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Red Garden is a 22 episode anime, released between 2006 and 2007, later in 2007 a 45 minute OVA epilogue was released. The series follows four high school girls from New York as they find themselves caught up in a string of supernatural murders happening throughout the city.
What I really like about the show is how random everything seems in the beginning. At first you think you’ve stumbled into a high school slice of life drama, as we see each of the four girls waking up after what seems to be have been a rough night. We follow each girl as she prepares to attend their elite private school located on Roosevelt Island. You really get a glimpse at how different these girls are from one another, each coming from a different walk of life. Kate is an affluent teen and revered member of Grace, a student council like organization at their school. Rachel, while she is the typical queen bee type, fashionable and popular, lives in a single parent home with a neglectful mother. Claire is the independent one in the group, she lives alone in a crappy apartment in the city. Then there’s Rose the youngest of the group, not only does she have to take care of her younger siblings while her mother is sick, she also has to maintain the full scholarship that allows her to attend the prestigious private school.
Of all the routes available in this game, Ikki’s is probably the one that I was least looking forward to. I really don’t like the flirty, playboy types at all, I go out of my way to avoid them when I can. It was actually due to a mistake that I clicked Ikki’s route in the first place, I mixed up his route and Toma’s…not that I was looking forward to Toma’s route any more so than Ikki’s. He’s the typical playboy, good looking and always surrounded by women, but for some reason he’s dating a normal (mute) girl like the MC. So, the route itself, I want to say that despite my reservations his route managed to surprise me, but I’d be lying. While I didn’t outright hate Ikki’s route, I didn’t really enjoy it either, he’s just not my type.
As I did with Shin’s route, I did not get the Good Ending on the first try, I got one of the Bad endings, but weirdly enough I liked Ikki way more in that ending than I had in the entire game.
*Side Note: I will not have an MC/Heroine section in this review…I feel that there just isn’t enough about her to fill an entire section in this game. I was actually really disappointed by the MC in this game.
Disclaimer: I don’t own these images, they belong to Idea Factory…and this goes without saying, but there will be SPOILERS under the cut…
Before reading this post, it’s important to answer one simple question: What exactly is an otome game? Generally speaking, otome games (shortened to otoge) are “story based video games that are targeted towards a female audience” (wiki). Typically, the plots of these games focus on fostering a romantic relationship between a female protagonist and one of several male (and in some cases female) love interests. While romance is the main draw for players, otoges have been known to cover a diverse range of subjects and topics. In the past, otoges were only marketed towards Japanese women, but in recent years their popularity has extended to the Western market. This new, growth has led to a rise in English-language otome games and an increase in the number of localized Japanese otoges. However, the market for otoges in the West is considerably smaller than that of the Japanese market.
So this past week I saw that Vogue had written an article about otome games…At first I was excited, this is just what we need, I thought, more exposure means more games…and what better way to get that exposure, than to have an article in an internationally syndicated medium, like Vogue. So like many of you, I retweeted and reblogged the article, but then I read it again and I noticed something I didn’t realize the first time. First, they assume all otoge players are women and two they generalize players…On the first count, Vogue is primarily targeted at women…so I guess I can let that slide, but the second point isn’t so easily dismissed. The article made it seem like women/girls who play otome games do so in order to escape the reality of not having a real boyfriend….
So after an unbearable amount of waiting and pinning, Voltage finally decided to release Shinichi Kagari’s route for After School Affairs…Okay, I know I’m exaggerating, but damnit he should have been the first released route to begin with! If you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr you’ll know I was none to pleased with the decision to release Shinichi after Rikiya…but it was totally worth the wait! I couldn’t have been more pleased with this strict megane math teacher, he was more than I could have hoped for and the MC *sigh* I couldn’t be more proud of her! After playing Amnesia I can’t tell you how happy I am to have an MC that talks…and to actually have a personality to boot, I could cry!
Shinichi is strict and meticulous when it comes to his job, expecting nothing less than perfection from his students and coworkers. He starts off with a huge stick up his butt, quick to criticize even the slightest mistake. But, he only pushes people he sees potential in, so I guess it’s coming from a good place… On the other hand his home life is a mess..he reminds me of Tsugumu Kido from Our Two Bedroom Story in that respect. He is definitely not as strict with his home as he is with his school affairs.
*Disclaimer: I don’t own these images, they belong to Voltage…and this goes without saying, but there will be SPOILERS under the cut…*
Mushi-shi is a 10 volume manga series, released between 1999 and 2008. In 2005 the series was turned into a 26 episode anime series and a 20 episode second season was released in 2014, there are also two OVAs, a live action film (Joe Odigiri is awesome 😀 ), and an anime film. In a world of fast paced action shounen series and overly fluffy shoujo romances, the episodic occult detective series, Mushi-shi, is an oddity.
I love Mushi-shi, in fact it is one of my favorite series, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-watched the series over the years…it’s just so calming. From the open chords of the OP to the ethereal instrumentals of the ending themes, Mushi-shi definitely puts you in the mood for something mystical.
The story takes place in an imaginary period between the Edo and Meiji periods of Japan and follows Ginko a Mushi-shi (Mushi master) as he travels Japan solving problems caused by Mushi. It’s kind of hard to explain what mushi are, but for the most part mushi are primitive creatures more akin to fungi and bacteria. Usually, they co-exist with plants, animals, and human, without much problem, in fact they are imperceptible to humans, save for a few exceptions. Mushi are an integral part of nature, and rarely interact with humans, but when they do people tend to get the short end of the stick. The stories all range from bittersweet to downright Disney, but please rest assured that every person that comes into contact with mushi are changed in some way…usually for the better.
Blerdy Otome is an otome games and visual novel review site that runs on Black Girl Magic and Dreams. While I mostly focus on romance themed games, I’ve been known to cover a wide range of nerdy and otaku themed topics.
So, step right up and prepare your heart! Let’s talk about otome games!!