Otome Tuesdays- My Sweet Prince: Meet the boys Part 1

princes

Please note!  Spoilers ahead for the following princes: Chezem, Lambert, and Melchiorre.  

I love Otome games.  They are visual novels, meaning you’re reading a story with visual elements added to make the story all the more alluring.  Most games require money to play, unless you play one of the free games.  Even for free, there are limitations and time constraints due to the no-cost aspect of the game.  Often if you hit a checkpoint and are unable to produce the items needed or charm level required to pass through, you may find yourself at a standstill for days or weeks.  Luckily some games offer special events where you can earn currency to turn in for special items during the event or save up some in-game currency like Zeni to purchase checkpoint or avatar items.  As long as you level up skills (like Lessons in My Sweet Prince) and login each day for your login bonus, that will earn you a little more coinage.

My Sweet Prince is one of the first Otome games that I’ve played and is a rather cute game in the Shall We Date series.  You start the game as a young Japanese woman on vacation in a foreign country.  Your terrible luck results in all of your belongings being stolen, but the thief leaves behind a jeweled bracelet and unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), you are now in possession of the bracelet that determines the heir to the kingdom.  Almost immediately you are whisked away to the palace, where the king informs you that because you are in possession of the bracelet, that you must determine whom will be the next king.   A rather daunting task, considering there’s six princes to choose from and each with their own quirks and skeletons in their closet.  Plus they’re all beautiful, so that makes choosing all the more difficult!

I’m on my seventh play-through of the game (five princes, one replay because of a bad ending, and now I’m on Ivan the butler) and so far, I’ve enjoyed each story offered.  I don’t think I could offer an opinion of my favorite prince thus far, but I can give some insight into their varying and sometimes frustrating personalities.  In the end you end up loving them.  Or in the case of some princes, you wish you had picked a different love interest or picked a different route.  The following are in the order I played them and just a brief observation of each and why they were perhaps not the best pics for the playable character.

chezem 1) Prince Chezem– The quiet prince of the lot, he’s an intellectual sort that bides his time with books and devouring knowledge.  He seems to have little interest in people and ignores the PC (Player Character) from the beginning, but because of his interest in Japan, he gradually lets her into his private life and starts to be more open with people.  He was once friends with Falitna, the daughter of the scheming and rather annoying Minister Balam.  Unlike the other princes, Falitna does not appeared to be engaged to Chezem, but merely a friend whom had a misunderstanding as children.  I’m not a fan of Faltina, but this appears to be the only story that she appears remotely friendly to the PC at some point.  After playing through some of the other PCs, it’s nice to see a different and refreshing side of her.

Chezem’s story doesn’t have the varying degrees of complexity some of the other prince’s have, but it is a sweet enough story.  The constant pressure from Balam puts an enormous mount of stress on Chezem.  Due to his mother’s fortune, it seems people only involve themselves to somehow get access to said fortune.  I feel bad for Chezem.  He’s the popular kid on campus, that only has friends due to his wealth and nothing more.  Without that wealth, they would drop him in a heartbeat.  I wasn’t disappointed with my play-through of Chezem, though he wasn’t the most interesting of characters.  His quiet nature sometimes made it difficult to really enjoy him.

Choose Chezem- If you enjoy the quiet and anti-social type, that gradually warms up to the PC.

 

lambert

2) Prince Lambert– Oi, this guy.  If you’re a fan of being being reminded you are just a drab commoner, he’s definitely the prince for you.  He’s rather haughty and spares little time for the PC in the beginning.  Don’t be fooled, despite his attitude, he’s a very dedicated prince and desires the throne to better his country.  After saving him from a rather embarrassing predicament, he begins to warm up to the PC.  There is a very awkward bath scene early on and I must say it had me laughing.  My reaction would have been pretty much the same as the PC.  Unfortunately, as any character in Otome games, he’s clueless to his own feelings and questions why he says/does certain things that pertain to the PC.  Really, Lambert?  You’re so clueless and inexperienced that you can’t tell what your heart is telling you?  It’s almost as irritating as the same line most PCs use in Otome games.  “What’s this feeling in my chest?”  Either your in love or it’s a heart attack.  I’m not sure which I’m hoping for right now.

My first play through was disappointing, as I had made poor choices and ended up with the ending I didn’t desire.  Unfortunately, that’s a drawback of merely picking what you feel is best in these games.  If you want a particular outcome, search for online guides for the prince of your choosing.  After a few unfortunate choices in selected games, I decided to use guides to keep from making the same mistakes again.  Unlike games like Ninja Assassin + and Ninja Love +, the default ending is not a normal one.  You can end up alone.  This is an otome game!  You don’t want to be alone!

I’ve noticed that his personality stays the same in most of the other story-lines and remains critical when it comes to the PC.  Lambert loves timeliness and the PC loves sleeping in.  I cannot offer any insight on Lambert’s spin-offs(besides one or two that I earned during events).  He seemed different in both, more caring towards the PC.  In the spin-offs of other prince’s, I will say he seemed very much the same.

Choose Lambert- If you’re into the prudent and sort of cold type.  He’s similar to Ivan, in that he’s a perfectionist and like Jun, he can be a little mean, but I’d say Ivan is a little more critical (at least in the first few chapters) and Jun is like having a villain that found his way back to the light.

 

Melchiorre_(2)3) Prince Melchiorre– Oh, this playboy.  Every Otome game has one–the hot guy that all the females fawn over.  In the beginning he seemed to me to be a sort of flighty character.  I’ve never really picked one of the womanizing types, cause I generally don’t enjoy those types of story-lines.  He’s one of the few princes that has little to no interest in the crown, due to a secret he’s been harboring since his youth.  His story really surprised me, as I figured he was just a playboy that had little interest in executing authority, but there was much more to Melchiorre.  From the beginning he flirts with the PC, though she’s very shy and often tries to wave off his affections.  It made me wonder how a relationship between the two would ever come to be, but pick the right path and it happens.  Even though he makes passes at the PC, that doesn’t stop his flirtatious manner towards other women.

I was close to crying when I reached the last few chapters, as it played out in a most unexpected but pleasant way.  Unlike the other princes, Melchiorre’s is more personal and shows an emotional connection that was missing from the other princes.  Yes, they’re all brothers, but just how close are they?  How far would they go for each other?  I’d say thus far that Melchiorre’s story was the most interesting, just because of the big revelation in the later chapters and how the PC and the other characters deal with the revelation.  His nonchalant attitude towards the crown is similar to Alvah’s though a tad more playful and justified.  Of the princes whom harbor caution towards taking the throne, Melchiorre’s reasons are the most justified.

Choose Melchiorre- If you love the flirty type.  Also, his story has a interesting and somewhat sad twist, which makes it worth playing.

 

Fangirl Friday- Remember the old days of finding Anime?

Sailor Moon

Being an Anime fangirl hasn’t always been easy.  In the 90s we had limited media available to us to watch imports and as kids, your only means of Anime were the few series airing on television or videos your parents may have shelled out the cash for.  My first view of Anime wasn’t Speed Racer as I had always believed.  In fact, my first Anime was not even a series, but Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.  A somewhat depressing version, but I recall thinking just how beautiful the animation was.  I viewed the VHS almost daily until its untimely departure in my VHS player.  RIP Little Mermaid.

Remember when your love of Anime was something that you and so many of your friends had in common?  You would go on an epic quest to find internet pics, clips, music, and anything you could on this phenomenon that took the world by storm and left parents wondering why their kids suddenly spoke fragments of Japanese.  Whenever Sci-fi channel (now Syfy) aired Anime, you faithfully stayed up into the early hours of morning to catch whatever Anime movie that aired.  When Cartoon Network had a new series, you were always in front of the tv after school, waiting to watch and welcome the show as your new favorite Anime.

USA Network and Fox even aired some Anime series, though in most cases the series didn’t last long.  Escaflowne had a very small run and when I say small, we didn’t even get half of the series.  It was an edited mess, but was my first glimpse of the series that will always have a place in my heart.  They also had Sailor Moon, another edited mess.  If you couldn’t figure out the moral of the story by the end of the episode, don’t worry. . .DiC decided they’ll give you a short clip of images from the episode and spell it out for you.  I remember all this talk of a live action series then and how people speculated who would play which role.  I’m kind of glad it never happened.  A North American Sailor Moon just felt like a potential disaster.  I was imagining Clueless in sailor fuku.  USA Network had Street Fighter and can I just say how much I loved watching this?  I was a fan of the games (even the live action movie. . .don’t you judge me!) and so I watched these episodes faithfully until they were pulled from the air.  Before long, unless Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network picked up something, there was little Anime left on the air.

For a long time obtaining Anime was not easy.  DVDs weren’t common yet and VHS sets could cost you an arm and a leg (or a kidney!).trigun_by_silver_escape  Laser Discs were around, but how many people used them?  If you asked somebody the best place to find episodes, they would suggest a peer-to-peer site.  Oh yeah, on dial-up that was a brilliant idea!  No one would think of the repercussions of downloading would do later on and your phone line was busy all night as you downloaded episodes.  Any new Anime that popped up was a real treat, considering the age of Youtube, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix (just barely starting out and DVD ) were not upon us yet. Broadband internet was around, but expensive compared to more reasonable price of dial-up.

A few days ago I received another 30-day free trial from Crunchyroll, which I decided to accept as I haven’t watched any Anime in a few months. At one point all I ever seemed to watch was Anime.  As I surfed through the hundreds of shows listed, I thought to myself “my teenage self would have had a heart attack looking through this catalog.”  There are so many series that I end up searching through the list and at some point I give up and find something else to do.  I know–I have a problem.  Choosing K-Dramas seems easier compared to finding a good Anime.  So many have similar plots or have names so ridiculous that I end up skipping over them.

I thought to myself just how lucky Anime fans are now, with such an enormous selection of videos available to them not just online, but on DVD/Blu-ray.  My local Best Buy use to have a section dedicated to Anime alone that spanned the same length of the Xbox 360 games.  It was pretty amazing, but still pretty expensive unless you bought something older.  I remember picking up Ergo Proxy one Christmas and boy was I excited.  Now the Anime section is only 1/4 of that and the prices seem to be dropping.  Yet I still people flock to that little shelf and search with smiles for new shows to devour.

I’ve been an Anime fangirl most of my life, even though I didn’t realize it until middle school. There is just something about Anime that I find so appealing.  Not that I do not love animated shows/movies made outside of Japan, but there’s just an element to Anime that draws me in.  Perhaps it’s the detail put into the animation or the story lines.  Other animated series and films tend to be rather silly.  Even at a young age, I enjoyed more mature and in-depth stories, but I still enjoyed my afternoons of Tiny Toons and Gargoyles.  Of course, not all Anime have the most intricately-written plots.  Sometimes you get a lot of series that are just a lot of fanservice.

Plot!

That’s a pretty hefty plot.

 

Time to go find a series and binge watch it!