About Bungo to Alchemist as a franchise
- What is Bungo to Alchemist?
Bungo to Alchemist (文豪とアルケミスト, bungou to arukemisuto), shortly known as "BunAl" (文アル, bunaru), is a multimedia franchise about modern Japanese literature and reincarnated writers by DMM GAMES (known also as EXNOA LLC since 2020 April). BunAl's main media is a browser/mobile game launched on November 1st, 2016. As side media, in 2019, novels and stage plays got introduced to the franchise. In 2020, a TV anime Bungou to Alchemist - Gears of Judgment was aired.
- Why is it called "Bungo to Alchemist"?
In English the title would be "Writers and Alchemist". Basically "bungou" in the title refers to the reincaranted writers, characters of the series, who an Alchemist (アルケミスト, arukemisuto), the player in the game, transmigrates to save literature.
- What does "bungou" mean?
文豪 (bungou) is a term which means "literary master", "great writer"; a person who wrote literature so great that their legacy has continued on even after their death. The definition of the term is rather vague when it comes to who can be considered a "bungou", but Japanese tend to consider authors born between late Edo and early Showa period as people who can be called by this title. See one Japanese survey as an example related to the topic.
- Who are the creators of Bungo to Alchemist?
The BunAl franchise is by a team working under DMM GAMES (also known as EXNOA LLC). Further details or name of this team is unknown. Taniguchi Kouhei (谷口晃平) is credited as game producer and the original proposer of the idea to make a game about literature and transmigrated writers. Ishii Jirou (イシイジロウ) is credited for the world-building, meanwhile Sakamoto Hideki (坂本英城) is behind the music heard all over in the franchise (including the game, stage plays and anime).
- Who is the main character of Bungo to Alchemist?
There is no general main character for the whole franchise, but Akutagawa Ryuunosuke and Dazai Osamu are the main characters of the anime. In the game, Tokuda Shuusei has gained sort of main character role from players due to being the first writer that they acquire, and he makes lots of appearances in Main Story-related content.
- Does the Bungo to Alchemist anime follow the events of the game / Does the anime have same canon as the game?
The game and the anime follow different canon, and their setting also differ slightly. The game takes place in Imperial Library where the player takes the job as "Special Duty Librarian" (特務司書, tokumu shisho), also at times called "Alchemist", to reincarnate writers from the past to help save literature from beings called Taints (侵蝕者, shinshokusha) that are trying to erase literary works and even their writers from our history. The anime follows very similar premise, however there are two notable differences:
1. In the game, the Imperial Library is a fully functional library residing somewhere that resembles late Taisho/early Showa era Tokyo, Japan. Regular people visit the library on a daily basis, and the writers interact with the visitors and people living in the nearby town. In the anime, the library is implied to exist outside of real world in empty space, and the writers are trapped inside the library.
2. In the anime, the Alchemist is communicating with the Cat through a Memoria Stone (), so it's unclear if the Alchemist is living somewhere else, and if they are even a human in the first place. In the game this role, the person who transmigrated the writers, is you. Name "Alchemist" is used rather rarely. Instead, "Special Duty Librarian", or simply "Librarian", like the writers call the player, is used more commonly. There are also other alchemists in the game beside the player, including Faust, Chief Librarian, Aka and Ao. See Library Personnel for more information about the library staff, and Other Characters for NPCs.
About the game
General info about the game
- Where / how can I play the game?
Bungo to Alchemist is available on PC as a browser game, but there exists also a mobile version for iOS and Android. The game is almost identical on all platforms; only the UI behavior in certain in-game screens, and how the paid currency Imperial Tickets can be bought/do they expire or not, differ between PC and mobile. See Getting Started page for further info of how to register for the PC version of the game, or Mobile App page for help with how to get mobile version of the game.
- Can I play the game both on PC and mobile?
Yes, the game supports crossplatform play, which allows same account to be used both on mobile (iOS and Android) as well as PC (browser). See Syncing Tutorial for help how to sync your account between the platforms.
- Can the game be played outside of Japan?
Unlike many other DMM titles, Bungo to Alchemist is available on PC in most countries without need to use VPN. The mobile app version unfortunately is limited to Japanese version of Google Play Store (on Android) or Apple App Store (iOS). On Android, the APK of the game can be found on various sites on the internet, or through apps like QooApp, so to get an access to the game despite the regionlock is relatively easy. Please do see Troubleshooting page for more info of in which countries the PC browser version of the game requires VPN, and Mobile App page for more info of how to get the mobile version of the game.
- Can I change the game's language to English?
No, the game does not have an English version. DMM GAMES is unfortunately really protective when it comes to their games, and hasn't released most of their games to foreign countries. Bungo to Alchemist being also an in-house IP means that the game is fully owned by DMM GAMES, and it is by a team working for them. Other games like Touken Ranbu and Kantai Collection are by Nitroplus and Kadokawa Games respectively, but the games are hosted on DMM GAMES platform. This has allowed small amount of the games like Touken Ranbu to get an English release, as they aren't fully DMM's own IPs.
- Why am I unable to play, even after registering (PC version)?
The most common solution if your game is not loading is to turn off your Adblock software. You also need to make sure your browser allows third-party cookies. Last step is to make sure you also use a supported browser - some do not let you play the game at all, and prompt you to download another browser. If the game doesn't load at all and gives you a white page displaying your DMM profile on the left with an error (either in Japanese or English) talking about region, then the game can't be played in your country without VPN. See Troubleshooting for more help and possible fixes.
- Why do I keep getting an error with a bowing cat?
The most common cause is either an unstable internet connection, or if you are playing on PC, your browser has Adblock software enabled or you haven't given permission for third-party cookies. If there is a maintenance, that is indicated with a picture of a sign hanging on a door, and there's time given in JST when the maintenance has started and when it will end. Please see Troubleshooting for further help.
- What is Light Mode? How do I use it?
The Light Mode is a setting that shortens loading times, reduces the amount of data communication and improves performance by lowering the game's visual quality and disabling certain effects/sounds. More information can be found here. Please do note that the Light Mode applies for both PC and mobile app versions of the games once set. You can't have the setting for only other one in case you play the game on both platforms.
- What is the level cap for writers?
The level cap is currently 60 (for main weapons), and 50 for rings (Awakening Ring and Weapon Ring).
- What are the different levels of rarity for the writers, and does the rarity matter in how useful a writer is?
As of now there are 4 rarity levels of writers; from highest to lowest rarity, they are rainbow, gold, silver and beige. The higher the rarity, the more difficult they are to get. However, the stats vary a lot among same rarity writers. For example many limited gold rarity writers are weaker than permanent gold rarity writers and even many silver rarity writers, so higher rarity doesn't mean they are automatically stronger than lower rarity writers. It's up to you determine if a writer is powerful or not, but generally their state of mind is what affects gameplay a lot, their stats right behind. More about the writer stats can be found from here.
- What are the different weapon types the writers can be users of? / What are the pros and cons of each? / Can I just choose whatever writers to train I want to and not worry about which weapon they use?
The short answer: Writers may be blade users, bow and arrow users, gun users or whip users. The weapons of the writers get determined by what literary genre they were known for in real life; blade writers represent pure literature, bows the (Japanese) Naturalism genre literature, guns are poetry/haiku/tanka/fairytale/children's literature writers, and whips represent popular literature.
The pros and cons of each may be found here, but overall, a team of blades is considered the strongest option to go for. Blades have good accuracy, deal decent damage and have high defense, so they can take harder hits from some late-game Taints. Bows and Guns may be used early on, but in later Tainted Books they can be a hit or miss due to both having low accuracy, and bows can't take too many hits. Whips are also good only in early books where each wave has many enemy Taints, but due to their low AOE damage, they can't perform well in later books. You may use whatever writer you want though, as the rarity of the writer's outfit, his own level, Blossoming and possible rings are what determined together how good a writer can be compared to other writers you have.
- How do you get new outfits for a writer?
1. Randomly from Equipment Books.
2. Unlock their outfit node in the blossoming interface. Please check the Blossoming page for more details and a picture of the node that unlocks the outfit.
3. Gain 100 trust points for a writer in Strolls. 4. Official promotions sometimes offer ways to obtain special outfits.
5. Earn them as event rewards.
6. Randomly roll or exchange them from Memoria.
You may change an assistant writer's outfit in the Office.
- What are memoria cards? How do I use them?
Memoria cards may be equipped to teams to boost their stats, combined to increase the cards' level, or be dismantled to receive spark essence. More information here.
- What are rings? How do I use them?
There are two different rings: Weapon Rings and Awakening Rings. Both rings are writer-specific items. Weapong Rings may be rolled from Memoria or exchanged from Exchange Corner. When a Weapon Ring is equipped, it changes the writer's weapon type and also unlock special content about the writer. Awakening Rings may be acquired from Ensouled Books of Storytelling. Awakening Rings give writers new powers and their looks change when the ring is equipped. Their performarnce during delve also is different than normally. More information about rings here.
- Why can't I unlock the level cap my ring although I own the required materials?
The ring needs to be at its current max level to perform uncapping.
- How do I get (such and such) writer?
- What happens if I summon a writer or his outfit again / What happened to my duplicate? / How do I scrap duplicates?
As of 2021 June update, in this game duplicates of writers (= their regular outfits) and their alternate outfits can be used to strengthen the outfits. The duplicate number is displayed in Equipment when checking details of an outfit, or in Formation when choosing a writer's outfit for team. Unfortunately outfit duplicates can't be scrapped.
Tainted book delves
- Can my writer die?
As of 2021 June big game update, players can't kill their writers anymore. Before the big update, players could lose their writers permanently - the term for it in the game is 絶筆 (zeppitsu), which we translate as "Final Words", if they tried to delve while a writer was in Breakdown state.
- What is the difference between and effects of the blue state and purple state?
When a writer is corroded to a certain extent, they may enter weakened (indicated by blue) or breakdown state (indicated by purple). In these states, writers are generally unable to attack beside triggering Desperation Attack randomly or by performing Dual Attack with fellow writer (after both fill their Epiphany Gauge). However, unlike weakened state, writers in breakdown state can only perfom Dual Attacks. More details here.
- Why is it that sometimes when my party attacks, their own HP goes down?
There is a long-range phase at the start and at the end of a battle where the writers and the enemy Taints' guns attack. Bows are also included in the initial volley. This will result in damage to your own team unless your writers manage to evade the attacks.
- Why did I fail the tainted book delve even though my writers still had HP left?
To purify a book, the writers must get rid of all Taints. This means that you must defeat all Taints in all three waves, or the delve will fail if even one taint is left alive during a wave.
- Why I can’t pass (insert name here) book?
Pay attention to the writer's level, their Blossoming and the rarity (+ level) of their outfit you are using. Outfits originally rarity perform way better than outfit that has been originally lower rarity, but has been raised rarity by acquiring duplicates. Tainted Book WO-4 "The Moon Over the Mountain" (山月記) onwards players will need more and more rarity outfits in their team, and by RA-4 "Literary World" (文學界), the player must have a team full of rarity outfits, all writers having max Blossoming.
- How do I trigger the writers to attack together? / What is the green bar underneath my writer’s HP?
When the Epiphany Gauge, the green bar beneath your writers’ HP, fills up for two writers, they will execute a Dual Attack. More information here.
- If (such and such) writer has better stats, why is (such and such) writer considered more powerful?
It may have to do with their state of mind or the available outfits. Writers with unstable states of mind do fill their epiphany gauge and execute dual attacks more readily, but they also enter weakened and breakdown state more easily, so use them with care. Outfits of rarity are considerably stronger than outfits, so obviously writer who has higher rarity outift equipped will perfom better than writer who has lower rarity outfit.
- Does writer's rarity matter?
Essentially, no. For example, some gold rarity writers have worse stats than lower rarity writers. However, as long as a writer is sufficiently leveled and blossomed, their abilities should be just as sufficient as any's to purify any book. State of mind and the rarity of the writer's outfit is what affects the gameplay the most, followed by stats. You may compare the different rarities of writers sorted by their stats at the Statistics page.
- Why do I keep getting a popup when trying to delve into a tainted book?
There are two possible reasons why you may not be able to take a certain party into a tainted book. One or more of the writers in your party is probably:
- In the midst of delving into Equipment Books.
- Delving in Ensouled Books of Storytelling.
Blossoming / Writer's Road
- What is blossoming, and how do you blossom a writer?
Blossoming is a way to increase the stats of your writers, which makes them more effective in battle. You can also unlock new voice clips and outfits for your writers in the blossoming interface. You can find more detailed information here.
- What do each of the stats mean?
Please refer to the Glossary for details.
- What does unlocking the voice node do in the Writer’s Road?
The voice node unlocks a new clip for the writer to say in the library if they are set as your assistant. However, this clip will not be added to your writer’s voice bank in the Writer’s Register. Please check the Blossoming page for more details and a picture of the node that unlocks the special voice clips.
- How do I get more ink?
- Letters (more details here).
- Research (daily, weekly, and overall missions). You may find a list of missions and their rewards here.
- Maintenance compensation or rewards for certain promotions.
- Events (more details here).
- That’s all? Where are the expeditions?
- How do I get (soul/memory gears, small, medium, large souls, splendors, etc.)?
- Soul Gears: Your main source is Auto-Delve. Some gears are also available in Events as a reward.
- Memory Gears: Same as Soul Gears, but for Auto-Delve you have to have cleared Tainted Book RU-1 "Madam Pearl" (真珠夫人).
- Different size souls: Tainted books, some Research missions, Events.
- Splendors: From Auto-Delve once you have have cleared Tainted Book RU-1 "Madam Pearl" (真珠夫人).
- Unusual Medicine & Unusual Secret Medicine: From Auto-Delve once you have have cleared Tainted Book WO-1 "Gon the Little Fox" (ごん狐).
- Unusual Crystal: Same as medicines.
- How do I get coins / memoria stones?
Coins are rewards in events and for completing research missions.
Memoria stones are obtainable through Pay Day, or given as event rewards and for completing research missions. There is also Monthly Pass Feature available for purchase, that give some stones.
- Where can I get more Alchemy Thread to level up my writers' outfits?
From research missions and Auto-Delve you can get a plenty through time, so please be patient. Alchemy Thread is also common reward in events.
- Can I use elixir of refinement / elixir of pursuit during x2 exp or x2 item drop campaigns?
No, the elixir items usually become unusable during them.
- Will my elixir of refinement / elixir of pursuit expire if I log out while they are in use?
No, they will still be in use the next time you login, until you use them up in total 10 delves. On that note, cat paws will also carry forward to the next event they are eligible for.
- What is __ / Where can I get __?
- What time do daily missions refresh?
- Daily missions : 5:00AM JST
- Daily Refresh of Soul/Memory Gears: 12:00AM JST (midnight)
- Weekly Missions: 5:00AM JST every Monday
- What is that report I receive once a month?
Every month from the first (1st) to the third (3rd) day of each month, upon login, the player will receive a Pay Day Statement in which they may view the past month's play data and a greeting from the Chief, followed by a salary of 500 Memoria Stones. More information is available here.
- How do I change the writer / assistant in the library?
On the main library page, there is a button Librarian's Office (司書室) in the bottom right corner that will take you to the Office. There is another button Change Assistant (助手変更) there in the bottom right hand corner that will allow you to choose a different writer to be your new assistant.
- How do I unlock a writer’s voice bank?
You must get any alternate outfit for the writer in order to view their voice bank in the Writers' Register.
- Why can't I find my writer when I want to use them for Equipment Book Delve?
If your writer is set as your library assistant, then they will not appear on Equipment Books delve menu. You must first change your assistant if you desire to use the writer for delving.
- What is with that gift icon on Shop?
A gift icon will be displayed when it's a writer's birthday. The Shop sells special item sets during writers' birthdays, which can be bought for a limited time every year.
- What is with that exclamation mark(!) on Office?
An indicator mark will inform the player when there are recollections to be viewed.
- How do I gather recollections?
Recollections may appear at the start of a tainted book delve or after purification. You will have to bring all the authors involved in the recollection to a tainted book. You may view the recollections we have up by navigating to a writer's profile page and clicking on their Recollections button at the top, or you can view them sorted by Tainted Book here.
There are also Dining Hall Recollections, which may be triggered by getting two writers' trust to 80 in Strolls. Or by getting the the two writers' trust to 120, Strolls Recollections. Events also have always some recollections.
- Why is there a question mark(?) next to my writers' names in some recollections?
The question mark indicates a doppelganger of a writer. Their name and looks are the same, but they originate from the world of the book, and may have a different personality and persona altogether.
- What's that occasional open book icon in Main Library for?
That is the Limited Recollections tab. Special recollections such as birthday lines or anniversary recollections can be viewed there for a limited time.
- What are the banners under the game screen for (PC version of the game)?
One banner featurin Chief Librarian is for inputting serial codes to gain limited edition items (e.g. furniture). Serial codes are distributed in certain promotions (e.g. in the Bungo to Alchemist character books). Another will allow you to sync your account between your PC and mobile app. See more information about this on the Bungo to Alchemist Mobile App page. Lastly, the banner with Akutagawa Ryuunosuke leads to the game's official site (requires VPN outside of Japan and USA).
- What is that cat for?
He is a male talking cat whose job is to relay directions from the country. See more details here.
- And who’s that
He is the Chief Librarian in charge of managing the Imperial Library. See more details here.
- What is that masterfully drawn green creature?
It is Kappa, a mysterious, green and long crocodile-like being living in the Library's Courtyard. See more details here.
- How can I contribute or help?
Thank you so much for asking! There is a To-do list at the bottom of the Community page on our Wiki. We would very much appreciate help with any of those items, but there are also some additional projects and pages that need some attention. Please do ask our staff for more info by contacting us on Discord, or any active staff member's message wall.
- Where should I go to ask a question about the game?
- How do I add or change major content on a page?
We implore you to contact any admin or content moderator on their message wall on their profile or on Discord before making major changes to content on a page. If you would like information on the formatting and different conventions we use when editing this Wiki, please consult the Documentation guide.
- What is the procedure for uploading voice clips / sprites / recollections?
First of all, voice clips and sprites should be pulled directly from the game to ensure the highest possible quality. Please make sure to convert your voice files to .ogg file extension, and consult this guide and the writers’ quotes pages to name your voice files correctly. If you are unsure of what a line or image should be named, then you may contact a translator in the Discord or click on the red links to upload instead (Wiki will automatically rename your file to the proper name). If you would like to help upload recollections, you may find a comprehensive guide here.