I thought I’d forgotten to order B’s Log, but it turns out it was just late. Yay! Here’s all the news, and I should be able to do several posts this week!
I have no energy for writing blog posts the last few days! I’m sorry,I’ll get magazines next week and will do the news for sure. I’m planning some preview posts for upcoming games as well. Let me know if there’s a certain game you’re interested in!
I finally finished a route in Jyuzanegi yesterday, and it’s pretty heavy. I think it’s fairly realistic for the time period, and heavy. Not too angsty as such, but just…a lot of things happening and it takes a LOT of effort and time to get a happy ending. I did Chouki first (the other cat boy that’s not the white-haired one), and I liked his character a lot. Ishida Akira’s little catboy Ryuubi also was not as annoying as I expected, so I’m having a hard time choosing what route to do next. I want something totally different, so I’m thinking maaybe Sousou (another country’s general, who’s the first person to force the cat people to leave their secluded village.
The story is set in the times of the Three Kingdoms of ancient China, and the heroine, Ka-u (Ka-un?), is a half-cat person (who are called Maozoku) living in a small village of cat people, hidden away from human civilization. They’re discovered by Sousou’s army when he’s looking for the Yellow Turban Gang (anyone who’s played Sengoku Rensenki is familiar with them, but I believe here it’s their early thuggish days), and he seems to know of them, and demands they come along and help him search or he’ll destroy the village. The strategies and warlords in this game are mostly as ruthless as you’d expect, and there’s no question that he would actually do it. The cat people are also viewed as lower than humans by most people, who call them ‘Juuza’ in reference to the story about their being left out of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac (anyone remember Fruits Basket?). The racism is fairly realistic as well for an openly intolerant time.
Ka-un is the strongest warrior of her people, and has an overdeveloped sense of duty, partly because she’s grateful to the cat people for accepting her when she’s only half-Maozoku. Chouki’s route didn’t go into her origin story too much, although there are hints near the end. I think I know which route would lay it totally bare, but I won’t spoil it.
I loved how she was strong, and yet not really a natural leader – she did get impulsive and overeager to fight sometimes, especially when Ryuubi, who’s the Maozoku’s ‘leader’, is in danger. I wish there were more scenes of her actually fighting – there is a very small battle system based on timing, but in Chouki’s route it’s only fully used a couple times. I hope it’s used more in other routes.
I don’t know how much of the plot is common to all routes, but there is a lot of going back and forth between warlords and countries and armies – by the end you really feel as if Ka-un deserves some rest and happiness. I’m looking forward to doing other routes, but I actually needed a break in-between – I felt tired by the time I got to the end of Chouki’s route. I also haven’t done his bad ending yet – I think I’ll need to cheer up after doing that.
Other things I noticed – the music is pretty good, but there’s not as much animation as in the PV, at least that I saw. CGs seem to be weighted towards the end.
Whoops, I never did a post on Anime North! In the end, Anime North was tiring but a lot of fun, I even saw some otome cosplay (Utapuri, I don’t know why I didn’t ask for a picture!). I think getting our badges was actually the most frustrating part, it took at least two hours and trips between two buildings to get it done.
The otome gaming panel was great as well, there were way more people than I expected and several had already played or watched several games, like Utapuri, Hakuouki, and Togainu no Chi – I’m sure if we did the panel a year ago it would have been 95% people unfamiliar with the genre at all.
I also helped out at the Tokyo Demons table, where things started slowly but picked up speed throughout the weekend – that panel went great, and I got a print signed by their artist, rem! It’s really cute.
I think the best part of the con was finding other people who were into otome games who I’d never talked to before – it’s awesome meeting people who love the same things you do, and talking about them!
Thanks to all the people who came out and either chatted about otome games, or came to the panel – it was so much fun I think I’ll try and do it next year as well!