Every year I say “I can’t believe I’m still going” and it’s no different this year. It’s painfully more and more obvious about how console games are pretty much on their way out the door with mobile taking over and with the fact that non romantic mobile games (and gacha whale card games) are pretty much at the top of the industry right now as they rake in the most cash. Why release 1 console game that people will just buy once, play and forget – when you can continue milking for pixel 2D men until the game shuts down?! On that note a lot of mobile games like that HAVE been shutting down so it’s pretty much an endless cycle with the once in a while console release courtesy of pretty much Otomate and the few others companies still hanging on like Extend. Anyway let’s jump into the usual year end review as well as
your all time favorite otome game awards! 😂
I played a hell lot of Final Fantasy – With the virus pretty much locking me up at home most of my year, I had a lot more time to play games than before. With this I ended up playing Final Fantasy 12, 13, 13-2 and Lightning Returns. I’m already looking into playing FF8 as well soon as there’s hopefully a sale but on the switch or PS4 because apparently Square Enix can’t seem to port old games properly and it’s a crash fest like 13-2 was. Bleh. Too bad I can’t stream on PS4/Switch though, it’s always fun seeing a bunch of random people show up when I’m doing some crazy boss battle 😂 and of course always fun to chat with the few regulars who stop by :). On that note all you seiyuu lovers please enjoy the heck out of Final Fantasy 14 ;^)
Minori Ruined Galge for Me – You know what screw you minori, I’m glad you went out of business because your games are actually REALLY BAD. Maybe it’s some year 2006 nostalgia that everyone thinks their games are teh awesome but I found EF to be gross and offensive and Eden was boring and template as sin and I ended up dropping it after 9 hours of Gary Stu & his LoliBBA adventures. And come to think of it, Wind of Breath of Heart was pretty bad too, I must have had the stupid nostalgia glasses too to even consider buying their games after that. Well never again, and honestly no more eroge/galge for me. I cringe reading some of these template lines from both the protag and the heroines more than I enjoy whatever “story” they put into these things.
Japanese Players got Really Mad at Otomate about the Alice Game – So Otomate acting like they’re reviving Alice with Spade no Kuni but then they go and change the most iconic voices of Joker and Nightmare and throw in random new characters while once again axing Peter out of the group. Not to worry, after playing Twin World, I’ve confirmed I no longer give a crap about the Alice series, Peter or not, so I’ll be giving this one a pass unless it somehow has stellar reviews (and with the voice cast change I highly doubt it.)
Aksys Pushes Boxes and Other Localization Blunders – Ah yes, here we are many years later complaining about bad localization and absolutely nothing has changed with them.
They first started out with an insanely poor release of Collar x Malice Unlimited in which someone found HUNDREDS of errors and sent the entire list to Aksys to “create a patch”. To this day, there’s no patch and they basically did all the editing work for free. They did work that someone is PAID to do for FREE. I’m sure like the image above, no patch will ever get released, everyone will forget about it, and move on like they do every year. My biggest pet peve however was how they just straight up translated a term in Cafe Enchante wrong. They translated Hako Oshi (a term that means you love the entire cast as a whole rather than liking specific characters) as PUSHING BOXES.
Not only is that straight up wrong, it means that the person just literally threw the thing into google translate which literally translates it as “box pusher” because the word 押し in otome game terms means to “have a favorite” and the hako is a slang term for “group”. For reference here was my original translation of it when I played in Japanese:
So while I think typos and bugs in a game are bad and should be corrected, when you get to just straight up wrong translations it starts to get to a point of “what exactly are you paying for?” If they can’t be assed to edit the script, check for typos or even translate it correctly , you may as well open up the google translate photo translate function and just play the Japanese release no? And the problem is while there are a few other localization teams that release decent stuff (i.e. taisho alice, manga gamer etc) they pretty much have monopoly over Otomate releases and it just appears to be getting more and more sloppy every year. I don’t usually play English otome games, but the one I played recently had so many stupid distracting typos, I didn’t think they would bother me, but every time I saw one I just rolled my eyes. (i.e. “I sat on the soda” instead of sofa several times etc.)
But there are people who this doesn’t bother at all. It’s like people who were happy importing shitty Hong Kong bootleg DVDs back before we had decent translated and localized anime options. They were also under fire for talking about how they prefer to localize dark edgy games instead of cute games with sparkles – because god forbid OTOME games not appeal to a male audience right? ಠ_ಠ Guess we’ll never see Cupid Parasite in English, way too much girly sparkles and butterflies in that one (although I am shocked they licensed Variable Barricade and Olympia Soire??) Anyway obviously the only solution to this problem is for another company to come and take over or well be like me, dedicate your life to your hobby and learn Japanese. 😂
I quit all my mobage – Yea mobage just aren’t for me lol, uninstalled everything. Instead I somehow got back into massive manga reading after downloading the Manga Park app. It lets you read a few chapters a day for free so you never have to pay if you don’t want to. I read all of Kamisama Hajimemashita on it and now making my way through Mizutama Honey Boy which I absolutely adore.
I can’t think of anything else “eventfull in the otome game world” this year (since most of the year in real life was covid & presidential election for me) so let’s move on to the
otome game visual novel awards ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
Unlike 2019, I actually completed 17 visual novels this year (including the crappy galges) thanks to having a lot more time on my hands 😂😂. Since it’s a VN I will include them in the award listing but I won’t include my FF games since those fall into the RPG category. Going to start from worst first and then best for last (the worst & best are in no particular order)!
😱 Worst Game of the Year: Diamond Girl😱
😱 Worst Surprise Incest: Iris School of Wizardry😱
😱 Worst Reusage of Materials: Koi no Hana Saku Hyakkaen😱
😱Ozmafia Award for Most NTR in 2020: Olympia Soire😱
😱Goodbye Dummy Head Mic Award: Meiji Tokyo Renka Twilight Kiss😱
😱J. Epstein Award for the most amount of pedro in visual novel: EF -a tale of the two-😱
😱Cheapest Kusoge Award: Scared Rider Xechs😱
😱Childhood Friend Deja Vu: Hoshikuzu Heliograph😱
😱The Worst Key Game I’ve Ever Played: Summer Pockets😱
😱I shouldn’t have bothered with Quin Rose again 1: Arabian’s Doubt😱
😱I shouldn’t have bothered with Quin Rose again 2: HnKnA -Wonderful Twin World-😱
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)Now time for the GOOD SHIT( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
😃 Best Otome Gamer Award: Gensou Kissa Enchante😃
😃 Best Exotic Occidental Fantasy: Gensou Manege😃
😃 Best Character Game: Dairoku Ayakashimori😃
😃 Best Mystery & NYC Landmark: Bustafellows😃
😃 Best Music, Best Heroine & Best Game of the Year: Cupid Parasite😃
I received a fanart of Lee from Nan again this year, thank you so much!! (n*´ω`*n) I’m trying to get him more involved in parts of this blog so keep your eyes peeled for him to show up other than just during my yearly anniversary posts ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Now it’s time for the yearly stats!
Top 5 Most Popular Posts (Not including index pages):
- Piofiore Review (warning: I did not like this game)
- Cafe Enchante Review (obviously because both of these got licensed)
- Bustafellows Review
- Taisho Alice Review (also another licensed title)
- Olympia Soire review
Top 5 Blog Hits (not including blog names):
- ffxiv housing ideas 😂
- piofiore no banshou
- amazon (???)
- cafe enchante otome
- ff14 aerith glamour
Interesting because google pretty much hides most of search terms to my blog these days so interesting that most of my hits are now ffxiv related. Maybe I should post more FFXIV related content 🤔 On that note, I’ve started a twitter moment for otome game cosplay in ffxiv that I update every once in a while 🙂
Not much left to say other than – gee I wish there was more console otome. B’s Log is basically a mobage magazine now with maybe 4-5 pages dedicated to whatever console game has been teased by otomate or whoever else. If you look at the upcoming 2021 releases it’s well..sad. The only thing I have my eyes on is Lover Pretend, Paradigm Paradox and the HameFura otome game adaptation. As far as the rest of the year I’m only getting the Takuyo game and possibly the new R-18 manga gamer release (which depends really on the timing of patch 5.4 in FFXIV and if so I may push buying it off to next year instead since I’m not going to review it here anyway.) In the meantime I’m forcing my husband to play through the Ps4 version of Code Realize + FD for destroying my Subaru mug lol so please look forward to his reviews. 😂
As usual thanks to everyone who comes back to read my reviews. Thanks to those who come back to read them for entertainment purpose even if you don’t agree with my opinion – since after all ultimately I just have fun writing my thoughts out in a humorous fashion. ( ˘ω˘ ) I’ve lost count of how many games I’ve completed at this point and it’s definitely a huge influence over what I like and dislike these days. I think nowadays I just want a silly game with a happy ending to get away from the bleak reality we’re facing and that’s probably why I picked Cupid Parasite as my favorite game of the year. Hoping we’ll still get a new FFXIV expac next year and if not , hoping more console otome games come out to keep me entertained between patches. ( ◠‿◠ )
32 thoughts on “Continuing Through a Dying Gaming Genre: 12 Years at かわいいじゃなきゃダメなの！”
wow long time no see I Hope you’re doing well 🙂
LoliBabas are legal. >_> <_<
thanks for reading for such a long time 😀
And yea there’s definitely more otome out there if you’re just looking for that type of game. I’m more a seiyuu fan, so it’s harder for me to play unvoiced games or games with non-Japanese voice acting. I did like ReAlistair back in the day but I think the maker kinda fell apart on their 2nd release (backstage pass I think it was?) It’s a pity that the big thing in Japan now is “for ladies” type idol/card collecting games which really bore the heck out of me. It’s even sadder when a company that barely releases games releases a console release that’s utterly disappointing 😦 But what can ya do, just gotta take whatever bone is thrown to us remaining console gamers lol
I remember the first time I came across your blog it was around…nine years ago? Your reviews never fail to put a smile on my face, and I was excited to know of your thoughts on them, especially since back then japanese-produced otome games weren’t as accessible as they are right now for the English speaking audience.
On a happier note, it seems a lot of indie companies have been making a lot of English otome games as of late though which range from surprisingly good (EX: Re:Alistair, Golden Hour, Dark Nights) to downright amazing ones you wouldn’t believe are free (Our Life: Beginnings and Always, Cinderella Phenomenon) and of course there’s the games from Korea….so I have high hopes for the industry. Here’s to hoping that Otomate and other Japanese companies wouldn’t let the industry die out in Japan.
And I’d be looking forward to more of your reviews in the future!
nah I just work a boring office job lol, I remember back in college my professor said “never take up your hobby as your career, because you will end up hating it” so I keep all my hobbies completely separate from my work lol
thanks for reading all this time 😛 And otome world is at a slow down anyway (if you exclude the crappy mobages) so you aren’t missing out on much!
Thanks for continuing to blog and share your interests! Man I remember when I first discovered your blog back in 2013-2014…time really flew. I’ve stopped my Voltage binge since I got tired of all my fictional boyfriends and real life became so busy when I went from student to working adult, and now rediscovering otome as unemployed adult, lol.
🙂 Might I ask what your occupation has been? Are you a professional translator? I hope my love for manga and games will continue for more decades to come.
I’m extremely hesitant when it comes to Broccoli…they tend to prioritize art and seiyuu and the story is usually written by like rando-off-the-stree quality so I tend to wait on reviews. The last game I Played by them was KamiAso infinite which was infinitely terrible and I never bothered buying Koroshiya Strawberry cause as expected, it had horrendous reviews. So no I will never preorder broccoli games again, but if the reviews sound good I’ll be glad to buy it later 😛
Oh one more thing! You mentioned the games that you’re looking into for next year, are you not feeling Jack Jeanne? I don’t know if I care a bunch enjoy the story but the art is gorgeous. I’ve only ever pre-ordered one game in Japanese but this could be the second
Hi 😊 thank you for all the wonderful reviews over the years! I have been reading your blog for like…. 10 years now? And I think I’ve only commented once before saying that you inspired me to learn Japanese so I could play more games 😅😅 sadly after I moved to Japan I kinda started to hate Japanese and only played OELVN. But now that I’m leaving I’m suddenly back in love with Japanese otome so I’ve been trying to catch up on all I missed in the last 2 years. I’m so grateful for your reviews so I can skip the bad games and keep my love alive. I hope your holidays are great!
I’ll look into F me Royally as well, then! Thanks for the rec. 🙂 I’d take jokes and fluff over abuse festivals any day, and am all for supporting MG if they’re doing such a neat job.
Again, hope you take care and have a good year till next anniversary post!
Fashioning Miss Lonesome was actually pretty funny, the porn can be skipped if you get the steam version but some of the “porn” scenes are amusing lmao so you can always fast fwd if that’s not your thing. The game itself was a huge joke and not the typical abusive garbo that you encounter in R-18 games. MG just released F me Royally too and I played the Japanese demo of that which was also pretty funny. It’s the same makers as Miss Lonesome so honestly I’d recommend both games, as the translator and editor for them actually like otome games and care about the quality they put out.
Bustafellows being localized is very good news!!
I didn’t read more than your final thoughts on the game, since I was wishing for just that to happen… somehow, but what you had to say, plus the initial reason given by the company to not localize the game, make me pretty hopeful. (I really like games with a strong grasp on atmosphere and setting, whether said setting is a fantasy world or in New York, so I hope it’ll be handled with care!)
Thank you for the MangaGamer tip! I used to not care for porn games, but with the year being what it’s been I’m just starved for stories/fun distractions, no matter what degree of lewd you gotta wade through… I think Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome is in my backlog (possibly as a direct consequence to your review at the time, unless I’m imagining that? Was it among the R18 reviews you chose to delete?), I’ll have to play it and see, even though I wouldn’t have much of a frame of reference. It’d be nice for MangaGamer to become a viable alternative to Aksys when it comes to otome, even if it’s not the bulk of what they localize.
And ooooh, I’m very much looking forward to an FF8 coverage (if/when it comes, no pressure :D) Hopefully it’ll be less rage inducing than SOME titles in the franchise!
Thanks for visiting all this time and reading 🙂 I really do hope you enjoy varibari and dairoku and maybe now with Bustafellows being localized by possibly the actual company itself maybe people can finally see the differences in localization quality. (Though MangaGamer’s otome releases have been pretty good on that end but nobody seems to notice since they release a lot of porno haha)
I’m excited for the new Bustafellows Season 2 for next year but otherwise kinda slim picking for otome in general so I went and bought FF8 for the switch during the holiday sale so that will keep me occupied next year.
Thank you for your service, Hinano! And happy (late) anniversary to this blog. ❤
As time goes by, I understand you getting tired of current trends, and the shift to mobage, more and more. Here's to hoping there'll still be games you'll enjoy playing and reviewing in 2021, be it otome or otherwise. Whatever you review, I'll be happy to read, as long as your energy and your emote game remain intact!
Also, re: translations. I was saving up CxM Unlimited for a special occasion, so I haven't played it yet, but reading about its translation being such a trashfire is pretty disheartening. I had no idea translations had been such an issue for so long, tbh, outside of companies notorious for using machine translations… Now, I have absolutely no standards (my first comment on this blog was about playing Last Escort 1 and its terrible system, iirc), but as someone now working in translation, I just… don't understand companies being so flippant about this step of localisation. It's one thing for a fantranslation to contain mistakes, I can even understand companies without means or an audience having no choice but to resort to machine translation, but Aksys? They can do better.
I'm still hyped for VariBari, and Dairoku because of Suoh's art. Otherwise that'll be mostly non-Japanese VNs/dating sims for me this year, I feel… But I'll definitely still visit here!
Hope you take care, and the current situation doesn't put too much of a damper on your holidays!
Thanks Leaf! And yea I just can’t stick to mobages anymore I get bored so fast.
And for localizations yea, I’m hesitant to have my husband buy them because he’s gonna have to see this crap :s
Thank you!! And yea lmao I’m glad people have moved on… xD
And yea honestly back in the day we had barely even anime fansubs for things so I just took it upon myself to learn the language to enjoy the hobby and it was definitely worth it all these years 😀
Congrats on 12 years, Hinano!! 2020 as a whole just really dumped on everyone but I’m glad you were able to still enjoy some games. I quit mobage too. Nothing appeals to me lol. It’s really disappointing to see what happened with these new localizations but at least I could put that money toward groceries instead lol. Here’s to a better new year! Take care and stay safe out there!
very late to the party but happy anniversary you know even with the market dying and such its good to see you branch to other genres without losing your touch and oh god the otome localized circle it´s the main reason that I stay the hell away of anything with aksys , also lol finally diabolik wifebeaters it´s no longer the most searched post XD every anniversary post I laughed when the search keep appearing in the top 5 , and well about galge/eroge games sad to see you dropping the genre but alas just like otome +18, here exist so many stinkers even when you can avoid the ones with nasty themes the ones who keep being localized are boring like minoru games , nukige or games made for alicesoft who oh my that company loves dem rape and like to make jokes about that so you are screwed if you don´t know japanese or don´t like the ones translated for fans :s oh well time to learn japanese I guess .
hope you get a better gaming year 😀 !
I’m really not a fan of R-18 games actually. I’ve heard of both.
I usually stayed away from Hanayaka due to me not feeling like dealing with the whole stat raising system. It was a common thing back in the day but now I really hate when I have to keep track of “in game chores” and I just wanna “read a book” xD
Thanks for the recommends tho!
Thank you a lot for your reviews! (>♡<)
You really helped me out pick games and also fully understand some things I couldn't bc my jp suck at times.
Btw gurl I highly recommend you trying hanayaka nari waga ichizoku series. Judging by your favourite games I'm sure you are gonna love it. If you like r18 ones definitely chou no doku hana no kusari (yes the fd too). 😉 (I promise you won't regret them). Stay healthy ♡
Lee was born from an old april fool’s joke about poke-a-bishie app back in 2012. I never really went far with it until a couple years ago I decided to make him more prominent on the blog 🙂
Well, I’ve only found your blog about four years ago but read some of your earlier reviews and they’re still great. And I have to say it’s really good to have you around, especially since a lot of others abandoned otome gaming or just writing reviews. So happy 12 years and hopefully next year there’d be more good games you’d like to play.
PS. I’m pretty sure it was explained somewhere but why is Lee your blog mascot? Was it because you started with posts about other games?
Thanks for stopping by for all these years 🙂
It’s been 10+ years and I still come back to this blog once in a while to catch up and read posts. Your reviews have always been really entertaining and it was great to have someone else to share frustrations with over nasty stuff being romanticized. The ups and downs of your experiences have been a fun ride. I’m glad the blog is still around.
personally out of the 3 titles VariBari was my favorite – but I also prefer light hearted romantic comedy. Dairoku has a weaker story out of all 3 and Olympia has a lot of similar stuff to Piofiore – which I disliked but it had 3 greate routes so I didn’t completely hate the game like I did with Piofiore where I honestly didn’t like a single LI and hated most of the side characters xD
And yea it’s totally fine to have a different opinion! Honestly I try my best to use the final thoughts to specify why I specifically hated a game, so people who aren’t bothered by the things that bothered me might enjoy it. And thanks for following for a while 🙂 December’s pretty light for me due to pretty much no games coming out that I’m interested in so I’ll just be back to the olde FFXIV grind haha
no need to be sorry! It’s okay to have a different opinion than me, I’m a lot more sensitive towards any kind of violent/sexual abuse topics and they just make me cringe – so generally I have a negative opinion of games that include those topics.
it’s fine if those things don’t bother you or deter your liking of a game so all good! 😛
And good luck on learning Japanese! Definitely looking up words and self translating is the way to go!
Aww, thank YOU Hinano for doing reviews all these years! You definitely inspired me to pick up some console otome games and try to (painfully slow) read some JP only games. I might post some small reviews on Tumblr or start a blog once I get comfortable with the language! However, it is kind of sad that console gaming is dying when I was just starting to get into it. I came from from mobage gaming (cause its available to download on your phone and “relatively free”) but now I definitely prefer to pay once to have a longer more concise narrative off the bat.
On a side note:
I’m sorry but I am playing Piofiore and I’m liking it so far for reasons I am not going to get into (I know, I’m thrash :P)
I’m also tired of QuinRose games, and I haven’t even played the original game. Just seeing QuinRose mercilessly beating the dead horse that is the Alice games is so tiring to look at from an outside POV.
Anyways looking forward to your next reviews!
Oop, not surprised at which posts are the most popular (lol). I personally liked Piofiore, given I like historical settings too – I obviously don’t condone like rape or drug abuse and all but it’s not like this game was shedding a positive light on it either, and I didn’t feel the heroine was as much a doormat as some people made her out to be – and, so far, Cafe Enchante. Il is so adorable, I’m almost scared for how much angst there’ll be since I heard of how serious they take this isekai element, haha. I never want them to stop interacting as a group. I wasn’t aware of that box error though even though I remember seeing that term in the dictionary. Maybe it’s because I read too much Chinese webnovels where sometimes translators just like to keep it authentic by just directly translating chengyu (four word idioms) though they sometimes make very little or weird sense in English, so I sorta shrugged it off. I always thought it was like some metaphorical comparison they were trying to make and I wasn’t aware of it. I’m definitely in the “better than nothing” boat, though I’m trying my best to learn Japanese… it’s gonna be a long way before I can pick up and even somewhat easily read through a Japanese otome game. I’ve been thinking about Jakou no Lyla though since I heard especially the Asian and Arabian Nights were good, but from Aksys’s 2021 lineup I’m mainly looking forward to Dairoku Ayakashimori and Olympia Soiree, but I may also get Variable Barricade? It’s just I’m sorta like “… eh” toward those modern romcom drama sounding games. I would have honestly preferred them to do Cupid Parasite if they were gonna localize a more light hearted, modern drama game. I have nothing against those types of games, but it’s just I prefer historical and fantasy a bit more. Like of course, I thought games like My Last First Kiss were good, but I liked Rose in the Embers better. Piofiore mixes in both historical and fantasy, so I guess that’s also a part of where my big liking comes from… like genre-wise, I really do fit into the palm of its hand, haha.
Happy anniversary! I’m definitely a huge lurker but I’ve been following your blog for several years now, haha. It’s nice to see different opinions on different games. I like your outgoing humor a lot. Don’t push yourself and merry December!
I’m glad my reviews helped me this miserable year a little better for you ☺ and thank you!
Yea see what I mean it’s just straight up wrong!! No matter how anyone tries to attempt to say that “it makes sense” it literally makes no sense lol.
Honestly I’m already “taking breaks” because there’s just barely any otome game releases period lol. I remember the days I used to review 4 games a month. Now it’s a miracle if we even get 4 games released in a month lmao. Pretty much grasping at straws for releases now with FFXIV inbetween!
Thanks for being a long time reader 😀
Thank you so much for this blog, your reviews and writing for this long😍 whenever I feel down or bored, one of the things I do to cheer myself up is reading your reviews. Especially this year I read them again and again because of your humour. Happy anniversary 🥳
So I’m playing Cafe Enchante and that ‘box’ thing came out a few days ago. I understand spoken japanese quite well so I didn’t have much trouble with the game. But that ‘box’ thing truly perplexed me, the english translation was like so wrong. I sometimes go around in the jp part of twitter so I kinda understand what it was trying to say, but still. And the last sentence in the game and your translation, “Il loves everyone including the heroine” was somehow changed to, “the heroine pushing the box”. I’m like, huh? What does that mean? Does the heroine love them all? Is she breaking the fourth wall? Hahaha, and I ignored it thinking it was some kinda tl mistake ;-; (to think otome games are treated this way, kinda worried for future title now… Just at least don’t ruin VariBari’s Aksys, it shouldn’t be that complicated compared to the other two…).
Also, been following your blog for a long time now! Congrats on you 12 year! Take a break from reviewing whenever necessary, the quality of otome game ain’t improving that much anyway (I feel like they only improve the art), your head must hurt XD.
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