Since last month I’ve finished Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and that’s about it… I’ve been trying to find a good fit for my next big game, so there’s been quite a bit of shuffling going on behind the scenes. But, lucky for me, my backlog is a treasure trove of hidden gems, so I’ll never truly run out of games to play.
I’ve kinda been dipping my toes into a number of games these past few months, while I try to find a game that I actually want to finish. I’ve said this before, but I’m not so much a completionist when it comes to games. Visual novels take awhile to get through and don’t believe in forcing myself to finish a game once my interest has waned. Every so often I come across a game that is so good I can’t help but finish it, but those are few and far between…
MazM The Phantom of the Opera
I’ve been playing this one off and on during my commute to and from work, usually when I can’t get a seat since I usually have my phone in my hand anyway. It’s no secret that I am terrible at keeping up with mobile games, I lose interest in them fairly quickly and the pay walls and other story stop gates, like ads, don’t really make for the most enjoyable experience. That said, I really like MazM’s The Phantom of the Opera, it’s more of an interactive novel than a game, combining the point and click gameplay of an adventure game with the connected narrative of a visual novel.
Hey guy’s I’ve been thinking about the direction I want to take this blog moving into 2020 and I’ve been playing around with some ideas. But, since I want to include you guys more in the stuff I do here, I figured why not run a poll! I’m just putting some feelers out to see what you guys want to see on Blerdy Otome as we transition into the new year. So, if you could do me a solid and check out the poll let me know what you might be interested in seeing me try…
So, this is totally going to be a regular thing… I suppose these posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome Games. There I give a very general rundown of the most common character archetypes that appear in otome games with a few examples of characters that fit each trope. But, I kinda wanted to do individual posts on each archetype and now here we are with the second post in this series. Last time around I covered my least favorite character archetype, the obsessive and possessive, Yandere. Which you can check out by clicking the link: ‘Crazy for You?: 5 Otome Game Yandere’.
This time around I wanted to shake things up and cover one of my favorite character archetypes, the delightfully hot and cold tsundere characters!!
The Basics: What is Tsundere?
Tsundere is a term derived from the terms tsun tsun (ツンツン), meaning to turn away in disgust, and dere dere (デレデレ) meaning to become ‘lovey dovey’. These characters tend to be cold and hostile towards the heroine at first, but gradually warms up to her, becoming much more affectionate as time passes. Tsundere characters are known to switch between their hot and cold personalities at the drop of a dime, most notably when embarrassed. However, when the heroine is able break down their walls, most tsunderes are sweethearts.
A shy tsunbun after admitting his feelings
Part of the appeal of tsundere characters is slowly getting them to let their guard down and open up to the heroine. They are very similar to kuudere types, in that they can be a bit cold and aloof at first, and can come off as callous. Sometimes a tsundere will go too far and accidentally hurt their heroine’s feelings. However, when they realize how much their actions are hurting those around them, they are usually quick to apologize (even if their attempts are a bit clumsy/awkward). Most tsundere are inexperienced with love and have trouble fully expressing their newfound complicated emotions, which leads them to give off mixed messages. But when a tsundere does fall in love, they are very devoted to their heroine.
I just finished my first playthrough of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and I’d like to get my initial thoughts about the game down before I get any deeper into the story, because my God was this game intense. I played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly awhile ago and I didn’t really like it all that much, so I went into Ashen Hawk expecting it to be much the same as its predecessor… thankfully I was wrong! Ashen Hawk is a marked improvement over Black Butterfly in almost every way and one has to wonder what the hell happened between the production of the first game and this one to cause such a huge difference in quality… Technically Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk isn’t a sequel to Black Butterfly, though it is set in the same world as the first game, but with a completely different story and characters.
Now I say that, but there were QUITE A FEW Easter Eggs and callbacks to PBB in Ashen Hawk, that you’ll only truly get if you’ve played through the first game, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy the game. That said, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!! I know I literally just said you don’t have to play Black Butterfly before playing Ashen Hawk, but boy does playing the first game pay off in a big way in this one!! It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Black Butterfly, but damnit if Ashen Hawk didn’t make slugging through the mess of the first game worth it. But, what I love most is that the connection between the two games isn’t overly in your face, the reveals work well within the context of their respective stories while also expanding on the preexisting lore of both games.
Since folks are really hung up on spoiler warnings, this post will contain some minor spoilers for the game, so if you haven’t played either Ashen Hawk or Black Butterfly, maybe hold off on reading this review.
I was first introduced to indie developer Mikomi Kisomi through her urban fantasy visual novel, That Which Binds Us. It’s been a little over a year since that release and Mikomi Games, now re-branded as Crystal Game Works just released their newest title, Memories on the Shoreline—a supernatural romance. I am a sucker for supernatural fantasy, and the prospect of dating a hot merman was just too good to pass up, so when Mikomi sent me a review copy of the game… I made time to play it.
Melody wanted a break from her stressful med classes— so when spring break came around, she dragged her best friend Shion with her to the beach. However, things don’t go quite so smoothly when they meet Brennan, a local fisherman, and Crylis… a mermaid?!
First day of vacation, and you’ve already secured a hot tour guide… good on you!
The premise is simple, Melody and her best friend Shion are spending their spring break in sunny Florida, in hopes of getting some much needed down time before falling back into the academic grind. While there Melody meets a handsome fisherman named Brennan, who hints that all is not as it seems in the quiet beach-side town. Later that night, Melody discovers that sirens exist, when she encounters a runaway merman, Crylis. What should have been a normal relaxing vacation is soon made much more exciting with two handsome men vying for Melody’s affections.
I’ve been on a real boys love kick lately, so I decided to finally read through Yuki Fumino’s I Hear the Sunspot. The series focuses on the relationship between a hearing impaired college student and his cheerful and outspoken classmate. Originally released in 2014 as a stand alone volume, the story was expanded into a second volume, I Hear the Sunspot – Theory of Happiness and then again as the ongoing series I Hear the Sunspot – Limit. The series is currently licensed in English by One Piece Books, I picked up the first two volumes at con and I fell in love with the series, so when I saw them up for pre-order on Amazon, I snapped the rest of them up as well. Unlike most of the series I buy, I Hear the Sunspot is an ongoing series, with only four volumes available in print (as of this writing).
Kohei is a hearing-impaired college student who is used to being misunderstood by his peers due to his disability, to the point that he’s resigned himself to a life of loneliness. But, when he meets the outgoing and friendly Taichi, Kohei finds his quiet life of solitude is no longer enough to satisfy him. After sharing their lunch together, the pair strike up an instant friendship that slowly develops into something more than friends, but less than lovers, where will life take these two very different young men…
Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs!! It’s Thrifty Thursday and that means another Thrifty Gaming post, the weekly post series where I spotlight three games/visual novels for gamers on a budget. Whatever your financial situation, I’m here to bring you affordable games that won’t break the bank!! All of the games on this list are $10 or less (does not include limited time offers and sale items), so no more weepy wallets!
This week’s post will include links to the games and a brief synopsis, but let me stress that these are not reviews, but recommendations… so your mileage may vary! Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!
Hitorijime My Hero is based on the ongoing manga series of the same name by Memeco Arii. The series follows, Masahiro Setagawa a high school student who has stopped believing in heroes, especially since the world seems to be hellbent on showing him the worst it has to offer. His mother constantly brings her “clients” home forcing Mashahiro to spend his nights wandering the streets, where he’s “adopted” by a group of local thugs. But, his luck changes when the infamous street vigilante, Kousuke Ooshiba, the “Bear Killer” comes to his rescue and decides to make him his underling. What’s more, Kousuke is the older brother of Masahiro’s best friend and his homeroom teacher! Suddenly, Masahiro starts believing that maybe hero’s do exist, but it seems that his feelings for Kousuke are deeper than either realize… and maybe, Kousuke feels the same way too?! There’s also a B-romance plot between Masahiro’s best friend Kensuke, who has recently reunited with his childhood friend, Asaya Hasekura.
Genre: Slice-of-Life, School Life, Shounen-ai
Air Date: Summer 2017
Studio: Encourage Films (English: Sentai Filmworks)
A few months back I wrote a Beginners Guide to Otome Games post on character archetypes (here’s a link to the thing: A Beginners Guide to Otome Games: Part 3 – Common Character Archetypes), where I broke down some of the most common character archetypes in otome games. I gave a basic overview of each archetype and provided a few examples of characters from games that fit the trope, but I always wanted to go back and write a list spotlighting characters from the various archetypes. First up to bat are the yandere chararacters… yay?
The Basics: What is Yandere?
Yandere is a Japanese term used to describe a person who is initially very loving and gentle towards the person they love, only for their affection to suddenly become obssessive and destructive. Their behavior becomes unhinged, bordering on deranged leading to these characters becoming violent and possessive. The term yandere is derived from the Japanese words yanderu (病んでる), meaning insane or sick, and dere dere (デレデレ), meaning affectionate or loving; so a yandere character is someone that is literally “lovesick”.
Note a yandere in action, notice how he maintains eye contact at all times
These characters are a bit controversial due to their dangerously obsessive behaviors, which lead to them harming themselves and others in pursuit of love. While their actions stem from an overwhelming sense of love and devotion, these characters are prone to jealousy and will do everything in their power to ensure that nothing comes between them and their love. Yandere can be very forceful in their affections and may resort to entrapping the object of their affection in a misguided attempt to protect them. Some yandere have been known to lock their lovers in cages and in extreme cases may be mentally or physically abusive.
Yandere are pretty popular in otome games, and there’s usually at least one character in each game that exhibits some obsessive tendencies (though this is usually reserved for bad endings). But, if yandere are your shtick, here’s a list of some yandere characters that would be more than happy to show you to your own personal uguu love cage…
Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.
Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…
Blerdy Otome is an otome games and visual novel review site that runs on Black Girl Magic and Dreams. While I mostly focus on romance themed games, I’ve been known to cover a wide range of nerdy and otaku themed topics.
So, step right up and prepare your heart! Let’s talk about otome games!!