Supporting Aksys: Otome Games, the Vicious Cycle and the Rift in the Community

Okay, I know. This is the day I’m supposed to post a review. I get it. This is my second non-review post in a row. But on a whim and a with every little ounce of energy I had to give to care about the otome games and josei-muke, I wrote this.

Naja at Blerdy Otome made an excellent post about Elitism in the Otome Game Community. As a “veteran” I will address this elephant in a bit, but more importantly, I am taking the time to — once again — bring up problems with Aksys.

If you think this is a post where I’ll be saying “Boycott Aksys Games!!” you’re completely wrong. I don’t believe that to be the solution. Buying form them isn’t good, and I will always refer to optional companies to get games from, but limitations remain: Aksys Games have certain titles, and some will want to play those. Boycotting them won’t solve that problem.

If you, however, expect me to explain why I don’t support them, you are completely right. I will go over my reasons why, and what harm I see supporting the company has on the otome games. This elephant is the one I will primarily address.

But first, elitism.

Continue reading “Supporting Aksys: Otome Games, the Vicious Cycle and the Rift in the Community”

Norn9: Var Commons

I have needed you for a long, long time. You are the one–the only one–I have been searching for.
Come. Stand up and dry your eyes. I will guide you. Leave everything to me…

2016-11-19-162123Sorata Suzuhara (CV: Atsushi Abe) is on a field trip to the Diet Building with his class when something strange happens. He hears the voice of a girl and then a song, but no one else can hear it. Suddenly he’s not there anymore but at a strange place where everything is in monochrome, without the ability to walk and his body is turning cold. But to his rescue comes a pink haired girl. She tells him he’s in the Taishou era and then takes him to a flying ship, when she learns he’s from the future. It turns out the ship is full of espers, the girl being one of them, but just as they are starting to get settled the day after getting on it, there’s an attack… Continue reading “Norn9: Var Commons”

Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~

Who am I?

What am I?

Where did I come from?

Where am I going?

Loved by no one.
Needed by no one.
If my existence
holds no meaning,
then why am I here?

2016-01-14-131618The year is 1853 and the Royal Guard is on a mission to catch a monster. They have found the unkept mansion and there they find a girl. A girl with poisonous skin and blood. Without any resistance Cardia is captured and to some extent she is relieved as she thinks that she might be killed. She has spent the past two years alone after all. She needs to be alone to avoid hurting anyone. But the girl, who is not supposed to know love, is taken away from the Royal Guard by the Dashing Gentleman Thief and her story of love is beginning. Continue reading “Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~”

Letter to Aksys

This is something I would not usually write here, but is something I am choosing to share for reasons. You are welcome to comment as always, despite this not being one of my regular kind of posts.

Dear people at Aksys and anyone else associated with the translation of the otome games you have released,

I first want to say I think it’s very brave and worthy respect to dare bringing otome games to the international audience. It’s a very nice genre and it makes sales, rather obviously, less likely to succeed. And not only have you released one (1) localized game, but you just recently released your fourth (4th) localized otome game. Indeed, you are worthy of respect for your courage. You opened a door for others to dare localize the games we love.

And you have done a job well done in your localizations as far as I know! There was a bit too much barking in the beginning of Hakuoki – it earned it’s nickname Barkuoki for a reason – but you fixed that along the way and the translation was in general well-made. I haven’t played Sweet Fuse much and can’t say much about that work, but I didn’t see anything negative from my friends. Code: Realize was well-done and I think at least a good deal of us have forgiven you for the name change we had a hard time to accept and at times understand.

However, I’m not entirely certain you’ve known your main audience well enough. In the light of the release of Norn9 you have seen a side of us you might not have been prepared for. We otome gamers are a very passionate kind of people, which means that we get very upset and very disappointed, to extremes at times. We care, and we care a lot. On top of that, we are closely knit despite being spread all over the world and we care for each other, just as much as we – with we, I mean what I’d like to call us the core of the international community of otome gamers, but I’m only active on Twitter, so it might just be that core – promote to buy games one is interested in, especially localizations of otome games.

I do understand you have seen sides of us we wouldn’t usually present and you might not be entirely sure as to why we are so upset about the translation of Norn9, but I would say that perhaps we feel it’s offending both us and the game we love so much. It’s a game we know is well-written and good. It’s a game many of my otome gamer friends have played in Japanese, and which I myself could play just as well in Japanese. It’s a game we want to support the localization of. But we’re upset instead. We feel let down. We expected something good, something worthy of the game we love.

That was not what we got.

I have not played any of your new releases myself, I’ve only seen news and screenshots. And I’m disappointed in you. Just like many other of us. That’s why we are upset. We care because we are so passionate and we get upset for the same reason. We don’t demand you to give us our games, really – we’ve never really expected otome games and some time has passed between Sweet Fuse and Code: Realize together with Norn9 – and we’re happy if you want to bring these games that we’re so passionate about to us. Our only request, a humble one really, is that you take our passion seriously, and make these translations with the small but extremely passionate group in mind as well. Just as we can get very upset, we also get very loyal to those earning our trust.

And, just as we are vocal when we are upset about how a translation is not to our liking, we are just as vocal about how much we love something, in fact sometimes even more so. The line between the two is fine, because we’re not just any group of gamers and I’m afraid that you stepped way over to the wrong side line here.

We are forgiving, and we have forgiven you for things we have been upset about in the past, but we can only take so much. After all, we love these games so much that some of us even learned Japanese just to play them.

With respect for your courage and sad to say you lost me as a customer,

Otome gamer since sometime between 2007 and 2009

PS to all my readers: I still plan on play and write about Norn9, Code: Realize and Sweet Fuse. I got Sweet Fuse, but am hunting for Norn9 and Code: Realize. DM me on Twitter, Comment here or mail me if you want to sell! I was planning on a replay of Barkuoki (PS3 version though) but I think I’ll skip that, since I don’t want to buy that game (again).

Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (reprise)

Hakuoki-LogoI originally wrote a few very long blog posts about this game, but sadly those posts are now gone. I will, however, write what I thought about this otome game base on memory and my notes.

Chizuru Yukimura‘s father hasn’t been in touch with her for some time, and the girl decides to go to Kyoto to find her father, dressed as a boy. In Kyoto she witnesses a Fury attack and is taken in by the Shinsengumi for interrogation of what she saw. After she comes out being a girl and tells them the reason she’s there, the captains of the Shinsengumi allow her to live on the compound, as long as she pretends to be a boy. As time pass she grown close to the captains of the Shinsengumi. Continue reading “Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (reprise)”