Twinkle Crusaders (ティンクル☆くるせいだーす Teinkuru Kuruseidāsu?, commonly abbreviated as Kurukuru (クルくる?)) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Lillian, and was originally released as an adult game for the PC on September 26, 2008. The game is described by the development team as a "Heart-pounding exciting student council love comedy" (どきどきワクワク生徒会ラブコメ Dokidoki Wakuwaku Seitokai Rabukome?). The gameplay in Twinkle Crusaders follows a linear plot line, which offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters.
Twinkle Crusaders has also been adapted into four manga adaptations: a four-panel comic strip adaptation was serialized in the bishōjo magazine Dengeki Hime, a second adaptation was serialized irregularly in Dengeki Daioh and concluded with four chapters, an adult one-shot manga chapter was published in the adult magazine Megastore, and a fourth adaptation entitlted Twinkle Crusaders GoGo! was serialized in Dengeki Daioh.
The player assumes the role of Shin Sakura (咲良シン Sakura Shin?), the protagonist of Twinkle Crusaders. Shin is the student council president of Ryūsei Academy (流星学園 Ryūsei Gakuen?), a position which he thought is given free meals from the cafeteria, as he has been raised in a poor family and is in need of money. Unfortunately there's no such thing as a free meal. Nanaka Yugiri (夕霧ナナカ Yūgiri Nanaka?, Voiced by: Keito Mizukiri), one of the five heroines, is Shin's lively childhood friend. Nanaka actually has a crush on Shin, and has been following him around since little, as far as enrolling into the same school and joining the student council due to such reason. She has an affection towards sweet confectioneries, and is the president of the sweets club at school. She holds a grudge against the president of the wagashi(Japanese Sweets) Club Akane Misasagi(御陵彩錦).While the sweets club receives no budget from the school and not even recognized as a proper club, Misasagi's wagashi club have "wagashi for thought" and was recognized as a club(through only in name).  Lolotte Rosenkreuz (ロロット・ローゼンクロイツ Rorotto Rōzenkuroitsu?, Voiced by: Motomi Nanaho), another heroine, is a first year student and is the student council's secretary. Despite her attempts to hide that she's actually an angel, it is generally known to the other characters, unbeknownst to her.Contradicting to her looks and her voice, she's a real foul-mouth thorough without any malicious intention. She has her buttler リースリング遠山 in some battles.
Twinkle Crusaders's third heroine, Misa Brigitta Cristelis (聖沙・ブリジッタ・クリステレス Misa Burijitta Kurisuteresu?, Voiced by: Kayo Sakata), is the student council's vice-president. Misa thinks of Shin as a rival, and always challenges him despite always ending up in second, falling behind Shin.She's especially annoyed about losing the election which Shin won by chance. She has her cousin Shion Asukai(飛鳥井紫苑)(who actually calls her "姉上(Big Sister)") as her assistant in some battles.  Ria Kujoh (九浄リア Kujō Ria?, Voiced by: Yuki Sakata), the fourth heroine in Twinkle Crusaders, is a clumsy and soft-spoken third year student. Ria serves as an adviser to the student council due to her past experience as the student council president. She has an affection towards wagashi, and participates in the wagashi club at school.She's also the younger sister of the current chief director Helena (ヘレナ) who was in the current student council's shoes when she was a student. Helana assists Ria is some battles. The final heroine in Twinkle Crusaders is Azel (アゼル Azeru?, Voiced by: Rumi Abe), a second year student who transferred into Shin's class in the middle of the story. Azel is very quiet and has a cold attitude towards others. She does not participate in any school activities, and like Shin, comes from a poor family.
Twinkle Crusaders was first announced as the first project to be developed by the visual novel developer Lillian in the Japanese bishōjo magazine Tech Gian, on November 21, 2006. Art direction and character designs were provided by Rei Kannagi and Kotamaru who assisted Kannagi in the process. While the scenario in the game was worked on by Shigeta and Hideto Mayura, with Hozumi Nakamoto who provided assistance in the preparation of the story. The music in the game was composed entirely by Amedio. With the exception of Hozumi Nakamoto, the entire development team has previously worked on previous titles developed by Pajamas Soft, such as Prism Ark.
Before the game's release, three game demos were distributed online at the visual novel's official website, while a separate demo were distributed at retail stores. The demos gave the player a glimpse into the characters and the story of the game, and also introduced the player to the gameplay system, typically the battle system used in the game. The full game was first released on September 26, 2008, as both a limited edition and a premium edition. The limited edition release included the game itself, an arrange album titled Kira-kira Sound Festival, an art collection by twelve different artists, and a clear plastic casing. The premium edition release included the extras found in the limited edition release along with a silver necklace, and is limited to one-thousand units. An all-ages version entitled Twinkle Crusaders GoGo! will be released for the PlayStation Portable published by ASCII Media Works on September 9, 2010, and will contain additional content not found in the original release,namely a new heroine and promoting a sub heroine to heroine status. A release for windows 7 named Twinkled Crusader Remaster will be out on 24th June 2010, since this will be released before Twinkled Crusaders GoGo!, it will not contain the extra content from it.
Internet radio show
An internet radio show to promote the Twinkle Crusaders, titled Radio Twinkle Crusaders (RADiO ティンクル☆くるせいだーす Radio Teinkuru Kuruseidāsu?) was first streamed online on August 27, 2008 as a pre-broadcast episode. It began its regular broadcast on September 10, 2008, and was streamed online bi-weekly on Mondays. The radio show is hosted by Kimiko Koyama and Shizuka Itō, who voiced Melilot and Herena in the visual novel, and is produced by Onsen.
Before the game's release, a four-panel comic strip manga adaptation was serialized in ASCII Media Works' bishōjo magazine Dengeki Hime between the December 2007 and October 2008 issues sold on October 30, 2007 and August 30, 2008, respectively. The story of the manga is based on the visual novel, despite it not having been released yet, and was illustrated by Japanese illustrator Kotamaru, who has also contributed to the art in the game. A second manga adaptation was serialized irregularly between the April 2008 and August 2008 issues of Dengeki Daioh, published by ASCII Media Works on February 21 and June 21, 2008, respectively, and concluded with four chapters. The second manga was illustrated by Jin Arima, and unlike the first manga which is inspired from the visual novel, the story of the second manga's story is instead based on the game's storyline. A one-shot manga chapter was also serialized in the adult magazine Megastore on May 17, 2008. The manga chapter was drawn by Yasushi Kawakami, and contained adult content not found in the other two manga adaptations. A fourth manga adaptation entitled Twinkle Crusaders GoGo! began serialization in Dengeki Daioh's July 2009 issue on May 27, 2009, and is illustrated by Hijiki.
Reception and sales
From mid-February to mid-March, the limited edition of Twinkle Crusaders was the eighth most pre-ordered title, according to a Japanese national ranking of PC games. It was then ranked as the most pre-ordered title in Japan from mid-March to mid-April, the fifth from mid-April to mid-May. The game was also the second most pre-ordered game from mid-May to mid-June, only falling behind Little Busters! Ecstasy, after which the game was again placed as the most pre-ordered title in Japan for two consecutive months.