Akari Uchida and Mino Taro depart from Konami

Longtime Love Plus duo leave for parts unknown.

Minoboshi Taro

Tokimeki Memorial and Love Plus producer Akari Uchida and Love Plus character designer Mino Taro have announced on their respective Twitter accounts that they’ve quit Konami.

The pair, who were close collaborators on the Love Plus series, left a handful of messages describing their motivations and what their future plans are in broad terms. We’ve translated both sets of Twitter messages, starting with Uchida’s.

Akari Uchida

Part 1

Thank you all for you continued support. This announcement is sudden, but I’m here to say that as of March 15, I have left Konami Digital Entertainment. My future plans remain unclear at this stage, but I do know that I want to build upon the base I’ve established and continue to do what I can.

Part 2

To those of you who have loved and enjoyed the games I’ve worked on and are looking forward to what’s coming up, I apologize for worrying you all. The catalyst for this decision is an event I attended a while back. I shook hands with someone there who cried “Thanks” to me with tears in their eyes. This led me to wonder what all I could be doing for you all going forward.

Part 3

After agonizing over the issue, I believe I’ve made the best choice for myself. I’m going to keep making games that will hopefully continue to be worthy of your love, so I’d be deeply grateful if you all watched over me and continued to give your kind words of support, along with the occasional harsh critique. Your input has always be, and will continue to be, at the heart of my work.

Part 4

I realize things look a little gloomy right now, but now when I think back to everything I wanted to do, free of any restraints, I feel a sense of excitement and anxiety. It’s my hope to be able to make a place where we can all make things together, so when the time comes, I hope you’ll continue to lend me strength and support. Let’s make some noise again!

Mino Taro

Part 1

I know this is coming without warning, but as of February 15 [Editor’s note: This is likely an error; see part 3 below.] I’m no longer with Konami and have therefore ceased work under the Mino☆Taro pen name. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the many people who have supported me over the years.

Part 2

I have a lot of memories and a deep affection for everything I’ve worked on over at Konami. However, in the midst of the hectic work life I was leading there as a game creator, I found myself thinking and worrying over a lot of things. There were things that I couldn’t do at Konami, challenges I couldn’t undertake while I was there and I felt that this was my last chance to pursue them, hence why I left.

Part 3

Since the Mino☆Taro pen name is one that I used for my work at Konami, I’m adopting a new one as a freelancer starting on March 15. I think it encapsulates the changes I’ve undergone on the inside and reflects the new challenges I plan on tackling in the days ahead.

Part 4

As such, from now on, I’ll be working under the name Minoboshi Tarou. [Editor’s note: Minoboshi is essentially a pun on his last name, Mino, and the Japanese word for star, “hoshi,” which, as seen above, was used in his previous pen name. The “Mino” part itself is written with kanji different from his legal name.] It would make me happy if you all continue to give me your support, although, please, make sure to not write my new pen name in katakana or with any star symbols like before! Thanks!

In the final tweet on the matter, Mino attached a drawing showcasing how to write his new pen name in kanji, which is featured at the top of the post. After retweeting it, Uchida left one more message directed toward his former colleague.

Mino… I’m sorry, Minoboshi-sensei, right? Let’s get together again sometime! Anyway, I’ll still being going by just plain old Akari Uchida myself, but if everyone still wants to keep calling me your “father in-law” [a nickname he acquired while at Konami], by all means, I won’t stop you. I don’t probably quite deserve the name at this stage, having “left home,” so to speak, but regardless, here’s to the future!

Thanks, Games Talk.

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