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Kemuri: Everything We Know

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Kemuri: Everything We Know

Besides rooting for your favorite games to take the win at the Game Awards 2023, many gamers keep their eyes peeled for tantalizing announcements of new games in development. And true to expectation, The Game Awards 2023 delivered a good number of delightful games to expect in the future, including the gorgeous Kemuri.

Popularly tagged as the game that will center around “seeing the unseen,” Kemuri seems to take after its founding studio, Unseen. It’s the first-ever independent project by Ikumi Nakamura, so there’s plenty at stake for the Japanese game artist and director to independently make a name for herself. As the Christmas cheer draws near, shall we break down everything we know about Kemuri?

What is Kemuri?


Kemuri is an upcoming new and original IP currently in development by Ikumi Nakamura’s new indie studio, Unseen. It was first announced at The Game Awards 2023 event, with a 50-second trailer that acts as more of a proof of concept than a story or gameplay reveal. Still, the trailer showcases Kemuri’s stylish work of art, which is nothing short of what we expect from veteran The Evil Within, Okami, Bayonetta, and Ghostwire: Tokyo designer.


man standing near rail track Kemuri

Kemuri is a Japanese word that means “smoke.” Its story builds upon the paranormal and centers around hunting the unseen. As a Yokai Hunter, you’ll be tasked with hunting the mysterious Yokai creatures hiding in plain sight. Using the “Fox Window,” you’ll be able to unravel mysteries and restore balance to the world. With each Yokai conquered, you’ll gain their powers and go up against even greater adversaries. 

From the trailer, Kemuri’s world seems to take after a futuristic Japanese metropolis. It features cool street characters who are pretty skilled at parkour and pop culture references. It’s a mix of traditional Japanese folklore, modern culture, anime, and international flair, as per the website. Check out the full story description below.

KEMURI summons you into a realm where the unpredictable meets the extraordinary in an urban jungle where mysterious creatures – YOKAI – hide amongst the population. Become a YOKAI HUNTER and use your FOX WINDOW to unravel the mysteries of the city and bring balance to the world. Dive into a thrilling adventure alone or with friends, hunt yokai in style, collect their powers, and face even greater challenges.

KEMURI’s world is a blend of traditional Japanese folklore, modern culture, anime aesthetics, and international flair where supernatural wonders exist just beyond the vision of ordinary people. This world challenges yokai hunters to confront existential themes and moral dilemmas as they track and fight their prey in fast-paced combat. 



We’re not quite sure about the genre. It’s certainly far less spooky than Nakamura’s previous works, The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo. However, as far as we can tell, Kemuri is action-oriented, with parkour systems and fast-paced combat. 

Characters are shown running and jumping in the trailer while bearing slick weapons like the katana. They go up against supernatural creatures, all distinctly varied in appearance and style. These creatures also hide in plain sight, tying into the studio’s name about hunting the “unseen.” Check out the official gameplay description below. 

Collect a wide range of yokai—some malevolent, some friendly—to transform your appearance and access their paranormal abilities.

Sprint, soar, and hunt across a chaotic vertical city, meet otherworldly characters, and experience a breathtaking anime world that exists in the space between our realm and the unknown.

Where there are sightings of KEMURI…yokai are sure to follow. The only question that remains is: How will you HUNT the UNSEEN?


Kemuri man on side walk panes

Kemuri is currently in development by Unseen, a new indie studio Ikumi Nakamura first announced in 2021. Nakamura has previously designed for mega projects in gaming. She’s worked for Capcom, Platinum Games, and most recently, Tango Gameworks. Her most notable works at Tango were The Evil Within as an artist and Ghostwire: Tokyo as the creative director, though she left the project before completion. 

After leaving Tango Gameworks, Nakamura did some freelance gigs and consulting. Thereafter, she moved on to create her own independent studio, Unseen. Kemuri is the first project Unseen will work on, which raises the stakes and kicks off with a bang. But, if Kemuri’s art style is anything to go by, Unseen seems to be shaping up to feature a super stylish game with slick art direction.

Nakamura has stated that Unseen features a “mix of cultures” and plans to be a “breeding ground for new ideas.” She adds that her interests lie in a mix of genres, including sci-fi, mystery, horror, zombies, and the supernatural. While Kemuri hints at some, if not all, of these genres, we’ll still keep an eye out for full confirmation of the genre.

Meanwhile, The Game Awards 2023 host Geoff Keighley hinted at Nakamura not having a publisher or platform yet. So, there’s a high chance Kemuri is still in its early concept stage.


Kemuri - Reveal Trailer | Game Awards 2023

Check out the cinematic Kemuri trailer revealed at The Game Awards 2023 event. While the trailer is brief, roughly 50 seconds long, you can catch a glimpse of the game’s Japanese imagery. It shows some of the Yokai hunters, presumably playable alone or with friends. They showcase the use of parkour, futuristic tech, and manual weapons. All along, hunting in style for Yokai—strange creatures hidden in plain sight—donning slick katanas in hand. For the first teaser trailer, Nakamura does a pretty good job raising expectations for more to come.

Release Date, Platforms, & Editions

With the game's publisher still in the wind, Kemuri seems to be in its very early stages of development and, thus, a long way off from launch. Keighley also notes that Nakamura is yet to confirm the platforms Kemuri will release on too. The same goes for the editions, which also remain unclear. But, feel free to keep track of new updates via the kemuriworld website or Twitter handle here. Meanwhile, we’ll also release updates here as soon as they come up.

So, what’s your take? Will you be grabbing a copy of Kemuri when it drops? Let us know over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.