Otome game heroines are usually on the receiving end of everyone’s hatred. Most people have perceived them as weak, stupid, annoying, passive, and submissive—so much that it ended up becoming a stereotype. While opinions may vary from one person to another, one question still lingers: do they really deserve the hate?It was late in the evening when I stumbled upon a thread where there was a discussion about otome game heroines. Since I already knew what sort of thing they might be talking about, I wasn’t surprised when I visited the thread and saw what I’ve been expecting all along: hate posts. Lots of ‘em. Well, it’s not as intense as hate posts that were done by Haruno Sakura (Naruto) and Inoue Orihime (Bleach) haters in the past (that one needs a post of its own, seriously) but it still belongs in the same league.
And the most hated heroine on that thread? It’s no other than the heroine of Diabolik Lovers, the kind and gentle Komori Yui.
Meet Komori Yui, the innocent heroine of Diabolik Lovers. You’ll never guess that she’ll get a lot of haters just for existing.
For those who aren’t familiar with the game nor the anime, Yui lives in a mansion full of good-looking vampires. And while that might be heaven for some people, it isn’t like that at all for poor Yui since she often gets disrespected and maltreated by the brothers. (By the way, the guys who have maltreated her are supposed to be her romantic interests. Wow.) She tries to fight back—somehow, but to no avail. She easily forgave them though and believed that they will change eventually.
He bit her? That’s normal. They do that to her EVERY SINGLE TIME.
And the same thing happens throughout the entire game. It doesn’t help either that almost the same thing happens to a lot of heroines out there, and we also get the same reactions from each heroine. In fact, the heroine from Amnesia is in the same boat as Yui, and she even ended up being locked up in a cage by Toma, her childhood friend with yandere tendencies.
From the sound of it, one can really agree that there is some basis for the hatred that is being thrown upon otome game heroines. Sure, it is a fact that they aren’t physically strong, that they aren’t badass enough to be liked by everyone, that they are usually naive and their innate kindness and trust when it comes to other people have played a role in their downfall—but given the situation that they are in, can anyone even blame them for acting that way?
A perfect example of how Amnesia’s Toma shows his love: locking up his beloved in a cage in order to protect her from ‘harm.’
Let’s take Hakuouki’s Yukimura Chizuru as an example. People have hated her for being useless and for being unable to fight back. But given the time period that she was in as well as the society’s views when it comes to women during that period, it’s no surprise that she acts the way she does. Still, unlike Yui and the heroine from Amnesia, Chizuru fights for what she believes is right. She even raised her sword in front of Kazama Chikage despite knowing that he can easily overwhelm her. Sure, she can’t do what the Shinsengumi does and despite being taught how to do self-defense, you can’t just expect her to kill someone just because they’re her enemies. Place her in a normal situation, though, and she’ll most likely get by just fine.
Chizuru defends a woman who was being harassed on the street.To be honest, no matter what the heroine’s personality might be, there will still be people who will complain. There is literally no pleasing people. They bash heroines like Uta no Prince-sama’s Haruka for being dumb, and even Starry Sky’s Tsukiko for being plain and meek. And when they get a heroine like Jyuzaengi’s Kan’u who is known to be the strongest warrior, they still bash her for being a Mary Sue. When a heroine’s too aggressive, they get labeled as ‘bitches.’
Heroines get bashed for a lot of things. Whatever she might be, she will be labeled as ‘too feminine’ or ‘not feminine enough.’ Despite the circumstances behind their actions or their personalities, people still bash them. But why do people even hate them when they’re supposed to be representing the players in the game?
The main reason for this is probably one’s lack of empathy, which is the inability to consider anyone else’s problems aside from their own. They cannot empathize with men because they’re not male themselves, but when it comes to the heroines, they want them to be “perfect” as much as possible because otherwise, the heroines do not have the right to represent them, much less deserve any of the guys in the game, some of which are quite the Gary Stus themselves.People aren’t perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect person, and everyone has flaws that a lot of people may not like. Still, despite everything, a person has his or her own strengths. Otome game heroines aren’t usually gifted with a natural fighting prowess or even outstanding mental abilities that enable them to outwit their opponents but one thing is for sure: with all the things that kept on happening around them, they are definitely resilient and emotionally strong. Other people would probably have a mental breakdown just from experiencing even a slight fraction of what they’ve been going through on a day to day basis. They didn’t. And they even remained optimistic despite it all.
So, do otome heroines really deserve the hate? Not really. But of course, hating a certain character is subjective and it depends from one person to another. It’s just saddening that because of this, otome game heroines are usually stereotyped as weak and useless even though there are also a lot of them who’s got a lot of spunk and are as strong as the men. Nowadays, a lot of otome game companies such as Voltage have shown variety when it comes to their heroines. Most of those games aren’t accessible to the English fandom, though, so that’s also a contributing factor.
The next time I lurk around the forums, will I see a hate thread for otome game heroines again? Probably yes, probably not. One thing is for sure though: girls play otome games not for the heroine but for the guys. =)