Otome Shimai | Podcast | Community Spotlight #3

If you listen to any otome podcast – make it this one. In the Otome Shimai podcast, sisters Vka and Vki talk about all sorts of otome-themed topics, from celebrating corgi butts in the Code: Realize anime adaptation, to ranking the Collar x Malice love interests across six different categories…

I particularly love Vka and Vki’s energetic dynamic, and you can clearly see their passion for the otome industry – even when they’re joking or being critical. In short – it’s a fun, informative otome podcast run by two entertaining, long-time otome fans, and I can’t wait for their return from hiatus on November 7th!

Where to find Otome Shimai: You can listen on a variety of platforms – including Spotify, YouTube, and Twitch – with new episodes every Sunday. Otome Shimai is currently on hiatus (at the time of writing), but they will be returning to their regular schedule from November 7th.

Welcome to the third part of ‘Community Spotlight’! In this series, we interview otome content creators and showcase some of their work to help spread the word about talented, creative people in our community. We’ll start with an interview, then feature three episodes of the podcast, before finishing up with some recommendations on where to find more…

Interview

“Hey this isn’t terrible! Maybe others will be interested too!” 

– Vka (on why they started their podcast)

Q: How would you describe your podcast?

Vka: I think we would describe our podcast as conversations about our experiences in playing and enjoying Otome games.

Vki: Yup! Each episode is basically a guided conversation (since the topic is predetermined) where we discuss Otome and Amare games. We don’t focus on reviews, we DO have a series called “Reviews in 2s”, but we decided pretty early on that it wasn’t going to be our focus.

Vka: Exactly. There are already really great Otome bloggers and content creators in the community who do amazing reviews and we really just want to share our experiences and fun.

Vki: This is why the first few episodes are completely unstructured and just us talking about literally whatever. Later on we realized that having actual segments and topics for each episode worked a lot better, but it took a minute to get there.

What inspired you to start ‘Otome Shimai’?

Vki: We talk too much to each other about Otome games and we basically just started recording it.

Vka: At some point we realized that we were just having so much fun discussing our playthroughs and the characters that we thought others might be interested in hearing those thoughts as well.

Vki: Yeah, we tended to go into really long in depth analysis, probably TOO in depth for some of these games. It’s always been an insane amount of fun though.

Vka: We’ve talked about this on a few episodes of the podcast before, but we’ve been playing together for more than a decade (it makes me feel old).

Vki: Well, you ARE the older one.

Vka: Yes and AS the OLDER one, I decided to agree to let Vki record us on the spot one day, which ended up being Episode One.

Vki: That’s right, I literally sat her down and pressed “record” on GarageBand using my Macbook Air microphone (this explains the awful audio quality for the first few episodes).

Vka: As for inspiration to share it via a podcast, we listened back and thought “Hey this isn’t terrible! Maybe others will be interested too!” 

“I can always tell who Vka’s favorite is going to be. It’s easy. Find the grumpy boy.”

– Vki

Which otome game(s) got you hooked on the genre?

Vka: I’ll let Vki answer first since her answer dates waay back.

Vki: Gakuensai no Oujisama for the PS2. I was mildly obsessed with the Prince of Tennis anime back in high school, and basically grabbed whatever merch I could get my teenaged hands on. Gakuensai no Oujisama is an Otome game that came out in 2005 that’s based on the Prince of Tennis series, where you play as a girl helping the tennis team with a school festival. I still go back and do routes every once in a while, which is nice because now I actually understand what the people in the game are saying.

Vka: Yea, now that she’s lived in Japan and can speak Japanese it’s much easier to figure out what’s going on. 

Vki: Poorly. I speak Japanese poorly.

Vka: It’s definitely better than mine! As for me, I saw Vki playing these games for a few years and was interested when she’d share her experiences but my actual first solo game that hooked me was the PS3 Hakuouki localization (Hakuouki: Stories of the Shinsengumi). My now husband bought me the Limited Edition on its release, and since I already generally knew the story through my sister, I got to experience it firsthand and it was amazing! 

Vki: We also played a number of non-localized games together before 2014. After I moved to a different country it got a bit harder to play side by side so Vka had to start buying her own. 

Vka: My poor college student wallet suffered a bit when she left the States.

The ultimate question… who is best boy?

Vki: You can’t ask us this! We don’t know! They’re all best! I’m usually a hako oshi.

Vka: Yep, she loves the whole collective. I think I do want to share my FIRST best boy though and that’s Yamazaki Susumu from Hakuouki.

Vki: #TeamYamazaki since 2014.

Vka: In that game he wasn’t even an LI but we both fell for him.

Vki: We DO have general “types” in Otoge though. I can always tell who Vka’s favorite is going to be. It’s easy. Find the grumpy boy.

Vka: That’s absolutely true. Vki’s a bit more varied than I am but if there is a mature, “tall, dark, and handsome” type they’ll definitely be higher on her list.

Vki: Ah. Yes. Yanagi Aiji. Mukami Ruki. Grey Ringmarc. I also like the serious ones that I could potentially bully.

Vka: She likes to take that sledgehammer to their icy heart walls. 

Vki: DESTRUCTION.

“Vka has two cats and one of them is mildly obsessed with me. She watches me sleep (the cat, not the sister).”

– Vki

Which of your segments or series has been your favourite so far?

Vki: I feel like I might just be saying this because of the name, but “Mobile Romance Bishounen on the Go-nen How Did I End Up Romancing This Ultra Hot Guy on My Phone?” is one of my current favorite series that we do.

Vka: She’s totally biased because it took a lot of convincing from both her and my husband for me to agree to that ridiculous title.

Vki: Yes.

Vka: *I* personally enjoy “Side Tracked by Side Characters”! I feel like the developers put so much effort into all aspects of the stories in Otome games that I cannot help but appreciate those characters that aren’t datable as well.

Vki: But then we’re mad that we can’t date them.

Vka: It’s okay, unrequited love can be just as sweet! Another thing that I really enjoy is the regular “Who Are You Doing This Week” segment on each episode. 

Vki: Me too! It’s a great segue into our actual episode topic and gives us a chance to talk about how we’re feeling in the moment, instead of analyzing the game/character afterwards.

I loved your episode on undateable side characters! If only one side character could become a love interest, who would you choose?

Vka: Since our beloved Yamazaki got his own route in the Hakuouki remake I think at this moment I’d choose Leo Cavagnis from Piofiore. 

Vki: Leo! He’s adorable but I feel like we’d both just eat him.

Vka: He’s so sweet and kind and I cannot get enough time with Leo in the routes he appears in. 

Vki: Look at you, going for a younger man.

Vka: As in real life! At least I’m consistent.

Vki: True. As much as I like Leo I think right now I’d still go with Sakuragawa. I want to go on BBQ dates with her and talk smack about people.

Vka: Agree! That sounds like such a tasty and fulfilling relationship.

“Unfortunately your special ability requires you to drink massive amounts of water daily instead of something cool like laser eyeballs.”

– Vka

Do you have any other bonus facts about yourself or the work you do?

Vki: Vka has two cats and one of them is mildly obsessed with me. She watches me sleep (the cat, not the sister).

Vka: I have also watched her sleep. But honestly I’m a language loving cat person with a penchant for teasing my sister.

Vki: I just like making Vka mad.

Vka: We have a wonderful and healthy relationship!

Vki: We do! But also, on a more serious note (and if you watched our Twitch stream during Steam Next Fest you’ll have heard this already), October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month. For those of you who don’t know, Dysautonomia is a group of disorders associated with a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), the ANS regulates heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, kidney function, and temperature control among other things. So, needless to say, having one of these conditions can cause some pretty complicated issues.

Vka: Vki, we should mention the reason why you’re plugging Dysautonomia Awareness Month.

Vki: I have Dysautonomia! Specifically Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy, or AAG if you don’t like long words. It’s one of the rare types of Dysautonomia, because I like being special.

Vka: Unfortunately your special ability requires you to drink massive amounts of water daily instead of something cool like laser eyeballs.

Vki: Laser eyeballs would be WAY cooler! Dysautonomia affects over 70 million people worldwide, but is rarely talked about outside of the people who have actually been diagnosed, so if you want to learn more I would highly recommend going to the Dysautonomia International website for more information. Anyways, do we have any more fun facts about us or the podcast?

Vka: Well right now we’re on hiatus for a short time so that I could go and get married BUT we’ll return to our regular release schedule of Otome Shimai episodes on Sunday, November 7th!

Vki: Hope you’ll all tune in!

Featured Works

Thank you Vka and Vki for answering our questions! We’ve missed you while you’ve been on hiatus, and we’re super excited for you to return on Sunday, November 7th! If you can’t wait that long, (understandable), then we have a few featured episodes of the Otome Shimai podcast to listen to in the meantime…

Episode 15: Mobile Romance Bishounen on the Go-nen How Did I End Up Romancing This Ultra Hot Guy on My Phone? Ikemen Sengoku Pt. 1

Episode 15: Mobile Romance Bishounen on the Go-nen How Did I End Up Romancing This Ultra Hot Guy on My Phone? Ikemen Sengoku Pt. 1 Otome Shimai

Episode 15 is the one with the (in)famous title that makes all the isekai light novels jealous, ‘Mobile Romance Bishounen on the Go-nen How Did I End Up Romancing This Ultra Hot Guy on My Phone?’. This episode focuses on the sexy warlords of CYBIRD’s Ikemen Sengoku in a spoiler-free discussion of the gameplay, story, and romanceable characters…

Oona’s thoughts: Firstly, I’m sorry Vka, but I also love this series title! Ikemen Sengoku is one of my favourite otome games, so I always love hearing more people talk about it, and the two of you have such a fun and energetic dynamic that makes every episode enjoyable to listen to!

Favourite (out-of-context) quote:
“You get to pay for sex!” – Vki (07:59 – timestamp)

If you’re curious about Ikemen Sengoku and want to find out if it’s an otome game you’ll enjoy playing, I recommend this episode of Otome Shimai. Episode 15 is an entertaining, easy-to-follow, spoiler-free overview of Ikemen Sengoku and all its parts, delivered by the delightful otome sisters (Otome ‘Shimai’, even), Vka and Vki.

Episode 19: Game vs. Anime – Code: Steampunk Corgi Butts

Episode 19: Game vs. Anime – Code: Steampunk Corgi Butts Otome Shimai

Otome games aren’t famous for having great anime adaptations, but is Code: Realize the exception? Find out in Episode 19 of the Otome Shimai Podcast: Game vs. Anime – Code: Steampunk Corgi Butts!

Oona’s thoughts: You had me at ‘corgi butts’. I haven’t actually played Code: Realize or watched the anime, but listening to this episode has made me much more interested in doing both of those things! I loved your analysis of the adaptation, and, as usual, the two of you have a contagious energy that fills me with all the happy brain juices.

Favourite (out-of-context) quote:
“Victor can kick quite a lot of butt for a fluffy science boy…” – Vka (16:36 – timestamp)

Whether you’re a fan of Code: Realize or you’ve never played the game, or even if you’re only interested in the anime, this episode of Otome Shimai compares both the game and the adaptation in a thoughtful and entertaining analysis – definitely check it out if you’re curious!

Episode 20: Line Up and Size Up – Ranking the LIs of Collar x Malice

Episode 20: Line Up and Size Up – Ranking the LIs of Collar x Malice Otome Shimai

In the most recent episode of Otome Shimai, Vki and Vka rank all of the Collar x Malice love interests in six categories: Character Design (a.k.a. “Would I bone him?”), Personality (a.k.a “Would I like to take my lunch break with this man?”), Detection Skills (a.k.a “Who would notice if Ichika was being impersonated by an alien?”), Battle Skills (a.k.a “Who would win in a fight?”), Best Match for MC (a.k.a “Who is Ichika’s best man?”), and Best for the Detective Job (a.k.a “Would I hire this person to find my cat?”).

Oona’s thoughts: I thought Collar x Malice might end up being pronounced like Hunter x Hunter! Times, cross, or nothing at all, either way, this episode was a lot of fun and I loved that you decided to include all your discussion. I’m also so amazed you managed to keep this spoiler-free!

Favourite (out-of-context) quote:
“So basically, five guys battle royale?” – Vka (20:58 – timestamp)

I paused before you gave your rankings each time to write down my own and compare, which was a lot of fun! I highly recommend playing along when you give this episode a listen – even if you haven’t played Collar x Malice, this is a fun insight into the characters without spoiling their routes. If you’re not sure who to romance, maybe this episode can help you choose your next CxM love interest…

Want More?

Check out the Otome Shimai podcast on:

Buzzsprout, Spotify, YouTube, and Twitch, or follow them on Twitter!

Thank you Otome Shimai for collaborating with Sweet & Spicy for this article – it was a pleasure to work with you, and we look forward to your return on November 7th!

Thank You!

~☆ Patrons! ☆~

SSR – Tarranga

~☆ Donations! ☆~

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Mary Safro

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2 comments

  • Thank you for this great interview! It was especially nice to get those little fun facts about the two.
    The recommended episodes are great. Mobile Romance Bishounen on the Go-nen How Did I End Up Romancing This Ultra Hot Guy on My Phone? Ikemen Sengoku Pt. 1 and 2 are my favourites – and have the best title ever. I named the otome folder on my phone “Bishonen on the Gonen”! 😉
    I’ll definitely have to listen to the Collar x Malice one. Can’t wait to hear the rankings.

    Liked by 1 person

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