Yes, there are some very nice downloadable things available to celebrate Hallowe’en! Otomate is focusing on their old titles Edel Blume and Will o’ ‘Wisp (maybe they’re planning some PSP ports soon or something?) and you can get some nice backgrounds as well as a couple screensavers by clicking on the top banner that says ‘trick or treat’
Quinrose actually has an event on Oct 30, but no online swag unfortunately.
And that’s it for Hallowe’en! I was hoping Karin might do something (their games are so perfect for atmosphere) but no, just an update about Omerta, a BL game, which is set for April 22 2011.I didn’t even know they did BL! In checking Koei I also noticed that Harutoki 5 is set for release on Feb 24 2011. Set your clocks! I think I might be taking some vacation in March
Another new one announced from Otomate, Hanaoni is set for 2011 on the PSP, with art by Kazuki Yone. The teaser site says that the main character is in the ‘beautiful but dangerous’ world of oni, and has to decide which oni’s bride to be. Apparently it was originally a stage production as well as a movie, the tagline of which really reminds me of Twilight – not my favourite book, but let’s be honest, Twilight would be perfect as an otome game!
Yup, a Xechs fandisk is coming, not much info about it yet though! I am still working on the original game, I’ve done the two ‘main’ characters and I’m working on the rest now, although having my Japanese PS2 break down has slowed me down a lot Anyways, I’m kind of excited for this, it was definitely a fun game with a distinctive attitude and style!
I’ve been inundated with spam, so I thought I’d try another spam protection plugin. Hopefully this one works without blocking people!
I like history, but most of what I know, I learned through historical romances, anime, and otome games. I thought taking a short primer on the periods in Japanese history might be useful, and ended up making a post about it for anyone who’s interested. Especially now that games are being made in several different periods (not just Heian and Bakumatsu anymore!), keeping timelines straight can be confusing. So with thanks to Wikipedia where I got the dates and some of the general historic info from, here is a rough outline of Japanese history.
Pre-history: Paleolithic Period
Western calendar: 35000-12000BC
Well known figures, games set there: None – this would be cavemen and hunter gatherers, probably not much chance for romance (just watch, the next otome game will be a Clan of the Cave Bear remake)
Still prehistory: Jomon Period
Western calendar: ~12000BC-300BC
Well known figures: this is when a lot of Japanese mythology is set; for example, Japan was supposedly founded by Emperor Jimmu, a descendant of the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu, in 660 BC.
Games set here: none that I know of, though Suzue Michiko (Glass Mask mangaka) wrote a series called Amaterasu! EDIT(thanks miruki!): Mirai’s R18 otome game Hoshi no Oujo 3 is set here, with the whole main cast as demi-gods/gods/spirits and the entire thing being very mythological.
Western calendar: 300BC to 250AD
Well known events/figures: Bronze and iron are introduced…probably lots of myths/folktales are set in this time as well
Games set here: Harutoki 4 is probably either here or in the Jomon period
The first written history
Western calendar: ~250-538AD
Well known events/figures: not that I know of
Games set here: no otome games
Western calendar: 538 to 710AD
Well known events/figures: Buddhism was introduced
Games set here: no otome games yet!
Western calendar: 710 to 794AD (short period!)
Well known events/figures: Fujiwara clan rises in power (remember the green-haired guys in Harutoki 1?), lots of historical writing about Japan
Games set here: Ayashi no Miya might be set here, or even a little earlier
Otome games ahoy!
Western calendar: 794 to 1185AD
Well known events/figures: Hoo boy, let’s see: the Tale of Genji is written, the most powerful clans are the Fujiwara(Takamichi and Yukitaka), Taira (Katsuzane in Harutoki 2), Minamoto (Yorihisa/Yoritada in Harutoki 1/2, not to mention Eisen and Motomi), and Tachibana (Tomomasa in Harutoki 1). Most famous onmyouji ever Abe no Seimei
Games set here: Obviously the biggest are the Harutoki series – #1 is set around the end of the 10th century, #2 is set around 100 years later. Harutoki 3 is at the very end of the Heian, during the end of the Gempei War in 1184/1185. Miyako is also set in the Heian period. Also, Hoshi no Oujo ~Uchuu Ishiki ni Mezameta Yoshitsune~ is set in the same time frame, with the heroine as Yoshitsune!
Feudal Japan (1185-1603)
Western calendar: 1185-1333
Well known events/figures: The beginning of the shoguns’ rule and the Mongol invasion.
Games set here: none that I know of
Western calendar: 1336-1573
Well known events/figures: The period was ruled by the Ashikaga shogunate. The first contact with the West occurred in 1543 when a Portuguese ship landed in Japan. The last 106 years is also called the Sengoku Jidai, or the Warring States period. That’s when Oda Nobunaga finally overthrew the Ashikaga and brought in the next period. Also, ninja start to be recognized as separate from regular mercenaries/warriors that specialized in spying and sabotage. The first ninja were from Iga and Koga, and the famous ninja Hattori Hanzou was from Iga. One famous ninja clan is the Fuuma clan.
Games set here: Nise no Chigiri (1561), probably also Yo-Jin-Bo, and Towa no Sakura has a Muromachi route.
Western calendar: 1573-1603 (another short one)
Well known events/figures: This is the end of the Sengoku Jidai, with Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and finally Tokugawa Ieyasu working on uniting Japan. Nobunaga started the tea ceremony, and Hideyoshi was the one who codified the samurai as a separate social class that was inherited, and forbade non-samurai to carry swords.
Games set here: Tenkaichi Sengoku Lovers, where you can go for all the big names – Nobunaga, Ieyasu, Mitsuhide, Takeda Shingen AND Uesugi Kenshin (who are in Nise no Chigiri).
Western calendar: 1603-1868
Well known events/figures: Also called the Edo period because the Tokugawa ruled from Edo (Tokyo). Ukiyo-e (woodblock prints and the ancestor of manga!), kabuki, and bunraku (puppet theatre) were developed. Christianity spread, especially among peasants, and a rebellion by them in 1637 was crushed. This led to a policy of seclusion, which was ended in 1853 by the Black Ships of Commander Perry, and the start of the Bakumatsu.
Though it’s still in the Tokugawa period, from 1853 to 1868 is referred to as the ‘Bakumatsu’, literally the ‘end of the tent period’, where the tent refers to the shogun’s rule (bakufu). After the Black Ships incident, Japan was slowly forced open to the West (and into several unfavorable trade agreements), and there was a lot of turmoil and violence, especially between foreigners and the Japanese. A terrible cholera outbreak occurred, as well as a huge currency devaluation caused by foreign speculators.
The Shinsengumi was a supporter group of the shogunate who acted as policemen. They were also notable for their inclusion of non-samurai in their ranks and their strict policies. The Shinsengumi was led by Kondou Isami, with Hijikata Toshizou as second and Okita Souji. Sakamoto Ryouma also played a major part in the negotiations that led to the Meiji Restoration.
Games set here: All those Shinsengumi games! Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi, Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi 2 Karyuushiden, the upcoming one Ishin Renka, and of course Hakuouki and the recently announced Harutoki 5! Also a really old otome game called Meshimase Roman Sabou is kind of set in a madeup place but using Edo period costumes. Towa no Sakura also has an Edo route.
Western calendar: 1868-1912
Well known figures/events:
Games set there: none that I know of
Western calendar: 1912-1926
Well known figures/events: The Kanto earthquake (1923), WWI (they fought against Germany)
Games set there: Towa no Sakura has a Taisho route, Waga Ichizoku Hanayaka Nari
Western calendar: 1926-1989 (holy that’s longer than I thought!)
Well known figures/events: The period corresponds to the rule of Emperor Hirohito. Important events include the Manchurian Incident, when a group of Japanese officers staged an arson attack on a section of Japanese railroad in China to use as an excuse to invade (1931), the Great Depression which increased nationalist sentiment and contributed to extremism, the Rape of Nanking (1937), the Axis pact with Germany and Italy (1940), and WWII. Surrender and dissolution of the Empire of Japan in 1945 changing into the State of Japan with an elected government at the Diet. Post-war Japan boomed economically.
Games set there: there’s a new one coming up, Bunmei Kaika Aoiza Ibunroku, that is set in Showa (the early years, going by the pics).
Western calendar: 1989-present
Well known figures/events: The Kobe earthquake and the Aum Shinrikyo subway gas attack both occurred in 1995.
Games set there: start with Tokimemo and go through all the contemporary-set games
Good kanji to know about Japanese history
Heian Period 平安時代
Warring States Period (Sengoku Jidai) 戦国時代
Ashikaga Shogunate 足利 幕府
Muromachi Period 室町時代
Kamakura Period 鎌倉時代
Tokugawa Shogunate 徳川幕府
Edo Period 江戸時代
Meiji Period 明治時代
Taisho Period 大正時代
Showa Period 昭和時代
Minamoto (Gen) 源 Genji – 源氏
Taira (Hei) 平氏 Heike – 平家
Minamoto no Yoshitsune 源義経
Minamoto no Yoritomo 源頼朝
Musashibou Benkei 武蔵坊弁慶
Oda Nobunaga 織田信長
Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康
Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉
Takeda Shingen 武田 信玄
Uesugi Kenshin 上杉謙信
Shogun 武将 (btw, I never realized that Kurou in Harutoki 3 was a shogun, haha)
Warrior 武士 Samurai 侍
Kunochi (female ninja) くのいち
OK, this post ended up way longer than I expected! Hopefully it’s useful for historical otome fans.
Yes, for all of us who try to plan our otome budgets (try being the operative word) the next couple months is a good time to save up for the avalanche of new releases coming in the winter.
Other than Harutoki 4/5 news, B’s Log also had the following announcements: