Did you have a cheerful holiday season? I do hope so. Happy New Year! The December holidays are my favorite season: everything is full of lights and the song. And isn’t December sort of the cheat weekend of the year? Christmas cookies, mulled wine, gingerbread… Everything is glorious.
Now, the Twelve Days of Christmas will be over on Sunday, but maybe you want to hold on to some of that holiday cheer to keep you warm through the chill of winter, which has only just begun. Fortunately, your favorite Ikemen have you covered! To start, some of the light holiday fluff I promised in my impressively long-winded introduction to my beloved samurai.
PS: Do yourself a favor and click on the youtube-links. You won’t be disappointed.
Christmas was obviously not a thing in 19th century Japan. It was brought in with the foreign barbarians, whose incursion threatens the very basis of Japanese society. And yet, as you read how the news vendor’s paper describes this most important festival of the Europeans, you cannot help but imagine what it would be like to have a little celebration in the garrison. When you broach the subject, all but Hijikata are immediately amenable to the idea. Maybe you will even be able to spend some alone-time with your beloved? Deck the halls!
Continue reading “Christmas Special: Era of Samurai”
This is where it all started. Before I discovered the gods from the stars, my first love in this newly discovered world of otome games were the brave men of the Shinsengumi, a group of samurai in 19th century Kyoto. It’s a funny thing how I got there. Apparently, my browser had realized that I had started to learn Japanese, and in a well-targeted ad, it showed me the title picture of this particular set of stories. I have to say, I do love it when the algorithm gets stuff right. And here we are, one year and countless stories later, and yet I’ve never written about the Shinsengumi.
The truth is, I needed a break. After reading a few of the stories, I was desperate for something more frivolous, more light-hearted. The stories of the Shinsengumi are good. They are very good. But because of their very nature, they have a capacity for tragedy unmatched by titles set in the modern world, for example. Death is possible every time the men set foot outside the compound; and when they come back alive, there’s still no guarantee that they will be healthy in body and mind. If, like me, you get emotionally invested in characters, that really takes a toll.
But it’s been a year, and I thought I’d pay a visit to my favorite samurai (I know, they are technically ronin, themselves). Maybe with some light-hearted holiday fluff? But first, obviously, I owe you an introduction.
Continue reading “Era of Samurai: Code of Love”