Remember that big press conference that Aniplex and Key Visual Arts revealed about two weeks ago? The one that focused on Key’s Angel Beats! that promised a new project reveal?
Well, it happened earlier today, and the promised news was exciting, indeed.
On the Angel Beats! front, Aniplex and Key announced that the 2010 TV series would receive a Blu-Ray release in Japan on June 24, 2015. The new set would include the full run, as well as a new OVA written by Jun Maeda titled “Hell’s Kitchen.”
The set, which will carry a price of 26,800 yen ($223.09 USD), will be bundled with a companion book. Original character designer Na-Ga will provide new box art, and TV character designer Katsuzo Hirata will provide new art for the digi-pack case.
The big news of the event, though, is that Key will produce a spin-off of Angel Beats! The title will be a visual novel titled Angel Beats! -1st beat-, which will be told across six volumes and 19 character routes. Yui, Iwasawa, and Matsushita will serve as the leads through the title.
Angel Beats! -1st beat- will hit Japanese retailers on May 29, 2015. The title will have a new theme song, Heartily Song by Lia. Those who pre-order will receive a single of Million Star by in-franchise rock group Girls Dead Monster.
In addition to Angel Beats!, Key announced that they and P.A. Works (Shirobako) are working on an original anime series titled Charlotte. Angel Beats! writer Jun Maeda and character designer Na-Ga will reunite for the project, which will hit in 2015.
For Key fans, this proved to be a truly exciting fifteenth anniversary. The fact that one of the company’s most beloved franchises would receive both a new OVA and a new visual novel is a real treat. Key is giving fans a rare ticket back into this fascinating, if tragic world, and offering an opportunity to reconnect with fan-favorite characters without spoiling that which was beautifully concluded.
On top of this, fans are getting a new series that they can dive into. Charlotte, while still shrouded in mystery, undoubtedly found a spot on fans’ radars with the reveal.
How the titles will turn out remains to be seen, though it’s difficult to really imagine that Key would foul things up to a great degree. As details begin to flow in, though, we’ll be sure to remain on top of things.