A New Writer Joins the Sweet & Spicy Team & Oona Returns From An Impromptu Hiatus | January & February 2023 | A (Bi?)Monthly Recap

Oh boy, what a year. My 2023 started off so strong! I was having the time of my life learning new skills, meeting new people, and indulging in the rush of smashing through every one of my Twitch goals, way ahead of the schedule I set myself at the end of 2022.

I had so many plans, too. Not just for Twitch, but also Patreon, YouTube, Discord, and of course, this website. One of those plans was to start a series of monthly recap posts, as I realised I had a myriad of otome-related projects on the go at once, with no singular “hub” in which to keep track of them all.

However, if you’re reading this at the time of publication, you’ll notice it’s March already, and there’s no January (or even February) recap to be seen. There are a few reasons for this, but long story short, 2023 has been a wild rollercoaster of a year already, and we’re only three months in!

That’s not to say it’s only been chaotic in a bad way, though. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some downs, but there are plenty of ups as well. For a start, we kicked off the year here with a “Best of 2022” round-up that a lot of people seemed to love and then, in perhaps the most exciting update so far, we welcomed a new writer to the Sweet & Spicy team!

But, on the other hand, I also went a bit MIA for a while, without explanation. The truth is, I had a lot of dramatic changes happen at once in my personal life, and I had to put most things on hold while I focused on just getting through each day.

I don’t want to worry anyone though, so I can confirm that I’m okay! At least, I am now. Everything is still a little messy in my offline world, but it’s calmed down enough that I can be more online again, and I wanted to post an update here so people would know that I haven’t abandoned Sweet & Spicy, I just had some stuff pop up unexpectedly that I had to deal with – and now I’m back!

For those of you who are still with me after I basically vanished for a month; thank you. I sincerely appreciate your patience, and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who reached out to me while my world kind of imploded these past few months. For you, I present my long overdue January 2023 Monthly Recap… and while I’m at it, my February recap too ❤

A New Writer Appears

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the past two months, I want to once again welcome RJ to the Sweet & Spicy team! If you’ve been to my streams, or you’re in the Sweet & Spicy Discord server, you may have seen RJ around before, wielding a very cute and cool green sword.

I first met RJ through the r/otomegames subreddit, specifically the self-promotion sunday threads. I watched their streams and thought they were pretty neat, but we didn’t properly get to know each other until a mutual friend in the community invited RJ to the Sweet & Spicy server. We hit it off like a house on fire, and it wasn’t long before I begged and pleadedasked them to help me out as a moderator.

I love the way RJ thinks, and we have a similar vision for the space we want to curate within the otome community. Shortly after we started to get to know each other, we discussed the possibility of working together on this site, and I left the conversation feeling more inspired than ever to get stuck into my drafts!

Every now and then, you meet someone you just have a really good feeling about, and RJ is one of those people for me. I’m incredibly excited for this partnership, and I’m confident that by bringing RJ on board, Sweet & Spicy Reviews will continue to grow into something we can both be proud of.

RJ is also fairly active in the r/otomegames subreddit, and you can find them on Twitter too, so it’s likely you’ve come across them before if you’re active in any corner of the otome community. They have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to otome games, and I love the way they write, so go check out their game review of Olympia Soiree and see their style and personality for yourself!

Sweet & Spicy Recap

Best of Otome 2022

The year of 2022 has come to an end, so it’s time for a reflection on the games I played and loved this year…

I mentioned earlier that the past couple of months have been a little quiet on the review-writing front, but before my sudden hiatus, I wrote a recap of my favourite games from 2022. This is currently the top-viewed post from this year, and I’m glad it’s proven helpful for those of you who read it!

There were a lot of stand-out titles to pick from last year, so this was a tough article to write. However, there were a few games that truly captured my heart, so I hope you can find a new love story to sweep you off your feet somewhere in this list.

The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen

I was lucky enough to meet Harry Sewalski – the dev behind The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen – back at PAX 2022…

In a perhaps slightly impromptu return from my hiatus, I was happy to spread the word about upcoming horror visual novel, The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen, by Too Many Teeth. I met indie dev Harry Sewalski at PAX AUS 2022 and featured The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen in my convention highlights post, and this is a visual novel I’m particularly excited for.

I was unfortunately a little late to shouting out their Kickstarter campaign – which has now concluded by the time of writing this article – but if you’re curious, there is still a free demo available on itch.io and Steam. It’s a game I’d definitely recommend putting on your radar, and I’ll be covering it in more depth upon full release.

Olympia Soiree

RJ debuted on the site with an engaging and informative review of the switch otome game, Olympia Soiree!

Kicking things off with a bang, RJ’s first post for Sweet & Spicy is a game review of the popular switch otome game, Olympia Soiree. This review is not only helpful for prospective players looking for advice on whether or not to buy it, but also those who have already played the game who want to see what other people thought of it!

I love how creative RJ got with describing each love interest in a completely spoiler-free way, and their personality shines throughout the article. It’s a strong start to their Sweet & Spicy career, and I can’t wait to share more of their work with you soon!

Plans for the Future

RJ and I are working on a collaborative review of one of the Ikemen Prince love interests! It’s a unique and fun idea that RJ came up with when we were discussing them joining the team. I love this project so much already, so I won’t say anymore for now and let everyone discover it when it’s ready!

I also have a pretty sizeable backlog of review drafts to finish for games and routes I played on stream. The VODs (video archives) for those streams are available on Twitch and YouTube, but I’m aware that’s a lot of hours of gameplay to sit through and not everyone is interested in watching livestreams. My goal is to catch up on this backlog over the next few months so those who want a quick-read version of my opinions can get them soon!

We’ve also received a fair few keys and press kits for newly-released games, so between RJ and I, we’ll have articles for those released as soon as possible, too. And that’s just catching up on backlog stuff! There are plenty more ideas where those came from, so stay tuned for some exciting new content as the year goes on.


Top Clip

This clip was taken from a stream where I was playing Yang’s route in Piofiore: Fated Memories. I have a channel point redeem in my streams that lets viewers choose a word for me to be banned from saying for the next 5 minutes. In this case, a viewer banned the word “Yang” – in his own route, no less – so I asked chat to decide what I should call my current love interest instead.

A poll was made, but the winner was… wait for it… “Daddy”. Yup, the forbidden “D” word. So, for 5 minutes, I had to refer to Yang as “Daddy”, including whenever I read out a line with his name in it. Unfortunately for me, I cringe every time the “D” word is mentioned, much less when I have to say it myself.

Even more unfortunately, my mind is almost constantly in the gutter…. so, the resulting combination of these factors led to the moment featured in the clip, which became my most viewed clip in the past two months…

That being said, my streams aren’t just me cringing at myself as I call otome husbandos “Daddy”, so if you like the idea of hanging out and chatting with people while we play through an otome game together, feel free to stop by my Twitch channel!

We laugh a lot, swoon a lot, and, occassionally, people in chat (affectionately) bully me. I may be on hiatus at the moment, but I intend to return soon, and in the meantime there’s an archive of previous streams you can check out if you’re curious.


While I didn’t post too much about my situation here or on Twitter, I have been much more active on Discord. I’ve been using the Sweet & Spicy server as my main avenue for communication, so I highly recommend joining if you want to be kept in the loop with all things related to this website, or you’re simply looking for more otome community spaces!

Aside from news and updates, it’s been heart-warming to see so many new friendships blooming among the community. The server has boomed in the past couple of months, and it remains so active on a day-to-day basis that I often can’t read all the messages that pop up while I’m asleep in my timezone at the edge of the world.

We’ve also started hosting server events – including otome “rating games” and anime watchalongs – so if you want to join in with those, absolutely stop by the server and say “hi”! We’ve put a lot of energy into crafting a warm, welcoming space, and I chose my mods – including RJ – because they’re excellent at maintaining the atmosphere I’m trying to create.

In short, if you’re looking for a chill, drama-free, non-judgemental space for people who just wanna love some fictional characters, then stop by the server and see what you think!

So What’s Next?

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection these past few months, and it’s made me somewhat sentimental. Having the life I built for the past 7 years suddenly turn upside down in a weekend has made me grateful for the friends who’ve reached out and supported me when I needed them most, and it’s pushed me to reassess what’s important to me.

Through these reflections, I’ve realised this website has been a pillar of consistency and stability while my mind has been anything but. Posting here regularly has taught me discipline and shown me the thrill of publishing my work, rather than letting it fester in the drafts folder until it fades from memory.

Hearing feedback from viewers has reminded me that there are people on the other end of these articles, reading what I have to say and taking the time to respond, which has given me a much-needed motivational boost to encourage me to keep writing, even when my anxiety has tried to throttle my inspiration.

Most importantly, however, has been building such a lovely community. The friends and support network I’ve made since starting out with Sweet & Spicy have had an immeasurable impact on my wellbeing. These new friendships have taught me that it’s okay to have higher expectations for the people around me, and that I’m not asking for too much when I reach out for help while I’m going through a tough spot.

They’ve taught me what genuine care and attention feels like, and made me feel important for the first time in a long time. Not to get too heavy on main, but I didn’t realise how low my self-esteem was until a few new people in my life started to boost it. I still have a lot of growing to do, but I feel confident that I’m on the right path now, and I truly love the people I’ve chosen to be surrounded by.

Each day I feel my confidence growing, and my inspiration with it. I’ve written more in these past few weeks than I had in the months before, and I can’t wait to show you all what I’m working on once it’s ready! So, once again, thank you to everyone who takes the time to read what I have to say. I appreciate all of you, and I look forward to working with you all in the future ❤

About the Author

Oona Tempest

A yandere, flirt, and DILF enthusiast with a passion for problematic ikemen, melodrama, and all things fae.

Streamer, writer, and founder of Sweet & Spicy.

Fun fact: Colour blind, but only when it comes to red flags.

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