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Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica (神曲奏界ポリフォニカ?), also known as simply Polyphonica, is an all-age Japanese visual novel created by Ocelot and first released on the PC on April 28, 2006. Aside from the game, multiple series of light novels have been created, and a manga adaptation started in March 2007. An anime adaptation started airing in Japan on April 3, 2007. Another anime adaption aired from April to June 2009, and was a prequel of the events in the first anime.
The original game, the Crimson series, will start its second installment, covering the third and fourth story. The Black and White Polyphonica series were adapted from a printed novel to visual novel media in spring 2007, respectively titled Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica THE BLACK and Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica Memories White.
In the continent of Polyphonica, spirits materialize in the world, surviving on the music that is played by humans, and live together with them. While the spirits don't appear often, some spirits have enough power to materialize in human or animal forms and live together with humans.
Dantists, who play special music called "Commandia," are widely respected in this world. They are usually in contract with powerful spirits. The story of Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica revolves around the new Dantist, Phoron Tatara, the spirit that he made contract with, Corticarte Apa Lagranges, and their friends, in their daily life and work. It also revolves around the feelings of the protagonist (Phoron Tatara) and his contract spirit (Corticarte Apa Lagranges)
In the anime, episode 1 to 10 explored the relationship between humans and spirits in the world of Polyphonica. This is shown either from Dantist like Phoron, or Dirrane. The last two episodes focus on the Commandia that connects both kind of creatures.
- Main article: List of Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica characters
Characters working in the Tsuge Divine Music Player Office include Phoron (the protagonist), Corticarte (his contract spirit), Prinesca and Perserte (the twins), Renbart (another co-worker), Eufinley (their boss), and Yardio (contracted to Eufinley).
- Belst (聖獣 Seijū?)
- Belst are spirits' animal-like form. Their Human forms are called Humanubic. Some spirits can have both Humanubic and Belst forms. The literal meaning for "聖獣" is "sacred/holy beast".
- Commandia (神曲 Shinkyoku?)
- Music played by Dantists to show the his gesture to the spirits. With the music, spirits that make contract with the Dantist can use their true power; but all spirits enjoy a good song. Commandia is the expression of the Dantist's soul, and it will change according with their development, whether it is for better or worse.
- Although listening to Commandia will strengthen a covenant spirit as well as bring them joy, Commandia could work like drugs. Fairies who knows the joy from Commandia could become crazy if they are separated from Commandia for too long. So, even among the spirits, there are those who think it's better if they never knows humans at all. The literal meaning for "神曲" is "Divine Song".
- Dantist (神曲楽士 Shinkyoku Gakushi?)
- Music players who are able to play divine music, or Commandia. They usually have a One-Man Orchestra, which can be disguised as a suitcase, or in Phoron's case, a motorbike. But a Dantist does not actually depend on these instruments. In the timeline of the White series, Dantists plays Commandia using conventional instruments. The literal meaning for "神曲楽士" is "Divine Song Musician/Player".
- Humanubic (フマヌビック Fumanubikku?)
- These are spirits' human-like form. Animal forms are called "Belst". There is also the Licanthro form, in which a Spirit possesses both a human and animal form. Examples are Yardio and Blanca.
- One-Man Orchestra (単身楽団 Tanshin Gakudan?)
- One-Man Orchestras are instruments used by Dantists in the present Polyphonica continent. They are similar to the usual musical instruments, but often more elaborate and equipped with a computerized system. These instruments are meant to allow Dantists to play music on a larger scale, like an orchestra, alone.
- As technology grows more advanced, the miniaturization of these devices is improving. Renbart's saxophone or Eufinley's violin are not so different in size compared to conventional instruments, but the Phoron's organ at school is already the size of a backpack.
- His motorbike-shaped One-Man Orchestra is an exception though.
- Tsuge Divine Music Player Office (ツゲ神曲楽士派遣事務所 Tsuge Shinkyoku Gakushi Haken Jimusho?)
- The office where Phoron, Renbart, Perserte, and Prinesca work. Eufinley is the chief of this office.
There are 5 Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica visual novels being released, with 3 different series.
- Polyphonica Crimson series
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica ~Episode 1&2 Box Edition~ - April 28, 2006
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica ~Episode 3&4 Box Edition~ - May 25, 2007
- Polyphonica Black series
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica THE BLACK ~Episode 1&2 Box Edition~ - August 10, 2007
- Polyphonica White series
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica Memories White ~First Emotion~ June 29, 2007
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica Memories White ~Endless Aria~ July 13, 2007
After the game, the Polyphonica series expanded into a light novel series. The stories are loosely connected in a shared universe setting. The novels are published by GA Bunko, a division of Softbank Creative. Currently, there are four series running, each uniquely identified with colors. The Black series happens in the same timeline as the Crimson series, which follows the main characters of the game. The White series appears to take place in the distant past.
Written by Ichiro Sakaki and illustrated by Tomo Hirokawa, a manga series adaptation entitled Cardinal Crimson (カーディナル・クリムゾン Kādinaru Kurimuzon?) began serialization as a web comic on March 2007 in FlexComix Blood. The series was picked up for an English release by CMX Manga, with the first volume slated for May 2010. Tomo Hirokawa designed a New Year's nengajō for 2008.
Additionally, the Black series was adapted into a manga series as a web comic and began serialization in December 2008 in Flex Comix Blood.
T.O Entertainment adapted Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica into a twelve episode anime series directed by Junichi Watanabe and Masami Shimoda and written by Ichiro Sakaki. On February 6, 2007, one month after the first manga adaptation was announced, the anime adaptation was announced. Broadcasted on TBS, the series premiered on April 3, 2007 and aired weekly until its conclusion on June 19, 2007. The music was composed by Hikaru Nanase. Two pieces of theme music were used for the anime. "Apocrypha" is performed by eufonius as the opening theme. "Concordia" (コンコルディア Konkorudia?) is performed by kukui as the ending theme.
Diomedea adapted the series into another season entitled Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica Crimson S, directed by Toshimasa Suzuki and written by Ken'ichi Kanemaki, that is not a continuation of the first and will tie into Ichiro Sakaki and Noboru Kannatsuki's light novel adaptation of the same name. The official website was launched on November 11, 2008 and began streaming a promotional video on March 23, 2009 featuring the anime's opening theme but contained no actual anime footage. The series premiered on TVK and TVS on March 4, 2009 and is currently broadcasting weekly. The series was also broadcasted on AT-X, Gifu Broadcasting, MBS, and Mie TV. The music is directed by Jin Aketagawa and composed by Magic Capsule. Two pieces of theme music were used for the anime. "Phosphorous" is performed by eufonius as the opening theme. Koi no Uta (こいのうた?) is performed by Haruka Tomatsu as ending theme.
The first anime adaption has been picked up for release in North America by Sentai Filmworks, will be distributed by the new company, Section23 Films. The complete collection will be released on November 17, 2009.
A Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica RPG, published by GA Bunko, went on sale in Japan in August 2008. The game is designed by Takashi Osada and FarEast Amusement Research, and uses the Standard RPG System. The campaign setting is based mainly on Polyphonica Crimson series.
- Crimson Series
Theme song: "Crimson Calling" by Rita (Ep 1 & 2)
- "Crimson Calling (Ending Ver.)" by Rita (Ep 3 & 4)
Insert song: "Song of Wave" by Yuiko (Ep 3&4)
Ending theme: "Crimson Reason" by Rita (Ep 3 & 4)
- Black Series
Theme song: "Hurting Heart" by fripSide
- White Series
- Opening Single: "Apocrypha" by eufonius - April 25, 2007
- Ending Single: "Concordia" (コンコルディア Konkorudia?) by kukui - May 23, 2007
- Game Original Soundtrack: May 25, 2007
- Anime Original Soundtrack - Atmosphere: June 27, 2007, composed by Hikaru Nanase
- Polyphonica blog June 7th 2007 entry
- "CMX Manga - Anime Expo 2009". Anime News Network. July 3, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
- "Quantcast New Year's Greetings — Anime Style (Update 16)". Anime News Network. January 1, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Anime Announced". Anime News Network. February 6, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "NEWS: TBS Anime Festival 2007 'Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica' Announcement" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System Television. 2007.04.03. Retrieved May 10, 2009. Check date values in:
- "news" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System Television. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "STORY" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System Television. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica crimson S Anime Confirmed". Anime News Network. November 11, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica crimson S Promo Streamed". Anime News Network. March 23, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
- "O.A. Information" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System Television. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
- "Section23 Films Announces November Releases". Anime News Network. September 2, 2009.
- Ocelot official website (Japanese)
- KuroCo official website (Japanese)
- AMEDEO official website (Japanese)
- Official Polyphonica Crimson Episode 1&2 game website (Japanese)
- Official Polyphonica Crimson Episode 3&4 game website (Japanese)
- Official Polyphonica Black Series game website (Japanese)
- Official Polyphonica White Series game website (Japanese)
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica RPG official site (Japanese)
- Novels and Manga
- Polyphonica @ TBS (Japanese)
- Official Polyphonica Crimson S TV website (Japanese)
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica Crimson S at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia