Thursday, May 19, 2016

Notice Me, Senpai

7:19 AM

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Otaku or not, you’ll fall head over heels over the 2D guys of the imaginary world. 

Imagine this: the basketball MVP you’ve been crushing on is finally talking to you! But, your mind suddenly goes blank and you can’t say a thing. What should you do next?

Well, worry no more! There is a type of simulation game that allows you to completely control your daily activities and events. At the same time, it gives you a chance to create a virtual love story and provides you tips and tricks on how to charm your crush.

Dating sims are targeted towards the male audience, but Japan created a dating game for the female audience called the otome game, with ‘otome’ meaning young women.

Otome games come in different forms. There are ones where you raise certain statistics like intelligence, social, and fitness in order to get a guy at the end; typical visual novels where you follow a plot and carefully make choices along the way to arrive at an ending; or a combination of both. They can also be franchises of popular anime where you can get the guy you were crushing on as you watched the show.

What’s so great about otome games is that you are thrown into a world full of attractive bishonen. From the best friend type to the jerk type, otome games feature a wide variety of boys that you can choose from. You may even find a character similar to your IRL crush!

Here are the different guys you’ll likely see in an otome game.


Mr. Too-Good-to-be-True

As some otome games go, you’ve known this guy since childhood. He’s the guy you see as a brother--the guy who’s kind, sweet, smart, and protective! As time passes by, you start to see him in a different light. Does he like me? Do I look pretty in front of him? The guy is oblivious to your feelings, but with your determination, he’ll start to develop feelings for you!

Where to find him: The Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side trilogy has done a good job portraying the childhood friend. Hazuki Kei is the star of the first installment of the Tokimeki series and he is the childhood friend you get separated with at the start of the story. The two of you get reunited when you return and enter high school at your hometown. As the game progresses, you can meet other boys who make you feel confused about your feelings! The childhood friend, the high school jock, the honor student, the artist, or even the handsome teacher can confess to you at the end of the game when you meet certain stat qualifications. Be on the lookout for Teru Saeki in TMGS2, and brothers Ruka and Kouichi Sakurai in TMGS3.

Available on Nintendo DS and Playstation 2.


Day and night, all these types think about is sports, sports, and sports! If you’ve watched any sports anime, you’ll know that they are determined to get to the nationals competition. They’re hard-working and passionate about their sport but it doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten about a special someone (you). Once he falls in love, you’ll see that he is as loyal you as he is to his sport.

Where to find him: If you’re into this type, then Prince of the School Festival is for you! Based off the Prince of Tennis anime, the game begins when the captain of Hyotei Academy organizes a school festival for all schools to participate. You, a second year high school student, help in the event. Tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen is one of the athletic guys you can win over as you play the game.
Don’t worry: Unlike Tokimeki, this is not a stat-raising game. You only need to fill the heart meter of the guy you’re after by making the right choices from the options given to you. This is not the only otome game for the fans of this anime as there are Go to the Top!, Doubles no Oujisama, and Doki Doki Survival.

Available on Nintendo DS and Playstation 2. 

The Shota

Shota types are often portrayed as young boys with bubbly and cute personalities. In otome games, they’re your kouhai who often admire you and revel in your presence. When you’re feeling down and heartbroken, count on him to turn things around and give you the happiness you deserve. With his innocent charms and pure intentions, you’ll find yourself falling for him in no time! You’ll have to wait for a few years though--at least until he’s older and tall enough to make his move and sweep you off your feet (in a non-PG way).

Where to find him: For your daily dose of adorableness, Girlish Love Revo! successfully depicts the shota type. You play as Hitomi, the once cute and beautiful girl who was successful in pageants. Souta Fukami, one of the eight guys available for wooing, is the sunshine in Hitomi’s life with his outgoing and lively personality. Like the TMGS trilogy, it is a stat-raising game, so prepare to strategize to get the guys’ endings!

Available on Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2.

The Sherlock

Similar to the tsundere, this guy shows a tough and cold exterior to come off as strong and cool. What makes him different is that he’s a quiet guy who likes to solve mysteries so much that he has become one. You’ll wonder what the story behind his appearance is and start getting close to him in an attempt to get him to open up. In time, he’ll get comfortable around you and show you who he really is – a softie with a big heart. Their character developments in otome games are the most shocking so you’ll have to keep your eye on this one!

Where to find him: X-note, developed by Zeiva Inc., is a visual novel where you play as Essi, whose mother suddenly dies and leaves her with a USB. Yuon is the guy who finds Essi and helps her start a new life, but his mysterious personality draws her into finding more about who he really is. As the story progresses, you get to find out more about yourself, your mother, and three boys as you are faced with choices that are crucial for you to arrive at an ending. The developers released a prequel, Area-X, in 2013 and are currently working on a sequel, Silent-X, which is said to be last installment in the series.

Available for download on Windows, Linux, and Mac. 

The Knight in Shining Kamishimo

Most princes come with capes and white horses; but in otome games, they come with swords in traditional kamishimo. Often patriotic and heroic, these guys are fearless and will not hesitate to fight for what they believe in. You’ll find yourself drawn to his fighting skills and masculinity as the game progresses. As he is a soldier, he’ll surely protect and fight for you when the time comes for him to proclaim his love! Basically, he’s the General Shang of otome games.

Where to find him: Set in the Edo period of Japan, Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom is a visual novel that tells the story of Chizuru Yukimura as part of the Shinsengumi. Tough and strict, Toshizo Hijikata is a lot like General Shang and has a soft spot for his comrades and the person he loves. As the game progresses, you get to make choices that lead to his ending or any one of the soldiers in it.

Available on PlayStation Portable.

Did you find your type of guy? Are there other characters and otome games we missed? Tell us in the comment section below!

Article by Zarah
Cover art by Ginny
Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Zarah is an 18-year-old Advertising Management major who likes to compute numbers and write stories. You can find her at cafes reading a book or watching a movie/anime. Like Margo from Paper Towns, she adores mysteries so much that she is slowly becoming one. And when all is finally right in her world, she would like to become a successful scriptwriter.  
Ginny is a self-proclaimed aesthete majoring in Advertising Arts. Aside from art, she enjoys baking, playing video games, watching animations, and getting distracted by cats. While still uncertain as to what she exactly she wants to become, she has an unwavering ambition to pursue a career in the art world.