September 12 2014, 11pm
I think this is a very fair analysis.
Personally for me, while I have guilty pleasure playing otome games, I notice the trend where the heroine is typically “useless” and has Stockholm Syndrome. Granted, I’ve also noticed a good chunk of love interests are like…red flags…
Chizuru was actually who I had in mind when I mentioned Stockholm syndrome. I’m very positive neutral about her character and to be honest I was more disappointed with how much text I had to go through to get to a choice to do something with Hakuouki (Demon of the Fleeting Blossom) than how she was characterized.
For me choice is a HUGE deal when exploring a character, so it’s not her who is terrible, it’s what the developers decided to do with her. I think they really limited to potential of Chizuru, and it’s not just her. I think my problem is that there isn’t an understanding that, hey these guys threatened to kill you, it’s probably a bad idea to go out with any of them (even if Saito was my favorite) and I do get that kinda defeats the points of the game. Ha.
SPOILERS FOR ANYONE WHO HASN’T AND WANTS TO PLAY! Skip to “END OF SPOILERS” !
Chizuru never got the option to explore her demon side or even use that to her advantage. She didn’t have confidence through out most of the game. This is what I consider passive. She let the guys do everything. Had there been an option to “ignore the demon side” or “stay human as possible” along with being able to explore her new found heritage, no issues. But nah, she only goes AH NO I’M NOT HUMAN, WOE IS ME! It is things like this where she is considered “weak” in my opinion. I totally get some want a character to be physically strong but I really think it’s more than that.
The other issue with Chizuru I find, is that while she offered emotional support, she always second guessed herself. Part of the lack of confidence. There’s definitely a few parts where she does take her weapon and is ready to go. So she does have her moments where she’s able to defend herself. Especially when she gets defensive for Sen! That was great. I would’ve liked to see how the story progressed if Chizuru went with Sen, instead it’s just an automatic, “no”. Thinking on it, I think where the “weakness” of a character like her is that she, or rather the narrative, focused on the negativity (eg - everyone is dying). Probably to make the male romances more attractive because they’re usually positive. You know, without them dying.
I think the music played a massive part in the emotional response to Chizuru, because for all intents and purposes she was reasonably portrayed as fairly realistic in her actions. The music was very…depressing through out the whole game going through walls of text.
Ehhhh I didn’t mean to make this specifically about Chi, whoops! SO SORRY!
END OF SPOILERS
Honestly, I think the root of the problem isn’t just the character but how options are presented. I think it’s the game play mechanic and the limitations. It is incredibly difficult to assume and be able to create all possible reactions for any given character for a very story driven game since almost all Otome games are visual novels, and boy do they put in the novel! Haha.
It takes quite a while to get to the point to select what you want to do or say, and I think this is something Mass Effect did nice. It was extremely interactive. There were times where you could use Renegade or Paragon trigger options to tell someone off for example. Like punching that reporter in the face, man did that feel good. It was not a speech option, it was an interactive option. I think Otome games could take something like that to involve the player to enhance their experience.
Speaking of Mass Effect, both that and Dragon Age did something that Otome games could really take away from! Why they’re so successful with their female audience. In typical dating sim games, you pick one person and that whole story line is focused on them. Almost all iOS Otome games follow this as far as I’ve played and the Hakuouki game (to an extent!!!!). With Bioware’s games you didn’t have to pick one guy right away, you could explore the other characters’ personalities and see how they developed regardless of your romantic interest. For the Otome games I have played, the male characters only change AFTER you get romantically involved.
There was also options to be witty, sarcastic, flirty, curious, etc with these NPCs. Nothing to do with physical strength. If you removed all combat from the game and made it more exploratory, it could still stand up and Shepard/Hawke/Whatever your DAO character was, without them being physically violent, unless you know, that’s the way you roll.
I’d even argue that perhaps players would want MORE focus on the heroine rather than the boys she’s romancing because she’s the star! Dudes are just super icing on the cake! Especially with those CGs. When developers focus more on the romancable characters, it takes away from the girl you’re playing. Isn’t the point of these to self-insert to hook up with hot dudes?
Oh my goodness I did not mean to write a wall!!!! *face palms* I’m so sorry! I just really love the potential these games have and I want to make one myself and I get really passionate about game design!
To finish up, I also understand this is also a cultural thing between what’s acceptable or customary for Japanese ladies and the very masculine mentality that encompasses Western ladies. Understanding is very important to relating to the character you’re playing.
I totally thank you, Kannacchi, for replying to my post and taking the time! I’ll totally check out Koezaru. And as your tags mention, us Westerns are missing out on a lot of potentially great Otome games because we’re not seen as a big market. But that’s another wall of text for another day on marketing. Here’s to more variety in heroines!! Thanks again.
September 11 2014, 11pm
Why are Otome Heroines Expected to be Badass?
So, I recently started a new semester in University and one of my classes is Introduction to Women Studies. We recently watched a documentary called “Tough Guise” that talked about men, violence and the media.
It begins by talking that boys learn early on that they have to behave in a certain way in order to be considered a “real man”. They have to be strong, tough, in control, muscular, intimidating, etc. in order to be considered one and if they don’t fit this bill, then they’ll be called “unmanly”, “wuss”, “wimp” and other words with a much for offensive meaning which I’ll refrain to say. The fear of being an outcast and being called these names keep boys and men locked into this narrow box and as a result, they try to conform to this idea of what a guy “should be” as a survival mechanism.
I think this is a very fair analysis.
Personally for me, while I have guilty pleasure playing otome games, I notice the trend where the heroine is typically “useless” and has Stockholm Syndrome. Granted, I’ve also noticed a good chunk of love interests are like…red flags abusive (I’m looking at you SWD: Fairy Tales).
Now by “useless” I mean she just doesn’t have the CHOICE to do anything about her situation, whatever it may be. She needs rescuing all the time, she can’t kill/fend for herself, she’s just a sobbing mess, etc. Am I saying that she can’t be rescued or have weak moments? Absolutely not! But when this is all her character is reduced to, I can’t get into romance or story at all. However if I got to choose to be a sobbing mess, that’d be great but there’s little to no choice in the matter.
I’d really like to see more games where they use the heroine’s traits/skills to save the day and/or get the guy depending on the game. Like if she cooks well? Fancy dishes! Sews? Fancy dresses! Shit like that. Something other than typical stats.
Granted, my knowledge of Otome games are limited. I’m still on the hunt for some more. This is just my impression of the genre itself. Yes I want her to kick ass and take names, but she can do it without needing to be letting the dude/s do all the work. If you have some suggestions, I’m all ears :D
September 10 2014, 5pm
reblog for healthy polyamory ignore for unnecessary heterosexual love triangles
Except healthy polyamory isn’t an actual thing.
eggs and bacon ur mistaken
lol love the eggs and bacon
September 8 2014, 6pm
It gets on my last nerve when people say, “Jinora shouldn’t have shaved her whole head,” or, “I can’t believe she’s bald, she needs to grow her hair back out.”
How shallow are you to insult someone’s culture? Getting her tattoos was an amazing moment for Jinora, and I hardly think she cared about what she’d look like without hair before or after she got them. Air Nomads do not live to care about such things as their appearance, for they are the nation of the free and spiritual. They value peace, not vanity.
Also, how sexist is it that when an Air Nomad boy gets his tattoos, it’s completely fine for him to be bald, but it’s some type of sin for a girl to shave her entire head. GETTING THEIR TATTOOS IS THE ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT, AND HOW PETTY WOULD IT BE FOR SOMEONE TO CALL OUT DURING THE CEREMONY, “Wow, SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE SHAVED HER HEAD.”
This—the fandom’s reaction, that is—is exactly the sort of nonsense that makes me hope that some of the airbender girls keep their heads shaved.
Seriously, people: you can’t ink through hair.
I’d kinda like to see her grow her hair like Avatar Yangchen’s.