BlazBlue 10th Anniversary

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BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Logo.png

The BlazBlue series celebrates its 10th anniversary on November 20, 2018, exactly ten years after the release of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger in Japanese arcades in 2008. To celebrate, BlazBlue staff launched a special website for the anniversary one year prior on November 20, 2017 as part of the "BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Project" (「BLAZBLUE」10周年アニバーサリープロジェクト).[1][2]


The website features a history of BlazBlue, a directory all the characters of the BlazBlue series and its spinoffs, creator's comments, and community contests. Information was released slowly over the course of the year.

The character popularity poll and the illustration contest both ran from the website's opening on November 20, 2017 until January 31, 2018. During this time, anyone could vote once a day on a character or illustration of their liking. Intermediate results for the popularity poll were released once during the monthly Arcnama on December 15, 2017 and once on the poll's page on January 22, 2018[3].

On January 22, 2018, the website received its first huge update, which switched out the splash image, opened up the 4-panel comic contest, added a section outlining the history of the BlazBlue series, and released the 2nd intermediary results for the character popularity poll.[4]

On March 3, 2018, the website was updated to include results for the character popularity poll and illustration contest, as well as a new splash image to celebrate Ragna's birthday.[5]

Splash Images

Popularity Poll

See the final results at Polls/BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Character Popularity Poll

Creator's Comments

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Toshimichi Mori

Toshimichi Mori
Producer of the BlazBlue series.
Illustrator of the first and third installments of the series.
Weaving tales across 10 years,
a new challenge.
森 利道

Thanks to everyone, BlazBlue is able to welcome its 10th anniversary. I think this is due to everyone's support, as well as the diligence of the staff who tackled this project. Let me first express my gratitude: really, thank you very much.

When we first started planning [for BlazBlue], I had just transferred to Arc System Works; the CEO Kidooka's first words for me were, "Make content that will continue for 10 years." To be honest, at that time I thought, "That's absurd..." but I very strongly wanted to be able to make a work of my own, so I decided to push onward. And now, we actually have created content that's continued on for ten years.

In these ten years, all sorts of things have happened.

Of course there have been the games, but there have also also been novels, the web radio, manga, anime, stageplay; many, varied genres all depicting BlazBlue. The challenge of these has been to open up the connection with the audience, not just by widening our reach but also--to me, and to Arc System Works--by providing an exciting experience.

Now once again, a new challenge stands before us. Although the curtain has fallen on the story of "Ragna the Bloodedge" in the world of BlazBlue, the "Story of the Azure" still continues. I myself also want to keep continuing onward; I would be happy if everyone would accompany me.

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Yuuki Kato

Yuuki Kato
Illustrator of the second and fourth installments
of the BlazBlue series.
Battle image boards, released
for the first time!
加藤 勇樹

Congratulations on BlazBlue's 10th anniversary! I've said a lot about the character designs in other places, so I'll write about something that I haven't really talked about before.

Here's some image boards of battle scenes that haven't been released elsewhere; let's continue while looking at them!

BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Creators Yuuki Kato 01.jpg

This was around when Ragna's hakama portion was still being decided.
Taokaka hasn't changed much since her design here.

BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Creators Yuuki Kato 02.jpg

Jin's design was also still all over the place.

BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Creators Yuuki Kato 03.jpg
BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Creators Yuuki Kato 04.jpg

Noel and Carl's designs were solidified pretty quickly.
Maybe because they were stuffed full of wild ideas from Mori-P?

BlazBlue 10th Anniversary Creators Yuuki Kato 05.jpg

Litchi's first draft had the feeling of a [stereotypical] Chinese girl (lol) It's nostagic.
Looking back like this, my old work is really bad isn't it! lol

Even though these drawings are so embarrassing, I think everyone can have a laugh at them being able to lead to today's BlazBlue!

So, until next time~

Arc System Works Co., Ltd.
Yuki Kato

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Daisuke Ishiwatari

Daisuke Ishiwatari
Sound director for
all of the BlazBlue series.
Giving variety to
the BlazBlue soundtrack.
石渡 大輔

To MoriMori, the release and marketing staff, and all of BlazBlue's fans, congratulations on reaching BlazBlue's ten-year anniversary. I'm overjoyed that, with everybody's help, this celebration-worthy event could be welcomed.

I play the role of the composer, but BlazBlue's production has taught me much about being a creator.

Until that point, I had been writing mostly rock music, but this work included an unusual variety of concepts. I had to desperately look for things I hadn't expressed before, and connect them with everything I learned from going beyond the framework of composition.

If you reach out your hand, someone will take it. Perhaps it will open up new perspectives. If I had given up, I wonder where I would be now.

Such an experience has also had a great effect on my own game production.

If I were to speak honestly, producing Guilty Gear while also composing for BlazBlue filled my schedule, and I was often extremely busy. It wasn't rare for me to think "Someone, please switch with me."

But now, having had a chance to meet once again with all the fans of BlazBlue, I would gladly welcome that cliff's edge.

I give congratulations for these ten years, but I also look forward to BlazBlue's next ten years with everyone.

Arc System Works Co., Ltd.
Daisuke Ishiwatari

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Takeshi Yamanaka

Takeshi Yamanaka
Director from the first installment's console version until
the second installment's arcade version.
Wishing to cut open
a new age for fighting games.
山中 丈嗣

Congratulations on reaching the 10th anniversary of the BlazBlue series. Thanking the development staff is a given, but I also believe that more than anything, this is due to the support and passion shown by all the fans. I extend my heartfelt thanks.

I had the role of production director from the time of the console version of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (afterwards, CT) until the NESiCA x Live version of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II (afterwards, CS2). Looking back to around the time when development for Guilty Gear 2's update was cooling down, Mori-P said "I'm completely lost when it comes to [computer] networking. I'll give up responsibility and leave you the position of director for the console version, Yamanaka-kun, so please do as you like." Starting with that EXCITING offer,[T/N 1] I became involved with the BB series.

● Foremost thoughts about the CT era
At a time before we'd prepared for the spectation function [in the software design], Mori-P threw out "You can spectate [matches]!" at an event.[T/N 2] We somehow managed to [finish the feature] in time so we can laugh about it now, but at the time our main programmer Iguchi said, "Man, making rash decisions like that...." and I remember feeling a murderous intent and breaking out in cold sweat.[T/N 3]

● Thoughts about the CS era
I participated not only in the management of the release, but also in the overall project's planning and promotion. The knowledge and experience I gained during this time became the foundation of my current style of doing things. I feel like I learned an unusually large amount through it.

● Thoughts about the CS2 era
The arcade industry of the time was shifting from a "single-payment system" to a "revenue share system."[T/N 4] In response to and accompanying this revenue share (card system), I planned out the means and methods of the Player's Guild. The hectic rush of the time left a lasting impression on me.

It was something like that. In any case, from the depths of my heart I wanted to cut open a new age for fighting games, so I became Mori-P's hands and feet and thought every day only about how to continue recklessly onwards, even while fumbling around.

We have now welcomed the end of the story surrounding Ragna the Bloodedge. However, soon BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle will release, and furthermore (although it's not a fighting game) BlazBlue Alternative: Dark War and more will bring about new developments.

So while being grateful for and celebrating these ten years, I also hope that with everyone's support, the series can continue on to 15...20 years. We'll be relying on everyone’s passion this time as well.

Arc System Works Ltd., Co.
Fighting Game Line Producer
Takeshi Yamanaka

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Takumi Iguchi

Director & Programmer
Takumi Iguchi
Main programmer for the first installment and
director of the second installment
of the BlazBlue series.
Creating from scratch
a completely new fighting game engine.
井口屋 タクミ

BlazBlue's already reached its tenth year.... Thinking that it's been a long time is proof that I've aged.

Starting from the top, thank you very much to all the fans for cheering on and supporting BlazBlue. And also, for this tenth year, congratulations to everyone related to [the production of] BlazBlue, including myself.

Going back to a little more than 10 years ago when we reviewed the game engine that was used to make Guilty Gear, I was named main programmer for the huge project of building a completely new engine from scratch. I was still young and overflowing with ambition back then, so I approached it with a "Let's do this!" attitude; months later during release, after literally drowning in desperation at crunch time, [my] hatred for the schedule and the world's absurdities was....

Moving to a better train of thought, I would like to tell the me at my wits' end, that that very BlazBlue series would become such a huge series.

Afterwards, I participated in [producing] BlazBlue: Continuum Shift as a director, and although I've left the BlazBlue series now, with Arc System Works' fighting games in my background, I'm still proud of having helped such a definitive series get off the ground even today.

Then once more in closing, to the fans of BlazBlue who continued cheering it on for ten years, Arc System Works, and we staff, wish to answer your desire for the series to continue, and look together to the future.

Arc System Works Ltd., Co.
Director & Programmer
Takumi Iguchi

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Ryouhei Endo

Ryouhei Endo
Taking on the position of director from the second until
the third installment of the BlazBlue series.
Anyway, try what
you'd like to try.
遠藤 良平

Congratulations on BlazBlue entering its 10th year!

To the fans, and to the players, thank you very much. I pray the increase in fans and players for this tenth anniversary will continue onward to the twentieth anniversary♪

Speaking of which, I also thought I should reminisce a bit. I'd be happy if you'd read it and consider that these sorts of things have happened too.

First, let me start with my relationship to BlazBlue.

During production for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift's console release, I participated as a planner. Then in the middle of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II I took over as a director, and was in charge all the way through BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, and BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend.

Now, while I was in charge, you could say BlazBlue just happened to perfectly match with the times, and those not just within the company but also those outside seemed to have an "anyway, try what you'd like to try" sort of attitude.

For example, for the arcade version's location test, we went all over the place to Osaka, Kyushu, Hokkaido, and so on even though in the past we'd been holding them exclusively within the Tokyo region. I went to observe the Osaka location test myself, and before the store even opened there were already more than fifty people lined up. I remember feeling like crying [in happiness] that morning.

And, when we first started up the Players Guild website targeted towards arcade-goers, since it was pretty much a first for the company as a whole, [technical] support released it directly along the reasoning that [they] were already familiar with the [inner workings of the] game. However, like hell itself, from the very first day several hundred incidents came in at once, and [we] had to keep working all the way through the New Year.

Since we were going to work through the New Year anyway, we thought to send out emails to registered players in the Guild saying "Happy New Year!", but it ended with us stressing the mail servers beyond their limits; the bitterness still remains....

We also started up a new broadcast to succeed BlazBlue Radio, "Burugeki" (lit. [Blaz]Blue Play).... When we actually went through with it, instead of [being just] PR, it began to have its own story, and in the end Rachel's home was burned down. It really makes one want to see a continuation....

In 2012 there was also "BlueRevo" (BlazBlue Revolution). The qualifiers were held in various game centers, and ASW staff held interviews in the Kanto region as well. The deciding tournament took place at Differ Ariake. I was able to clearly feel the passion of the competitors!

And in November, having somehow managed to focus on its release, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma went live!

As a director, this was a title I'd been involved with from the very beginning, and before I'd realized it, the decreasing budget (from being used up), detailed schedules, and whatnot one by one became sources of joy.

Together with the console release [of BBCP], [BlazBlue] also expanded into all sort of other genres, like the novelizations, comics, and anime. The ArcNama livestream also began broadcasting around then.

We also continued with [live events] and collaborations with various games, which I believe helped lead up to the BlazBlue that we have today.

Speaking of which, the Xbox One release of BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend allows up to 64 people to stay in a single room of the online lobby! through unspeakable means powered by the programmers' tears, I recall.

BlazBlue was then passed from me to Director Ishikawa, who polished it into BlazBlue: Central Fiction and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle.

To all the fans and all the players, please look forward to BlazBlue's continuing evolution! Let's celebrate the 20th anniversary together!!

Arc System Works Ltd., Co.
Ryōhei Endo

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes

Tatsunori Ishikawa

Director & Programmer
Tatsunori Ishikawa
Lead programmer for the third installment and
director of the fourth installment of the BlazBlue series.
Works that let one realize the
depth and enticement of fighting games.
石川 辰則

Congrats, the BlazBlue series' 10th anniversary!

I believe this series of fighting games was able continue for a decade due to the many fans who supported it. Of course, this includes those fans who played the game themselves, but it also includes the many fans who preferred to create content, as well as their collaborators, all of whom I wish to express my gratitude to.

I entered the company [ASW] in 2006, and at that time BlazBlue was at a period where it was just beginning to gain momentum. The greater half of my achievements as a game creator were due to this project, for which I harbor strong emotions about.

In the beginning, I participated as a programmer, and I'm currently involved as director of the series. However, when I first started out in game development, I was in a situation where I didn't know left from right, and I went through some hard times.

I suppose the job that stuck with me most clearly out of all that was the time spent on making BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma. Up until then I'd been a regular programmer, but for this one, I was the lead programmer.

This title also tackled more innovation than usual. I was deeply involved in the Online Lobby in particular, working on everything from the technical specification to the implementation itself.

It began with talk like, "For the console version, we want create the feeling of being at an arcade." I worked closely with the planner on the specifications.

However, the real troubles began after we had completed the specifications, with its implementation.

"Huh? Isn't this impossible?"

We could do it if it was just speaking with and playing against other players in the same location, but we'd fallen into the situation where it seemed impossible to allow one to play against another in the same way that players on opposing machines at an arcade would.

There was talk of reconsidering the technical specifications, but being so involved in the implementation myself, I struggled with the desire to make it work somehow. Eventually, with knowledge, diligence, and experience,[T/N 5] we were able to follow through with the specifications.

As a result, the online lobby was popular with the users and became standard to implement in ASW's fighting games; I realized then that failing to give up did have an effect.

Many players who were new to the BlazBlue series also tried out [BlazBlue at that time]. I myself cannot claim to have been particularly good at fighting games in the beginning, and I think it was a work that let [players] realize the allure and depth of fighting games.

We have reached a turning point when it comes to the BlazBlue series, but I think from now on, the series will continue to expand in various forms.

For example, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a work created for a similar reason to when we were making BlazBlue ten years ago, when we wanted to bring the allure of fighting games to an even wider audience.

The competitiveness of a fighting game is an important facet to take into account, but the original purpose of games "to entertain" should not be forgotten.

Without forgetting to thank the many fans who've supported us these ten years, I believe works that align with everyone's expectations will continue to be made from now on and hope that everyone will support us along the way.

Arc System Works
Director & Programmer
Tatsunori Ishikawa

Toshimichi Mori · Yuuki Kato · Daisuke Ishiwatari · Takeshi Yamanaka · Takumi Iguchi · Ryouhei Endo · Tatsunori Ishikawa · Notes


  1. 熱い(?)オファー atsui (?) offa - Literally "hot(?)" or "passionate(?) offer" with the question mark included; a friend suggested "EXCITING offer" for the implicit doubt.
  2. The phrase for "threw out" is originally ぶっぱ buppa, a fighting game term used to describe the situation where you throw out a super when [the opponent] drops their combo and can't recover in time from a linked move.
  3. The phrase for "rash decisions" is originally 見切り発車 mikiri hassha, a metaphor literally referring to "starting a train before everyone's boarded"
  4. The two contrasting arcade systems are 売り切り方式 literally "system [to] sell out" but which can also refer to one-time payments; and レベニューシェア方式 literally "revenue share" (in borrowed English) "system." The translation for "revenue share system" seems straightforward enough, but I haven't been able to determine the proper term for the former, so have "single-payment system" as an educated guess instead.
  5. The "knowledge, diligence, and experience" here actually uses only two compound words, 知恵 chie and 工夫 kufuu. Chie is translated as "wisdom" or "knowledge" in the dictionary, but from reading around it seems to be connected more to the knowledge gained from experience or hard work, and is also the word for prajna (insight to enlightenment). Kufuu on the other hand means several things related to solving a problem, as well as being the characters for kung-fu, but in particular, can also mean dedication to spiritual improvement.

Birthday Illustrations and Tweets

Theater Cafe & Dining STORIA GGxBB Cafe

A Guilty Gear x BlazBlue collaboration cafe was opened at Theater Cafe & Dining STORIA in Ikebukuro. The original duration of the cafe ran between May 4 and May 31, 2018, and it was extended two weeks until June 15, 2018.

Attendees were given one trading card and one luncheon mat at random for each collaboration cafe food or drink item that was ordered. The exclusive merchandise that was sold were based on the results of the 10th anniversary popularity poll.

Product Lineup

GraffArt Shop with A3MARKET in P'Parco

On July 7, 2018 in collaboration with the GraffArt Shop with A3MARKET in P'Parco, a series of merchandise was released for BlazBlue.[6]

External Links