With all the flashier titles in their catalog, Love Calls You Home is one of their underrated gems. It doesn’t come with all the gimmicks and angst of some of their more popular Otome Romance titles, so it’s pretty easy to overlook this unassuming slice-of-life romance. An overworked young woman finds herself in close quarters with a handsome and supportive guy, and while the circumstances for their cohabitation differ by route, the romance between the MC and her chosen love interest remains largely grounded in reality. The only “gimmick” is that a majority of the guys are secretly famous or have lucrative careers. I kind of got the impression that this was what Voltage was going for with their older title, Serendipity Next Door, which has a similar premise.
Currently, four out of the five love interests are available—Taiyo, Arata, Liam, and Hazuki. Because, I’m biased towards kuudere and tsundere, I picked Arata’s route as my first conquest of the game.
Also, because folks (myself included) are fussy about spoilers. Here’s your one and only spoiler warning. This review will have minor spoilers for Arata’s route and Love Brings You Home.
Continue reading “Love Brings You Home – Arata Yuki Main Story Review”
These posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome Games. There I give a very general rundown of the most common character archetypes that appear in otome games with a few examples of characters that fit each trope. But, I kinda wanted to do individual posts on each archetype and now here we are with the second post in this series. Last time around I covered one of my favorite character archetype, the hot and cold, Tsundere. Which you can check out by clicking the link: ‘I Won’t Say I’m In Love: 5 Otome Game Tsundere’.
This time around I’m covering a character archetype that I initially didn’t really care all that much for, but has since become one of my new favs—the genki character archetype.
The Basics: What Are Genki Characters?
Genki (元気) means healthy/energetic in Japanese and these types of characters are a seeming well of good-natured playfulness and joy. These lively, animated, and bombastic guys are always the life of the party, quick to laugh and ever optimistic. You’re bound to have a good time when you’re with a genki guy! Beneath their upbeat personality these characters tend to hide deep traumas and dark pasts, however these rarely affect their cheerful attitudes as they’d much rather look on the bright side of life. Also, most genki guys tend to have red hair to match their fiery personalities.
This is where it always starts with genki characters
These types of guys are much more approachable than the other love interests and are usually the easiest for the Heroine to befriend. There’s a very thin line between friendship and romance in routes/stories featuring genki characters, since they tend to be friendly with everyone. Genki characters can be prone to pulling practical jokes and are often the token jokesters of the group (or the butt of jokes) and have been known to rope the Heroine into their hijinks.
Continue reading “It’s All In a Smile: 5 Otome Game Genki Guys”
I’ve been playing Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth ~ off and on for the past five or so years and despite the overwhelming love for the game I could just never seem to make much headway with it. So in 2019 I made a bit of an unofficial resolution to finish at least one route before the end of the year and at long last I was able to complete my playthrough of Impey’s route! Took me five long years, but I can finally say I’ve at the very least played Code Realize and I’m not gonna lie, I have some mixed feelings about it. This won’t be so much a review as some thoughts I’ve had about the game over the years—and after five years I’ve amassed quite a few.
Code Realize was one of the first major otome game releases to make its way stateside. Developed by Otomate for the PS Vita in 2014, Code Realize is a steampunk fantasy, featuring a cast of characters based on famous literary and historical figures. 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.
- Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Romance
- Available for PS Vita | Nintendo Switch (Feb 2020)
- Full Voiced
- Gameplay Lengh: 30-35 hours
- Cost: $39.99
- 5 male romance options
- Similar Games: Steam Prison, London Detective Mysteria
Continue reading “I Finally Finished My First Route in Code Realize ~ Guardians of Rebirth~”
The end of 2019 marks the end of a decade, and everyone seems to be reflecting on the past 10 years, with their various lists and videos. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon too and reflect on the past 10 years in otome games. Since I didn’t keep up with my Japanese language studies, I’m limited to English localizations (and fan patches), so I can’t speak for the JP only releases. But, I can honestly say that these last few years have been pretty good to Western otome fans, with tons of game releases and announcements coming out (fairly) regularly.
So, I wanted to go back and look at the otome games released between 2010 and 2019 and pick out my favorites. Some years were more fruitful than others for the western otome fandom, but I still stand by my picks for each year and it’s kind of fun to see how my tastes have changed in the past 10 or so years of playing otome games.
Continue reading “My 10 Otome Games of the Decade”
So, this is totally going to be a regular thing… I suppose these posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome Games. There I give a very general rundown of the most common character archetypes that appear in otome games with a few examples of characters that fit each trope. But, I kinda wanted to do individual posts on each archetype and now here we are with the second post in this series. Last time around I covered my least favorite character archetype, the obsessive and possessive, Yandere. Which you can check out by clicking the link: ‘Crazy for You?: 5 Otome Game Yandere’.
This time around I wanted to shake things up and cover one of my favorite character archetypes, the delightfully hot and cold tsundere characters!!
The Basics: What is Tsundere?
Tsundere is a term derived from the terms tsun tsun (ツンツン), meaning to turn away in disgust, and dere dere (デレデレ) meaning to become ‘lovey dovey’. These characters tend to be cold and hostile towards the heroine at first, but gradually warms up to her, becoming much more affectionate as time passes. Tsundere characters are known to switch between their hot and cold personalities at the drop of a dime, most notably when embarrassed. However, when the heroine is able break down their walls, most tsunderes are sweethearts.
A shy tsunbun after admitting his feelings
Part of the appeal of tsundere characters is slowly getting them to let their guard down and open up to the heroine. They are very similar to kuudere types, in that they can be a bit cold and aloof at first, and can come off as callous. Sometimes a tsundere will go too far and accidentally hurt their heroine’s feelings. However, when they realize how much their actions are hurting those around them, they are usually quick to apologize (even if their attempts are a bit clumsy/awkward). Most tsundere are inexperienced with love and have trouble fully expressing their newfound complicated emotions, which leads them to give off mixed messages. But when a tsundere does fall in love, they are very devoted to their heroine.
Continue reading “I Won’t Say I’m In Love: 5 Otome Game Tsundere”
A few months back I wrote a Beginners Guide to Otome Games post on character archetypes (here’s a link to the thing: A Beginners Guide to Otome Games: Part 3 – Common Character Archetypes), where I broke down some of the most common character archetypes in otome games. I gave a basic overview of each archetype and provided a few examples of characters from games that fit the trope, but I always wanted to go back and write a list spotlighting characters from the various archetypes. First up to bat are the yandere chararacters… yay?
The Basics: What is Yandere?
Yandere is a Japanese term used to describe a person who is initially very loving and gentle towards the person they love, only for their affection to suddenly become obssessive and destructive. Their behavior becomes unhinged, bordering on deranged leading to these characters becoming violent and possessive. The term yandere is derived from the Japanese words yanderu (病んでる), meaning insane or sick, and dere dere (デレデレ), meaning affectionate or loving; so a yandere character is someone that is literally “lovesick”.
Note a yandere in action, notice how he maintains eye contact at all times
These characters are a bit controversial due to their dangerously obsessive behaviors, which lead to them harming themselves and others in pursuit of love. While their actions stem from an overwhelming sense of love and devotion, these characters are prone to jealousy and will do everything in their power to ensure that nothing comes between them and their love. Yandere can be very forceful in their affections and may resort to entrapping the object of their affection in a misguided attempt to protect them. Some yandere have been known to lock their lovers in cages and in extreme cases may be mentally or physically abusive.
Yandere are pretty popular in otome games, and there’s usually at least one character in each game that exhibits some obsessive tendencies (though this is usually reserved for bad endings). But, if yandere are your shtick, here’s a list of some yandere characters that would be more than happy to show you to your own personal uguu love cage…
Continue reading “Crazy For You: 5 Otome Game Yandere”
Most of you probably already heard the news, but Taisho x Alice is getting a NEW Steam realease!!
We all remember the E2 Gaming Tragedy of 2017 that produced the delightfully terrible English language release of Primula’s Taisho x Alice. There were a lot of signs that the initial E2 Gaming English release was going to be a shits how, as the “company” had been very lax with marketing and responding to fans on social media. However, even that couldn’t prepare us for the actual release, which was marred by it’s dismal translation and laughable voice acting! Many were outraged by this seeming disregard for quality, and the game became something of a meme, with otome fans adding “Hirigana” and “Katakana” to their twitter handles in mocking tribute to the game’s most memorable translation choices.
*Check out a more detailed account of the 2017 Taisho x Alice Localization over at Figuratively Speaking
But, it seems that 2019 has brought Taisho x Alice back for a second go of things, this time the localization is being handled by Primula’s parent company, Pencil and from what I’ve seen of the Steam page and Twitter, this appears to be a legitimate release. Taisho x Alice has a Steam release date set for November 28, 2019. The game will feature full Japanese voice acting, and subtitles in Japanese, English, and Simplified Chinese.
Continue reading “Taisho x Alice Rises from the Ashes with NEW Steam Release!!”
Otome games offer women (and men) a fantasy romance experience of their dreams, but sometimes they stretch the limits of “fantasy” and delve into some questionable territory. These games play around with your suspension of disbelief, dropping you head first into scenarios that most of us would find downright frustrating if they happened to us in real life. From lowkey abusive love interests and dubious consent, otome games are known to toe the line between what is acceptable and what isn’t.
There have been times while playing an otome game where I had to step outside myself and check my self respect at the door in order to achieve my happily ever after with my chosen love interest. Of course, that isn’t the case with all otome games, there are some perfectly lovely ones that don’t force players to wave a hand at less than savory story elements. However, there are still quite a few that’ll raise a few eyebrows… So, that got me thinking about some of the more ridiculous otome game storylines and premises. The ones that really made me go, WTF.
Continue reading “It’s Okay Because “Romance” – Otome Games With Questionable Storylines”
I’m super late with this review, but I wanted to make sure I gave Wind Chimes Games’s demo for their debut visual novel, Reanimation Scheme, my full and undivided attention. I wanted to have this out before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, and I just managed to make it with a few hours to spare.
Reanimation Scheme is a supernatural fantasy romance visual novel, that is rooted in magic, mysticism, and necromancy. Yes, you read that right, necromancy… most of the supernatural games I’ve played tend to shy away from death magic, preferring to focus on the big three of the supernatural world; Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches. But, I’ve had my fill of the same old fantasy stories, so Reanimation Scheme is a welcome change of pace. With it’s spunky heroine, inventive premise, and gorgeous visuals, Reanimation Scheme is definitely worth checking out! Keep Reading to see my thoughts on the demo, which covers three chapters of the game.
Continue reading “Reanimation Scheme Demo Review – Summon Up Some Romance”
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.
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.
Continue reading “[OWLS “Fantasy” Blog Tour] Otome Games: Choose Your Fantasy”