Blerdy Tribe, I’ve been rather inactive lately and for that I apologize, but real life got kinda hectic for a while there and I just didn’t have the time or the energy to read through 100k+ visual novels. I’m human. But, that brings me to something that I have been meaning to talk about on this blog for a very long time—visual novels are long af!
You’d think that’s a given, I mean they’re called visual novels for a reason. But, time and time again I underestimate just how much time I need to finish a visual novel (or an otome game for that matter). I know some folks who blaze through games in about 2 days and I am always in awe of their speedy playthroughs, but I just don’t operate like that—especially if I plan on writing a review. I take my time, dragging out my playthroughs for weeks (sometimes months) to ensure that I get the full scope of the characters and the story—or at least that’s what I want you all to believe.
So, when I wrote my anime gatekeeping essay, I was actually attempting to write about gatekeeping in the games community. But, I ended up running super long with the intro and rather than writing a ridiculously long post on gatekeeping, I decided to split the difference and write two separate posts. However, don’t get it twisted, gatekeeping in the gaming community is something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a VERY long time, I just wanted to be sure that when I finally penned this post, that I didn’t devolve into incoherent ranting. I try to keep things classy here.
So, for those of you that don’t know, “gatekeeping” is what happens when elitism, entitlement, and privilege are allowed to run unchecked, resulting in a select group of individuals taking it upon themselves to preserve the sanctity of a particular “thing” by regulating what is and isn’t acceptable. Like bouncers who keep unwanted individuals from entering an establishment, gatekeepers act as the buffer between true fans of a medium and the uninformed masses. Gatekeepers see themselves as true fans, working tirelessly to ensure that the sanctity of their media isn’t tarnished by those they deem unworthy. The problem is that these individuals take things to the extreme, devaluing anyone and anything that doesn’t align with their “vision” of what a true fan should be… and it is this behavior that creates a lot of unnecessary negativity.
the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something.
We are all familiar with the term “gatekeeping” at this point in the game, especially if you run in many of the nerdy circles of the internet. Because, let’s face it the nerd community isn’t always the wholesome escape we want it to be—especially if you happen to be BIPOC, female/ female presenting, or anyone that isn’t a straight white male. So, being a black female nerd is like a double whammy sometimes, with me having to constantly PROVE that I am a “real” nerd, to folks who feel they are the last remaining accolades of some secret club. Just because I don’t watch or read the hottest “mainstream” nerd media, that somehow invalidates my nerd card and that’s just not fair.
I was browsing Crunchyroll and I ran across the anime Demon Lord Dante and man did it trigger some serious nostalgia. For those of you that don’t know—Demon Lord Dante is a supernatural horror series by Go Nagai, the man behind Devilman and Cutie Honey. The 2018 ONA, Devil Man Crybaby is based on Nagai’s Devilman series and if you thought that was trippy, you NEED to check out Demon Lord Dante, because MAN IS IT WILD—religious allegory, satanists, demons, monsters, naked women being sacrificed, and just a hint of incest to top it all off…and it’s AWESOME (and terrible). Just watch it (dubbed) and see what I’m talking about.
Now, technically, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh were my first “official” anime watches, but back then we had no clue that what we were watching was anything other than cartoons. So, in my head I have a hard time thinking of those series as anime, because growing up they were just “cartoons”. It wasn’t until I was well into my teens that I realized there was a difference and began actively seeking out anime.
For those of you newbies, I am a part of a group called OWLS and we are a group of bloggers and vloggers that hope to spread a message of acceptance and understanding through thoughtful community activism! We use our love of pop-culture and other media to discuss a wide range of topics. Each month we host themed Blog Tours where we discuss topics we feel are important to the greater fandom community. In the wake of the current pandemic and the many changes it has caused in our lives, this month’s tour is all about adapting.
Right now, we all have lost something or gained something in return during this dark time. Our lives have been completely altered due to coronavirus. For this month, we will be talking about anime series and other pop culture media where we have characters having to adjust to changes in their environment. Whether it’s adjusting to a new school or heading towards an isekai fantasy world, we will be discussing characters that had to make changes within themselves in order to adapt to the circumstances they are in. This will also give us an opportunity to express our own personal lives as we try to adjust to a “new normal.”
– May 2020 Blog Tour Prompt
As is the theme with these blog tour posts, I struggled to come up with a topic, so I decided to fall back on what I know—otome games. For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, ‘otome’ refers to a sub-genre of story based visual novels aimed primarily at girls and women, where the main objective is to romance a group of attractive male characters, known as love interests.
Hey, Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! I’ve been running this site for the past five years, and it just occurred to me that I don’t really talk at length about my gaming process. Sure, I drop a passing phrase or two every now and again in my reviews, but I have yet to really sit down write about what type of gamer I am, and because I’ve been stuck at home for the past two and a half months (aside from going stir crazy) I’ve had a bit more time for self reflection… So, I thought it would be fun to write out a few of my gaming related thoughts and confessions. That way you guys get to know me a little better and I get to get some things off my chest.
Of course there’s always the chance that no one really cares and I’m just screaming into the void like everyone else on the internet. But, all this social distancing has got me in a talkative mood for once…so, let’s just see where this goes. I don’t know how often I’ll post these, but I’ll shoot for 1-2 per month, however it’ll mostly be whenever I have anything specific that I want to talk about. For my first confession—sometimes I use guide and walkthroughs to finish games.
So, this incident happened a little while ago but I needed some time to cool off before I wrote about it, because at the time I was PISSED! Time has softened my anger so that now I look back on the whole thing with some degree of amusement, don’t get me wrong, I am still pretty frustrated about the whole situation, but not enough to wage a one woman crusade against FUNimation. I’ve put away my pitchfork and doused my torch, and after a bit of self reflection I think I’m finally ready to talk about what happened…
For the past few years I have been running an online shop on Etsy where I sell crochet items. I have a few original creations, but the bulk of my merchandise consists of anime inspired amigurumi dolls. For those of you unfamiliar with crochet or yarn crafting in general, amigurumi is a Japanese term used to describe the art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed toys. The term amigurumi (編みぐるみ) literally means knit or crochet stuffed toy and these can be anything from stuffed animals to dolls and I’ve even seen a lot of people who make cute food plushies. There really is no limit to what you can make with amigurumi, so it really allows the crafter the freedom to let their imaginations soar.
Y’all ever hear that old Lays potato chip slogan, ‘Betcha can’t eat just one’? It was well before my time but, I find that it pretty accurately sums up my relationship with Fanfiction. No matter how hard I try, I can never seem to read just one.
It always starts the same way: I find a really good fic—usually KuroTsuki… but BakuDeku is growing on me too—I get really engrossed in the story. Like Sam I Am in Green Eggs and Ham, I read that fic all over the place—on the train to and from work, at my desk during my lunch break, between tasks, curled up in bed, hell, I even read while walking to the station in the morning. I binge the hell outta that fic! And then, like most good things, the fic ends and I’m left with this gaping void in my daily routine.
Otome games are filled with beautiful boys, it’s a part of that fantasy to romance your own personal harem of super mega hot guys… But, have you ever come across a really hot guy in an otome game only to discover that he isn’t one of the main love interests?! You know what I mean, that really really ridiculously good looking side character that makes you wanna renounce LI bae and run off into the sunset with this no-name Joe. It’s unfair to have a good looking side character, because no matter how much they make your heart flutter, he will forever just be a beautiful gem sparkling in the background.
Meanwhile elevated extras like Demento from Period Cube get half-assed excuses for routes, while a perfectly attractive and approachable side character is right there, just out of reach! So, that got me thinking… a dangerous pasttime… I know~ about some of my favorite unobtainable otome side characters. The boys that deserve so much more love, but alas, are just out of reach. Sometimes we’ll get lucky and they’ll get a route in one of the ports or fandiscs, like Finn from Steam Prison who didn’t have a route in the original PC release but got one in the Vita port or Sannan who was recently elevated from tragic antagonist/ally to bona fide love interest in Hakuoki Kyoto Winds/Edo Blossoms.
But, for the purpose of this list, I’m just gonna stick to main games and not FDs, spin-offs, or sequels. And if any of these guys do have a route somewhere else, definitely let me know… cus, I need to see my boys in the spotlight for once!!
It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of a new beginning for many looking to put the hardships of last year behind them. Like many, I see the new year as a chance to start fresh, both online and in my personal life. 2019 ended on a high note with me finally securing a full time job, giving me a much more positive outlook for the new year. There will of course be some ups and downs, but I’m definitely optimistic about what 2020 has in store for me moving forward.
So, when the lovely Lyn revealed that the theme for our first Blog Tour of 2020 would be visions, I was eager to put my own personal spin on the topic. Initially, I intended to write about the anime series revisions (which explains the feature image), and while I’ll probably plug the series at some point in this post, I felt that a more personal post was necessary this time around.
Happy New Year! Since it is a new year, it’s a new you! This month we will be talking about various pop culture mediums that focus on envisioning “the future.” What type of future do we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world? Also, we will be sharing our goals and plans for the new year. Once again, happy new year!
-OWLS January 2020 “Visions” Blog Tour Prompt
OWLS has grown and changed considerably since it’s inception back in 2017, I remember being approached by the President of OWLS Katrina Sade to join the group that at the time had a very simple goal, “to create a safe space for people to be free being who they are”. We didn’t have a huge platform back then, it was just a small group of bloggers from the aniblogging community who wanted to make a small difference in the world.