Category: Features

5 Games Like Taisho x Alice

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs it’s time once again for another Games Like post—the blog series where you guys vote on the otome game and I go out and find five games that are similar to them. Last time I wrote a list of 5 Games Like Code Realize and this time around I ran a poll over on Twitter and 23 of you guys voted for Taisho x Alice!

Taisho x Alice is a game that has been localized in English not once, but twice. The first time was the infamously bad localization done by E2 Gaming, that not only had a laughably subpar translation, but absolutely terrible English voice acting. Thankfully, Primula decided to take matters into their own hands, with their parent company pencil handling the localization this time around. The OtomeArmada’s own Verdelish worked on the translation for Episode 1 and she definitely brings her own unique flair to the English version.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Taisho x Alice is a re-imagining of popular fairytales, but with a twist—each of the love interests are gender swapped versions of famous characters like Cinderella and Snow White! The game was originally released in Japan in 2015 for PC and was split into four episodes, each with two LIs. The first episode features Cinderella and Red Riding Hood’s stories; the second—Kaguya and Gretel; the third episode— Snow White and the Wizard; and the fourth and final episode focuses on Alice.

So far, only the first episode has been released, but there are plans to release the subsequent episodes in the near future. So while we’re waiting for the rest of the Taisho x Alice games to be released here in the West, here are five game titles that are sure to help fill the void! As always, I tried to go with games that have a similar vibe to TaiAli so don’t expect games that are play by play clones. Now, with that out of the way, let’s check out five games like Taisho x Alice!

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Now This is a Story All About How… I Got Hit with a DMCA Notice from Funimation

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.

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F#@k, Marry, Kill Otome Edition – Star Crossed Myth

Here I am once again using all of my years of otome related experience to ask the hard hitting questions others are afraid to ask! This is quality stuff right here, carefully crafted after not one, but two glasses of really good red wine and an afternoon of playing OZMAFIA.

This is the post that no one asked for, but I felt compelled to write down. I could have easily used this time to tackle my neglected backlog or catching up on game requests, but I felt that a Fuck, Marry, Kill post was exactly what the world needed right now. For those of you that didn’t play this game as a kid, the basic premise is this:

One person poses three names of people known to someone else (either people known in their personal lives or of celebrities). The other person then has to decide which of the three they would kiss (or fuck, in more mature versions of the game… like this one), which one they would marry, and which one they would kill.

-Da Rulez

I’m cutting the middle man and just using the love interest lineup from otome games to answer three sacred, age old questions— Which otome guy would I fuck? Which otome guy would I marry? Which otome guy would I kill? The first game on the chopping block is Star Crossed Myth… because I’ve played all the routes.

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I Wanna Give Myself a Chance to Believe in Myself Again: How Shizuo Never Gives Up Hope in ‘I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow’ – April 2020 “Hope” OWLS Blog Tour

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I last participated in an OWLS Blog Tour. We all started this year full of hope, but the recent COVID-19 pandemic has put many of us in a tight spot. Many have already succumbed to the virus and those that haven’t are facing economic hardships brought on by stay at home orders and mandatory social distancing. It’s hard not to feel discouraged, when the impacts of the virus is such an ever present part of our lives. Whether you have been personally affected by the pandemic or know someone affected by COVID-19, it’s important that we keep moving forward. So, it’s only fitting that in the wake of the current pandemic, that the April 2020 Blog Tour topic should be Hope.

We are in the midst of a pandemic which has led people to live in fear and anxiety over the coronavirus. For this month, rather than seeing the dark side of the situation we are living in, we will be exploring anime and other pop culture mediums that bring hope for humanity and why they have such a positive impact on us.

-OWLS April 2020 “Hope” Blog Tour Prompt

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5 Games Like Code Realize

It’s been a long time since I popped out one of these Games Like posts. Part of me wants to say the delay was brought on by real life obligations, but really I had a hard time thinking of games like Code Realize. I ran the twitter poll back in October, but this post has been sitting in my drafts these past few months because I wanted to pick games that really did Code Realize justice (and fingers crossed that I actually did that).

Last time I wrote a list of 5 Games Like Collar x Malice and this time around I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 games like Code Realize. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Code Realize is a steampunk fantasy, featuring a cast of characters based on famous literary and historical figures. Code Realize was developed by Otomate for the PS Vita in 2014 and later released internationally in 2015. In the wake of the fall of the PS Vita, Code Realize has made the move to the Nintendo Switch. The game follows Cardia—a young woman whose body produces a deadly poison that melts anything she touches—spends her days in an abandoned mansion to protect others from her affliction. Labeled as a monster by the locals, Cardia resigns herself to a life of loneliness until Royal Guards break into the mansion and attempt to capture her. She is saved by infamous gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who promises to help her find her father, the only person who might be able to remove the poison coursing through her veins.

Code Realize has been universally praised by otome fans for it’s immersive story and well developed characters. It’s definitely a stand out among otome game titles, managing to balance romance and good, solid storytelling. So if you’ve played Code Realize and you’re looking for something similar to dive into, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Code Realize and not so much a play by play clone of the game. So, they’re not exactly the same, but, they definitely capture the spirit of the game.

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Side Characters Shouldn’t Be This Cute – Non-Dateable Otome Guys I Wish Had A Route

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!!


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Visions for A Better Tomorrow – January 2020 “Visions” OWLS Blog Tour

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.

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[OWLS “Failure” Blog Tour] Taking Aim Even if You Miss: Exploring Minato’s Target Panic in Tsurune

It’s time for another OWLS Blog Tour, most of you were probably directed here after reading Megan’s personal post about Welcome to the NHK and if you haven’t read her post I definitely recommend giving it a read!! If you stumbled upon this post by chance, welcome to Blerdy Otome!

The end of the year is fast approaching and we’ve hit our 11th Blog Tour of 2019. For those of you just joining the party, OWLS is 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.

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One of the best ways we can learn is through failure. This month we will be talking about the failures of our favorite characters in pop culture media and what we can learn from them. We will also reflect on our own mistakes and failures and how those experiences have allowed us to grow as human beings. 

–November 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

This month we’re looking at Failure and you know, it’s kind of fitting that the penultimate Blog Tour of 2019 would be a topic that would require a bit of self reflection… The truth is, failure sucks. No one wants to admit that they didn’t make the cut, but rather than looking at failure as a negative, I like to think of it as a foundation for growth. No genre embodies this notion like sports anime, regardless of the sport there is always a point in the story where someone loses. But, just because you lose one tournament or match doesn’t mean you’ll lose them all and that’s fundamentally what’s so appealing about sports anime. You see a group of characters learning to overcome their failures and ultimately achieve something better than when they started.

In Haikyuu Karasuno lost to Aoba Josai at the Inter Highs in season 1, it’s a crushing blow after all their hard work and training. They could easily let this defeat define them, but they don’t give up, they work hard and when they face Aoba Josai again in season 2, they’ve learned from their past mistakes and manage to come out victorious. In Yuri On Ice, after experiencing a crushing defeat at the Grand Prix Final, manages to turn it all around the following year and place second in the Grand Prix Finals. The road to that point wasn’t easy and there were plenty of mistakes made along the way, but Yuri never let that keep him from giving it his all! And don’t get me started on Diamond no Ace… Eijun is practically defined by his failures…

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Swipe Right: Otome Guys I’d Totally Date in Real Life

Otome games are all about exploring your fantasies, doing things you can’t do in your everyday life. Whether that’s getting sucked into a virtual reality game or fighting alongside the legendary Shinsengumi, in otome games you can be or do whatever you want. The biggest draw of otome games are the love interests, each game gives you your very own harem of hot guys to romance. But, let’s be real, half of us would never date some of our favorite otome guys in real life. In fact, some of the most popular otome guys are downright assholes.

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If not for the fantasy aspect of otome romances we wouldn’t give most otome guys the time of day. Hell, I’m guilty of liking questionable characters, some of my favorite otome guys are either tsundere or kuudere and I find those kinds of guys insufferable in real life. And don’t get me started on oresama characters, ain’t nobody got time to stroke the ego of an arrogant man child.

So that got me thinking about the otome love interests I would date in real life and the results were pretty surprising. None of my favorite otome characters actually made the list, but thems the rub I suppose…

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Five Terrifying Horror Games To Chill Your Bones

Happy Halloween!! It’s still October 31st here on the east coast and even though it’s not the ideal weather for Trick or Treating, this gloomy weather is perfect for staying at home and immersing yourself in a spooky game!

There are tons of great horror games out there to keep you up through the night, but I have compiled a list of five truly terrifying games that are bound to delight the most seasoned horror fan! Each title brings on a different type of scare from psychological thrillers to ghouls and ghosts, you’re bound to find a game that appeals to your unique appetite.

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[OWLS “Fantasy” Blog Tour] Otome Games: Choose Your Fantasy

It’s time for another OWLS Blog Tour, most of you were directed here after reading Takuto’s lovely post about Sword Art Online Alicization and if you haven’t read his post I definitely recommend giving it a read!! If you stumbled upon this post by chance, welcome to Blerdy Otome! The end of the year is fast approaching and we’ve hit our 10th Blog Tour of 2019. For those of you just joining the party, OWLS is 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.

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For the month of October our topic is “Fantasy” I decided to discuss otome games (again) and how they portray romance. The appeal of otome games comes not from depicting realistic romance, but from the fantasy of what we wish romance could be.

In the month of October, we will be exploring the world of fantasy in pop culture. The genre of fantasy focuses on telling stories about our external and internal environments. There are many ways we can interpret the word fantasy. For example, we can talk about how a fantastical place could glorify what reality should be, or the dangers of ideal expectations. Fantasy could also be seen as taking a “wild journey” or a “hallucination,” and how that can affect our psyche and well-being. Additionally, fantasy can focus on our personal dreams and expectations, and how those expectations do not align with our reality. Overall, our posts will reflect on how we view the fantasy genre and what we can learn about these pop culture mediums.

– October 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

I’ll reference a few otome games in this post, but there shouldn’t be any spoilers since I intend to focus primarily on the concept of otome games rather than a rundown of a specific title.

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Webtoons I’d Love To See Get An Animated Series

Earlier this month Crunchyroll announced that they’d be partnering up with digital  comic publisher Webtoon to develop exclusive animated content based on Webtoon’s extensive collection of webcomics. This is huge! There are a tone of webcomic producers out there, but Webtoon offers a wide range of titles from a ton of different genres from romance to action to horror, there is sure to be a comic there that will appeal to anyone. Some of my favorite webcomics are available through the Webtoon app and the partnership with Crunchyroll means that I might get the chance to see the characters and stories I loved in comic form brought to life on the screen!!

I mean there are so many to choose from and with such a huge large selection of titles to choose from. So far Crunchyroll and Webtoon have been hush hush about which titles will be getting the animated treatment. So this got me thinking, about which Webtoon comics I’d want to see animated. With so many great series I compiled a list of the 10 Webtoon I’d love to see get an animated series through the Crunchyroll/Webtoon partnership!!

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Romance to Die For: Five Romance VNs to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

It’s that time of year again! October marks the beginning of Halloween season, the time of year when we celebrate all things spooky. From ghosts and goblins to gothic horror and all things macabre, there are 31 days of spooky good fun ahead of us! I absolutely love the horror genre, so this is the month when I’m really in my element and I really like to do it big here on Blerdy OtomeSo, for the entire month of October I will put out a series of horror themed posts and content to get you in the mood for Halloween! Kicking things off is a list of five horror themed romance visual novels!

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Back to School: 10 School Romance Otome Games

September 23rd marks the first day of Fall, and despite the heatwave we’re having, I  can’t help but be a little nostalgic. For most, the season marks the start of the new school year and many have already started making the daily trek back to the classroom. Everyone has at least one or two fond memories of their school years from late night study sessions in the library to hanging out with friends in the halls to after school clubs and activities.

It’s one of those universal experiences, so it’s no wonder school settings are so popular in our media. School romances are especially popular topics in otome games, from sweet first crushes to the angsty drama filled romances, otome games give you the chance to explore all your school romance fantasies. So, today, I wanted to dive into 10 school romance otome games, that’ll give you some nostalgia for our bygone school days… or maybe even give you the chance to live out your wildest school fantasies…


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OWLS “Lovers” Blog Tour – A Natural Otome Romance: Enomoto and Ichika in ‘Collar x Malice’

Hey Hey Owlets!! It’s been awhile since I participated in an OWLS Blog Tour and chances are you were directed here by Carla over at Pop Culture Literary and her amazing post about how fan culture influences how we view relationships. If you haven’t already given her post a read, I highly recommend giving it a once over!

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For those of you that are here by chance, I’m the next in a long line of bloggers, vloggers, and content creators participating in the September 2019 OWLS Blog Tour! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re 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. 

Last month during our Believe Blog Tour we celebrated the great works from acclaimed animation studio Kyoto Animation as a way to show our love for the studio in the wake of the heartbreaking tragedy back in July. This month, we’re continuing to spread the love with our Lover Blog Tour.

When it comes to romantic relationships, what do we look for in a partner? What core values do we seek when it comes to building a healthy and loving relationship? For this topic, we will be discussing some of our favorite couples in pop culture and what they have taught us about love and relationships, the good and the bad.

September 2019 Lover Blog Tour Prompt

Love is a topic we’ve talked about quite a few time during our past OWLS Blog Tours, but I still had a hard time choosing a topic for this month’s tour. OWLS members before me put their own spin on the topic, and since most of my posts are related to games, I figured it would only be fitting if I talked about otome games. I mean, the main goal of otome games is to successfully romance one of several male love interests, each with their own “unique” personalities. Otome games, like most visual novels give gamers a chance to craft their own fantasy romance experience, for better or for worse. Though some criticize otome games for their unrealistic depictions of love and romantic relationships, I think there is a lot we can learn from otome games about love. So for this month’s tour I wanted to talk about one of my favorite otome couples and why they work.

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #34

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!
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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!!

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20 Years of Romance: My Top 10 Favorite Voltage Inc Games

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Voltage Inc, the Japanese developer behind the popular Otome Romance line of mobile otome games. There have been many ups and downs over the years and some questionable choices by the company, but despite that, Voltage remains one of the leading producers of mobile otome games content.

Voltage was my first introduction into the wonderful world of Japanese otome and over five years later I still find myself going back their games again and again. There is something special about the characters and stories they create, each one with a charm all their own. They’ve since moved all their standalone apps to their Love 365: Find Your Story platform app, and they’re still releasing new titles. They’ve even ported two of their most popular games, Enchanted in the Moonlight and Star Crossed Myth to the Nintendo Switch and this is only the beginning…

So to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Voltage Inc. I wanted to go through their current line up of games and list out my 10 favorite Voltage Inc. Otome Romance titles. There are over 50 titles available in English, and more on the way… so, you can bet this it was hard to narrow it down to just ten. With 20 years of games to shift through, these are my favorite Voltage Inc. games!

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Five Totally Out There Dating Sims You Have to See to Believe

In the wake of KFC’s I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator announcement the internet is abuzz with delight at the prospect of dating the fast food chain’s chicken loving mascot. The concept is the brain child of UK based studio Psyop, and promises a unique gaming experience full of cooking battles, delicious finger lickin’ chicken recipes, and of course the chance to romance the Colonel himself.

While most of the internet is eagerly awaiting the latest parody dating sim, some in the otome community are worried the upcoming game will do more harm than good to an already niche genre. I’m always down for a good laugh, so I’ll probably check I Love You, Colonel Sanders! out when it’s released on September 24th on Steam.

However, this isn’t the first dating sim parody game (and it most likely won’t be the last). There are quite a few dating sims out there that are sure to have a few people scratching their heads, so of course I did what any sane person would do and compiled a few of them into a list… Your welcome.


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #33

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!
pennies gif.gif

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! I’ve kind of been on a detective kick, so all of this week’s picks are along those lines… Now that that’s out of the way lets get on to this week’s list!!

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My 10 Favorite Megane Otome Guys

Megane (noun):

is the Japanese word for eyeglasses. Typically used to describe an attractive character with glasses.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no secret that I love megane men. I go out of my way to celebrate the beauty of these bespectacled hotties at least once a week if not more. There is just something about a hot guy in glasses that really makes my fangirl heart flutter… and there are so many meganes to love:

Sweet and shy megane that are quick to bush….A studious megane senpai to study with… A sharply dressed sophisticated megane with a playful smirk… Then there’s the stoic and cool megane who always keeps his head in stressful situations… and of course who could forget that sinister glasses glare…

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My love of megane has been tested in the past, but still I remain firm about my love of bespectacled men! But, I came to the startling realization that the last time I dedicated a post to megane characters was back in 2017! That just won’t do! So, I decided now was the time to write a list of my 10 favorite megane otome guys, because who doesn’t need some hot megane bishies in their lives?

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #32

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!
pennies gif.gif

 

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!!

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Four Webcomics Full of Black Girl Magic!

It’s Melanin Monday and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the week then with a little Black Girl MAGIC! I am a huge fan of indie webcomics and I’m always on the lookout for new ones to dive into, whether they be LGBT friendly romances, sci-fi epics, or slice-of-life, I read them all. But what I love most about webcomics, is how diverse they are, not just in the types of stories they tell, but in the types of characters they feature. I’ve always noticed that indie works tend to feature more characters of color in prominent roles, and while mainstream media isn’t far behind in the diversity department there is just something organic about indie works. Mostly because the authors themselves are people of color, so there is an added level of relatability that only comes from someone telling their own story. While I admit to reading a lot of BL themed webcomics (like A LOT), I also gravitate towards comics that feature strong female characters and of course women of color.

We’re living in a post #BlackGirlMagic world and it is important to celebrate media that doesn’t just include women of color for the sake of “diversity”, but instead creates narratives that allow them to thrive! So I came up with a list of webcomics I found that are full of positive Black Girl energy!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #31

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!
pennies gif.gif

 

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!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #31”

5 Games Like Collar x Malice

I know it’s been a while since the last 5 Games Like… post, but I wanted to get through Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly and Collar x Malice just in case one of them won the poll. And wouldn’t you know it, Collar x Malice swept the Twitter poll! Thanks to everyone that participated and for those of you that missed out, check out my twitter for the next poll.

 

The last time I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like Steam Prison and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 otome games like Collar x Malice. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Collar x Malice is a detective mystery otome game that was published in Japan by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand of games in 2016. The following year in 2017, Aksys Games released an English language localization of the game for the PS Vita. Collar x Malice follows a rookie police officer who is unwittingly drawn into a series of gruesome crimes when she is kidnapped and collared by the terrorist organization, Adonis. It’s a race against the clock and failure isn’t an option, with her life on the line and the fate of the city hanging in the balance, Ichika must team up with a group five strangers, some of which are former police officers, in order to uncover the truth behind the X-Day Incidents and Adonis.

Unlike most otome games that focus more on romance, Collar x Malice offers a more story driven narrative that’s more in line with a suspense thriller or an investigative adventure game. This is my favorite otome localization so far, and you can bet I’ll be getting Collar x Malice: Unlimited when it comes out next year. But, in the meantime if you’re like me and you’re looking for games similar to Collar x Malice, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Collar x Malice and not so much a play by play clone of the game. So, they’re not exactly the same, but, they definitely capture the spirit of the game.

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Episodic Otome Games and Visual Novels You Totally Should Be Playing

Happy Monday!! What better way to kick of the week than with some game recommendations?!

Despite my aversion to cliffhangers and my love/hate relationship with ongoing series, I’ve really been getting into episodic games lately… There really is something to be said for playing a game at your leisure, with new episodes released every few weeks (or months). It gives you something to do between game releases or while your procrastinating on a project without losing hours of your life… It’s like a gaming snack rather than a whole meal and with my crazy schedule, episodic games offer the perfect fix for when I’m craving some gaming time, without the a long gameplay commitment.

So, I compiled a list of some of my favorite episodic games, from life sims, to puzzle games, to visual novels, and more! These are the 8 episodic otome games and visual novels you should totally be playing!!


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The Best Otome Games to Play in English

I’ve been hesitant to write a best otome games list, since they tend to get outdated fairly easily, and with the influx in new otome releases in the west the chances of that happening are pretty high. At Anime Expo 2019, Aksys Games announced quite a few otome game releases between now and 2020, and that’s just one company. Not to mention all the mobile game releases we get each month (sometimes weekly)… But, even with that said there are some game titles that are universally liked by members of the otome community and those that most agree suck.

I tend to be a bit behind the rest of the otome community, since I take my sweet time getting around to playing new game titles, but I’ve been making good progress and I wanted to go ahead and throw in my two cents. So, I broke down and compiled a list of what I consider to be the best otome games available in English…

This is solely for English localizations of Japanese otome games, so there won’t be any OELVNs or English Otome Games on this list. If you guys want that list, I might do one later on down the line (though, it’ll be hard to narrow down that particular list).

So, without further ado, here’s my list of the best otome games available in English… to date!


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #30

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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

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Wanna Chat With Other Otome Fans? Here Are Some Places You Should Check Out

This post is in response to a lot of things, but recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of otome fans lamenting that they don’t have people IRL that they can talk to about their hobbies. Which I can kind of relate to. I have friends that are into Japanese culture, anime, manga, comics, and other nerdy media, but none of them seem to be interested in otome games. Sure, I’ve convinced one or two to play a game on my laptop when we’ve hung out, but they don’t really play them on their own. And my bestie, bless her has sat by and listened to countless hours of my rampant fangirling about my newest otome crush.

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But, aside from that, I don’t really have any IRL otome friends. In fact, I’ve met all of my really good otome buddies online, but with that said most of my online friends are more into anime than they are otome games (though, I have managed to convert a few). So, it got me thinking, where exactly do all the cool otome fans hang out? I mean, we are living in a “social media” age, so there are plenty of ways to connect with people that have similar interests as you. But, it can be a bit intimidating when you first start out, especially since most communities are fairly well established. So, I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of places I lurk check out when I want to chat it up with my fellow otome fans online…

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5 Otome Games I Just Can’t Seem To Finish

I’m a collector of sorts… Okay, I’m more of a hoarder… I tend to buy games faster than I can play them, so the vast majority of them wind up sitting in my backlog for months if not years collecting dust. I’m not exactly proud of this, but I suppose I can never truly complain that I don’t have any games to play… However, there are some games in my backlog that will most likely never see the light of day again, because I just can’t bring myself to play them again.

There are just some games I can’t finish. I’ve been playing otome games for a long time now, so I more or less know which games I’ll like and which ones I won’t. But, there are times when I come across a game that I just can’t seem to see through to the end. Weeks… Months… Years of failed attempts and forgotten save files… Every so often I’ll load up my old save files and try to give these neglected games another go, but all my attempts end the same way; with the games back in the box and safely tucked back into the ol’ backlog. I’m ashamed to admit that there are actually some really popular games on this list too….


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #29

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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

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Melanin Friendly Otome Games & Visual Novels

I’ve written about the importance of representation in media quite a few times in the past, I even have a post series dedicated to talking about inclusion and diversity in nerd culture. Most recently, I wrote a post about diversity (or the lack there of) in otome games and after penning the post an indie developer friend of mine reached out to me about the topic. We had an awesome discussion about the depiction of people of color in visual novels and the importance of wholesome representation. She even gave me some insight into the difficulties some content creators have when crafting characters of color in their games, a perspective I hadn’t considered. I’ve seen quite a few polls and surveys floating around about the content of western otome games and visual novels, many of which have sections dedicated to gauging player interests in diverse characters.

I love that there is an open dialogue about diversity in games, especially in romance themed games since there is a noticeable disparity in the number of otome games that feature black and brown characters in major roles. However, I’ve heard through the grapevine that there are a handful of developers that have been saying that they don’t include darker skinned characters in their games because they “look bad” or aren’t as attractive as non black and brown characters. Some people have stated that it’s harder to create characters with darker complexions using the anime art style common in otome games… and hearing that is really heartbreaking. On some level, I feel like this is just a carryover of colorism, and the notion that dark skinned individuals are not as attractive as lighter skinned individuals (which is not the case at all). But, on other levels, it’s less an issue with darker characters looking bad and more a case of an artist needing more experience depicting characters of color.

There is a demand for more diverse games, heck, this past weekend someone used the search term ‘otome games black girl friendly’ to get to my site and I’m gonna be honest with you guys, it made my whole weekend! As more people start playing otome games (and romance visual novels) the demand for more inclusive characters and narratives will only rise and those who stay stuck in their ways are really limiting themselves. So, for the person that searched for black girl friendly otome games and for the folks that think “darker characters look bad” here are a few Melanin Friendly Otome Games and Visual Novels!!

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #28

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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

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Fangirl Moment: Wistful Summer (Webcomic)

TGIF!! This has been a long time coming, but I’m finally bringing back Fangirl Friday!! I’ve been slowly getting back into my blogging stride and I’m going to be honest, these are my favorite posts to write since I’m really just fangirling about random stuff I’ve come across be they movies, webcomics, anime, books, dramas… I even wrote one about Barack Obama. So, this is one segment I’m excited to bring back from the dead! Since this is the first post in a while, I wanted to make this one really special, so I decided to go with something that combines two of my loves: Boys Love and Webcomics… Don’t believe me? See for yourself, most of my previous Fangirl Moment posts are either BL related, Webcomics, or BL Webcomics… I have my vices and BL is at the top of the list most days.

Wistful Summer.jpeg

So, for this week’s post I wanted to cover MunZi’s ongoing BL webcomic Wistful Summer. It’s a drama filled comic about a guy who spent most of his life crushing on his best friend, but just when he starts to get over his crush a handsome stranger appears. Things only get more complicated when the best friend divorces his wife and starts hinting that maybe he’s been harboring some unrequited feelings of his own… O_O

First. First lie, first kiss, first love. When Henry and Sam first met that summer long ago, Henry learned the power of first love. But…time goes on, people part, summer ends and so too did their blink of a relationship. All but a distant memory now, when Henry and Sam gradually become close again, Henry finds himself feeling those fiery emotions for the first time since that wistful summer.

-Synopsis

The comic was first published online in 2018 by Kakao, a Korean webcomic site, but you can read the comic in English over on Tapas. This is a paid release, but you can read the first couple of chapters for free. In order to read the non-free chapters you’ll need to use Ink, which is just Tapas’s internal currency. Tapas also has weekly free episode rotations, so if you plan accordingly, you can read the whole thing for free. I am not that patient, so I broke down and bought enough Ink to binge the available chapters… and it was worth every damn penny! 

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OWLS June “Vulnerable” Blog Tour – Inspiring Hope and Strength in Others: Making a Case for the Vulnerability of Otome Heroines 

Hey Hey Owlets!! As many of you guys know I’m a member of the blogging group OWLS (Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect). We’re 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. 

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Last month during our Happiness Blog Tour we looked at the things in our lives that bring us joy, from our hobbies to families and friend, and everything in between. This month we’re redefining our weaknesses in the  June Vulnerable Blog Tour!

In the month of June, we will be discussing what it means to be vulnerable. To some individuals, being vulnerable could be seen as a sign of weakness, but in fact, vulnerability is actually a sign of strength. In this month’s posts, we will explore what it means to be vulnerable and how certain characters in pop culture glamorize vulnerability. When do we show our vulnerability? How do we express vulnerability? Why should we show vulnerability? These are questions that we will be discussing in our posts featuring characters that show vulnerability and/or sensitivity and what we can learn from them or even our own personal stories. 

June 2019 Vulnerable Blog Tour Prompt

I thought long and hard about what I’d write about for this month’s tour. Since this is an otome games blog, I figured I’d go with something related to that rather than the usual anime and manga topics I usually pick. Otome heroines get a pretty bad rap since they are typically seen as self insert characters with little to no agency within the context of their respective games. But, there has been a shift in recent years towards more self sufficient heroine characters, especially in English otome games where protagonists tend to have a more well defined personalities and motivations. Though, generally speaking heroines are still arguably the weakest characters despite having the most important role in otome games. So, I wanted to look at the roles otome heroines play in otome game narratives through the lens of the heroine, Ichika Hoshino in the otome game Collar x Malice.  

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5 Otome Games Like Steam Prison

In an effort to give you guys more of an active role on the content on this blog, I’ll run polls for certain posts. A few weeks ago I gave you guys the chance to vote on the game for this week’s post. You guys got to choose from four games (Steam Prison, Bad Apple Wars, 7’scarlet, and OZMAFIA) and 33% of you guys picked Steam Prison

 

In the last post I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 otome games like Steam Prison. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Steam Prison is a steampunk otome game developed by HuneX. This is the second English language otome localization from video game publisher, MangaGamer. Steam Prison follows Cyrus Tistella, a young woman from a well to do family, who is accused of murdering her parents. As a result she finds herself stripped of her titles and taken from her comfortable life in the affluent Heights and sent to the underground prison known only as the Depths, where the worst criminals are sent to atone for their crimes. With life as she knows it changed for ever, Cyrus must learn to navigate this new hostile environment, where every day is a struggle for survival. While Steam Prison is an otome, it does deal with some complex themes that add a bit of realism to the game’s fantasy setting. Delve into the complex relationship between those living in the Depths and those living in the Heights, as you interact with various characters and explore unique locales.

So, if you’re like me and you’re looking for games similar to Steam Prison, here are five game titles that are sure to hit the spot! I tried to go with games that have the same feel as Steam Prison and not so much a play by play clone of the game. So, they’re not exactly the same, but, they definitely capture the spirit of Steam Prison. 


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[Pride Month 2019] 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs,  LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community!! Last year I celebrated with a list of 10 LGBTQ positive visual novels, I highly recommend giving that list a read, there are some seriously great titles there that definitely warrant a look. Because it’s June once again, I wanted to compile another list with even more LGBTQ positive VNs!

Representation matters, so I did my best to come up with a list of games that gave a positive look at members of the LGBTQ community, whether that meant shedding light on an often overlooked group of people or offering a positive portrayal of members of the LGBTQ community. Like last year, I will include links to each of the games and I’ll even spotlight which aspects of the LGBTQ community is referenced. As always, this is not an end all list, there are plenty of great games out there, so if you have some suggestions definitely feel free to drop them down in the comments section!

So, without further ado, here are 10 More LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels that you should totally check out this Pride Month!


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #27

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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

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Otome Games I Wish Had an Anime Adaptation

On the heels of the Collar X Malice Unlimited fandisk announcement, Idea Factory and Otomate revealed through their twitter account that Collar X Malice is also getting an anime adaptation in the near future. This is not the first otome game to get an anime adaptation, with Hakuoki, Amnesia Memories, OZMAFIA, and Code Realize to name a few all getting the anime treatment.

For those of you not familiar with Collar X Malice, it’s a mystery, suspense, thriller otome game originally developed by Idea Factory under their Otomate brand in 2016 for PS Vita. The game was later localized by Aksys Games in 2017 for an English language release. The game follows Ichika Hoshino a young police officer in Shinjuku, Tokyo after she becomes the unwitting victim of a mysterious terrorist organization that have been terrorizing the city with several large scale attacks. Ichika is captured by the organization and fitted with a collar set to dispense poison into her neck unless she uncovers the truth behind the attacks. With her life on the line and the fate of the city hanging in the balance, Ichika is approached by five mysterious strangers who offer to help her get to the bottom of the crimes and hopefully save the people of Shinjuku and herself in the process.

The premise alone has everything you need for a great story; action, suspense, mystery, romance… I can’t wait to see what the anime has in store for us (and I sincerely hope they do the story justice). But, that got me thinking, what other otome games would I like to see get an anime adaptation? I mean, really, everyone assumes that otome games are just a lot of romance and that’s it. But, the truth is, otome games have some of the best stories that cover a wide range of subjects and genres that would make for amazing anime series. So, I wracked my brain a bit and came up with a list of otome games I think really deserve to have an anime adaptation.


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5 Otome Games Like London Detective Mysteria

I ran a poll over on Twitter asking for help choosing a game for a post and SURPRISE, this is it! You guys got to choose between two game titles, Bad Apple Wars and London Detective Mysteria and 60% of you guys picked the latter. Thanks to everyone who participated!!

Last week I wrote a list of 5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki and this week I’m bringing you guys a list of 5 games like London Detective Mysteria. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, London Detective Mysteria is a Victorian-era otome game developed by Karin Entertainment and the first localized otome game title from XSeed. Originally published as Eikoku Tantei Mysteria: The CrownLondon Detective Mysteria follows Lady Emily Whiteley, heir to House Whiteley, upon her debut into high society, she receives a letter from the Queen of England inviting her to attend a famous detective finishing school, Harrington Academy. Explore London and investigate a series of mysteries, while interacting with characters inspired by famous historical and fictional figures, like, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, master thief Jean Lupin and more…

So, if you’ve finished London Detective Mysteria and are looking for something to satisfy your inner super sleuth, I have five games just for you. Each of these games captures a little bit of the magic of London Detective Mysteria whether you’re solving cases or romancing hot ikemen versions of historical figures, these titles are a must play.

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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #26

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, 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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #26”

5 Otome Games Like Hakuoki

The Hakuoki franchise is one of the most successful otome game series, spanning several main series games, spin-offs, a 2010 Studio Deen anime series, manga, and two films. Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossoms was one of my first introductions to the world of “mainstream” otome games, and with Idea Factory cranking out a new game every few years there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The most recent English localizations being Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms. 

If you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, Hakuoki is the name of a historical romance otome game series that takes place in the Bakumatsu Era ( final years of the Edo period when the Tokugawa shogunate ended) and follows the members of the special police force known as the Shinsengumi. Since I absolutely suck at history, I’ll just leave a link to the Shinsengumi wiki, here. Like you’d expect from an otome game, you get to romance the members of the Shinsengumi while helping them defend the shogunate. There’s more historical details, but, the long and short of it is you get to romance hot swordsmen.

The Hakuoki franchise remains one of my favorite otome game series, I mean come on good looking swordsmen, battles, historical references!! But, after finishing Edo Blossoms there was this void left that I absolutely needed to fill, so I compiled a list of five otome games like Hakuoki. Each of these games either A) focuses on the Shinsengumi or B) is set in the Bakumatsu Period. So, for those of you wishing for more time with Hijikata, Saito, Okita, and the rest of the Shinsengumi crew, look no further, I’ve done all the hard work for you!!

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OWLS May “Happiness” Blog Tour: Finding Happiness in the Little Things

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s May and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Masculinity Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our May Happiness Blog Tour! If you haven’t already be sure to check out Karandi’s and Jack’s posts from earlier this monthon their blogs!

Happiness is subjective. We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us and we also feel happiness in varying degrees. This month we will be exploring several questions describing our happiness in our fandoms, communities, and hobbies. Why do we find enjoyment watching anime or reading manga? Why did we decide to join the anime or pop culture communities?  Why do we blog about our hobbies or cosplay as our favorite characters? This topic is all about the passions we have for our interests and why they are important to us.

May 2019 Happiness Blog Tour Prompt

I was unsure of how I was going to tackle this month’s blog tour topic, like the prompt states, ‘happiness’ is a subjective concept that takes on different meanings for each person. For some, happiness is being surrounded by friends and family, while for others happiness is the solitude of a quiet nook with warm blankets and a good book. But, what does happiness mean to me? If you ask me one day it’s successfully completing a crochet project or getting a new blazer. Other days, happiness is being able to pay my rent on time or just having a seat on a train.

So, rather than doing my usual OWLS post, I wanted to talk about three moments of happiness I’ve experienced this year.

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[Melanin Monday] Why Blackface in Cosplay is NOT Okay

With con season in full swing in most places, anime fans across the country are gearing up for weekends full of otaku fellowship. But, for many one of the highlights of any con are the cosplayers, who dedicate months, sometimes years into carefully crafting their costumes and props in order to pay homage to the media and characters they love.

Cosplay 

noun

A portmanteau of the words ‘costume play’, is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially characters from Japanese media.

Amateurs and professionals alike flock to these otaku meccas in hopes of showing off their hard work, strutting their stuff among the throngs of anime fans eager to share in their love of Japanese culture. Cosplay is a way for fans to express their creativity while also showing their appreciation for the media they love. Some cosplayers strive for accuracy, with carefully constructed costumes that perfectly capture the original source material, while others let their imaginations fly with unique alternative takes on popular characters.


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25

 

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, 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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #25”

[Melanin Monday] Diversity in Otome Games

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it! This week, I’m looking at diversity in otome games!

Otome games promise a player driven gaming experience, giving players the opportunity to romance a diverse group of characters. But, really how diverse are otome games? Sure they feature characters from a wide range of character archetypes, but when it comes to their appearance, they all seem to fall into the same generic bishounen category. What’s more, mainstream otome games tend to have a distinct lack of racial diversity among their romance options. Western otome games have been more successful at integrating more diverse romance options in their games, with characters from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicity, but, Japanese otome games are much more restrictive in the types of romance options they offer. But, given that otome games are created with a Japanese audience in mind, this is not wholly unexpected.

However, with an increasing number of Western gamers playing otome games, this lack of diversity could alienate individuals looking for games featuring characters that share similar characteristics to themselves. In recent years, Western otome games and Original English Language Visual Novels (OELVNs) have stepped up to provide a solution by offering games with more diverse romance options that are more reflective of their target audiences. As a woman of color, I appreciate the efforts of Western developers to incorporate diverse characters into their narratives, because it creates an opportunity for representation that may have otherwise not existed.

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[OWLS Blog Tour] Real Men Spread Love: Masculinity in Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s April and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Feminine Blog Tour we looked at the meaning of the term while also celebrating the amazing accomplishments of women. This month we’re looking at the other end of the spectrum with our April Masculinity Blog Tour!

Last month, we explored the meanings behind the terms, “feminine” and “feminism.” This month the OWLS bloggers will explore the concept of masculinity. We each have our own definition of what it means to be masculine and we will explore our definitions using “masculine” characters from various pop culture fandoms. We will discuss how these characters are “masculine” or show signs of a masculine persona. We will also share our personal stories about the amazing men that supported us in our lives as well as sharing some of our experiences growing up as a man or knowing men who struggled with the masculine identity.

April 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

Websters defines masculinity as ‘having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man’, but what does it mean to be “a man”? Is it physical strength? Fortitude? Having the anatomy of a man? With shifting gender norms, it’s difficult to ascribe a one size fits all definition to terms like masculinity and femininity, because there is no singular way to embody these terms. Roles that were traditionally held exclusively by men are now being taken up by women and visa versa. There simply isn’t a case for traditional masculinity or femininity in today’s evolving world, because what it means to be a man or a woman has changed. But, as a society we still adhere to a ridged gender coded system. Items associated with women and girls tend to have a pink, purple, or pastel color scheme, while items intended for men and boys tend to favor a darker color pallet. We have been conditioned to see associate masculinity with dominance, power, and strength, and femininity with beauty, grace, and poise.

The same exists in anime, shounen series like My Hero Academia, Black Clover, and Dragonball Z, with their action heavy storylines and characters, focus on more “masculine” topics, like overcoming adversity or proving one’s worth (usually through brute strength). Relationships are forged through combat or intense training, and feelings when featured are merely used to bolster a character’s drive to complete some predetermined goal. Shounen anime tend to focus on a character (or group of characters) striving to be the best at whatever it is they do, either through brute strength, dogged determination, or just plain old dumb luck. On the other side of things, you have shojo anime which tends to focus on more traditionally “feminine” topics, like romance and friendship. There usually isn’t a predetermined goal or even a “bad guy”, with the majority of these stories tackling more internal conflicts like self-doubt, finding love, or fostering relationships (romantic/platonic) with others.

But, even within these clearly gender specific genres, there is some crossover. There are plenty of shounen anime that focus on romance and dealing with more internal personal conflicts, just like there are shoujo anime that feature action and adventure storylines. These series challenge the status quo, giving us more relatable stories that speak to who we are as individuals and not so much what we are expected to be. So for this month’s Blog Tour, I went with a series that subverts the idea of masculinity, by parodying a traditionally ‘feminine’ magical girl anime genre. This time around, I’m looking at the magical boy anime, Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! and how despite it’s adherence to traditional magical girl anime tropes and overtly “feminine” themes, helps define a “new” masculine ideal.


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Melanin Monday: Black Folks Killin’ It in the Oscars

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it!

So, in this week’s Melanin Monday post, I wanted to talk about the Oscars… Yeah, I know, I’m not the only one talking about the Oscars, everybody is talking about the Oscars right now. But, after not one but two Black-led superhero films managed to not only snag quite a few Oscar nominations, but, also WIN awards… well, let’s just say that is grounds for celebration. But, that wasn’t all, the 2019 Oscars was a triumph for women and people of color as well, with films like Roma and BlackKklansman snagging quite a few awards last night.


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[OWLS Blog Tour] If I Can’t Have You No One Will – A Yandere’s Obsession

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s February and with it comes another OWLS Blog Tour! Last month during our Metamorphosis Blog Tour we looked at the many transformations characters have gone through for better or for worse. This month we’re celebrating love and romance with our February Adore Blog Tour!

In February, we will be exploring love and romance. The word selected is “adore” because it has two main connotations: to be loved and respected or to feel worshiped. We will analyze characters that give us a feeling of admiration and explain why we love those characters. We will also be exploring different forms of love (familial, friendship, and even self-love) and how those types of love influence our lives.

February 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

Love comes in many shapes and forms, but, in February, we tend to focus on the sweet rose colored, hearts and candy side of romantic love. Rather than focusing on romance and love in the traditional sense, I decided to take a crack at the darker side of love. What happens when love gets twisted into obsession? For this month’s Blog Tour, I’m going to be looking at obsessive love, the point where love becomes an oppressive compulsion that consumes the lover and the object of their affection.

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[OWLS Blog Tour] Live Fast, Die Young: The Limitations of Change in Banana Fish

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s January a time of new beginnings, change and of course a brand new year of OWLS Blog Tours. I’ve been through quite a few transitions in the past year, some good, some not so great, but, each one paved the way for some much needed growth. I’m not the same blogger I was when I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, I’ve learned and grown through my experiences, so when I saw this month’s blog tour I just knew that I had to kick myself into gear and whip something good up.

A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become.

January 2019 Blog Tour Prompt

metamorphosis, unlike change is more finite, it has a set beginning and end, where as change is an ongoing process. Change is the culmination of each and every one of our experiences, it’s how we adapt and grow from the person we were yesterday into the person we will become in the future. But, there is no limitation on change, however, that isn’t the case with a metamorphosis, when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly there is a very distinct limit on what it can and will become. There isn’t the same fluidity you find with change, since once you move from point A to point B there is no going back. There is an inevitability to a metamorphosis that to me makes it a bit more bittersweet and tragic. So, with that in mind, I decided to write about Ash Lynx aka Aslan Callenresse from Banana FishThis isn’t the first time I’ve written about this series and trust me, it won’t be the last, but there is something wonderfully tragic about Ash’s transitions throughout the series that both the anime and the manga capture beautifully.

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[OWLS Blog Tour] We All Live in a Pokemon World: An Ode to Pokemon III

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, its been awhile since I participated in one of these OWLS Blog Tours. But, when I read the prompt for this month’s tour, I just knew I had to participate.

Here at OWLS, we are pretty thankful that we are able to come together as a community and share a love and appreciation for anime and manga. This month we will be showcasing our appreciation by giving a shout out post to our favorite manga artists, creators, production companies, and writers who produced some of our favorite works. We will be discussing our favorite works by these creators and our reasons as to why we appreciate them.

November 2018 Blog Tour Prompt

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, each and every member of the OWLS team has been sharing things they are thankful for; from content creators to specific series to personal stories, each member has taken this month’s topic and made it their own. Just before me, Flow wrote about two visual novels that left a huge impact on their life, so check that out if you haven’t already! Next on the 28th is Scott, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that soon!

For my post, I’m going to write about a topic I have written about at length several times before, but is no less important to me… Pokemon!

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I have been in love with the world of Pokemon since I was eleven years old when I received my first ever Pokemon game, Pokemon Crystal Versionmaybe even before that, since I have fond memories of watching the Pokemon anime on Kids WB when I was a kid… I never missed an episode, I was enamored with Ash’s Pokemon journey and the adventures he had each week with Misty, Brock, and his best friend Pikachu. I remember wishing I too could embark on my own Pokemon Journey one day, a dream I fear I have never quite given up hope of making a reality.

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Five Spooky Horror Visual Novels to Keep You Up At Night

Happy Halloween!! It’s that special time of year where folks can really let their hair down and get into a little mischief! Or, you know, get a ton of free candy from strangers…  Who doesn’t like free candy?

For those of you that don’t know, I am a huge fan of all things horror, from slow building Gothic horror to heart pounding psychological thrillers to campy monster flicks, I love them all! So you can bet I am really getting into the spirit of the season with a month long celebration of all things creepy. All month, I’ve been bringing you guys lots of fun Halloween themed posts and reviews to get you in the mood for some good old fashioned scares!

I’ve already covered 13 simply terrifying horror manga to keep you up at night as well as a five step guide on how to survive a Junji Ito horror story, but for Halloween, I have something really special for you: A list of five super spooky horror VNs that are bound to give goosebumps!


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How To Survive Junji Ito Horror in Five Easy Steps!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s October and here on Nice Job Beraking It, Hero we’re taking a trip into the depths with a month full of Halloween themed posts. And what better way to celebrate Halloween Month than with the Master of Horror, Junji Ito! He is one of my favorite horror mangaka, crafting some of the best horror manga out there, his works range from quirky black comedies to full on nightmare fuel, and I cannot recommend him enough if you’re looking for something deeply unsettling to read. He has a way of making the mundane terrifying, with his surreal stories and unique characters, you can’t help but get drawn into his tangled web of terror!

While rereading a few of his oneshots, I got to thinking what would I do if I found myself the unwitting victim of one of his many horrors. Hell, most of his stories either end in tragedy, death, or in the off chance he’s in a good mood, bittersweet. There really is no getting away scott free in a Junji Ito story, so I did the next best thing and crafted a list of tips that will at the very least keep you from dying a gruesome painful death… If you’re looking for something slightly more optimistic, check out How To Woo and Otome Guy in 5 Easy Stepsfor everyone else, here are five helpful tips that are sure to give you a fighting chance against, Junji Ito’s classic horrors.


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #24

 

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, 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!

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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!!

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13 Horror Manga To Keep You Up At Night

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! It’s October, and here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero I’m kicking off the spookiest month of the year with a bunch of horror themed content. It’ll be a month long celebration of all things horror, with horror themed game reviews, lists, and some of course a few very special posts dedicated to one of my favorite horror mangaka, Junji Ito!! Because you simply can’t Google ‘horror manga’ without at least stumbling upon one or two of his iconic works. But, as much as I love Ito and his works, we can’t deny that there are so many other great creepy manga reads that are just as chilling, if not more so than anything the “Master of Horror” has cooked up.

So what better way to start off our journey into terror than by checking out 13 absolutely horrifying manga titles that are guaranteed to have you sleeping with the lights on! From horror anthologies to standalone stories, we’re delving into the deliciously spooky world of horror manga. Each title puts its own spin on the genre, so, whether you like urban legends, psychological thrillers, or are just a fan of the macabre, you’re sure to find more than a few scary reads to add your reading lists!


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #23

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s been awhile, since the last  post (I’ll do better) But,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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #23”

Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #22

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s been awhile, but…. *drumroll* 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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

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Five Webcomics I am Totally Obsessed With…

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, I don’t know about you guys, but, it’s been a pretty hectic week on my end. Between deadlines at work, unforeseen disasters, and just plain old adulting, it’s really easy to get bogged down by… well, Life. Sometimes, you just want a bit of an escape, whether that’s kicking back with a good book or watching that Netflix series everyone’s been raving about, we all have our ways of checking out from reality (if only for a short while). I, myself dabble in quite a few extracurricular activities to get my mind off of my responsibilities, but recently, I have been obsessed with webcomics!

So, to pass the time, I figured it’d be cool to compile a list of my current favorites! Forewarning though, I’m partial to slice-of-life romances, and it wasn’t until after I wrote this list that I realized they were all romances… I guess I have a type… Also, these aren’t in any particular order, since I love them all for different reasons.


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Crocheting While Otaku: My First Craft Fair Experience Pt. 1 – Selling in Person

Hey there Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s been awhile since I wrote one of these and honestly, it’s because I’ve been trying to keep up with this season’s anime… I know shocker! But, things have finally settled down enough for me to bang out another Crocheting While Otaku post!! This time around, I’m writing about my very first craft fair!!

So, two weeks ago I participated in a small local craft fair called, Art on the Plaza, ironically enough at one of my old temp jobs. There was no table fee, which I’ve found can range anywhere from $50 – $500, depending on the size of the fair, so I figured I had nothing to lose. There were only a handful of sellers, 18 in total and I managed to rope a friend into helping me sell stuff (three days of straight crocheting between the two of us) and we managed to produce a sizeable amount of stuff for the table; she provided some baby blankets and I had a bunch of dolls and plushies I needed to unload, but, it was enough to fill the table…


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Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #21

 

Hello all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers, it’s been awhile, but…. *drumroll* 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!

shut_up_and_take_my_money

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!!

Continue reading “Thrifty Gaming: Games That Won’t Blow Your Budget #21”

Behind the Games – Interview with Angela He

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back from the dead and I am hitting the ground running, with a whole host of new content for you guys to enjoy. First up is a Q&A styled post series, Behind the Games! Between the reviews, guides, rants, and other content on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, I do a lot of the talking, so I wanted to change things up a bit and give someone else the chance to get a word in.

The long and short of it: Behind the Games is a new segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews I write, giving you guys a chance to get to know the developers that spend so much time carefully crafting the games you enjoy. For each interview I send the Devs five questions (and one random bonus question), to kind of flesh out who they are, while also getting a bit of insight into their inspirations for their games. It’s completely voluntary and meant to be a fun way to get you guys acquainted with content creators.

In addition to the interview, I’ll also include links to the various social media channels and sites (game related sites included) so that you guys can reach out to the Dev about their works. I strongly encourage you all to check out their pages and engage with them! Let them know how much you love their games, most of the folks I’ve talked to are super nice and welcome conversation!

So, now that the intros are out of the way, let’s dive in to the very first Behind the Games interviewee: Angela He aka Zephyo, the creator of the psychological thriller VN, I Woke Up Next To You Again!

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Say Hey to Angela He (aka Zephyo)!!

Angela debuted in her junior year of high school, with her first title, Suppressed (available on Steam), now, she has over 10 titles under her belt. Her thought provoking narratives and stunning visuals have captivated audiences the world over. She has a knack for telling immersive stories that stay with you long after the credits roll. Each of her stories delve into the complexities of the human psyche, keeping the reader guessing as they peel back the layers of each intricately laid plot point. She is a phenomenal VN developer and an absolute joy to talk with, so without further ado, let’s turn things over Angela…

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[OWLS Blog Tour] It Takes a Village: Four Phenomenal Anime Mentors

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Mentor!

Throughout our lives, we might have encountered someone that we admired as a role model or has guided us in some life dilemma. This mentor could be a teacher at school, a coach, a boss or team leader at work, or a family friend. Whoever it is that person impacted your life in a positive manner. For this month’s OWLS topic, we will be writing about mentors or mentorships in anime and other pop culture media. Some topics we will be exploring include how a mentorship impacted a main character’s life, the types of mentor relationships a person could have, and/or personal stories about mentors or mentorships.

July “Mentor” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was Miandro from Miandro’s Side, with his awesome post about Detroit: Become Human.

I originally planned on writing about a specific mentor/mentee relationship, but, ultimately I just couldn’t decide on a single mentor/mentorship to discuss, so, I scrapped my original idea and decided to go in a different direction. Since there really isn’t a one size fits all mentor relationship, I figured why not discuss multiple types of mentors and the benefits of their methodologies. So, I picked four anime mentors that I felt best represented each of the four core mentor archetypes (which now that I think about it seems like more work on my part).


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] It Takes a Village: Four Phenomenal Anime Mentors”

[OWLS Blog Tour] A Musician’s Pride: Finding Your Own Sound in Piano no Mori

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Pride!

In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.

June “Pride” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was  Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime, with her awesome post about Assassination Classroom.

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] A Musician’s Pride: Finding Your Own Sound in Piano no Mori”

[Pride Month 2018] 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back… well, kinda. It’s June and that means it’s LGBT Pride Monththe annual celebration dedicated to the richly diverse LGBT community. As an ally of the LGBTQ community I wanted to do something to celebrate here on Blerdy Otome, so I compiled a list of ten LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels I think you guys should check out. I tried to compile a list of games that I thought were representative of the LGBTQ community, so expect a wide range of titles with diverse characters and subject matter.

I want to emphasize that I went for games that represented the LGBTQ community in a positive light, so I shied away from titles that seemed to hypersexualize LGBTQ relationships, so don’t expect any overtly sexual BL or Yuri games on this list! As with any list, your mileage may vary, so if you don’t agree with my choices, you are more than welcome to suggest other games down in the comments section. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started, here’s my list of 10 LGBTQ Positive Visual Novels, you should definitely check out this Pride Month!

*Also be sure to check out Pride Month 2019’s list for even more LGBTQ friendly VNs!

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[Melanin Monday] So Is It Just Me or Did They Kill A Lot of Black Folks in Infinity War?!: A Rant

If you happened to stumble upon this post by accident, this will be the last spoiler warning before I start my rant… I will not apologize to anyone that knowingly reads beyond this point and gets spoiled for Infinity War, that’s on you boo.\

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So I joined droves of moviegoers in seeing one of the most anticipated superhero films to come out this year, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. Ten years of planning and 19 films have lead to this sort of final act in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved Infinity War, it had everything I could ask for in a superhero film: all the heroes (minus Hawkeye and AntMan, they got put on the bus for this one), action, suspense, witty banter, and one of the biggest emotional sucker punches so far this year. It was an almost perfect film and I applaud Marvel (read: Disney) for pulling it off, if you’d asked me back in 2004 if I thought Marvel would have the monopoly on superhero films, I’d have probably laughed in your face and bopped you on the head with my homemade wand and pulled off on the Hogwarts Express back to Harry Potter-ville.

*** Infinity War Spoilers***

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The Hero That Stole My Heart: Six Reasons Bakugo Katsuki is My Favorite Hero!

I’m not really a big fan of shounen anime, years of Naruto and Bleach kind of burned me out on the genre as a whole. But, recently I’ve found myself falling in love with shounen anime again and it’s thanks in part to My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia for you elitists out there)! I don’t know what it is about the series, but from the very first episode, this anime made me feel things. It brought back all the excitement and fun I had when I was new to the anime fandom, back when I was enamored with the shinobi in Naruto and the mamodos and bookkeepers of Zatch Bell!

My Hero Academia almost single-handedly restored my love of anime and it is for that reason I was moved to write about the series here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. But, rather than talking about the series as a whole, I’d like to shine a spotlight on my absolute favorite character: Bakugo Katsuki!

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Look at that smile! Doesn’t it just melt your heart?!

Katsuki is a character that has been very misunderstood, sure he’s a bit rough around the edges, but this hero-in-training stole my heart from the moment he was introduced! Who cares about Deku or Todoroki?! The only character I stand behind is Bakugo Katsuki, he is hands down my favorite character in the series!


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[OWLS Blog Tour] Falling in Love With My Best Friend: The Strength of Friendship in No. 6

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another super special awesome OWLS Blog Tour! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Squad!

“Although some people may like to be alone at times, we all have that one special friend or a squad of friends who we kick it and have some good laughs and fun with. However, there are friendships that don’t last a lifetime and usually, they end due to a falling out or a misunderstanding. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring some of the best friendships in anime and pop culture as well as the friendships that ended suddenly. We will talk about what a true friendship means to us, what we learned about ourselves and others through broken friendships, and our definitions of a “good friend.””

March 2018 “Squad” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was my boy Takuto from Takuto’s Anime Cafe, with his beautiful post about my favorite sports anime series Haikyuu.

Our members have really outdone themselves this month with some phenomenal personal and pop culture inspired posts! This month I decided to look at the anime series, No. 6! Nothing says Best Friends 4 Lyfe, like overthrowing a longstanding dystopian society! Amiright?!

Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] Falling in Love With My Best Friend: The Strength of Friendship in No. 6”

[International Women’s Day 2018] My Top 5 Otome Heroines!!

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s International Women’s Day! The one day out of the year when we celebrate the achievements of women throughout history… and if you ask me we should be celebrating women every day of the year and not just on March 8th, because we women are out here slaying the game everyday… all day, but, I digress. I could not let this day pass without doing something to celebrate here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero (busy schedule be damned)!

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So, to celebrate, I’m bringing you guys a list of my top five otome game heroines! Yeah, don’t let the lack of reviews fool you, I am still pretty deep in the Otome Games fandom, and I’ve noticed that otome heroines get a lot of flack from the community as a whole. In fact, we’re often quick to make excuses for a “terrible” love interest, who treats the MC like crap, but when we get an MC with “no backbone” we immediately write her off as an affront to feminist ideals and a step backwards for all woman kind… I, myself am guilty of bashing heroines every now and again… but, seriously otome heroines get a tough break, so in order to rectify that I’m spotlighting five phenomenal otome heroines that hold it down in their respective games. It’s hard work dealing with your own personal harem, and these ladies go above and beyond the call of duty.


Continue reading “[International Women’s Day 2018] My Top 5 Otome Heroines!!”

How To Woo an Otome Guy in Five Easy Steps!

Contrary to what some of you may believe playing otome games is hard work. Wooing 2D hotties is no easy feat, in some cases it’s harder than actually going out and getting a real lover… go figure. There’s a trick to it that can only be mastered through vigorous training and hours upon hours of in game practice. But, you dear readers are in luck! I did the hard work for you and compiled a list of five tried and true steps for anyone looking to bag the 2D hottie of their dreams! Yes, you read that right, I have taken it upon myself to write up a 5 step guide for wooing your otome game lover!

First, let me clarify, that this list is not meant to be used for wooing real life lovers… just, don’t, unless you’re cool with a little jail time. This is meant to be a tongue and cheek critique of some of the “unhealthy” methods used to woo love interests in otome games. As with any list, your mileage may vary, this is a very general list, so some tips may not work with every game or every character, just use your best judgement and of course have fun! This is meant to be fun…


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Melanin Monday: Why We Need Quality Representation- A Short Rant

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Black History Month once again and with it comes the revival of Melanin Monday, the post series where I talk about the representation of Black and brown characters in pop culture. While I mainly focus on the nerdier side of the pop culture spectrum, from time to time I will cover more personal posts about my experiences as a Black nerd.

This started as part of Black History Month 2017, but you guys liked it so much that I decided to keep it going, albeit rather sporadically. However, for the month of February I will try to post one of these every Monday.

This week I didn’t really have anything planned since this post coincides with my OWLS Blog Tour post, and I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to do anything… So rather than focus on a particular form of media, I’m just going to talk about the importance of representation in general… as a rant.

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[OWLS Blog Tour] How a Scoundrel from the Slums Became an Icon: The Rise and Fall of Joe Yabuki

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with my second OWLS Blog Tour post of the new year! What’s that you say? You don’t know about OWLS? Well, for those of you new here, OWLS or Otaku Wariors for Liberty and Self-Respect is a group of bloggers, vloggers, and writers who seek to promote acceptance and equality through thoughtful community activism, with an otaku twist! Each month we decide on a theme and each member writes a post or records a video, on that theme through the lens of something from pop culture. We have been known to cover a wide range of topics, from anime and manga to video games and film, most subject matter is up for discussion so long as it fits with our monthly theme.  This month’s theme is Competition!

In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.

February 2018 “Competition” Blog Tour Prompt

I’m just one in a long line of Blog Tour stops this month, and I highly recommend checking them all out when you have the time. Just before me was Auri  from over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto, with her phenomenal post about Aoharu x Kikanjuu.

For this month’s tour I decided to go with the classic fighting anime Ashita no Joe, which just celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary back in January.  I absolutely love this series and it’s a damn shame that a series as influential as Ashita no Joe doesn’t get the attention it deserves! So I’m going to give this gem its time in the sun (again), by looking at the anime’s protagonist Joe Yabuki and how such a flawed individual managed to take the boxing world by storm!


Continue reading “[OWLS Blog Tour] How a Scoundrel from the Slums Became an Icon: The Rise and Fall of Joe Yabuki”

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