What is an Eroge? [Definition, Meaning]

Many Japanese visual novels and video games are gaining in popularity thanks to the growing popularity of anime. Otaku just want more anime-like things in their lives! Yet, sometimes, you come across a term or genre you just don’t know anything about. In the brand new world of Japanese video gaming (is it really that new, though?), it’s even easier to find a term you don’t understand. Ever heard of the word “eroge”? Maybe?

What is eroge? Well, the term “eroge” comes from the Japanese “ero” for “erotic” and the word “ge” which means game. So eroge is an erotic game. Specifically, an eroge is a video game that contains sex. Yes, that’s right, these games have sex in them. Wait! Don’t judge so quickly! Like anime, there are many facets of eroge that people don’t even consider, so you should take the time to learn about it before criticizing it. We don’t want to be one of those people, do we?

This is Honey’s Anime talking about eroge, sometimes referred to as an h game. Let’s have some fun, shall we?

Eroge may vary in gameplay, but usually, in Japan, they are visual novels. Players can click and choose the right dialogue to take themselves on this journey to find the right sex scene. Will there be love or just lust? You have to play to find out! Of course, there are role-playing games that involve sex, as well. Hell, we have games like that in the west, don’t we? Ever heard of the Playstation 2 game 7 Sins?

However, some eroge have absolutely tiny amounts of sex that you can’t even fathom that they are considered eroge at all! Let’s explore further into the world of h games (hentai games)!

honeys

Nukige - Sex, Sex, and More Sex!

Let’s get the elephant out of the room first. If you weren’t aware, there are eroge that are all about sex. Yes, as stated above, eroge can be just any game that has sex in it so even a few cutscenes will mark a visual novel as an eroge. However, there is a specific genre of eroge that is actually all about sex. Put your hands where we can see them because we are talking about nukige!

Nukige is a type of eroge that is created with the sole intention of masturbating. Wait, did I say that right? Yes, sir, nukige are made for masturbating! Look, I said it again. Nukige can come in all shapes and sizes, but the main intention is most definitely sex. There are quite a few nukige that have been adapted into anime--hentai of course--so you should have an idea of what happens in a nukige.

Don’t think that a nakige is so shallow that there is no plot, however! Even with the large amounts of sex, there is no doubt that there is depth in a nukige. It’s not erotica; you can enjoy the story too. Let’s take for example Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o (A Kiss for the Petals). This particular nukige allows you to play through multiple yuri relationships in at an academy. Yes, you’ve heard that yuri is popular, but Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke o also explores in depth the romance between girls rather than just focusing on only sex. Surprise! An adult game with a mature theme that doesn’t just involve sex? Impossible, but yes, even nukige contain a worthwhile plot using the sex as a springboard.


Bible Black

  • Episodes: PC
  • Aired: July 2000

The school was said to have previously been the headquarters for a coven. Students once practiced the dark arts on school grounds hidden away in a basement beneath one of the school’s storage rooms. One day, a magical book once lost was found by Taki Minase who found benefits to using the black magic within, but of course, evil comes for him. Now, Minase is trapped in the darkness with his crush and closest friend, Kurumi Imari.

If you are not familiar with this rather infamous title, then you must be new to the anime community or live under a rock. Bible Black stirred up quite the commotion with its anime adaption, but the hentai anime fails to truly do the game justice. The Bible Black h game has a lot of depth in its plot and twelve different endings, but only one is the true ending! Yes, Bible Black is a hardcore hentai anime and yes, Bible Black is a nukige, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing. If you are curious about all the facets that drive its rather intense plot and premise, the game is worth checking out. And good news for you, Bible Black’s eroge was translated into English officially!


Let’s Tear Your Heart Out With Drama and Nakige

Now, let us a little surprising. Most of us who think of eroge, can’t even fathom there being depth. Hell, we cannot fathom the focus not being on sex. Well, sorry to say it isn’t all about sex! Shocking, isn’t it?

There is a genre of visual novels out called the nakige, also known as Utsuge, not to be confused with nukige (Seriously, do NOT confuse them when you do a Google search). Nakige are “crying” games. Yes, nakige are games specifically made for crying and they do a great job of it. Ever heard of Key? Key is known for making nakige, but there are also a few other games not created by Key. However, before we confuse you more, not all nakige are eroge! Yes, some nakige are eroge, but that doesn’t mean all nakige are eroge. We just wanted to point out that yes, some eroge are made with the express intention of bringing tears to your eyes. Eroge don’t have to be all about sex; they can have a great amount of drama and plot to them too with minor sex scenes.

That being said, not all eroge are about sex. They can use sex to enhance the story, but for some eroge, the concept is to play out a story. You will find yourself wrapped up in the story’s complexities and intensity, and the sex will only add to what agony will await you! Or perhaps, it will be for shock factor. Either way, the sex isn’t the main purpose of the h game, but it does just make it better.


Kanon

  • Episodes: Windows
  • Aired: June 1999

Aizawa Yuuichi is returning to a city he hasn’t seen in seven years. The time he spent there is fuzzy, but he’ll soon find out what truly happened. Yuuichi will come across a number of girls, each with her own story and memories to tell. With this, Yuuichi will be able to gain his memories from long, long ago.

Is there no anime studio more tragic yet amazing than Key? Kanon was one of Key’s first eroge released and it was clear, after selling more than 300,000 copies, that it was a hit. Did you ever think this tragic anime was an eroge? Why yes it was! Much like To Heart, the story is compelling and heart wrenching with sex adding development between characters more so than just as a ploy to sell. Kanon is not a game nor an anime known for sex but its story. Still, you cannot deny that as an eroge, it is surprising!

Kanon Opening


Girls Wanna Have Fun Too

There is some sort of misconception that hentai and eroge are only for boys because some people just like to make the assumption that only boys can be perverts. Well, we hate to break it to you guys but girls can be perverts, too! Yes, while otome games are gaining in popularity, there are otome games out there that actually have sexual material. Yes, not all otome games are sweet. Some of them have more mature content that we usually equate otome games with! Don’t let shoujo manga fool you; most girls aren’t as pure as a shoujo heroine.

Unfortunately, none of the Japanese eroge for women have been officially released in English yet, but you can see reviews and descriptions of the games online through a quick Google search. If you want to play but can’t understand Japanese, fret not! This type of otome game has grown in popularity so much so that there are companies outside of the Japan who are creating their own h games for women!

Another alternative that many girls play are BL eroge which revolves around a relationship between two men. While the pairing may be same sex, like yaoi, most of the material is aimed towards girls who love shounen ai, yaoi, and boys love. Of course, they have created a few games aimed towards actual homosexual males, but those are called bara. Unfortunately, both of these genres of eroge lack translations, as well, making it difficult for people who cannot read Japanese to play.


Cute Demon Crashers!

  • Episodes: PC
  • Aired: August 2015

Claire is stuck at home for the spring break with no idea of what she will do. Claire makes a wish for a spring fling and suddenly meets three incubi and a succubus. Will she really be bored for the break? Well, we’ll see.

Cute Demon Crashers! is an otome game developed by an English speaking production company called Sugar Script. It explores sex with consent, something that seems to be ignored in some Japanese eroge such as Love Drops! Yes, the content is mature and clearly, it’s all about sex, but that doesn’t mean it takes on a crass story. It’s a game worth trying as it is more open about sexual themes and truly is a “mature” eroge.


Final Thoughts

Eroge can be fun for any adult who just wants to have fun (but please keep that fun to yourself)! There’s an eroge for everyone from dramas to just sex, the range is fairly wide. There are even eroge for girls! Now that you have an idea of what an eroge is, do you have a desire to play one? What are your opinions on this genre of video games? Is it shameful, fun, or perverted? Let us know what you think!

Jenangelx3

Editor

Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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