Why Are All the Black People Slaves?!: A Short Rant about Taarradhin

I was originally going to post this as part of my Melanin Monday segment, but, WordPress decided that my original post was a bit too radical and saw fit to DELETE EVERYTHING I WROTE! But, thankfully despite that I was able to salvage most of it with the help of WP’s nifty ‘History’ feature, so, it wasn’t a total loss…

I want to first clarify that this is not a review, but a critique of Cyanide Tea’s decision to create a game that featured characters of color, specifically Black and brown skinned characters, as slaves in a game that allows the player to romance said slaves. Let me say that again, THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF Taarradhin! I will write a proper review some time in the near future, but this post, is most certainly not a review, so if you are expecting a review, come back later. For everyone else, the opinions reflected in this post are my own, so, if you are uncomfortable with discussions of race or slavery, you might want to check out one of my other game reviews or discussion pieces

Before I start this rant, I want to give you guys a bit of background about Taarradhin.

Taarradhin is a Pay-What-You-Want original English language visual novel (OELVN) from Cyanide Tea (Lorelei and Auro-Cyanide). The game was created for NaNoReNo 2014 and features two potential love interests (GxG and GxB) with five endings. It’s a rather short game taking between 30 mins to an hour to complete.

Synopsis

A seven-year drought plagues the entire region surrounding the country of Nishtif, leading people to wonder if their goddess Scheknt has abandoned them. In contrast, young noblewoman Neqtia has lived a comfortable life insulated from hardship and suffering. One of the poorer surrounding countries, Djedi, sends their usual tribute of natural resources and livestock to Nishtif in exchange for the larger country’s aid and protection. Rumors that two attractive slaves are among the cargo intrigue Neqtia. What lies in store for her after the slaves are brought to live at her family estate…?

Official Description

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Junjou Romantica is Problematic As Hell!- Season 1 Review

So I don’t usually write anime reviews here, but, after watching season 1 of Junjou Romantica I have some strong feelings about the series as a whole, none of them good. I should clarify that I rather enjoy problematic BL/yaoi, hell, I absolutely adore Yamane Ayano’s Finder Series, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. But, the infinitely lighter BL classic Junjou Romantica just rubs me the wrong way. So why am I “okay” with Finder, but not okay with Junjou? Well, part of it has to do with when I started both series.

I started Finder rather early on in my BL/yaoi journey, at a time when I was still figuring what I liked and didn’t like from the genre. The steamy smut, was definitely appealing, but upon subsequent readings (especially those first few volumes) I find myself actively cringing at how… problematic the whole thing is.

On the other hand, I started Junjou long after I’d been in the BL fandom, so I just don’t have any nostalgia for the series the same way I do with Finder. To make matters worse, I have read and watched some truly amazing BL/yaoi over the years, and it has spoiled me a bit for some of the older much more flawed “classics” the genre has to offer. So, when I finally sat down to watch Junjou Romantica, a series people have been recommending to me for years, lets just say I had high hopes.

Spoiler Alert: I was not amused, in fact I was horrified to discover that this was the series that sparked many a BL journey! This is the BL anime that people fondly celebrate and praise… Junjou Romantica is problematic as hell! But, does that really make it a bad anime? Or is it a seriously flawed, but ultimately salvageable anime?

Eh, that’s still up for debate. So, in a rather unprecedented turn of events I’m actually going to attempt to write a proper anime review here on Nice Job Breaking It, Hero (I already write reviews over at MANGA.TOKYO, so don’t get used to it)… Also, y’all can thank Kat over at GrimmGirl.com for this, this is purely for her… Let’s get this review on the road, shall we?

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Melanin Monday: Why We Need Quality Representation- A Short Rant

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Black History Month once again and with it comes the revival of Melanin Monday, the post series where I talk about the representation of Black and brown characters in pop culture. While I mainly focus on the nerdier side of the pop culture spectrum, from time to time I will cover more personal posts about my experiences as a Black nerd.

This started as part of Black History Month 2017, but you guys liked it so much that I decided to keep it going, albeit rather sporadically. However, for the month of February I will try to post one of these every Monday.

This week I didn’t really have anything planned since this post coincides with my OWLS Blog Tour post, and I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to do anything… So rather than focus on a particular form of media, I’m just going to talk about the importance of representation in general… as a rant.

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Only Lonely Women Play Otome Games and Other Common Misconceptions

This post has been a long time coming, and I mean a LONG time coming… I had the idea for this post around the time that post about the infamous Vogue article, but it wasn’t until a month or two ago when I saw an especially troubling search term that I actually started writing this post.

Otome miscon

Before I get into why this is so problematic, let me say that I am in no way shape or form the authority on otome games and the types of people that play them. I can only speak for myself and my experiences. However, despite that I can still say with some degree of certainty, that otome gamers get a bad rap sometimes. So I decided to write a post that addresses some of the misconceptions people have about otome gamers while still answering the above question.

*Disclaimer: The ideas presented in this post are my own, it’s fine if you disagree with me. All I ask is that you be respectful when commenting. 

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So this sort of became a rant about Howl’s Moving Castle

howl-3

Let me first say that I absolutely love the film and the book, but if I had to choose I loved the book more. I will admit that I saw the movie first…and while I’m confessing sins…I saw it dubbed, so I’m more accustomed to Christian Bales, than I am to Takuya Kimura (but I will admit he was the sexier Howl :D) But I digress…there are several differences between the novel and the film…for one the film oozes all the classic Miyazaki tropes, which I will get into more later in the post…so here we go!
Characters

Witch of the Waste

witch of the waste

So again…*disclaimer* I saw the movie first…

So in the beginning, both the book and the movie agree: The Witch of the Waste is the main antagonist, but really that’s kind of Howl’s fault. About a year before the story Howl (the serial philanderer) thinking she’s hot stuff, pursues her, but for some reason or another changes his mind and dumps her. This (rightly so) pisses the Witch off to the point where she makes it her mission to find Howl and make him her’s forever and always. And here my friends is where the similarities end! [SPOILERS AHEAD…no seriously…spoilers…like really real spoilers…]

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Books to Film

neverjudgebookblack_fullpic

*So you may notice this has absolutely nothing to do with otome/otoge…sorry…maybe the next post…*

why not

Ahem…so…

I love movies…I love books…hell, I even love movies based on books….But with that said, it is a fact that few things translate perfectly across media. They can get close to the original source, but nine times out of ten, they just don’t match up. Don’t get me wrong not all movies based on books are crap, some are far better than their book counterpart (I’m having a hard time thinking of any right now…but I’m sure they exist). The Harry Potter movies, while not as awesome as the books, definitely did a good job at channeling the magic.  But, more times than not a director will take some liberties when translating a beloved story to the big screen.

For true fans of a work film adaptions may seem like a watered down or diet version of their book sources. But in their defense movies have to contend with time and audience attention. I for one am not willing allot more than two hours on a movie…anything longer than that better be damn good! The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies are the exception…and even then I had to fight the urge to take a nap!

I have seen my share of duds… some movie adaptions have made me cringe, cry, and just walk out of a theater in frustration (and with ticket prices at $13, that says a lot). But there have been others that so perfectly captured my image of the characters and story that I could have sworn the director had been peeking into my imagination. But then there are some adaptations are so different that its hard to find the connection to the source material.

So let’s all, Not judge books by their movies!

To pay or not to pay…Free to Play vs Paid Games

shut_up_and_take_my_money

Like all full-time students I am confident enough to say that I know the value of the dollar. Sometimes money just doesn’t stretch the entire 30-31 days, in any given month.  Between rent, food, bills, food, metro fare, food, books, tuition, and did I mention FOOD!? money seems to disappear at an alarming rate…

money

But my pitiful part-time retail slave paycheck still allows me some pleasures…and by pleasures I mean paying for the company of sexy 2D pixel men…

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