Throughout the week, I’ve noticed an otome themed hashtag #OtomeVdayWeek reoccurring on my timeline, posted as part of a 7 day thread. Since I was late discovering this hashtag, I decided to put all the topics together in one blog post as I don’t often write specifically about this genre. With it also being Valentines Day, what better time to dive into a genre containing romance! Of course, I couldn’t resist featuring Eltcreed Valentine for the header image as his name is just too appropriate.
Day 1: Won’t You Be Mine?
A game you haven’t played yet:
I chose 3 games for this category – a game I don’t own, a backlogged game and a new title. I would love to get my hands on a copy of Hakuoki SSL, but since I don’t have a Vita, I don’t think this will be possible. Nightshade is still currently sat as part of my backlog which I hope to play in the near future. I’ve heard so much praise for this title and I really don’t know why I haven’t touched it yet. Lastly, I would be thrilled if Jack Jeanne gets a localisation in the future. I’ve had my eye on this game for over a year, and after seeing people play the Japanese demo on Twitter, I now want to play it even more!
Day 2: Cupid Cuties!
My favourite heroine is Cyrus Tistella from Steam Prison. Prior to playing Steam Prison, all the otome games I’d played featured heroines that were pretty basic, nameless, or outright useless – constantly being a burden to the other characters. Cyrus, however, was a member of the police force, very competent with a sword and was headstrong in what she believed in, following up her beliefs out of passion. Her lack of knowledge on romance could be slightly frustrating at times, but this fit in with the nature of the story and the dominance of the male characters didn’t take away her spotlight.
Day 3: A Special Kind Of Love!
A character you weren’t expecting to like:
I wasn’t a fan of Kazama in Hakuoki at first. I didn’t like the way he claimed Chizuru from the moment he first saw her, but as the story progresses and you get onto Kazama’s route, you get to see a different side to him that’s actually really charming. I felt similarly about Impey in Code:Realize with the way he always spoke out about his feelings for Cardia, but his route also surprised me in a different way, showing just how considerate he really is.
Day 4: Take Me Back To The Place It All Started!
A game that got you into the genre:
My introduction to otome began with Hakuoki when it was first brought to Steam. Before this, I’d never even heard of the genre, but after the plot caught my attention, I decided to pick up Kyoto Winds just before the release of Edo Blossoms in early 2018. I absolutely adored the Hakuoki games and ended up purchasing another Idea Factory title, Amnesia: Memories, soon after. Looking back now, I’m glad I started with Hakuoki and I think this series is a solid entry to the otome genre if you’re wanting to get into it.
Day 5: Magical Moments!
My favourite scenes are typically those where you can clearly see the chemistry between the MC and LI. I really enjoyed Mineo’s route in both Collar x Malice and Collar x Malice Unlimited because he is so well suited to Ichika that everything they did together felt special – even Mineo’s bond with Kazuki was adorable. I also really enjoy scenes that include all, or at least the majority, of the cast interacting with each other in any otome game. This banter contributes greatly to the overall experience of the story as it doesn’t completely focus on the one character who’s route you’re on. It also shows different sides to characters that we may not see otherwise and I really enjoy seeing everyone bond. Code:Realize is a pretty good example here.
Day 6: Tugging On My Heartstrings!
Scenes that made me feel emotional:
I still think about Orlok’s bad ending in Piofiore: Fated Memories… that was really something. I won’t go into detail because of spoilers, but I’ve never felt so sorry for a character and it made me look at one of the other characters in a whole new light for the rest of the game. The whole of Café Enchanté pretty much sums up this category too, I wouldn’t really call any of the endings aside from Canus’ happy, more like bittersweet at best.
Day 7: A Day For Love!
Everyone has a favourite when it comes to otome. Typically, I have a vague idea of who’s routes I’ll enjoy the most after being introduced to each character, but there’s only a few who have really stuck with me. First up is Saito from Hakuoki, my first ever ever route completion and first favourite character. I really liked his aura and the way he kept to himself with a mysterious air about him which I was really intrigued by.. Next is Takeru Sasazuka from Collar x Malice, who is either loved or hated depending on who you ask. I totally understand why people dislike him, but for me, I liked his assertiveness, intelligence and even his teasing. He’s very sure of himself and doesn’t change his ways for anyone which I actually really admire, but he does have that soft side too. Finally, my most recent favourite is Yang from Piofiore. I didn’t think I was going to like Yang as much as I did, but his route was surprisingly exciting as he’s the most dangerous and unpredictable dateable character I’ve come across. I honestly didn’t want his route to end.
This little challenge was a lot of fun and I hope to write more about otome on my blog in the future, especially since there’s a lot of localisations in the works for this year!