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Girls' Frontline is a mobile strategy game for iOS and Android in which the player assumes the role of a commander in a futuristic army commanding highly-advanced, moe anthropomorphic androids known as Tactical Dolls. After being released in China in 2016, the game's popularity led to an English release in May of 2018 as well as a growing online fandom.
Girls' Frontline was developed by Chinese developer MICA Team. After releasing the game on May 20th, 2016, the team uploaded the game's first trailer on August 14th of that year (shown below).
The game was released in Hong Kong and Taiwan on January 18th, 2017, and in South Korea on June 30th, 2017. On February 1st, 2018, MICA Team announced that an English version of the game published by SUNBORN Network Technology was coming (trailer shown below). The version was released on May 8th, 2018, and a Japanese version of the game soon followed with a release on August 1, 2018. However, the Japanese version was released under the alternate title Dolls Frontline due to problems with the Girls' Frontline IP trademark in Japan.
One of the most prominent features of Girls' Frontline is the artworks of the playable T-Dolls, including artworks of the characters with their clothing damaged that show when they are low on health. However, some of the more revealing artworks (especially on younger-looking characters) caught the eyes of the Chinese and Korean governments, which forced the game to censor some of the artworks or be pulled from the online store. Many of the artworks were censored, but the developer included a hidden "cheat" that allowed players to once again access the uncensored artworks. This method originally only worked in the Chinese release of the game.
This censorship controversy arose once again upon the game's global release, when it was discovered that the game was further censored from the changes made in the original Chinese release. The developers claimed at first that the previous uncensor method will not be added to the US version (for fear of the game being pulled from the Google Play Store) but that they would not ban players for using a fan-made uncensor patch. After a game update in January 2019, MICA Team went against their previous statement and added an official uncensor cheat to the English version, also advising players to use this method for uncensoring their games rather than any fan-made patches.
Manga and Anime adaptations
In November 2018, an official manga adaptation of Girls Frontline began publication online through the Chinese anime/manga website Bilibili, with unofficial fan translations coming soon after. In January 2019, the PV for an upcoming Girls' Frontline anime was revealed by MICA Team. However, unlike the manga, which follows the dark and gritty story of the mobile game, the anime appears to be a comedy spin-off depicting the T-Dolls on their days off the battlefield. The first two episodes of Girls' Frontline: Healing Chapter premiered on Bilibili on July 27, 2019 with Chinese-language voice acting, and the anime would receive a dub in Japanese beginning in October of the same year, with the original Japanese voice cast from the mobile game reprising their roles, .
The game has begun to develop a burgeoning fanbase online. On YouTube, most Girls' Frontline related content is tutorials on how to play the game effectively (examples shown below).
The game also has a devoted Wiki. The game's Twitter account has over 9,200 followers. The game's subreddit has over 7,500 readers and the game has over 25,000 likes on Facebook. On the subreddit, users share memes and tips about the game (examples shown below).
"IDW DA NYA!"
IDW is a 2-star recruitable SMG T-Doll in all versions of Girls Frontline, whose cat-like appearance and signature high-pitched cry of "IDW DA NYA!" has risen to memetic status. As a 2-star T-Doll, she is very commonly acquired through drops or crafting, and her crafting timer of 1 hour and 10 minutes is shared with the much more desirable 5-star handgun T-doll, Grizzly. This has led to disappointment, frustration, fanart, and memes courtesy of fans hoping to acquire Grizzly but instead being greeted by IDW.
Ironically, though she became a meme for being undesirable, this memetic status has also turned IDW into an underdog fan favorite, to the point where she even received a special costume in an event.
 Wikipedia – Girls Frontline
 Girls Frontline Wiki – Girls Frontline Wiki
 Twitter – Girls Frontline
 Reddit – /r/girlsfrontline
 Facebook – Girls Frontline
 Girls Frontline Wikia Decensor | Girls Frontline Wikia | FANDOM powered by Wikia
 Sankaku Complex Girls Frontline English Release Censorship Just Ceaseless – Sankaku Complex
Jun 08, 2018 at 06:53PM EDT
Jun 08, 2018 at 06:10PM EDT
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