Hello everyone. Today I bring you another complete nonsense post because I like dating imaginary beautiful anime people. I just need to share that with you all once in a while. But today, I thought I would attempt sprucing up the concept a little by looking at dating sims through the theme of diplomacy!
Anyone that has spent time in the anime community, or really just online, can appreciate that we could use a bit more respect for diplomacy these days. At least I think so. And I wanted to write a bit on the subject.
I immediately thought 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 into 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.
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 yourself up 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 acknowledge his feelings. One of my faves is Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! You literally have to diet and exercise until your thin enough for him to love 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 that 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…)
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. Otomes 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 a 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!
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 favourite 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?
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 your way and go after your goal (boy) no matter how many eggs you have to break.
These are not the nicest truths to realize. We like to imagine that we exist in 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?
I’m a little scared someone will take this post seriously. I don’t think so but just to be on the safe side. This post was satire. Don’t take anything written here to heart. Diplomacy is a great tool that makes everyone’s lives easier. If you can develop a good sense of diplomacy, you will surely profit! Just not in otomes.
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
Here’s a otome specific drinking game:
- 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 realizes 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 situation is – water!
- Every time a boy tells you you belong to him – thank him
- Every time anyone 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 remember how much you love otomes – raise your glass!
4 thoughts on “How Otomes Taught Me What Diplomacy Is”
No one would buy or play it, but adding some rougelike randomization could make the games a bit more life like and add replay value. Maybe a character is moody and on one playthrough likes being flattered while on another they hate being flattered by strangers and you have to be close enough to them before flattering them. Or this run guy A and girl C are a bit easier to find and woo and the next run guy E and girl F are.
I might. It sounds fun
They should make an otoge full of yanderes who all will kill you if you show favouritism, so you have to date them all while maintaining plausible deniability. There are only bad ends, and one fragile harem end. The true end involves getting isekaid by truck-kun for the sequal (with an entirely new cast).
I would play it. I would play the heck out of it