ever17.jpg Hirameki International is an odd little company that localizes Japanese visual novels for the western market, some of which are Windows-based, some of which are DVD-based, and thus can be played on any DVD player, PC, or DVD-enabled game console. Ever17 is a particular highlight, originally by KID (an acronymn for Kindle Imagine Develop) for Windows, for which you can download a demo here.

Intros aside, Hirameki is operated out of an office in Tokyo (though they also have a physical store in City of Industry, CA), and has relatively recently started a rather nice Akihabara-centered blog. It includes such wackiness as 'Gaijinzira,' a conflation of the word for 'foreigner' and 'godzilla.' The first edition of this column details Tokyo's Ueno Park, and almost echoes new game journalism in its themes: "Oh sure, it all began innocently enough, when one of the cool kids in high school invited me over to watch Sailor Moon; I hesitated, but said yes, and bam! Next thing I know, I'm waking up slumped over a stack of doujinshi in some cheap Tokyo apartment." Another gem is this introduction to a Japanese fan comic rental store, where fans can peddle their wares. While most of the game-centric content is understandably Hirameki-related in large part, it's still quite an interesting, relatively obscure blog.

Lastly, Hirameki has a user survey up, which asks fans to submit information about what titles they're interested in. Perhaps if enough people ask for Fate/Stay Night (the most popular naughty PC game ever - til the sequel game out), they'll bring it over? Hard to say. As a cautionary note, be aware that the form must be followed exactly - never put in more than three choices in any category. If the form is improperly filled, you lose all of your entered data and must start over.