1947, in a criminal underworld. Bodyguards wanted.
Rose Guns Days is a doujin game by 07th Expansion. Word of God has stated this work takes place in an entire new universe, unrelated to When They Cry.Tokyo, 2012. The city has become a cosmopolitan metropolis, where people of Japanese descent have become very few. The young Journalist Julie Hayashibara is one of them, and is called in by the famous Mafia boss Jeanne Amakawa, Madam of a club in Tokyo called Primavera and Honorary leader of the nationalistic organisation Harukaze. The old woman wants to pass on the story of the unknown first Madam of the club, Rose Haibara, and how Primavera came to be how it is today.Tokyo, City 23, 1947. In an Alternate History, Japan lost the war in 1944, when the country was destroyed by a natural disaster. The United States and China quickly started to compete in the reconstruction, bringing massive waves of immigrants with them, to the point Japanese people became a minority in Tokyo. Three years later, almost all the Japanese people in Tokyo go by a second Western name, and unemployment mixes with criminality and prostitution. Leo Shishigami comes back in his unrecognizable hometown after three years, and saves a young girl chased by The Mafia, who invites him to eat pasta in the club she owns, the Primavera. After wandering around in the city and unsuccessfully searching for a job and a roof, Leo goes back to the club, where the crime boss Alfred Akagi and his henchmen are threatening the girl who helped him. After the incident where he shines again, Leo ends up hired as a bodyguard for "Madam Rose". There begins the story of Rose's determination to help her compatriots in need, where she will have to grow up from a naive girl with a low self-esteem to a confident leader.The game is completely different from anything released by 07th Expansion so far, as it features no gore, Psychological Horror or mystery, but rather a mix of slice-of-life and action with elements of political drama, and a generally lighter tone. And in a slight originality from the usual sound novel format, action scenes are punctuated by a reflex mini-game with a recorded score at the end of each Season. Considering the setting, some touchy themes come to be treated in the story, especially the questions of nationalism and defense of one's culture, or Chinese-Japanese relationships after WWII.Witch Hunt, the translation team behind 07th Expansion's previous work Umineko: When They Cry, provides an English translation of the games. The demo can be found here. The English translation of Season 2 is now available, and a trial of Season 3 can be found on 07th Expansion's website. The Last Season was released in January 2014.Manga adaptations almost immediately started in Square Enix magazines:
Season 1 started in September 2012 and ended in March 2014 in the Gangan Joker. It was drawn by Sōichirō, who already worked on the manga adaptation of Alliance of the Golden Witch.
Season 2 started in February 2013 and ended in April 2014 in G-Fantasy. It was drawn by Nana Natsunishi.
Season 3 started in September 2013 in the Gangan Online. It is drawn by You Oomura.
Last Season will start in the May 2014 issue of the Big Gangan. It will be drawn by Mitsunori Zaki.
Other completed manga adaptations include a spin-off called Aishū no Cross Knife ("My Beloved Cross Knife"), published in the Big Gangan, which takes place in 1946 and focuses on Wayne Uedera, with a generally darker tone. A prologue titled Fukushū wa ōgon no kaori ("Revenge has the fragrance of gold") was published in Kōdansha's Monthly Shonen Sirius and takes place before Rose effectively became the Madam.Please note that in the VN, the story is divided both in 4 seasons (1, 2, 3, Last) and 4 years (1947, 48, 49, 50), but the two don't coincide. Season 2 covers the end of 1947 and the first half of 1948 for example. In the manga however, a Season covers a full year alright.Obviously not to be confused with Guns N' Roses.
Alliterative Name: Most Japanese characters who go by a Western name chose one that gives this effect : Wayne Uedera, Cyrus Saimura, Amanda Amamiya, Oliver ("oriba−") Oribe, Nina Ninagi, Alan Aramaki, etc.
Alternate History: Outside of American and Chinese immigration, it's also mentionned that there is now a Cold War between the United States and China, and Japan benefits from the Marshall Plan. And since the atomic bomb was never used, the doctrin of nuclear disssuasion probably doesn't exist. However, oddly enough the narration often references events that occured after the war in our history, making it sometimes ambiguous whether the author is talking about RGD's world or our own.
Art Shift: Not exactly, but many people are designing the sprites, with very different styles.
Band of Brothels: That's what Primavera is originally, and remains even after becoming a mafia group.
Bilingual Bonus: There are occasional lines in Chinese or (for the Japanese version) in English.
Bloodless Carnage: During Leo's fight against Caleb's henchmen in the Belton Plaza Hotel, you will find nary a mention of blood or anyone being dead, even though there is little else a gunfight can produce. However this is sharply averted in the 1949 part, whenever there is a sniper riffle around.
Bolivian Army Cliff Hanger: Season 1 ends with Rose running to safety while Leo and Wayne face Miguel's bunch, and later Rose declaring war on Caleb. The situations of Claudia, Leo and Wayne, Stella and Meryl, and Richard and Cyrus are unknown.
Call Back: Richard's line "Long live capitalism!" was also said by Krauss at the beginning of Umineko: When They Cry. Except it sounds much more cynical this time. Similarly, speeches about the 3 powers needed to be a ruler mirror what Gaap says in Episode 4 of the same series.
Cast of Snowflakes: Ryūkishi07 was already pretty good at this when he was the only artist, so now that there are several, that's not too surprising.
Cat Fight: Can happen easily between Meryl and Stella, it seems.
Cool Shades: Every character drawn by Ryūkishi07 (mostly minor or nameless characters) either sports these or has no eyes, save for Alfred, Claudia and Wang.
Deuteragonist: While Rose is the actual main character, each time period has one or several co-protagonists; in 1947 it's Leo, in 1948 it's Rapunzel and the Wandering Dogs, in 1949 it's Alan and Keith, and in 1950 it will likely be Jeanne.
Eagleland Osmosis: A very extreme example of this, no doubt − at least in Tōkyō. Season 2 shows that this trope is more limited in other cities.
Film Noir: The story has definitely several elements of the genre, including the time period and mafia-infested setting.
Foregone Conclusion: Right from the start we already know what will become of Tokyo and Primavera in the future, and that Rose failed to concretize her ideals. The story is about discovering how and why it turned out like it did.
Gun Porn: This is a story about mafia after all. The preparation of the 1947 climax is the most notable example though. Between this work and Umineko, Ryūkishi seems to like researching on guns, especially heavy ones.
Meaningful Rename: After the disaster and the loss of the war, most Japanese in Tōkyō started to go by a Western second name, apparently to forget about the war and start anew.
Multiethnic Name: Similarly to Umineko, most characters have a Western first name with a Japanese surname. Unlike Umineko, these Western names aren't their real names − except for Julie, whose name is written in Kanji (樹理).
Mukokuseki: Mostly played straight, but curiously averted with Lee Meijiu's henchmen, who actually look Chinese.
Nintendo Hard: The fight mini-game starts gentle but gets harder as your score gets higher. By the end of a given Season, landing more than 3 or 4 hits in a row becomes nigh-impossible.
Odd Name Out: The rest of 07th Expansion's novels (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni) have an obvious formula to their titles that this game forgoes.
Repetitive Name: Leo Shishigaminote "leo" and "shishi" are the Latin and Japanese words for "lion", respectively and Rose Haibaranote "bara" is Japanese for "rose", though the kanji used in her name is different. Probably justified, since Leo and Rose aren't their birth names (their real names are Koutarou and Misaki, respectively).
Satellite Character: Charles, Nina and Oliver are a strange case where they are satelites to each other. They always act as a group and are rarely seen without one another. Then they themselves become satellites to Rapunzel.
Save Scumming: A good (if a bit cheap) method to maximize your score.
The Stinger: There is one at the end of each Season. Season 1 has a (partially misleading) trailer of Season 2. Season 2 has the first appearance of Wang Yuanhong. Season 3 has the first appearance of the young Jeanne.
Unproblematic Prostitution: Played variously. Primavera is a high-class club, so the "ladies of the night" can work in relatively decent conditions (although it's not like they all chose this job eagerly), and there are bodyguards to take care of the problematic customers; those working for the mafia like Hotaru probably aren't so lucky. By Nina's case, it seems being legal isn't even a requirement to work in Primavera.
Values Dissonance: Invoked multiple times in the story, notably between Japanese and Chinese conceptions on various matters.
War Is Hell: The few flashbacks of the frontlines never describe anything pretty.
Wham Episode: Chapter 3 of 1949, titled "When the Rose Dies." The biggest wham being Stella's graphically described death by headshot. In a series where the main characters seemed unkillable, the scene hits you like a truck.
White Hair, Black Heart: After Kasumi, Amakusa, young Kinzo and Kyrie, the series seems to perpetuate the pattern with Alfred, Caleb and Gabriel. In a 07th Expansion story, if you have naturally white hair, chances are you're a bastard of some degree.
Writers Cannot Do Math: In Season 2, it is said that december 31st 2012 is the 67th anniversary of Leo's departure from Japan, which happens in… 1947. Unless the calendar doubled a couple of classes, that's 65 years.
The very setting of the series is a bit dubious in that regard: the Japanese are said to already be put in minority a mere 3 years after the war; considering the Japanese population was over 70 million in the 40s, even taking the war and the disaster into account that would require an immigration rate far beyond anything obvserved in human history, not to mention overpopulation issues. It's also possible it applies only to Tokyo, which would make it slightly more believable.
You ALL Look Familiar: It seems there are like ten mafia mooks in Tōkyō. Although admittedly, there are surprisingly many different sprites for nameless characters, which is an oddity in itself for a VN.