Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club (すすめ！きたこー放送部, Susume! Kitakou Housoubu, lit: Progress! North Industry Broadcast Department) was the first webcomic created by Hidekaz Himaruya, debuting with the launch of his site Kitayume in March 2003.
Himaruya, who was a teenager at the time he created the comic, stated that his motivation was to write a story to show how enjoyable the experience of broadcasting clubs was. But he also noted that the comic quickly became something bigger and took different twists.
The comic focuses on the broadcasting club at Koriyama Kitakou High School and the new student named Noto who attempts to bring the club back to its former glory.
A parallel version of the webcomic, entitled Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure (すすめ！きたこー放送部Pure, Susume! Kitakou Housoubu Pure), was launched in early 2004. While both comics share a number of the same characters, there are key differences between each version.
I opened the door to get into the TV studio but there was a ninja.
This is the story of the unusual broadcasting club and its repeatedly strange antics at an industrial high school in the countryside where only a bookstore, a Benimaru, and a large neighborhood exist in the vicinity.
The members of this club are the boss at the back of the school, the ninja, the former otaku school idol, a sentai-loving girl from Tsugaru, and also the best friend whose heart is ○○!?
This school is definitely strange!
The hero Noto has arrived after becoming a great celebrity in winning the junior high broadcasting tournament.
He thought that he could devote time to his love of broadcasting in senior high, but...
This broadcasting club was one that made its equipment private and didn't broadcast at all.
An incident occured where the president cut an important broadcast once, and an important meeting was stopped.
The president shifted the responsibility onto the underclassmen, which lead to them leaving the broadcasting club.
However, his passion for broadcasting has not yet cooled.
Using the old broadcasting room with four original broadcasting committee members, the new "Club (actually fans' meeting)" is launched.
The old studio is strange with its God. But with the new club activities and teacher, things are changing for Noto Kanazawa!
Do your best in broadcasting!
Main article: St. Modern Kitakou High School
The series is known for its colorful and extensive cast of characters, which initially included the broadcasting club of the high school and a few supporting characters (including the bizarre anthropomorphic pig teacher, Onyo J. Kaduo).
In later strips and the parallel Pure series, other characters in the Kitayume universe appeared, including the students of four other broadcasting schools: St. Andreas Azumi (Asaka High School in the original Kitakou strips), Iwase, Seiryou, and Barjona.
Evolution of the seriesEdit
While a self-contained comic in its first year, the cast began to expand with the additions of characters from the other schools' broadcasting clubs.
More changes were also reflected in the second game for Kitakou, labeled Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure, with the setting changing from the city of Koriyama to Yokohama, along with the school being revamped as St. Modern Kitakou High School. The uniforms also changed in style, while the color scheme shifted from blue to red. The other schools introduced at the time were revamped as well. The second, parallel Kitakou comic (also labeled Pure) was created to deal with stories taking place in this universe.
Noto himself went through a drastic change in design and personality after the launch of Himaruya's second major webcomic and game, Barjona Bombers. Having snapped, the Noto of Pure crossed over into the Barjona series to get his revenge on the cast. The two series became inseparable, and the series of Noto-sama crossover games later ensued.
But in early 2008, the Pure page was removed from Kitayume, along with the strips from the "Black Noto" era. Himaruya later mentioned that the page was to be revamped, but the strips and the page have yet to resurface, other than a few Pure strips winding up in the classic Kitakou collection. Three chapters of Pure (6, 7, and 8) were left unpublished.
Two new strips of classic Kitakou (one unfinished) were drawn in 2007, casting attention back on the original universe. Interestingly, a version of Sanuki appears to exist there, if the 2008 Kitakou banner depicting her in the Koriyama seifuku is any hint.
Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting ClubEdit
- Main Article: Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club (game)
The first Kitakou game, never completed and only having existed in a demo format. It uses the early character designs, as well as featuring guest roles from the students of Iwase and Asaka High/St. Andreas Azumi Academy (at the time referred to as simply "Azumi"). Seiryou had not yet been introduced, though it would feature in the second game.
The player can choose between the character of Wakasa or her henchman Mitake.
Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club PureEdit
- Main Article: Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure (game)
A simulation game made in 2004, it features the design changes that would appear in the later comic of the same name. It was designed to be compatible with the special edition of Windows 98, along with ME, 2000, and XP.
The opening theme to the game was done by the group SpiralLover, while the ending theme was by Project D. While Himaruya did the CG work for the game himself, he also used the program DarkLiveHeart to create the movie sequences such as the opening. This game was also never completed and only existed in a demo, though the demo can no longer be found.
The player character of the game is Wakasa's henchman, Mitake.
Cast (Both game demos)Edit
Note: It is likely that most, if not all of voice actors used pseudonyms, as is common for amateur voice acting. Information about any of them will be obtained when possible.
- Noto Kanazawa: N.Morika
- Suzuka Akafuku: Satoru Ei
- Hatoba Isahaya: Ten Shirai
- Rinko Tsugaru:
- Hinaji Kasukabe:
- Miyako Owari: Sara Takashi
- Iriyoshi Toyama:
- Wakasa Fukui: Yuki Takamatsu
- Matsukage Choushuu:
- Imari Hagakure: Kyah
- Ichizen Ameya: Teishi Takamura
- Shijimi Shimane: Haruka Suou
- Houki Tottori: Sakato
- Junsa Mito: 774
- Kanra Takasaki: Kurumi Ayachi
- Ichigo Nikkou: Kalvass
- Koedo Chiba:
- Chako Hamamatsu:
- Fujiyuki Hamamatsu: Hidekaz Himaruya (credited as Kazuyoshi Himaruya/Kazuhima)
In late 2007, Himaruya announced that he was planning to put out a published version of Kitakou and would be redrawing the story. However, it appears that this idea has either been scrapped or postponed indefinitely, as there has been no news on Kitakou since (other than the webpage receiving a revamp in early 2008).