (前篇)" [Tinamix Vol. 1.31 Leaf Tatsuya Takahashi & Udaru Harada Interview (Part 1)] (in Japanese). Tinami. May 1, 2000. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ ToHeart ビジュアルファンブック [To Heart Visual Fun Book] (in Japanese). MediaWorks. September 15, 1999. ISBN 978-4-8402-1278-6. 
  5. ^ "ToHeart(トゥハート)・製品情報(PS)" [To Heart Product Information (PS)] (in Japanese). Aquaplus. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ "To Heart リニューアルパッケージ" [To Heart Renewal Package]. Amazon.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ "To Heart PSE 初回限定版" [To Heart PSE Limited Edition]. Amazon.co.jp. ASIN B00009MEWJ. 
  8. ^ "ToHeart(トゥハート) 製品情報(PC)『ToHeart PSE』" [To Heart Product Information (PC) To Heart PSE] (in Japanese). Aquaplus. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "ToHeart2 製品情報" [To Heart 2 Product information] (in Japanese). Aquaplus. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "ToHeart2 PORTABLE 製品情報" [To Heart 2 Portable Product information] (in Japanese). Aquaplus. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match" (in Japanese). Aquaplus. Retrieved December 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ "トゥーハート公式ガイドブック-The Essence of To Heart-" [To Heart Official Guidebook: The Essence of To Heart] (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Formation of Two New ADV Branches". Anime News Network. July 4, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  14. ^ "TRSI announces two acquisitions". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  15. ^ "New Right Stuf Acquisitions". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  16. ^ "To Heart Update". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  17. ^ "To Heart". The Right Stuf International. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  18. ^ "To Heart Vol. 1: New Feelings". The Right Stuf International. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  19. ^ "To Heart Vol. 4: Love and Truth". The Right Stuf International. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  20. ^ 大好きだよ(Into Your Heart) 谷咲ナオミ,池田春菜のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典 (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved April 2, 2011. 
  21. ^ "PlayStation: To Heart". Weekly Famitsu (in Japanese) (915, pt. 2): 19. June 30, 2006. 
  22. ^ "Dengeki G's Magazine top 50 bishōjo games" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]