I’m back! Last month I made my first attempt at taking part in an OWLS blog tour and you, yes you, were your usual super supportive and wonderful self, so now I’m back. This’ll learn ya.

You’ve of course been following the tour very closely so you already know all about this month’s topic, but here’s a refresher for your convenience and not at all to pad the post…

November’s topic: Diplomacy:

“Whenever we have a disagreement with someone, we use our words to express our thoughts and opinions. However, there are those who would rather use fists instead of words, those who forget that being “right” isn’t the most important thing, and those who lose sight of compromising and acknowledging differences in opinion and belief. Diplomacy is an important skill and tactic that not many of us have or are able to utilize properly especially in “social media wars” for sensitive issues and anime discourse—we just express our opinions without really listening. For this month’s prompt, we will be exploring some of the best negotiations scenes in pop culture media and discuss how effective these diplomatic moments are and what we can learn from them. We will also discuss why communication and listening are important traits to have and whether or not there are other means to enforce peace.”

Man, LynLyn sure knows how to pick them. A great subject like this practically writes itself. It conjured up images of Terror in Resonance, Time of Eve and Psycho Pass. I kicked around notions of exploring the value of diplomacy in a supposed utopia, or its importance when trying to integrate an emerging culture to an existing one, or even looking into its ultimate role in creating and sustaining dystopian systems. All of these could have been thought-provoking essays inviting actual intellectual debate. I decided to go another way.

Image result for time of eve
does sentience have inherent rights? idk!

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what digital boys want to hear. After a long day at work, what better way to unwind than to pour yourself a small fishbowl of wine, gather up the puppy on the couch, bury yourself under your softest blanket and pretend to be intellectually challenged so as not to spook a virtual boy with emotional baggage? It’s rhetorical, there is no better way.

If you’ve never played an otome, I’m a little jealous, you have such wonders left to discover. For the most part, they all tend to play out the same way. A simple and very “pure” heroine gets contrived into a situation where she’s surrounded by pretty, sensitive, boys who want to touch her… soul. One of them will be tsundere. Despite being love at first sight, girlfriend is gonna have to single-mindedly change everything about herself to allow the poor boy to acnowledge his feelings. One of my faves is Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! You literally have to diet and exercise until he loves you….It’s surprisingly fun.

Whatever other mechanics may be present, the bulk of the gameplay always consists of dialogue/action choices which will pretty much always include a doormat response, an independent, stand up for yourself answer, and a neutral option which strives to make as many people as possible happy or at least avoid being downright mean to someone. What the “right” answer is varies from game to game. Traditionally you had to pretty much strip yourself of all personality and become a Stepford Girlfriend but happily otomes have branched out lately, and some games will encourage you to be independent or even downright sadistic (I’m looking at you horrible butler themed yaoi game I most certainly didn’t enjoy and complete all the routes of…)

Image result for Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!
clearly these guys are woth malnutrition

I can almost hear you begging me to get to the point. It must be your first time here…. Alright alright, we’re almost there. Otome’s have taught me a lot about life and one of their most important and consistent lessons is: the diplomatic choice is always the worst possible option! No matter how you look it, trying to please everyone is a sure-fire way to die alone.

Not convinced? Let me elaborate. First if you want something, it’s important to be clear about it. How are the poor simple people around you supposed to understand your desires and values unless you’re completely and vocally closed off to all potential alternatives. If two boys wanna grab coffee, the only viable course of action is to enthusiastically accept one invitation and loudly reject the other, in front of everyone. If you’re mindful of someone’s feelings then certainly you must love them. Are you trying to have it both ways? Or maybe you’re just leading the poor schmuck on!  Harlot!

Image result for mean anime girl
what pic did you think I’d use?

Besides, diplomacy is for the weak. A person of character must have the strength to stand by their convictions. We all have ideals we believe in and preferences we hold dear. Trying to soften our views by allowing that your favorite may not be the objective best, or that other people may feel differently, merely cheapens them. For example: you and I both know Uta no Prince Sama is the best anime of all time. If the peasants around us don’t have the prerequisite refinement to see it, well that’s very sad for them. Although, it’s not your job to make people around you better, you’re certainly not helping by coddling them. Can you really tell them another anime is just as good with a straight face? Lying to people by pretending all options are viable is frustrating for all involved. How can you expect people to believe you, or even take your thoughts into account, after something like that. And of course, how can anyone ever love you if they can’t trust you?

Image result for anime liar
Only reasonable reaction

And do you know what happens if you keep on picking the wussy middle ground? Nothing at all. Unless you can pick a direction to move in, you will stay in place. Have you ever noticed how projects grind to a halt once you start asking people for their opinions? It’s the same for otomes. You’re never going to unlock those route specific CGs unless you get your butt on a specific route, and to do that you’re going to have to break some hearts. Too bad so sad, but thems the breaks kids. Because decision-making by its very nature is an exclusive activity. It means throwing out all possibilities except for the chosen one and shutting down any possible negotiations. You can try to dress it up with as much gentleness or tact as you like, but it will never be diplomatic.

We all know this if we are really honest with ourselves; Nice girls finish last. You want to get ahead in life, you have to push everyone else out of our way and go after your goal (boy) no matter how many eggs you have to break.

Image result for anime cooking omelette
What are you willing to miss out on for the sake of politeness?

These are not the nicest truths to realize. We like to imagine that we exist some magical fantasy  world where everyone can have their way. We do not! It can get too real for some folks! Thankfully, we have otomes to warn us of the dangers of diplomacy.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this. If you agree with me, please let me know in the comments and don’t do anything until I get back to you, k?

The post is finished and now you don’ know what to do? Maybe you’ve had a crazy week and you missed out on some of my fellOLWS’ posts (please don’t kick me out for this…), well I got some great news for you, you can catch Moonid’s post on the fantastic Log Horizon here or Matt’s intriguing take featuring Tokyo Ghoul. If you actually wanted a smart, insightful, thought-provoking essay then you very much should go read those.

Next up…it’s Takuto. You know, I’m not even going to be embarassed about being shown up by this guy. Make sure not to miss his post on Friday. Make sure don’t miss any of his posts, ever.

And keep up with the tour this month:

10: Takuto (Takuto’s Anime Cafe)

11: Lita (Lita Kino Anime Corner)

13: Arria Cross (Fujinsei)

15: Hazelyn (Archi-Anime)

17: Zoe (Let’s Talk Anime)

18: Katrina Sade (Grimm Girl)

20: Miandro (Miandro’s Side)

22: Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews)

24: Mistress of Yaoi (Yaoi Playground)

25: Crimson (Crimson is Blogging)

27: Gigi (Animepalooza)

28: Naja B. (Nice Job Breaking It, Hero)

29: Mel (Mel in Anime Land)

The privilege of drinking with friends is that, we can talk nonsense all the time… & the best thing is that nonsense is understood, discussed & respected…

Suggested drink: Diplomat

  • Every time someone has amnesia – drink
    • if it’s you – drink moar!
  • Every time a boy has a tragic past – drink
  • Every time a boy tells you that you really understand him – stare blankly
  • Every time them other b*tches be jealous – drink
  • Every time everyone suddenly relaizes you’re beautiful cause you got a new dress/hairstyle/makeup – blush!
  • Every time a boy reminds you he’s still a man – drink
  • Every time you remain oblivious despite how obvious the situaion is – water!
  • Every time a boy tells you you belong to him – thank him
  • Every time anone warns you not to associate with your boy – ignore them while you drink
  • Every time someone calls you stupid – drink (that should help)
  • Every time you remeber how much you love otomes – raise your glass!


26 thoughts

  1. i don’t think i’ve ever played at otome and i probs won’t ever because reverse harems aren’t my thing (in fact, if it has the word harem in it, i’ll most likely not like it). enjoyed the post, it’s more direct than matt’s but it pretty much hammers the idea that you can’t try to please everyone and that sometimes force is what you need to do 🙂 and LOL everyone is always shown up by Takuto’s amazing posts xD

  2. Usually, the player is forced to choose one or the other. There’s no choosing both or multiple because the boys will get into arguments. Though, My Secret Pets! had me confused. We’re so use to increasing the affection of our love interest by picking choices that favors them or spending time with that person. Well, not in this game. In order to achieve the best endings, one must select answers that pleases everyone? What happened to breaking hearts? X’D

    1. Actually if I remeber correctly you set your rout basically with your first two choices then you have to consistently pick answers that show you care about ALL your pets but you already shut the other ones out so it doesn’t really matter. I was idsapointed the piggy turned out that way. I was sure he was going to be my favorite but… It’s the kitty!

  3. Sometimes it does seem otome protagonists are rendered into nothing but submissive dolls. Seeing a woman stand up to her pushy suitors is always refreshing! Even if that means broken hearts and trampled like what you described earlier! His fault for asking her out for coffee, ha!

    Well, maybe that’s a bit much. But I don’t know, it just seems like Japan likes douchey guys and girls who accept that. Maybe I’m watching / playing the wrong stuff. Great post as always~

  4. I didn’t think a post about otomes could be so entertaining. Especially the truth about diplomacy. I haven’t played any of them or equivalents, but they are more realistic than I’ve given them credit for.

  5. It’s so true we can’t have our own way. I️ don’t like to compromise but I know sometimes we have to. I️ do know I’m a assertive person when it’s come to addressing people. I️ never want to be passive nor aggressive. But I️ want to get my point across.

    Great post!!

  6. The only otome game I’ve played is Hatoful Boyfriend, where I learned that sometimes you need to eat your fellow lovers in order to get ahead.

    I agree with you on the otome games and how you need to be firm with your answer, but at the same time I always have multiple save files so I can try everything and see what happens.

    1. I think we all do 😉 I just find it hilarious how sometimes you have to act like a complete psycho to get ahead in these games

  7. Ah, but picking an answer that pleases everyone has very little to do with diplomacy. Diplomacy is the art of getting what you want by placing your opposite in a position where they can’t refuse. Bonus points if they feel good about giving you what you want. Special bonus points if they think it was their idea.

    Diplomacy is for the weak, in the same way that violence is for the stupid. You use the resources you have at your disposal to get what you want. If you’re both weak and stupid, you can always try to charm them. If you’re as charming as your dog’s digested food, you can still try to get a starring role in Osomatsu san, but that’s pretty much your last chance.

    The point of diplomacy is not to push your values onto others; it’s to use their values against them. To do so effectively you have to know what their values are, preferrably better than they themselves do. Since your opposite might also be a diplomat, it’s in your best interest not to reveal much about yourself in return. However, they need to know what you want, or they can’t give it to you. (Misdirection is possible, but it complicates the playing field, too much.) Diplomacy is every bit as taxing as violence, but it tends to leave fewer physical ruins.

    If you can assume good-will, diplomacy is unnecessary. You just engage in your normal give and take. Which is why normal people just balance their needs against others’ and live together that way. Still, some differences are very hard to bridge, and then you have choices: (a) give up on your goals, or (b) try to achieve them against opposition. If you choose (b), diplomacy is always an option. This is why the underpriviledged receive free training in diplomacy from an early age on. In a partriarchy, thus smart women are natural diplomats.

    The way you describe Otoge, though, it seems that these games want you to give up on your goals (or rather, your goal’s supposed to be the guys’ hapiness in the first place), and thus diplomacy is not applicable. No guy wants to date a diplomate. I mean who wants to be played? Through game mechanics you learn that success is a happy man. An insidious system of multiple choice answers ensures that you can’t take a single smart option. Luckily, you unload the unpleasant side-effects of those choices on your doll-like proxy, and you still get the pretty pictures.

    I can’t speak from experience, since I only know Otoge through their anime adaptions. But yeah, the idea that diplomacy is the wishy-washy option is something a true diplomat relishes. Nothing spells success like being underestimated, after all.

  8. Hmm…this really is an interesting topic. I don’t know if I agree with everything you wrote, but most of it certainly is very valid. It all depends though on what kind of people you are dealing with. In my dayjob (yes you didn’t think that I only spent time here in the blogging universe did you 😂😂😂), I train and coach people. With some people I can take on a direct approach in order to get my point across when I’m trying to teach something. There are however, also people who can get hurt by taking a direct approach and in the process don’t learn anything. My point is, everyone has a different kind of personality…it can sometimes be better to take a diplomatic approach, but still get your point across by doing so. It certainly doesn’t apply to every single situation, and in no way would I ever suggest backing down, but sometimes a softer approach works too.
    And if all else fails you can always try to become a God by taking down the evil Queen Takhisis and rule the world…(sorry sometimes Raistlin just takes over my mind).
    Great post, but I don’t have to be diplomatic to get that point across lol 😂😂

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