Rose in the Embers – Takahisa Togo Main Story Review

It’s been awhile since I last played a Voltage game, before the switch from the standalone apps to the Love 365 portal app. One of the first games introduced in the new Love 365 app was Rose in Embers a Cinderella-esque historical romance set in the Taisho Era. I checked out the prologue a long time ago, but never got around to playing any of the routes until now. At the time of its release only two guys had been released: Kyosuke Takatsukasa and Takahisa Togo. Since I usually don’t care much for the suave alpha male types, I went with Takahisa as my first choice pick. I mean come on a man in uniform, what’s not to love?!

Takahisa Togo Bio.jpg

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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!

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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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Behind the Games: Jaime Scribbles

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, I’m back with another Behind the Games post!

For those of you just joining the party,  Behind the Games is a segment where I interview the folks ‘behind the games’ I review. The series is meant to act as a complement to the reviews, 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.

Last time around I spoke with Dovah and Gamma from Argent Games, the dynamic twosome behind Argent Gamesso if you missed that, I definitely recommend checking that post out too! This time around, I had the chance to chat with Jaime Scribbles of Jaime Scribbles Games!

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Jaime is the brains behind the indie game studio, Jaime Scribbles Games! She’s a single mom who made her debut in 2017 with a horror romance visual novel, Pinewood Island. Two years later, she’s showing no signs off slowing down, with two games under her belt and one in development Jaime is a force to be reckoned with in the indie scene. But, what really sets her games apart from the rest is her dedication to creating titles with diverse love interests and deep narrative heavy stories. But, without further ado, let’s turn things over to Jaime…


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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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As We Know It Review – A Diverse Post-Apocalyptic Visual Novel

Jaime Scribbles Games just released their newest game, a dystopian life-sim visual novel As We Know It. Set in the distant future, where the world has been plagued by climate shifts that have turned the surface into a veritable wasteland, people have taken refuge in underground sanctuaries. One such subterranean town, Camden offers a safe haven for a those select few lucky enough to secure an invitation to the exclusive oasis. You (default name Ashlynn Phillips) and your mother are given the opportunity to escape the surface for the safety and security of Camden. The mayor, Rick Davidson and the people of the city welcome you with open arms, and the abundance of resources are a welcome change from scarcity of the surface. But, all is not as it seems in Camden, as seeds of descent spread the social order of the city starts to deteriorate and you must decide where your allegiances lie. Do you stand with the Mayor and protect your new home or do you rebel? The choice is yours.

Game Details

  • Genre: Life simulator, Romance, Drama
  • Available for PC (Widows, Mac, Linux) and Steam
  • 30 Endings (4 romance routes, 3 potential friendships)
  • Gameplay Lengh: 3-5 hours per playthrough
  • Cost: $19.99 USD
  • Life-Sim Gameplay
  • Customizable MC
  • Similar Games: Aloners, Who We Are Now

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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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Blog Update: It’s Time for a Change!

Many of you already know this story, but if you’re new here I figured this was as good a time as any to tell it again. I started Nice Job Breaking It, Hero back when I was in my last year of grad school. I was working on a Capstone Research project about unintended injury rates among middle school aged adolescents in four South American countries, and I was getting burned out on all the literature reviews and methodology drafting and all the other riveting aspects of academic writing. So, on a whim I opened up WordPress with the intention of starting a blog, mind you, I’d tried starting a blog before (over on Blogger), but I never could manage to keep up with it. So, I figured this would be about the same. I’d write for a week or two and then my blog would fall to the wayside forgotten and abandoned in some dark corner of the internet. I wasn’t thinking long term, I just needed something to take my mind off the stuffy research paper I was working on, and I figured writing about anything other than broken bones and accidental falls was a welcome change.

So, on August 11, 2015 I wrote my very first post, all 92 words of it… my statement to the big wide internet. An introduction, short sweet and to the point, but it was mine. I’m not gonna lie, those first couple of posts were rough. I’ve read through them a few times and there are so many things I want to go back and change, but, I won’t, those posts as cringeworthy as they seem are a memorial of sorts to the me of the past. It’s kind of nice to look back on those older posts and remember just how much fun I had writing them. I didn’t have a lot of followers and my view counts rarely ever hit double digits, but, I still took pride in what I wrote. I still do.

It’s been four years since I started this blog and it’s still mind boggling to me how far Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has come since then. I’ve grown as a writer, as reviewer, and as a person and this site has grown along with me. Through all the ups and downs, the hiatuses, big life events, this has been one of the biggest mainstays. Despite taking a lot of time off from it in these later years, I truly love blogging. I love sharing my thoughts on things that I love and engaging with everyone in the WordPress community. I’ve made some great friends and fellow allies over the years and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the world. But, I will admit that Nice Job Breaking It, Hero has outgrown the basic free domain and it’s name.

Yes, after giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided to make some changes. The first being upgrading the site from the Basic WordPress plan to one of the Paid plans. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers take the plunge and I figure it’s been a long time coming, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. But, with it comes the second and by far the most important change (at least in my opinion)… I’m changing the name of the blog from Nice Job Breaking It, Hero to Blerdy Otome, the domain will also be changing as well, but, I’ll update that when I take the plunge the new address is blerdyotome.com! This isn’t something I’m doing on a whim, I’ve been thinking about it for a very long time. When I was first considering a name for my blog I was really into TV Tropes, so of course I pilfered one of my favorite tropes for the title of my blog, because I suck at titles. But, more than that, the trope ‘Nice Job Breaking It, Hero’ kind of fit where I was in my life at the time.

The hero has accomplished their goal; they’ve killed the Big Bad, or defeated them forever, or at least scored a major blow against the antagonist. They’ve done what they set out to do…

…but not so fast! It turns out that by the very act of success, they’ve unwittingly made things worse.

TV Tropes

I was still kind of getting my bearings with this whole adulting thing and more times than not I wound up making more mistakes than I’d care to admit. And, it still kind of fits, since I’m still just kind of making things up as I go along, sometimes I make it and sometimes I break it, so that even with the name changing, this blog will still kind of embody the spirit of the old Nice Job Breaking It, Hero name.

So, the new name… Blerdy Otome

I think the new name perfectly defines who I am, I’m a Black nerd and I’m a woman… pretty simple. My focus will still be on otome games and visual novels, like it has been in the past, but, I want to expand my horizons a bit to encompass a wider range of Japanese culture topics and nerdy exploits. So expect more diverse topics in the near future.

thank you

Thank you for sticking it out with me this long. I know I have been a little hectic and erratic lately, but your kind words and comments and things have really meant a lot to me. This blog would not be what it is without you guys and I can’t thank you enough. I’m always trying to improve myself and this sight so if you have any suggestions or want to talk or anything, feel free to reach out to me, I’m def down for it. I’m also going to make a conscious effort to be more active on my social media channels and in commenting on others blogs and things, so expect to see a lot of comments from me coming at you real soon. Like A LOT. Thanks for being super special awesome and I’m excited to share this new phase of my journey with you all. Thank you!!

*I’ll be making the change tomorrow, May 4th, 2019 (EST)!!*

Carole & Tuesday a Music Anime with Soul – Episodes 1-3 Review

These past few seasons have me falling in love with music anime, and with Piano no Mori finally done, I’ve been looking for another series to fill the void and along came Spring 2019’s Carole & Tuesday. Created through a collaboration between critically acclaimed anime studio Bones and Japanese record label, Flying Dog, for their 20th and 10th Anniversaries, respectively, Carole & Tuesday utilizes their combined resources to create something truly amazing. Not to mention, acclaimed director Shinichiro Watanabe is also serving as the series’s supervising director, so you know this series sure to be a hit. 

Carole and Tuesday

Plot

Set in the near distant future where mankind is now living on Mars and most media is produced by AI and people have become little more than passive consumers. Carole & Tuesday offers a heartwarming story of two girls from very different walks of life, connected by their love of music.

Carole, a young girl living in the thriving metropolis of Alba City, scratching out a living as she bounces from one part-time job to the next while trying to make some coin as a street musician.

Tuesday is a wealthy girl from the provincial town of Herschel City, she dreams of becoming a musician like her idol Cyndi Lauper. So she packs up her guitar and runs away to the city in hopes of making it big.

A chance meeting brings these two very different girls together, each finding something special in the other and decide to embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

Two girls from very different backgrounds meet in the most unexpected way. Together, they embark on a musical journey that will change their lives forever!

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One Night, Hot Spring – Game Review

I’ve played many games over the years, but none has so perfectly captured the human experience as poignantly as the short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring. This thought provoking title, gives players the opportunity to step into the shoes of Haru, a 19 year old transgender Japanese woman who has just been invited for an overnight trip to a local hot spring by her oldest friend Manami. While Haru is initially reluctant to attend, she eventually give in to the request. But, what would normally be a simple night out with friends is made much more difficult for Haru, who is still legally male must contend with the rigid gender structures of the Japanese hot spring. As the night wears on and Haru’s anxieties rise the player must decide how Haru reacts to the various obstacles she encounters. 

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npckc‘s short visual novel One Night, Hot Spring does that and more, by giving players the unique opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a transgender woman in Japan. I originally included the game in a list of ten LGBTQ positive visual novels in celebration of Pride Month and of all the titles on that list, One Night, Hot Spring was by far my favorite. The game was developed by indie developer npckc for the 2018 Trans Gal Jam.

Game Basics

  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android
  • Gameplay Length: 30 mins – 1 hour
  • 7 unique endings
  • Cost: FREE

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