"Love is in the air" indeed, but I don't think John Paul meant it this way.Welcome back to the ラブプラス [Love Plus] Mania, notorious for providing comfort for the lonely, messing up a few marriages and for starting a few "unorthodox" marriages too.
Today's 24th June 2010, the long awaited day for many ronery otakus, patiently waiting for the release of the next installment of the mind-controlling-DS-game franchise, ラブプラス＋[Love Plus +]
As many people are already queuing, waiting for the stroke of midnight for their early bird copy, lets have a look at the various events which lead to this moment.
For the curious, uninformed, or unsure; What is "Love Plus"?
Love Plus takes place in "Towano City," a developing city surrounded by beautiful mountains and seas. You, the player, transfer to Towano private high school. In this city, there are three girls with whom you may have a predestined encounter. Through school or part time jobs, memories and feelings accumulate between you and the girls. During this time, the girls only regard you as an important "friend." However, the girls soon begin to notice a faint feeling...
The girls earnestly feel, "I want him to love me," and adjust to your tastes while giving their best. And so comes the fated "confession" day... With strong determination and courage, she conveys her feelings with all that she has.
But it's not the end when you are told her feelings.
The "confession" is just the prologue.
Starting now, your never ending story together begins.
- Love Plus - TLWiki
In a nutshell, it's a gal-game. As boring as it may sound, the fact it has already sold more than 100,000 in 2 weeks, and god-knows how many more internationally and weeks later, is rather surprising, for a game of such genre.
Apart from a few of the player's domestic problems with their spouses and a few marriages frowned on by society, the Love Plus hype still lingers.
CNN stalks/covers a tale of romance between the two intimate lovers.
To the shock of figure collectors, during WF2010 [Wonder Festival], GSC unveiled a rather charmingly, moe but irresistible Nendoroid Manaka, with the other 2 on the way. Even GSC has noticed the impact of Konami's greatest game, to date.
"If anyone asks, "officially" I don't really care, but I ended up PO-ing her. Now to find a nendoroid-sized ring..."
Onwards, news of the sequel, [Love Plus+] were leaked, much to the delight of otakus, and to my dismay.
However, the euphoric aura was cut-short by the "No-Love in Akihabara Incident", where limited stocks of "Love Plus+ Ita-DS iLL bundles" reservations were apparently "sold out", whereas the night before queuers were told to come tomorrow instead of waiting the whole night. Customers who queued that night were counted, which lead to enraged otakus after being told to come the next day. An estimated 200 otakus were present that evening, which lasted into the night.
Sancom has more details.
The "limited" special bundles in question, come with pre-printed ita-DS iLL. Its no wonder customers were desperate on procuring one;
The "Love Plus+ PV" was spotted later in Akiba, which featured a new system and regional tourism plan. Details are covered here
Various advertisement media start to pop up in June, ranging from magazines to videos and even employing the Love Plus girls as showgirls for Sofmap.
Also, various AR (Augmented Reality) Markers are placed out for the iPhone version of Love Plus. To the unknown, AR markers are equivalent to QR codes, except the camera captures and produces an image of the girl on screen. An example below;
And the intended result;
Word is out that one may take a photo with the girl of your choice in a chapel, fully dressed in a wedding gown with the iPhone.
The expected result of having a picture together, in video form (last part of video);
The night before the sequel's release, a special draw was held at Messen's main shop.
Meaning, only 6 lucky otakus will walk home with the ita-DS iLL.
Various line were created to divide the otakus into their various factions or sects, with each line worshiping a certain goddess.
Takane Manaka Faction
Anegasaki Nene Sect
The drawing starts, after raffle tickets were distributed to hopeful otakus in line.
The lucky few who managed a winning ticket enters the store.
Kanto Edition Kansai Edition Chubu Edition
Kyushu Edition Hokkaido Edition
With today (24th) being the release date, one might expect the stocks to have dried up. However, Amazon.jp and PlayAsia.com are still stocked for those who wish to procure a copy of 「ラブプラス＋」, along with the special bundles for Manaka, Rinko and Nene.
How far Konami will take Love Plus to further propagate their mind-controlling girls is unknown, but rumors say a potential collaboration with Apple Inc. was contracted in secret.
Steve Jobs recently unveiled the result of the collaboration;
Via Akiba Hobby