Hey Hey Everyone! Happy Holidays! Hope you all are doing well!
I’ll keep this short—I’ve been kind of quiet and there’s a good reason for that… I’m home for the holidays and I quite like spending my days doing nothing. Which I have been and it’s been glorious! That said, I’m on a bit of a hiatus until the first full week of January. I might write something before then, but it’s highly unlikely since it’s not often that I come home.
I’ll be be back with more content soon, but in the meantime I hope all of you are enjoying yourselves and if I don’t get to talk to you on the 1st, Happy New Year!!
The end of 2019 marks the end of a decade, and everyone seems to be reflecting on the past 10 years, with their various lists and videos. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon too and reflect on the past 10 years in otome games. Since I didn’t keep up with my Japanese language studies, I’m limited to English localizations (and fan patches), so I can’t speak for the JP only releases. But, I can honestly say that these last few years have been pretty good to Western otome fans, with tons of game releases and announcements coming out (fairly) regularly.
So, I wanted to go back and look at the otome games released between 2010 and 2019 and pick out my favorites. Some years were more fruitful than others for the western otome fandom, but I still stand by my picks for each year and it’s kind of fun to see how my tastes have changed in the past 10 or so years of playing otome games.
HoverGirls is a webcomic series by artist Geneva B. (GDBee) that combines the kickass crime fighting of superhero comics with the girl power of the Japanese magical girl genre and a heaping handful of #BlackGirlMagic! HoverGirlsfollows cousins Jalissa and Kim Vasquez as they navigate the ups and downs of their life in the bustling city of Los Aguaceros. By day they’re baristas in at Big Chain Coffee slinging coffee and trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary. But, by night the duo masquerades as the monster-fighting duo the Hover Girls! After a freak storm, mysterious fish monsters started wreaking havok on the city and it’s up to Jalissa and Kim to take them down…
The series just entered it’s second arc and you can read it for free over on Webtoons (modified for mobile reading) or directly from the HoverGirls site in a standard comic format. I also included a short interview with the creator of HoverGirls, Geneva B. at the end of the review!
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.
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!!