The List
7 Super Bizarre Dating Sims

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Romance simulators, and more recently romance training game hybrids, are always looking for a new way to spin the "one protagonist, many love interests" set-up. A company can only push so many run-of-the-mill high school settings or casts filled with royalty, childhood friends, or dangerous delinquents. Within the last few years, partially in thanks to DMM's wildly successful Kantai Collection, the format has a progressively more ridiculous approach. Potential boyfriends and girlfriends might not be human anymore, much less attractive non-humans, as creators veer into more and more comedic set-ups.

7.Kaden Shōjo: Kaden Shōjo, or "home electronics girl" was one of many in the anthropomorphized genre that includes ships, racecars, construction equipment, swords, sushi, mushrooms, and more. What sets Kaden Shōjo apart (other than the fact that it's no longer operating) is its moe aesthetic ended up being little more that advertisements for actual electronic brands. Big brands like SHARP jumped on a chance to put their own "girls" into the game with popular VAs voicing their lines. Whether fans saw through the marketing charade or the game was merely a flavor of the week, the initially popular title was shut down less than a year after launching.

6. Ejikoi: This otome game was born out of strange internet fad. An exhibit on ancient Egypt was held in Tokyo in 2012 and one obscure god, who resembles someone hiding in a bed sheet, caught the internet's attention. The obscure god Medjed became a viral sensation in Japan and enjoyed a revival in as merchandise, LINE stamps, and web comics. His latest starring role, alongside Horus and Anubis, is a romantic option in a high school otome game. Egykoi! Egypt Kami to Koishi yo~ promises a "white-knuckle, heart-pounding storyline" and has over 50,000 downloads. Creators Goodia are working on a sequel with more characters and scenarios, including a trip to the beach.

5. NamaColle: I thought writers had plumbed just about every character quirk in the book, but NamaColle is definitely a first. This silver-haired bishōnen has only room in his heart for sea cucumbers. Attempts to woo him with anything else will not suffice, so players are left endlessly tapping on sea cucumbers to collect and present to their amour in hopes of garnering his affections (and unlocking new outfits and voice content). The sea cucumbers themselves have the added bonus of looking like turds floating in the water. Unsurprisingly, the game only caught on with a small section of fans but it remains at a high rating of 4.5 stars on Google Play.

4. Junai Baba Gakuen Tenkosei wa Hyakuman-sai: Junai Baba looks like a nightmare after eating one too many of servings of grandma's meatloaf. The romance sim stars a transfer student, little sister, student council president, and an idol; all genre staples. They just so happen to also be 100 years old and really buff. One green-skinned granny might be from Namek. Beneath their intimidating physiques is a warm heart that wants to enjoy the Sports Festival, celebrate Valentine's Day, or take a trip to the beach. If you win her over, does she subject you to hours looking at old photo albums and watching The Hallmark Channel?

3. DS9: What better way to get the youth involved in politics than by centering a bishōjo game around debating current hot-topic legislation? DS9 (Debate School 9) is created by an adult game maker Jya no Michi wa Hebi Soft who had some opinions on Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's proposed constitution revision to allow Japan's military to deploy and involve itself foreign skirmishes. The company created a whole cast of characters with varying opinions on the very real proposition. When they aren't debating, the game returns to his hentai roots.

2. Creature-to Koi Shiyo! Monsters like vampires and werewolves are par for the course in teen literature and corset-rippers wanting to add just a little bit of edge. The general rule when it comes to monster lovers is that the monster includes a humanoid aspect while appendages can be feathery, scaly, or furry. Creature-to Koi Shiyo! and its female-audience counterpart Creature-to Koi Shiyo! for Otome cares little about these "rules." Their monsters are truly grotesque, ranging from humanoid grasshoppers to multiple-eyed blue tentacle-headed guys. Dōjin circle nostalgia created both games, promising to depict an "ordinary youth" with an "ordinary romance."

1. Aka no Prince ~Koi no Jintai Rensei~ Aka no Prince (Filth Prince) blends character raising, romance, and questionable hygiene as its female protagonist raises sentient pink sludge made from her own dirt and skin cells. Dubbed "Kōtarō," he initially isn't humanoid, evolving from a blob to a six-legged cat. Eventually though, he'll become an ikemen and then our lonely office lady will find herself head over heels. The point of the game is to level Kōtarō up and unlock one of the six different endings all while ignoring that he was once soap scum in your bathtub.

The new poll: Which of these transfer students do you wish would move into your class?

The old poll: Who is your favorite anime police officer?
  1. Akane Tsunemori (Psycho-Pass) 13.8%
  2. Major Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) 10.4%
  3. Officer Jenny (Pokémon) 9.0%
  4. Hajime Saito (Rurouni Kenshin) 7.5%
  5. Sōgō Okita (Gintama) 5.4%
  6. Detective Zenigata (Lupin III) 4.9%
  7. Hidenori Goto (Samurai Flamenco) 4.4%
  8. Dick Gumshoe/Keisuke Itonokogiri (Ace Attorney) 4.1%
  9. Ms. Smith (Monster Musume) 3.8%
  10. Kiyone (Tenchi Universe) 2.9%
  11. Birdy (Birdy the Mighty: Decode) 2.8%
  12. Space Patrol Chief Over Justice (Space Patrol Luluco) 2.5%
  13. Sōichirō Yagami (Death Note) 2.4%
  14. Heinrich Lunge (Monster) 2.3%
  15. Miyuki Kobayakawa (You're Under Arrest) 1.9%
  16. Noa Izumi (Patlabor) 1.8%
  17. Leona Ozaki (New Dominion Tank Police) 1.7%
  18. Miwako Sato (Detective Conan) 1.6%
  19. Seras Victoria (Hellsing) 1.6%
  20. Inferno Cop (Inferno Cop) 1.3%
  21. Shinya Kogami (Psycho-Pass) 1.3%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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