To Heart is the 3rd Visual Novel Game developed by Leaf. It was released on May 23, 1997 for Windows PC which makes the game now 20 years old since its first release date. It was primarily the first visual novel game that makes “nakige” or “crying game” subgenre popular. But you should know that To Heart brings you “Tears of Happiness” instead of making you cry in sadness and depression. This game has a beautiful and touching story. So beautiful that your eyes will likely burst a lot of tears during the climax and resolution part of the story. That was based on my personal experience.
I didn’t play To Heart directly in 1997. But instead, I played the game in 1997, finished the arc of Kamigishi Akari, the main heroine in the story at October 25, 2007 00:20. Yes, I remember the time when I finished the game for the first time. Simply because the story was so beautiful and left a very deep impression in my heart. That’s To Heart.
There are two illustrator who designed the chara. One is Minazuki Tooru. You can follow him on Twitter @minaduki_t. The other one is Kawata Hisashi whom you can follow on twitter @kawata_hisashi. To see more about the content of To Heart 20th Anniversary, you can check on Twitter with #ToHeart20周年.
What makes To Heart special for me? There are quite many reasons. First, Kamigishi Akari, the girl with red hair, also the main heroine of the story was my first love. Second, Kawasumi Ayako was the first seiyuu who impressed me with her role as Kamigishi Akari. Third, the story is so beautiful! The first visual novel that makes my eyes burst a lot of tears. Also the best, second to none when it comes to romance story. Fourth, makes me depart from my old and awful life as an idiot MMO Player with no life. Fifth, act as the bridge that attract me to more visual novel games. Sixth, helping (forcing) me to learn Japanese because the story was in full Japanese language.
Here are to two pictures to show us the comparison between the original game art from 1997, anime art from 1999, and 2017 art. Unfortunately I only have Kurusugawa Serika and Miyauchi Lemmy because both Minazuki Tooru and Kawata Hisashi only made one art for this 20th anniversary celebration.