Originally announced as Project Hikari, Square Enix’s virtual reality adaptation of a Japanese manga has launched today as Tales of Wedding Rings VR. The app transforms a series of flat black-and-white comic books into a visually striking “experience” where you can “step inside the story,” including scenes that can you can view from multiple angles in 3D.
Featuring fully voiced English and Japanese language presentations, Tales of Wedding Rings VR focuses on a high school girl named Satou whose mysterious neighbor leads her into an adventure. What’s novel here is the presentation: Square Enix preserves the traditional comic book panels and art style of Japanese manga, but lets them float in the air as “LiveWindows,” so you can explore the individually animated scenes with 3D depth and motion.
The adaptation’s goals are immersion and fidelity to the original comic, which was created by Japan’s Maybe. Demo videos show viewers engaging with classically inked grayscale art based on metropolitan Japan, including street scenes in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Two-dimensional characters and backdrops come to life as fully 3D models, moving realistically within what would otherwise be flat frames on a pulpy comic book page.
Tales of Wedding Rings VR is available now for $20 in the Oculus Rift store, and is expected to become available in June for the HTC Vive, as well. PC specs call for at least an Nvidia GTX 1060 and Intel i7-4770 to experience the manga with either headset.