The year 2019 is the 25th year since the birth of otome game. Some of you probably have otome game characters as your first loves and you fell in love with them during your puberty. Do you find yourself falling in love with real guys that resemble him? Or has your taste in men changed since then? It might be fun to sit down and think of the answers as you recall the excitement you used to feel back when you were so into otome games!
This time, we are featuring otome games from the Heisei era (1989-2019) that will bring those bittersweet memories back to your mind. Enjoy!
Japan's first otome game and a part of the Neo Romance series, which is a group of otome game series released by Koei Tecmo Games. The protagonist is a queen candidate and the game follows her story as she balances herself between falling in love with one of the Guardians that support the Queen and fighting against her rivals in order to be the next queen. The game has a sequel and an anime adaptation.
Check out illustrations of Angelique here!
Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time (2001)
One of the works in the Neo Romance series by Koei Tecmo Games. The game features a Japanese-style fantasy story that illustrates the life of an ordinary female high school student who gets summoned into an isekai and falls in love there as she faces her destiny and fights in order to save the world. The title itself is a series, but each game in the series has a different protagonist and characters. Many of the series' works are still available for purchase.
Check out illustrations of Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time here!
Tanbi Musou Meine Liebe (2001)
The game depicts the story of five students who are enrolled at a top class in a boarding academy on a certain island country in Europe. The work aspires to be a game that tempts its players with beautiful men, as the word "tanbi" (aesthetics) in the title also suggests, and as such, the game is slightly different from other otome games. The game has a sequel and an anime adaptation. The sequel itself has also been adapted into anime.
Check out illustrations of Tanbi Musou Meine Leibe here!
Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side (2002)
A series that targets a female audience based on the male-oriented dating sim video game Tokimeki Memorial. The basic system is the same as that of Tokimeki Memorial, but some changes were made to better accommodate the target female audience. In addition to nurturing romantic relationships, players can also nurture friendships throughout their school life. The game celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2017.
Check out illustrations of Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side here!
La Corda d'Oro (2003)
Check out illustrations of La Corda d'Oro here!
Bakumatsu Renka: Shinsengumi (2004)
The protagonist joins the Shinsengumi as a female soldier. There, she encounters all sorts of soldiers and falls in love with one of them. The game has a sequel and a manga adaptation.
Check out illustrations of Bakumatsu Renka: Shinsengumi here!
Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! (2006)
The protagonist of the game has an obese body, obscuring any trace of her past as a beautiful girl. When students and a teacher from her high school move into the mansion that her father built and refuse to take her seriously, she becomes determined to go on a diet. The game has manga and novel adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! here!
Hiiro no Kakera (2006)
Following her parents' assignment to work overseas, the protagonist moves to live with her grandmother in a village. The story follows her as she struggles to face her destiny and defeat a mysterious enemy while worrying about her relationships with the boys who are there to protect her. The game has been adapted into anime. The series is still ongoing, but the story and settings seem to be gradually changing.
Check out illustrations of Hiiro no Kakera here!
Arabians Lost: The Engagement on Desert (2006)
The protagonist is a princess of a giant criminal country who wishes she could live a normal life. In order to escape from the engagement that her parents have decided for her, she sets out to gather a large sum of money while making use of his fiances. The game is a part of the Continent series (Tairiku series) which includes other otome games with connected world settings and are released by the same company.
Check out illustrations of Arabians Lost: The Engagement on Desert here!
Alice in the Country of Hearts (2007)
A white rabbit kidnaps the protagonist and takes her to a land of wonders. The land is called the Country of Hearts and the residents are always armed and get into fights against each other every day. The country seems like it belongs in a fairy tale but also doesn't at the same time. Alice thinks she must be dreaming, so she agrees to stay in the Country of Hearts for the time being. The title is a series with several works and it has also been adapted into a movie.
Check out illustrations of Alice in the Country of Hearts here!
The protagonist is a teacher at a well-known and excellent bourgeois school, but then she is tasked to handle a class of problematic students, particularly six of them. The story follows her journey as she tries to teach the meaning of learning to these students and get them into college. The game has a sequel set in the same school and a few years later.
Check out illustrations of VitaminX here!
Princess Nightmare (2007)
The protagonist is a vampire who fled to Japan after being chased by a hunter. She enters an academy and lives as a student, but soon gets involved in battles against the hunter who is after her life and many other magical beings. The voice actors have also performed a recitation drama based on the game.
Check out illustrations of Princess Nightmare here!
Will o' Wisp (2007)
The story is set in London at the end of the 19th century. The doll maker protagonist discovers several dolls among her late grandfather's possessions and their chance meetings change her life. The game is followed by a fan disc containing what happens a year after the main story, and a manga adaptation.
Check out illustrations of Will o' Wisp here!
Hakuoki: The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi (2008)
The story is set in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate. The protagonist sets out to Kyoto to find her father. However, after she witnesses a shocking scene, she encounters the Shinsengumi and they agree to help her find her father. As the story progresses, she gets dragged into a series of upheaval as she deals with the secret surrounding her own birth and the Shinsengumi. The game has been adapted into anime and has a spin-off game set in an academy.
Check out illustrations of Hakuoki: The Mysterious Tale of the Shinsengumi here!
Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble (2008)
The protagonist is a maid chief that serves the second prince and the story follows her struggles to gather support from aristocrats and the people in order to get his master to inherit the throne. The sequel features a story in which the protagonist spends a moment of relaxation with her lover before the coronation ceremony. The game is a part of the Continent series (Tairiku series) which includes other otome games with connected world settings and are released by the same company.
Check out illustrations of Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble here!
Garnet Cradle (2009)
The protagonist wanders into an isekai through her dream. She soon learns that she is a legendary figure there and her duty is to choose one out of five princes, who look exactly like the students from her academy back in the real world, and the chosen prince will be crowned the next king. As the plot develops, the dream world and the real world are starting to align with each other. The game has been adapted into manga.
Check out illustrations of Garnet Cradle here!
starry☆sky~in Spring~ (2009)
The story takes place at Seigetsu Academy, a former all-boys boarding school that specializes in astronomy. The protagonist is the first and only female student when she enrolls at the academy and the story depicts her school life with her childhood friends, seniors, and juniors by her side. The game series is known for having four works, each inspired by one of the four seasons and offers different dateable male students.
Check out illustrations of starry☆sky~in Spring~ here!
Wand of Fortune (2009)
The protagonist transfers to Mirus Clare, a school of magic, but she is a terrible magician who keeps making mistakes. Her school gives her an ultimatum--they will have to seal her magical power since she doesn't seem to possess the required attribute. Aware of her predicament, the protagonist is determined to gain the necessary attribute through studying and the game depicts those school days of hers.
Check out illustrations of Wand of Fortune here!
The Exorcism of Maria (2009)
The protagonist comes as an exorcist to Japan where she throws herself into countless intense battles alongside her comrades in order to undo her curse. In addition to a manga adaptation, the game has been developed into an original story with different settings. The story is available on a manga website for mobile phones.
Check out illustrations of The Exorcism of Maria here!
Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ (2010)
The protagonist enters an art school that specializes in nurturing future artists. She aims to team up with an aspiring idol and win the audition that will be held at the graduation ceremony. The game has been developed into various media, including anime and manga adaptations as well as live shows performed by the voice actors of the idol units that appear in the game series. The game's movie adaptation Uta no☆Prince-sama♪: Maji Love Kingdom is scheduled to premiere in 2019.
Check out illustrations of Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ here!
Scared Rider Xechs (2010)
The protagonist is an instructor that leads a group of boys and together they fight to prevent invaders from another world. With each day they spend facing the threat together, their bonds grow deeper. The game has an anime adaptation with a vastly different storyline.
Check out illustrations of Scared Rider Xechs here!
Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku (2010)
Set in the Taisho era, the protagonist is a servant in a large zaibatsu family. Soon, she finds herself in the middle of an inheritance dispute which has been going on in secret for some time. The game has manga and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku here!
STORM LOVER (2010)
Check out illustrations of STORM LOVER here!
Sangoku Rensenki ~Otome no Heiho!~ (2010)
The protagonist is an ordinary high school girl who comes across a mysterious book in the library and, after being exposed to the light that the book projects, gets thrown into an isekai that resembles ancient China around the era of the Three Kingdoms. She then pretends to be a disciple of Zhuge Liang and ends up offering her help which entails coming up with war strategies. The game has been adapted into manga based on several routes.
Check out illustrations of Sangoku Rensenki ~Otome no Heiho!~ here!
Moujuutsukai to Ouji-sama (Beastmaster and Prince; 2010)
Check out illustrations of Beastmaster and Prince here!
Natsuzora no Monologue (2010)
The protagonist and the students of the science department come to observe a mysterious skyscraper on the island they're living in. But then, coming there has caused them to experience the same day over and over again. The game has a novel adaptation as well as iOS and Android versions.
Check out illustrations of Natsuzora no Monologue here!
Renai Bancho: Inochi Mijikashi, Koiseyo Otome! Love is Power (2010)
Based on Enterbrain's online TV program B's LOG TV Renai Bancho. Most of the characters' looks and profiles are designed after their voice actors. The game has been adapted into manga.
Check out illustrations of Renai Bancho: Inochi Mijikashi, Koiseyo Otome! Love is Power here!
Clock Zero ~Shuen no Ichibyo~ (2010)
In the real world, the protagonist is a sixth grader who spends her days doing homework with her friends and experiencing friendships as well as budding romance. In the mysterious world that is her dream, however, she meets young boys and gradually gets involved in a puzzling case. The story is available to read as a picture novel on an e-book website.
Check out illustrations of Clock Zero ~Shuen no Ichibyo~ here!
Although the protagonist is a shikigami, she has awareness and a name. The story follows her journey as she tries to find the meanings of her life and the peace of the capital city while nurturing her relationships with those she encounters in the imperial court and a man who calls himself Abe no Seimei and her creator. The game has manga and novel adaptations.
Check out illustrations of ~Miyako~ here!
Hanaoni~Koi Someru Toki Towa no Shirushi~ (2011)
Check out illustrations of Hanaoni~Koi Someru Toki Towa no Shirushi~ here!
Tokyo Yamanote Boys Honey Milk (2011)
The story revolves around a girl who has been elected as "The Princess" after a national screening and her duty to choose one out of several male high school students and name him "The Prince". These male students are the cream of the crop and have been selected by high school girls in Tokyo, and their job is to compete against each other in a confession battle to win the protagonist's heart.
Most of the series' works are for computer, but the three main stories are now available on the PSP and will soon be playable on the PS Vita.
Check out illustrations of Tokyo Yamanote Boys Honey Milk here!
Check out illustrations of AMNESIA here!
Arcana Famiglia -La storia della Arcana Famiglia- (2011)
The protagonist is the only daughter of an Italian mafia boss who protects a resourcefully abundant island in the Mediterranean Sea. She throws herself into a series of battles to decide her marriage partner and the next boss of the family in order to know the truth. The sequel depicts what happens after the war in the main story ends. The game has anime and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Arcana Famiglia -La storia della Arcana Famiglia- here!
Hatoful Boyfriend: A School of Hope and White Wings (2011)
Set in a prestigious academy where tens of doves gather, the story illustrates the protagonist's school days with the doves, including when she learns about love for the first time or when she touches the bump on a dove's beak to find out that it's actually soft. The game features a heartwarming love story between a dove and a human.
Following the free-to-play version, the game is now available in various versions, namely pay-to-play, complete version, steam, PS4/Vita, and smartphone application.
Check out illustrations of Hatoful Boyfriend: A School of Hope and White Wings here!
Toki no Kizuna: Sekigahara Kitan (2012)
The game is set in Japan, sometime around the battle of Sekigahara. The protagonist is the chief of a demon family. She leaves her village to pursue the attacker of a princess that represents the demon chief and to fulfill a duty her master has given her, namely to cut off the ties between demons and humans. The game has manga, novel, and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Toki no Kizuna: Sekigahara Kitan here!
DIABOLIK LOVERS (2012)
The game is derived from an original situation CD series that offers new types of experience, including a realistic sensation of having your blood sucked and being on the receiving end of rough treatment. The smash hit game has been developed into various other media types since then.
Check out illustrations of DIABOLIK LOVERS here!
Hana Awase: Mizuchi Arc (2012)
A hanafuda (Japanese floral playing cards) themed otome game developed to commemorate the 10th year since the first issue of B's LOG, a prominent female-oriented game magazine.
The story takes place at Kaen National Academy, a school where geniuses and people with rare talents gather, and depicts the protagonist's sweet and intense love stories with the boys.
Check out illustrations of Hana Awase: Mizuchi Arc here!
Geten no Hana (2013)
The game was created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Nobunaga's Ambition. The game has a sequel and a stage play adaptation.
Check out illustrations of Geten no Hana here!
BROTHERS CONFLICT (2013)
An otome game based on a visual story series that combines illustrations and novels and was serialized in Sylph.
Her father's remarriage suddenly gives the protagonist 13 stepbrothers and she gradually begins to fall in love with her brothers. The game has anime and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of BROTHERS CONFLICT here!
Kamigami no Asobi (2013)
One day, the protagonist, who works at a shrine as the shrine maiden, gets taken away to an academy attended by gods who hate humans. She is then tasked to be a representative of humankind and teach these problematic gods about humans. The game has been adapted into anime and manga.
Check out illustrations of Kamigami no Asobi here!
Ken ga Kimi (2013)
Set in a country that resembles Japan where humankind exists alongside youkai and demons, various sword matches are held across the country to choose the country's Tenka-Goken (lit. Five Best Swords in the World). When it's the time of the year for the sword matches, the protagonist finds herself filling in for someone else to line up after a bride in a wedding ceremony under a request by the shogunate.
Following the release of the game, it received positive feedback for its beautiful graphics and fantastic music. As the result, the game was difficult to obtain as it often went out of stock.
Check out illustrations of Ken ga Kimi here!
Meiji Tokyo Renka (2013)
An otome game based on a game that allows its players to alternately enjoy voiced drama and scenarios released on Animelo DearGirl.
A suspicious self-dubbed magician transports the protagonist back to the Meiji era where she is invited by the cheerful magician to the Rokumeikan and meets great historical figures there.
Check out illustrations of Meiji Tokyo Renka here!
Norn9: Norn+ Nonette (2013)
Suzuhara Sorata is a boy who time-travels during a social studies field trip. In order to find his way back, he wanders into a giant airship called Norn where he meets 11 young boys and girls with special abilities. The game has anime, manga, and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Norn9: Norn+ Nonette here!
Shiratsuyu no Kai (2013)
After discovering some folklores following an exchange of ghost stories, the protagonist gets lured by her own lineage into a land that has a mysterious long-established custom. The main genre of the game is horror and it has been adapted into manga.
Check out illustrations of Shiratsuyu no Kai here!
Code: Realize - Guardian of Rebirth (2014)
People treat the protagonist as a monster due to the poison in her body. When the Royal Guards appear to capture her, she encounters a thief named Arsène Lupin who then takes her to a new land where she meets all sorts of people, falls in love, and learns to face her destiny and past. The game is known for its steampunk style and it has been adapted into an anime series and a musical.
Check out illustrations of Code: Realize - Guardian of Rebirth here!
DYNAMIC CHORD feat.[rêve parfait] (2014)
Each of the series' work focuses on one out of four bands, and it depicts the good things about playing in a band as well as sweet and intense love stories among the members. The series is unique because the story and the protagonist's role and settings differ depending on the band featured. The game has been adapted into anime and was later released as a smartphone game application.
Check out illustrations of DYNAMIC CHORD feat.[rêve parfait] here!
Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu (2015)
The protagonist enters a training institution in order to pass a scholarship exam, all for her dream of becoming a ninja. On her first day in the institution, however, she accidentally performs a technique that makes people of the opposite sex fall head over heels for her. The game has a sequel that illustrates what happens following the main story and has also been adapted into manga.
Check out illustrations of Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu here!
Nil Admirari no Tenbin (2016)
The story is set in Tokyo during the Taisho era. The protagonist gains an unexpected ability and pursues the truth together with the members of a government organization that is searching for a book that causes people to die in mysterious ways.
The game has a sequel that focuses on the events that take place a year after the main story. It also has anime and stage play adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Nil Admirari no Tenbin here!
Dance with Devils (2016)
Rem Kaginuki is the student council president at Shiko Academy and he summons the protagonist to the Third Library where she meets the members of the student council. She later finds herself getting dragged into a series of incidents surrounding an item called the forbidden grimoire.
The game is based on an anime series and has been adapted into a manga series which has a different storyline compared to the anime series.
Check out illustrations of Dance with Devils here!
Kenka Bancho Otome (2016)
Having no relative, the protagonist grew up in an orphanage. One day, she receives a request from her long-lost brother to enroll, as a boy, at an academy notorious for its delinquents and to be the best in the academy. The game has manga and anime adaptations.
Check out illustrations of Kenka Bancho Otome here!
Magic-kyun! Renaissance (2016)
The game is set in a world where magic is art, and the protagonist transfers to an academy of magical arts where students who aspire to be magical entertainers, also known as Artista, attend. As soon as she transfers, she gets chosen to be a committee member of the academy's cultural festival. The game is a part of a multimedia project, and the anime adaptation was broadcasted following the release of the game.
Check out illustrations of Magic-kyun! Renaissance here!
Even if you have yet to play the most recent otome games, some of you must have at least heard of several of these titles or read the manga adaptations.
And although you probably have not been playing otome games at all recently, we hope you recognize some of these titles as games that you used to like back then!
There are still games that have only a few fanworks dedicated to them on pixiv, so we're looking forward to your contribution!