Hello fellow Kagikko,
You may have already heard about the news from Anime Expo that Visual Art’s will be releasing an English version of Planetarian on Steam in conjunction with Sekai Project. To coincide with this news, I am happy to announce that Sekai Project will be assisting the Key 15th Anniversary Letter Project to deliver the Key 15th anthology to Key later this year. As announced earlier in May, we will produce a hardcover version specifically for delivering to Key. The work on the anthology is continuing, and we are aiming to have a preliminary version of the anthology to be completed by the end of the month or early next month.
On an unrelated note, I would like to invite Key fans to visit Kazamatsuri.org, an online community for English-speaking Key fans. Kazamatsuri was formed by Aspirety, who started one of our project’s forerunners, Kinniku Project. There hadn’t been an English forum dedicated to Key (unlike our Spanish or Chinese speaking brethren) as far as I am aware of, and I believe the website will allow English-speaking Key fans to gather and connect with each other more easily.
To end my post, I would like to thank everyone for their patience and support for the project. We will have more news regarding the anthology in the coming weeks.
Hello, fellow Kagikko. First, I would like to apologize. It’s been a while since the last time we made an announcement regarding the project. I’ll try to address what has been going on for the past several months.
First, please be assured the creation of the Key 15th anthology is still ongoing and underway. On a less bright side, we will no longer include the fan letters’/messages’ translations directly in the anthology. Instead, we will only include the letters and messages in the language(s) they were originally submitted in. Translations of select submissions into Japanese (and English if applicable) will instead be included in a separate appendix that will be available online.
Secondly, we are now aiming to produce two hard copy versions of the anthology. One version will be a single hand-crafted, special hardcover version that will be the copy presented to Key and Visual Art’s. A second, paperback version will be produced in very limited quantities that will be distributed to selected contributors and community members at no cost. We don’t have plans for the latter version yet, and will announce at a later date when we begin inviting members. Of course, the anthology and the appendix will also be available in PDF formats for free.
Lastly, while we cannot announce anything right now, we will have some exciting news regarding how our anthology will be presented to Key in the coming months.
On a side note, while it is not directly related to our project, I would like to note that the key15th/clannad10th Global Collaborative Arrange Album Rebirth, featuring rearranged songs from Clannad and other Key works by a multitude of fan artists, has been released. You can find the download links to that album in this link.
I want to apologize again for the lack of news in the past few months, and I promise that we will have more details in the coming weeks.
Many of you are doubtlessly already aware of the recent controversy over the documentary started by Clannad Man. In light of this situation, I would like to address the status of the Key 15th Anniversary Letter Project.
First of all, I would like to apologize to the visual novel community, fans of Key, and Visual Art’s for the concerns, confusion, and annoyances that the Kickstarter campaign for the planned documentary has caused. Personally, I do not believe it was Clannad Man’s intention to scam other Key fans. However, the truth is that the Kickstarter campaign was unacceptably misleading and inappropriate, contained significant misrepresentations of Clannad Man’s and the project’s affiliation to the community and Visual Art’s, and included unlicensed, copyrighted rewards that are highly inappropriate and against Kickstarter’s terms of service.
I was only informed the plans of a documentary and Kickstarter campaign shortly prior to its launch, and was not made aware of the details of the campaign, its launch date, and its execution. While I was unable to review the Kickstarter campaign before it was made public, the fault is mine that I did not immediately raise my concerns to Clannad Man and prompt him to correct these offenses, and this has caused many of you significant confusion and frustration. For this, I ask for your forgiveness.
Next, I would like to go into the current status of the Letter Project and my plans for the anthology going forward. From now on, I intend to manage the Letter Project in a larger capacity in alignment with the project’s original stated goal of delivering an anthology of fan work. While it was suggested and considered to reduce the anthology’s scale or to simply halt it, it would be unsatisfactory to punish the contributors who have made submissions to the creation of the anthology. Therefore, we intend to continue our work on the anthology, albeit turning the process into a more private one. Likewise, jakeman95′s upcoming panel at Youmacon remains unaffected.
In addition, while some members have expressed interest in purchasing hard copies of the anthology that we plan on printing, other members and I have come to the conclusion that this would not be appropriate, and I would like to apologize to those participants who were interested. However, we still plan on releasing the anthology in digital forms under a free license. I understand that some participants may no longer wish to have their work included in the anthology. Participants who wish to have their work removed may contact us at the email: info [at] key15th.com to have their work removed.
Again, I would like to apologize for all confusions that the documentary Kickstarter has caused, and will work to make sure that the project continues only in alignment with the community’s interests.
To anyone who has seen or heard about the Key15th Kickstarter or is aware of me in some other capacity:
I write to you today utterly dejected. This is not due to my cancellation of the Kickstarter, but rather due to my inability to have overlooked many minor issues which collectively misrepresented the project to many people. The very group which I was trying to benefit, the Key community, I feel that I have instead let down in a way I never thought possible. The worst part is, I only have my own incompetence to blame.
It is important, even necessary, that I provide you with full disclosure regarding every significant issue which has been brought to my attention over these past few days. I want this entire ordeal clarified and resolved as quickly as possible, and this is the best way I know to do so. I offer this of my own accord.
I’m going to present in the order of what I consider my most egregious faults down to those of lesser consequence. First I’ll begin with the mention of ‘The Grand X-Change Co.’ It was mentioned in one line, in parentheses. (‘The production crew is being provided by The Grand X-Change Co. based out of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.’) The GXC Co. is an entity controlled by myself scheduled to be incorporated at the end of the year. Use of the company’s name was inappropriate for several reasons: 1) that line gives the impression that the entity was already incorporated, 2) GXC will not be collecting revenue of any kind, and 3) the videographer(s) for the project would come from one or both of the following studios: BGM Group LLC. (group) & JRS Productions (individual), both based in northern Ohio, USA. Videographers from these studios generally perform local work & have shown an interest in subcontracting with GXC next year for long term projects. While BGM Group is larger and more experienced, having typically worked on smaller productions and local commercials, compensation & time constraints represented a potential issue. Justin Schultz of JRS Productions has limited professional experience but is multidisciplined and offered guaranteed availability for the duration of the production period. The incentive offered to these videographers/editors was that in exchange for their work on the production, they would receive production credits, airfare, sleeping arrangements, paid traveling expenses within Japan, and finally a food stipend. As these studios would be providing the large majority of the production equipment (as well as the associated transport risk), this arrangement represented significant savings regarding the cost of the production.
It was due to the uncertainty regarding which studio(s) might be ultimately be involved in the production that led me to use ‘The Grand X-Change Co.’ as the providers of the production team. In retrospect, this usage appears especially ignorant because it creates a sense of conflict of interest when there otherwise wouldn’t be any. Note: this is what happens when you write and proofread documents in the early hours of the morning. Generally, it’s a bad idea.
Next on my list of errors regards the reward types offered. The OPMs, the polo shirts, Little Busters! Vinyl, and the Memorial Score cannot be offered as they were not directly produced by the project. They were offered as a way to provide Key fans with a variety of interesting items in return for their support. I made an improper assumption that Kickstarter’s 48-hour verification period would identify me of any problems present with the rewards offered. Having identified the project as, “a fan organized effort”, once the project was approved, my estimation was that their rules regarding offered goods may be lax. This may be yet accurate; what didn’t occur to me is that by listing the rewards as such a fashion, people who glance over the project might assume an affiliation and choose to contribute. I am not an impulse buyer; as such, I should have put myself in that mindset when designing the rewards. Versions of the documentary, the arrangement album, and the t-shirt were all custom project rewards allowed by Kickstarter as well as under Key’s derivative works clause.
(Do recall that no monies were ever collected from any of the participants and that the Kickstarter was voluntarily
shut down due to concerns being raised about its legitimacy.)
Third, some felt it would be helpful to see the breakdown of costs for the project. That request seems wholly appropriate; the *estimated* costs of the Kickstarter were allocated as follows:
Amount Requested: $20,159
Room Expenses: $1,736 (3 adults, 16 nights)
Plane Tickets: $5,328 to $6,735 (3 Tickets, United, No Tax, CLE to KIX [Osaka], Jan 1st to Jan 17th), as of July, subject to price increases as the departure dates get closer
Food: $2,040 ($40 a day for 3 people)
Universal Train Passes: $1,833 (3 people, two week)
Additional Production Equipment: $1,253
MISC Expenditures / ‘Buffer’ Funds: $500
Cost of Rewards: $4,229 (Approximated at 30% of trip/editing expenditures)
Kickstarter Fees: $1,833 (Approximated at 10% of all other project costs)
All additional costs were to be borne by myself or additional funds raised by the Kickstarter.
Fourth, regarding the second Kickstarter update: when Takahiro Baba tweeted his concern about the project after being told of its suspicious nature, I considered how the situation could be approached. I chose to have a sense of optimism, believing that I could quickly respond, explain what my intentions were, and clear up any misunderstandings quickly. I even thought that I might be able to use the campaign as a way to quantify signs of enthusiasm from members of the Key community to suggest that there was a stronger potential for profitability in localizing Key games than what he might otherwise have thought. For those that may not be aware, one of the strongest sentiments (outside of gratitude) that fans submitted in their letters to the Key15th Anniversary Letter Project was to have the games officially localized; I too hold this sentiment, and felt that a unique opportunity was presented to convey fans’ feelings on the subject. Unfortunately, I am not particularly competent in Japanese and could not find a way to convey my thoughts without another’s assistance. (Thus is the problem many international Key fans face; only a very small percentage of these people know Japanese, so how could the studio or Visual Art’s possibly be expected to know of the substantial fandom expressed by those who are unable to communicate with them?) By the time I realized I would unable to find a translator to assist with my efforts, it was already too late for me to modify the Kickstarter update, making it almost seem like a mockery. Unable to communicate my intentions or those of fans, and with growing suspicion surrounding the documentary due to lacking information, the logical course of action seemed to be to shut down the project and evaluate everything people were now posting about on various social networks, blogs, etc.
Fifth, people chose to ask what locations would be traveled to. This information was intended to be shared with everyone as time went on; as of the last time I checked the document, there were 74 locations from Key works (and their respective anime adaptations) which were identified with a handful of other ‘bonus material’ locations which were on route. However, as it stands, the list is incomplete; I intended to map out several other locations I had identified over the coming weeks. Due to weather, unexpected closures, holidays, etc., not all of the locations were going to be covered, though it provided the project with flexibility going forward. (I’d still like to release the completed location list on Google Maps at a later time, however.)
Sixth, some people have mentioned that I should be ashamed for claiming other people’s credit for having claimed to have led the English localization projects for Clannad, Little Busters!, and Tomoyo After. I have never had any intention of taking credit for other people’s work. I oversaw and helped restart the VN Division at Doki for a time and organized for those projects to be continued by Doki from the prior project masters. As patches from Doki for Clannad & Little Busters! have not yet been released, some people feel that terminology is more appropriate than saying I ‘led’ them. To me, the terminology seems like a minor issue; I give all the credit in the world to the previous project leaders and contributors to these projects for having made the sacrifices necessary to spread Key’s beautiful stories to fans around the world. Early work on Clannad, Kanon, etc. was instrumental in fostering my interest in Key works, and I hold nothing but appreciation for having been exposed to it.
To those at Baka-Tsuki, including Velocity7 – Do not punish Key’s fans by preventing Doki from continuing their work on Clannad. The errors are my doing, not theirs; punishing either of them is senseless, especially since I haven’t been actively associated with Doki for some time. As Key fans who really believe in the message which underlines Key works, one of family, comradely, and friendship, I would hope that you would be willing to continue to accept an effort from those with the same values as yourselves.
While my errors have been careless, incompetent, foolish, and have led some to believe me to be a scam artist, I would actually like to thank those who called out these problems (though it would have been nice if I was contacted directly first so this ordeal could have been presented). While I had done preparation work on the project for months, I posted the Kickstarter up quickly and had grown complacent in my assumptions that I hadn’t made any glaring errors. I became overconfident; no one, not even I, would be stupid enough to knowingly put their reputation on the line with legitimate concerns present. I maintain that my intentions through every part of this process were purely honest, albeit poorly executed. I’ve made mistakes and will continue to reflect on the process I went through to make sure I never make the same mistakes again.
I mentioned on the Kickstarter page FAQ that I went through the platform to allow for open accountability. That’s exactly what I got; for this reason, I can be glad that the system worked. I would very much encourage someone to continue this effort if they are so inclined, as the early success of the project suggests that there is a demand for such a documentary to take place.
With that, I hope that any issues regarding this Kickstarter are hereby resolved. It’s not Key15th’s fault, it’s not Cloud668’s fault, and it’s not Doki’s or any other group’s fault. These issues were a result of my actions alone.
I don’t know if my words will reach whoever is reading this, but nonetheless, I offer my sincere apologies for anyone who may have been affected or adversely affected by the existence of this Kickstarter in any way. I tried to get this going in a limited timeframe, and that caused me to make careless errors and take shortcuts in my personal review process which I would never otherwise find acceptable. My intentions have always been to spread the joy of Key works with as many people as possible and to be a part of the vibrant community that has been fostered. I would love to continue to do so and sincerely hope I will not be ostracized for my errors. As those that know me can attest, I would never intentionally do something to harm the Key community.
This has been a very long few days. I need to rest. I wish everyone reading all the best.
- Clannad Man
Hello once again to the Key Kazoku! It’s been far too long since you’ve been provided with an update, so I intend to get you up to speed. Utilizing the resources at our disposal, project volunteers translated as many of the messages as possible into Japanese from their original language; it would have been ready sooner, though the volume of letters we received was much larger than initially anticipated. (Nice job out there!) At this point in time, some final proofreading is being performed and the book design is being readied. The current plan is to have the book delivered by the start of the new year.
Next up on the agenda, I’d like to tell you about an exciting new project which is just starting up. Due to various suggestions, conversations, and the results from recent polls, I’m happy to inform you that I will be pursuing an effort to produce a documentary on Key with the preliminary title, ‘「key15th」 : A Visual Documentary’. The goal of the documentary will be to ‘Bring Key to You!’ by filming at locations which play notable roles in the Key universe. The importance of these locations will be described in terms of both their in game and real life significance.
Since this is a very ambitious project, we’ll need your help to get it off the ground and make it as successful as possible; therefore I respectfully ask for you to consider contributing to the project via the Kickstarter platform. (You can donate to the cause by clicking on this link to Clannad.org.)For the past several months I have organized a set of unique, Key oriented rewards to be given out to members of the Key Kazoku who choose to contribute. Rewards range from in-video recognition and project oriented clothing to limited edition copies of the documentary and even an exclusive Key-centric audio album featuring custom made soundtracks from some of the world’s best known anime cover artists. Even original production materials from Key works will be made available to you from my personal collection. If you’d be interested in seeing such a documentary take place or acquiring any of the unique rewards I have prepared, I’d encourage you to go to the project page and review my full project appeal.
One last update! For those of you in the Detroit, Michigan area, Jakeman95 will be presenting an encore presentation of ‘「key15th」A History Of Emotion’ at Youmacon! The convention takes place from October 31 – November 3rd of this year. Be sure to stop by and show your support if you’re in the area!
This fan art submission by PsychoWardJester was cropped a bit because of spoilers. View it in its full glory on the wiki.
It’s-a-me, Cloud668! It’s been a while since I’ve last written something here, so I suppose some news about how the project is going is in order.
Throughout the past year, we received an extraordinary number of submissions, which is well beyond what I had ever anticipated. While we don’t have a final tally yet, we do know that we have roughly 400 submissions across letters, short messages, and pictures from a variety of countries. We also had some special contributions, such as the panel that Clannad Man and folks held at Anime North earlier this year (which brought in about 12 submissions despite what little time they had to take them) and the wooden starfish that Geinonen carved. We expect to include a majority, if not all, of these submissions in the commemoration tribute that is currently in the works.
Ever since the submissions were closed in April, our translators have been hard at work to translate the letters and messages. However, because of the number of submissions that need to be translated, we have not been able to finish all the translations within the expected time frame, which also impeded on the anthology’s production. There are still a handful of submissions that are still pending translations, and we are aiming to finish these and the anthology for delivery as soon as possible.
We are also thinking of preserving the wiki as a digital archive of sorts (in addition to the PDF). We will have more news about that and the anthology in the coming days.
Various Supporters of the Key15th Initiative
Hello again, members of the Key Kazoku! Though it has been nearly a month since Anime North has ended, people have continued to ask for a summary of our presence at the convention as well as footage from the 「key15th」 presentation if it became available.
For those that haven’t seen it, you can find the full convention summary HERE.
Regarding the Key presentation, it took awhile to collect and edit various video and audio feeds together to make a full presentation. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Curser656 for capturing the large majority of the presentation; your contribution really added a lot to the recording’s final edit. I’d also like to thank Doki’s Aieon and jakeman95 for their significant contributions as panelists.
While the presentation experience can’t be identically replicated (no surround sound, audience interaction, etc.), you should still get a good idea for what the presentation was like. If you enjoy the presentation, tell us in the comments section here and on our Anime North forum page. Depending on interest/ feedback, we would be interested in holding another presentation (at AN or elsewhere) and may get preferential stage time at Anime North if our feedback on their forums is positive. You can download a copy of our presentation recording and PowerPoint (for educational purposes!) using the link below.
Our group also collected a number of pictures from the convention… several GBs worth! Feel free to peruse the cosplay cornucopia if you’re so inclined.
Anime North Presentation Pack (Video & PPT): Torrent
Anime North Picture Pack: Torrent
Greetings, anime/visual novel fans! Clannad Man here, back from a windy Canadian weekend. Aieon and jakeman95 mentioned that someone should write a post about our experiences at Anime North 2013, so I got on it.
Here’s the tl;dl version:
Friday (May 24th): Arrival (12pm) / “Our rooms won’t be ready until 6pm?” / Aimless Wandering / Autographs / Nominoichi
Saturday (May 25th): Morning Brunch / Workout / Various Panels & Photoshoots / Review Notes / Key Panel Time! / 13-Man Dinner
Sunday (May 26th): “You’re kicking us out of our hotel room an hour early?” / Maid Café / Dealers Room Deals / Panel & Rest / Departure
Here’s the fleshed out version:
Though some of the locals arrived on Thursday to pick up passes and prepare for the convention, most of our party arrived on Friday. Those that arrived in the morning and early afternoon were treated with a several hour wait to get checked-in to our rooms; this would have been really frustrating except the convention didn’t start until the late afternoon. Some members of our party, including Dark_Sage , Curser656, and those with media passes, attended the opening ceremonies while the rest of us either went to get autographs or set up for the Nominoichi (swap meet) event. Most of us didn’t attend panels that evening due to there being lots of things coinciding with one another, so we grabbed a bite to eat when we could and called it a night.
Saturday started off with a couple of the guys going off to get brunch, including Aieon & Jake. Others, including IrieNaoki, spent their time being entertained at the maid café and attending panels. Since I only saw two panels I was particularly interested in over a several hour period, I decided to utilize my time by reviewing for my presentation while exercising in the 24-hour fitness center. (Though the hotel was at maximum capacity, it was deserted, leaving me with a nice place to think and relax.) After a few hours, I decided to grab a bite to eat since I hadn’t yet done so that day. Appalled by the exorbitant food prices, I found a Mexican restaurant selling “Big Ass Burritos” at halfway decent prices, so I bought one. (Turns out that was a good decision, as two of the adjacent restaurants served undercooked food which induced vomiting.) I returned to my room to meet up with my fellow panelists, but they were at a panel, so I decided to attend a Key photoshoot. Though it was listed as a Clannad shoot, several people cosplaying as members of the Little Busters showed up as well, setting the scene for what would have been an incredible crossover-battle. Alas, it was not meant to be, so I headed back to my hotel to rehearse with jakeman95 & Aieon.
When we arrived at the DoubleTree presentation plaza about 20 minutes early, I think we were all a bit surprised by how long the line length had already become – it had already extended beyond the rooms for two other panels, around a hallway corner, through a set of double-doors, and into the main plaza area. From what I’ve been told, many people had to be turned away, even though the room was over capacity. (For some inexplicable reason, the only other Key panel at the convention (on Angel Beats) was scheduled at the same time as ours, so those that were turned away at least had a viable alternative.) There were also some minor audio issues for the first minute or so of the presentation, though those were solved relatively quickly. To clarify some of the comments I’ve seen floating around: yes, we had prepared a two hour presentation which had to be condensed into 50 minutes due to a decision by the Anime North program organizer, yes, our presentation was flanked before and afterwards by My Little Pony panels, and no, we were not permitted to even suggest switching times with the second MLP panel despite there being no panel being scheduled after their event.
That being said, the crowd seemed very positive throughout our hybrid presentation-panel. Some laughed, some cried, and many cheered when we got to a section they liked. It was a real pleasure to have been able to moderate this talk on Key with Jakeman and Aieon, and the icing on the cake was having members of the audience come up to us afterwards to tell us how they enjoyed it as well. Several audience members took photos and video, so once I receive the different video feeds, I will modify them and have the full presentation posted.
After the presentation was over, we spent some time speaking with members of the audience and accepting in-person submissions for the Key 15th Anniversary Letter Project. That was followed by a 13-person dinner at the local Boston Pizza which included just about everyone from the Doki party. The night was finished by watching the latest episode of Shingeki no Kyojin with sporadic gripes about the internet being down.
Sunday seemed like it would be a relaxed day… that is until hotel staff began calling rooms and knocking on doors telling their guests to get out hours before the scheduled checkout time. Those with late afternoon and evening departures ended up dumping our bags in TheThing’s/Pitchblack’s room, leaving them no room to walk. (Sorry guys!) With bags safely stowed, we each went our separate ways. The maid café was a popular attraction with some members of our group returning several times. I met up with a Komari cosplayer (Cloudy) who attended the Key presentation and walked around the Dealer’s Room and Artist Alley until a panel on Steins;Gate started. I also briefly stopped by the Anime North fashion show before finding Irie lying down on a couch in the overcrowded lobby of the Toronto Airport DoubleTree. We finished off the afternoon at the AN Charity Auction before I gathered my things and made my leave. Those that remained for the evening ate sushi at a local Japanese restaurant, and by Monday, everyone was already on their way home.
Opinions regarding the convention varied greatly, from Irie’s, “I love it! This is the best convention I’ve ever been to!” to Dark_Sage’s, “[This] con is beyond salvation.” Ultimately, I believe the level of enjoyment we got from the con was proportional to how well the events were planned which we attended and who we had the opportunity to spend time with. Even though I was preoccupied preparing for my panel to attend many panels or events, I enjoyed spending time with members of Doki and discussing impressions of Key works with other fans. It was a joy to be around everyone, and I hope there will be another opportunity to meet again soon!
Greetings, Key Fanatics! Clannad Man here with an update & invitation.
Later this month from May 24th through 26th, anime fans will gather from all over to attend Anime North in Toronto, Canada’s premier anime convention and one of the largest in the Americas. I will be moderating a presentation on Key (the studio responsible for Kanon, Air, Clannad, Little Busters!, Angel Beats!, Rewrite and others), and will be joined by a panel of Kagikko including Doki VN’s jakeman95, Aieon, and even Key15th.com founder Cloud668′s plush Botan! Several project supporters will also be in attendance at the convention, and we’d love to talk with you!
Our page on the Anime North forums can be found HERE.
In case you happen to miss us, don’t worry! We will also be present at the Nominoichi event, where several rare Key collectables will be on display. It will be difficult to miss us.
In other news, submissions to the Key15th Anniversary Letter Project are officially closed. Submissions may still be processed, but there is no longer a guarantee they will appear in the published book. However, there will be a final opportunity to offer submissions personally after the 「key15th」 presentation at Anime North. We hope to see you there!
Hello amigos! This time it won’t be Cloud668 making an update post (Thanks for all the hard work so far!), but just another Key fan from Finland! I got asked to write a little post from the project I’ve been working for. As the pictures above show, I’ve been working on a small wooden starfish as the submission.
After the Key15th anniversary project got (un)officially announced, I had been thinking that what should I make for the project. What could I make, which would properly show my gratitude towards Key? I got my answer during rewatching some of the series from Key. In one of the series there was a certain Legendary Starfish Manipulator, who handed out star-shaped objects in attempt to reach out to people. What else could be more fitting as a submission than a handmade wooden starfish?
If the starfish gets accepted by the project staff, I’ll have it sent to Key with the Key15th Project book. I hope that it will make its way to the headquarters of Key, where it would remind the company of all the fans around the world.
The whole album and more comments from the project can be found _here_
I’m also looking for finnish Key fans for a possible panel/lecture in a convention during the next winter. If you are interested, add me as a friend in Steam.