Part 123: Supplementary Lesson #8: The Silent Type Archetype
Previous Analysis: Rich Kids
Ive talked about many different kinds of boys over the course of this LP. But within each of the archetypes, weve seen very few quiet boys. Silent types make up a surprisingly small section of the boys market. There are generally two different types of quiet boys: the strong silent types, who are generally uninterested in social interactions and prefer to take part in their hobbies; or the awkward bookish types, who just dont know how to connect to others and hide their inadequacies in their hobbies. The big defining trait between various silent types is their attitude towards sociability. Either way, it can be a lot of work for the player to get them to interact with them and open up, but plenty of persistence and interest in their hobbies will eventually win them over. Sometimes they just need someone to give them a little extra push to learn to love.
Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side is a series of otome games and a spin-off of the male-oriented Tokimeki Memorial series. Even at our last analysis, we have to recognize TokiMemo.
Just like with rich kids, theres only one quiet kid in the entirety of this series. But, like with every archetype, its gotta have at least one. Tokimeki Memorials large and diverse character pool, both for the original series as well as Girls Side, is probably one of the most interesting traits about the games, and one of the many traits about the series that makes it such a popular franchise.
Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side: 1st Love
Sakuya Morimura is a freshman at the main characters school. He is a shy, studious student who wants to blend in with the crowd and be ignored. While he enjoys reading and studying, his true passion is gardening. Hes part of the gardening club at school and plants many different kinds of flowers at school and at home. At one point he grows a large group of anemones and uses them as a metaphor for how much he loves the main character, since according to Greek myth the plant was created by the goddess Venus using the body of her lover Adonis. Take that as you will. However, in the beginning he is very difficult to talk to, as he does his best to avoid conversation. Hes a little more than socially awkward, so repeated exposure is the only way he starts to notice and interact with the main character. Once he warms up to her though, hes an absolute gentleman, and is a very thoughtful person who enjoys talking about life and other bigger concepts, though he still acts awkward and nervous when hes out on a date. Unfortunately, the fact that the main characters his only friend also means hes the mostly likely to drop bombs if hes ignored for too long once they become friends, bombs being basically a gossip mechanic where if you ignore someone for too long they make everyones relationship points drop and it can be difficult to recover quickly.
Princess Debut is an otome/rhythm game made by CAVE. You might think its weird to have a silent character when the entire game is about dancing and showing off, but theres one prince who doesnt like dancing. And that is a crime, and thankfully Sabrina is here to show him the error of his ways.
Kiefer Bergmann is a prince from the Nezzie Empire. He is a counterpart for Kieth, a rather cool-mannered, bookish student who is a year younger than Sabrina. Kiefer doesnt see the point in dancing, seeing it as a bunch of meaningless wasted effort, so he spends all of his time reading in quiet places around the kingdom. While he is not adverse to the idea of tagging along with Sabrina on casual dates, he often acts like this is a great trial being forced upon him. However, the one time he really opens up and shows his soft side is when he is reading with the animals in the magical forest, as he seems to have a good relationship with him. This culminates in a date in the kingdoms magical forest when all of the magic animals put on a play for Kiefer and Sabrina, and Kiefer asks if the joy theyre having doing the play is like the joy other people have dancing, and Sabrina finally gets the chance to dance with Kiefer and they become dance partners and fall in love. From that point on, hes much more open with Sabrina and acts kinder to everyone, and he shows off that hes a good guy whos just too caught up in worrying about practicality.
Kiefer is technically a secret character, since he only appears on the second playthrough and beyond. He can also be a little difficult, since his disposition to dancing gives fewer overall options for increasing his attraction. Thankfully, his affection skyrockets once you hit his big scene, so it turns out to be no trouble at all, though it can be a little daunting at first.
Re:Alistair++ is an otome game made by independent English developer sakevisual. With only three boys, there isnt a lot of diversity in the cast, and in fact its a pretty empty game outside of the character events. Still, when it actually does something, it hits some good, albeit cliché, notes.
Shiro Takayama is part of Meruis class and likes to keep to himself. Hes always seen wearing a big pair of headphones and he never speaks in class. In every playthrough, Merui and Shiro end up as partners on the big history class assignment, since theyre the only two students who dont have friends in their class. While both of them are a little awkward when approaching each other, theyre friendly and agreeable and hit it off pretty well. They both decide that working at Shiros house would be the best course of action, since Meruis room is small and also messy. The first time that she goes over to his house, shes amazed at how big it is. Shiro lives in a giant mansion! As it turns out, Shiros parents are successful businesspeople and live the life of luxury. However, this also means that theyre both working out of the house a lot, and so Shiro spent most of his life alone inside his home, unable to leave since no one was there to watch over him. He grew up with no idea about how to socialize with others, which is why hes such a loner at school and why he turned to video games for companionship. And as it turns out, Shiro plays a female mage in Meruis party, so they actually do know each other quite well! After learning about this connection, they both feel more comfortable and open up to each other more. Then thanks to their hard work, they are able to get the top grade on their history assignment and become boyfriend/girlfriend.
Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is an otome game written by Keiji Inafune. Its still rad as hell and full of neat, interesting characters. As stereotypical as their silent type is, hes still got enough interesting stuff going for him to keep him from being nothing but a walking cliché.
Kouta Meoshi is nineteen years old and the very definition of a NEET, which stands for Not in Education, Employment, or Training. He tends to stay at home all day playing video games, and the only reason he ended up at the amusement park was because the staff was handing out free DLC on opening day. He also tends to be very quiet and socially awkward, only speaking when spoken to or when he deems it necessary. While hes not physically fit and he has no stamina, he shows his worth in the group by having an encyclopedic knowledge about all of the games that the park attractions are based off of. That way, he can give the rest of the team an idea about what to expect, and help to solve the puzzles within. Hes also dedicated to helping out the team in any way he can, and often moves forward in spite of his fears. While hes not big on physical activity, his reflexes are top-notch, which allows him to help out the team by DDR-ing his way through an arrow trap hallway. Throughout their time together, Kouta learns how to open up and interact with others, particularly Saki, since shes the only girl in the group and hes especially on edge when it comes to girls. When it comes down to it, though, he can be a real charmer and a great companion, even in the face of adversity. Saki may have to constantly take the first step in their relationship, but hes a good kid.
Amnesia is an otome game by Idea Factory. With this analysis, weve actually hit the entire main cast of Amnesia, and were finishing it off with probably the simplest and most normal of the group. Its kinda nice with how complicated every other characters story is that they wrote a very simple one for this character.
Kent belongs to The World of Club. He is an incredibly intelligent individual, having been taught from an early age that theres always a logical answer to every question, and was taught to always strive for intelligence.
Kent, unlike the rest of the Amnesia cast, doesnt have a dedicated plot that helps to define his character, or at least not to the extent of the others. His character arc is all about teaching Kent what it means to be in love. His intellectual mindset also applies to relationships, so he has no social grace and has difficulty understanding things like small talk and intimacy, since they seem so unnecessary to him. At Heroines insistence, Kent texts her every morning and every evening in order to show that hes thinking of her, but its always just Good morning and Good evening, and he consistently asks if hes doing it right, since he doesnt understand the point of these messages. This runs the same plot as any other character of this type, where dating, proper intimacy, and the occasional rival man teach Kent about love and that some things like emotions cant be thought of logically.
Interestingly, Kents only other friend is Ikki (the playboy), and he still has his magical eyes that make girls fall in love with him. Because Heroine is unaffected, Ikki tries to pursue her, only for Kent to get all jealous and fight for her love. Also Kent thinks Ikki is full of shit because magical eyes are ridiculous and he's right.
It seems like shy, unsociable characters would be good material for otome games, since it becomes all about teaching someone how to open up and how incredible love is. But since so many of them tend to hide behind haughty attitudes and dismissal, these characters fall into a similar trap as playboys, rich kids, and athletes, where they make for a poor first impression and, even if they become incredible characters later, most players arent willing to put in the time and effort when the relationship immediately starts off cold and distant. Similarly, shy and awkward characters have their audience, but the hurdle that needs to passed in order to get them to interact with you can be a hindrance, especially with other boys who are more immediately grabbing and interesting. Both types tend to look boring from the get-go, and not all of them grow out from there into more interesting characters. With as much time as many of these games can take, you need to make a choice quickly so that you can start pursuing a character right away, and replayability can be difficult due to the general lack of plot to keep multiple playthroughs interesting.