• 8 min read
An Intro to Denonbu #2: Denonbu All-Stars
Hello again, in another post of several in a series of introductions for the Denonbu media project.
In a previous post, I talked about how Denonbu came into being, and what I think the project focus will be. This time, let's talk about the setting and characters that comprise the Denonbu project!
An AI post-singularity outlook
First of all, let's talk about the setting. Denonbu is set around 40 years in the future (the 2060s). In the Denonbu timeline, the development of artificial intelligence has reached a turning point: a technology singularity, where technology development has become uncontrollable and irreversible. Because of this technological advancement, menial work has been subsumed into Artificial Intelligence. However, AI in this timeline did not rebel against its creators (at least, not yet, for complex reasons), and so, humanity became free to pursue creative work, like music creation. Thanks to advancements in network and digital space technology, humanity is no longer constrained by space, and is able to basically live anywhere, so they instead grouped by culture, people with similar interests and tastes go to the same place.
In this setting, the Denonbu story unfolds. Electronic music becomes the heart of the world's music culture, and in this era, DJs are the new celebrities and superstars. Those DJs compete and perform through a system called STACK BATTLE. This culture even pervades high-schoolers, and they form extracurricular clubs called the "electronic music club". The denonbu, if you will.
Those STACK BATTLEs are a spectacle to behold, involving high-technology special effects, thanks to a device that handles everything in a DJ battle show, from the visual effects, the PA system, even the lighting: the AI Hologram Speaker "FAIHS". The name of FAIHS' inventor, however, might ring a bell to people familiar with Namco games: Neucom Entertainment. If that got you thinking, "wait, is this the Neucom that appeared in Ace Combat 3?", then you are absolutely right, this is the entertainment branch of that Neucom. Yes, to connect the future of Denonbu to the legacy of Namco games, Denonbu is set in the same universe as Ace Combat 3 and the numerous other games that comprise the United Galaxy Space Force series!
A look into the characters of Denonbu
Akiba: the Sotokanda Literature High School
Under Japan's new ward division plan, the areas formerly known as Akihabara and Kanda has fused into Akiba, and while it has still its signature electronic shops and anime shops, the place also has become a place to study and develop Japan's system infrastructure. In this area, there's Sotokanda Literature High School, whose curicculum is tailored to the Akiba area, and all the Akiba characters studies in this school.
Reina Hidaka: Robots!
Let's start with what can be said as the "main" character of Denonbu. Reina is the center of the Sotokanda Literature High School's denonbu. She likes everything mecha, from watching the shows to making plastic models. While she isn't exactly the brightest (she is clumsy), but she's gentle and honest, and when focusing on one thing, Reina can give her all into it.
Kazune Shinonome: Games!
Kazune is the student council president of Sotokanda Literature High School and the president of the school's denonbu. Her family runs a game center (which is named Fardraut, in a homage to Xevious, no less), so understandably, she's an avid gamer. As expected from the denonbu president, she is also capable as a DJ! You might think that Kazune is this stoic, cool person right, being the student council president and all, but give her cute girls, and Kazune will be a completely different person.
Futaba Kayano: Idols!
Futaba is the rookie of the Sotokanda Literature High School denonbu. Her parents own an idol theater, and she has DJing and dancing to idol songs as her secret hobby. Speaking of secret hobbies, Futaba is actually secretly an idol too! Give Futaba a mic, and like Kazune, she will be a completely different person (and by like Kazune, I mean Kazune will change too!)
Harajuku: Jingumae Sando High School
Under Japan's new ward division plan, the areas formerly known as Harajuku and Omotesando has now fused into the Harajuku area. Because of the rapid growth of the Shibuya area, in turn thanks to the massive proliferation of global DJ culture, Harajuku (a district of Shibuya in real-life) becomes its own area, and has its own identity, thanks to the combination of "kawaii" fashion and traditional Japanese fashion.
In this area, there's Jingumae Sando High School, which is a branch school of the famed Teion International High School from Shibuya. All the Harajuku area characters study in this school.
Mimito Sakurano: A rejection
This particular girl failed to enter the most prestigious high school over at Shibuya, and has to settle with Jingumae Sando, the branch school. As a result, Mimito joined the school's denonbu with the explicit aim of defeating Teion.
She regards herself as the cutest, the greatest, and the best DJ in the world. While she wants to be seen as a hard worker, well, she more often than not act as if she is, but ignores all the work.
Hina Murakami: World-class illustrator
Hina is a world-famous illustrator, and the mascot she drew are everywhere (in the Denonbu world, at least). She's capable of DJing, since she did it in the past, but she joins the school's denonbu at the insistence of none other than Mimito. Unlike Mimito, she's a hard worker, but she's often the subject of pity from the other denonbu members.
Shian Inubousaki: Extremely online nerd
I took that particular title straight out of a Tom Scott video. Okay, she's not exactly your typical extremely online nerd, because she is in a family line of shrine maidens! With the responsibilities that a shrine maiden has, Shian turns to DJing as a form of escapism. Also, she is an avid user of her smartphone. The power of Shian's phone cannot be underestimated, or else, you will feel her wrath... online.
Azabu: Minato Shirokane Girls' High School
Under Japan's new ward division plan, the areas formerly known as Minato and Shinagawa has now fused into the Azabu area. The majority of land in this area is own by the Shirokane Zaibatsu, and yes, they also own the school in the area, Minato Shirokane Girls' High School. I mean, the name has Shirokane in it, and all the characters in the Azabu area study there. The pace of modernization has the Zaibatsu worried, however, and pursued further development of the area.
Tama Kurogane: A really, really, proud black cat
Okay, so Tama, the center of the Minato Shirokane Girls' High School denonbu. She might not look like it, but she's a maid. Yes, a maid, specifically of the Shirokane family. Her task, however, is not a typical one for a maid: her job is to be friends with Aki Shirokane. She is quite the haughty person, and likes using the influence of the Shirokane family, even though she's a maid.
Aki Shirokane: Her school bears her name
You see her surname? Her family owns the actual school. Aki is the daughter of the school's principal. Behind that status however, she is quite the shy person. She doesn't really show it often, however, because of her status. She's basically the face of the school (alongside the Shirokane family).
While she is rich, really rich, and often uses those to her advantage, she wants connections with people that are not just about money. There's a reason why Tama's job is that specific.
Ginka Haijima: Extremely punctual in... eating?
Ginka is a member of the Haijima family, which is not Shirokane, and the Haijima family has a rivalry with the Shirokane family. However, she's part of the Azabu denonbu, with Aki Shirokane. Aki invited her. Her tomboy look and her sports grades has made her many fans.
One extremely interesting quirk of Ginka, is her eating habits. She's extremely punctual when it comes to eating. She has her own meal schedule, and will literally leave everything else when the time comes. Even when she's on a DJ table.
Shibuya: Teion International High School
Under Japan's new ward division plan, the area around Shibuya Station is now the Shibuya area. This area is the center of Japan's electronic music scene, a fashion hub, and very popular with young people. With AI speakers floating around the area, the entirety of Shibuya feels like a club.
In this area, there's Teion International High School. This school is very well-known, and some of their students are well-known for their activities even though they're still on high-school! Truly a top-class school. All Shibuya area characters study in this school.
Karin Houou: Dedicated to her craft
Karin is a very popular person, for sure. She has appeared multiple times in media, and has a very charismatic personality and outstanding DJ skills... on stage. Her personal life, to put it mildly, a very different beast than her stage appearance. Her place is very all over the place, very messy.
Mitsuki Seto: Classical, serious training
Mitsuki is trained in the ways of the piano, and she is descended from a line of musicians. She excels at logic and calculation, and uses them often while DJing. Her aim is perfection, and so she is often unsatisfied with her current state. This, however, means that she simply cannot stand Karin's godawful organization, and she has to tend to Karin.
Lucia Taiga: Ball of energy
This girl hailing from another country can be described with a phrase: "neuron activation", and when she wants to do something, she will just do it without any hesitancy, without any thought put into it. She also really, really likes fighting other people through DJ battles.
This is only the introduction
The descriptions in this post is only the introduction of the characters of Denonbu. Denonbu does actually have deeper lore and little details, but those at the moment is only provided through the currently-running Denonbu novel series. Those are viewable over at ASOBISTORE's website. While those are free for a limited amount of time, they are currently only available in Japanese. I hope either someone is willing to step up to translate it, or that Denonbu is willing to license the novel for publishing overseas.
- I want to thank everyone at the Denonbu ENG fan account for translating the introduction text of the characters and areas!