What is Otome Game? [Definition, Meaning]

As technology has continued to grow and we advance more, opening the world up to more anime, so too does technology give way to video games. There are so many video games that otaku have grown aware of as we delve deeper into otaku culture, but one genre of video game that doesn’t have as much recognition is the otome game. If you are into anime, you may have heard of the term “otome game,” but more likely than not, you have not unless you are into bishounen anime.

Well, we here at Honey’s Anime refuse to allow otome games to be forgotten in the world of gaming! We are here to bring a little more awareness to the genre. So sit back and get comfortable because today, we are going to let you know what is an otome game.

What Is an Otome Game?

The word “otome” refers to girl or maiden. Thus, an otome game is a video game aimed at maidens or a maiden game. Otome games usually involve a female protagonist attempting to form a romantic relationship with one of many men who are available in the game through a series of mini-games, dates, and communication. These games usually use visual novel-type gameplay to play out a story, although not all otome games will be visual novels. Some are more like dating sims which involve a series of dates or mini games to form relationships like Storm Lover Kai for PSP or Princess Debut for Nintendo DS.

While we did state that otome games usually involve a female protagonist trying to form a romantic relationship with a man, that is not the only type of otome game available. Actually, there are BL games, also known as Boys Love games, available that also fall into the otome game category. Unfortunately, BL games are rarely translated into English. Otome games are still a budding genre in the world of English gaming.


Amnesia: Memories

  • Platform: PlayStation Vita, Steam
  • Publisher: Idea Factory International
  • Developer: Idea Factory International
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2015

You awake in a hospital with no memories of your own identity except for a cell phone. However, a supernatural being named Orion is trapped inside of you after having contributed to your memory loss. Guilty, Orion volunteers to help you regain your memories and keep your amnesia a secret.

Amnesia is one of the most popular otome games in Japan, and it recently saw a US release with Amnesia: Memories. Amnesia: Memories is fairly tricky with three different endings: a good ending, bad ending, and a normal ending. It is pretty tricky because it can be quite easy to get a bad ending, which ultimately ends in your death most, if not all, times. Especially when you choose Ukyo’s route (so you may want to save a lot when you do this route). However, Amnesia: Memories is one of the few otome games that actually tends to shock players with its inclusion of a yandere so you have quite the assortment of moe characters. It’s just up to you to decide on which character you want as your beloved.

Meanwhile, as you go down your selected route, mysteries arise that you must attempt to solve. Perhaps there was a murder or a string of disasters seems to be following you in your wake. You really do not understand what is going on, but that does not mean you will just sit back and watch them unfold. As a visual novel type of otome game, you will find the story unfolding as you play. It’s not just about the romance in this game. There is plenty of plot as well.


How Does It Work?

Well, if you have never played a dating sim, then you will not understand how an otome game works. In an otome game, you are introduced to a number of men whose hearts you are able to court. As seen prior in Amnesia: Memories, visual novel types will feature a story along with the romance that will keep you involved. Other otome games that follow this format are Code Realize~Rebirth~, Love Drops, Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, and Norn9: Var Commons.

Another type of otome game follows the dating sim format in which the main goal of the game is to get with one of the boys. There is no real plot and the only other aspects of the gameplay involve mini-games. A few games that follow this format are Storm Lover Kai, Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!, and Uma no Prince-sama. These games contain mini-games where you have to make your character lose weight or excel in school because those are important for any relationship, right? Well, they are in these games, for sure. There is also Tokimeki Memorial Girl Side which has the infamous skinship mode, but that’s what makes it more realistic, right?


Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!

  • Platform: PC, Nintendo DS, PSP, PlayStation 2
  • Publisher: GungHo, Interchannel
  • Developer: HuneX
  • Release Date: Jan 26, 2006

Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!!, also referred to as just Love Revo!!, follows the life of Sakuragawa Hitomi, a former beauty pageant champion who indulged in the treats and presents of her fans. Now, Hitomi is a high school student in her second year weighing in at a whopping 100kg. The school bishounen has moved into her dorm, however, their reactions to her appearance have ignited a desire for change in Hitomi so let her diet begin!

While the premise of the game may not be the nicest, Love Revo!! can be a very fun otome game to play as it follows the dating sim format. You have to win the heart of any of the bachelors in the game however that involves losing a bit of weight (how much depends on your bishounen of choice) as well as studying so that you aren’t completely dull when you are with them. However, the boys may not always make your goals easy to achieve and time is limited, so decide wisely what matters to you in Love Revo!!. Possible routes include the bishounen who live in your dorm, as well as your sensei and even your onii-chan?! Yup, that’s an otome game for you.


Why Play Otome Games?

If you have to ask, otome games probably perplex you, but fret not, let us tell you why exactly you should play otome games. Otome games are aimed at girls or young maidens, so the demographic is obvious. If you are an anime otaku, then likely, you have come across a bishounen anime before that is so moe you can’t stand it. Which bishounen would you want? Who is your husbando?

Well, for those of you who has that special husbando, often enough, many of your favorite bishounen anime, or even reverse harem, is based on an otome game or an otome game was created for that fandom. An Ouran High School Host Club otome game was released on Nintendo DS for all the maidens who wanted more than just an anime and manga. Hakuoki is based on the otome game of the same name featuring all the same bishounen you just can’t decide on.

Often times, an otome game will generate a fandom in general or a fandom for a particular series will spawn an otome game. That just means more fangirling and moe fun for fans. Sometimes you just want that little extra something to complete your life. And you get to experience so much more in an otome game. I mean, how can you not fall in love with Hijikata in Hakuoki?


Mystic Messenger

  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Publisher: Cheritz
  • Developer: Cheritz
  • Release Date: Aug 26, 2016

You play the main character, also referred to as MC or heroine, who has found herself living in a secured apartment owned by the founder of the Rika’s Fundraising Association (RFA), Rika. You will meet the members of the RFA so that you can make arrangements for the much-anticipated party. Oh, and did we mention this all begins when you download an unknown app?!

Mystic Messenger is a phone app created by a South Korean game developer that has truly rocked the world of otome games. There were many otome games available on your smartphones before, but none like Mystic Messenger. While it may seem like any other otome game where you try to invite guests to the party, there is more to the story than it seems. What exactly is the RFA and what does it have to do with you? Who are these mysterious members whose hearts you will attempt to steal? Well, you just have to play to find out why so many people’s lives are being wrecked by this South Korean visual novel. Can you handle this otome game?

Mystic Messenger Opening Movie English Version


Final Thoughts

Ah, the world of otome games is an exciting one to dive into and an addicting one. It is very fortuitous that otome games are starting to be translated into English so that many of us in the Western world can play them. It just makes the gaming world more diverse.

Have you ever been curious about an otome game? Is there one you have in mind? Please share with us your interests in otome gaming!

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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