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 qualities I look for in my otome heroines and thus this post exists.Continue reading “What I Look for in an Otome Heroine”