We haven’t had many otome games announced for English lately, so I think many otome fans have been left wanting. I know I have. Here are some that I highly hope get an English localization. Fandiscs will not be included, so no Hakuoki or Amnesia, but I do want them SO BAD.
Cupid Parasite looks so fun and has been rated so highly by people who have similar taste to me (and even people who don’t.) I’ve seen little snippets of it posted and it just looks like such a fun play. I really like how the plot sounds and love that the heroine is Cupid. There is also an incubus love interest, which is just my thing.
Honestly, the main reason I want Olympia Soiree to come out is because I love the art. I’ve still yet to play any games with Satoi’s art (though OZMAFIA!! is high on my wishlist!), but I’ve always loved her style. However, the plot also sounds interesting and I’m definitely curious what they did with it.
Yoshiwara Higanbana is a very highly acclaimed R18 otome. The plot sounds good. The sex sounds GREAT to me from those tags on VNDB. It keeps ranking highly on MangaGamer’s survey, so I think that a localization seems likely.
I finished season 1 of the new otome game Love Unholyc, and though I loved it for the first few days – I quickly fell out of love with it, though it’s still something that I enjoyed. Is it something that I recommend? Yes.
Love Unholyc is about our heroine, Mir (name changeable), who is an Unholyc, which are a mix between a human and a demon. They have the power to charm and seduce others. Mir needs to have a coming of age ceremony, in which she needs a partner to share their acme (climax) with her. By accident, she chooses three humans to be her partners, rather than one Unholyc.
What I liked:
The plot is pretty enjoyable, though simple
The characters are likable
Easy to find the time for. Pick it up whenever you get a notification and play for a few minutes.
The team is clearly very passionate, quick to work out issues, and listen to audience feedback.
I only did one, but the video calls are such a nice feature.
Mir is highly relatable to me.
RIGHT CHOICE INDICATOR! RIGHT CHOICE INDICATOR!
What I disliked:
The characters, so far, lack much depth; however, this may very likely change in season 2.
There is a “bitchy” female side character that has no character depth other than… being rude. I really dislike female side characters ending up like this.
I’ve had it with the freemium model of otome games. It used to not be so bad for me. I couldn’t spend much money and it was the only model I used. Now that I’ve played more console otome, I simply hate the freemium model – especially now that I have a bit more money to spend – I end up spending it in a way that I probably shouldn’t. I know that console otome are a better deal, but I end up spending $20 for very little content instead because I’m attached to certain characters so much. I’ve realized that it isn’t healthy for me; however, I will still be playing three apps that use the freemium model (and one that I will keep playing for now).
One of the games that I will still be playing is Honey Magazine because I spend healthily on it ($2-$4 every once and a while) and I love the stories and the team. I talked about it before here.
Another one I will keep playing is Love 365’s Masquerade Kiss for one reason: Kei Soejima is my favorite love interest in all of otome. I talked about him here.
The last one that I will keep playing is the new game Love Unholyc – which I definitely recommend and will probably do a review of soon.
The one that I will keep playing for now is Ikemen Vampire. I LOVE Theo a lot, so I will keep playing until I finish his route – and maybe come back for the election.
This change is also only for freemium otome. There are still other mobile games that I will be playing – A3!, UtaPri Shining Live, BanG Dream! GBP, Mr. Love Queen’s Choice, and Granblue Fantasy.
The Demon Prince of Momochi House by Aya Shouoto is one of my favorite shojo manga (After Kamisama Kiss and The Rose of Versailles), and after me picking it up in when I was 17 (~4 years ago), the final volume of it was finally released in English on October 6, 2020. It’s the longest ride I’ve been on with a manga (all of the longer series were already complete when I started them) and I can’t believe it’s been so long! I’m sad to see it go, but so happy that it has completed with a good ending. I bought it all digitally, but I liked it so much that I may end up going and buying it physically, too, if I get the chance.
If you don’t know, The Demon Prince of Momochi House is about an orphan named Himari Momochi who finds out that she inherited an estate by the name of Momochi House. When she arrives, she finds 3 handsome men – her new love interest Aoi Nanamori, and his shikigami Yukari and Ise. As it turns out, Momochi House acts as a barrier between the human world with the spirit world and Aoi had taken her place as master of the house on accident. Aoi has an ayakashi form (that isn’t entirely him), Omamori-sama/Nue.
What I love the most about this series is the art, the romance, the supernatural elements, and Yukari. The art can be seen at the top of this post as the color pages from this volume, though that’s not my favorite bit of art from the series. Aya-san is a fantastic artist and one of my personal favorites. The romance was cute, well-paced, both of them work hard for and respect each other. The supernatural elements actually taught me a lot about Japanese mythology. It was really interesting. My favorite character is Yukari, the water serpent. His backstory was when there was a take off in quality, he has a wonderful personality, and he’s GORGEOUS!
The series takes a while to get as good as it did, but there was a HUGE increase in quality in Volume 5. I highly recommend waiting until then to decide if you want to drop it or not – or at least until you judge the whole thing. It’s not a masterpiece, but Aya-san’s work always strikes a chord with me as we seem to have quite similar taste and I love the themes she uses, such as “Defying Fate.”
Even after all these years, you haven’t forgotten about your first love.
You try confessing your feelings to him, but he turns you down.
Luckily the friends you grew up with are there to help mend your broken heart…until that night, when you become more than just friends…
My Rating: 9/10
My Last First Kiss is my favorite game on Love 365. I’m really a sucker for childhood friend romances and this game did SUCH A GOOD JOB! I also really relate to the MC as I also love shojo manga and lack experience in relationships (and our general personalities are similar.)
Plot (via official website): A trip to the next town has diverted Aura to the infamous haunted De Lockes Mansion ….of talking toys?! Play as Aura as she attempts to break the curse and possibly strike a romance with one of the 3 Bears.
My Rating: 7/10
Locked Heart is the perfect game to play if you’re in the mood for something short and sweet. Date some teddy bears! Also, Deon is best boy!
Dark and Edgy: Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly
Awakening in a mysterious mansion, her first, frantic thoughts are: ‘Where am I? And more importantly, WHO am I?’
She encounters several young men in the same predicament trapped and missing their memories. To survive they must hunt black butterflies and claim kaleidoscope shards from the horrific monsters surrounding them.
Will their path lead them to hope or despair?
Route Order Recommendation:
My Rating: 9/10
I’m finishing up Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly as I write this (I just have to do the Summer Camp Endings!) and it’s the most unique and darkest otome I’ve ever played. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I definitely love the story and characters, and the theme is great!
Content Warnings: Human trafficking, kidnapping, attempted rape (Mamoru’s route – not by him)
Plot (via official website): Working at Japan’s first hotel & casino, you stumble upon a black-market auction, and end up as one of the items for sale. “I’ll let you decide who buys you.” Five men place the winning bid, and now you’re completely at their mercy…
My Rating: 8/10
Kissed by the Baddest Bidder isn’t exactly… light, but it is the best on Switch I’ve played that could hit that theme, though I played it on mobile. Ota Kisaki is one of my top 3 fictional hubbies, but he is an… acquired taste, as he treats the MC like a dog (which is a turn on for me!)
Dark and Edgy: Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~
Content Warnings: Death, Murder and Attempted Murder, Genocide, Epidemic, Suicide
Plot (via official website):
When Cardia is awoken in her Welsh estate by the handsome thief Arsène Lupin, she can’t possibly imagine the journey she has ahead of her… and the dangers that await. Fortunately, Cardia is not entirely helpless–the mysterious gems embedded in her chest grant her poisonous skin, which can melt away anything that touches it.
But where did the gems come from? And will she ever be able to touch another person without killing them?
To discover the answers to these questions, Cardia travels with Lupin to London, where she encounters other handsome strangers who quickly devote themselves to aiding her quest. Cardia must work hard to uncover the mystery of her own existence and answer the questions that have been plaguing her since the fateful night she met Lupin: who is chasing her, what do they want, and where has her father gone?
Route Order Recommendation:
Abraham Van Helsing
My Rating: 10/10
Code: Realize is my favorite otome game! Cardia best protagonist! All boys are good! Story good! I WANT ALL OF THE LOVE INTERESTS (AND CARDIA) TO MARRY ME!
Aya Shouoto is my favorite mangaka. I wouldn’t necessarily call any of her works masterpieces, but the way she writes is a way that meshes well with me and my personal views. And her art is AB-SO-LUTELY gorgeous. Let’s dive in to her works licensed in English – Kiss of the Rose Princess (Barajou no Kiss), He’s My Only Vampire (Junketsu + Kareshi, Pureblood Boyfriend), and The Demon Prince of Momochi House (Momochi-san Chi no Ayakashi Ouji.)
Kiss of the Rose Princess
“Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately, she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!”
The first of her series that I read, and the one that made me get really into reverse harem. This is a proper reverse harem, unlike her other series available in English which are romances with obvious, proper male leads. I adore Anise as a protagonist, and personally ship her A LOT with Kaede, who I also love. The series has some bias in his direction, but all of the boys get their time in the spotlight.
When Kana, a student at St. Agatha Academy, lays eyes on her long-lost childhood friend Aki amid the throng of the metropolis, the gears of destiny begin to turn!
Meeting with an unfortunate accident not long after, Kana finds herself pulled from the arms of death by a vampire–Aki. Now Kana must give herself over to Aki, body and soul, as his “thrall,” and soon she is trust into a dangerous game to obtain demonic powers known as “STIGMA,” which could very well spell the end for her all over again!”
I don’t have much to say about this series, as I’ve still only read the first two volumes, but it is quite good so far, and I absolutely adore one of the characters, Jin Shiranui.
“On her 16th birthday, orphan Himari Momochi inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen. Momochi House exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms, and Himari is meant to act as guardian between the two worlds. But on the day she moves in, she finds three handsome squatters living in the house, and one seems to have already taken over her role!”
Probably her best work, though I feel like I have to start this with a defense of the series. It is commonly believed that this series is a rip-off of Kamisama Kiss. I would like to point out that this is a surface level observation, as the direction the story takes, and the tone that it takes on, is entirely different.
This series makes a really good romance and drama. The romance between our two leads is well-paced, and they get together before the end of the series! They also have a relationship of mutual support. I also love the characters other than the two main leads, Yukari in particular.
Honey Magazine is an library app by OKKO including their old games from the stand alone apps (which sadly had to be deleted from the app store) as well as some new ones. My personal favorites are Decoding Desire, My Sweet Proposal, and Unscripted Romance.
The heroine is a psychologist who is now working with robotics engineers to help develop a robot that can feel love.
My favorite route: Kanade Akutagawa
My Sweet Proposal:
The heroine is a wedding planner who somehow meets her love through this job.
Favorite route: Keita Mitsui (coming to Honey Magazine in July!)
The heroine gets chosen as a new lead director for a reality show on love, but after being dumped by her boyfriend, the shows ratings begin to plummet. To help the show, she forms a relationship contract with one of the love interests.
With pride month here (and my queerness feeling a bit more upfront recently), I figured I would do a post about female oriented “otaku” media with GRSM (gender, romantic, and sexual minorities) characters. I will link to where you can find them all, but this will be US-centered. If any readers from other countries want to drop links to where they can be bought in their own, that would be much appreciated and I will add them and give you credit for the link.
The Rose of Versailles
Along with the protagonist, Oscar, having a rather confusing gender identity that can pretty much be interpreted in any way (I personally view her as bigender), Rose of Versailles also features Rosalie who is canonically bisexual.
The anime is sadly no longer licensed in the US, but the manga is licensed by Udon Entertainment, though they haven’t released it yet (even though they’ve had the license for nearly five years…)
I have yet to read this manga, but as it has the same creator as The Rose of Versailles, Riyoko Ikeda, I have very high hopes for it. The titular character is a trans man and it seems to mostly be about his exploration of gender and sexuality.
Kiss Him, Not Me is a reverse harem, but one of the characters after our heroine’s heart happens to be a girl. I haven’t read the manga in quite a while, but despite some problematic elements, it’s a fun watch.
Love Tangle is an otome game that has 2 female love interests (and I think it’s safe to say just about every character is bi+). It’s not for everyone, but I’ve certainly had lots of fun playing the game.
That’s all the ones I have the energy to list right now, but maybe I’ll do a part 2 someday. Leave your faves in the comments, if you’d like.
Warning: There will be spoilers and discussion of spiritual abuse
As someone who is a victim of spiritual abuse, talking about my issues is so hard to do because so many people try to justify what you’ve been through, respond that the people who put you in the toxic mindset/harmed you just weren’t “true ___”, or assert that it was just the wrong religion and that joining their religion would make everything perfect. Due to the fears of many of us to speak up about it and the lack of understanding and insensitivities, seeing these issues see the light of day is very rare if you’re not looking for it.
To learn more I would recommend looking up Steven Hassan’s BITE Model and Religious Trauma Syndrome
I had been excited for Kei since I first saw him and when I discovered he was into BDSM I got even more excited, as I am extremely interested in it (I do not yet practice, but I do a lot of research and such for when I begin), though I was worried about how it would be portrayed, and honestly I have quite mixed feelings. The writers certainly put emphasis on the importance of consent, which is often a major issue, but they also made some bad mistakes.
But he was more than just a pretty face and a kinky man. He was also a victim of spiritual abuse, and though what he went through in the name of God, was far, far worse than what I ever did, seeing something that I suffer from that is rarely acknowledged to exist, and often makes me feel lonely, be portrayed, made me love a character I like even more.
I have never related to a character so much. I have never felt so compatible with a 2D character (or an actual person for that matter. uffda.) I have never read a fictional story that has hit as close to home as this one has.
This was a repost of a tumblr post I made when his route was first released. Now, for screenshots of my favorite moment in Lovers Obscura
Content Warning for route: sexual coercion and slut shaming
Basic premise of SITS: Aspiring screenwriter acts as ghost writer (and assistant manager) for REVANCE, Japan’s most popular boy band, in lyricist’s absence.
Iori is first introduced in his public persona, Prince Iori, and as the son of the president of an advertising agency.
After meeting him in private (along with the rest of REVANCE) when asking our heroine to take over writing lyrics for the band, you get to see a bit of his true self, much more cold and sadistic.
I love the Sadistic Prince type, and I enjoyed his character when I first played the game so I was excited to play his route. Did he live up to my expectations?
The main conflict in Iori’s route are separated into the following: Iori’s relationship with his father, the heroine writing her song (with help from Iori), and Iori’s distrust of women.
Iori and His Father
Iori’s relationship with his father, for me, was the most intriguing aspect of this route other than the relationship development between Iori and MC. His father wants him to marry a girl that he sees fit, take over the family company, and leave REVANCE.
Iori, of course, is not fond of this. Who would want their life to be controlled by their father?
Writing the Lyrics
MC is tasked to write the lyrics to the theme song to a show that is to be performed by REVANCE, with help from Iori. Writing the lyrics is where a large amount of relationship development between the two of them is made.
To write the lyrics, they go to stay at Iori’s vacation home, with his caretaker Matsunaga, who perhaps understands Iori better than anyone. Seeing him in the place he is most comfortable, the Heroine begins to see his True True self and he begins to let himself be a bit more vulnerable around her.
But they didn’t quite finish before having to go back. Later on, we get my favorite scene in the route where they quickly write the lyrics, communicating through them.
Iori’s Distrust of Women
This is a rather typical plot, though I admit I didn’t understand it well during my first playthrough. He distrusts women because his parents got divorced when he was young and he saw his father get manipulated by many gold diggers throughout his life. I’ve seen this several times. There is, however, something (a spoiler) that makes this a bit more interesting and stand out a little bit.