This is not a drill, people. Also, color me wrong because I predicted their next game would have nothing to do with the yearly art Kamitani put out in 2013. Turns out it does!
Now sit back, relax, and watch the first trailer for a new Vanillaware game you've never seen before aiiiii!
Okay. Okay. Stay cool. Let's chat.
First of all, this is a huge departure, stylistically, from anything Vanillaware's done in the past. Odin Sphere, Grim Grimoire, Muramasa, Grand Knights History and Dragon's Crown are all deep in the fantasy vein, while 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim seems to exist in near-future or modern-day Japan.
We see a splash of several characters in the above trailer, and several shots of different characters strolling through environments, suggesting - in classic Vanillaware form - that 13 Sentinels will offer multiple protagonists (a reported translation of the trailer notes "intersecting stories" - so there's that too). Beyond that - beyond a mostly-empty modern Japanese city, giant robots, gorgeous presentation, awesome music and platinum blond teenagers - we know nothing about it.
Is it an action game? Is it turn-based? Is it an RPG? Is it a visual novel? Who knows!
While the action-RPG is their bread-and-butter, Vanillaware love to experiment with different genres - GrimGrimoire was an RTS, and Grand Knights History was a turn-based strategy RPG - it would not be a great surprise to discover 13 Sentinels is something the studio has never tackled before.
I... really hope it's not a visual novel. For the record.