Otome games and older men

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Re: Otome games and older men

#16 Post by papillon » Wed May 16, 2012 7:46 am

It seems that the main draw is confidence and stability, which is hilarious because that's what that particular character doesn't have. Maybe it is a personality issue more than anything else? But then again, he doesn't have to actually have it, but just seem like he does...or maybe he does have those traits, but hides it under an air of immaturity?
Well, it seems likely that this here is the problem you're having and why people aren't liking the character.

Someone who is older but acts immature and hangs out with younger people is often considered to have something wrong with them. It often comes with the suggestion that they're screwups who can't handle adult life and are trying to recapture their youth (like all of those weird 'Go back to high school and do it again!' ideas). It's not necessarily a fair judgment, because there are plenty of reasons why it can happen, but it's a bad first impression - it would be a huge obstacle in the way of most of your players even considering this guy as an option.

Obstacles are expected in a romance game, but generally you want them a little further down the road, and not right up front keeping you from getting started at all. If he doesn't either look or act older, it might work if he doesn't mention his age at first (not lying about it, just never seeing reason to point it out) and it only comes up after the player has started to flirt with him?

But if he's just running around being "the crazy old guy" everyone is going to dismiss him as the comic relief, I expect.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#17 Post by FatUnicornGames » Wed May 16, 2012 4:31 pm

Camille wrote:In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?
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Re: Otome games and older men

#18 Post by Sapphi » Wed May 16, 2012 5:42 pm

FatUnicornGames wrote:
Camille wrote:In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?
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I know, I thought I wasn't really into Otome but... that Rui Saiga, OMG, he's so cute I even feel shy looking at him. :lol:
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Re: Otome games and older men

#19 Post by Hijiri » Wed May 16, 2012 10:08 pm

Camille wrote:In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?
A lot of those guys still look like they should be in their youth (18-22) Takuto, Soichiru, Rui, and Takuto on the other hand actually look like believable adults.
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Re: Otome games and older men

#20 Post by Omnificent » Wed May 16, 2012 11:14 pm

Wait, don't get rid of your ojisan. Even if no one else plays his route, I will play washed-up cool old guy's route!

You pretty much never see the equivalent of Kaji from Evangelion in a romance game, and maybe there's a good reason for that, but it just serves to make it stand out. I've seen cold glasses tsundere with heart of gold and shy secret idol guy a billion times, but older man in a rut? That's the kind of character I want to see more of, not less!
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Re: Otome games and older men

#21 Post by Endorphin » Thu May 17, 2012 5:43 am

Camille wrote:In Japan, they're making an otome game all about age differences. The heroine's 17 and the youngest guy you can date is 25. The oldest is 46. :'D So you can study that character list and see what's charming about all the love interests that are in their 30's?
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Re: Otome games and older men

#22 Post by bellice » Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 am

Aaah yes, older men. One of the few guy types in otome games I tend to be all over.
But what makes someone like that attractive? Forgive me for any bouts of fangirling that may occur, but I will try to explain it by giving an example.
Severus Snape.
(Yes, I'm a nerd and have thought WAY too much about this character. Shut up.)
This character has a LOT of fangirls, much more than you would think. At first glance, it might be hard to understand why. He's neither nice, nor attractive, nor particularly rich. And still fangirls are all over him. Not to mention that one of the most popular 'romance options' in fanfiction for him is Hermione Granger. A girl who is about 15 to 20 years younger than him. And this fandom has some of the best and most in-character fanfics I've ever read.
I will use him and this pairing as an example, because it's perfect to show an attraction that is not based on looks and pretty much lives on the smaller, more subtle things.

1. Maturity
Severus is nothing if not mature. Unlike characters like Ron, he does not care for childish behaviour and is very down to earth. (*coughdunderheadscough*) This also implies a sense of responsibility that (if you look at it from the cavewoman perspective) signals the ability to care and provide for a female/family. Since girls also mature faster mentally than boys, it is not unreasonable to think that one such girl might feel an attraction towards this maturity. (In the particular case of Snape/Hermione, my shipper heart might also like to add that Hermione should not have to put up with someone who doesn't value her intellect. Which reminds me of...)

2. Intelligence
Also the reason why teachers in otome games are so very attractive. Intelligence is HOT. End of discussion. No one can deny that Snape is one of the most intelligent characters in that book and it gives him an air of sophistication, which is attractive to a lot of girls.

3. Experience
No matter if you see it from a general or a sexual perspective, older men have more experience. They have lived longer and experienced more than the average young man. They have been shaped by their past and have the scars to prove it. No matter if their life was hard or easy, loving or full of rejection and pain, their personality is full of layers showing what they've been through. Again, Snape is a prime example. He lost his childhood friend and love because of his own stubbornness, to his tormentor no less, made the biggest mistake of his life by joining the Death Eaters (for which he suffers until the very day he dies), was unable to protect his childhood love from death, changed back to the good side, is always in danger of being killed for being a double spy, is forced to protect the child of his bully (who, by the way, continuedly accuses him of working for the wrong side and makes his life generally harder), is hated by almost everyone and no matter what he does, he never gets one word of thanks. So yeah, his experiences and past made him the man he is. And you can't tell me such a character is less interesting than the 17 year old popular basketball player who never once left his home town. And when it comes to sad pasts, well, isn't it nice to imagine being the one to coax the broken, hurting man out of his shell?

4. Power
Especially in fantasy works, this is an important point. The older character will always be more powerful than the younger ones (unless the younger character has some sort of super-mega-foxy-awesome Mary Sue powers) and is therefore a better protector. Again, Cavewoman is satisfied when she knows she and her children are in safe hands.

5. Charisma
This is the result of all of the above mentioned points. It all adds up to this. Charisma. No matter if the character is outwardly hot or not, no matter if he's grumpy or not, he will always have a special sort of charisma that draws girls to him.
Snape is a grumpy, humourless, rather unattractive man. But he has charisma. And it makes him hot. (The fact that he is a deadpan snarker also helps.)

Obviously, all of this does not only apply to Snape, but older men in general.
I might have talked a bit too much about him and I apologize, but everytime 'older men' and 'attraction' are mentioned in the same sentence, I just can't help myself. I'm a terrible fangirl. :oops:

EDIT: Now I almost forgot the point that may or may not be the most important one:

6. Forbidden love is best love
Because what could be more exciting than the forbidden love between a 17 year old girl and a much older guy, who may also be her teacher on top of that? I don't know if it can be called romantic, but there's just something about a guy risking jail because he can't help but love someone. xD

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Re: Otome games and older men

#23 Post by lepapillonrouge » Fri May 18, 2012 12:00 am

...I just like Snape because Adam Rickman's voice...!

No just kidding. I'm a big Snape fan myself (although it's mainly because of his interactions with Lily back in the day, so if I'd ship anything it would be that.)

Hmm, this thread is really interesting for all the responses I've garnered. I think the maturity thing is for all characters when I think about it. (Which is why most people don't go for younger men unless they act more mature than their age) Thank you!

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Re: Otome games and older men

#24 Post by Lumen_Astrum » Sun May 20, 2012 11:58 pm

Seriously? If there was some otome game with all the bachelors being middle-aged men, I'd definitely play it. Firstly, as everyone says, maturity is one point. And their charisma's very alluring, and they respect people more, in my opinion. If you know Memoirs of a Geisha you'd know what I mean. it's pretty much an example on teens "paired up" with older men (like Sayuri and Iwamura Ken, who had some relationship, despite their huge age gap).

Yes, forbidden love's fun too.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#25 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon May 21, 2012 12:33 am

Lumen_Astrum wrote: Yes, forbidden love's fun too.
Well - maybe for the young girl. I'd say getting arrested and sent to jail ruins a lot of the "fun" for the older guy. I'm reminded of Reese Whitherspoon's character in Election, who seduced one of her high school teachers, had an affair with him, and ended up getting him arrested. She is mildly upset about it, but looks back on the love affair fondly. (She seemed to have genuine feelings for him.) Another teacher viewed her as selfish and awful for what she did, since the older guy had been his friend - now in jail.

It would be interesting to see a visual novel game explore that "forbidden" part of the love pairing if they are going to go that route. Is the older guy a predator for dating someone that young, or is it true mutual love? What's wrong and right, and how are they going to overcome or work through this problem? How does a relationship continue to work when it must be kept secret from everyone or risk having one half of the couple taken away forever? Is a May-December romance started at that age doomed to failure? How does the older boyfriend deal with the knowledge that many in the public would view him as a deviant or a monster for dating the protagonist?

Often it is a glossed over detail that many find much older men dating much younger girls unsavory, even if everyone involved is of legal age. Other characters might accuse the older man of "robbing the cradle" or accuse the girl of having daddy issues or being a money-grubber. There is a lot of fertile story material available with this stuff.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#26 Post by Pyonkotchi » Mon May 21, 2012 9:42 am

well i usually like the older guys in the games, one thing they need to have is difficulty
for example. Reiichi Himuro is one of the most difficult TMGS bachelors. one of the favorite things about him is that "OMFG HES SHOOOO CUTE AND TSUNTSUN" "HE'S MEEN AT FIRST BUT WHEN HE LIKES U OMFFGFDMOK;SG" I should know. I am one of those people.
when the character is difficult to win over its more appealing. especially with an older guy. Amanohashi in the same game is also older, a lot older than Reiichi but he has "creepy factor" in that he comes to you. and if you'r going after a character that requires high charm (Kei or Hibiya) he will show up whether you like it or not. if a younger character does that it's kinda annoying, if an older character does its seems creepy.

another thing is maturity, he's gotta be cool and mature, in a game where most of the love interests are kids, a mature adult is more appealing, he's wiser, cooler, and has more knowledge about romance. ;D ;D he can be awkward (who isn't?) but he can't be stupid about it.
he can hang out with the younger characters and be a fun guy and a cool adult, but he's still gotta have maturity. theres a difference between a fun adult and a man-child

Intelligence is another biggie. and I gotta bring himuro up again. He's insanely popular and one thing we love about him is that he's smart. Smart characters are popular. and give him some glasses and its even sexier

also the fact that its forbidden love. Younger girls in their teens (which a lot of the otome game players are) find the idea of hooking up with someone they can't exciting.

AND AND AND ALSO looks, its a gxb/otome/date sim/whatever
whether you like it or not. people WILL go after the attractive characters. the least attractive character is often called ugly, even if they are still more attractive than you could ever hope to be.
personality is very important and of coarse they might change their minds after playing through their route and finding the person within. but still P:

(also one day i or someone else should make a date sine where all the characters are extreamly physically unattractive because its seems really interesting or something idk skldfjaksd)

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Re: Otome games and older men

#27 Post by azureXtwilight » Tue May 22, 2012 10:48 am

Pyonkotchi wrote:
(also one day i or someone else should make a date sine where all the characters are extreamly physically unattractive because its seems really interesting or something idk skldfjaksd)

Anyways, older men is fine but I feel uncomfortable playing as a high school girl dating a man twice her age. If the female is mature enough (past high school or working), I'd say yes, but as a high school girl... No, it's like the "better-as-dad" guy is simply taking advantage of the girl, or has a moe fetish.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#28 Post by Shoko » Tue May 22, 2012 2:26 pm

I suppose when you look at the "idealized" version of an older guy in a game where there everyone is in an idealized high school romance guy, then yeah, he'll probably be tall, have a deep voice, run a multinational corporation and wear suits all the time while flirting in monotone.

In reality of course, older guys are just older (old as in 30+ id say). They're not in high school, so they have a lot more responsibility/independance, so i could see the appeal. But I don't think it's right to shift from one paradigm of tropes cliched in youth and apply new ones to adults.

In fact, if you were to have two characters and the only difference in their routes was that one was in HS and the other moved out, on his own, older, the thing that would make the difference would not be the age. It's what he did with the time, what he's doing in the world right now, what he's struggling with. I'm really not interested in another character who's flawless and secure every second of the day.

So I think if we look at older guys as who they actually are instead of who we think they should be in the context of an otome game, then there's not much difference in creating him as opposed to a different kind of person. He simply has his own specific issues as an adult that can be addressed through his route and personality.

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Re: Otome games and older men

#29 Post by Uruki-chan » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:51 am

Hurray, for older characters!! 8D
Even though I don't think that a age gape of 5 years is really that much... If it's not a 15-16 year old MC, it should be okay!

Yeah, as some had said before, the plus points for older charas are:
- Maturity
- Experience
- Charisma

I think there is an essential difference between a high school and an adult romance. Romance between high school kids are innocent and fluffy, while romance with adults are not, since they are somewhat forbidden, mature and yeah, you know what I mean...

Sometimes when a teacher is dating his student, I'm asking myself: Why the hell would he like a young and immature girl like that?? Are you PEDOBEAR or WHAT?? :shock: And the plot is mostly about the guy whining, that he's too boring for the girl... -.- WHY?? I don't want to play games with those plots... *cries* At least make the MC an university student...

If someone's going to make a teacher chaseable, please take their relationship slow and wait for the heroine to graduate and grant us a randy epilogue!! :mrgreen:

And the main point: I think it's quite nice for "older" gamers to have charas with almost the same age. ;) I don't mind dating young guys in games, but sometimes it's really nice to have older ones to chase after, as long they are HOT. ;) LOL
Really, I'd prefer a game with older characters overall... :D Then I wouldn't feel like a pedobear... *sigh*
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Re: Otome games and older men

#30 Post by Destiny » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:55 am

In most games (as well as reality), the "older guys" are those that are mature and gentlemens.

I mean, I had many boyfriends younger then me and I accepted when they were childish because "I'm older, I have to be more mature". But when I had a older boyfriend going all "Aw, am I cute with bunny ears or what?" I frowned because it didn't fit with my inner image.

So, to make him attractive to the players, your older guy should be gentle, mature and have some oldschool manners like paying the date, holding doors open and stuff.
IF he acts like that mainly then you can add some habbits like drinking or a weird fetish in perfectly without everyone disliking him. I mean, you can make it that he kind of normally hates being so mature and explain it through this that he started drinking. Or that his gentle facade makes him surpress his fetish for...what do I know, girls with white socks, BDSM or bunny ears, leaving in him being a ticking bomb.

That will create a bit more depth.
But if he is older, almost every female player will want him to be a true gentleman (or at least behave like one).

I like the fact you insert a older dude!
There are just so very few games with them, they are sadly so unappreciated Q__Q
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