Otome: Finding a Good One

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Finding a good otome game can be likened to finding a piece of hay in a stack of needles.

Both extremely hard and excruciatingly painful.

Trust me fellow fairies, I have been there, and am still there.  And as a self proclaimed veteran in the otome game community, I am here to assure you that it only gets worse.  However, fear not you bright-eyed, newborn otome fairy, Beijing is here to, hopefully, ease your suffering.

I have complied a short list of the major things that I personally look out for when trying to find a good otome game.  Of course, this is all from my personal opinion and viewpoint, but I have tried to keep this list broad so that it can be applicable to a wide range of people regardless of personal tastes.  That being said however, my own tastes and opinions do come into play so please take everything here with a grain of salt and remember that I am only writing from what I know.

Now that all that stuff if out of the way, let’s get to the list!

1) A Clear and Understandable Description

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MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE DESCRIPTION!

Ok, you would think that this is an obvious fact.  However, this was not the case when I first started to play otome games.  Perhaps this is obvious to all of you because you have, you know, a brain, but it wasn’t to me!

I remember wasting so much time (thankfully not money) playing games where I was totally lost while playing them.  I always downloaded the game thinking “Oh, I’ll understand it after playing the prologue”.  But that never happened!  And soon, I found myself having played a whole route and still being confused!

My advice, if you don’t understand the description, don’t play it.  You probably won’t understand the game either.

2) Read the Reviews

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If they’re bad, don’t waste your time.

This is another simple concept that I couldn’t get through my young mind when I started playing.  Reviews are there for a reason!  Read them!

While there are a few strange outliers where people give one star ratings for stupid things, for the most part, reviews are really helpful and important when making the decision on whether to spend your time on a game or not.

3) Look for Nice Artwork

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Does this make me sound like a snob?  Probably.

Do I care?  Kinda.

Oh well.

As snobbish and rude as this sounds, I mean it.  Yes, I do know how much effort it takes to create an otome game.  I’ve tried just storyboarding an idea I had for one and I was already feeling the soul crushing weight of it.  However, there is no denying the fact that good, clean artwork is a sign of professional work.

On that same note, professional work usually means that there are several people working on this project together.  And because there are more people to bounce ideas off of, the end product is a ton better than the work that is produced by a single person.  Yes, there are a few exceptions, however, this is the general rule of thumb for any product really.

I am not saying that amateur work, or work done by smaller groups that do not have the money to hire more or any artists should just be automatically labeled as trash.  However, if you are a person who is new to otome games, then I do recommend that you try out the stuff made by the powerhouse companies such as Chertiz and Voltage Inc. first.

And that just about wraps up all the main points.  I sincerely hope that this was helpful to you in some way, shape, or form.  Hopefully this will make that stack of needles less intimidating.

Haha, who am I kidding.

Either way, I still hope you at least enjoyed reading this!  From one otome fairy to another, I wish you luck in finding your perfect otome bae.

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Otome Amino Challenge: My Type

We all have a “type”.  As much as we try to deny it, we all have a certain type of personality that we are romantically attracted to.  May it be cheerfulness, dominant leadership qualities, or a certain shyness, all of us have a set of characteristics we think of when imagining our dream partner.  Here, I will be sharing what qualities I look for in a partner.

As an otome game player and fangirl fairy myself, I can say that when I play otome games I natrually gravitate towards guys that exhibit qualities that I find attractive.  It’s much easier for me to get attached to a character that’s my type, and that in turn makes it easier for me to appreciate the game.  I am a person that has a tendancy to prefer characters over plot which, obviously, directly effects what I enjoy; whether it be anime or otome.

The idea for this blog post was inspired by 레 몬 .  Her blog post was very well done and she is an amazing writer.  I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this and hopefully learn something about me or maybe even about yourself as you read this.

My Personality:


Quiet:

Not unlike most people, I tend to be rather quiet when I first meet people.  If I don’t know you very well and I am not purposefully trying to put up a “I am polite and nice” face, I would rather not initiate a conversation.  The only exception is if I find you to be an interesting person and I want to learn more about you, but otherwise, I would rather stay in my own little bubble.  Furthermore, I don’t enjoy small talk and find it pretty awkward.  Awkward conversation plus an already awkward me is not a good combination.  However, if someone else is the initiator I would be glad to talk!

Cheerful:

You know the 😆 emoji?  Yea, that describes my personality majority of the time when around people I am comfortable with.  I like making cheesy, terrible jokes and hearing about funny stories.  I like fun, playful humor that usual counts as being cheesy enough to make over a hundred orders of extra cheesy nachos.  To those who know me well, I almost always seem to be on a constant sugar high.  Though, it wouldn’t be wrong.

Moody:

As nice and cheerful I can be, I am actually quite moody with intense and sudden mood swings.  I find my mind set and opinions of things to totally flip upside-down in a matter of minutes, and sometimes my actions and thoughts don’t always match up.  At all.  I can also easily be set off by small things.  For instance, the other day I ended up stabbing a wall with a fork because I ran into it.  I have a hole-y wall now.  Great.

Confident/Prideful:

As someone who is one hundred percent Asian and has grown up in a society where if you have even the slightest shred of self-confidence you are branded as arrogant, it is somewhat odd to be as almost totally uncaring about others opinions — about me — as I am.  Don’t get me wrong, if I am given good critisim then I will take it to heart, and I do enjoy praise, however, if someone chooses to dislike or hate me for being me then that’s something that I couldn’t care less about.  If you don’t like me for being me, then sweetheart, that’s a you problem.  Unless it’s an actual problem that is causing harm to either other people or myself, then I’m real sorry, but I actually really like me the way I am and if you don’t, well, that’s not my problem.  However, this also leads to some problems since my pride leaves me unable to simply backdown in a debate.  Furthermore, my pride also causes me to hide things from others with thoughts that I can fix it myself.  Huh…  Maybe I am arrogant.

Dominant/Flirty:

To me, seeing my partner blush is the cutest thing in the world, and I am not beyond using “dirty” methods to see such a sight.  I like to coddle my partner just as much as I like to flirt and tease them.  I personally prefer to be the one protecting than being protected.  In other words, I would rather be the prince than the princess.

My Dream Partner:


A Daydreamer/Mysterious:

I like people who have an air of mystery around them.  People who hold an air of detachment from this world are interesting to me and this opens up windows for me to come out my bubble a bit and talk.  Daydreamers also bring up interesting ideas and thoughts that open up a whole new type of conversation.  I would much prefer only a couple deep and meaningful conversations with my lover over a hundred meaningless conversations, and a mysterious daydreamer can easily provide that.

Patient/Understanding/Observant:

As I have already addressed, I am a rather… difficult person to be around — to put it lightly — so to have someone who is willing to be patient with me is a big thing I look for in a partner.  As much as my pride wants me to appear as anything but a “damsel in distress”, I am also human and sometimes need to be saved as well.  Having someone who is observant enough to be able to tell when I’m lying is also a huge plus because then I would be caught before I truly fell off the edge and swallowed alive by lies.

Passionate:

People who have something that they are extremely passionate about are extremely attractive to me.  Listening to someone I like talk so passionately about something they love — even if I don’t really care for the subject — makes my heart swell.

Shy/Innocent:

As I have already addressed, I enjoy coddling my partner, and seeing the shy, cute blush on their face is the thing I live for.  I admit to being a complete tease and a true flirt, so I think a shyer person would be the best fit for me.

My Type:

Bunta Kurimaki:


Bunta is an absolute sweetheart that really represents all that I look for in a partner.  He is always trying to care for you in any way he can even though he is sweet, little cinnamon bun that is new to love.  He also has a knack for being able to tell whenever you are lying from paying endless attention to you.  Furthermore, his childish nature and passion for photography are truly adorable and extremely attractive to me.

Well, I guess it’s official, my standards are way too high.
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Otome Games and Anime: Reasons Why They Shouldn’t Mix!

Ah yes, the infamous otome game; otherwise known as the dating simulation.  The mere mention of it’s name can make even the most devoted and accepting fans of anime cringe.  Filled to the brim with “attractive” guys, useless filler scenes of fluff, and the constant reminders that the main girl lacks a brain, the anime adaptation of otome games have become shun worthy material in the anime community.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the vast majority of anime adaptations of otome games are outright bad. Everything from a brainless main character to episodes of plotless fluff that seemingly have zero connection to the rest of the plotless fluff, otome game anime adaptations have all the qualities of what would be considered as a “bad anime”.   At the same time however, these adaptations have widespread popularity amoung (mostly) women….. as guilty pleasures, which really should not be the case.

Otome games are great.  They contain in depth characters and interesting plot lines when handled correctly.  They make you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you play them and sometimes there are even deeper storylines hidden beneath the surface.  However, when companies try to adapt a game where the storyline changes based on the character of your choice, well, the results are obvious.

Here I will explain the reasons why the anime industry should stop making bad adaptations of otome games.

Keep in mind though that this is all based on my own experience and observations that I have made from being in both the otome game and anime communities.

1) They are Looked Down Upon by the Anime Community/They do not Serve their Purpose as Commercials


Let’s just use Diabolik Lovers as an example.  This anime is infamous for being the absolute worst vampire anime in existence.  Why?  Because the heroine is the ultimate Mary-Sue, all the guys are jerks, the plot is confusing, the episodes hardly connect, traditional vampire lore is completely rejected, none of the characters are developed, and that is only the tip of the iceberg!  But wait…. If this anime was so bad, then why does it have such a large following?  Because the game is just about 10000% better than the anime!

Ok, I will admit, when I first found out about this anime I thought it was absolute crap as well, but after doing a bit of research, I actually found that this was an amazingly done otome game.

The entire point of this game was to appeal to an audience that enjoys BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism) and more specifically, masochists — or just general subs.  All the guys are purposefully made sadistic, and if you actually play the game, you find that they all have wonderful backstories and do not treat the heroine as a blood bag to just pass around.

By trying to showcase all the routes at once in a 12 episode long anime the plot becomes muddled and a lot of key information is left out.  The guys become presented not only as sadists but as complete and utter jerks, and the brainlessness of the heroine becomes painfully apparent; all things that make anime only fans walk away thinking that otome games and their fans are stupid.

2) They are Marketed as Reverse Harems


You may be thinking “Oh Beijing, what’s wrong with that?  They are essentially reverse harems, right?  So what’s the problem?”  The fact that they are being set up to fail is the problem!

Some of the best and most well known romance animes are reverse harems and by putting these already bad adaptations in with those big fish is nothing but a recipe for disaster!


Let’s just start by comparing Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club, one of the most well known reverse harem animes, to Haruka from Uta no Prince Sama, one of the most well known otome games with an anime adaptation.

Haruhi has a distinct personality that is rather unlike most average girls; she is strong-willed, tomboyish, independent, harsh and blunt at times, a realist, and naive about romance.  She is her own character but is still compatible with all of the other characters in the series.  At the same time she also succeeds at not being a Mary-Sue.

Haruka however is generic, bland, naive about everything, optimistic, “perfect”, and flat out clueless at some points, and that is all on purpose!  Anyone who has played at least 2 traditional otome games can tell you that otome game producing companies make their heroines (MCs in otome game terms) as genetic and bland as possible so any girl can pick up the game and be able to connect to the MC in at least one way.  Furthermore, the MC’s personality changes slightly depending on the route chosen so that she is as compatible as possible to the chosen character.

3) The Plot Becomes Muddled


This is Alice in the Country of Hearts, infamous for being the most confusing anime adaptation in existence.  The sad part? This is my favorite otome game with a plot to die for.  I will try not to give away any spoilers but if you haven’t heard of this game before go check it out; it’s absolutely amazing.  I know there isn’t an english version of the game (sadly) but there is of the manga (someplace, I haven’t found all of the volumes yet) and some very nice people have done english translated walkthroughs.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

This otome game actually is very confusing in itself (but what else would you expect from an Alice in Wonderland adaptation?), but it is done well and dare I say, perfectly.  The madness of it all actually enhances the dark and mysterious (but still sweet) plot of the game.  However, the way that the game developers got away with such a thing was by doing a distinct separation of the MC from the rest of the routes depending on who the player picked.  In simpler terms, it would be impossible for all the routes to be showcased at once.  So if that’s true?  Then how was an anime adaptation created?  If the point of an anime adaptation is to showcase all the routes, then how would that be possible with this impossible game?  Well by purposefully making the sequence of events totally jumbled and out of order apparently.

In case you didn’t know there is actually a “legend” surrounding the anime adaptation of Alice in the Country of Hearts.  It’s said that only those who have played all the games and read all the manga volumes can understand the adaptation.

…..

I’m sorry but I fail to see the logic in that.

I get that by doing that it forces anyone who wants to watch the adaptation to play all the games and read the manga but that is still beyond ridiculous.  The adaption just makes the entire franchise seem stupid to an unknowing viewer.  Honestly, whoever thought that adding more madness to something that had found the perfect equilibrium to madness and sanity has to be fired.

Hopefully one day soon we will see a day when an otome game gets a good anime adaptation, but honestly, I don’t see that coming anytime soon.  For now, all of us otome game fans must just endure the pain of only being able to see our precious games as bad adaptations and suffer through the hours we take out of our days to explain that otome games aren’t that bad to anime only fans.

And to all of you anime only fans.  We are not stupid.



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