(Reader’s Discretion is advised, some of the elements I talk about here can seem dark, but do not be alarmed as there is sarcasm, mild profanity, and happy endings here)
Inner child work is the process of contacting, understanding, embracing and healing your inner child. Your inner child represents your first original self that entered into this world; it contains your capacity to experience wonder, joy, innocence, sensitivity, and playfulness. (Loner Wolf)
I had gotten a lot of good feedback on a prior my #ShadowOtome post, and I felt the need to explore a little further into this area of healing and representing sides of us we leave in the shadows. One of these facets is our inner child, shadow work, and healing your inner child actually go hand in hand.
However, I wanted to explain that healing your inner child is not the shadow, ego, or self, this is a part of you that is a whole other half of the spectrum of therapeutic work. While I won’t go into therapy here, I realized that a lot of people I’ve spoken with over the years who’ve played otome, they have certain characters that touch their heart in a certain level.
A fondness that reminds them of something similar that happened to them in their past as well, for example, when your favorite toy was suddenly tossed in the trash without any explanation. Being punished for no explanation by family members, or abandonment by friends you trusted. We all carry a wounded child in us, and thus when Otome Games bring certain personality types for us to romance.
Some of us recognize similarities in these 2D men, whether it’s Chiaki Yuasa or to Hijikata Toshizo, there’s a certain element the men bring to the table and remind us of something that occurred unconsciously or consciously about our own self.
In this post, I wanted to show the 2D guys that hold a special place in my heart, albeit, they can be eccentric or wily for most people. They remind me of my own inner child, and reading their stories helped me come to face some of my own trials and tribulations. While I’ve come a long way from my past self, their stories are a good reminder that we must love ourselves, and always with loving ourselves, we will heal.
NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN HERE FOR THE CHARACTERS I TALK ABOUT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT SCARRED THEM, DON’T READ AND CHECK OUT THEIR STORIES!
Inner Child Facet #1 Chiaki Yuasa, “I was abandoned.”
Chiaki Yuasa was one of the first Shota-S types I encountered in Voltagelandia, he is the youngest member of Seasonelle that you work with, and while he is respected and seems like a good sport. Looks are terribly deceiving, and the mask he wears to hide his true personality is fairly twisted indeed. However, when I played his story, the way he spoke and reacted to the heroine reminded me of something in my past and made me pursue reading him further.
You find that his mother abandoned his father and him when he was fairly young and ran off with a new lover, because, apparently, his mother thought his dad was having an affair. When the truth was, he was so career-driven that he forgot about communicating and having a normal conversation with his family… Due to also having a bad relationship with his last girlfriend as well, Chiaki has a lot of trust issues.
However, the heroine breaks down the walls he built and helps him to heal in his route and the future ones to come. His route reflects a part of my inner child that was abandoned, albeit not in the same way he was but I understand that feeling and hurt. Which caused me to sincerely love his character and the way he portrays himself in front of people and also the heroine. He also represents, overprotectiveness and jealousy, which is cute in its own way as when I’ve become good friends or lovers with someone with no boundaries I’m fairly the same.
Inner Facet Child #2 Ota Kisaki, “Betrayal Knows My Name”
This post was actually started because of him, I had been talking with a few friends and his name came up and we had a discussion about his personality and … tastes. Now, I know in a previous post I made a comment about him and his ‘certain’ ways, but I have a heart for the man. Ota is truly gifted in the creative art world, and I have nothing but respect for how far he went for it.
However, talent has its own consequences… While his family meddled in his affairs of becoming an artist in some way he makes it out on his own under the tutelage of someone he trusted. Sadly, this trust was broken and became a mark of betrayal for Ota when the person he trusted stole his work and made it seem like Ota was the one who was plagiarizing.
He puts on the mask of an ‘Angelic Artist’ so he can put a distance with people and keep them far away from him, in actuality, he was keeping himself away from being betrayed again. His story called out to my own inner child having something similar to what happened to him, happen to me and the regard of trusting others after the aftermath, it is difficult.
In the story, you uncover what lays beneath that mask of his and eventually pull him out of his distancing schemes and earn his trust. While it is a WILD AF ride to get there, his character is understandable at how he tries to keep people at arm’s length away from him once you find what wounded him. Similar to Chiaki, earning trust is a hard game for even me due to past events but like Ota, I’ve learned you learn to trust the RIGHT people again after seeing their actions.
Inner Child Facet #3, Yuzuki Kitaoji, “my brother is better than I…”
Okay, I love Yuzuki to death. He is one of the rare tsunderes out there that I truly have a huge
STRAWBERRY heart for, and I can relate his wounded child a lot. Being the youngest out of the Kitaoji brothers, Yuzuki may seem confident in a lot of things but when his brother gets involved he lets his brother win. A lot of this stems from being the shadow of his brother, and while we all know Yuzuki has astounding capabilities that his brother does not, he tends to be insecure about certain things including women that he and his brother tend to like.
I have a big family, and we are what you can call “blue bloods” in the medical and military fields. It’s though being either the youngest or middle child of your family especially when your family praises your elder sibling more for accomplishments that you have either not achieved or yet to achieve. While Yuzuki loves his big brother, and it never shows any rivalry, you do see it when the heroine comes along and that’s when we see Yuzuki become torn about what he truly wants to fight for.
His character is relatable to myself but also a good amount of my closest friends were having to be compared or go up against an elder sibling who we see as far more superior. We tend to be hesitant in making our own moves, regardless of the fact we may be a seasoned pro at what we are doing or have a passion for it. Yuzuki’s wounded child probably hits a big core part of my inner child, as someone who grew up in an Asian heritage family, a lot of things I was succumbed to was to follow the lead of my older siblings or cousins.
While I know Yuzuki still shows his complex every now and then in the series, it lessens over time and he learns to heal eventually from his complex.
Wow, that was a ton of inner child unraveling for me, and my own inner kid is sticking out his tongue like Hiro. Since I’ve acknowledged a couple of things over the past to get where I am in the present, looking at these guys and remembering their stories are always a good reminder that maybe someone else out there sees this way too. And maybe, with playing otome games, they can also come to understand their own inner child and reparent themselves in a way to heal their heart.