White Cat Project

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White Cat Project
WCP2015GuideBook.jpg
Cover of the 2015 official fan book, featuring the three main characters (Hero, Iris and Catra) alongside event-exclusive characters.
白猫プロジェクト
(Shironeko Purojekuto)
GenreAdventure, fantasy[1]
Game
DeveloperColopl
PublisherColopl
Directed byRyōji Tsunoda
Produced byHiroki Asai[2]
GenreAction role-playing game
PlatformiOS, Android
ReleasedJuly 14, 2014
Game
White Cat Tennis
DeveloperColopl
PublisherColopl
GenreSports
PlatformiOS, Android
ReleasedJuly 31, 2016
Manga
Shironeko Project Hikoujima Kouen
Written byColopl
Illustrated byTsurujirou Matsudaira
Published byKodansha
MagazineComic Clear
DemographicShōnen
Original runJuly 2017July 2018
Volumes3
Manga
Zero Chronicle
Written byYuichi Tobiyama
Illustrated byFuku Kitsune
Published byKadokawa Shoten
DemographicShōnen
PublishedApril 1, 2020
Anime television series
Zero Chronicle
Directed byMasato Jinbo
Written byMasato Jinbo
Music byTaku Iwasaki
StudioProject No.9
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11
Original run April 6, 2020 June 22, 2020
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Game
Shironeko New Project
DeveloperColopl
PublisherColopl
GenreAction role-playing game
PlatformNintendo Switch
ReleasedTBA[3]
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

White Cat Project (Japanese: 白猫プロジェクト, Hepburn: Shironeko Purojekuto) is a free-to-play action role-playing game developed and published by Colopl for Android and iOS. It was initially released in Japan on July 14, 2014. An English-language version was released internationally under the name Colopl Rune Story and operated from July 23, 2015, to October 7, 2016.[4] A spinoff title, White Cat Tennis (白猫テニス, Shironeko Tenisu) was released on both iOS and Android on July 31, 2016, while the upcoming sequel Shironeko New Project will be released on the Nintendo Switch at a later date.[5]

An anime adaptation of the game's 3rd anniversary event produced by Project No.9 aired from April 6 to June 22, 2020.

Plot[edit]

A long time ago, there is an ancient legend revolving around two figures, the White Maiden of the Sky; represented by the White Cat, and the Black Prince of Darkness; represented by the Black Cat. At the same time, a war between the demons and the guardians of light took place, with the demons led by the Black King of Darkness attacking the lands in the sky. The Black Prince however, despite the wishes of the Black King, defied his orders and falls in love with the White Maiden, in hopes that their union would end the war. Both were not meant to meet and love each other as the war ravaged the world around the land and the skies.

Several millennia after the war, in a world consisting of numerous isles, a young hero from the Astora Isle encounters the adventurer Kyle and follows him on an expedition on the isle. They meet a mysterious girl named Iris and a talking white cat named Catra, and together they make their way to the isle's ruins, where they find a flying island. Kyle becomes consumed by darkness there, and the party resolves to travel to the ends of the world on the flying island in order to find the seven "Great Runes", following Kyle's words before he disappeared.[6] Upon their adventures towards finding the Runes, both the hero and Iris start to fill the pieces, meeting friends and enemies and discovering their true identities.

Gameplay[edit]

White Cat Project is an action role-playing game with touchscreen controls, where the player controls the character by dragging the finger across the screen (a mechanic Colopl calls "Punicon") and tapping to attack. Special abilities can be activated by holding the finger on the character, which opens up a selection menu of abilities. All of these actions can be done using one finger only, which facilitates one-handed gaming.[7]

The characters also have their own classes corresponding to weapon types, for example swords, bows, and mage staffs. In general, most characters are gained via a "Summon" tab which works on a gacha system. Runes are spent on randomized characters, with some characters being common and other characters being rare. Some characters can be gained for free by completing in-game missions. While the game is fully playable as a single-player experience, it also supports up to four-player co-operative multiplayer. There is also a town-building mode where players can build and upgrade structures that generate in-game currencies and provide combat bonuses to their characters. Unlike many free-to-play games, White Cat Project has no stamina system.[8]

Media[edit]

Video games[edit]

White Cat Project was released in Japan on July 14, 2014 on iOS and Android platforms. The theme song for the game is titled "Stand Up!", performed by Yui Horie.[9] An international English version operated from July 23, 2015 until its closure on October 7, 2016. In January 2015, Colopl released a VR version of White Cat Project for the Oculus Rift. Named Shironeko VR Project, the game can be controlled with a gamepad, keyboard and mouse, or on a smartphone.[10] A spinoff tennis game featuring characters from White Cat Project was released in July 2016 under the name White Cat Tennis. The "Punicon" controls from White Cat Project are used here as well.[11] A new action RPG tentatively named Shironeko New Project is announced for the Nintendo Switch, originally slated for release in 2020 in Japan.[12][3]

In January 2018, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against Colopl over five patent infringements found in White Cat Project. These include "the special technology used to operate a joystick over a touch panel", first patented by Nintendo for its Nintendo DS wrist strap that Nintendo claims Colopl had used for its "Punicon" controls.[13] Nintendo later added a sixth patent infringement to the proceedings,[14] and seeks 4.4 billion yen in damages plus late fees, in addition to an injunction on the operation of the White Cat Project smartphone app.[15][16] Colopl changed the game's control mechanics in February 2020 in response to the lawsuit.[17]

Anime[edit]

An anime adaptation of the game, titled "White Cat Project: Zero Chronicle" (白猫プロジェクト ZERO CHRONICLE, Shironeko Purojekuto ZERO CHRONICLE), which adapts the in-game "Zero Chronicle – The first sin" prologue event, was announced during the Colopl 10th Anniversary event and aired from April 6 to June 22, 2020.[18] It is animated by Project No.9, with Masato Jinbo directing and writing the series, Yousuke Okuda designing the characters, and Taku Iwasaki composing the music.[19][20] Takanori Nishikawa and ASCA performed the series' opening theme song "Tenbin -LIBRA-" (天秤-Libra-, Balance -LIBRA-), while Rei Yasuda performed the series' ending theme song "through the dark".[21] Funimation has acquired the anime series, and are streaming the series on its platforms.[22]

No. Title[23][a] Original air date
1"The Land Protected by Light"
Transcription: "Hikari ni Mamorareshi kuni" (Japanese: 光に守られし国)
April 6, 2020 (2020-04-06)
2"The World's Egoism"
Transcription: "Sekai no Wagamama" (Japanese: 世界の我儘)
April 13, 2020 (2020-04-13)
3"The Grief-stricken Queen of Light"
Transcription: "Shūshō no Hikari no Ou" (Japanese: 愁傷の光の王)
April 20, 2020 (2020-04-20)
4"The Messenger from Black"
Transcription: "Kuro no Tsukai" (Japanese: 黒の使い)
April 27, 2020 (2020-04-27)
5"United Front"
Transcription: "Kyōtō" (Japanese: 共闘)
May 4, 2020 (2020-05-04)
6"The Gray-Green Demoness"
Transcription: "Hai midori no Mashō" (Japanese: 灰緑の魔障)
May 11, 2020 (2020-05-11)
7"Picking Wild Greens"
Transcription: "Sansaitori" (Japanese: 山菜採り)
May 18, 2020 (2020-05-18)
8"A Promise"
Transcription: "Yakusoku" (Japanese: 約束)
May 25, 2020 (2020-05-25)
9"The Queen of Light and the Prince of Darkness"
Transcription: "Hikari no Ou to Yami no Oji" (Japanese: 光の王と闇の王子)
June 1, 2020 (2020-06-01)
10"The Gentle Song of Darkness"
Transcription: "Yasashiki yami no Shi" (Japanese: やさしき闇の詩)
June 8, 2020 (2020-06-08)
11"The Distant Sky"
Transcription: "Haruka tenkū" (Japanese: はるか天空)
June 15, 2020 (2020-06-15)
12"The Sin of Beginning"
Transcription: "Hajimari no Tsumi" (Japanese: はじまりの罪)
June 22, 2020 (2020-06-22)

Reception[edit]

On July 18, 2014, White Cat Project reached the top of Google Play Japan's ranking of newly-released free apps, four days after release on Android. It reached 1 million downloads six days later, becoming the fastest growing app in Colopl's history.[25] It soon became Japan's fastest growing smartphone game, having amassed 10 million downloads a little more than a month later on August 30.[26] It reached 100 million downloads on June 27, 2016.[27]

The game won the award for "Best Game of 2014" in Google Play Japan and in "Best iPhone Game" and "Best iPad Game" in Japan's App Store Best of 2014 awards.[28] It also won the "Excellence" award in the Famitsu Awards in 2014 and 2015.[29][30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ All English titles are taken from Funimation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Watch Shironeko Project Zero Chronicle Sub". Funimation. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  2. ^ 堀慎二郎 (2014-11-29). "「つくり手側に答えはない」白猫プロジェクト開発秘話(中編):召喚★アプリ神". 週アスPLUS. アスキー・メディアワークス. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  3. ^ a b "Shironeko New Project Delayed To Unknown Date Past 2020". Siliconera. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  4. ^ Suckley, Matt (October 28, 2016). "COLOPL NI winds up development on JRPG Rune Story after just one year". Pocket Gamer.biz. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. ^ Sato (2018-07-13). "White Cat Project Is Getting A Brand-New Title For Nintendo Switch In 2020". Siliconera. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  6. ^ "キャラクター|白猫プロジェクト 公式サイト". Colopl (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  7. ^ Eugene (12 July 2014). "White Cat Project Is An Action RPG Played With Just Your Thumb". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  8. ^ "【白猫攻略】スタミナなしで遊びまくれる王道RPG『白猫プロジェクト』プレイレビュー(第1回)". Inside Games (in Japanese). 28 September 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  9. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu. "VIDEO: Voice Actress Yui Horie's Latest Song "Stand Up!" PV". Crunchyroll.
  10. ^ Toto, Serkan (11 January 2015). "Colopl Releases Oculus Rift Version Of Mobile Hit "White Cat Project" (Shironeko VR Project) – Kantan Games Inc. CEO Blog". Kantan Games. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  11. ^ Suckley, Matt (23 October 2017). "After another big year the old guard still dominate Japan's mobile games market". Pocket Gamer.biz. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  12. ^ Sato (13 July 2018). "White Cat Project Is Getting A Brand-New Title For Nintendo Switch In 2020". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  13. ^ Wong, Alistair (10 January 2018). "Nintendo Sues Colopl Over Five Patent Infringements In White Cat Project". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  14. ^ Wong, Alistair (7 November 2018). "Nintendo v Colopl Lawsuit Drags On To Round 4". Siliconera. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  15. ^ Chihiro (10 January 2018). "コロプラ,任天堂の特許権侵害で訴訟を提起される。対象アプリは「白猫プロジェクト」". 4Gamer.net (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  16. ^ Wong, Alistair (2019-10-22). "The Nintendo vs Colopl Lawsuit On White Cat Project Continues To Drag On To Round 8". Siliconera. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  17. ^ Wong, Alistair (February 18, 2020). "White Cat Project Control Scheme Changing". Siliconera. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  18. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn. "Shironeko Project/Rune Story Smartphone Game Gets TV Anime in 2020". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  19. ^ Loo, Egan. "Shironeko Project TV Anime's Teaser Unveils Staff, Cast, Title, April Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
  20. ^ Wong, Alistair (2018-12-16). "Shironeko New Project Provides Details On Flying Island, Guilds, And Anime". Siliconera. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  21. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio. "Shironeko Project: Zero Chronicle Anime's Video Reveals Theme Song Artists, April 6 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  22. ^ Funimation [@FUNimation] (March 19, 2020). "SPRING SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT Get ready for a journey filled with flying islands, darkness and a group's search for the Great Runes. Shironeko Project ZERO CHRONICLE joins the Funimation Spring 2020 lineup. Learn more: funi.to/ShironekoProjectSpring" (Tweet). Retrieved March 19, 2020 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ "Story - 各話の紹介|TVアニメ「白猫プロジェクト ZERO CHRONICLE(ゼロ・クロニクル)」公式サイト" (in Japanese). Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  24. ^ Rich, Rob (26 October 2015). "Colopl Rune Story Review: Why Would You Do That?". Gamezebo. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  25. ^ "コロプラの『白猫プロジェクト』が累計100万ダウンロードを突破 ~コロプラ史上最速、サービス開始後10日で達成!アプリ内にて記念キャンペーンも実施~". Colopl (in Japanese). 28 July 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  26. ^ Toto, Serkan. "Colopl's White Cat Project, Japan's Fastest Growing Smartphone Game, Hits 12 Million Downloads". Kantan Games. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  27. ^ "スマートフォン向けアプリダウンロード数・利用者数推移". Colopl (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  28. ^ ukulele. "【白猫】祝・2014年ベストゲーム受賞!! 【ジュエル】を貰える記念イベント開催中!". AppBank (in Japanese). pp. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  29. ^ ""ファミ通アワード2014″の受賞作が発表!スマホタイトルは7本! [ファミ通App]". ファミ通App (in Japanese). 22 April 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  30. ^ ""ファミ通アワード2015″受賞作品発表! スマホは『モンスト』や『白猫』、『グラブル』など計6タイトル受賞 [ファミ通App]". ファミ通App (in Japanese). 10 May 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2018.

External links[edit]