It’s no secret that otome games are still very niche genre within the broader gaming community. Even with an increase in English localizations of Japanese otome games here in the West, our community is fairly small–but, what we lack in size we more than make up for in voice! As a collective, the online otome fandom has been especially vocal when it comes to protecting our otome games–whether that is calling out localization companies on the quality of their releases or letting companies know what games we WANT to see released in the West– you can bet that the collective voice of the otome community will be heard.
As a blogger I use my platform to promote otome games (and indie romance visual novels), but I am just one of many voices in the otome games community and I don’t speak for everyone. So, I wanted to reach out to the #OtomeArmada and see where we stand on certain topics specific to our community. Nothing fancy, just a Twitter poll every now and again to spice things up. Last week I asked you guys ‘Where do you play your otome games?’–and the response was overwhelming with 302 of you all casting your vote.
But, I wanted to do something with this and actually list out some takeaways from the poll and kind of suss out some trends! So, let’s break down the results!
Blerdy Tribe, I’ve been rather inactive lately and for that I apologize, but real life got kinda hectic for a while there and I just didn’t have the time or the energy to read through 100k+ visual novels. I’m human. But, that brings me to something that I have been meaning to talk about on this blog for a very long time—visual novels are long af!
You’d think that’s a given, I mean they’re called visual novels for a reason. But, time and time again I underestimate just how much time I need to finish a visual novel (or an otome game for that matter). I know some folks who blaze through games in about 2 days and I am always in awe of their speedy playthroughs, but I just don’t operate like that—especially if I plan on writing a review. I take my time, dragging out my playthroughs for weeks (sometimes months) to ensure that I get the full scope of the characters and the story—or at least that’s what I want you all to believe.
So, when I wrote my anime gatekeeping essay, I was actually attempting to write about gatekeeping in the games community. But, I ended up running super long with the intro and rather than writing a ridiculously long post on gatekeeping, I decided to split the difference and write two separate posts. However, don’t get it twisted, gatekeeping in the gaming community is something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a VERY long time, I just wanted to be sure that when I finally penned this post, that I didn’t devolve into incoherent ranting. I try to keep things classy here.
So, for those of you that don’t know, “gatekeeping” is what happens when elitism, entitlement, and privilege are allowed to run unchecked, resulting in a select group of individuals taking it upon themselves to preserve the sanctity of a particular “thing” by regulating what is and isn’t acceptable. Like bouncers who keep unwanted individuals from entering an establishment, gatekeepers act as the buffer between true fans of a medium and the uninformed masses. Gatekeepers see themselves as true fans, working tirelessly to ensure that the sanctity of their media isn’t tarnished by those they deem unworthy. The problem is that these individuals take things to the extreme, devaluing anyone and anything that doesn’t align with their “vision” of what a true fan should be… and it is this behavior that creates a lot of unnecessary negativity.
As usual I’m behind the rest of the otome games fandom—it’s been about a year since Pencil released their localization of the fairytale inspired otome game Taisho x Alice: Episode I and I’m just getting around to playing it. Now, this isn’t the first time this game has made it’s way stateside. Many of us still remember the now infamous E2Gaming localization fiasco of 2017, that brought “Hiragana Alice” and “Katakana Alice” to prominence. But, it seems that the second time’s the charm for Taisho x Alice, with Molly Lee (known also as Verdelish) taking the reigns in this greatly improved English translation of the game—and fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. So now, with the otome community’s collective stamp of approval I figured now was as good a time as any to give Taisho x Alice a try and boy do I have some thoughts about it.
For those of you not familiar 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. In the game you play as an amnesiac young woman who must navigate the mysterious Looking Glass World and save your Prince Charming, guiding him towards his happily ever after.
Collar x Malice is the newest otome game localization to make its way to the Nintendo Switch—the console that is quickly making itself the hub for otome fans after the death of the Playstation Vita. Anyone who played the game back when it was released here in the west will tell you that Collar x Malice is one of the best otome games to make it’s way stateside—with it’s engaging story and stellar cast of characters—this is one of the games that I most recommend to folks looking to make the jump to otome games.
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.
So, if you are still on the fence about whether or not to snag a copy of this game now that it’s available on the Swith, here are 5 reasons you should totally be playing Collar x Malice!
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!!