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The Top 10 Otome Games Available in English


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Aokani



Joined: 11 Feb 2018
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:53 pm Reply with quote
I really recommend Hakuoki! It's so well written and the soundtrack is lovely.

I bought Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom back when it was released for PSP. I might buy the two updated games on Steam if they'll sell them in a boundle with discount.

I'm thinking about buying Nightshade, I prefer a protagonist with a personality.
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R. Kasahara
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:27 pm Reply with quote
*adds Nightshade to my Steam wishlist*

I'm fairly new to otome games, but am looking forward to playing more of them. I do wish that more of the big releases were on PC as well as Vita, but such is life.

Despite what you said about Hatoful Boyfriend, I've been reluctant to play the rest of the routes since being spoiled for the true ending on these very forums (and no, they didn't use spoiler tags Mad).


Last edited by R. Kasahara on Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 264
Location: Nevada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:34 pm Reply with quote
A big YAY for Mystic Messenger not only being recommended but also the article image! I love the game so much, and I’m usually not a fan of otome games in general. MM offered such a fun experience for me and I loved all the characters, so it didn’t feel like a boring drag through the mud like most Otomes are for me.

And unlike a lot of otome app games, it doesn’t force you to pay up for special features or stupid accessories. You can easily save up enough hourglasses to unlock the other content, but if you don’t want to wait buying hourglasses is pretty cheap.

I would recommend Mystic Messenger and Hatoful Boyfriend to anyone who just wants some fun with their Otomes. HB more so because even though the context is weird I overall found it very simple and the story interesting.
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WashuTakahashi



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 395
Location: Chicago, IL
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:09 pm Reply with quote
One of my friends saw this and dared me to come up with my own list, so here it is. Only 5 titles in common xD (Disclaimer though I have yet to play Ozmafia, literally own it but haven't had time haha, but have heard great things so it would probably knock DN2 out of the rankings. Period Cube however I HAVE played and it's...not very good.)

1. Norn9: Out of everything on this list, norn9 is the easiest for me to recommend by far. You get to choose from 3 different girls with varying personalities to play as, which eases the typical otome compliant of “wow, the MC is a doormat”. Each girl gets 3 of her own boys to choose, and you’re forced to play at least 1 of her “normal” interests before playing the “true” route, which is good. Honestly, it’s best playing at least 1 of each girl’s normal routes before starting any of the trues, but the stories vary greatly in this game and you really only start to see the whole picture after you’ve played at least 2 true (4 total minimum) routes. It gives it a MUCH higher replay value that keeps you engaged. The plot itself is kinda meh unless you’re playing a true route (the anime actually makes the plot better, who knew?) but the relationships progress so smoothly and naturally that it’s highly enjoyable and a great gateway drug Smile

2. Amnesia: Amnesia is often regarded as the “true” otome. Most otome have some semblance of a common route you play and then choose a guy (or a guy gets chosen for you based on selections made). Amnesia is unique in that you choose a different WORLD for each man (spades world, heart world, etc). Each time you pick a new world is a fresh start with different relationships to each character, and MC starts with a blank slate thanks to having, YOU GUESSED IT, amnesia. In one route a guy is your childhood bff, in another he’s your brother, in another he’s your boyfriend. These changing relationships are due to parallel worlds the MC lives in (better described in the anime except she keeps her memory there). The biggest drawback of this game is doormat syndrome. MC starts off VERY bland due to her memory loss, but she does grow a spine over time.

3. Nightshade: I didn’t expect this game to be very good but here I am ranking it #3. Nightshade is about the daughter of two heads of rivaling ninja tribes (hint, it’s you) who is raised as a strong ninja but treated as a special princess by her dad. Thankfully, she’s got good friends and a want to prove herself so she actually gets to FIGHT and GO ON AN ADVENTURE WOOO. She seems like she might develop doormat syndrome, but those fears are quickly erased. The plot kept me on my toes, always wondering where the next twist was going to be. The art is also [expletive] GORGEOUS and is WAY more animated than most otome, the characters actually blink, hair sways in the wind, etc. Disclaimer: I only played 1 route but loved it and want to play more. But it’s a computer game and I’m shit at making time for computer games

4. Be My Princess: The dark horse in my list…BMP has been dead for like 2 years. It was brought back to life once because it was so popular. This was basically my first otome, so I admit nostalgia is a factor here lol. The MC in this game takes no shit and it’s beautiful. She’s a fashion designer who gets hired by the prince of a country (based loosely on real countries, she comes from Oriens aka Japan, Joshua is from DresVan aka Germany, etc). The plot changes DRASTICALLY depending on who you pick, with each county/prince having their own problems. And did I mention in the side stories you can also DATE THEIR BUTLERS cause fudge man some of those butlers are hotter than the princes. It’s available still as a mobile app, but since it’s “dead” (no more updates) you don’t get to enjoy event stories anymore which is painfully sad but I’ll hold them forever in my heart. This game also in one where they uh…do the frickel frackle in loose terms if ya know what I mean and it can get HOT but that was mostly in the event stories and ow I’ve made myself sad again.

5. Code Realize: A girl who secrets poison from her body and lives in steampunk London dates hot historical figures such as Van Helsing and Arsene Lupin, need I say more? But really it’s a good, interesting game. The MC definitely starts with doormat syndrome since she’s been living alone for 2 years and for spoiler plot reasons, but she becomes useful after going through a “training” period in the game where she learns how to fit in with society. It’s hard to go much more into detail without giving spoilers away, but the short version is she wants to stop being poisonous so she can feel another’s warmth and she wants to find her dad. Each character’s route will reveal a different part of steampunk London’s nasty secrets…

6. Collar x Malice: If you like those cop shows this is probably for you? Japan has always been a peaceful place, but lately there’s been a string of violent murders, oh no! You’re a newbie cop, fresh out of academy, and one night you get kidnapped and someone puts a venomous collar around your neck and threatens to kill if 1) you don’t solve the murders by the end of the year (2-3 months away I think it was?) or 2) you tell anyone about the collar. It’s a very interesting string of events, and you solve different cases depending on which detective you choose to help (or don’t help any of them and get the first bad ending, it’s fun). The stories all finally converge in the “true” route. Also, there’s a lot of dying. Like, a lot. Save often. Most times you can tell which option is going to get you killed, but sometimes it’s a surprise bunny girl who looks perfectly innocent fudge her.

7. Mystic Messenger: Do I really have to explain this one? xD You find yourself locked in an apartment and in a new phone app with hot guys and you need to throw a baller party while uncovering the RFA’s dark hidden secrets…I put this one fairly low on the list due to the fact that it’s time based. This is hands down THE most time-consuming game. Each character demands a minimum of 11 near constant days of your life, and more if you want multiple endings. It’s fantastic (when played in order. If you start today and drop right to Saeran you’re gonna have a bad time), but also a massive time sink.
8. Hakuouki: Kyoto Winds: For this, I’m SPECIFICALLY picking Kyoto Winds, no other renditions. The other game I’ve actually played, Memories of the Shinsengumi, is packed into this game so don’t waste your time, skip right to this and have all those romance options +3 extra guys hallelujah. Basically, your dad didn’t come home from work so you go to find him. Shinsegumi finds you looking for him and WHOOPS he did them dirty so now you’re stuck with them while looking for him. Slowly but surely let Stockholm’s syndrome kick in. Doormat syndrome is not as strong as amnesia, especially further in the routes, but still hella strong. Also, the Shinsengumi are vampires and your enemies are demons to spice things up a bit, cause just plain Bakumastu period otome would be boring, eh?

9. Ikemen Sengoku: My current time sink xD It’s mobile app based in, you guessed it, the Sengoku period (aka Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Masamune, all those dudes fighting over who gets to unify Japan). You’re a fashion designer just getting her start in modern day (fashion designer is a popular otome trope, don’t ask me why lol), when you meet a hot university guy and get sucked into a wormhole to the Sengoku era, whoops. You somehow arrive 2 years after hot guy did, and now he’s a ninja working for the Uesugi and Takeda clans (aka, Nobunaga’s enemies). You got picked up by Nobunaga and his warlords after accidentally saving his life, and then the romances begin~. It’s a really fun game and reminds me a lot of Be My Princess. MC has a spine and talking back can often being the correct option choice. There’s also a fun event every other week with side stories and the like which are spicy than the main route usually and really enjoyable.

10. Destiny Ninja 2: I needed something to round out this list so I wouldn’t say DN2 is a strong 10 but I like it enough to put it here lol. This game is LOOSELY based off DN1, which you don’t NEED to play to enjoy this, but you can. DN1 takes place in the Heian period, where the Minamoto and Taira clans were wagging war. You have lost your memory (trope #2 lol) and became a “princess” of the Minamoto clan, dating their samurais and ninjas. DN1 MC is 110% doormat syndrome, but she’s the wielder of the 3 sacred treasures which can grant wishes. DN2 takes place many many years in the future from DN1. The MC is a descendant of the original MC from DN1, who you can sometimes see in different routes. The guys you can date are also descendants of the original guys. Still, knowledge of DN1 is not required, it just gives you more fun Easter eggs to enjoy. DN2 suffers minor doormat syndrome, but is far more capable than her ancestor. You find out along the way that you were cursed by your ancestor, and the only way to save your island is to die…at the hands of your beloved. How will you solve this dilemma? DATE BOYS TO FIND OUT.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1725
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:29 pm Reply with quote
There was a nice presentation on otome games during this year's Visual;Conference, and the video is on YouTube.

I'm not the target audience obviously, so when I poked at a few of the Voltage in-app-purchase otome VNs for iPhone, they didn't really click for me. OTOH, I bought Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome after seeing the translator livestream a let's play, and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. It's really funny and has a nice translation. (Also on sale as part of MangaGamer's Valentine's Day sale).
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Mew Berry



Joined: 02 Apr 2016
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:33 pm Reply with quote
I own about half of these and will always vouch for Haroful Boyfriend and Code;Realize (some of the others I own but haven't gotten around to playing yet). I've already preordered the Code;Realize fandisc. I want Nightshade, but I've been wary of purchasing it since it's a bit expensive for a PC otome. Sounds like it might be worth it, though. Meanwhile I'm still on the fence about Ozmafia and unfortunately the article didn't really change that.

As for games not on the list, I'd like to second Norn9. I've only had time to play Senri's route so far, but I did quite enjoy it. There's also Bad Apple Wars, but it's much more divisive and less interactive. I think it has a cool story, but it can be more distancing than most of these other titles. The English Steam game Cinderella Phenomenon is also pretty good. One I've had sitting on my PC for a while but haven't played yet is Nameless, a Korean otome about living dolls. I hear it and Dandelion (by the same company) are good.

I do hope we continue to get localized otome games in the future, what with the Vita basically dying off. I know the Psychedelica games are supposed to be releasing this year. We have some good titles available in English, but the amount of localized otome I haven't heard of/tried is getting pretty small.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1309
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:38 pm Reply with quote
The only one I've played on the list is Code;Realize and it was my first otome. Definitely a great game, but the anime was really disappointing. I did buy Sweet Fuse but haven't played it yet.

I'd love it if we could get Kamigami no Asobi and Dame x Prince.
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harminia



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
Posts: 759
Location: australia
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:48 pm Reply with quote
WashuTakahashi wrote:
4. Be My Princess:



ughhhh BMP... The first mobage I blew money on and regretted it ever since. I'm not sure if I hold it in a special place of my heart or if I just plain ol' hate the game for sucking me in even though I didn't really care about it heaps when I blew the cash (luckily not much money). I just wanted the prince that looks like Miketsukami's event cg...........



Anyway, I wish the Tokimeki memorial Girls Side games would get legally translated. They're so good Sad

Also Arcana Famiglia. The anime did not represent how good the game is at all. Felicita is a kick-ass heroine.
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Wingbeats



Joined: 23 Feb 2015
Posts: 268
Location: Boise, Idaho
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:31 pm Reply with quote
Yay! A helpful list. I added Ozmafia and Nightshade to my steam wishlist Very Happy

I've heard good things about Dandelion -wishes brought to you-
How does that one hold up? It's on my steam wishlist too.

I really like the game Arcana on android/iOS. It's not quite classic otome I don't think, but the art is GORGEOUS and there is both ladies and men to romance. Also it's free.
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7PhoenixAshes



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 72
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:37 pm Reply with quote
If anyone is looking for a really good *FREE* otome game, try out "Cinderella Phenomenon" on Steam. It's well-written, the art is lovely, and the female MC has a lot of personality and really grows as a person over the course of the game (and yeah, the guys are all pretty great, too).

The only one on the article list that I've played is Hakuoki on the PSP. I keep meaning to pick up Kyoto Winds in order to try out all the additional routes - I'll probably wait until Edo Blossoms is out, though.
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joeydoa



Joined: 30 Dec 2014
Posts: 29
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 pm Reply with quote
I love visual novels, but there is not a lot of visual novels on the ps vita, my preferred handheld, at least their wasn't up until recently. I was initially hesitant playing a "girls game" visual novel that had elements of romance or aspects of dating sims, but due to the lack of non otome visual novels I took a chance reasoning that after all it is roleplaying essentially and no different than reading a book with a female protagonist. One of the first ones I got was Sweet Fuse and then Hakuoki (psp versions) on PSN. My trepidation was that it was going to be more dating sim than visual novel and was overjoyed that is was ALL visual novel and very little dating sim (I guess just enough to qualify as being in the otome genre). I later bought Hakouki for the ps vita and recently platinumed, almost done with Period Cube (very good, fantastic visuals and sound), partway through Amnesia (this one as mentioned has a lot more dating sim type story), halfway through Norn9, intial playthrough for Collar x Malice and completed Code Realize. I would consider otome as a subgenre of visual novel - and for those looking for ps vita visual novels there more than a couple now, of those I've played partway or completed and would recommend are: Steins Gate, Steins Gate 0, Utawarerumono Mask of Deception, Psycho-Pass, VA-11 HALL--A, Alone with You, Persona 4 Dancing All Night (visual novel/rhythm hybrid), Danganronpa series (visual novel/puzzle hybrid), Root Letter (visual novel/phoenix wright hybrid), Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (visual novel/board game hybrid), Zero Escape series (visual novel/puzzle hybrid), Xblaze Lost memories, Xblaze Code Embryo. The Hakuoki sequel is coming out in March for ps vita, as well as the Muv Love saga (finally) in summer. Unfortunately there are a lot of dishonest reviews for visual novels as the element of play is not fully understood - meaning there is a common route for each visual novel and a number of routes or endings for each visual novel, or in otome (guy/gal routes) and those reviews only playthrough once, when in order to experience the whole story every route needs to be played though (like reading the whole book not stopping after chapter 5 of 10 and pretending one has read the whole book). I hope more people outside the intended audience will give these a try.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1474
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:04 pm Reply with quote
7PhoenixAshes wrote:
If anyone is looking for a really good *FREE* otome game, try out "Cinderella Phenomenon" on Steam. It's well-written, the art is lovely, and the female MC has a lot of personality and really grows as a person over the course of the game (and yeah, the guys are all pretty great, too).


Seconded! It was leagues better than a free game, otome or not, had any right to be, really. Anime hyper My only complaint was that it felt a little sparse when it came to the history of the world, but hey, it's free and GORGEOUS so it's really more of a nitpick. Laughing
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DJStarstryker



Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Posts: 133
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:17 pm Reply with quote
I've been reading VNs since about 2005, but I'm pretty new into the otome sub-genre. I'm trying to get into it more.

I definitely agree with Hakuoki being pretty great. It's not just about dating hot samurai guys. Most of the story is actually talking about real things that happened in historical Japan... but to make it more interesting, it introduces some fictionalized and fantasy elements in there to mix things up.

I personally didn't really care for Amnesia. I did like the fact that it didn't make you go through a common route, like some VNs can make you do, so each route was very different from the last. The character designs were also pretty interesting. The bad - the main character had about as much personality as a blank piece of paper. But worse than that, most of the male characters weren't that great. In fact, I'm not really a person that is easily offended or triggered but some of these guys... you pretty much have one who is so obsessed with you that he'd murder you and another who is kinda rapey. The ones who aren't as bad as those generally are controlling or otherwise generally not people I don't think anyone should be dating. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

I had some issues with Hatoful Boyfriend too, but it was mainly that I felt the game was trying way too hard to be funny/ridiculous. If it feels like it's trying too hard, it kinda cycles back around for me so I find it completely unfunny. If you like its sense of comedy though, it's probably amazing, so it's worth a try if you can get it for a good price!
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1342
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:07 am Reply with quote
Two names I can give for good music in Otome games:

Kevin Penkin composer of Norn9 game and anime music (and Maid in Abyss anime)

Kaori Oda (also known for FictionJunction and Sound Horizon work).
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Time Bandit



Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 163
Location: Raleigh
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:37 am Reply with quote
Several of these are already on my list to try (Code;Realize, Amnesia, and Norn9), but I've gotten some new ideas as well, so thanks for this article and the replies!

I've only very recently gotten into playing otome games (I only have access to PC (thank goodness for Steam!) and Android titles), so my knowledge of them is more or less free Android apps only, but I'm learning, heh. My absolute favorite of these being Samurai Love Ballad: Party...it just had it's second anniversary, and I've been playing for about a year and a half.

I do play Hakouki, and am looking forward to the second part of the game later this year (was a really nice birthday present last year, so I'm hoping it will come out around the same time again!).
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