I'm very late in replying to this, haha. But what you said is so true, and it's exactly why I prefer to play games made in Japan, China, and other Eastern countries rather than the West. They usually have really great male characters (not only in otome, it's true for any game), often with long hair, too, and their male players historically have no issue with the concept of male beauty. It's really dumb how in the West men are culturally proud of being as ugly as possible and think that ugliness is 'manly'. (And then they wonder why we (women) are so picky and it takes a lot to make us consider going to bed with them... because sexual attraction is visual, after all)Kikki wrote: ↑Nov 11, 2022 2:13 am While I also find the guys unattractive (too samey...largely black-haired, brown-eyed, and scruffy)...it's not Western. It's Indonesian. The same was true with Portia; they managed to do some very cute girls but even the prettier guys, like Gust and Arlo, were still rather goofy looking. (Portia is made by Pathea, which is based in China.) I think it's just plain easier to make girls attractive, while what makes guys attractive is more subtle and easier to screw up. It's an equal problem worldwide, as far as I can tell, particularly when a game has only one character designer, or if all designers are male. It was a problem long before Stardew and will continue to be a problem unless character design comes from balanced sources, imo. Otome games are the same, though their imbalance is in the opposite direction. They're designed for women, and the character designers are usually women as well, and they make FANTASTIC looking men...for women's tastes. Which is fine in an otoge, but not good for an RPG where you also have to appeal to a bunch of guys, who often complain if the male characters are 'too pretty', like Link in Twilight Princess...and he wasn't even all that pretty.
Should add here though that Pathea really upped their game for Sandrock. Fang is gorgeous, and several others are looking quite decent, too.
But isn't Indonesia in the East? I could swear. I guess this is why Gust has long hair, which would never be the case in a Western game, and Aadit is rather attractive, too, which I feel would never be the case in a Western game. So I guess these two designs betray their historical cultural habits.
What I'll never understand about Portia is that 'flower boy', I can't recall his name, the one who's always talking about make-up and stuff. Why is HE so ugly? I swear that they've made him to be as ugly as possible on purpose. It cannot be a coincidence. But in the game he's presented as the one who fusses over about his appearance the most. So maybe it gives away the fact that game designers despise men like that. That's the only idea I have for why they ridiculed his character with such a design. I felt really bad while playing for that reason, it's just horrible how much they've ridiculed the character who wanted to be beautiful by making him the ugliest, despite his best efforts I presume. I don't understand how that can be funny, it's too poignant of a cultural issue to make a joke of. It's like ridiculing women or gays.
Then again, the fact that the company is Indonesian doesn't mean that only Indonesians work in it. That might explain a few things.