To Heart (トゥハート Tu Hāto?) is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Leaf and released on May 23, 1997 for the PC. It was later ported to the PlayStation and given voice acting. A second PC version, titled To Heart PSE was released containing the PlayStation version as well as bonus games. To Heart PSE and the PlayStation version had the adult scenes removed. To Heart is Leaf's fifth game, and the third and final title in the Leaf Visual Novel Series along with Shizuku and Kizuato. The gameplay in To Heart follows a plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the eight female main characters. A sequel of To Heart, To Heart 2, was released on December 28, 2004 directly to the PlayStation 2. A special bundle of To Heart 2 and a PS2 version of To Heart was released on the same day. The original PC release of the visual novel was titled To Heart, however the anime and the PSE versions later changed to ToHeart without any space between the words. The English release of the anime uses the former format.
To Heart was adapted into a thirteen-episode TV anime series by Oriental Light and Magic aired between April and July 1999, and a second anime, To Heart: Remember My Memories, aired between October and December 2004. The first anime was licensed by Right Stuf International for distribution in North America; the first DVD was released in March 2007 Two manga series were produced, both illustrated by Ukyō Takao and serialized in MediaWorks manga magazine Dengeki Daioh. The first manga, which ran between October 1997 and December 1999, was based on the original visual novel, and the second manga which ran between November 2004 and July 2005 was based on the anime To Heart: Remember My Memories. A drama CD entitled Piece of Heart was released in October 1999.
The gameplay in To Heart requires little player interaction as much of the game's duration is spent reading the text that appears on the screen, which represents either dialogue between various characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often the player will come to a "decision point", where he or she is given the chance to choose from multiple options. The time between these points is variable and can occur anywhere from a minute to much longer. Gameplay pauses at these points, and depending on which choice the player makes, the plot will progress in a specific direction. There are eight main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines. In order to view all eight plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different decisions to progress the plot in an alternate direction.
In the PlayStation and PSE versions of To Heart, there are three lighthearted bonus mini games available to play featuring the characters super deformed. The first game is called "Heart to Heart", and each stage consists of a few enemies and other To Heart characters to defeat, using attacks unique to each character. There is only one screen per stage and is not a side-scrolling game. There are thirty stages to play, with a 100-second time limit for every stage. It supports up to two players. There are two bosses, fighting Serio and Multi together, and at stage thirty, a robot version of Daniel, Serika's butler. The player can choose between all of the female cast in To Heart, except Ayaka, Serio and Rio, whom need to be unlocked by finishing each character's scenario in the main game. All characters have certain moves in common: they are able to do a super jump, which can be used to stun enemies if hit from the bottom, and they can charge up their shots up to three levels. The second mini game, "CircleTriangleSquareX", is a puzzle game in which the player needs to arrange blocks with designated shapes together to form and eliminate lines. The name of the game reflects the PlayStation controller, of which the four shapes and the controller layout plays a large role. The final game is Ojō-sama wa Majō (お嬢様は魔女?), a side-scrolling shooter game featuring Serika Kurusugawa as a witch riding on her broomstick. There are three different types of shot that can be used, which can be leveled up by collecting power-ups. Each type of shot will only work on some enemies, and they all have different types of arching shots. Serika has access to three different levels of power-ups, which increases the power and effectiveness of the shot. She also has access to three 'bombs', which destroys everything on the screen. The bombs themselves are her butler shouting at the enemies.
To Heart was first released as an adult visual novel on May 23, 1997 playable on a Microsoft Windows PC as the third and final title in the Leaf Visual Novel Series, the first two titles being Shizuku and Kizuato. To Heart is Leaf's fifth visual novel. To Heart was ported to the PlayStation on March 25, 1999 playable on three CDs with the adult scenes and themes removed, though full-voice acting and bonus games were added. A new opening sequence was used for the PS version, which has similarities to the first anime's opening video. Although the character design was unchanged in the game, the new opening sequence utilized the anime version's changes to the design of the characters.
The PC version was re-released in a 'renewal package' on June 19, 2003 for updated support for Windows ME/2000/XP computers. Leaf released an enhanced version of To Heart for the PC on June 27, 2003 playable as a DVD known as To Heart PSE which used the PS version as the basis; PSE stands for "PlayStation Edition". Unlike the previous versions, the box art for PSE used the character redesigns from the anime. The game itself used the same character designed as in previous incarnations. A PlayStation 2 version of To Heart was included in a special To Heart 2/To Heart bundle in one of three packages To Heart 2 was released with; the PS2 version of To Heart was not sold individually.
Books and publications
A guidebook for the original visual novel titled To Heart Official Guidebook: The Essence of To Heart (トゥハート公式ガイドブック―The essence of To Heart?) was published by Enterbrain in June 2000. The book contains a comprehensive walk through for the entire To Heart visual novel, along with a gallery of all the obtainable CGs, as well as stage-by-stage descriptions of all three bonus games included in the PlayStation and PSE versions. A To Heart Visual Fan Book (To Heart ビジュアルファンブック?) was released by MediaWorks, and contains images from the PS version.
A manga adaptation based on the original To Heart visual novel was illustrated by Ukyō Takao and serialized in MediaWorks' shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh between October 1997 and December 1999; the chapters were later compiled into three bound volumes published under MediaWorks' Dengeki Comics imprint. A manga based on the anime adaptation To Heart: Remember My Memories was also drawn by Takao and was serialized in Dengeki Daioh between November 2004 and July 2005; one volume was released.
A thirteen-episode anime series adaptation produced by Oriental Light and Magic and directed by Naohito Takahashi aired in Japan between April 1 and June 24, 1999. The overall story centers around Akari Kamigishi's blossoming relationship with the protagonist Hiroyuki. Six short bonus broadcasts were produced and aired after selected episodes. They lasted around five minutes and followed the general style of the main anime, although the characters are drawn super deformed. Three pieces of theme music were used for the episode; one opening theme and two ending themes. The opening theme is "Feeling Heart" by Masami Nakatsukasa; the first ending theme is "Yell" by Ayako Kawasumi, and the second ending theme is "Access" by Spy. Different ending themes were used depending on the location of the broadcast. The DVD and VHS releases used "Yell" as the ending theme. A set of six DVDs, videotapes and laserdiscs were sold in Japan for the To Heart anime.
To Heart was licensed for North American release by The Right Stuf International at Anime Expo 2004 on July 3, 2004 at their panel. Volume one was scheduled for late 2005, but the master's copy Right Stuf received from Japan were in bad shape, delaying the release. Due to the fact that To Heart was animated in the process of cel animation, it was captured on film instead of digitally on a computer. Unfortunately, the film masters had been destroyed, and their only choice was to restore and digitally remaster the video that they had been sent. All thirteen episodes and the six bonus extra was released on four DVD volumes between March 27 and August 28, 2007.
A sequel anime series entitled To Heart: Remember My Memories is set a year after the conclusion of the first anime and completes the anime's storyline (deviating from the visual novel). The future of Akari, Hiroyuki, and Multi are also shown. In To Heart: Remember My Memories, characters' hair color changed, for example Hiroyuki's hair, which turned from a dark brown to a greenish blue. The Himeyuri twins from To Heart 2 make their debut appearances in To Heart: Remember My Memories as speaking cameos. The anime, which was produced by AIC and Oriental Light and Magic, and directed by Keitaro Motonaga, aired in Japan between October 2 and December 25, 2004 compiling thirteen episodes. The episodes were released on seven DVD compilation volumes in Japan. Seven short omake episodes titled Heart Fighters were released with the consumer DVD versions of To Heart: Remember My Memories; they are not available on rental DVDs. Unlike the bonus shorts of the first season, the characters are not drawn super deformed and there is an overall arching mini-story. The humor comes from its parodies of popular Japanese culture. Two pieces of theme music were used for the episodes; one opening theme and one ending theme. The opening theme is "Daisuki da yo (大好きだよ?) (Into Your Heart)" by Naomi Tanisaki, and the ending theme is "Sorezore no Mirai e" (それぞれの未来へ?) by Haruna Ikeda.
A drama CD based on the original To Heart visual novel entitled Piece of Heart was released on October 27, 1999. The story revolves around Serio at her assigned high school alongside and after the anime version when Multi is still studying at Hiroyuki's school. A drama CD released for the second anime series was released on January 26, 2005.
The original theme song was "Brand New Heart", as opposed to "Feeling Heart" which was used in all subsequent versions and in the anime. A music single for the game, "Heart to Heart", was released on July 2, 1997. The visual novel's original soundtrack was released on May 28, 1999. Leaf released a piano arrange album entitled Leaf Piano Collection Volume 1 released in July 2002. The album contains popular songs from several of Leaf's visual novels, including three from To Heart. The first anime's original soundtrack entitled To Heart: Animation Sound Track was released on July 9, 1999. The anime's soundtrack contains all the tunes heard in the anime, as well as TV size versions of the ending song "Yell". It does not contain the opening song "Feeling Heart", which is found on either the "Feeling Heart" single released on April 2, 1999, or the original soundtrack from the game. A single for the second anime, "Daisuki da yo (大好きだよ?) (Into Your Heart)", was released on November 25, 2004 and contains both full and instrumental versions of the opening and ending themes. The soundtrack for the second anime titled To Heart: Remember My Memories Soundtrack & Image Song was released on December 22, 2004; the image song contained is sung by the Ayako Kawasumi, the voice actress of Akari Kamagishi.
- "To Heart at MobyGames". Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- "To Heart at GameFAQs". Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- "TRSI announces two acquisitions". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "New Right Stuf Acquisitions". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "To Heart Update". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "To Heart". The Right Stuf International. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "To Heart Vol. 1: New Feelings" (PDF). The Right Stuf International. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "To Heart Vol. 4: Love and Truth". The Right Stuf International. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- To Heart visual novel official website (Japanese)
- To Heart: Remember My Memories official website (Japanese)
- To Heart English anime at The Right Stuf International
- To Heart (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia