Over the years there has been a lot of discourse surrounding otome heroines. In the early days, otome heroines were pretty bland, sweet and demure, but otherwise nondescript. I mean, when a character’s entire purpose is to be a stand in for the player, it makes sense that they’d be a bit lacking in the personality department. But, in recent years there has been a shift in the types of heroines we see in otome games, with many writers giving them a much more defined personality and motivations. Heck, in some cases like Saki from Sweet Fuse, the heroine is a much more interesting character than the actual love interests!
Of course, there’s the other side of the spectrum, where a heroine can be a bit too much to the point of being unlikable. In the Voltage game Liar Uncover the Truth, the heroine is a smart, confident career woman, with a clear vision of what she wants in a man–all amazing qualities to have in an otome heroine–and at first, I LOVED her. But, as the story progressed her impossibly high standards made her less and less relatable… and by the end of the game I found myself rooting against her.
Heroine characters are more a reflection of feminine ideals and as women’s roles in society change so too do our expectations of how female characters should be portrayed in our media. So it’s important to keep abreast of changing norms when crafting female characters, especially those in media targeted at women. It’s about striking a balance between the fantasy that otome games provide and the reality of how women identify themselves. So, that got me thinking about the qualitiesI look for in my otome heroines and thus this post exists.
For those of you newbies, I am a part of a group called OWLS and we are 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. In the wake of the current pandemic and the many changes it has caused in our lives, this month’s tour is all about adapting.
Right now, we all have lost something or gained something in return during this dark time. Our lives have been completely altered due to coronavirus. For this month, we will be talking about anime series and other pop culture media where we have characters having to adjust to changes in their environment. Whether it’s adjusting to a new school or heading towards an isekai fantasy world, we will be discussing characters that had to make changes within themselves in order to adapt to the circumstances they are in. This will also give us an opportunity to express our own personal lives as we try to adjust to a “new normal.”
– May 2020 Blog Tour Prompt
As is the theme with these blog tour posts, I struggled to come up with a topic, so I decided to fall back on what I know—otome games. For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, ‘otome’ refers to a sub-genre of story based visual novels aimed primarily at girls and women, where the main objective is to romance a group of attractive male characters, known as love interests.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
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.
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!!