Hey Hey all you wonderful Heroes and Travelers! The name’s Pokeninja90 (or some of you know me as Naja) and I run the otome games blog, Nice Job Breaking It Hero! First, I have to thank the lovely Arria Cross for allowing me the chance to
convert all of her fans into my otoge minions I mean, for allowing me a platform to spread the word of otoge… uhh *twiddles thumbs nervously* Thanks Arria for inviting me to do this Guest Blogger post here on Fujinsei! Whew, nailed it! 😄
Most of you guys in the aniblogging community know me as the Otome Temptress or more recently I’ve been called the Otome Queen (or Mrs. Tsukishima Kei, I’m not picky). It’s no secret that I love otome games and desire nothing more than to drag each and every one of you lovely folks into the wonderful world of otome games (read: Otome Hell). It’s thankless work, but someone has to do it and I really enjoy sharing my love of otome games with everyone, since most of my rl friends don’t appreciate the intricacies of otoges. Ah, what’s that? You don’t know what an otome game is? *cue organs and thunder and lightning* Allow me to fix that right now!
What are otome games?
Otome games, shortened otoge (乙女ゲーム, maiden games or female games) are a genre of story based Japanese games, typically targeted towards a female audience. These games generally focus on a single female main character (Heroine or MC), whose main goal is to build a romantic relationship with one of many potential love interests. Usually potential love interests are men (or boys), but there are the occasional games that include female love interests. While romance plays a rather large role in the overall plot of these games, otoges have been known to incorporate other gaming genres into their narratives (ie. RPG, adventure, action, etc). So, I usually get a little testy when people label them exclusively as dating sims, since there are many otome games that focus on more than just wooing 2D pixel bishies.
While the vast majority of otome games are still targeted towards Japanese women, there has been a steady rise in their reach outside of Japan. With the popularity of the Hakuouki series in the West, companies like Ideas Factory International have started localizing Japanese otome games. However, when compared with the number of games released in Japan, the otome games pool in the West is not as large or as diverse. Of course, there is also an original English-language otome games movement in the West, that consists of games developed by Western game developers for a Western otoge market, but those are seen as a separate genre entirely.
Only Lonely Women Play Otome Games
So now that I’ve gotten the basics out of the way, I guess I should address some of the biggest generalizations people make about otome gamers.
- Only lonely women play otome games- False! Just like any other fandom, people who enjoy playing otome games come from all walks of life. While yes, there are those that play otome games to fill some type of void, most just play them because their fun. I mean, come on do people play Call of Duty because they like killing?
- Only women play otome games- False. While the male demographic isn’t the target for otome games per se, there is a small population of men that do play otome games… and there’s nothing wrong with that, do what makes you happy.
- Otome games are practice for real relationships- *facepalm* While there are a few (emphasis on few) things that otome games get right about relationships, I strongly urge you NOT to use them as dating tools.
So, what’s so great about otome games?
Are you guys still with me? I gave you guys a brief introduction to otome games and I covered some common generalizations, so right about now you guys are wondering why I like otome games so much. Even after reading this post, most of you won’t even think about otome games again, but that’s okay, that’s not why I wrote this post. I wrote this post so that I could share my love of otome games with a larger audience and of course to educate you guys on some otome basics, since there is a bit of a stigma surrounding otome games and otome gamers. So, I figured what better way to plead my case about otome games, than to share some of my reasons for playing them in the first place!
I can lose myself in the immersive narratives- I play otome games because I genuinely enjoy the various stories and situations presented in each and every one of the games I own. Sure the main focus is on the romance, but the real draw for me is the versatility of the narratives. Otome games have some of the best stories, and because they aren’t beholden to a specific genre or time period, you can live out all your wildest fantasies. There really is no end to the types of otome games there are out there, it’s just a matter of finding the right story for you!!
I tend to favor the historical otome games, like Hakuouki, since I love, love, LOVE Japanese history, even if otome games take some artistic licenses with the facts, I still find myself googling historical Japanese figures just so I can learn more about them. But, I’m also partial to mystery and adventure otome games too, since they tend to focus on more than just the relationship building.
Craft your own adventure- Otome games offer an immersive build your own story type of game play, so you pretty much decide how your story progresses. Will you end up with your chosen love interest or will you wind up on your own? The choice is yours! Granted some otome games feature a rather linear storyline, but there are others that have various endings to unlock… and let me tell you, if an otome game has a bad end, nine times out of ten, characters will die… so prepare your heart for that!
I can romance hot guys… duh- I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t into otome games because of the hot 2D pixel bishies. Otome games feature a wide range of characters and archetypes for players to choose from. Do you like childhood friend romance? There’s a bishie for that! Cold sadistic jerks? You have your pick of the litter! There is no end to the wonderful hotties you can romance!!
Of course I have an otoge type, I usually go for cool aloof types and tsunderes since they tend to pose more of a challenge than some of the boy next door character types. But, then again, maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, who’s to say.
They’re just fun- It’s not rocket science, no one wants to play a game that isn’t fun and otome games offer a relaxing way to unwind after a long hard day of adulting. They help take my mind off of the stresses of everyday life, while giving me some delicious eye candy to ogle at in the process.
I always find it strange that otome gamers are constantly asked to justify why they like otome games, as if there is some complex reason for someone wanting to play a game… can’t the reason just be because they’re fun? It’s pretty much the same reason I play Pokemon or Persona, I just like them. It’s not because, I’m lonely or because I can’t get a date, it’s because I personally find the stories and characters interesting enough to warrant playing otome games… see nothing strange there!
“I am the Lorax, and I speak for the otoges!”
There’s so much more to otome games than just romancing hot guys, though arguably that’s what gets most people in the door, slip a few pics of hot bishies into any conversation and you’re bound to attract some interest. But, I digress, otome games are just games, they offer players a chance to immerse themselves in a world of their choosing, so what if that fantasy happens to include a reverse harem! I play otome games because, quite frankly being an adult is stressful and otome games help alleviate some of that stress. Plus, I have met some fantastic people through otome games and I wouldn’t trade any of that for the world! Fangirling/Fanboying is always better in groups, so never be ashamed to share the things you love with others, you never know there might be someone out there looking to connect!
If I was able to tempt you into maybe trying out otome games for yourself, check out my blog Nice Job Breaking It, Hero for otome/visual novel game reviews and posts, but I’ve been known to dabble in other otaku pursuits as well. Y’all can also just drop me a line on Twitter @BeckNaja since I am always up for meeting new people and spreading the gospel of otoge to whoever is willing to sit still long enough. Or if you just want some game suggestions, I’m always game for that!
Finally, I want to say thank you to Arria for asking me write this guest post, there aren’t too many people that would let an Otoge Temptress like myself run wild on their blogs.
Okay, I promise I’m almost done, I’ll get off my otoge soapbox and you guys can get back to your regularly scheduled anime posts. I just wanted a moment to tell you guys about my love of otome games, and whether your interested in otome games or not, I really appreciate you guys sticking around and reading!!
It’s been real and I hope to see you guys around the internet!! See ya next time!!