Cover Art by the amazing: ささみ
The last day for 2022 is finally here! Things have gone by highly fast-paced, don’t you think? Personally, I thought 2022 quickly went at a speedy rate but it could also be because I’ve been quite the busybody.
Anyway, it’s that time of the year where I become a little more self-centered and blab about my year-end review and reflections on all things otome-related, as well as prattle on some unrelated personal hijinks. (laughs) You might wanna brew some coffee or tea first as this post will also be relatively longer than my usual “Kitty Blab” write-ups, if you’re down to read til the end, that is! heh.
2022 OTOME HIGHLIGHTS
To start off with some positivity, we are clearly living past the dark ages with the constant back-to-back releases of console otome game localizations this year.
✅ There were 13 (localized + indie) Otome Games released for the Switch console this year.
- Variable Barricade
- Even if Tempest
- Amnesia Memories
- Amnesia Later x Crowd
- Piofiore: 1926
- Paradigm Paradox
- Butterfly’s Poison Blood Chains
- Lover Pretend
- Irresistible Mistakes
- Seduced in the Sleepless City
- How to Fool a Liar King (Remastered)
- Taisho x Alice (All-in-One)
(Special Shoutout: to TaiAli Heads and Tails that was also released this year, but only for the PC platform)
✅ There are 9 Switch-Exclusive Otome Game titles announced for localization next year.
- Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo (I’m counting this one as part of the list since the game release was delayed for 2023)
- Norn9: Var Commons (switch port)
- Norn9: Last Era
- Jack Jeanne
- Radiant Tale
- Shuuen no Virche
- Even if Tempest (fandisk)
- Tengoku Struggle Strayside
✅ Indie Otome Games are getting the recognition they deserve!
Several promising indie otome game Kickstarters were successfully funded this year and the previous. And I can’t wait to actually play them when they come out! Citing the ones that I’ve supported and also the indie titles I’m very, very excited for are:
- Peachleaf Valley
- Apocalyptic Dream
- Salty Hounds
- The Silent Kingdom
- Salvus: Aries
There are also a few that I’m actually eyeing and looking forward to trying. Some of these titles are:
- Untold Atlas
- My Love for you is Evermore (if there’s ever a KS that’ll have this game ported to the switch I’m seriously going to hop on it pronto!)
✅ Companies (Both in the West and Japan) are finally seeing full potential in the English-speaking market.
The reason why I didn’t do my “localization survey” this year was pretty much because of this. There is no need to. Companies see us and hear us. That is a fact.
✅ The Otome Genre is NOT dying.
A lot of people may say that the genre is “dying” in Japan, but I totally and wholeheartedly disagree. Game development may be delayed, or certain releases in a year may be reduced by a number, but this does not mean that projects aren’t ongoing. This isn’t unique to the otome genre alone. Tons of companies in the gaming industry are experiencing the same exact thing. There are several factors behind-the-scenes that take place when it comes to game development. Publishing commercial games has a lot of parties involved that are not just developers and publishers alone. This is the norm pretty much in the industry. As a community, I feel like we just need to take a chill pill sometimes and stop assuming the worst for the genre and spreading misinformation.
2022 BLOG HIGHLIGHTS
✌️ Otome Kitten has reached 3.7 Million views this year. I’m not one to look at numbers regularly, since I want to surprise myself at the end of each year. (cackles) But I’m so happy and grateful to have reached another milestone! I have nothing but full gratitude to everyone who’s been continuously supporting this site all year long! Whether you’re here for otome news, walkthroughs, or reviews. Thank you very much from the bottom of my hypothalamus!😭 I’d like to push for 4M next year! 頑張ろう! Ganbarimashooou!
✌️ Despite my streaming hiatus for over two years, I have reached 100+ followers on Twitch! Lmao! and 700+ on Youtube. I try my best to upload as much video content as I can every year, but I keep failing!😢 I really hope to change that in 2023. TBH, I wanted to get two videos out for this month, but due to the holidays keeping me busy, I didn’t have any time to edit them. No worries though! That just means I have some extra fun content by the start of 2023! So please look forward to it! 🙇♀️
✌️ I’ve finished a total of fifteen games this year and reviewed thirteen of them.
The only games I haven’t reviewed are Stray and Mashou Megane. Stray, for obvious reasons, is not a joseimuke game, so I don’t plan on reviewing it at all. As for Mashou Megane, truth be told, I’ve already written content for it by 80% 🤣 but decided against posting it after some thinking. I mean, the game is completely wack on all sides, and while it was a fun obnoxious acid trip experience,🥴 I don’t think I can recommend this to anyone. Though, I might change my mind someday and just post my review for the heck of it! Who knows? ʅ(°‿°)ʃ
BEST AND WORST (OTOGE 2022 EDITION)
As requested by a couple of folks, I’m bringing back my Best and Worst Awards (Otoge Edition). The last time I did this was in 2018 when there were around nine localized titles released on the PS Vita & Switch. This year, I’ll be limiting entries only to the new localized titles and console/mobile exclusives I’ve played. So, without further delay, here it is… “Best & Worst Otoge Awards”(Otomekitten Edition). *cackles*🤣🤣🤣 PS. I wrote this section with my friend, Dom Perignon. There will be shitposting~!😘
🛑 Disclaimer: This is all in jest and for fun, please do not take this seriously.
Best Heroine of 2022
Hardest choice ever! Gosh. There were a lot of exemplary heroines this year!😭 I had to narrow my choices down to those who I emotionally connected to the most, as well as the heroine I fell in love with and want to protect! Ha! Chiyuki (Lover Pretend) is such a relatable protagonist, and her struggles as an antisocial introvert were too real. I honestly get her (and her personality) through and through! Shanao (Birushana), on the other hand, is someone I admire so much and want to protect as a daughter. As I’ve said in my review, not only was she physically strong but also, mentally and emotionally sound. She’s a protagonist that’s so quick to reciprocate whatever shit they throw at her, and she was like what? 16?! Cut the girl some slack! 😤
Worst Heroine of 2022
Hibari Tojo (Variable Barricade). As much as I enjoyed this tsundere queen. I cannot for the life of me, forgive her in Ichiya’s route. Just…nope!
Best Tsundere LI
Harumi Makino (Lover Pretend). What’s funny is that Harumi was actually only a tsun tsun in his common route, the rest of his story, he was just a soft bb boi! Also, have you played his good ending??? *holds*
(WORST TSUNDERE: NONE)
Best Kuudere LI
Dante Falzone (Piofiore:1926). Still the king of kuuderes since 2020. He just fits the kuudere trope to a T, and this capo’s blush is everything! My runner-up is probably Kent (Amnesia Later x Crowd).
Worst Kuudere LI
Hitoshi Fujita (Butterfly’s Poison Blood Chains). “I’ve got 99 Problems, but a breastmilk kink ain’t one!” I’m not even sure if Fujita counts as kuudere. He is stoic and very reserved, and ya know... I just wanna give him an award!🤪(cackles) Even though his BSK got redacted in the switch version, woof woof bark bark – I just can’t take his bad ending seriously, that even his gigantic custard launcher can’t make up for it!
Best “Sad Boi” Award
Henri Lambert (Piofiore:1926). Piofiore’s resident sad emo french man. Never have I ever expected to simp for Mister Lambert, but Piofiore 1926 has proven me wrong with my initial ill judgments of Henri. A sly manipulative genius with too many faces. But deep down, he’s really just a sad misguided, misunderstood, beautiful sexy boi… *cough who loves his sister Chloe very much cough*
Worst “Sad Boi” Award
Hyuga (Paradigm Paradox). Okay sir, we get it! You’re sad. You were betrayed, you were hurt. You can cook and you look sexy without that ridiculous parka of yours (bruh it’s not even winter lol), but come on man, there ain’t no excuse for you to hurt a lady tryna’ help you get over your emo phase. Not cool!
Best Genki LI
Nayuta Yagami (Variable Barricade). Despite not ending up as my fav. LI in VariBari, Nayuta’s route was actually a route that I thoroughly enjoyed. His feet kink caught me off guard and his do-m-step-on-me-senpai persona was hilarious af. It made him stand out from the rest of the genkis I’ve played this year. Hence, no contest, he gets this award!
Worst Genki LI
Yukinami (Paradigm Paradox). Looking for a route that lets you romance mister-bucknutty with no pay-offs? Try this one on for size! Good god, I just want to bleach my brain and forget that this route existed.
Best Siscon Route
Mizuhito (Butterfly’s Poison Blood Chains). I try to give credit where it’s due. Despite ‘siscons’ being my least fav. trope of all time, I’ve got to admit, Mizuhito’s siscon didn’t make me feel all-icky. Could it be the power of Hirarin’s voice?
Worst Siscon Route
Ayumu Mamiya (Paradigm Paradox) Siscon routes are guilty pleasures when the heroine is the sister, but when it’s not, then WHAT IS THE POINT? Not only was Ayumu’s hardcore sister simping, off-putting as heck, but he was also ridiculously petty that he tried to hurt the protagonist all because she’s friends with his sister. Come at me, bro!🥊
“Too Bad You aren’t Real” Award
Harry Choi (The Ssum). I’m sorry, The Ssum haters, this isn’t the end of me talking about this game (lmao).😝 Harry Choi is everything. Idc. After his route, I could never look at another LI ever again (unless their name is Jumin Han). I know The Ssum gets a lot of hate because it’s not f2p friendly, is unpolished, or is not in VN format, but in all honesty, Harry’s route was worth the comeback. I have no regrets about installing the game again and paying for the sub (again lol). I really don’t care what anyone thinks. I will continue to bask in my Harry-high atm! Idc, idc, idc!
“I’m So Glad You aren’t Real” Award
Tomomori (Birushana). This award isn’t exactly connoting anything negative about Tomomori. It just means how it literally means. We love this LI and enjoy the full fantasy of his romance because it’s pure fantasy and fiction. However, If this were in real life, you’d be running for the hills. You would think I’d pick (Piofiore) Yang for this, didn’t you? Yang is such an obvious choice, and we’re way past his toxicity in 1926. In fact, his route in the sequel was even one of the fluffiest. Ha! I thought Tomomori fits the bill here. What he did to Shanao in Benkei’s route was big yikes. But oh lordy, was it hot or what??🥵
Best Route Award
That’s right! Another tie!🤪 Istg, I’m so bad at this. haha But typically, story-wise, these two routes right here, made me lose sleep as I played their stories nonstop in one sitting. Tyril’s (Even if Tempest) route was paced so well that I’m still having goosebumps thinking about his “trial scene”. While Riku Nishijima’s (Lover Pretend) route made me hella scream, kick my feet, curl my toes and squeak like a high schooler when the man threw his hot and cold signals to Chiyuki. Yeah, Riku is trash but he’s my trash goddammit!
Worst Route Award
Ryo Tomitsuka (Paradigm Paradox). I kind of feel bad that ParaPara is banking all my ‘worst’ awards.😰 I’m so sorry Para2 fans!🙇♀️ But for real though. I still can’t figure out why Ryo was given a route and not Professor Masaki?ఠ_ఠ
Best Trashbando LI Of 2022
Yoshiki Majima (Butterfly’s Poison Blood Chains). I’ve been brain-rotting for days, thinking about Majima. And even bought three of his tapestries when I literally had no room for them.🤡 While all the LIs in Chou no Doku are trash bins except for sweet tsunboi Hideo, I thought Majima was the trashiest, plot-wise. Don’t ask why. You’ll have to play the game to figure this out. Despite this, however, he still ended up as my oshi in the game. That is why this year, he takes home this golden garbage bag (dug from my heart) as his prize. My honorable mentions were Tomomori (Birushana), Shion (VariBari), and Crius (Even if Tempest).
(WORST TRASHBANDO: NONE)
Best Wingwoman of 2022
Maya (Even if Tempest). I love Maya to death! I love her relationship with Anastasia. I love seeing her with the heroine more than I love seeing the heroine with her love interests. Haha!😤 Is it weird that I ship them both?
(WORST WINGWOMAN: NONE)
Best Side Character Syndrome of 2022
Tsugunobu (Birushana) It’s kinda cruel for a game to tease us with the delectable Sato Brothers, who don’t get full routes on their own! As much as I adored all the main LIs in Birushana, no one can top my love & devotion for Tsugunobu. And no, it’s not just because Takashi Kondo voiced him (or maybe it is? lol who cares!)😋 Prayer circle that IFI announces the fandisk next year because we’ve been robbed folks!
Best DILF of 2022
Of course, you’ll never catch me ending this award ceremony without talking about the DILFS, no? This year we have been blessed with a lot of delicious dilf characters, and honestly, this is yet another difficult decision to make. But after some careful assessment and thorough vetting, me and my bestie, Dom Peri, have made a unanimous decision to give this award to two outstanding wrinkled thirst traps.
Kojiro (Variable Barricade). Oh my goodness, did you see how disheveled his tie and how messy his suit has become when he fought his nephew at that party? Mister Bodyguard, let me slide into your dms, sir?🥵 Also, Hanai! (Lover Pretend) Hngggg! Pls! It’s a crime to look so confident and be this attractive seasoned older male actor, who’s too carefree enough to do whatever the hell he pleases. Sir, staaahp it. Also, what is it with silver-haired middle-aged men that makes them look so luscious and succulent?🥵 *fans self*
Worst DILF of 2022
Eugene (Piofiore:1926) TBH, I actually still liked Eugene, and find him very hot and attractive. I even ordered some of his standees so he can join my dilf shrine with Douma and the others. However, you can’t deny that what he did in 1926 was downright scummy and disagreeable. So, this year, papa red4d takes home this trophy.
***Other than The Ssum’s Harry Choi, I don’t think I have an ultimate oshi (bias) this year (console selection). My tastes have been extremely predictable recently. Any character voiced by Takashi Kondo is most likely going to end up a favorite of mine regardless of plot. lmao!
Out of the twelve otome games I’ve completed this year, my top three are as follows:
- Yoshiwara Higanbana (9/10)
- Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei (9/10)
- Butterfly’s Poison Blood Chains “Chou no Doku” (8.5/10)
This year, I believe my love for angst still prevailed based on my personal scores and game rankings. But I do admit, I am becoming more fond of the slice-of-life genre, as long as it’s done right. By that, I mean; even if the plot is not at all gripping, so long as there are niceties in a game that’ll keep me invested and entertained, then that’s enough for me to indulge and enjoy the media I’m consuming. I realize as I grow older, I’ve become more forgiving when it comes to overused tropes, weird pacings, and other trivial aspects that are regularly being criticized in otome games. What‘s important to me is whether I enjoyed this piece of media, or not. The more games I play over time, the more tolerant I become of plot holes and hackneyed storylines. I don’t care if the same plot was re-used or if the obvious plot twist has already been done for the nth time. What matters is if it was executed well and if that whole execution brought me joy.
I’m reminded that the main reason I play games is to not pick them apart, but rather to enjoy them for what they are. Of course, not everyone thinks like this, and not everyone has this kind of mantra and that’s perfectly fine. Everyone approaches their hobbies differently. Different strokes for different folks!
2022 PERSONAL REFLECTIONS
This year, I think I am in a much healthier and better headspace compared to my last two years of swimming in despresso land. I’ve started taking care of myself, prioritizing my mental health, and blocking/paying no mind to anything trivial and frivolous that would only cause me anxiety in the long run… and I’ve never felt happier.😃
I’ve also noticed that the happier I am, the more confident I am with my writing. And the more confident I become, the more articles I can actually put out? Crazy!🤯 This year, it feels like my energy to write about something I love and am passionate about has skyrocketed. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stopped overthinking the negatives and ignored what other people think – this helped me focus on what I love doing more. Currently, I’m living off this principle, and it actually feels great! ehehe.
Click for NegativesI think my only peeve this year is that my company has been treating me like a workhorse, especially during Q4. This is nothing new, though! Gotta make that bread to afford my merch-hoarding lifestyle! LOL. But then again, I have a feeling that my excessive overtimes are the reason that I’m back on my poor eating habits and irregular sleep. While I keep a positive mental state, health-wise it’s not really going all too well. ROFL Although, I make sure to eat one meal per day and get at least 3-4 hours of sleep at night – I don’t think this is enough. I think I’m also suffering from mild insomnia. Could it be due to my excessive caffeine intake recently? In any case, I wish to change this in 2023.
BLOG UPDATES FOR 2023
- Going to continue what I love doing – which is writing reviews & walkthroughs for all the upcoming console otome games in 2023 (localized). The game that I am highly anticipating next year is Jack Jeanne. I’ve played a couple of hours of its JP version, and I can’t wait to continue it in English next summer!
- About Streaming: I feel like this has been asked a lot lately, so I might as well address this here. I don’t think streaming is for me. I am such a huge introvert, and 90% of the time, I’m always tired after a day of work. I could barely hold a conversation with family and friends for more than an hour, let alone socialize and entertain people online. I feel so bad because I actually want to go back to streaming again, but…do I have the energy for it?😥 Next year, I’m just going to take it slow and try to appear as much as possible on a few collab streams. (laughs)…Maybe I’ll wing it on my own whenever the mood permits. Idk. I’ll make no promises!
- More fun videos & unboxings on my YT channel! I have two unedited ones that I’m supposed to upload this month but didn’t have the time to do so due to work-horse life. lol
- More The Ssum review diary posts! I am determined to finish Harry’s 100 days of gameplay. Believe it or not, this has been the most fun write-up series that I’ve done in a long while. I just can’t wait to theorize more about the lore and simp more of my best boy, Harry!
- Round Two Merch Sale: My merch cave is almost done, but I still have a few boxes to sort out and get rid of (mostly duplicate merch). I am hoping to put up some of them for sale online this January. Most of them are tapestries, art books, and plushies of older games (e.g. Hakuoki, Code Realize, Norn9, Amnesia, etc). If you love otoge merch, pwease adopt my excess stuff!🥺
- I plan to renovate this site soon and update some codes at the backend. Nothing major or anything of the sort. And the site won’t go down during these updates. I also plan to change my catgirl mascot “Kitty Chlo” (haha), the one you see on the banner. I’m not sure yet, but she needs a makeover, and maybe a companion. Her own LI perhaps?👀
This year, the love and support I’ve received from everyone have been incredible.😭 (SOB) I am truly, immensely, and deeply, grateful! Thank you all so much!😭 Getting this much love, and encouragement really makes such a worthy payoff to the hard work I put in. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say this again, Otome Kitten won’t be what it is today without you all. Thank you! Thank you!
Special shoutout to the kind folks who bought me catnips this year. All your generous donations will be used to renew the site’s hosting and fund its monthly maintenance. Your names will also appear in the testimonial section of this blog as well as the credits section of my YT videos.
To the amazing folks who bought me treats for the winter, sent me Christmas cards, and got me holiday gifts. THANK YOU! uwaah. You’ve no clue how much these surprises mean to me. I’m honestly a sucker for surprises because I never had them as a kid!😭 (sniffle) And to my friends who sent me their pet pics whenever I’m feeling down and allowed me to spam their dms with my rants and fangirl antics. Y’all know who you are! THANK YOU for another year of friendship.
To all my lovely subscribers, viewers, commenters, visitors, and friendly mutuals. You guys are incredibly amazing! I am just a bundle of joy right now. Thank you all so much for sticking around with me this year! No words can articulate my utmost gratitude. I hope to see you again next year!
2022 has been kinder to me and I hope it was the same for everyone! Let’s all do our best in 2023! FIGHTING!
Enjoy the new year festivities with some good food, and a glass of champagne! Whatever it is that you’re doing this new year’s eve, HAVE LOADS OF FUN and STAY SAFE! Here’s to another year of 2dmen simping! 🥂 Happy New Year Everyone!