Otome game endings // types of ends you may come across

You’re walking in the woods….There’s no one around and your phone is dead.
Out of the corner of your eye you spot him…

Shia LeBeouf.

What do you do?

Run away

Hide

Take the first swing before he can

Your choice will affect the ending you reach.

 

When you have a story, there has to be a starting, development and conclusion. What sets game narratives apart from the normal linear narrative structure is that there is an element of being able to choose how the story will play out and conclude. But have you ever wondered what kind of story endings there are out there?

I was asked on Curious Cat to talk about some of the different types of bad endings but to get there it might be easier to talk about all the general types that are prevalent in otome games to begin with. These can apply to any narrative, particularly those belonging to the same categories like galge and other general visual novels, but I’m hesitant to speak on absolute terms so for now I’ll just specify this is for otome games, particularly in my experience.

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Yuiga Satoru // further on being the victim of tracing

As my previous post on the events surrounding Yuiga Satoru’s situation had gotten fairly long and a fairly lengthy period of time has passed, I’ve opted to use a separate post for further updates.

For those who have completely missed what was happening, refer to my original post here which details everything up until April 2020.

Did you think it would go away?

I missed this update because Yuiga hadn’t tweeted about her new blog post but I got a Curious Cat ask to translate the post.

So on the 31st of October, Yuiga updated her blog to reply to the messages that she had gotten over between June and July this year.

Below is my translation of the blog post

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Preferences of Otome Gamers // A survey of Japanese players

Like most things I write here, I had a random curiosity and then used my free time to see if there had been any research done into my random curiosity.

A while ago, I was curious about the thought processes that went into designing an otome game the way they are and wanted to know if there was any basis for the heroines’ personality written into games since quite a few are hit and miss personally. I know in the wider Western otome game fandom, this is also a recurring topic of discussion, but I wanted to know about Japanese games since that makes a bulk of the games I play.

I came across some presentation material given at a game conference some years ago which had some detail on writing otome games which got me thinking about how this came to be and what the current otome game climate is like, since the material was dated.

 

When I researched this topic I found something far more informative than what I was looking for.

Nakamura Sachiyo* had conducted some surveys of otome gamers in Japan to assess the current consumer base on both Twitter and Google surveys last year. She had initially done some presenting and explanation of the results with her background in game developing, which I will translate (prefaced by Nakamura said/stated etc.) and further assess by comparing the Twitter and Google survey results which she had not done. From the data I will attempt to draw any meaningful information while talking about other explanations too.

Interesting survey design choice…((it’s not perfect))

Please keep in mind that market analysis and whatnot is very foreign to my actual academic background (science) so if I make mistakes, let me know/take the explanation with a grain of salt. Also the resulting data is kind of not great in many cases.

I have rearranged the question presentation to answer what I wanted to know the most.

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Mizu no Senritsu// Kirihara Takuya Route and Initial Thoughts

Have you ever had an obsession with a voice actor who rarely ever takes center stage anymore? That’s me with CV: Koyasu Takehito. And that was my reasoning for picking up a game that was released for the PS2 in 2005, and ported to the PSP in 2009.

Mizu no Senritsu (loosely translating to the melody of water), was a game from the company KID which….doesn’t exist anymore. The story follows 16 year old Shiraishi Hina (name not changeable). As a 6 year old, Hina’s last memories in her hometown of Shouwa were of her suffering from an unexplained high fever which left her no choice but to leave without saying goodbye to any of her friends. Before she knew it, whenever she was sad, it always seemed to rain. Ten years later, due to her parents needing to work overseas, Hina is left to dorm life at Shouwa High school. There, she reunites with her childhood friends Kusakabe Hitomi and Shinno Kengo (CV: Suzumura Kenichi).

Mizu no Senritsu’s main screen

On her first day of high school, Hina is pushed down the stairs by an unknown assailant. Luckily she is saved by Kengo but Hina can’t help but be unnerved by the “prank”. Again and again, Hina keeps being attacked, which is when she realises someone is out to get her. It becomes apparent that the second year Kirihara Takuya (CV: Koyasu Takehito), and his elder brother and history teacher Kirihara Takahito (CV: Inoue Kazuhiko) know something about her that she doesn’t.

Left: Takuya, Right: Takahito

When Kagara Shuuichi (CV: Morita Masakazu) and Akizuki Kei (CV: Kondou Kouichi) from the neighbouring high school force a meeting, Hina is attacked by Katase Tetsuo (CV: Hiyama Nobuyuki). Not knowing what is happening, Hina ends up being dragged into a clan war between the Kusou Clan and the Ichiyou Clan.

There are a few more characters that appear but…I’m not sure what their relevance is to the main story is yet so I’ll leave them out for now.

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Yuiga Satoru // On being the victim of tracing

Most seasoned visual novel fans (or perhaps just otome game fans) have come across scandals involving artists allegedly tracing others’ works at least once or twice. However what rocked the otome gaming world in Japan recently is by far a larger scale and has apparently spanned several years unchecked. Here I will give a report of what happened with my translation of any relevant information. My translation notes are foreworded with T/L note in italics.

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King of Fighters -Days of Memories- Kare to Watashi no Atsui Natsu // Overall thoughts

In celebration of the release of King of Fighters for Girls (read as: I’m hopelessly addicted to something weird again), I decided to play the predecessor game. Weirdly enough every article I came across in the English language seemed really confused why they made King of Fighters for Girls rather than continue the predecessor series, but after playing it, I have an inkling as to why.

For those less informed, King of Fighters (KOF) is a series of…fighting games (badumtish finger guns). Like most things in the 90’s, several romantic spinoff games under the series Days of Memories (DOM) were made for KOF where players could date the heroines and then in one game, the heroes. For the purposes of this blog post I’m focusing on the single title that was released for girls, not the other 5 for men.

The otome-targeted title, Days of Memories – Kare to Watashi no Atsui Natsu- (roughly, his and my hot summer), was first released for mobile in 2006 and ported to the Nintendo DS along with two other DOM titles for men in 2008. I understand it was probably a content volume issue that they needed to put these three titles together, but honestly it was a pretty dumb move consolidating two titles for men and one for women in the same physical game.

Probably like most otome gamers, my knowledge of KOF is pretty elementary, having played a total of one game on the original Gameboy of all things when I had 1 brain cell so I may have missed some more important references. But I’ll try my best to fill in the gaps with googlefu.

Title Screen

The little icons of the chars light up when you complete them so I could keep my progress that way….

Apologies in advance for half-edited half-unedited screenshots because I’m lazy and I don’t want more comments asking if the game is in English. Please read the warning on my sidebar.

Story synopsis

Makoto Satou (name changeable) is a 16 year old tomboy with more interest in karate than boys. Her bestfriend Kaori Asanaga laments that Makoto is wasting her youth but Makoto doesn’t really know how to spice it up. In the last month before her 17th birthday, Makoto’s school sees the transfer of the “princely” Rock Howard, along with his guardian and new teacher Terry Bogard. At the same time, due to her father’s work, Makoto begins living with the mysterious but serious Alba Meira. She spends her time learning karate from Ryo Sakazaki, the master of the Kyokugen fighting style, and playing around with her childhood friend Kyo Kusanagi. However she’s also reunited with her other childhood friend K’ (Kay Dash) who has developed a cold streak… Not to mention her narcissistic classmate Ash Crimson is causing trouble whereever he goes. Kaori, desperate for a summer time happening, drags Makoto to Iori Yagami’s live as well. With all these new and familiar faces, Makoto’s last summer as a 16 year old becomes an unforgettable one.

If my summary sounds like a mess, it’s because the game is a mess.

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Gensou Kissa Enchante // All Other Routes and Final Thoughts

Unsurprisingly (surprisingly? maybe depending on perspective) it didn’t take all that long to finish this game. And to summarise my feelings: AAAAAAAAAAAaaaHHHHHHHHH.

Gensou Kissa Enchante oh how I have feels

Story

Synopsis below copied from my first post:

The story is about Awaki Kotone, who inherits her grandfather, Awaki Souan‘s cafe after his sudden death. Having experienced her fair share of early career hardships, she wonders what to do with her life and his cafe and discovers a strange door in the cafe that when opened, allows customers from other worlds to visit Cafe Enchante. At first not believing such a fantastical thing was possible, with the guidance of Souan’s long time customers, Miser Rex (for some reason his name is read as Michelle Alex in common English, CV: Akabane Kenji) the Demon King of the demon world Asmodia, Canus Espada (CV: Umehara Yuichiro) headless knight of the fairy world Medio, Il Fado de Rie (CV: Ishikawa Kaito) fallen angel of the heavenly world Caelm and Ignis Carbunculus the strongest of the magical beast world Beastia, she slowly comes to accept that Cafe Enchante is a place for patrons of other worlds to rest. As it turns out, the Japanese government is well aware that such otherworldly beings frequent Cafe Enchante as well other other parts of the country and have an unofficial branch dedicated to the observation of them, with Rindou Kaoru (CV: Suwabe Junichi) being assigned to Cafe Enchante. As Kotone decides to continue running Cafe Enchante, the game follows her growth and interactions with being from this world and others.

Click here to skip the spoilers completely to my spoiler-free thoughts
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Gensou Kissa Enchante // Canus Route and Initial Thoughts

It’s been a surprisingly long time since my last actual otome game thoughts post. At first I looked at the time stamp on my Sanzen Sekai Yuugi post and thought “hey December last year isn’t that long” then looked at today’s date and yes, yes it has been a long time. For those who don’t care for my normal twitter/mobage banter, welcome back to a whole new console, since my last game was on the PS Vita (Beast Darling doesn’t really count to me because it’s a mobile game port).

Moving on, I finally got my hands on Gensou Kissa Enchante (roughly, Magical Cafe Enchante in English), my most anticipated announcement at Otomate Party. Its themes were: “cafe”, “other worlds” and “non-humans”. For those more well-versed in popular tropes in Japan at the moment, it’s an isekai themed otome game.

Cover art of Gensou Kissa Enchante

If the poster boy couldn’t be more obvious

The story is about Awaki Kotone, who inherits her grandfather, Awaki Souan‘s cafe after his sudden death. Having experienced her fair share of early career hardships, she wonders what to do with her life and his cafe and discovers a strange door in the cafe that when opened, allows customers from other worlds to visit Cafe Enchante. At first not believing such a fantastical thing was possible, with the guidance of Souan’s long time customers, Miser Rex (for some reason his name is read as Michelle Alex in common English, CV: Akabane Kenji) the Demon King of the demon world Asmodia, Canus Espada (CV: Umehara Yuichiro) headless knight of the fairy world Medio, Il Fado de Rie (CV: Ishikawa Kaito) fallen angel of the heavenly world Caelm and Ignis Carbunculus the strongest of the magical beast world Beastia, she slowly comes to accept that Cafe Enchante is a place for patrons of other worlds to rest. As it turns out, the Japanese government is well aware that such otherworldly beings frequent Cafe Enchante as well other other parts of the country and have an unofficial branch dedicated to the observation of them, with Rindou Kaoru (CV: Suwabe Junichi) being assigned to Cafe Enchante. As Kotone decides to continue running Cafe Enchante, the game follows her growth and interactions with being from this world and others.

Headless Knight, Dullahan, Canus EspadaAAAAAAAAAAAA

The whole game is a decent length from my first playthrough of Canus’ route, with a Prologue -> Common route (8 chaps, one focusing on each char) -> Char route (3 chaps) -> good/bad ending (1 chap) -> credits -> post credits scene. However I can forsee that after finishing one route, the rest of them are gonna be a breeze, perhaps with the exception of a “true” ending or whatnot.

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QuinRose // A history lesson and some thoughts

Last Saturday at Otomate Party, a huge bombshell was announced that no one familiar with the otome game scene had ever expected: QuinRose was making its return as an Otomate label.

I’m sure for those newer to the otome game scene (cough came in after 2016 cough), they’re all wondering so what? So I’m here to catch everyone up to what exactly QuinRose is/what happened to them.

whats a quinrose

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A few of the major types of female fans // a focus on yumejoshi

A few nights ago when the A3! anime was announced, out of morbid curiosity I looked up reactions to whether or not Izumi would appear. A vast majority were begging the producers/creator/whoever is in charge to let her appear because otherwise there would be no story. Personally I feel the same way about Ensemble Stars but the manga and stage play seems to think not, so as fans we never know what’ll happen.

A common reaction I saw from the Japanese fandom was condescension or a general expectation of “yumejoshi are going to riot”, to whether or not Izumi will appear. This made me wonder, why? Aren’t heroines meant to be self-inserts for the player in most cases? Why wouldn’t they want to see their heroine interact with their favourite chars?

Waht

I did some research into the notion of “yumejoshi” and present to you my findings.

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