The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

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The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#1 Post by Goddiga » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:54 am

Hello! I was just curious what the youngest age character you have encountered in VN or dating sim is (regardless of the gender). My game has a 15-year-old girl as one of the romance option. While it is common to date a girl that age in real life, I'm not sure if she's too young for dating sim game or not. And how far of an interaction you have seen? How far can it be acceptable in terms of romancing/fan service/skinship option? Hugging? Kissing the cheek? Kissing the lips? Accidentally touching the chest? Seeing underwear/panties?

Please share your opinion with me! Thank you very much!
Last edited by Goddiga on Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:39 am

I think you open a can of worms the moment you move past anything like hugging or kissing with a character like that. Especially once you get into sexual touching. It gets worse if the main character is 18 or older themselves. It's more acceptable if both characters are the same age. 'Accidentally touching the chest' doesn't sound funny to me as an adult - I've never seen that happen in real life except when it wasn't accidental, so it comes across as groping or harrassment.

If you plan on doing any kind of romancing with a character that young, I'd recommend you never bring up their age or swear they are 18 years old, even if they are freshmen in high school. This is the tactic most localized games from Japan use. The 'high school' becomes a 'college' (with suspiciously high school design and layout) and all little sisters become 18 years old by default. She could be walking to school wearing a randoseru, but trust us, she's 18. :roll: Yeah, it gets ridiculous. But laws regarding what is allowed vary by country, and most developers and localizers wish to avoid any potential trouble.

Keep in mind that younger characters like that are going to make some players deeply uncomfortable. (And others will love it.) So you should make such a romance path sort of 'hidden', where a player has to actively pursue it (repeatedly, just to be safe), for such content to appear. This makes sure that a player that is only there for the older characters and normal romance content isn't suddenly being exposed to loli content. It's just polite.

It would probably also be good to avoid any nudity with such characters, just to be on the safe side. Convenient censoring and fades to black are all your friend here.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#3 Post by Mammon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:26 pm

I agree with LateWhiteRabbit, the line for romance varies not on age rather than what you'll do. I myself make my characters 16-17 years old so I have a solid reason to refuse any kind of eroge content upon request or feedback, and vice versa someone who wants to do +18 stuff should never use non 18-year olds. I remember a discord discussion some time ago where people were very uncomfortable that a clearly underaged boy was in an +18 VN, really making the guy wonder whether he should buy that VN despite wanting to otherwise. (It later turned out to be poor advertisement, the boy wasn't a romanceable option to begin with.) Even claiming all characters to be >18 years old when they don't look like it can dissuade people from playing the game if that questionable LI would be involved in romance or +18 stuff.

One example I can think of is Everlasting summer, which had one really young-looking girl. The game immediately started saying that all people featured were +18, they did add somewhere in her route "that she just looked and younger than she actually is, and didn't help her case by acting so immature." and to their credit the young-looking girl was the only one without any true +18 content or scenes, but playing that route could make me uncomfortable nonetheless when we were 'treated' to a pantyshot or her cuddling against us in her sleep.
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#4 Post by Goddiga » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:43 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:39 am
I think you open a can of worms the moment you move past anything like hugging or kissing with a character like that. Especially once you get into sexual touching. It gets worse if the main character is 18 or older themselves. It's more acceptable if both characters are the same age. 'Accidentally touching the chest' doesn't sound funny to me as an adult - I've never seen that happen in real life except when it wasn't accidental, so it comes across as groping or harrassment.

If you plan on doing any kind of romancing with a character that young, I'd recommend you never bring up their age or swear they are 18 years old, even if they are freshmen in high school. This is the tactic most localized games from Japan use. The 'high school' becomes a 'college' (with suspiciously high school design and layout) and all little sisters become 18 years old by default. She could be walking to school wearing a randoseru, but trust us, she's 18. :roll: Yeah, it gets ridiculous. But laws regarding what is allowed vary by country, and most developers and localizers wish to avoid any potential trouble.

Keep in mind that younger characters like that are going to make some players deeply uncomfortable. (And others will love it.) So you should make such a romance path sort of 'hidden', where a player has to actively pursue it (repeatedly, just to be safe), for such content to appear. This makes sure that a player that is only there for the older characters and normal romance content isn't suddenly being exposed to loli content. It's just polite.

It would probably also be good to avoid any nudity with such characters, just to be on the safe side. Convenient censoring and fades to black are all your friend here.
Thank you for your suggestion! Most examples come from what I have seen in Japanese anime and manga. Sorry if it bothers you! I need to confirm if those examples can cause some trouble if being added or not. And I would like to learn if any of you come across the young character involving in romance or not. My original plan about romance only involve with something like leaning towards the shoulders, hugging and maybe kissing on the cheek (with shadow if needed) since I will focus on an interaction like talking, giving things and going out to an amusement park. I want to write the story that mostly leaning toward how one act to a crush in school or like how the schoolers dating or something of the sort. And most of the romancing moment needs pursuing, of course.

A protagonist is 17 years old, 2 years older than the girl. There won't be any kind of sexual acts involve with the girl besides hugging and kissing. But, if those are still unacceptable, maybe I will take your suggestion to not mention the age or turns them all to 18+ years old.
Mammon wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:26 pm
I agree with LateWhiteRabbit, the line for romance varies not on age rather than what you'll do. I myself make my characters 16-17 years old so I have a solid reason to refuse any kind of eroge content upon request or feedback, and vice versa someone who wants to do +18 stuff should never use non 18-year olds. I remember a discord discussion some time ago where people were very uncomfortable that a clearly underaged boy was in an +18 VN, really making the guy wonder whether he should buy that VN despite wanting to otherwise. (It later turned out to be poor advertisement, the boy wasn't a romanceable option to begin with.) Even claiming all characters to be >18 years old when they don't look like it can dissuade people from playing the game if that questionable LI would be involved in romance or +18 stuff.

One example I can think of is Everlasting summer, which had one really young-looking girl. The game immediately started saying that all people featured were +18, they did add somewhere in her route "that she just looked and younger than she actually is, and didn't help her case by acting so immature." and to their credit the young-looking girl was the only one without any true +18 content or scenes, but playing that route could make me uncomfortable nonetheless when we were 'treated' to a pantyshot or her cuddling against us in her sleep.
Thank you! So, hugging and kissing should be fine (or not)? I just want to convey the romance in the school time so I don't include sexual related moments. Pantyshot and cuddling seems unacceptable so I won't include that. My biggest problem is about pure romance like having a crush, hugging and kissing.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#5 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:09 pm

Goddiga wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:43 pm
Thank you for your suggestion! Most examples come from what I have seen in Japanese anime and manga. Sorry if it bothers you! I need to confirm if those examples can cause some trouble if being added or not.
Oh, don't misunderstand. It doesn't personally bother me. My opinion is that anything like that, and loli in general, are just drawings and don't hurt anyone. In fact, I believe such things probably help reduce harm to real children.

I was just letting you know where the general public stands on such issues. Hugging and kissing are fine, I believe and you shouldn't run into any issues if you keep it to that, especially since both characters are minors. That's just puppy-love stuff seen in numerious media and movies.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#6 Post by Goddiga » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:21 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:09 pm
Goddiga wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:43 pm
Thank you for your suggestion! Most examples come from what I have seen in Japanese anime and manga. Sorry if it bothers you! I need to confirm if those examples can cause some trouble if being added or not.
Oh, don't misunderstand. It doesn't personally bother me. My opinion is that anything like that, and loli in general, are just drawings and don't hurt anyone. In fact, I believe such things probably help reduce harm to real children.

I was just letting you know where the general public stands on such issues. Hugging and kissing are fine, I believe and you shouldn't run into any issues if you keep it to that, especially since both characters are minors. That's just puppy-love stuff seen in numerious media and movies.
Alright! Thank you very much again for an advice! That's a relief to know that puppy-love stuff is still acceptable. I was afraid that even those kinds of things must be only for the characters with 17-18 years old or older. Oh, and that link really surprised me! I always thought that it would be the other way around or at least the fiction and reality may not be related much to each other.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#7 Post by Metaparadox » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:53 pm

I've been thinking about this sort of question as well, as I'm making a dating sim with high-school aged characters (all the love interests and the main character are about age 17.) The intent is to make the game accessible to LGBT+ teens age 13+, who don't really have much content out there made for them. I have zero intention of sexualizing the characters through something like panty shots or other fanservice. I'm planning on keeping things to hugging and non-sexualized kissing, strictly teenage romance that's probably more tame than anything in a YA novel. Sexual orientation will be discussed, but not in any super sexually explicit way. I probably won't be able to avoid pervy adults downloading the game and sexualizing the characters in their own minds, but that's the case with pretty much any game.
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#8 Post by TheJerminator15 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:44 pm

I mean, let's be honest, a lot of Japanese VNs have characters around that age or even younger in sexual situations but get around it by saying they're 18 (even when the game explicitly states they aren't). I'm not a big fan of it when it's mainly just overtly sexual, specifically lolis, but from that perspective it isn't anything new.

Ask yourself what you personally find most appropriate for the story you want to tell. A lot of 15 year olds are actively sexually, and if you felt it best that the relationship DID develop in that way, you don't always have to force in a sex scene for tittilation purposes. You could simply have them mention or fade away when it occurs. It can be tastefully done, but the age will still be an issue for people,

Going from replies, you simply are going to depict them hugging and kissing. That really should have no problem to even people not familiar with anime and manga. It's realistic, and not too intrusive or sexual that people will begin to feel uncomfortable.
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#9 Post by Goddiga » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:46 am

Metaparadox wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:53 pm
I've been thinking about this sort of question as well, as I'm making a dating sim with high-school aged characters (all the love interests and the main character are about age 17.) The intent is to make the game accessible to LGBT+ teens age 13+, who don't really have much content out there made for them. I have zero intention of sexualizing the characters through something like panty shots or other fanservice. I'm planning on keeping things to hugging and non-sexualized kissing, strictly teenage romance that's probably more tame than anything in a YA novel. Sexual orientation will be discussed, but not in any super sexually explicit way. I probably won't be able to avoid pervy adults downloading the game and sexualizing the characters in their own minds, but that's the case with pretty much any game.
Oh that's also what I want to do! Dating sim with high school (with one middle school) character mainly focus on an affection rather than sexual orientation (but still has it in appropriation or so I hope) but no LGBT in the game (for now). And the rating of my game might go as high as Mature 17+ even if I don't want to. I also want to try including some fan services, but I think I should not or at least keep it to a minimum. Thanks to you, I just learned the new term; YA novel!

And yeah I think we cannot stop how the others would think about our characters. It should be fine if they keep it in their minds and not starting to draw that kind of fan arts or doujinshi/fanfiction.
TheJerminator15 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:44 pm
I mean, let's be honest, a lot of Japanese VNs have characters around that age or even younger in sexual situations but get around it by saying they're 18 (even when the game explicitly states they aren't). I'm not a big fan of it when it's mainly just overtly sexual, specifically lolis, but from that perspective it isn't anything new.

Ask yourself what you personally find most appropriate for the story you want to tell. A lot of 15 year olds are actively sexually, and if you felt it best that the relationship DID develop in that way, you don't always have to force in a sex scene for tittilation purposes. You could simply have them mention or fade away when it occurs. It can be tastefully done, but the age will still be an issue for people,

Going from replies, you simply are going to depict them hugging and kissing. That really should have no problem to even people not familiar with anime and manga. It's realistic, and not too intrusive or sexual that people will begin to feel uncomfortable.
Thank you for your advice! That's a huge relief to hear from you that hugging and kissing with 15 years old are a fine course! But, the sexual acts may still be inappropriate even with the brief dialogue-only. I'll see if the development can end with just kissing or need some further action to conclude the story (but I personally hope not to go that far if possible).

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#10 Post by Imperf3kt » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm

TheJerminator15 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:44 pm
I mean, let's be honest, a lot of Japanese VNs have characters around that age or even younger in sexual situations but get around it by saying they're 18 (even when the game explicitly states they aren't). I'm not a big fan of it when it's mainly just overtly sexual, specifically lolis, but from that perspective it isn't anything new.

Ask yourself what you personally find most appropriate for the story you want to tell. A lot of 15 year olds are actively sexually, and if you felt it best that the relationship DID develop in that way, you don't always have to force in a sex scene for tittilation purposes. You could simply have them mention or fade away when it occurs. It can be tastefully done, but the age will still be an issue for people,

Going from replies, you simply are going to depict them hugging and kissing. That really should have no problem to even people not familiar with anime and manga. It's realistic, and not too intrusive or sexual that people will begin to feel uncomfortable.
Japanese VNs don't need to do anything about it, the 'oh but shes 18' thing comes from the translations.
In Japan, the legal age of consent is 15, so its not uncommon to see media targetted at that age group. Hell, child pornography was still not illegal in Japan until the 1980's!
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#11 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:13 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm
In Japan, the legal age of consent is 15, so its not uncommon to see media targetted at that age group. Hell, child pornography was still not illegal in Japan until the 1980's!
Production of child pornography was not illegal in Japan until the early 1990s. Possession of child pornography was not made illegal in Japan until 2015. That is for the real stuff. The fictional / anime stuff is not illegal, and often has a large loli or moe audience, which is why you'll see a lot of Japanese games and anime have a "token loli" character to appeal to that part of the fanbase. So, I'm not so sure if developers are targeting THAT age group in particular, but, uh ... fans ... of that age group. :|

Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin was recently arrested on child pornography charges, and (ironically?) his series did not feature any loli content or fanservice.

I guess I posted all that to say that age of consent in a country doesn't usually mean much - it's still not considered acceptable to show sexual content with those age groups in those countries.

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#12 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:47 am

In Sakura Wars 5, protagonist Shinjirou is about 19. He can have a relationship with Rikaritta, who's about eight years younger. This game presents a ridiculous alternate-history world (he starts out the game as a novice, she's already a bounty hunter). It's more concerned with the characters staying friends and fighting pompous enemies with their steampunk mechs. It was rated T (Teen) by the ESRB in 2010.

Characters around ages 15-17 have a lot of challenges. They're fortunate if they live in a time and place when they can avoid war. However, they only have so much freedom. In many nations, they can drive a car but can't consume alcohol or cigarettes. They might be able to vote for the first time. That said, think about what conflicts your characters will have. How often will their age be linked to a problem?
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Thanks to you, I just learned the new term; YA novel!
The young adult literature category is in between the middle grade and new adult categories. Ask your local librarian. :D

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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#13 Post by Ibitz » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:19 am

The worst example of young kids I have ever seen in a VN, was for this mobile game called Otouto Scramble. I liked the characters, but my gosh did I feel wrong playing this game. Here's a link to the Amino page, if you really wanna get an idea of what it's like: https://aminoapps.com/c/otome/page/blog ... mXxMM1JBNp

In short, you play a 23 year old college kid who lives with her new brothers (by law) since her mom just got married. For some creepy reason, you grow an attraction to all of them.

Now, don't get me wrong, but I love the youngest kids, because of their personalities, looks, and how adorable they are. But, their ages are where I kinda went- yeah... no. In most otome games, the youngest character I ever ran into was 15. That's still a little iffy for me, but I can deal with it. This game, though, is just wrong on so many levels. The kids that you romance are ages 19, 17, 14, and 11! Yes. You heard me right. 11 years old.

I watched videos (because I just could not get myself to sit through this horrible idea and actually play the game) where the 11 year old tries to force himself upon the MC. He touches her all over and then acts like an innocent little kid. Near the end, he's freaking out about jealousy and is literally talking about marrying her and being her man.

And, the 14 year old kid's route is odd, too. He forces the MC to get on his bed with him and constantly marks her and claims her as his. He talks about needing sexual experience in order to be a man and how he'll show her how it's done.

And, the whole time I'm watching these vids, the parents literally don't seem to have a problem with it. In fact, they actually encourage it.
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#14 Post by YonYonYon » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:16 am

A rule of thumb, the younger is the character, the shorter should be the age gap between them and their LI. Kids undergo rapid changes and even a couple of years can mean a huge difference in experience. Like, I wouldn’t mind 12 years old dating 12 or 13 years old in innocent puppy love kind of romance. 12 yo kid with 14 yo teen? A bit uncomfortable, but sure. 12 yo kid and 15 yo teen? Uh, no, thanks.

That’s also why I won’t mind 25 yo person dating someone 30 years older than them. Yeah, the gap in experience is still huge, but the 25 yo already lived the quarter of their life, they’re an adult and mostly know what’s up.
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Re: The youngest romancing character for VN/dating sim

#15 Post by papillon » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:00 am

While I worried a bit about it because of the occasional freakout you see about young characters and particularly LGBT content with young people, afaik nobody has felt the level of romance in A Little Lily Princess to be inappropriate, even though the characters are obviously quite young (everyone's ages except Lottie's are kept ambiguous, but they're very definitely under 18, and 14 is not a bad guess).

The two age-gap relationships are the non-romantic ones, and on that subject I see both people posting with extreme relief that those relationships were not romantic, and people who are extremely disappointed that those routes didn't go there.

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