Review: Die Vermessung der Welt

measuring the world

First non-otome or BL post on this blog and it’s a small review of Die Vermessung der Welt (Mesuring the World) a 2012 German film. I watched it over at Goethe Institut Jakarta’s Goethehaus, the first film I get to watch there, but based on this experience, it’d be the first of more!

Die Vermessung der Welt tells the story of German explorer Alexander von Humboldt and mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, in their quest to measure the world, both in their own ways. Humboldt, by traveling and counting, Gauss on his table, with numbers theory

That synopsis makes Die Vermessung der Welt sound like a serious, philosophical movie. And the poster Goethe Institut released further added to this image.

It was not.

Die Vermessung der Welt was a comedy, in a way. It was funny, witty with dry humour. The cinematography suits the film very well. My favourite parts are the ones between Humboldt and his Latin American traveling companion, Aime Bonpland. Their dynamic was adorable and make for some really great moments. Their characterisation of Humboldt is just so fun, and honestly I’d marathon a whole TV series based on their Humboldt and Bonpland. While the Gauss parts – his relationship with his first wife Johanna was very cute.

Nevertheless, the movie has its flaws: the way they film women and portray natives to the Amazon rainforest area was pretty uncomfortable, and it was painfully obvious it was done through a Eurocentric, white male perspective. While I think the film was still enjoyable, these parts undeniably made me cringe.

The audience at Goethehaus really did make the film even better though. They’re very receptive, and very opened about their enjoyment – laughing at the right parts and so on. I enjoyed this atmosphere very much, and I look forward to watching a movie with Goethe Insititut Indonesia again.

Affording a Japanese Otome Game Hobby (on a Budget)

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We all want to support our favourite companies, but all of us have limited budget – and the prices of Japanese games can be super, super painful. For me personally, I work in a country where my pay is relatively small for such hobbies and our exchange rates suck.

So managing this do get a little though. However, here are a couple of things I talked myself through every time:

1. Limited editions are nice, but do you really need it?

Otome games often come in limited editions, which cost more than the regular. To be able to get these, you would need to be able to pre-order the game as they run out fast. Honestly, being able to pre-order the game is great. It allows you to support the title as it launch. But let’s face it, there are too many games launching and we honestly don’t know good from bad until we try it. Unless there are huge factors that would make you absolutely, 100% sure you won’t regret buying the game, maybe you can wait a week until reviews are out.

2. Check multiple reviews

Amazon.jp would have a good number, but you can also check out Japanese players’ impressions and English-speaking blogs too. It’s not advisable to only check one reviewer because in the end, it’s their opinion and they have their own preferences too. They might love the game and you hate it, and vice versa.

3. Ask local friends what they’re getting

By luck, I do have friends who are into otome games who live near me. If you do as well, you can come up with a plan of lending and borrowing. Maybe they have a game they seriously want you’re not sure about – you can ask them to give it a try for half an hour next time you meet. If you like it, you can get it. People are always excited to be able to share what they like. Honestly though, it’s even better if you have games yourself you can lend, don’t just leech and make sure to lend yours out in exchange too, when you can!

4. Schedule everything in advance

I do my budget as soon as I get my pay. This isn’t just for my hobbies – it’s for my bills and savings too. So I would set aside an amount I can save each month and then calculate how much I can spend. I’ll then pick and choose between going out, hobbies, food and prioritise where my money is going. If there is a game I really want out that month, then I’ll just reduce my spending elsewhere. If there’s not a lot I want that month, I save it for when there is.

5. Check out legal demos

Otomate has put some of their more popular titles (Hakuouki, Amnesia, Norn9) on mobile platform, and this would allow you to preview their games before buying it, whether on mobile or a console copy! There are also other companies that provide demo copies – Rejet usually does for their PC titles, and Primula did so for Taisho Alice too.

6. Remember the company doesn’t get money from second hand sales

Even though second hand copies are usually cheaper, you have to remember the game company does not make profit on second hand sales! That being said, that is your decision to get it or not in the end, and I have bought a few games second hand myself. Just keep it in mind and make your decision informed.

Second hand might not even be the best way to get your favourite games, unless you’re aiming for a limited edition you missed. Play-Asia, Amiami, CDJapan all sell otome games at reasonable prices and shipping fees (depending on where you are), and they’re first hand copies.

You can also get the games digitally via PSN. These can be cheaper – and they’re even sometimes on sale!

7. Set realistic savings/money goal

Everyone has different income, so you need to set a goal that works for you. Say you’re a student who gets $10 a week – that would mean your rate of saving money would be different from a worker who gets say, $2000 a month. Set goals that work for you, and it’s okay to wait longer if you have to. Don’t compromise your health for this – you can eat cheaper but not eat nothing, for instance – because you have to be healthy to enjoy your games when you get it!!

 

In any case, that’s how I budget my otome game hobby! It worked out okay for me, so hey, maybe someone else might find use for this.

Currently Playing Mobile Games Early 2016

I try out almost every anime-based Japanese mobile games I can get, but due to space constraints on my iPhone, or even more importantly, time constraints, I can’t really play a lot of them in the long term.

Here are my currently playing at this time of the year, with little reflections/reviews.

1. LOVE LIVE: SCHOOL IDOL FESTIVAL
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I have been playing Love Live (on the JP server) since 2014, and have built up quite a team on it. This, more than anything else made it especially hard to quit even as I started to get lazy to play the events and I have not completed a full month’s log-in in ages. The game had gone through some changes over 2015, and personally, I really like it. The seal shop system is extremely useful, and the game had been extremely generous with loveca stones.

Of course, this game is due for an even bigger change with μ’s final live today and tomorrow, as well as the introduction of sister group Aqours. I’m not sure how long can I maintain my interest if μ’s no longer receive new content, but I’ll definitely give Aqours a chance.

2. FATE/GRAND ORDER
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Awful, awful gacha rates! Mixing servants and CE in the same gacha resulted in people getting a lot of CEs but not enough good servants to use them on, unless you are lucky or has enough money to spend on the game. Of which I am neither. However, as I started playing as it was out and have built up an okay team. But really fun system with some really lovable characters and some… I simply don’t care for.

I do like how they have both male characters and female characters, as well as their use of guest artists. The Fate series has some of my favourite ladies too, so I’m definitely enjoying this despite all of my complaints.

3. ENSEMBLE STARS
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I nickname this satan’s favourite game because the system is awful but so many people are crazy addicted to it. I pre-registered for it, hated it because of the system, quit, got back into it because of a friend and now… yeah I can see how it is addictive despite the horrible system oops. I guess you have to sort of see it as a (really grindy) visual novel rather than a typical mobile game – then it gets fun. The large ensemble cast (oops) means you’d definitely have a favourite – or you’d like all of them, because they are pretty likeable.

Me, I’m a KnightsP because most of my favourites are (thankfully) from the same group. Not-so-thankfully, it’s a very popular group.

4. BATTLE GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL
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Probably the most unknown of the games I’ve listed here. Battle Girls is really fun, because it has an action RPG-ish system and gasp no action points whatsoever. Not to mention you can mix and match your cards skills, outfits and weapon, making it super customisable and fun. The current round of cards are super pretty too.

The big downside of this game is how crazy heavy it is. I have to cache clear pretty regularly just because it has so much going on.

Notice

I have not updated this blog in ages, so this is a useless announcement, but I always like to make things clear – even if it’s only for myself.

Due to recent problems with other blogs, my web hosting .etc I decided to use this blog as my go-to blog for <i>everything</i>, not just fujo stuff. Well, fujo stuff is still a big thing for me, but it won’t be the only on here~ I decided to blog more this year, but the aforementioned problems had made it pretty hard – hence, I’ll just focus on using this one blog for everything.

The only exception is my translation work, which will be up on sakurane. If you’re interested in that, please go take a look. I also have commissions open on there! /shameless self advertising

Vita Otome Games | Owned & Wishlist (Oct 2015)


You know I said to myself I will blog more, but I kind of suck at that. It’s not that I don’t like otome and BL stuff anymore. It’s just real life.

Anyway the end of the year is coming up, so it’s time I do my budget again. On this post, I’m going to list out what Vita Otome games I bought in the last twelve months or so and which I’m planning to buy next year!

OWNED

  • RE:VICE[D] (on loan)
  • Code : Realize
  • Kokujou no Psychedelica
  • Ken ga Kimi for V
  • Clock Zero Ex-Time
  • Soukai Buccaneers (shared)
  • Reine des Fleurs

WISHLIST (PRIORITY)

  • Kyoukai no Shirayuki
  • Collar x Malice
  • Nil Admirari no Tenbin

WISHLIST (MAYBES)

  • Yunohana Spring
  • Bad Apple Wars
  • Bara ni Kakusareshi Verite
  • Haitaka no Psychedelica
  • Fortissimo

So far, it seems like next year in terms of otome games will be kinder on my wallet than the last year had been! Yunohana technically falls into this year I guess, and it’s already out, but I’m still not sure about it because well, on one hand it has KENN. On the other I’m not sure if I’d be into the story and themes. Anyway for KENN, I still have Reine des Fleurs which is currently at my mother’s place.

A couple of the games I owned wasn’t on my initial plan. Psychedelica, for instance, I got only after my friends told me it’s amazing. Buccaneers, I got because it was on sale ($12!!) when I was getting Clock Zero and my friend Night wanted to split it 50/50 with me. So who knows? Maybe my owned list next year would be completely different from this wishlist.

I’m interested in Kyoukai no Shirayuki for that dark snow white theme and the art. The cast has one of my top 3 favourites, Kishio Daisuke, so I’m looking forward to that too!

Meanwhile, Collar x Malice not only has character designs and concept I like, but is also produced by Shima Reiko, who also worked on RE:VICE[D] and my all time favourite Clock Zero!

Nil Admirari no Tenbin has gorgeous Satoi illustration and is written by the same writer as Princess Arthur! Another favourite. While the cast didn’t have anyone in my top 3, they’re all definitely pretty damn high on my list and enough to get me excited. Plus Taishou era! This will be fun.

Now to talk about my Maybes. Haitaka no Psychedelica isn’t really confirmed to be anything right now, but if it turned out to be a FD of the first Psychedelica game, it’ll probably the highest priority on that maybe list.

Bad Apple Wars look great, concept and art-wise, but unfortunately I had to be choosier and hence, I’ll get it either second hand one day, borrow it off a friend or well, if it’s super good, we’ll see. The Suou art is so tempting though!

Bara ni Kakusareshi Verite appeals to the history major in me. I’m just so curious about it because! How do you play as Marie Antoinette?? Is it all going to be bad ends?!

Lastly, Fortissimo: a Brothers Conflict spin-off based on Fuuto’s idol group. I love, love Fuuto so if this turned out to be a PS Vita game (is it? The site has no confirmation on it yet) I would be pretty tempted. Although in the highly unlikely chance Fuuto is getable instead of just being a side character, I will be getting it for sure!

Anyway, that’s all for today!! I’ll be back with something with more

[OTOME GAME] Houkago Colourful*Step ~Undou-bu~ – Review

colorful step undou-bu

So I’ve been putting off this review for a while. I played this more than a year ago right after I finished Ken ga Kimi. I think I’m still quite torn about it today, especially with Honeybee’s current track record with their Dynamic Chord series, because Houkago Colorful*Step is cute and fun, but I quickly found out to me that wasn’t… enough.

Let’s start with the concept: the main character is a transfer student (Natsuko for Undou-bu, her twin sister Haruko for Bunka-bu) who had to join a club because the school requires her to. You then go for one of the boys in the club and there’s always a first year kouhai, a same-year guy and a senpai group leader.

I’ve only gone for Sasaki Haruka (CV. Kishio Daisuke), the first year of the basketball club. I don’t particularly feel motivated to go for others, or to go back to this game.

The basketball club. Ah yes, they should be ideal for me consider all three getable guys in it are voiced by seiyuu in my top 10 list. Heck, Hatano Wataru, who voice the captain, and Kishio are easily in my top 5.

But here’s the problem with this game:

It’s incredibly… flat. If you’re into high school life and what not, this is the game for you — but not if you’re into romance high school life story because that isn’t what you’re going to get here. You’re going to get hanging out with your club members, a lot of minor characters thrown at you, a lot of anecdotes and little bits from every single getable character in this game, the second one and the non-getable ones.

And frankly, with 12 getable characters total it got overwhelming.

To make it worse, despite the emphasis on the school life club aspect, a lot of the non-getable minor characters do not have a sprite. This doesn’t seem like such a huge problem until you spend a good part of the game talking to the same basketball team gym background to three sprite-less voices. The GUI was also poor, IMO, but each to their own on this, I guess.

The characters’ story also don’t really build up for their route. It feels like an incredibly long common route and then suddenly character development for the last 5-10% of the game, character-specific problems shown and solved in that very last bit.

And if you’re in this because you want sweet, fluffy, Honeybee-brand romance? As I said, don’t count on it, and I mean it. In the route I played there was one kiss scene, and that’s only in the epilogue. While it’s not something I would usually mind, I know a lot of otome gamers would like more romance in their game.

While for me, I would just like a more solid plot and characters.

It wasn’t as if the characters are bad either. Again, they’re just… plain. Nothing outstanding or particularly memorable about them. Not to say they were awful and horrible, no, they’re just… plain. Same goes with the CGs. There’s nothing aww-inducing or ‘yes that’s it, that’s my boy/son/husbando/whatever’.

I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I played it right after I played the incredibly plot-heavy Ken ga Kimi that led me to think this game was just boring and cheap. Maybe my taste has changed and I just don’t enjoy this kind of game as much as I used to, preferring games with heavier plot/content. Maybe it’s because it was so highly recommended to me that it just didn’t live up to the hype my friends built it up to. Maybe, by the time I played this game, I was already more used to games with higher production value.

I hesitated writing this review because as I said – it was highly recommended to me – and I just did not think it was good at all. I thought over this and wondered if I missed anything, but in the end, it boils down to simply: Honeybee’s Houkago Colorful*Step line isn’t to my tastes.

If you are into the whole club life thing, Houkago Colorful*Step ~Undou-bu~ would be a pretty decent game for you, especially if you’re not really into the romantic aspect of otome games.

Review of Yuumin Drop ( 誘眠ドロップ ) by Sakiya Haruhi

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Oh my god.

I really hate this book.

I bought it because Yamada Shiro’s art + hey it’s Sakiya Haruhi, she’s an experienced BL writer. Besides, the story is about the relationship between a top idol and his childhood friend! That sounds like it’d be this cute fluffy thing, even if it might be straight forward, it can’t be that bad! It could even be really, really good.

But it was really bad.

Not in the ‘conventional’ BL rape is love sense. No, a BL can still be bad despite that.

Like this one is just a plain bad book. It’s a textbook example of a book that tell and not show, which pisses me off. The books have little to no build up regarding the relationship between the main characters. The main segment of the story literally went:

1) Introduction, tl;dr about idol life and how popular Mitsuki is and how Kuuji is his childhood friend and housekeeper
2) Paparazzi problems! Mitsuki shows a rare ~weak~ side to Kuuji by telling Kuuji his problems WHICH would have been more impactful if Mitsuki had not been this good-for-nothing-except-idol-stuff and spoiled shit in part 1
3) Kuuji comes to see Mitsuki who was in a hotel after a scandal breaks out (it literally JUST broke out without much build up)
4) Mitsuki tl;drs forever about his feerings and opinions and his love for Kuuji (and tsuns)
5) Kuuji and Mitsuki ichas and have sex

Jumping from one part to another in some badly paced, flat story.

I guess, at least I bought this book second hand and it cost me like 100 yen. If I had spent anymore on that I would have been even angrier than I am now.

[ OTOME GAME ] Ken ga Kimi – Review (Spoiler Free)

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I actually played Ken ga Kimi a while back and was hooked on it. I’m taking a break from it at the moment though, but so far I’ve cleared Sagihara, Kei, Kuroba Saneaki and Tsuzuramaru in that order. There are already a lot of posts about it and this game is long so I’m way too lazy to write proper tl;dr for it. Instead I’ll just to a (relatively? I hope?) spoiler-free review that takes a lot less time and… I do have some things I really need to get off my chest regarding it lmao.

Honestly, I am a little bit torn regarding Ken ga Kimi. On one hand I now have merch for it, I’m planning to cosplay it, I want to write fanfics for it sometime, it’s my wallpaper, Line icon .etc. From all that it seems like I more than just like the game, I love the game. And in a way I do. I have it listed as one of my favourites now. It has interesting characters, beautiful art, nice music and the endings are generally really good and memorable. So let’s clear it up that I actually really do love this game. Continue reading

[ OTOME GAME ] Re:Vice[d] – Review (Spoiler Free Impressions)

reviced
Summary: The heroine, Aika, is a resident of ‘Makai’, the demon world and of the powerful Shitennou (four heavenly kings) who assist the Maou (demon king). However, one day the Maou didn’t return, possibly killed in a fight with Makai’s rival realm ‘Kikai’, leaving Aika with only his ring. After a while without the Maou, Aika and the other three Shitennou, Akatsuki, Suiu and Shinku, had to go down to earth, sensing that the new Maou is there somewhere.

There are four candidates, each chosen by a different Shitennou: Akatsuki’s choice is Iroha (CV. Kimura Ryohei), a student in the school Aika attends as her cover in the human world. Iroha is talented in sports and academic but has an awful personality. Suiu chose a host, Ryouga (CV. Maeno Tomoaki), who might be a bit of a loser but is charismatic, a trait Suiu believe is important to be a Maou. Shinku’s choice is unconventional: a weak bodied, bookworm shut-in called Hinatsu (CV. Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) – he argued that he chose Hinatsu because as an avid reader, Hinatsu must be smart. Aika meanwhile, chose a mysterious young man called Yukine (CV. Okamoto Nobuhiko) because she has a strange feeling about him. For one, he knows her name despite her never telling him what it was.

As it wasn’t clear which of the four is the Maou (though it’s said that it’s definitely one of them) they had to investigate further, drawing Aika closer to these four candidates.

Impressions: Hinatsu’s first sample CG because he’s the one I’m going for first. I’m almost done with my first route of this game, so I think I might as well do a quick impressions/initial summary post before I go on to having opinions based on an ending or two. Anyway, this Otomate’s first non-port/Hakuouki or Amnesia spin-off Vita entry. I have doubts about buying this since there are sample CGs I was a bit ehh on and no one of the cast is in my top 3 seiyuu list (Okamoto is in my top 10, at least).  But since my friend told me it has the same producer as Clock Zero aka one of my favourite otome games + that heroine seems interesting, I decided to give it a try anyway.

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[ OTOME GAME ] Bad Medicine -Infectious Teachers- – Kashu Remu

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Summary Protagonist Hina’s father suddenly had a promotion/transfer and she had to move school. It so happens that one of the school near their new place is the prestigious St. Christopher Academy, so she took their entrance exam and managed to pass. When she got there she met a group of handsome, seemingly kind teachers, but then, look at the title of this game. Obviously, not all is as it seems.

I wasn’t about to play this game for several reasons: one, I’m just not that into teacher tropes, two, I don’t really like the whole ~dangerous~ guys trend, three, I don’t really like how Rejet deals with two.

But well, I’m in this Kakki mood and his character here has pink(ish?) haired with hairclips so… Yeah, played this just for him.

Continue reading