Let’s gush about chapter 194

I mean, your feed is probably already full of this stuff. But:

1. This was such a fan service chapter. It was so good. It’s just so absolutely stuffed with little gems and I feel the distinct need to point them out.

2. Spoilers ahead.

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I have a feeling this is like a much needed breather between the heavier chapters. A place for him, in between abuse and like… spy drama, to put all his jokes. I snorted loudly at Iida taking everything too literally.

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MY CHILD!
I’m honestly so desperate for any Shinsou content and look! He’s Happy!
My boy is PLEASED!
Bless.

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The whole ‘aren’t you cold?’ – ‘Incredibly’ made me laugh out loud.
Also can we talk about these outfits?
Momoi looking practically regal? Mina basically wearing a bomber jacket and some kind of fur infinity scarf?
Ojiro adding MOAR Fluff. I hope its the same colour as the tuft on his tail. Style the hell out of it, Ojiro!

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The nonchalance with which Aizawa just straight up chokes students amuses me. It made me think he does it a lot but Kendo seems mildly perturbed.

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But then we realize WHY he’s more strict than usual.
And can we talk about how Aizawa is worried that Shinsou will take one look at these classes and go ‘Yeah I’m going back to C thanks’. Because that’s the feeling I’m getting here. These are the hero classes, and our boy is trying out, but Aizawa is utterly convinced that they’ll just look stupid in front of him. He gives the impression of like a teacher telling his kids to behave for like five seconds while a local dignitary visits the class. (He thinks so highly of his pupil I love them so much)

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These personalities in a nutshell. New person is announced.
Momo: Curiosity
Bakugou: Instant Murderous Intent
Kaminari: GRL?!!???
Tetsu: Aggressive Cooperation

Also known as: What is it? Can I kill it? Can I fuck it? Can I friend it?

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My baby!
Look at that friggin scarf. Aizawa has no right to burn All Might you know they’ve been training together non-stop since the sports tournament.

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Why Sousuke deserves everything

Ok, listen.
I need one thing to happen in Dive to the Future, and that is for Sousuke to catch a friggin break.
That is all I need.
Swimming is nice, the cameos are nice, I’m happy to see all my faves back and being adorable but.
BUT.
Give Sousuke his arc. Let him find happiness and a future because so far you (KyoAni) have failed him.

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What follows in my TED talk is a full breakdown  of the Free! Timeline (I don’t even know man, it needs out) and why it has just been mean to Sousuke from the start.

Because that timeline goes far. It starts in friggin elementary school where (this is mostly from the ligh novel High Speed) Rin pretty much abandons Sousuke (and Gou, and his mom, – and Kisumi but no one cares about him) to go live with his gran in Iwatobi so he can go to school with Mako and Haru, and to their swim club, because he ‘finally found a guy he wants to swim relays with’.
I have a picture of baby Sousuke’s face when Rin tells him that he found a team he wants to be part of.

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‘Bitch, I thought I was your best friend.’ (Sousuke, probably)

So baby Rin bursts onto the scene in Iwatobi Elementary, and drags the other two (and Nagisa) into a relay by talking about teams and the importance of friendship. And Rin being Rin, he makes an impact, upsetting the fragile balance of Mako and Haru’s weirdly codependent relationship for the first time (if you pay attention, he’ll do this a lot).

Things aren’t made any easier by Haru nearly frigging DROWNING in a river in front of Makoto and Rin, triggering an old trauma, where Makoto witnessed the funeral of an entire ship’s worth of fishermen. The whole thing makes Makoto realize that he’s terrified of water, always has been, and the only reason he swims is because he likes hanging out with Haru (Makoto gets messed up pretty badly in the light novel, guys).
Anyway.

  • Makoto deals, somehow, because power of friendship.
  • Haru learns what it means to have a true rival and gets finds his inner fighting spirit.(he’s honestly quite a passive character and a lot of the series’ runtime deals with him finding motivation)
  • Rin gets his relay.

And then he immediately takes off to Australia, leaving nothing behind but a buried trophy and a rock that says ‘for the team’.
I have a picture of people’s reaction when he tells them he’s leaving.

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‘Aren’t we friends?’ (literal dialogue in the light novel)

Enter High Speed, Starting Days.

Haru and Makoto go to middle school, where they end up meeting Kisumi, and everyone is sad. They join the school swim club, thereby basically abandoning Nagisa, who is now in Iwatobi SC by his friggin self, and they’re coaxed into swimming a new relay to learn that you can make new friends and team mates.

In this process:

  • Kisumi tries to get everyone into the basketball club and fails miserably
  • Asahi has to get over his performance anxiety
  • Ikuya deals with his issues with his brother Natsuya and decides to break down at least some of the walls isolating his little tsun ass
  • Makoto tries to grow an individual personality but is basically told by Haru to cut it out (I’m paraphrasing but that ‘Makoto is Makoto’ thing is a very weird scene, it’s a ‘be yourself and don’t force it’ kinda thing but let Makoto try for frig’s sake)
  • Haru has to contend with being Too Popular and learns to, sort of, get over his weird crush on Rin to swim with new peoples and win.
  • Everyone gets kindly advice from Nao, and they band together and win (yay!)

It’s about at this point that Sousuke shows up again, with a letter from Rin, written to Haru but sent to Sousuke (because that guy doesn’t already feel like plan B, surely). Rin and Haru sort of both resolve to keep swimming with the ideal image of the other in their mind.

And then in between seasons shit goes down.

  • Ikuya and Asahi leave Iwatobi.
  • Haru meets Rin randomly when he’s visiting his family, and they have a race. Haru wins.
  • This spurs on Rin’s complete breakdown and he stops writing letters to, like, anyone (including Sousuke, because of course).
  • Haru and Mako quit the swim club and Makoto takes up basketball (so at least Kisumi get something out of this).
  • Iwatobi Swim Club (the one where it all started) just straight up goes bankrupt and shuts down entirely.

We are on Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

and everyone is sad (again, but since this is the first anime season to come out, you know, whatever).

Haru and Makoto are in their second year of high school, Haru lives by himself and the only reason he’s a somewhat functioning human being is because Makoto mothers the heck out of him. He doesn’t even appreciate it.
Nagisa shows up and has conveniently forgotten that he’s one of the first people everyone always abandons. He drags the others to the ruins of Iwatobi SC to dig up their old relay trophy thing before the building is torn down.
Also Rin is back in the country and being an utter drama queen (I love Rin, I do, but boy is theatrical). He shows up at the same written-off swim club and immediately challenges Haru, the both of them abandoning Nagisa and Makoto, because fated rivalry.

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Not even kidding about the immediate ditching thing.

Anyway.
Mako, Haru and Nagisa start a new swim club at school and pull Rei into it, and the lot of them relearn the power of friendship.

While they’re doing this:

  • Makoto is a self-sacrificing idiot who faces some of his worst fears (the ocean, remember) in order to not be a burden on the team. It’s bad enough that a pre-character development Rin lowkey worries.
  • Haru struggles with his talent, in the sense that he feels guilty about Rin’s emotional state, thinking it’s his fault Rin lost his enthusiasm.
  • Rin is redeemed because he suddenly realizes he likes these people after all, and winning isn’t everything.
  • Rei learns how to friggin swim from scratch, works super hard and then when they make it to nationals as a relay team, he GIVES UP his place to Rin, because Makoto is far from the only self-sacrificial idiot in this series.

The team is rightfully disqualified, but they learned something? They at least resolved some of their issues.
Even Iwatobi SC is reinstated.
Everyone is happy!

Which lasts like a few weeks.

Because in Eternal Summer, Haru and Makoto are now third years and as Rin mentions, should figure out what to do about their future. This leads to a lot of the issues they had at the start of middle school.
Also: Sousuke shows up again. This guy is still desperately trying to get Rin to friggin notice him, senpai, so he joins the guy’s school and swim team despite being injured.
And Sousuke at this point has spent most of his teenage years being vaguely angry/jealous of Haru, and overworking himself to be ‘good enough’ for Rin to see him as a team mate and he! finally! gets! to! be?
Only he RUINS his shoulder in the process because self-care has just gone completely out of the window at this point.

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I guess it was worth it if he’s giving that look.

What else happens in Eternal Summer:

  • Rei continues to be the sweetheart that this world does not deserve, but gets to swim in a relay with his own friggin team for once. Also Rin teaches him all the other strokes.
  • Nagisa briefly runs away from home because the kid has it rougher than people realize, it’s just we were all busy worrying about Haru.
  • Makoto finds his calling in being a swim teacher
  • Haru doesn’t know what to do with his life, despite being, you know, a swimming prodigy. Everyone and their mother try to talk some sense into him.
  • Haru and Makoto try, again, to address their codependent relationship, it doesn’t go well.
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Despite the visuals.

But somehow, through an extended intervention, this is all neatly resolved in time for the relay final at nationals.

And what’s nice here is that Mako and Sousuke seem to really mirror each other. They’re both tol self-sacrificing idiots who have some serious jealousy issues about their best friend and his fated rival. Only Makoto actually gets to hang out with his reluctant, badly communicating friend.
Sousuke, despite giving up his own abilities, and despite mentioning some kind of emotional closure, doesn’t really get shit.

And THEN

In Dive to the Future, everyone seems to be mildly grown up. They’re almost all in college (I’m so happy for Nagisa that he found Rei because at least Rei appreciates that ball of sunshine and he’s not alone now).
Makoto has ?given up? swimming?, but now Ikuya is back and dealing with almost the exact same issue he had in middle school (like I realize this is realistic, and people don’t just evolve in a straight line but Ikuya pls).
So he’s probably gonna get the friendship treatment, again.

Honestly, the only one even remotely stable in this entire series is Kisumi and no one seems to like him.

But most importantly:
Sousuke appears to not be in college. He appears to not be taking over his father’s restaurant, which is something that was hinted at in Eternal Summer. He’s just mostly bumming, hanging out at his old high school like a loser and failing (again! still!) to write letters to his best friend (who f*cked off to Australia again).

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I mean.
Honey.
Sweetie.
You deserve better than this.
I need you, in this season, to be more tan a simple side character there to hand out plot points.
I need a bunch of people to get together and pull you up. I need you to find that self-confidence and get your shit together because really, it’s been twelve years and everyone else has gotten over it multiple times by now.
I’m begging  you.

Hanamiya… ABO… thing?

So.
The good news is, my creativity has somewhat come back, in the form of me spending the entire first half of the day furiously writing.
The bad news is, it came back in the form of, uh, this. Which is a Hanamiya x reader weird short set in an omegaverse au. It’s not technically smut, but I wouldn’t call it SFW, either.
I suppose it’s more on the angst/comfort scale, with a lot of sexual tension. I know I’m not selling this well, but I’m still trying to get over the fact that my brain handed me an omegaverse story and that I just went and wrote it.

Word count: 2320
!alpha Hanamiya x !omega reader
Heat dynamics, Angst, Fear, Comfort, Sexual Tension, Thinly Veiled Rape Threats (no actual violence, sexual or otherwise)

You sit in the back of the tiny uni classroom, trying your best to hide.
“Please just come and get me,” you whisper into your phone.

Your boyfriend grunts, barely audible over the sound of people talking and some beat playing in the background.
“Babe, I’m busy.”

Frustration settles into hurt, but you try to keep your voice level.
“Listen, I’m about to go in heat and I need you. I locked myself in a friggin classroom and I don’t know if I’ll make it to my apartment alive if you don’t come over.”

“Then why the hell did you go out?” he sighs, and his words cut like steel. “You should have just stayed home.”

“I had classes,” you say, voice going high with a mixture of anger and pain. “It came up a lot faster than I expected.”

“It always happens faster than you expected,” your boyfriend grumbles, “you always do this. You don’t think it’s gonna happen, because you don’t fucking think. You’re always trying to do things you shouldn’t be doing.”

“Well excuse me for trying to lead an actual life,” you growl.
Before you can say anything else, however, the call clicks off.
You call back. No answer.
Panic rises in your throat and you’re left to stare at your phone, numbly watching the animation of a call failing to be connected. You realise that he’s left you hanging, but it takes a few seconds before it fully sinks in.
You’re alone.
He left you to deal with this by yourself.

You shift and focus on your breathing as you feel a first wave of heat hit you. It runs a shiver down your skin, electricity racing from the top of your head all the way to the ends of your fingers and toes. You clench your abdominal muscles, stifling a low moan.

It is pure, unfiltered desire coursing through you and it is an absolute bitch right now.
You’re pretty sure you can sense a group of people gathering, just outside the door. You’re hoping it’s just your fevered imagination but experience, science even, says otherwise.  Your body, treacherous thing it is, is giving off a sweet, wanton sort of scent, a desperate plea for attention that makes people around you stand to attention.
It speaks of untapped potential, of willingness, submissiveness and in any alpha near you it leads to a hunger that’s hard to fight against.
Whoever came up with this biological marvel was an asshole, you think. You take a breath to compose yourself and spray deodorant in front of you in an effort to at least mask some of your scent it.
It’s useless, probably, but what else can you do. You already know it’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better, and unless you can find release, you’re basically stuck here all night.

“You alright in there?”
Someone tries the door handle. Thank god for locks.
“Go away, I’m fine!”
“You sure about that?” It’s a second voice, and it sounds leery.
“Get the fuck away!”
You briefly ponder calling your parents. Never mind that they’re in Osaka and you’re studying in Tokyo. How long would it take them to get here? A few hours? Do you even have that long?
Clicking around your phone, you search for something like a help line for desperate omegas. An intervention team for people in heat. Surely something like that exists.

The sounds of a disturbance by the door take your attention away from googling.
You hear a shuffle, and a curse, the kind of aggression that doesn’t bode well.
And then, in the silence that follows: a click.
Someone picked the god damn lock.
You look around for an escape, a closet to hide in, a window to jump out of, even if it’s three stories down.
But your body is far from done betraying you. You freeze, left to sit on a table near the back wall, as the door slowly opens.

You can smell him, long before you see him. A cloud of scent that proclaims, without hesitance, that he owns the place.
It smells of power, of danger, of arrogance.
It smells like trouble and your body responds by aching for it. A thrill sparks through your veins and you clench once more, biting your lip.
Then the last person you want to see walks through the door, sporting a dark smirk and trailing a cloud of dominance.

“Hanamiya?”

You’re lost in a maelstrom of hormones, flitting between desire and fear. You know, you are almost certain, that he’ll hurt you if he comes close, and still part of you yearns for it, every back-stabbing hormone in your body screaming to be fucked, no matter the cost.
The more lucid part of you grips the hard wood of the table and scoots back against the cool wall. If you could only lose some of the heat radiating off you, you might be able to think.

With an icy calm Hanamiya closes the door behind him and locks it again, pushing back anyone who still dares linger in the hallway, in that stifling cloud of authority.

You swallow hard, sweat gathering in the dip of your sternum, a drop racing down the middle of your chest.

He crosses the room like a villain boarding a conquered ship, long strides taking him right in front of the table, where he stops. Eyes the colour of milk coffee look down at you, taking in the flush of your cheeks, the twitch in your legs, the sheer desperation in your scent.
His lips curl into a dangerous smile.
“Well, well, __-san. Aren’t you in trouble?”

You try to speak but the words die in your throat as he bends down, one hand resting on table next to you.

“They say it’s dangerous for little omega’s to go out when they’re in heat. Makes people crazy, you see.”

You press yourself against the wall, lips involuntarily parting.

“And that deadbeat boyfriend of yours? I saw him maybe half an hour ago. Going off to some party.”

A knot forms in your chest.
It feels like a lie. The kind of cruel thing Hanamiya would say to get a rise out of you.
But you’re fairly certain it’s true, and that hurts all the more.

“Your alpha’s not coming to help you, is he?” Hanamiya says, voice deep with mock pity. “He abandoned you.”

You shake your head, desperate to protest.

“Pathetic,” he says, looking down his nose at you.
He stills for a moment, apparently savouring the way you squirm and struggle to hold yourself together before him.
“It’s a pity, isn’t it,” he finally murmurs. “Such a sweet smell too. There’s a group of people outside just bucking to take care of you.”

You grip the desk harder, shaking your head vehemently as a cold dread grips you.

Hanamiya’s face folds into something akin to amusement and he reaches out a hand. Slowly, he brushes a stray lock of hair from your cheek, a touch that, despite the fear, despite the panic, runs a shiver of pleasure through you.
His eyes twinkle with mischievous joy as he continues, his finger tracking the edge of your jaw from your ear down to your chin.

It takes everything in you to stifle a mewl, your eyelashes fluttering as you grip the desk harder.
You want to wrap your legs around him. You want to cling on and beg him to fuck you, devour you whole if he needs to.
Much as you hate the thought, your skin crackles with a need to be touched and he knows.
God, does he know. You can see it in the burning of his eyes, the darkness of his smile.

“If only there was some other way,” he coos, pinching your chin between his fingers. “Shall I do you a favour, __? Shall I relieve you of this little problem of yours, hmmm? If you beg, I just might.”
He pushes your chin up, eyes boring into yours as he leans closer.

You force yourself to look away, focussing instead on the way his hair falls off his shoulders when he leans forward, black silk draping down, and you try to find your voice.
When it finally comes, it’s in the form of a desiccated whimper.
“Please,” you whisper, and your throat contracts around the word, impossibly dry.

“Oh?“ he hums, lowering his eyes to look at you almost fondly. “Could you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch it.”

You swallow and try again.
“Please don’t,” you croak.

His eyebrows knit together and his tongue clicks, any semblance of warmth gone from his face in an instant.
With a sigh, he pushes off of the table and rights himself, hands casually shoved in his pockets.
“Stubborn little thing.”
He turns his back and starts to walk out while you gulp air like a shipwrecked sailor washing up on the shore.
“Hanamiya, wait!”
You’re not sure what compels you to ask him, of all people, to help you. Perhaps it’s because in the two years since you started university , you have come to admire his intelligence, if not his attitude.
Perhaps you are desperate, in that moment, to believe that he could at least be bargained with or perhaps it’s simply because he isn’t actively trying to rape you and you’re at the point where you consider that a good sign.
Whatever it is, you can only try, and hope.
“Please, Hanamiya, I…”

He turns around, curious.
“You what?”

You slump.
“I don’t know what to do,” you mutter.
The sheer amount of emotions and chemicals fighting inside of you are taking their toll, and the energy it took to keep yourself together is running dry.
“I don’t know what to do,” you repeat, and the way he looks at you makes any hope you had pack up and flee.
“My heat just keeps coming,” you say, pushing through your distress. “For normal people it’s every three months, just a few days, but with me it’s non-stop.”

Cold clay eyes regard you, and Hanamiya’s face folds into something like disgust.

It’s not enough to silence you, however, the words that have taken so long to get through your throat are turning into a stream, a geyser laid dormant too long.
“No matter how many suppressors I take, no matter what my boyfriend does,” you babble, unhindered by the fact that Hanamiya could probably not care less. “I know I’m supposed to just stay home but I don’t want to live my entire life indoors like some caged bird, so you can call me stupid for coming out here when it’s dangerous but apparently that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’ve been fighting this shit for so long, and I’m so tired and if I can just make it home, I could…”
You don’t know when the tears started, but they’re very definitely here now, stinging your eyes and adding to the humiliation of whatever spectacle you’re already making of yourself.
Frustrated, you wipe at them with clammy fingers.
“I just…”

“God, stop whining already.”
Hanamiya folds his arms and rolls his eyes. “You’re a mess, I get it.”
He takes a step closer and, without warning, slides his fingers in your hair.
You gasp at the rough treatment, but he pays it no mind, pulling your head to the side without a word.
Then he licks his thumb and dabs it on your pressure point.

“W-what are you doing?” you squeak, startled.
The air around you has changed, a musky scent overpowering everything else in the room.
It’s not unpleasant, but it’s confusing, adding to the whirlwind of smells and emotions already raging around you until it mixes and turns into something else, something almost soothing.

“I’m claiming you,” Hanamiya says, simply, pushing your head up again.
“Putting a big old ‘property of Hanamiya Makoto’ sign on you that no one in their right mind is going to ignore.”
He grins at your shocked face, his voice dropping a tone as he brings his face closer to yours.
“You’re mine.”

Pure adrenaline courses through your veins and you blink up, trying to make sense of it.
His hand in your hair causes static electricity all over your scalp, making it hard to think. You’re a whirling sea, battered by storms but you manage, somehow, to speak.
“I’m not.”

He lets go of your head with a dark chuckle.
“My, you’re high maintenance. No wonder your boyfriend gave up on you.”
You give him a hurt look, but he ignores it, instead reaching into his jacket pocket.
“Make no mistake, __-chan. I don’t do favours without cashing them in. You will be required to pay me back.”
He pulls out a small spray can and hands it to you.
“That scent mark will last for about half an hour. You’d better start running.”

Blatantly confused now, you look at the can in your hand. Pepper spray.
“And this?” you ask.

“That’s for if you don’t run fast enough.“
He grins and turns again. Walking toward the door.

“Uh… thanks,” you say.

“Just remember that you owe me.”
And with that, he opens the door and strides out, not looking back. In the open doorway, you can see the dark figures of a few stragglers, still lingering in the hallway.

With a deep breath, you slide off the table and onto wobbly feet. You take a moment to find your balance, and then you grab your bag and secure it around your shoulder, trying your best to stay upright and exude confidence.
You clutch the pepper spray in your hand and mentally brace yourself before you finally take a step toward the door.
The alpha’s outside lean back as you approach, and you rigidly pass by them, feeling like a deer surrounded by wolves.
Swallowing hard, you keep walking, slowly, deliberately, down the hallway, until you round a corner.

Then you break into a run.

Endeavour as Mr. Rochester

So the chapter 191 of BnHA is… something.
I’m not, here, going to go into theories about that, because instead, I’m going to talk about symbolism and extended references.

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With, just, oodles of spoilers for the manga, so beware.

As pretty much everyone knows by now, BnHA is Meta AF. It features everything from mirroring to real world social problems and sexism, over parodies to pop culture tropes on fatherhood, all the way to in-world explanations of how important an origin story and a Look are. (It’s… it’s really not the first time I write about this guys).

But Also, there’s the symbolism.

Boy oh boy does Horikoshi love himself some symbolic references.

There’s All Might having a literal hot air front to show the world.
There’s Endeavour’s Pose.
There’s Hawks, who many have noted highly resembles an Icarus figure, incidentally one that has currently lost his feathers and has fallen down to earth (and god do I hate the enormous glaring death flag that all this raises for him in 191).

There is this, which is one of my favourite panels in a bad way (aka it’s so very striking and so horrifically painful).

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JFC that looks brutal

Sir Nighteye, lying in his hospital bed. It took me a while to discern what was so striking about this, and the thing is, those tubes?
They look like guts. Like he literally split his abdomen open and spilled his guts.
That’s not what happens, but that’s what it looks like now.

Incidentally, that is also what happens with traditional seppuku.
If there’s no one to chop off your head, it’s a slow and excruciating death.
It’s a cutting open of the abdomen, spilling the guts and waiting for the end.

And if you follow the arc, you’ll know that’s exactly what he did.
Sir Nighteye knew. That’s his thing. He knew they were doomed, death was coming. He didn’t expect them to win, remember, because he hadn’t met someone like Midoriya, who has the power of Anime Protag to change fate.

But he did it Anyway.

He joined that raid and in doing so, he committed a rather complex form of suicide.

But back to Endeavour.

Nowhere does Horikoshi love to juggle symbolism more than with the Todoroki’s.
Friggin Shouto is a walking symbolism manual. How he carries the scars of his past literally with him, how he is filled with fiery rage, and deals with that initially by turning everything to ice.

And his shitty dad isn’t that much different.

It’s already been noted by others that Endeavour, in that fight with the noumou, loses the same eye that got burned on his son. Fate is symbolically branding him for the sins of his past.

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The way that these pages are set up make it very clear that this is what we’re going for

And that’s good stuff, but let’s go a level higher.

Let’s talk about Rochester

This is something @nohrianxscum first turned my attention to, and because they have a point, I’m just gonna run with it.

So: mister Rochester, and how incredibly, unsettlingly close Endeavour comes to that character.

For those not aware, Rochester is  a character in ‘Jane Eyre’, a 19th century classic novel by Charlotte Brönte. The book is packaged as a coming of age story and a romance, but modern day readers are more likely to read at least parts of it as more of a horror story. Rochester, specifically, is one  of the original ‘Bad Boyfriend’ characters, and is considered a Byronic Hero, if we’re doing the whole lit thing.

In short: Jane is a moral and good sort of lady who grows up an orphan and eventually takes a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall, teaching a young child called Adèle. The kid may or may not be an illegitimate child of the master of the house, Mister Rochester, who is kinda rude and a bit of a dick, but in that sexy kind of way.
Jane and Rochester gradually grow closer, and after some pushing and pulling, they try to get married. I say try, because at this point it is revealed that the dude is already married, and he’s just locked his original wife up in the attic after she went mad (this is the point where bells should be ringing).
Now Jane, being a sensible sort, gets the hell out of Dodge and wanders around being proposed to by some more dudes. But she’s in Love (despite the red flags) and decides to go visit Thornfield Hall one more time before leaving for India or whatever.
And there, she finds out the original wife burned the damn house down and jumped off the roof, killing herself. In the process, Rochester has lost not only his house (and his wife, I guess), but also his Vision and the use of one of his arms.

But Jane is all like ‘I still love you’ and Rochester is a little incredulous because the asshat lost his boyish good looks with the whole… burn victim thing and probably figures that was most of what he had going for him, being a dick and all.
And then comes this exchange, which is just such a good burn (again! guy does not catch a break):

Am I hideous, Jane?“
Very, sir: you always were, you know.”

Epic shade, but they get married anyway, because the events have not just changed his morals (he learned at least some lesson and the physical and material pain serves as his redemption), but have also changed the power dynamic between them. Rochester, in full form, was too domineering and arrogant for Jane, but now that he’s a cripple and a blind man, the -very old timey- thinking goes, he’s much more of an equal to Jane, making a better companion for her. (also he’s like super rich still).

Happy-ish end.

NOW

Endeavour, having locked up his ‘crazy’ wife far away and having several of the typical Byronic hero traits (mostly the ‘dominant’ and ‘struggling with integrity’ ones), is already a pretty good reference to Rochester, assuming that Horikoshi knows his classic English lit.

But look at where he is now.

A fight, and a fire, has happened that mirrors at least in part the house fire in Jane Eyre. And not just because everything is literally on fire.

If you follow the idea that Dabi is a Todoroki, the ‘crazy wife sets fire to the house’ is an intriguing mix of Rei and Dabi, a culmination of Endeavour’s past sins coming back haunt him.

After the fight, he has lost his sight, his vision is blurry and one eye is literally gone. That last punch to the noumou also, seemingly, hurt his arm.

If Endeavour is Rochester, he’s now at the point where he sits broken, having lost an awful lot, as Jane comes to visit one last time.
It is the point in the book where he is redeemed in the eyes of Jane.

And some of you are going to Hate this because if we mirror the story to BnHA, Jane is Shoutou.

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 Hoo boy.

This is the person who has been abused by their domineering dad/boss. The one that turned away from them when they figured out what happened to the woman in the attic.
The one that has been visibly struggling with their feelings since. For Shoutou this is about his own identity, about family and past abuses, for Jane it’s about morals and passion. Both of them question repeatedly if and why they love their local asshat.
But despite everything, they do. Shoutou, seeing his father nearly friggin die on national tv, is Shook. It doesn’t really matter in that moment how much of an asshole that guy was to him, to his mother, to his siblings. That is the number one hero and it’s his Dad and whether he wants to or not, Shoutou cares.

At the same time, Rochester wants Jane so badly. Wants, desperately, to have a relationship with this person. Asks her to marry him at least twice.
And Endeavour is an idiot about it, but he is, also, repeatedly trying to mend his bonds, both with his son and with the rest of his family.

And I’m not, here, gonna remark on whether he deserves this redemption or not, but if we follow the line of the story, we would very much come to the point where Shoutou gets to deliver his own epic burn:

“Am I hideous, Shoutou?”
“You always were, you know.”

A note on fictional jobs

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Originally posted by exploratorium

There’s a joke that all fanfic characters are either baristas, teachers, lawyers or some denizen of the tattoo/florist au set. This isn’t really fully true (there’s also witches and vampire hunters!) but for anyone going for a realistic setting, let me at least, as someone who has worked a number of jobs in media, software development and catering, give some pointers on how that stuff works, because dear lord does Hollywood get it wrong.

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Originally posted by steves-on-a-plane

Journalism/Photography/Media

General tips

This sector seems to be pretty popular in old school comics, and for good reason. Clark Kent gets to go out into the city and be near events. It’s a job women are historically allowed to do (and be sassy in) and even Peter Parker gets to just traipse around the city getting into adventures.

It must also be noted that all these characters were developed in the first half of the 20th century, and media has changed a lot since then.

  • If your character is a journalist, they will work long hours and not be paid *that* much. Carrie Bradshaw is the most unrealistic journalist character in the history of everything. Especially after, oh, 2010 or so, when the traditional press sales really started declining. No journalist is that well paid for that little. And none will have that much free time.
  • Journalists generally have a beat, and what they do and know heavily depends on that. Your character can get into the gritty streets of downtown chasing drug dealers, or they can go to theatre premieres. They won’t do both. The Vast Majority of modern media have beats. A person can be a sports caster and then he will go to sports events to report them. They can be a jetset reporter or restaurant reviewer and go to swanky places. They can be a cultural reporter and be invited to premieres and shows. They can be a dedicated business journalist, reporting on IT, or cardboard logistics, or whatever, and go to conferences around the world. But they will rarely be all these things at once.
  • How wide this beat is, depends heavily on the ‘range’ of the medium. Big news rooms, like NYTimes, have a lot of journalists, and some very, Very specialised ones. This is deep dive, spend weeks trailing every leak out of the White House stuff. In contrast, a small regional tv station can have their reporter (with or without a camera man and sound tech) drive around the countryside reporting on pumpkin carving festivals one day, and grisly murder the next.
  • A lot also depends on the medium. If the character works for a newspaper, they will have a noon to eight shift as a writer, and a two to ten shift, most likely, as an editor, because papers need to get printed overnight. If it’s a weekly or a monthly print mag, there will be a few days with relative freedom to do interviews and such, and then a few days of crunch time. If they work for a news website they will have a desk job and most likely work in shifts. TV and radio news people are the ones doing most of the running around to get quotes, but they are also on the tightest of schedules.
  • Speaking of schedules. Unless the character is a blogger, they won’t finish an article and immediately rush it to the printer/publish it. Reputable news sources have, at the very least, a copy editor to check for mistakes and typos. Bigger newspapers and magazines and sites have a dedicated fact checker.
  • Very VERY few papers in the world have full time photographers on the payroll. If your character is a photographer, they will most likely be a freelancer and do corporate events or weddings on the side (sorry Peter Parker). What happens is, a medium will decide in advance which article or interview will require a picture, and book a photographer for that piece.
  • Any other pictures tend to come from news agencies. Think Reuters or Associated Press. These sort of agencies do use full time photographers, as well as freelancers who happen to visit an event. They’ll take like two hundred picture and sell them to the agency, who distributes them to media all over the world.
  • Few media have the money for correspondents, so they’ll pick only a handful. This means a foreign correspondent has a large area to cover. European news media tend to have one correspondent in the US, covering the Entire US, for instance. American media tend to have more moneys, but if your character is a respondent in, say India, expect them to trek along India a lot, because they’re prob the only one in that vast country.
  • Having said that, coverage, especially war coverage, is super expensive. If they’re sending a journo to a war zone, it will absolutely not be a rookie. They will have proven themselves capable, preferably speak the language and they’ll be Very Prepared. Think local guides, vast networks of informants etc. A startling amount of war reporters and investigative journalists are also freelance. If they are trekking through a jungle and come across anything exciting, you bet they’ll try to sell that story in several angles/versions to different media.

Have you considered:

  • Bread and Butter Freelancers: It’s a gig economy my friends. Freelance writey people don’t have a boss and usually work from home or from some coffee shop. If they are to be successful (enough to make a living), they’ll still have a beat, and will actually have to be fairly good at this subject. Since these characters make their own shifts, they do have the ability to go out in the middle of the day to do superheroing or witchery or to investigate the disappearance of their best friend. Upsides: Freedom. Downsides: Usually very little money. Unstable hours, like one day nothing and then a week of 14 hour days. The crushing stress of looming deadlines ànd job insecurity.
  • Copywriters: The people that write the text on corporate websites, that fill mail order catalogues with entries for every picture, compose newsletters for various organisations, turn technical instructions into actually mildly readable user manuals. Upside: money. If they’re good at it, they will have a fairly stable income. They have the same freedom as freelancers to go flirt with flower shop assistants. Downside: the crushing knowledge that with every piece you write, your soul sinks deeper into the void. Anyone who’s ever read clientsfromhell will know what to expect of their clientele.
  • Lay-outers: The creative side of making media. The bros making the graphs, putting the text to paper,  photoshoping the head of Putin onto the body of a baby, whatever. Upside: artist character. This is a slightly more realistic character than the ‘painter’. They’re creative, but they have yet to sell their soul to the corporate machine (depending on the medium you put them in, of course). Downside: this is basically a desk job with stable hours.
  • Cameraman, sound technician: the people that hang out with the news reporter and trot all over the region with him/her. Upside: see the world! Without being instantly recognizable. Downside: they’re probably stuck in their mission and they rarely have the power to go ‘hey, let’s investigate over there’.
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Originally posted by indigotonight

Software development

General tips

There’s actually a few different environments for software engineers to work.

  • Start-ups: the hip one. Think Silicon Valley, the upstarts in sneakers and Star Wars t-shirts living on pizza and red bull and basically coding 20 hours a day. Depending on where they are in the growth of their start-up, these people will be nearly alone, or have a team of coworkers. Traditionally, start-ups start with like a founder (or four) and an idea, and some coding. As the company grows they’ll hire a sales person to sell this stuff, a marketing manager to brand it, a support person to troubleshoot it, an HR person, etc.
  • A very Very VERY large part of start-up business is pitching, aka selling your premise to a bunch of venture capitalists and investors. It’s Dragon’s Den. Literally. Your super shy, autism spectrum character who hates public speaking and who can’t even look at another person without blushing would make a super crappy start-up founder by themselves. They will definitely need their bubbly, motivational speaker best friend. On the other hand: this is an amazing environment for that suave, smooth talking character who could sell sand in the desert.
  • Second environment: corporate. The vast majority of software engineers out there just work for some big company. These are the people building and deploying management system software for banks, installing security in factories, that sort of thing. A lot of the time they’re consultants. They wear a suit. They use something called the Waterfall method, which sucks out your soul, or the Agile method, which also sucks out your soul. There’s a lot of managing and meeting and progress reports. If they’re good enough, they’re allowed to leave the tie at home.
  • Software needs to be tested. You don’t just write the code last minute and put it live.
  • The coders are absolutely not the only people in a software development team. There’s the project managers, the designers, the copywriters, the testers, the lawyers, oh god, the lawyers, etc.
  • Software Needs to be tested. It takes ages. I cannot stress this enough. It usually happens in India or some other Asian country where the wages are lower.
  • Will a lot of environments, even corporate, allow their creatives to come to work in like… jeans and a t-shirt, the only people realistically allowed to actually act like teenagers, in any environment (corporate, start-up, small business), are the ones with skills that are very hard to find. In essence: security experts and specifically white hat hackers. Yes, you’re allowed to have a hacker character that acts dumb and comes to work in his pyjamas and it will be realistic that he does not get fired. Your clerk character that’s super rude and deals in hurtful quips? Not so much.
  • SOFTWARE NEEDS TO BE TESTED

 Have you considered:

  • Researchers: you know those people that made a song that can give Alexa commands without the owner knowing? Those are university researchers. A lot of really cool stuff is being developed not by office workers, but at universities. This includes software. Upside: probably a looser environment, with a lot of young people. Downside: you’re basically writing a college AU.
  • Venture capitalists: in a Silicon Valley environment, this is basically the ‘wealthy businessman’ stereotype of old. The dragons in the dragon’s den, the people that traipse around the city talking to people and assessing the potential of their pitch, before throwing money at them (or not). There’s a bunch of paperwork, but they probably have a small army of accountants to handle this.
  • Evangelists: the cool people that hold TED talks. They usually work for a big tech company, as a specialist, and part of their job is to be a spokesperson.  A good example of this is the tech researcher, who has a day job finding nasty hackers or viruses, and who also blogs about that and holds talks and presentations about securing your business. A character like this has the advantage of being a deep tech nerd hacker type. They’re rarely the CEO, so they can go deep into the coding, while also travelling places and meeting crowds of press or business people.
  • Project managers: these don’t tend to do the actual coding, but they do, well, the managing. Characters like this will be more social and creative, they’re the ones making the reports and presenting their progress to the CEO, and they’re the ones troubleshooting when stuff goes wrong. In general, there’s a lot of planning involved.
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Originally posted by pantherpause

Bakeries/Catering

General tips

  • Mass production of food is gruelling. You think you’re writing about your sexy pastry chef and how they’re carefully, tip of their tongue peeking through their lips, putting a cherry on top of that little moeilleux, but in reality, there’s two hundred more to finish on this rack alone and they need to be done in under an hour.
  • Say it with me, people: baking is a night job. Industrial baking, mom-and-pop rural French bakery, bagel shop, donuts. Someone is going to be making all that stuff before the first customer arrives and that someone is slaving in front of a hot oven at four in the morning.
  • Any type of catering is a time management business. You know this. You’ve all watched Great British Bake-off (or, like, Chopped or whatever). If your professional cake maker is only working on one project/wedding at a time, they’re not going to be in business for long. Your line chef will be plating up several dishes per minute. Your short order cook is baking six pancakes and scrambling eggs at the exact same time.
  • Unless it’s a very large kitchen, the people that cook are the same ones that clean. And since it’s food prep, there is a lot of cleaning.

Have you considered:

  • Recipe writer: ok so we’re kinda back to media but big tv chefs don’t make all those recipes themselves. Someone, usually a freelancer, writes them and tests them. Imagine someone getting the request to develop a seasonal cronut recipe that involves peaches and charcoal, because it’s hip, and then baking several batches until they find something edible. This is a somewhat realistic environment for your super creative baker to live in a small house and make some money while also working on a book on the side, and falling in love with the quirky … goat… herd… brewer, florist, whatever.

The definitely not definitive otome guide

I sincerely doubt the world needs this, but that sort of thing has never stopped me before. Have an extremely biased guide of several dating sim games, organised by some arbitrary metrics.

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Word of warning: this will be long (4k words), because I’ve played an embarrassingly large amount of otomes.

As a disclaimer: obviously this is a personal opinion. If you (as a lot of people do) enjoy the more forceful bad boy type in your dating sim, I’m not going to judge you. I, however, don’t, so this list is very specifically going to call out games for how they treat the protag.

Featured here: Amnesia: Memories,  Blood in Roses, Cutie Demon Crashers, Destined to Love, Dream Daddy, Hatoful Boyfriend, Hustle Cat,  Ikemen Revolution, Ikemen Sengoku, Lost Alice,  Midnight Cinderella,  Monster Prom, Mystic Messenger

A note on play styles.

These games come in a few flavours, which is important to know if you’re gonna try them.

  • The vast majority of the mobile games here follow a basic visual novel structure. You pick a guy and read through the different chapters, and depending on your answers you’ll be leaning toward one of two or three endngs. Since these are free to play mobiles, there’s a bunch of challenges you will need to log in daily to pass.
  • Mystic Messenger is the main outlier, since it’s a chat simulator that plays in real time.
  • The pc games tend to be more complex, with interlocking routes and more endings, generally. You’ll need a number of skill points to meet character A for instance, or you’ll need to do a series of actions to reach ending B.

 Great games

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Ikemen Sengoku

Hands down one of the best mobile otomes out there right now. I found this when searching for pics of Masamune Date (from a different game) and I’ve sort of been obsessed with otomes since.

Platform: Android (free to play, pay for premiums)
Story: MC gets sucked into a wormhole and finds herself 500 years back in time, in Sengoku era Japan. She drops in on the exact moment where Nobunaga Oda, the Demon King, would be assassinated at Honno-ji. She stops the murder, disrupts the timeline and now there’s a bunch of hot warlords vying for her attention.
Protagonist’s spine: Reinforced steel. This is one of my favourite protags, because she is Super Sassy and doesn’t take shit, unless she’s literally being threatened with a sword. The protags where I feel like I understand their actions are few and far between, but this is one of them. Except when she goes far beyond mere bravery to get her man, and decides to forgo tampons and, like, wifi, to live 500 years in the god damn past.
Squick factor: Low. This game is made by Cybird, a company that appears very big on consent. The guys generally treat MC with respect, probably more than could be reasonably asked of a Sengoku warlord. The only worrying stuff happens in the Obvious Yandere route, but you kinda know what you’re getting yourself into with that one.

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The Good: I friggin love the writing for this game. The guys feel like real characters, there’s a ton of interaction between them and I need to give this game extra points for the story events, which are almost invariably gold. This is where the makers stop giving a shit about realism and just go for what they want to write. There’s ones where all the guys are suddenly idols, there’s a Christmas episode, there’s one where they battle through cooking and cleaning. It doesn’t take itself serious, is what i mean, and it’s Hilarious.
The Bad: This is one where the in-game art (aside from the CG’s) is actually not that great. Hideyoshi’s smile is kinda weird looking and the models feel a little outdated at this point.
Best Warlord: This is very difficult, because a lot of them are dreamy, but let’s just say that I need a Mitsuhide route so very badly.

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Ikemen Revolution

The newest Cybird game and my current fave.

Story: MC falls down the rabbit hole when she tries to give a rushed White Rabbit man something he dropped. She ends up in Cradle/Wonderland, where war is about to break out between the Red and Black army, the Hearts and the Spades. Everyone is hot dudes and MC is considered Alice the Second (after the one from Through the Looking Glass).
Squick factor: Low. Again: Cybird game. This means there is steamy situations and sex scenes, but they’re blatantly consensual. The routes I’ve played so far keep well within the bounds of what I would consider romantic.
Protagonist’s spine: Varnished wood.  In general MC is self-propelling with occasional bouts of bravery. You can tell why she’s doing the things she’s doing and how she reacts to situations feels sort of logical. She’s hard-working and caring and a little naïve, but the fact that she’s canonically a woman from early 19th Century London does put a lot of her actions in perspective (like the amount of bullshit she puts up with).

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The Good: The writing is fun. There’s a good mix of angst and just… general comedy. The characters interact with each other a lot, and it feels like they’re a big loud family, especially in the Black Army, which is more like a frat than anything else. The art is also decent. The backgrounds are utterly gorgeous and most of the guys are very good looking. When I first started the game I was weirded out by the blinking animation, but I have since gotten used to that.
The Bad: I found some of the plot rushed. Like you spend so long slow burn growing toward each other, and then suddenly stuff has to happen action movie style because we’re running out of chapters. The final chapters of Fenrir’s route were just plain dumb. Like could that BE more of an obvious trap. Come on MC, I expected better of you. Also, since this is a very new game, not that many routes are out (four at the time of writing).
Best boy: Hooo man. Of the routes that are out, Ray is very… oooof. But my fave chars are probably ‘so done’ Sirius (the fact that he’s voiced by Suwabe has nothing to do with this, surely) and ‘also quite done’ Kyle, who is both a doctor and an alcoholic wreck of a human being.

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Mystic Messenger

You know Mystic Messenger, it’s like one of the biggest otome’s of the past few years.

Platform: Android, iOS (free to play, pay for extra saves and stuff)
The Story: MC follows a text message to a weirdly high tech apartment and this somehow puts her in the position of party planner for a secretive group of weird people. It only gets more complicated from there. The game plays out in real time, via chat conversations and the occasional story segment.
Squick factor: Um. I personally wasn’t weirded out, but I also decided very specifically not to play Jumin’s route. This girl did her research. The routes in Another Story are also very over the top and would probably bug me. While I love the Saeran character, I don’t think I’d be able to handle that route. So: highly dependent on chosen route.
Protagonist’s spine: Adderall. It takes a specific kind of person to download a chat app and follow the instructions given by a random stranger therein. It takes a much stranger person to sit in an apartment with a bomb and just keep inviting people to a party. MC is on a different level from us mortals.

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The Good: I loved the game mechanic, because it felt very real. The player is following a chatroom, just like the character is. Besides that, the story is completely bonkers and I appreciate that.
The Bad: Did I mention it plays in real time? Because it plays in real time, meaning you get chat conversations at two in the morning. I was very sleep deprived when I played this.
Best boy: 707. Dude is funny and deep and hot and relatable and smart and I want to give him all the hugs.

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Dream Daddy

One of the few decidedly mlm games I’ve played so far. You’ve probably heard of it since it was the subject of much hype and much controversy. Markiplier played it. Friggin Buzzfeed has video’s on it.

Platform: PC and Mac (it’s on Steam)
The Story: MC is a Dad who moves into a neighbourhood with a lot of other single(-ish) dads. Time to work it.
Squick factor: Low. This is primarily a humour game: there’s a ton of dad jokes and silly mini games, and a distinct lack of kabe don’s. The canon routes are all very thoughtful.
Protagonist’s spine: Barbecued sausage. Player Dad just goes for it. He’s flexible and caring enough to handle the more sensitive subjects, and self aware enough to deal with random crime and weird drunks.

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The Good: I remember opening this game and, in the character creation screen, telling a trans friend of mine ‘omg you can wear binders’, and the sheer Glee of his reaction. That’s the kinda stuff this game was, partly, made for and it is appreciated. I really liked the tongue-in-cheek writing, most of the jokes landed and the whole thing is just a lot of fun.
The Bad: Some of the minigames are annoying. Why the hell are you making me play Bejeweled with fish? I also had a hard time sympathizing with some of the kids. I mean… Lucien straight up tries to murder someone? Ernest is ‘rebellious’ but he’s also an ass.
Best dad: Damien has the best route, but have you Seen Mat? Holy moly.

Not worth it games

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Amnesia: Memories

This game should come with a friggin warning, so I’m giving it here. Its popularity and star rating is a terrible indicator for how much you may enjoy this game. It presents itself as a cute dating sim with gorgeous art, but it devolves into straight up horror, and not in the good way. This feels like a guidebook written in the 1800’s to tell young women their place. Not even mortified intrigue could make me finish this. 

Platform: PC (Steam or Google Play) and PlayStation Vita
Story: MC wakes up with amnesia. Someone hurt her and she doesn’t know who to trust. You’ll need to figure out what happened.
Squick factor: Super high. Like… so high.  Everyone treats MC like shit and she just lets it happen, even developing all kinds of Stockholm Syndrome as she falls in love with these asshats. MC’s childhood friend supposedly loves her but is such a tsun and just… doesn’t communicate while also treating her like a small child. One of the other characters is so popular he has a fucking harem but MC is just supposed to wait for him to actually fall in love with her. And don’t even get me started on that friggin yandere. *shudders* Even the secret route ‘true love’ character is a million types of wrong.
Protagonist’s spine: Undercooked custard. MC has the self preservation skills of a wet sponge and whoever is playing this is supposed to get turned on by high concept ideas of S&M that are just written out so badly everything feels like an abusive relationship.

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The Good: *sigh* The art. The art is very pretty (I’m upset at the art since it sucked me into the horror). Also, as a visual novel, this one is complex as all hell. There’s a ton of endings  (most of them deadly) depending your actions as a player. It’s vast, is what I’m saying. Also, I hear the clover route isn’t as bad as some of the others, but I was too weirded out to try.
The Bad: See rant. This is one of those games that really seems to glorify the whole possessive, abusive boyfriend shtick, but it’s ok because he loves you, really. Ugh. Just… ugh.
Best boy: Kent? I guess? He doesn’t appear to be actively abusing MC at least.

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Shall we date: Lost Alice

I wondered if I should include this because I literally played like ten chapters  and then deleted it, but that in itself should give some indication.

Platform: Android (free to play, in-app premium purchases)
Story: MC wakes up in the forest with amnesia (I see a trend). Turns out she’s in Wonderland and everyone thinks she’s Alice. Most of Wonderland’s characters are, predictably, hot men.
Squick  factor: Unavailable. I didn’t play far enough to see but some of the men are quite pushy and also it’s a Shall we date app, so… tread carefully.
Protagonist’s spine: Cement. This is an MC that puts up a fight, which I respect. Sadly she does so in that ‘needlessly aggressive’ way that anime characters sometimes have. I didn’t find her particularly sympathetic.

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The Good: The art. It’s always the art that gets me.
The Bad: The UI annoyed the shit out of me. This is a free to play, pay for premiums game, so some level of mindless clicking is expected if you try to play for free. This one had just too much. There was friend greeting and picture rating and princess lessons and got knows what else, all taking a ton of time. Trying to get to the home page popped up at least four different ‘now on sale’ screens every single time. The writing wasn’t good enough for me to deal with that.
Best boy: Well there’s a cat. So.

Decent games

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Hustle cat

This game is set in a cat café, that was all the encouragement I needed to buy it.

Platform: PC (Steam)
Story: MC is invited to take a job at a cat café. Turns out everyone in the café is cursed, and also they’re into you.
Squick factor: Almost non-existant. This is a very tumblr friendly game in the sense that your love interests are both male and female, and none of them are particularly pushy. The relationships feel pretty natural and mostly consist of MC helping their love interest with some subquest.
Protagonist’s spine: Cucumber. MC is actually pretty cool. The game does that ‘modern western game’ thing where you get to pick a gender and a skin colour for your protag and the general atmosphere is ‘tongue in cheek’. MC doesn’t let people walk over them, but they’re generally helpful.

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The Good: CATS. The premise of this game is pretty neat.
The Bad: According to Steam I played this five months ago, and I pretty much forgot about it. Fun game but not particularly memorable.
Best cat: Landry. Tall, gentle giants are a particular weakness.

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Shall we date: Blood in Roses

This is me giving Shall we Date another shot, because the amount of hot mildly medieval boys was intriguing.

Platform: Android (free to play, in-app premiums)
Story: There’s two, because this app has been around for a while and now has two ‘seasons’. The Witch stumbles upon a supposedly abandoned castle and gets imprisoned there by a bunch of vampires. The Hunter, meanwhile, seeks out the castle because she wants to stop an attack on her village. Both come to realize that the castle is now a hotel for monsters, and that its denizens are both not what they imagined, and also hot.
Squick factor: Highly dependent on route. The Witch literally starts in a jail cell, so you can imagine the Stockholm Syndrome shit that goes down. Also, this is a personal preference, but I’m really weirded out by a lot of blood play stuff so most of the vampire routes are gonna be… problematic. Shall we Date games don’t shy away from sex scenes and I like that, but coupling them with drinking blood ‘to get in the mood’ is a rather specific niche. The game does offer a number of other options for you to court, from werewolves to wizards and… grim reapers? It’s a mixed batch. If you’re not into pushed boundaries I can offer one tip: stay away from the vampires.
Protagonist’s spine: Sand cookie. She has one, but it’s brittle. I’ve mostly played Hunter routes and it’s like… she tries, and she can take care of herself but she also tolerates more bullshit than necessary, ya know.

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The Good: The art is good, and some of the storylines are intriguing despite my reservations. I’m still playing it (mostly in a quest to find a good ending where MC doesn’t die to become a weird immortal creature).  The UI, while annoying, isn’t as bad as Lost Alice’s, or so it seems.
The Bad: The writing is very hit or miss. There’s routes where the guy just sort of lowkey stalks MC, until she suddenly decides she’s incredibly in love with him. There’s others  that make even less sense, and then there’s ones that feel more natural. In general, MC’s actions don’t  seem to have a lot of thought put into them.
Best boy: So far: Gordon. He’s cute and sensible and tortured and not incredibly antagonistic.

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Midnight Cinderella

You’ll notice a friggin ton of Cybird games on here.

Platform: Android (free to play, premium purchases)
Story: MC gets, mostly by accident, chosen to be the Princess of Wysteria. As such she must prepare to govern the country when the king dies, and choose a consort from a number of suitors.
Squick factor: Low. Not only are these men respectful of her, they’re rather literally treating her like royalty. Having said that, there is a lot of the typical hurtful tsun stuff going in several routes.
Protagonist’s spine: Lightly done steak. There’s something weird going on with the protag in this game. When it comes to governing, she’s tough as nails. She’s thrown into a situation she wasn’t ready for, and while this stresses her out 24/7, she performs admirably. On the other hand, her main reaction to literally anything when it comes to love is ‘Oh’. She cries a lot, at times she feels like a wet rag. There’s a bunch of situations she could have just solved by going ‘Yeah I’m into you’. She’s complex, I guess.

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The Good: The writing, while melodramatic, is nice. The art is good as well.
The Bad: This is an old game and it doesn’t perform that well on my current-gen smartphone. Expect to push certain buttons several times before the game realizes what you’re trying to do. Also the loading takes ages.
Best boy: For me, Sid, because he reminds me of Aomine Daiki and I’m weak for that type of personality. As far as routes go, Leo’s probably had the most impact on me.

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Destined to Love

I’ll be honest, I started this because of an event in Ikemen Sengoku that would give me cross game storage. Don’t judge me.

The Story: MC gets flung back in time (this is also a trend, it seems) to the 1800’s, a few weeks before the Ikedaya incident will make the Shinsen-gumi a historic Legend. She meets, and chrams, a whole bunch of historical figures.
Protagonist’s spine: Cured leather. As a modern woman sent back in time, MC is probably fairly sassy by the standards of the time, but she remains mostly polite. She’s tough, considering the circumstances, but quite pliable in that ‘we’ll see where this goes and make the best of it’ way.
Squick factor: Low. There’s one character that just screams ‘red flag’ but I have yet to try his route. Since this is a Cybird game, most of the guys are pretty respectful.

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The Good: I really like the premise? As the title suggests, MC’s love is part of a higher destiny, one that transcends time, and it’s one of the reasons she has to go to friggin 1800’s Japan. She has a hand in making history. This amuses me. Also, the guys are pretty good looking.
The Bad: This is a fairly old mobile game and you can kinda tell. On a technical level it’s not as bad as Midnight Cinderella, but again the touch buttons aren’t always responsive. Besides that, some of the writing is rather clunkily translated and a bunch of the art is low res.
Best Boy: I haven’t played all the routes here, but Katsura is a god damn sweetheart, and Kyo and Yamazaki seem adorable AF.

The weird: the special ones

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Hatoful Boyfriend

The reason I know otome’s exist. This one shot to meme status a few years back.

Platform: PC (it’s on Steam)
Story: MC is one of the last remaining humans after sentient birds took over the world. She gets enrolled into an elite school for pigeons.
Squick factor: Medium to high. The major thing to understand about Hatoful is that on the surface it looks like a particularly silly dating sim with pigeons, but dig deeper and it is Also a full blown apocalyptic horror story. And it follows the genre where a wrong move gets MC horrifically killed.
Having said that, several of the routes, including the god damn serial killer one, didn’t bother me as much as something like Amnesia, because they were not sold as romantic. Maybe it’s the whole pigeon thing, maybe it’s the general weirdness of the plot, or maybe it is because said serial killer actually goes ‘Surely you knew this would happen’, before he guts you.
Protagonist’s spine: Gummy bear. MC is highly forgettable, but therefore also like… not annoying. The main focus here is on uncovering the many layered plot and the player character doesn’t really have a scripted personality, she just embodies the player’s actions.

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The Good: This whole game is so out there. There’s a reason it became so popular. It’s an Experience. The plot is over the top and intricate and Weird, and that makes it intriguing. There’s a ton of routes and endings, some more secret than others. The ‘human’ version of some of these birds is kinda hot (sadly that includes the serial killer).
The Bad: the plot is so weird and meandering that it’s kinda hard to follow at times. I’m fairly certain it takes several guides to unlock all the endings.
Best Birb: It’s been a while, but I remember liking Yuuya’s route quite a lot.

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Monster Prom

The new hype.

Platform: PC (Steam!)
Story: MC is a student at Monster High, and is trying to get a date for Monster Prom with one of the hot people.
Squick factor: None. I mean, nothing that happens here is in accordance to health and safety norms, but that’s kinda the point. It’s a parody game, making fun of all the hoops teenagers are willing to jump through to become popular.
Protagonist’s spine: Coagulated blood. MC is willing to make deals with demons, wear corpses as a hat, anything really. The question is very openly: what could I do to make them like me.

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The Good: It’s a funny game. I like the characters, who embody everything from the Mean Girl to the Hipster Nerd and the Needlessly Aggressive Jock. The art is simple, cartoon style, but pretty neat.
The Bad: Everything is very tongue in cheek, which leaves it a little… light for my tastes. I don’t feel like any of the routes matter in the grand scheme of things, MC hasn’t truly touched anyone’s heart. The whole thing is a joke game, so it’s funny, but a bit shallow.
Best monster: Polly, the permanently stoned party girl.

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Cute Demon Crashers

Technically a sex game? But a really very special one.

Platform: PC (free! Here!)
Story: A portal opens in MC’s house and four Incubi/Succubi drop through. To apologize for the inconvenience, while they wait for a portal back, they offer to teach MC about sex.
Squick factor: I’ve written about this game before and the best thing, the very best thing about it is how incredibly consent-minded it is. Like, even if you’re already in bed, getting it on, there’s always an option to turn back and leave it at that. The demons are really just there to help MC find out what gives her pleasure.
Protagonist’s spine: Rock. Obviously, MC is mildly upset about four random demons showing up. As mentioned before, what happens next is mostly up to the player.

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The Good: It’s free and the art is pretty and I love the premise.
The Bad: Kinda short, but again: free.
Cutest Demon Crasher: *cough* Orias *cough*

So chapter 190 of BnHA

was… a ride.

Spoilers ahead

I love the art and the impact of it. That pose shot had about the same effect on me as the image of Sir Nighteye in his hospital bed, with all the tubes and the … ugh. Definitely in my top three of panels.

But what I really like about this chapter is the implication that ‘symbol of peace’ is now like a curse of sorts. All Might gave OFA to Midoriya, but he was much more than just his quirk. Filling All Might’s shoes means more than wielding OFA.

There’s also the role of being number one. And in the world of BnHA, through the machinations of All Might, even, being the number one hero doesn’t just mean that you’re good, you also have to stand for something. You have to soothe the public, make them feel safe, above all else. You have to be the symbol of peace.

It’s something Hawks is aware of, but something that Endeavour hasn’t really understood, until right now. Because Endeavour has always trailed in All Might’s footsteps and has been striving to overcome him out of a typical sense of ‘greatest opponent’. He wanted to beat him, but he didn’t really get what that means.

And now he is finally, brutally seeing this. He’s viscerally reminded of his role now. He’s always strived to be number one, to be the best, but he’s never really understood the implications of truly succeeding All Might until he has it thrust upon him by a noumu that could destroy an entire city.

Endeavour is the symbol of peace now.
Whether he deserves it or even want it doesn’t really matter.
He just is. This is a role he never really asked for but one that he has to fulfil.
And being the symbol of peace isn’t nearly the fun it sounds. It means pain and dying and giving literally everything in the fight against evil. It means being that type of hero Stain was raving about, one that Endeavour doesn’t seem to fit very well, but here he is anyway.

He has to go ‘plus ultra’.

He’s quite literally being forced to redeem himself.

And I love that.

And I also love that, despite his bitchiness, Endeavour is still a friggin All Might nerd, he may very well be the biggest All Might nerd of all.

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I mean look at this. Who remembers that? Get a grip dude you just flattened a city. You are possibly dying. Your maybe-son is about to incinerate you. More important things are happening, is what I’m saying.

Natsume vs Gravity

The more I watch this show, the more it occurs to me that
Natsume’s Main Skill is falling from great heights without breaking his friggin legs.

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This is literally his Most Important Skill.

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Like, sure he can see Youkai.
And he can punch them or befriend them or whatever.

But how many times has this kid fallen from a ridiculous height, onto a bunch of trees, or a small if pudgy cat, or just plain hard rock.

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And lived.
With not so much as a scratch.

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Time and time again.

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It’s so much of a joke now that it’s in the OP.
Natsume Takashi’s greatest talent isn’t his Book of Friends,
it’s his bounciness.

How to survive an Utapri Shining Live event without spending prisms

Events in Utapri are plentiful and, certainly if you are just starting out, brutal.
They’re also one of the best ways to get a UR card, and a ton of prisms.
Here’s how to deal.

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Originally posted by hitokayamaguchi

Hoard LP packs

Utapri seems to throw these at you, certainly if you’re just starting out, but they are by no means ‘cheap’.
Ten prisms nets you 80 LP. And we’re trying to save prisms. It’s right there in the title to this post.
So between events: save the hell out of them. Hoard those babies like you’re a dragon and they’re a particularly shiny piece of gold.
They do not expire.

So pick all your prisms and gems out of your gift box, but leave the LP packs where they are (you can filter what you pick up).

This is basically the main tip. Get a stash.

You’ll need at least thirty of these packs (30LP-50LP) before you start, preferably like forty or fifty actual LP packs.

As an example: in the Camus ‘No More to Say’ event, I started with 55 LP packs, and I reached the UR card with 8 left. This includes the twenty or so you’re given during the actual event.
So try to create a stash whenever possible. Everything else in this guide is just ways to make the most of the LP you have.

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Originally posted by starlixo

 Max that team

A good team will help you make the most points out of each song. This is important: even a few points extra makes a difference if you’re doing the same song fifty friggin times.

So get a good team. Specifically, an event centric team.
I’ve written about this before, but here’s a very short recap.

* Create a full colour team when possible, one for each colour. As I’ve mentioned here, the full colour bonus is significant. As soon as you have one or two pink UR’s, it really pays to just fill that team with your strongest pink SR’s, instead of trying to make a diverse coloured UR team.

* If you’re going to play manual: add one Turn card. It makes it so much easier to hit that full combo and get the bonuses not only from that, but from the stamina and cut-ins and all that.

* Fully level up your cards. The XP you get from playthroughs is laughable, so just use the million Exp boost orbs you receive to get all your cards to level 50 (or however high they can go).

* Be wise with skills. As opposed to XP boost orbe, the actual skill level orbs are rare AF. So get the most song score out of them. Prioritize UR skills, because you’ll probably use these cards in your team for a long time.

For skills, this is my priority list:

  1. Turn cards: The skill that turns bad taps into good ones, on full skill level that’s 12 times you can almost miss.In general, you tend to only need one per team, depending on player skill level.
  2. Score notes: gives you up to twelve of the yellow notes that, when tapped, triple the tap score.
  3. Stamina notes: The green notes that heal your stamina. These have been updated to be more useful. If you have full stamina, a green note will double the score for that tap.
  4. Perfect tap bonus: ups the score for a perfect tap on that particular card (I think).
  5. Cut-in bonus: ups the bonus for the ‘cut-in’, that point where the boys come up to wish you luck. A little limited because the bonus is only for that card, and the cut-ins are both random and limited. On normal they happen for every 30 tap combo, on hard after 40 combo’s and on pro at 50. This means that a hard song with 400 notes will have a maximum of 10 cut-ins, divided randomly over six cards.
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Originally posted by nyxnperona

Team comp for events: stick to the theme

Every event has an attribute and a (main) singer.

Depending on how much wiggle room you have, it pays to feature those more heavily.
As a side note: obviously, if you have one blue UR and exactly six blue SR’s, you don’t have wiggle room. The same for if you have only three or so double SR’s. Wiggle room is when you have several cards of a similar strength. In that case, let’s look at theme.

* Attribute. Every event has an attribute. This is either charm, vocal or dance. As you progress through the seven songs of each round, you’ll see that the first one gives you +0% bonus points for, say Charm, but it will progress to +15% for the second song, up to +90% bonus for the last song in the round.

What does this mean?

A few things seem to affect your bonus here. Most importantly: your leader skill. Each card has a leader skill of, for instance  +60% to Dance for UR’s, +50% for SR’s. In this case it pays to put the card with the highest ‘charm’ skill on your team in the middle. Yes, even if it’s not the UR

As  @zueri-na notes in one of my earlier posts, if you have the elusive wiggle room, you should also prioritise high charm cards. If you click on a card, you’ll see that it has a score for charm/vocal/dance, and those three differ wildly. The trick here is simple: if two cards have the same base score, take the one with the charm. You can also sort by, for instance, charm, in the photo list to find the cards with the highest of this attribute.

* On a similar note: singers. There is a definite singer bonus, though it isn’t exactly super high. Still, if you can make a Camus heavy team for Camus events, do so. I’m not saying it’s worth replacing a double SR with an R for, but again, when two cards are similar, it certainly would pay to add the main singer to your team, especially for that last song in a round, which is usually a solo song.

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Originally posted by yamazaki-cherry

You’ve started the event! Let’s make some friends

Utapri is still a social game. So play the network.

Making friends fits the ‘stick to the theme’ thing. Next to your own score multiplier, the attribute bonus also counts for your ‘guest’. This is the person you pick from a list to help you before you start the song. As with your own leader skill, if a song gives you a bonus for Blue Charm, pick a friend with a blue leader card and a skill +60 Charm bonus.

After a song you can invite others as a friend, and it really helps to have a few people in your friend list who also play events, so that you have a stash of people who will have the right multipliers for you. Few things are more disappointing in this game than starting that last song in a round, with a +90 bonus on blue charm and not having anyone in your list that has +60 blue charm, or even +50 (I have been there, it was sad).

Also: be a good friend. Your ‘main’ team is the one that shows up in the list for others. So you can tweak how you come across. Do you only have one +60 Charm? Then put that card in the middle of your main team. Otherwise, just go for whatever is most necessary in a round. (The past Camus event was, for instance, very Blue heavy).

Where possible, play manual

When playing to maximize points for your spent LP, play Manual. Always.

If you’re playing on your skill level, you’ll be getting full combo bonuses and event bonuses and just generally a lot more points per LP spent than if you use the auto function.

Auto function is there for you mostly if you’re running out of time or actual real life energy/focus to play, but it’s much heavier on the LP because you lose bonuses, and you get the very basic score for all ‘good’ taps.

Play on your skill level

Having said that: do play on your skill level.

Full combo songs give you Way More points than if you can’t hold a combo for ten taps.
It’s perfectly possible to make teams that let you play above your skill level. Stuff them full of turn cards and stam cards, and you can drag yourself through pro songs with 10 stamina left. Don’t do this.

If you need stam cards to survive a song, you’re playing above your own skill, and the game punishes you for this. It pays to play on a level you can handle, the game is actually pretty well balanced in this regard.
Yes ‘normal’ feels a lot lets pro than, uh, pro, but if you can consistently get full combo’s on ‘normal’, then you’ll end up with more points than if you barely scrape by on a higher difficulty. Remember, higher difficulty also takes more LP per song.

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Originally posted by emjakahana

Boost the hell out of your songs

I only discovered this  because @otomeobsessed mentioned it but holy crud is it a life saver.

Every round in an event consists of seven songs, and as you know, the point score for each song tends to go up, because of the attribute bonus.
Now: Boost the hell out of those last songs.

You can expend triple the LP on each of them, to get triple the event points. Easy as that.
This is particularly powerful because it also means you have to spend less real life TIME (which for me is always the biggest issue). And playing less probably also means you can play manually.

How many songs you boost kinda depends on how well you do. I think if you want max pointage, it’s probably the last two. I tend to boost the last three songs in a round.

I calculated it for myself (add up EP for each of the seven songs, plus 750 for the Event bonus, divided by 7) and playing each round unboosted gives me about 630 EP per 20 LP spent.
For a boosted round (add up everyting plus event bonus, divided by 13) it’s 660.
So a decent difference in points, but much more important: about half the time spent on this godforsaken event.

Set your goal

Bit of a personal addition.
You probably have a life and stuff. So set realistic goals.

If you’re less than, say, level 80, it’s going to be utterly gruelling to get the UR card. Really, it is.
That’s 220.000 event points you need and if you’re scoring 300 event points per song, it’s going to burn you out.
For lower levels, it’s much more realistic to go for the double SR card (133.000 event points), which has a lot more ‘treats’ like gems and prisms scattered in the trek toward it.

Ranking?

Well, this post is called ‘how to survive without spending prisms’ so, uh, good luck?

Ranking is a frustrating business, because the goal posts keep moving and you’re almost certainly up against people spending a metric ton of prisms.
Having said that, if you make the top 15 percentile, you’ll have a triple SR, make it in the top ten and you have an extra UR card to play with.

Small tip: From what I can tell following the past few events, it’ll be easier to rank in an event with a less popular UR card as the main prize. So basically : Cecil (sorry bby that’s just how it is).
Other than that, if you have a stash of seventy or like a hundred LP packs lying around, or the card up for grabs is your absolute favourite and you need a double: go for it.  I salute you.

More of this?
Getting better scores in Utapri Shining Live


Utapri Math: the colour theory