Root Film Interview: Kadokawa Games President Discusses Root Letter’s Mysterious Successor

Root Film will bring players back to the charming Shimane Prefecture in Japan, but it will feature a completely new cast and story.

Root Film

Root Film will bring players back to the charming Shimane Prefecture in Japan, but it will feature a completely new cast and story.

To learn more about the successor of Root Letter and the next game of the Kadokawa Game Mystery franchise, Twinfinite talked to president Yoshimi Yasuda.

He provided a lot of interesting details about the game and especially its rich casting choices, which are a focal point for visual novels.

Giuseppe: The character design of Root Film looks different and more mature compared to Root Letter, was that an intentional change by Taro Minoboshi?

Yoshimi Yasuda: For the original Root Letter. we made a request to Minoboshi-sensei based on the image we wanted for the characters. For Root Film we did the same thing. After receiving those requests, he used his own imagination to create the characters based on the developers’ briefs. That’s why the designs are quite different from the original Root Letter.

On top of that, as an accomplished artist, Minoboshi-sensei is still improving and evolving, which helps him come up with a whole new variety of character designs.

Giuseppe: Why did you choose the shooting of a drama as the main plot device for the game?

Yoshimi Yasuda: I came up with the idea of using video cameras as a trick to build up the mystery.

Giuseppe Nelva: Noriko Hidaka is a legend among those who love anime like me. Is it challenging for a company that isn’t massive to hire such a popular voice actress?

Yoshimi Yasuda: Do you know her?

Giuseppe: Oh yes, I used to love Ranma 1/2 when I was a kid.

Yoshimi Yasuda: Hidaka-san will be returning since she already appeared in the first Root Letter, and Yuuko Minaguchi is also very famous. She played a role in Dragon Ball Z.

Both of them will play significant roles. Hidaka-san was very happy when we asked for her to play the role because she really liked the original Root Letter a lot, so she said ok immediately.

Giuseppe: Her character is wearing Magatama-shaped earrings. Do they have a meaning?

Yoshimi Yasuda: The Magatama is a symbol related to the history of Shimane prefecture, which is the setting of the game.

Giuseppe: The members of the idol group i☆Ris all play relevant roles in the game. Did they provide any insight into creating their characters?

Yoshimi Yasuda: When we decided to hire the members of i☆Ris to play characters in the game, we wanted each of those characters to be related to the idol who plays them. We wanted to surprise the fans with their participation.

Giuseppe: One of them plays a male character, isn’t it?

Yoshimi Yasuda: Shibuya-san has a bit of a boyish voice so she did play boyish female characters in anime before. That’s why we wanted her to challenge a male role in this title.

Giuseppe: I was surprised to see that the game won’t be on PC at release. Could it come to Steam in the future?

Yoshimi Yasuda: Lately the procedure has become to publish the titles later on Steam after the western publisher has finished the localization process. Eventually, we are interested in releasing the game on Steam as well.

Root Film will launch in Japan on April 23, 2020, for PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

The western release will come courtesy of PQube Games but doesn’t have a release date besides a generic “2020.”

About the author

Giuseppe Nelva

Proud weeb hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long-standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality), MMORPGs, and visual novels are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans on Earth of the flight simulator genre.