The latest crossover title in Koei Tecmo’s prolific Warriors / Musou series seems both unexpected and like a match made in heaven: Touken Ranbu Musou is currently in development for Switch and PC, combining the swords-turned-into-beautiful-men stylings of Touken Ranbu with Musou‘s 1-vs-1000 action.
Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- is a browser-based simulation game that sees players travelling to different periods of history and building a squad of swords that have taken the form of beautiful men. Though not strictly an otome game per se, in that relationship development isn’t a major focus, it shares a similar bishōnen aesthetic direction and appeals to a similar audience.
In the interests of capturing that, Touken Ranbu Musou is being co-developed by Omega Force—the series’ primary developer—and Ruby Party, another Koei Tecmo studio focused on otome games. Ruby Party isn’t well-known outside Japan due to none of its games getting a Western release to date, but it’s a prolific, influential studio that played a crucial role in the establishment of the otome genre with the release of Angelique in 1996. It remains to be seen what exactly Ruby Party’s involvement will mean for Touken Ranbu Musou, but the fact that they’re involved at all is a promising sign for the game.
What we do know is that it will be set in the Sengoku era, with 15 swords split into five different squads. The first to be revealed is Mikazuchi Munechika, a sword crafted by Heian-era swordsmith Munechika Sanjō and said to be the most beautiful of the famed Tenka-Goken (“Five [Greatest] Swords Under Heaven”). More information will be released soon, with another announcement planned for August 18. In the meantime, you can check out the teaser site that’s now open.
Touken Ranbu Musou will also be the first commercially-released Touken Ranbu game, and the first to use 3D character models. There’s no word on a global release just yet, but hopefully the Warriors series’ popularity and the fact that Touken Ranbu made its English debut earlier this year mean that we’ll see it release outside Japan eventually. (And maybe that can be the push Koei Tecmo needs to start localising other Ruby Party games…)
The Musou series has a long history of collaborations with other properties, covering everything from Arslan and One Piece to Dragon Quest and The Legend of Zelda. The setting of Touken Ranbu makes it a natural fit for a Musou game, but it nonetheless feels like an unexpected—but welcome!—choice for the next crossover entry in the series.