Episode 9 – Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs

Last week, we took a deeper look into Leon’s relationship with Livia—how part of him still sees her as both the main character of this world and his proxy character to control like when he played the game in his past life. Livia’s tearful explosion at the end of the last episode has forced him to confront the fact that he has been hampering her growth as a person by stepping in to save her constantly, even when she didn’t really need any external help.

This has led him to the conclusion that he needs to step back and give her more freedom to fight her own battles. Yet, while this is the right choice in general, the way he’s going about it is wrong. Leon is doing what many have done when they realize they have majorly messed up: overcorrect. He’s goes from over-protective to completely hands-off (like those are the only two options).

Moreover, while he wants to pretend that he’s doing so for purely logical reasons—that in doing so the plot will get back on track—this is clearly a massive bit of self-deception. After all, the plot was, and will continue to be, messed up due to Marie’s actions. What we’re seeing here with Leon isn’t a logical response. It’s an emotional reaction. He’s throwing a tantrum and wallowing in self-pity. He’s taking his ball and going home.

The heart of the matter is that Leon is becoming attached to Livia for the kind, earnest, and all-around good person that she is. Though he’s attempted to keep an emotional distance—constantly bringing up how he’s “a mob” and she’s “the protagonist”—he’s obviously fallen for her. Part of him have been hoping that, at the end, she would choose him over the Prince and his crones. Yet, her outburst has played on his fears—reinforcing his mental roadblock that any attempt at romance is doomed from the start. And since he loves her but can’t admit it even to himself, he’s decided to pretend he doesn’t have any feelings for her at all.

Of course, suddenly being cold to Livia and Angie is destined to bring even more emotional suffering to our romantic trio. But hopefully, by the end of this series, Leon will learn to get past his hang-ups and treat both Livia and Angie like real people and accept that it’s okay for a “mob” to love the “heroine” and the “villainess” —and even receive their love in return.

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Random Thoughts:

• That “Olivia-san” rather than “Livia”… ouch. What a subtle yet impactful (read: horrible) way of indicating the end of a friendship.

• While Leon’s wrong to treat Livia as a character and not a person, he may not be wrong in thinking that she is literally the center of their world. In this episode, we see Livia’s protagonist powers activate for the second time (the first was her speech during the duel). Luxion’s robots simply turn off at her demand to pass by. It’s not magic. It’s reality bending to her will … and that’s kinda scary.

• The scene with the Prince and Jilk is priceless. He may have been trained in how to lead and govern but when he is isolated from bureaucratic support, he’s useless. (And his poor mother realizing how entitled her son is got a big laugh out of me.)

• Brad and Greg are trying to grow as people—but for the wrong reasons. You should try to better yourself for yourself and not for others. (Besides, it’s hard to believe that Marie will ever see them as people and not game characters, so their love, loyalty, and growth will likely never be rewarded.)

• Both the Queen and Angie’s dad grab Stephanie with a force of armed soldiers. No redemption for her I guess.

• Angie’s love language is “acts of service.” She proves she cares for both Leon and Olivia by mobilizing her family’s power and leading an expedition to help them. It’s a shame that neither was in the right headspace to realize this.

• It hurts that Angie wants nothing more than to comfort Livia but feels she doesn’t have the right to with her past views on commoners. So, she just stands outside Livia’s door, waiting and suffering with her.

• Leon’s got one of the Saint’s three treasures in hand. I wonder if Marie succeeded in getting the one she was after?


Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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