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Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout - Everything You Need To Know

"Atelier" has been an active franchise for a while, but the "Atelier Ryza" games first began in 2019 with "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout." Developer Gust and publisher Koei Tecmo then quickly released the sequels "Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy" (the first game in the franchise to stick with the same protagonist) and "Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of The End & The Secret Key." Per Metacritic, "Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" is the third-best "Atelier" game ever, and it has only been bettered by its two sequels, so it made sense to adapt these newer games into an anime series rather than going further back to the older games.

The magic-focused gaming franchise has become a major success, with the "Atelier Ryza" games alone selling 1.3 million copies worldwide, according to IGN. They follow Reisalin "Ryza" Stout and her friends as they learn about alchemy and investigate the secrets of the beautiful island they call home. Now, Ryza will get her own anime series thanks to an upcoming adaptation. Gust and Koei Tecmo are working closely with anime production company Aniplex to make sure the show satisfies fans of the game and newcomers alike. Here's everything you need to know about the forthcoming "Atelier Ryza" anime series.

When will Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout be released?

For a while, the exact release date of "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" was shrouded in mystery. Based on the teaser trailer and announcement, fans knew that the show was going to air in the summer of 2023. With no additional insight, that meant that the series could start releasing episodes at any time from May through August. However, with anime seasons generally getting released in January, April, July, and October, it was always likely that "Atelier Ryza" would drop in July, assuming there were no serious hiccups or production setbacks.

In May 2023, just a few months before the show was expected to air, we got official confirmation of the release date – "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" will premiere on July 1, 2023. According to Crunchyroll, the show will air on a number of channels in Japan including TOKYO MX, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, and BS11. If you happen to be in Tokyo on June 17 then there's a chance to see the premiere before everyone else, as there's a special advanced screening planned in Shinjuku. American audiences probably won't have to wait long to watch the show either, as more anime shows than ever are available internationally only hours after the original airtime.

What is the plot of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

"Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" will adapt the first "Atelier Ryza" video game of the same name and the 21st entry in the "Atelier" series. The story is set in a fictional universe where characters can train to become alchemists. When Reisalin "Ryza" Stout leaves Kurken Island with her friends Lent Marslink and Tao Mongarten, she also befriends a merchant's daughter, Klaudia Valentz.

When the four are rescued from danger by alchemist Empel Vollmer and bodyguard Lila Decyrus, the main trio become apprentices and learn Empel's magical skills. Klaudia then joins them once Ryza finds an "atelier" base where she can learn and create spells. However, things get complicated when Ryza's bitter old friend Bos Brunnen frames Empel and Lila for the recent troubles on the island. After this fails, Ryza must repair her friendship with Bos while saving the island from catastrophic harm before it's too late.

Fans will have to wait and see if any changes were made for the anime adaptation. There may well be some tweaks to make the story fit the television model, but the main beats of this coming-of-age story will surely be followed. At its core, this is a tale about friendship. "Even though everyone has them, the memories we create with our friends are special to each and every one of us," the description on the English language website of game publisher Koei Tecmo reads. "The story of 'Atelier Ryza' is about a girl and her friends on the verge of adulthood, discovering what is most important to them."

Who is starring in Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

The people behind "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" recently released the official main Japanese voice cast for the video game adaptation, and many actors from the original games are reprising their roles. This includes Yuri Noguchi as the show's heroine, Reisalin "Ryza" Stout. Aside from Ryza, she's best known for the role of Shizuku Oikawa in the video game "The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls." Just like she's doing with Ryza, Noguchi voiced Shizuku in the anime adaptation of the game. Speaking to Aniplex, Noguchi revealed that she was pleasantly surprised when she found out they were making an "Atelier Ryza" anime, adding: "It's an adventure story about boys and girls, so I think it's a work that makes everybody feel warm."

Other returning voice actors are Hitomi Oowada as Klaudia Valentz, Takuma Terashima as Ryza's friend Lent Marslink, Yui Kondou as Tao Montgarten, Hirofumi Nojima as alchemist Empel Vollmer, and, last but not least, Haruka Terui as Empel's bodyguard Lila Decyrus. It's not a particularly experienced cast compared to a lot of anime shows, but they have all proven themselves in recent years. Oowada has impressed as the voice of Nia in the last two "Xenoblade Chronicles" games, for example, while Terashima has been shining as the title character in the tokusatsu series "Ultraman Taiga."

The voice actors for antagonist Bos Brunnen and his father Moritz have not yet been announced by the production team. The full cast will likely be revealed once the release date for the series draws closer. No English language actors have been disclosed either, but — given the popularity of the games — a dub version seems inevitable.

Who is writing and directing Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

The "Atelier Ryza" anime series will be directed by Emma Yuzuriha. This appears to be her directorial debut, as she isn't credited with any other films or shows. Yuzuriha, however, will be backed by a veteran production team with plenty of experience. Many of them are already familiar with the world of "Atelier Ryza," which will only make the transition from game to anime smoother. Perhaps the biggest coup for the creators of the anime was getting Yashichiro Takahashi on board. Takahashi, who helped come up with the scenario for the "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout" video game, has written the scripts for the anime series, which will no doubt be welcome news to fans of the franchise.

Takahashi is best known for creating "Shakugan no Shana," a series of light novels published between 2002 and 2012. It tells the story of high school student Yuji, who finds himself in the middle of a battle between two worlds after an encounter with a demonic being. With the help of titular character Shana, a katana-wielding girl with flame-red hair, he must fight the villainous Crimson Denizens and try to save his soul. An anime adaptation dropped in 2005, earning generally positive reviews. While the animation is certainly dated by today's standards, the show itself still holds up. "This was a really, really good series," one My Anime List user said after revisiting the show years later. "There was a really strong blend of action, romance, and comedy that you really don't get too often in a show, and that was a major plus to me."

Who designed the characters for Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

The original video game characters were designed by the mononymous artist Toridamono, who admittedly had a hard time coming up with Ryza's look in the beginning. Speaking to 4Gamer, he revealed that he was surprised when he was approached by producer Junzo Hosoi. "When I received the offer, the pressure was amazing," Toridamono said. "I can't do girly designs at all, and I'm not good at drawing frills." Luckily, the creators of the game didn't want Ryza to be a typically feminine character. Hosoi, who was also present for the 4Gamer interview, said that his initial idea for Ryza's design was a "farmer's daughter," and this is what influenced Toridamono. "I think there was also something like 'boyish,'" Toridamono added. "There was talk of wanting [Ryza] to feel more like an older sister."

Ryza and all the other main characters went through several drafts before Toridamono and Hosoi decided on the final looks that gamers know and love. These looks were respected by Tomoyuki Shitaya, the character designer on the anime adaptation. Shitaya is a name that fans of "Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma" will know well: He worked as a character designer on the beloved food anime and was also the chief animation director on the later seasons of the show. He was also animation director on "One Piece Film: Gold," one of the best "One Piece" movies to date, and he worked as a key animator on Satoshi Kon's "Paranoia Agent," often ranked among the best anime shows of all time. Fans of the "Atelier Ryza" franchise are in a safe pair of hands here.

Which studio is making Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

The "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" anime adaptation comes by way of Liden Films, an animation studio that was founded in 2012 and has five different branches across Japan. If the name sounds familiar to you that's because Liden has quietly gone about creating some solid shows over the years, contributing to various genres. The studio debuted in 2013 with an adaptation of Robinson Haruhara's manga "Senyu," a shonen series about a descendant of a hero who gets summoned to fight the returning demon king once sealed away by his ancestor.

Over the next few years, Liden made the slice-of-life show "Miss Monochrome" and the Mars-set sci-fi horror series "Terra Formars," adding more feathers to its cap. In 2017, the studio made an adaptation of Kentaro Miura's "Berserk," the second anime based on the brutal and beloved manga series. The general consensus was that this new version didn't live up to the original, which aired in the late-90s. The studio has had far better fortunes in recent years, putting out some of its most critically acclaimed shows to date.

In 2021, Liden adapted Ken Wakui's hit manga series "Tokyo Revengers," a time travel story about a 20-something guy who is sent back to stop the gang that murdered his middle school girlfriend. It became a super-buzzy anime and scored rave reviews across the board. "The story is incredibly gripping and the characters, along with their individual stories, create an intense atmosphere that makes 20 minutes seem like 20 seconds," said The Outerhaven. The following year, Liden topped "Tokyo Revengers" with the hit vampire anime "Call of the Night," its most-loved series to date with a score of 8.01 on My Anime List.

Is there a trailer for Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

As part of the announcement for "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout," Liden Films released an official trailer for the anime. The 75 second teaser is brief, but telegraphs what the animated version of the game will look like while showcasing Ryza's powers onscreen. The trailer first shows a seagull soaring over Kurken Island as Ryza sits on the roof of a windmill, enjoying the sunny day. But when she encounters the seagull on the roof before he flies away, Ryza is also inspired to fly. The teaser trailer then shows the future apprentice sneaking off the island and onto the mainland. There she encounters Lent Marslink and Tao Mongarten and shows them her powers. 

A few months later, in May 2023, another trailer was released along with a key visual for the show depicting Ryza and the gang. The new footage gave us a more in-depth look at Ryza's world as well as the people (and the monsters) that inhabit it. We're taken inside a tavern, out to sea on a boat, and deep into a forest where our heroes encounter a couple of cute creatures that fans of the games will recognize as Blue Puni.

The trailers promised a colorful and hopeful show that's in line with the games in terms of its vibe, and this was backed up even further by the release of several character trailers. The general consensus in the comments sections of the character trailers is that the anime has done a great job at capturing the magic of the games. "Best girl finally getting the anime she deserves," one happy fan said in response to the Ryza trailer.

Who is singing the opening theme of Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout?

The second trailer for "Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & The Secret Hideout" gave fans a sneak peak of the music that will open the show. The song is called "Golden Ray," and it's performed by Sangatsu no Phantasia, a group that will no doubt be familiar to anime fans. The history of the outfit goes back to 2015 when vocalist Mia started uploading music to YouTube. The following year, the unit released the song "Hajimari no Sokudo," which was used as the ending theme of the hit anime series "Kiznaiver" — the show finished as runner up to "Erased" for best drama at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

Since then, Sangatsu no Phantasia have contributed music to a number of anime shows. Their song "Fairy Tail" was used as the ending theme of "Interviews with Monster Girls." The tracks "Rubicon" and "Kaze no Koe o Kikinagara" were used as the ending themes of "Re:Creators" and "Slow Start," respectively. Their sixth single, "Pink Lemonade," was used as the opening theme for "As Miss Beelzebub Likes," while "101" was used as the opening theme to "The Honor Student at Magic High School." Whether you're into slice-of-life and comedy or action and fantasy, chances are you've heard one of their songs before.

In another exciting bit of news for fans of the games, composer Kazuki Yanagawa is returning to write a new musical score for the anime. Yanagawa knows the franchise as well as anyone, having created the music for no less than nine "Atelier" games. He's also known for his work on the games "Nights of Azure" and "Blue Reflection."