What's your definition of an Otome Game?

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What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#1 Post by lunamoon7 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:09 pm

Hello everyone! :) I have a question for Otome Game fans today! :) :!: What is your main definition of an Otome Game everyone? Is the main definition of an Otome Game a game where you can play as a girl and score with cute boys? Or is the main definition of an Otome Game a game made specifically for girls? Because they are not the same thing... A game can let you play as a girl and let you score with cute boys and not be a game made specifically for girls... I know some Hentai Games that let you play as a girl and score with cute boys that are not made specifically for girls... Like Umichan Maiko Classroom Cheaters and Artificial Academy 1 and 2... And a game can be made specifically for girls and don't let you play as a girl... Yaoi Games are made specifically for girls but they don't let you play as a girl for example... There's also games made specifically for girls that don't let you score with anyone at all... Like many Fashion Games like the Style Savvy series... So what would your definition of an Otome Game be everyone? :?: :)

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#2 Post by Rossfellow » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:28 pm

It's both. It's the female equivalent of bishoujo games-- Designed specifically around the premise of being a girl and spending time with an assortment of male characters. Usually, the demographic for that is women.

The four categories of Japanese romance VNs (not necessarily dating sims, though they're common) are Bishoujo(BxG), Otome(GxB), Yuri(GxG) and Yaoi(BxB). They can cross over sometimes, but that's the gist of it.
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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#3 Post by HiddenCreature » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:18 am

I'd say the absolute core of it is playing as a female protagonist that can romance male interests. Anything beyond that, and it's easy to start getting confused.

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:23 am

lunamoon7 wrote:What is your main definition of an Otome Game everyone? Is the main definition of an Otome Game a game where you can play as a girl and score with cute boys? Or is the main definition of an Otome Game a game made specifically for girls?
Genres and categories of fiction aren't often easy to define. Two people can look at the same story and describe it in different ways. In my opinion, it depends on what a person has read/played, what they have enjoyed, and what they look for.

I would define an otome game as a computer game with a female main character, one or more potential male love interests, and emphasis on their relationship(s). That definition would exclude things such as...

* Gamebooks in the romance fiction genre, since they have traditionally been printed on paper
* Computer games marketed to women that focus on other topics
* Games and visual novels that include a female main character, but which do not focus on characters' relationships
* Adults-only games with a female main character that are not aimed at women

Having said all that... If you have a story in mind that doesn't fit these constraints, then don't worry about it. Write the story that you want to write. Include whatever kind of gameplay or story elements you want to use. Consider notions such as genre busting and multiple demographic appeal.

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#5 Post by inkbrush » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:56 pm

An otome game (乙女ゲーム otome gēmu?, literally "girl game") is a story based video game that is targeted towards the female market. Generally one of the goals, besides the main plot goal, is to develop a romantic relationship between the female player character and one of several male, or occasionally female characters.
(taken from the Wikipedia page)

This is how I see what would be considered an otome or not! I haven't much more to say than that I'm afraid, though.

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#6 Post by lunamoon7 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:58 pm

I fixed this post a bit to make it easier to read! :!: :D Here is what the people in the Chat Room in this site : http://www.englishotomegames.net/list Had to say about this topic... It's cool to have different view points on stuff... Here is what they said

: Anon1012: Also on the whole cross-dressing BL thing... that's actually my thing, ahahaha. But, I'm just not into BL

: Anon1012: The kind of exploitive nature of all dating sims kind of turns me off to stuff that's not specifically catering to my tastes tbh

: Anon1012: like, that new Yuri game coming out called Flowers looks beautiful, but... I dunno. Might just look at the CGs instead.

: Anon8106: You think all dating sims are explotative in nature?

: Anon8106: Can you explain?

: Anon8106: You mean as in they tend to objectify the people you are "pursuing"?

: Anon8106: Or something more than that?

: Anon8106: Also what makes a game otome? Romance?

: Anon8106: (Sorry to ask so many questions, I just barely see discussions like this here and I find them interesting)

: Anon8106: (They're good natured questions I promise)

: Thesleepykitten: yea Cupid VN isn't romance, but it's REALLY good

: Thesleepykitten: as for otome.... I feel like it's because you're a female protagonist who explores relationships? doesn't have to be romance...

: Thesleepykitten: since I've played otome games that barely had romance in them (Amnesia) but they had routes and stuff

: Thesleepykitten: Hakuouki wasn't that romantic either. Sweet Fuse was only sprinkled with it, but felt more actiony

: Thesleepykitten: Princess Problem is otome but you can marry for political reasons without romance involved.. or marry for romance

: Anon2688: : /

: Anon0869: I'm thinking about buying amnesia for the vita but I'm not sure because I've heard the heroine doesn't talk. Sleepykitten you said amnesia doesn't have much romance, can you explain? My english isn't the best sorry

: This is when i asked the Chat Room! :!: :D : Lunamoon7: The definition of what makes a Otome Game is something i would like to know as well... What is your main definition of Otome Game everyone? Is the main definition of an Otome Game a game where you can play as a girl and score with cute boys? Or is the main definition of an Otome Game a game specifically made for girls? Because they are not the same thing... A game can let you play as a girl and let you score with cute boys and not be a game made specifically for girls... I know some Hentai Games that let you play as a girl and score with cute boys that are not made specifically for girls like Umichan Maiko Classroom Cheaters for example And a game can be made specifically for girls and don't let you play as a girl... Yaoi Games are made specifically for girls but they don't let you play as a girl for example... There's also games made specifically for girls that don't let you score with anyone at all... Like many Fashion Games like Style Savvy... So what would your definition of Otome Game be everyone? •• ••

: Beyondthelookinglass: To me, its a game with romantic motifs, a female protag optionable or not, and a good chunk of the time, focus on viewer immersion being integrated into the plot. that being said, as example alot of people wouldn't considered the visual novel shikkoku no sharnoth to be an otome, but i would definitely consider it to be something among the lines of such, given that it is mary clarissa christie's game, and she does have a love interest (Very, very complicated), and it is a visual novel albeit linear. That being said, i wouldn't play it if you're triggered by h-content, even thought it has a low amount of such scenes.
: Beyondthelookinglass: i guess i'm just not too picky XD

: Beyondthelookinglass: That being said, excited for summon night 6's announcement! protagonist looks all "I'm sexy and i know it!" heheh XD : Anon8173: For me, an otome game must have all three of those elements: 1) female protagonist 2) romance (the nature and prominence of the romance doesn't matter, but it must be present) and 3) targeted towards a female audience (doesn't mean it can't have crossover appeal-e.g. Hakuouki--but I wouldn't consider, say, a male-targeted yuri an "otome" game).

: Beyondthelookinglass: hmm good point anon. i guess targetting towards a female audience does matter, and it does get blurry when you bring cross appeal into the equation

: Beyondthelookinglass: Like, shikkoku no sharnoth has shoujo-esque art, so i guess again, lines get very blurred.

: Midnightkitsunepei: @Anon0869 It's not that she doesn't talk, but unlike most otome you don't read her thoughts or words. You find out what she's thinking or saying through the other characters, namingly Orion, who's sort of her interpreter to the player. The herione is supposed to be "you" I guess, so that's why she doesn't say much (she does say some stuff towards the end, and in flashbacks). I'm not into self-insert so this aspect really took away from the game for me. Another reason is that her amnesia kind of took away her personality, so she's like a deadfish. That's also why I think some might say it's not very romantic. It's not plot focused by any means, but except Kent and Ukyo's routes, the romance feels very one-sided, with the guy all over the herione, and she's just like x___x.

: Midnightkitsunepei: @Beyondthelookinglass- I pretty much agree w/ your definition. Love that you mentioned Shikkoku no sharnoth, that's one of my favorite vn and I always considered it my first otome, since I played it when I was into eroge, and started looking for more games w/ female protags after that.

: Anon4879: I agree--for some reason the western audience seems super keen on expanding the 'genres' of yuri/otome/BL when I think the definitions aren't so easily muddied. For example, I wouldn't call a game with a female protagonist that has male and female romance options just an otome game--it's an otome-yuri game. It has pairings that denote both hetero and homosexual relationships that the PC can pursue

: Anon8173: Beyondthelookingglass: #3 is definitely the hardest to define. 1 and 2 are fairly straight-forward. I'm generally fine with classifying a game "otome" as long as it fulfills 1 and 2, and doesn't blatantly pander to male readers (not to say those are bad VNs! Not at all. Just, I wouldn't call them otome).

: Anon4879: I think a VN with otome elements is what people are looking at, more often than not.

: Anon4879: The area where I think definitions would actually start getting muddy is if a game featured pusuable trans characters, because that's not really Futa

: Anon4879: or the vice versa

: Anon4879: But yeah, for me, otome is less of a genre as much as it is a sub-genre. It indicate a visual novel in which you play a female protagonist that can pursue male heroes romantically, with endings often centered around your interactions with said male heroes.

: Anon8173: So (out of curiosity), you would never consider any yuri game to be otome?

: Anon4879: I wouldn't, but I also don't view the yuri genre as being explicitly catered to men

: Anon4879: There are quite a few western VNs that are otome/yuri hybrids though

: Anon4879: Like... for example, some people by extension make the argument that Bishoujo games can be otome because they're very freindly with and cater towards a female audience. But genres and subgenres almost never are meant to be indicative of their audience, save for age targets such as childrens books and YA fiction

: Anon8173: Hmm. The way I see it (by the definition I've set for myself :P), a yuri game is an otome if it is written in such a way that targets women. But as people have noted, target audience is sometimes hard to determine.

: Anon4879: Like, romance novels are thought to be in the realm of the woman reader. However, that's not always the case, but we don't have specific markers to differentiate between the genders and preferences of the characters within a romance novel, hence why it falls under a blanket genre

: Beyondthelookinglass: Midnight - yaaaaas shikkoku no sharnoth is amazing! i also loved shiei no sona nyl, and i still need to finish the others on my large bucket list of visual novels XD

: Anon4879: And on that note a lot of complaints about Yuri and Yaoi (responding to 8173 here) is that it actually doesn't cater to a homosexual audience but rather a hetero one that fetishizes the idea of two men or women together

: Anon4879: Which is why there's probably that argument in the first place lol. Just talked my way into a circle

: Anon8173: That's absolutely true (of most yuri and yaoi). But I wouldn't say everything is that way (or has to be).

: Anon4879: ^^ agreed

: Anon4879: And I think western VN makers are very good about changing that

: Thesleepykitten: yea I think the targeted/aimed for women is an important element

: Thesleepykitten: not sure about 'expanding' genres, but I do see more variety in general because a LOT of the devs are queer women lol

: Thesleepykitten: so we're just writing what we'd like to see

: Anon7345: Yeah and I appreciate that! I think a lot of whats being created is actually really fantastic

: Anon0451: New anon here. (Kind of confusing lol) I think otome games are just story based games aimed at women.

: Anon0451: I always sorta figured the "otome" meaning "hetero" romances thing came from Japan's extremely heteronormative culture

: Anon0451: But it seems in the English speaking world of otome players at least, that definition seems to have evolved

: Anon0451: Also I don't think having trans characters would make the definitions confusing at all! A trans woman is a woman, a trans man is a man. So it would be the same thing.

: Thesleepykitten: Yea, there's a few upcoming otome/yuri games with trans characters, so I look forward to their release

: Anon5806: Maybe it is heternormative, but I do still believe that yuri/bishoujo/otome/yaoi SHOULD denote pairing types. In perfect honesty, I don't want to be playing a game that has been advertised as Otome, per se, but then find out I'm playing as a character who identifies as a male and pursuing female characters.

: Anon5806: A new name for a new type of visual novel that is more accomodating to fluid genders and sexualities would be a lot more efficient rather than changing what already exists to denote cerain pairing types.

: Anon5806: even using those words in tandem, such as otome-yuri, would work a lot better than simply turning those preexisting terms into blanket statements that don't actually mean anything

: Anon5806: I don

: Anon5806: **I don't think it's very useful to anyone to denote a genre based around the idea of "written for women" or "written for boys". As a woman, some of my favorite fiction has been actually through media that has a male-focused audience.

: Anon5806: And what I meant by confusing definitions is that I don't think it's so simple to say that a trans person is a man or a woman. Being trans is a part of identity that shouldn't be erased.

: Anon5806: I agree with treating trans people with the respect they deserve of the gender they identify with. But I think that media with trans characters deserves to get that kind of recognition, especially in a sexual environment, that is not under a fetishized title.

: Anon5806: Which is admitedly what a lot of dating sim fiction features trans and hermaphrodite individuals through.

: Anon5806: or just intersex

: Anon5806: I mean, like... for example. If you're playing an IF game, (such as CoG) there are options for sex/gender--usually, F, M, MtF, FtM, or 'its complicated'. People specifically ask to be able to note that they are trans, not just male or female. I think that should be respected on all fronts

: Thesleepykitten: Shonen is aimed for boys but I still enjoy it. It just means that's what it's being aimed for, like how Fury Road: Mad Max was aimed (and most of the audience) was for people over 35

: Thesleepykitten: as for downloading an otome game and being 'tricked' into playing as a dude... I think the plot would let you know XD

: Thesleepykitten: before you even download it lol

: Thesleepykitten: but I'm not a fan of LGBT genres >.>; makes it feel if you write a queer character, then it has to be pushed into that category and not just treated normally =/

: Thesleepykitten: like you can still have a pure GxB game, with 4 love interests, just have half of the cast queer No biggie. You're still romancing dudes.

: Anon1833: I can see that but dating sim genres are kind of specific to certain types of romantic content, and they hail from a tradition of specific denotation of pairing types.

: Anon1833: Oh no I didn't mean that

: Thesleepykitten: oh yea, I don't think anyone's really 'challenging' they're just adding what they'd like to see

: Anon1833: Just that the game objectives--which in dating sims is pursuing a guy--should be made clear by that subgenre of VN

: Thesleepykitten: I'm sure they do. Many games go 'you date men and women"

: Thesleepykitten: or "there's men/women/NB"

: Thesleepykitten: or "you date men, and a fish"

: Thesleepykitten: actually that was a joke route, but the fish route got famous fast

: Anon1833: I'm talking about what the game is called though. It would be misleading to someone looking for fxf romances to have to dig through otome archives just to find yuri content

: Anon1833: fish boy best boy

: Thesleepykitten: dig through.. otome to find... yuri?

: Anon1833: fxf in otome games, which is becoming a more common thing

: Thesleepykitten: I'm sure you can dig through both yuri and otome to find GxG

: Anon1833: this mostly leads back to the defining 'otome' as a genre conversation lol.

: Thesleepykitten: I guess instead of going "otome-yuri" just go "GxB/G"

: Anon1833: that is a lot easier

: Thesleepykitten: yea I find that way easier XD

: Thesleepykitten: "is this yuri?" "well you date a girl, I'll leave it at that."

: Thesleepykitten: but yea I'm glad to see more FxF in otome games in general, then again - thanks to westen VNs and bioware, I got spoiled

: Anon1833: Very much so

: Anon1833: it's nice to see it becoming more common overseas too

: Anon1833: especially Korean games and related media

: Thesleepykitten: it's harder to play pure GxB games now, everytime I play one, I look at the female sprites and wish one was dateable lol

: Thesleepykitten: Yea, there's the girl in the upcoming Cheritz(?)

: Thesleepykitten: Mystic Messenger or something

: Anon1833: man I do that with all sprites regardless of gender or age

: Thesleepykitten: haha

: Anon1833: game goes "you can't go after that dude he's OLD"

: Thesleepykitten: yea that's the problem with dating sims

: Thesleepykitten: "I know it'd be so much work for more routes, but man I wish I could date him/her"

: Anon1833: I like how sometimes that's worked around by making the whole "you are on an isolated island with no other human contact" trope a thing

: Thesleepykitten: or everyone not a love interest has no sprite XD

: Thesleepykitten: "I'd still date him" "there's no sprite" "shhhh"

: The comments in the Chat Room after these are not really relevant to this topic... Also i think this is my longest comment here in this forum... :D But some of the stuff they said is pretty interesting... Hehehe...! :)
Last edited by lunamoon7 on Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#7 Post by Laiska » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:29 pm

lunamoon7 wrote:-snip-
Would you mind putting that text into a pastebin or something? It's hard to read without formatting

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Re: What's your definition of an Otome Game?

#8 Post by lunamoon7 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:59 pm

Laiska wrote:
lunamoon7 wrote:-snip-
Would you mind putting that text into a pastebin or something? It's hard to read without formatting
Thanks for your suggestion! :!: :D I find it easier to read it now too! :) :!: What do you think now? :?:

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