Lately, it seems that if one is into watching anime, one would also be expected to at least know about (or perhaps play a bit of) games. Regardless of consoles, games oftentimes go hand-in-hand with anime adaptations—or the opposite, games are sometimes adaptations from a very popular anime series. Nowadays, it’s rather impossible to get into the culture of anime without also touching games; even if one isn’t an avid gamer.
So, why not talk about the games us girls find interesting usually? Especially ones that got, are getting, or are about to get anime adaptations? Or games based on anime series that ensnared not only male viewers but also female viewers’ attention? Below are ten titles we have picked out that might tickle female readers’ curiosity—some of which you probably have or are playing currently!
10. Gakuen K ~Wonderful School Days~
Released on October 2014 for PSP and available on PSVita from last December, Gakuen K-Wonderful School Days- is a game of the alternate universe in the K Project franchise. Yes, it is an otome game, which means it is aimed for the girls, and yes, it is a dating game that allows you to date the characters in the highly successful K anime. Yes, that means enjoying the prospect of dating Suoh Mikoto, Isana Yashiro, and even Munakata Reishi.
The best part about this game for people who are into the K Project franchise and have watched the anime, is that everyone is alive. Cheers! No, we won’t be hurt by Totsuka Tatara’s death, or anyone else’s. We’ll just be playing the heroine, Konohana Saya, who happens to be a Strain and is then enrolled into Ashinaka High School, led by Principal Miwa Ichigen, after her ability woke up and she went on a rampage. We’d be given choices to choose among the Red, Silver or Blue Club to join, and after choosing several answer in the beginning, we’d determine which partner to build a relationship with. Of course, since this is an otome game, there’ll be CG cutscenes as rewards in the course of the game as you get closer to your partner!
One of the most fun things in getting into the .hack// franchise is finding the red thread between each title released. The franchise, developed by CyberConnect2, consisted of series of games with several anime titles in-between, and each title usually has another manga or novel adaptation. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, the franchise offers you one-of-a-kind atmosphere resulting from gorgeous graphics, Kajiura Yuki’s music, and intriguing storylines revolving around the odd happenings in a popular online game called The World.
.hack//G.U. in particular, is an RPG released for PlayStation 2 console, is a very engaging game to play. The game consists of three volumes, following the story of Haseo, an Adept Rogue, who chases after Tri-Edge after he killed Haseo’s friend, Shino, and sent her into a coma in the real world. In doing so, Haseo is defeated and reset back to level one, but in return discovers the ability to summon a being called Skeith, and slowly unveils the mystery of an organization known as G.U., the virus AIDA, and the secrets of The World: R2 itself. And when the player finishes the game, you’d be given choices to marry off Haseo with the female characters—and one peculiar male character that would set the fujoshi giggling—in game. Honestly, the engaging story itself is a good enough reason for people to dive into .hack//series!
8. Atelier Escha & Logy
This is the game of your dream—perhaps when you were still a little girl, perhaps even now. The Atelier series are designed for female audience—you take the role of the female protagonist for once instead of the male protagonist, and you are not the damsel in distress. Instead, the heroine is the smart alchemist that solves people’s problems with her alchemy, and still looks absolutely cute doing so. In Atelier Escha & Logy, which also had an anime adaptation airing back in Spring 2014, you’ll play as Escha, the cute alchemist with big dreams, in a world nearing its end as its people try to rediscover and recreate lost alchemic technologies.
Playing as Escha and watching her mature and grow up, and seeing her struggle to realize her dreams taking front and center of the storyline, is very fun. In the PSVita port, you’ll even get to romance Logy, and there’s a DLC costume and dress-up options that would definitely add to your enjoyment. The characters are lovable, with designs that clearly appeal to female audience. Playing it is almost like watching a coming-of-age movie, but with a female lead, and it would definitely resonate with your heart as a fellow female!
7. Persona 4
Perhaps the only Shin Megami Tensei series with a bright atmosphere despite its murder mystery theme (almost too bright if compared to its predecessor, Persona 3), Persona 4 is also the Persona Series that gets the most numerous adaptations and sequels. Developed by Atlus and released on July 2008, Persona 4 has since gotten an enhanced port to PSVita under the title Persona 4 Golden, two anime adaptations, several manga adaptations, two fighting games-based sequels, and even a rhythm game.
Narukami Yu, the main character of Persona 4 The Animation, is a silent protagonist in the game whose personality really depends on whichever answer we pick as a player. Persona 4 offers not only an interesting main storyline, but also a lot of lighthearted team shenanigans, cute interactions between the characters and the protagonist, and heartfelt social links the player could forge and maintain with the supporting cast. The characters also deal with a rather deep individual issues—the main theme of the game is to face yourself, which manifests into the power of Persona, and the player would see the supporting cast facing a range of problems; from simply being envious to struggling with sexual orientation and identity. And all the while, you’ll still have to balance your school life with solving the murder case.
Part of the fun in enjoying this game is, perhaps subjectively speaking, the shipping aspect. Considering the main character is a silent protagonist, it is up to us to decide what his personality would be like. The dating aspect is, sadly, only available towards the girl characters, and while the silent protagonist’s relationship with each girl is extremely interesting and fun, it leaves the BL-oriented audience unsatisfied. For this, though, fans have proven their brilliance—a fan-made dating simulation game for Persona 4 focusing on allowing the protagonist to date the male characters as well has been finished and completed. It adds to the fun of everything, especially if you’ve been following the anime adaptations as well!
6. Starry Sky
A visual novel otome game developed by Honeybee and released in 2009, Starry Sky had its anime adaptation in 2010 with a duration of 11 minutes per episode. In this game, you’ll be playing Yahisa Tsukiko, who has just entered the recently-turned-co-ed Seigetsu Academy, resulting her being the only female student in the school. In Starry Sky, the men of your dreams are personifications of the 13 constellations, from Capricorn to Ophiuchus, and each game represents a season, featuring three of the constellation boys to get closer to (or men, considering the Starry Sky~in Autumn~ offers you three teachers representing Gemini, Leo, and Libra).
Starry Sky had been a successful franchise with four sequels following its four original games, as well as the numerous drama CDs released as side-materials. The anime has a very slice-of-life, gen feeling to it, that it focuses more on the characters than to the romantic relationship they might forge with Tsukiko, but it doesn’t take away the enjoyment of the series. So, good-looking male characters to date, check. Heartfelt character storylines that make you fall for these constellation boys, check. Insanely popular seiyuu including Ishida Akira, Miyano Mamoru, and Midorikawa Hikaru, voicing not only the game, but the anime and countless drama CDs, check. Anyone with an otomegokoro would be crazy not to check out this game!
5. Tales of the Abyss
The huge Tales of Series franchise will be releasing its newest game, Tales of Berseria, next August, which will be the 16th main entry in the series. This particular franchise has several anime adaptations for different Tales of titles, but perhaps subjectively saying, the most notable would be the anime adaptation for its eighth game title released for Tales of Series’ tenth anniversary. Tales of the Abyss followed the story of Luke fon Fabre, the young scion of the House of Fabre, one of the nobles in Kimlasca-Lanvaldear. As the hero of the game, Luke started out being the irritating, spoiled, and sheltered young master who goes up and about and makes trouble, unaware of the consequences of his actions. As the story goes on and mysteries unfold to reveal Luke’s origin, we watch Luke changes into a reliable, beloved young man, who finds the meaning of his life.
Tales of Series has always been a franchise that appeals to both male and female audience—its engaging gameplay and plot, as well as interesting characters that appeal to audience of both genders is a plus point of the franchise. But as an individual game, Tales of the Abyss is one with amazingly intricate and detailed world-building, complicated relationships, and solid characters to enjoy. And take not, please, the anime can’t compare to the complexity, to the beauty of the game’s world-building. So if you watched Tales of the Abyss, do consider to play the game, it’s worth the struggle!
4. Fate/Grand Order
Mobile games are, currently, one of the reasons why your money disappears so very quickly. Fate/Grand Order, fondly nicknamed FGO by fans, is one of them. Written by none other than Kinoko Nasu, FGO is the reboot of the online Fate/Apocrypha project, and the story revolves around the Holy Grails throughout history of humankind. The story is told in a visual novel style, but it is an online turn-based RPG, and an addictive one at that. You get to choose to play a female or male main character as a Master joining the Chaldea Security Organization, and through Saint Quartz, you can play the gacha to summon Servants.
FGO brings back Servants from various Fate series including Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, Fate/hollow ataraxia, and so on. Part of the fun is learning the backgrounds of all these Servants, and the fandom thrives in the imagination of various Servants living together in Chaldea under the same Master. Currently, there are 95 Servants, with 18 of them being limited of unplayable. It’s heartening to note that FGO also pays attention to its female portion of audience—through campaigns such as “Da Vinci-chan’s Choice 2015” which is really a campaign of fine-looking boys, and the 2016 White Day editions of male Servant Craft Essences. Here’s hoping that in the future, FGO would have more female-oriented campaign!
3. Uta no Prince-sama
The huge hit of anime adaptations of Uta no Prince-sama brings bright prospect for its original otome games. Developed by Broccoli and originally released for PSP, UtaPri now has nine entry games where two of them are rhythm games, and its fourth anime season had just been announced earlier this year under the name Uta no Prince-sama Legend Star, planned to air in October 2016. Not to mention its side projects going on, such as Theatre Shining project releasing new singles and albums under UtaPri’s series even if the game and anime isn’t ongoing.
Even though the original otome games have a more serious feeling to it compared to the rather silly and light-hearted atmosphere that the anime has, Uta no Prince-sama games are also very enjoyable. As most of other otome games, it is told in a visual novel style, giving us players CG cutscenes as rewards as we progress through the route. The best thing about UtaPri games is that it tells us so much more of the boys compared to the anime—find the missing links and what the anime only hints at, or mentions at, in the games. And of course, the games gives us a more intimate feeling of engaging with the characters; nothing like having voices like Suzumura Kenichi, Suwabe Junichi, or Taniyama Kishow whispering sweet nothings in your ear! Especially when the anime doesn’t really focus on the romance part.
2. Ensemble Stars
Perhaps the most anticipated idol series at this very moment, Ensemble Stars is another mobage that makes you addicted to it and spend your money for gacha to get the gorgeous rare cards of your favorite idol. Ever since its release last year’s April, Ensemble Stars have grown to be one of the biggest mobage among girls. Set in Yumenosaki Private Academy, a school specialized in boys’ idol training, you will be playing the only female student in the school, the first student to enter the “producer course” and it will be your task to produce these idols.
Sounds too simple? Do not underestimate the power of Ensemble Stars’ boys—each of them has their own unique characteristics and stories in their own units, and you would almost definitely fall very deeply for some of them. When you get to this stage, you’d be playing very hard especially when events are ongoing, just to get your hand on the SR cards you desperately want because your favorite looks very cute in that card. Silly thinking, perhaps, but the satisfaction that comes out of it rivals the satisfaction of finishing a long assignment and getting good marks for it! And the best part yet? Ensemble Stars will be getting its anime adaptation, finally! Happy Elements K.K has confirmed that the anime is to air next year, 2017. Until then, sit tight and cross your fingers for your favorite to make it into the anime!
1. Touken Ranbu
The simplest way to describe Touken Ranbu is probably that it’s the female-oriented game version of KanColle; except instead of ships, it’s sword boys. Starting as an online web browser game by DMM and Nitroplus, Touken Ranbu is now available on mobile as well, adding to its popularity. In the game, you will be playing the role of a Saniwa, whose ability is to bring inanimate objects to life, including swords, and you’re traveling to the past to stop evil forces from changing the history. Famous historical swords now assume the forms of gorgeous male human beings by your side, and more awaits to be discovered!
Swords from different eras, swords who used to be owned by the same master, siblings swords—one of the most fun parts of playing Touken Ranbu is discovering the shout-outs the game makes to the actual history of these swords, figuring out a sword’s relationship to another from lines spoken in the Citadel or Recollections. Don’t forget the plus point of getting the swords’ CGs by sending them to battles—when they reveal their Shinken Hissatsu, you’d be enjoying the sight of your sword boys with their clothes being tattered up and torn, revealing patches of skin, which is a very nice bonus.
Officially nicknamed TouRabu, its popularity is even enough for a double anime! Last Anime Japan 2016 revealed that TouRabu would have two different anime adaptations: one by Doga Kobo, scheduled to air this year and titled Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, while the other one would be worked on by, delightfully, ufotable! As for now, there’s little information yet on which swords would be appearing, but Kashuu Kiyomitsu and Yamatonokami Yasusada are confirmed to be in Hanamaru. Cross your fingers for your favorite swords!
Female-oriented games with anime adaptations that are not otome games might be rare, but hopefully those ten titles we came up with would satisfy your need for now! Whether it’s the gorgeous boys, the BL hints or the series touching your otomegokoro, to each girl her own preferences. These ten titles should cover all your bases in getting in touch with the gaming part of the anime culture, especially with the rising popularity of anime-based games and vice-versa!
Have more titles to suggest? Do let us know in the comment section!