On Saturday January 23rd 2016, Breanna Burton announced that the Absolutely U. brand would be rebooted. This process officially began on July 29th.
More to be added at a later date
On New Year's Eve 2015, a picture was uploaded using a new background and font choice, alluding to 'a magical surprise coming' later in 2016.
It wasn't until the 23rd of January that a statement was released confirming an eventual reboot.
This confirmed several changes to the brand, including a new logo and artwork, as well as the possibility of a new narrative form. On March 28th 2016, the new logo was revealed when the official Tumblr blog got a makeover:
The logo was also officially unveiled via a post on the blog:
The next day, on March 29th, the front page of the wiki was wiped completely, replaced with a message advertising 'a new style of magic' was coming in the summer. Along with this, the wiki's background was changed to the now-familiar file paper background as well as adding the new logo and favicon.
On April 3rd, the first teaser of artwork for the reboot was released:
This shows the silhouettes of eight of the characters that will be featured in the reboot - the post specifically stated that they were in the recurring cast. Three of them appear to be male, while the five others are likely to be female. It is unknown whether the silhouetted characters are new characters, new versions of existing characters or a mixture of new and existing characters. Shortly after on the same day, the Characters page on the wiki was renamed Characters (2013), with the reason for this changed explained by Burton to be 'establishing a split canon'.
It was announced that a further look at the reboot would be shown on April 10th, via a five-second teaser video posted on the official Tumblr account:This was then advertised using the hashtag #MagicIsChanging. On the morning of April 9th, the slogan Meet the New U. was used to promote the impending release of new details for the reboot.
Just before 21:00 BST on April 9th, a new image and link was posted onto the front page of the wiki:redesigned Norah Cardew, this led to a new announcement website to unveil a selection of the new artwork for the reboot, as well as explaining 'the new Absolutely U. As well as this, a 30 second trailer for the reboot was posted on the site and onto Burton's YouTube channel:
This video showed the artwork displayed from the website, but also two other pieces of artwork, as well as introducing a new slogan, Magic begins at Absolutely U.
Altogether, this confirmed eleven returning characters and five new characters to be featured in the reboot, but it is likely that there will be more characters.
Two months later, a picture was posted on the official Tumblr, as well as (for the first time) in Burton's own Flickr account:
The picture and accompanying message alluded to something being revealed on the 12th June. The Flickr image's description also introduced the teaser site and Tumblr blog onto the platform, indicating that Absolutely U. would be included as part of Burton's Flickr account (previously allocated to keep photography from her Undenial Toy Reviews blog).
This was then uploaded to Tumblr and Flickr:
This announced that the profiles for the main four characters had been uploaded to Burton's Flickr account on an exclusive basis. It also confirmed that there would be new fashions (presumably a new fashion line), that scripted 'minisodes' would be released and that its release would span the rest of 2016. The start of the 'bulk' was confirmed within the image description to be in July. A new summary of the brand was also a part of the image description:
Welcome to Absolutely University, the magical university for talented students. Here, students can not only study the subjects that they're passionate about, but also study the ways of magic (yes, it's a real thing). Not only are AU students masters of being themselves, their confidence, motivation and drive (not to mention their fierce fashions) make them masters in being undeniable.
The description also indicated that the visual character profiles in the format released would be exclusive to Flickr, but the written profiles themselves will most likely be published on the wiki later on.
On July 2nd, a set of seven teasers regarding the reboot were posted through an image.
This led to further speculation about several ideas but in particular, changes for the brand. This is what has been speculated from the hints:
- Magic is hiding (or is it?) - this sticks with the idea that AU is hidden from the non-magical world.
- Study groups give serious #squadgoals - this continues the idea that the reboot will be more academically focused. In fact, it was referring to the #StudySquad line.
- Forgive your frenemies...it's actual evil that you should be worried about - this implies that dark magic and 'real' evil will be a part of the reboot.
- Romance is not always the explanation (except for when it is). You could always go for 'partners in crime' - this may signify that not all of the relationships set up in the original incarnation of Absolutely U. will necessarily remain that way. This could allude to the relationships of several couples from the original incarnation, such as Norah and Lance, Marley and Tucker, and Sienna and Dexter. However, some couples will remain couples.
- Creativity is a form of magic. (no really, it is) - it is unknown what this means at the moment.
- She looks like an engineer. Because she is one. - since no existing characters are engineers, this implies that another new character (a female engineer) will be introduced to the roster.
- Forget what you know about magic. (you'll find out in July) - this hints that not only could the in-universe idea of magic be changed, but the brand itself will be changing also. It also again confirms July as the start of the formal introduction to the reboot.
After this, on July 13th a series of posts was started, revealing in-universe facts regarding the reboot. The first post revealed details regarding the backstory of AU.
The second post on July 15th revealed more things, such as Brooke's new artwork, that the new African-American boy character is named Aubin Slattery, and finally that the new cafe at AU is named The Brew. The third post on July 18th revealed one of the schools at AU would be named USTEAM, and characters such as Norah Cardew and Lance Ollison would attend.
All of these posts affirmed that the start of the official launch will occur later in July.
On July 26th, a new image was posted, depicting the lined paper background which has been a focal part of promoting the reboot being 'unwrapped' to reveal a building:
It invited users to check back on Friday July 29th, when they would 'remove the rest of the paper'. This means that for the first time, a building in Absolutely University will be revealed. The building was revealed on the following Friday:
It also announced that the start of 'enrollment' would begin this weekend. In fact, the actual process of adding the new look characters to the wiki began on that same day, July 29th, with the completed pages for the main four characters and the #StudySquad line, which was revealed and posted on that day.
The next day, the revealed #StudySquad line was posted on Tumblr and Flickr:
By August 1st, the updated paged for Quinn Lawson and Priya Watson had been completed, and the first episode of the new episode series was added, The First Day at Absolutely U. August 6th saw the release of the first new character, Holliday Harman, whereas the first male character, Lance Ollison, was brought back on August 9th.
Completed characters (in order of release)Edit
- All of the main four (Norah Cardew, Marley Leverson, Sienna Melworth and Valeri Sewell)
- Priya Watson
- Quinn Lawson
- Holliday Harman (new character)
- Lance Ollison
- Tucker Gray
- Brooke Barton
- Orienna Jefferson
Confirmed to be returning with artworkEdit
Note: The following pages link to the new, 2016 versions of the character. This is why not all of the characters will have pages yet.
- Ingrid Tillett - in early June, Burton mentioned having 'big plans' for this character upon receiving a response from a user mentioning Ingrid as their favourite character.
- There will be a new logo for 2016. The new logo was revealed on the official Tumblr blog.
- There will be a new 'artwork style'. The new characters when compared to the older ones have a very similar if not identical body shape - based upon the characters from the announcement site, the bodies are similar to the originals (albeit more consistent). However, the faces have been changed to look more natural, with less make-up.
- The Be Undeniable tagline from 2015 will have a part in the reboot. The picture posted on April 3rd on the official Tumblr blog had the caption 'The new undeniable is coming'. However, this is not to say that it will be the main tagline just as before. The announcement site displayed the tagline Unleash Undeniable. It is most likely that none of these will be the main tagline, in favour of Magic begins at Absolutely U.
- Though this is purely speculative, upon looking at the fifth character from the image on the April 3rd post, this character appears to have a wider waist and thicker legs than the other female characters on the image. This could be a sign that this character has a new, curvier body in addition to the existing body. This was confirmed in the announcement site, with two of the new characters having the curvy base, an African-American girl with curly brown hair, and a Caucasian girl with honey blonde hair and a pink dress.
- It is all but confirmed that there will be characters of different heights for the reboot, as shown on the April 3rd post. It is unknown if this will be in the form of new characters or if existing characters will be made taller or shorter. This was confirmed in the announcement site, with two new characters having a shorter body type (a girl with short fire-red hair and an African-American boy with curly blonde hair), one new character having a taller body type (an Indian girl with short blonde hair) and new versions of Quinn Lawson, Badalia Fairhurst and Devin Chung with the taller body type.
- New characters will be added. Confirmed true with the announcement site displaying five new characters. The July 2nd Tumblr post implies that there will be a female engineering student added to the cast, as there are no existing characters that are engineers.
- The reboot will have a more academic focus (due to the slab-serif font used in marketing and lined paper background). The new #StudySquad line seems to support this idea.
- Characters will change to the point that they are very different from their past self. This is a possibility as the page for Priya Watson had a marker indicating that the page is from the 2013 incarnation of the brand. This could mean that:
- All of the characters will switch to this style, having a 2013 and 2016 version of their page. This is very likely, as the Characters page was renamed on April 3rd to Characters (2013), meaning there will likely be a separate page for the 2016 canon's characters, and the characters themselves will get 2016 pages. The addition of a disambiguation page for Priya's page the next day is a further sign of this. This was later confirmed when new pages for the main four characters were created.
- It is Priya in particular who will significantly change in personality and/or appearance. Though it is thought that all characters will get a new 2016 page in addition to the 2013 page, it is perculiar that Burton specifically chose Priya to test out this change - this is why it is rumoured she will be changing in particular. Priya's new page did in fact show various changes to the character, such as a new backstory and modified personality.
- A new or alternative tagline may be introduced, which may be Unapologetic. Fearless. Diverse. - though this may not be the case. This tagline was displayed in both the announcement site and the 30 second trailer, but the tagline Magic begins at Absolutely U. is likely to be the main tagline.