Under the moon?

I don’t play Otome games. It’s ironic, but I don’t. Then along comes Under the Moon, an 18+ Otome game (first time I’ve ever seen one, by the way) which has been translated into traditional Chinese. The guys are pretty, though certain characters look…odd in certain poses. The system’s generic, the music is average, however quite a few girls seem to like the story, which is why I’m curious about it.

However, I still feel reserved against the genre. See, the average male-oriented eroge is a poor excuse for sex, however there are some absolutely wonderful stories told through them. Otome games, on the other hand, is a much smaller market, and I don’t know whether high ratings for an Otome game would be because it’s good, or because it’s good compared to others in the genre. How good would Under the Moon be compared to most shoujo mangas? Are the people liking it because story’s good or they like the characters (in other words, is this a reverse gender of stupid fancervicy moe fluff)? I can’t tell.

Another thing is that male eroge leads usually aren’t the best of characters, but usually I don’t care about them enough to complain (if I care enough, then chances are they’re pretty interesting anyway). HOWEVER, the same will NOT apply to another girl. One look at her being a helpless loli (and a magical princess on top of that), and I get annoyed. Seriously annoyed. Some people may talk about how men fantasize about submissive women, I laugh in their faces and look at how girls are portrayed in their own stories. Can you look at that top picture? See how the characters are positioned? See how helpless/useless the girl looks? At least some girls are kickass in eroge, I can’t remember the last a girl was kickass in a shoujo manga without it being used as a comedic plot device.

Hmm…I started this post hesitating about playing the game, but now I’m sure. I’m not going to play Under the Moon.

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21 thoughts on “Under the moon?

  1. A god portion the H scenes are rape, or at least start out non consensual. Rape outside in the rain, rape on the table, rape in a church…it really irks me how the heroine still falls deeply in twu wuv with the guys anyway.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to double post that.

  2. I think so far the only worthwhile titles from FutureDigi are Haruka ni Aogi and Yunohana. But it’s been a long while since I last checked their lineup.

    • Really? I thought they had a pretty decent lineup. At least they aren’t carrying titles like Cosplay Fetish Academy or something (ok I might be setting the bar TOO low)

      From what I recall, they carry Yume Miru, Haru Aogi, Yunohana, and Ayakashibito. Not a spectacular lineup but not bad by all means, especially considering its fellow Chinese and English competitions….

      • Well, I played Yume Miru in english, and I have yet to touch Ayakashibito, so neither of those titles register when the name pulltop comes up…

  3. From my experience (not that there really is any, so I guess perspective/opinion is more accurate), Otome games play much differently than eroge games. Rather I should say it’s a much different ambiance simply due to the nature of what it tries to address.

    Though I will admit the female protag narration perspective is usually direly different, as it is almost impossible for her to be uh, a dense male lead I guess. Perhaps try an Otome game that caters more to your interest. I don’t have any suggestions though, as you pointed out they’re even more niche than products in an already niche market.

    It does appear that Otome games have more emphasis on the pretty boys (or rather I should say, just like how eroge games emphasize the variety of pretty girls, otome games also feature some emphasis on the boy characters). However it’s interesting that you state that it’s like, unforgivable if the otome game protag is weak. This makes sense, and from what I recall, I had not really seen an otome protag that was like, more … powerful (kickass as you say, I suppose)?

    It’s almost as if there’s no point in using a good tsundere girl as an otome protag because you might as well do that in an eroge. So I’m not sure, perhaps you get otome protags that *seem* to be very similar to one another (I don’t have the word for it, and I don’t think submissive is the best word to use).

    Perhaps try something like uh … D.C. symphony, girl’s side [I cannot remember the title.] It probably uses similar functionality but it’s like, base game is an eroge, and then you flip flop it, so it’s not an otome game by spawning point. That and uh, circus is very familiar, but for that same reason perhaps you’d want to avoid it. It doesn’t have Asakura Yume either.

    When did FutureDigi do under the moon? Perhaps I looked at the wrong location but the only things I basically saw from them were the pulltop games. Perhaps I totally bypassed Under the Moon on their website.

    Either that or Haruka ni Aogi was simply a much better choice, and the decision was so good I needed not look further until something on par of it or better comes around.

    Due to the protag and internal narration being like 50% of games (this is possibly statistically inaccurate), normally you would think this is critical. As you stated, for eroge this can be bypassed if the story is really good (or the girls, but that’s usually complemented by good story). For that same reason, as you stated, the importance of the impact of the otome protag lead seems to be the utmost critical.

    Or you can see it as, the eroge market has so many girls that you reach so many more variations. Therefore, when you use girl protags, or even boy winnable characters, they are so few that perhaps the right striking combination has not occurred yet, so these games don’t stand out either. The eroge market has already spawned really good games/stories, so things that come later use some component of this. And even then at least one component is something a user may want (whether it’s H-scenes, good character designs, good story, or whatnot.)

    Otome games seem to require good context, or I don’t know. I really don’t know. Consider playing an otome game that has a “normal girl” I would say. One that doesn’t possess magical/special abilities or a high standing.

  4. I think her point was that there’s a dire lack of good otome game titles due to the market saturation. Whereas there’s enough of an audience for plot driven eroge to sell, the same probably couldn’t be said for otome games, so most developers focus on sex appeal.

    Also, as an addendum to my comments above, personally Future Digi are the only commercial translations that doesn’t make my eyes bleed (font and ui wise).

  5. By and far, yeah shoujo manga lacks heroines who can be outright awesome without it being foiled by something else. But applying it to every series feels like it would be overstereotyping. Apart from some of the more obscure gems, even in shoujo as mainstream as VK the heroines have their moment to shine (not even mentioning mahou shoujo series). Sure, a lot of times they still get helped out / rescued by some male character, but I feel like that’s just as much of a problem as in Seinen stuff, since female characters are always handicapped by either their innocence or their compassion. Apparently, no one in Japan wants to see a heroine whose ruthless unless its a villain.

    I don’t know much about otome games (mostly due to lack of english fanbase info), but IIRC it’s demographic is far smaller in comparison against the eroge market (which isn’t the largest to begin with), so it wouldn’t surprise that they’re still cliched and behind the times. I mean, most of the early eroges also had absurdly stereotypical male leads after all…

    • And that’s exactly what I find odd. Literature didn’t start with the invention of the computer, just because a game is a few years older doesn’t mean that it’s okay for having certain characteristics. There has been strong female protagonists in novels for a LONG time now, and I just don’t understand why it’s so lacking in eroge. And it’s not like I want EVERY character like that, it’s that I can’t even remember when I’ve EVER had a truly strong female protagonist that wasn’t comedic. For instance, in Shinshi Doumei Cross (a shoujo manga), the main character Haine has a strong personality and is good at fighting. I love that series, and I love Haine, but her physical strength is the butt of a continuous line of jokes. On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time that a shounen manga lead got made fun of because he was physically strong. Maybe it’s the difference in culture rather than the difference in mediums.

    • I wonder if that nerfs the power level of the characters.

      Well, I have no idea if Otome games have like a growth perspective. I mean part of the reason a story is good is from the protag’s growth, how the protag solves a problematic scenario, how the protag earns the interest of the primary girl/boy, among other properties.

      Perhaps it is a difference in culture than a difference in mediums. But yeah, when novels are mentioned, I am assuming those book novels.

  6. I guess it’s easier to hook female audience that want a protagonist they can insert themselves into to commit escapism.

    I’d hazard an hypothesis that the same goes with male eroges; with self-insert-able male leads in the early days of eroges before we get a more diverse standard in modern days. Either otome games become more popular to have that diversity supportable or the genre disappears with time.

    But if there is ever an awesome female lead, ie. she does the raping, sign me up. Five to six routes of the same awesome female FTW. :D

    • You know what’s odd? Male eroge leads are almost never voiced, but I’ve yet to see an otome game (eroge or not) where the guys were voiced and the girl wasn’t. I wonder just how much that affects the “insert-ability”.

      • I’m going to state the obvious. Since the males in the otome game aren’t the protagonist, they’re voiced. I had not seen a female narration perspective that didn’t have voice upon dialogue (whether it’s “another perspective” in an eroge game or it’s from the girl’s perspective)

        If there was an otome game that didn’t have voice for the protag, it’s probably not voiced at all (maybe some old game but I don’t know how far otome games date back to). I think there *might* be one otome game trial I played that didn’t have the girl voiced but either I’m forgetting if the game had voice or if the girl had voice.

        The closest to unvoiced protag girl I’ve seen is a protag trap (specifically Tomo), and that doesn’t count because the protag is inherently male.

        Well, male eroge leads had a large large trend with unvoiced protagonists (… and no face for the most part lol), so it seems to be more of a trend than “we’re not going to voice the protag” since it’s not really disadvantageous.

        Since the otome protag is already voiced, and is a girl, her face shows on cgs or even during the game rather easily I gather. Happens far more rarely with male eroge leads.

        In the end I don’t play enough otome games to really voice an opinion at all.

  7. Pingback: Spotlight for Strong Shoujo Manga Leads | zanaikin | Major Arcana

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