Tag: otome

Bite-Sized Review – Nightshade

Where to Get the Game: Steam

A little while ago I went on a recovery mission into my backlog and I “rescued” a few titles from the depths. One of those titles was Nightshade. When this game was originally released I didn’t have the money to purchase it, so a friend of mine from an otome group I’m in gifted it to me on Steam. Even then, I didn’t immediately play the game, and I have to wonder that if I had played it back then when the entire otome games community was hyped as hell for this game, maybe, just maybe my opinion might have been different. But, I didn’t and I’m gonna be upfront with you guys, I did not enjoy this game and the only reason I even finished the game was out of a moral obligation to the friend who bought it for me the game.

I went in expecting Nightshade to be this epic historical fantasy on par with the much beloved otome darling Hakuoki, but what I got was a bland and largely forgettable gaming experience. Everything was just so meh, it just didn’t WOW me the way I thought it would. The premise was okay, the characters were okay, and the story itself was just… you guessed it, okay. It just didn’t stand out at all. Everything was just so predictable and unoriginal, HELL if you’re looking for a better game with shinobi, I highly recommend the mobile game Destiny Ninja it has its moments, but at least it’s FUN. Nightshade just played it too safe.

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It’s All In a Smile: 5 Otome Game Genki Guys

These posts are a complement to my Beginners Guide to Otome Games posts, particularly the one on Common Character Archetypes in Otome GamesThere 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.

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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.


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My 10 Otome Games of the Decade

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.

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I Won’t Say I’m In Love: 5 Otome Game Tsundere

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 GamesThere 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.

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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.

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Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Otome Review

I just finished my first playthrough of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk and I’d like to get my initial thoughts about the game down before I get any deeper into the story, because my God was this game intense. I played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly awhile ago and I didn’t really like it all that much, so I went into Ashen Hawk expecting it to be much the same as its predecessor… thankfully I was wrong! Ashen Hawk is a marked improvement over Black Butterfly in almost every way and one has to wonder what the hell happened between the production of the first game and this one to cause such a huge difference in quality… Technically Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk isn’t a sequel to Black Butterfly, though it is set in the same world as the first game, but with a completely different story and characters.

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Now I say that, but there were QUITE A FEW Easter Eggs and callbacks to PBB in Ashen Hawk, that you’ll only truly get if you’ve played through the first game, but it’s not a requirement to enjoy the game. That said, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!! I know I literally just said you don’t have to play Black Butterfly before playing Ashen Hawk, but boy does playing the first game pay off in a big way in this one!! It’s no secret that I didn’t particularly care for Black Butterfly, but damnit if Ashen Hawk didn’t make slugging through the mess of the first game worth it. But, what I love most is that the connection between the two games isn’t overly in your face, the reveals work well within the context of their respective stories while also expanding on the preexisting lore of both games.

Game Details

Spoiler Warning

Since folks are really hung up on spoiler warnings, this post will contain some minor spoilers for the game, so if you haven’t played either Ashen Hawk or Black Butterfly, maybe hold off on reading this review.

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Memories on the Shoreline Game Review

I was first introduced to indie developer Mikomi Kisomi through her urban fantasy visual novel, That Which Binds Us. Its been a little over a year since that release and Mikomi Games, now re-branded as Crystal Game Works just released their newest title, Memories on the Shoreline—a supernatural romance. I’m a sucker for supernatural fantasy, and the prospect of dating a hot merman was just too good to pass up, so when Mikomi sent me a review copy of the game… I made time to play it.

Melody wanted a break from her stressful med classes— so when spring break came around, she dragged her best friend Shion with her to the beach. However, things don’t go quite so smoothly when they meet Brennan, a local fisherman, and Crylis… a mermaid?!

Official Summary

Game Details

  • Available for Windows, Mac, Linux | Steam
  • 2 pursuable characters (male)
  • 5 Endings
  • Languages: English
  • Cost: $5.99
  • Gameplay Length: 5 hours
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First day of vacation, and you’ve already secured a hot tour guide… good on you!

The premise is simple, Melody and her best friend Shion are spending their spring break in sunny Florida, in hopes of getting some much needed down time before falling back into the academic grind. While there Melody meets a handsome fisherman named Brennan, who hints that all is not as it seems in the quiet beach-side town. Later that night, Melody discovers that sirens exist, when she encounters a runaway merman, Crylis. What should have been a normal relaxing vacation is soon made much more exciting with two handsome men vying for Melody’s affections.

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Crazy For You: 5 Otome Game Yandere

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”.

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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…

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[First Thoughts] Love Brings You Home

Voltage Inc. games make up about 45% of my gaming backlog. The company was my first introduction to the world of otome games and over the years I have amassed quite a few stories from each of the many, many Otome Romance titles they produce. Because I have so many stories I tend to have a hard time deciding which routes to play… So, rather than making the agonizing decision on my own, I ran a Twitter poll and let you guys decide for me. Unfortunately, that backfired since the poll ended in a tie between Diary of a Step Sister and Love Brings You Home, so I still had to choose in the end and I went with the latter.

Love Brings You Home is one of the “newer” Otome Romance titles, having been released exclusively on the Love 365 app and not as one of the standalone apps (at least here in the west). Given all the fantasy romance games I’ve been playing lately, I was looking forward to diving into something with a slice-of-life vibe and Love Brings You Home was exactly what I was looking for; something grounded in reality (at least for an otome game). If I had to sum this game up in one word, it would be ‘wholesome’, no gimmicks just a wholesome romance…

App Details

  • Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
  • 5 Love interests
  • Available: Google Play | App Store | Amazon App Store
  • Cost: Main Story: 400 Coin Each ($3.99USD)
    POV Story: 
    300 Coin Each ($2.99USD)
    Special Story: 
    100-200 Coin Each ($.99-$1.99USD)
  • Similar Games: Finally in Love Again, Kiss Me on Clover Hill, Serendipity Next Door

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Taisho x Alice Rises from the Ashes with NEW Steam Release!!

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.

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It’s Okay Because “Romance” – Otome Games With Questionable Storylines

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.

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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.

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