I’m a bit late on this post as Valentine’s Day was the other day and today everyone is clamoring on about discount chocolate already trying to look past Single Awareness Day, but for me, I thought it wouldn’t be right to put up something related to Valentine’s Day and otome games is perfect for that.
It’s been almost a year since I finally started to deep dive into the world and community of otome games. I’m a slow gamer so I haven’t been flashing through otome games like most other otome fans, but it’s still been a great year of discovery. Mind you, it’s not like I haven’t played otome or otome-styled games before but last year when I got my Switch marked the true beginning of sinking into the wonderland of otome games and 2D boys (and girls!). This post is a reflection on this past year. I hope you find it a bit interesting.
The Otome to Mark the Beginning of this Journey
Collar x Malice
I actually purchased this game before I even got my Switch! Although, that only lasted about one hour and ta-da, I suddenly was the proud owner of a new Switch and a little crime drama otome game that I had only vaguely heard about but knew all of the seiyuus who voiced the love interests so I knew it had to be good.
And it was! It was a long experience as I streamed it most of last year from March to September but it was the gateway into the otome community where I formed connections with people who I still interact with to this day.
First Otome I Finished
Collar x Malice
Yeah, I stayed focused on this game despite buying Piofiore just a couple weeks or so after I bought CxM. I did type up a review of my Collar x Malice experience along with making an appreciation post for all the love interests (choose below) because I just loved all of their routes! I really couldn’t choose a specific favorite. Though according to my blind playthrough of the game, I matched the best with Okazaki whose trust and affection meters I somehow maxed??? BLIND.
Current Otome I’m Playing
Too many because I hate myself but here’s a breakdown:
Currently Streaming: Lover Pretend
Playing on my Own: Piofiore and Café Enchanté
All the Otome Games I’ve Played this Past Year
Collar x Malice (Finished)
Collar x Malice Unlimited (On 1st Route/Backlog)
Piofiore: Fated Memories (On Last Route)
Cupid Parasite (Finished)
Café Enchanté (Finished 3 Routes)
Olympia Soiree (Backlog – on Riku’s Route)
Taisho x Alice (Finished Episode 1)
Lover Pretend (Currently Streaming)
Ikemen Vampire (Only Partially Played 2 Routes but Theo Van Gogh can call be hondje any day)
Special Mentions: Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds and Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms, Mystic Messenger (Played all right before I officially started my otome journey)
Special Mentions (Japanese Otome): Snow Bound Land and Moujuutsukai to Ouji-sama (Beast Master and Prince)
Indie Mentions: Dark Nights (Only 1 Route)
First Otome to Make me Cry
Piofiore: Fated Memories
The first Piofiore game was the first otome to make me cry because Orlok’s tragic ending and epilogue for it was too much for my little heart to take. That poor boy deserved so much more than what he was given in that ending. I won’t spoil but if you love Orlok, I advise you to be wary of diving into his tragic ending and if you do, prepare tissues.
First Otome to Make me Laugh Until My Stomach Hurt
Taisho x Alice
I can’t believe I still have only finished episode one of this otome! From the very start, it’s so hilarious with drama queen Alice out here being the little diva that you’ll come to love despite his prickly personality. I love him and it’s all the better that he is voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu who is a seiyuu I’ve come to really appreciate over the past year or so (Xiao, is that you?).
But that isn’t to say the other characters are any less amusing and adorable. I have only done Cinderella’s and Red Riding Hood’s routes but both guys have moments that also had me on the floor clutching my stomach. Red especially seems like a kuudere at first before you realise this man is allergic to women (not really, he’s just a ball of awkwardness and nerves) and I find him endearing for it. He needs protection and us Red stans will offer that for him.
Plus, Yurika, the protagonist is also a charmer especially since she also is a bit of an unconventional MC in otome.
First Love Interest I Dreamt About
Yang (Piofiore: Fated Memories)
Yeah, I know…don’t judge me. And if you’re curious about the dream I had with him, don’t ask because I honestly can’t remember much. It was months ago and all I know is that it was NOT romantic or affectionate in the slightest. He was just kinda there.
Anyways, I also love Yang and his sociopathic self and we know that problematic but I don’t care. Hell, I made a whole appreciation post AND video on this man and I have no regrets and qualms about it. Sue me.
Love Interests that I Loved the Most
Boy, oh boy, this is a hard choice. I can’t choose just one so I will pick one love interest from otomes I’ve played this past year in “if I was held at gunpoint, if I had to choose just one” style. This will not include games where I have done one route or less (ex: Dairoku, Lover Pretend, Olympia, etc.)
Collar x Malice: Enomoto
Café Enchanté: Ignis
Cupid Parasite: Peter
Taisho x Alice: Alice
Mystic Messenger: Zen
Special Mentions: Snow Bound Land: Aje (I have NOT finished even one route of this game but Aje is too adorable and funny for me not to love him already. Plus, he has the same VA as Ignis from Café Enchanté so you basically know what kinda character he is from that alone).
Love Interest that I Didn’t Really Like
I only included this because I know some people would be wondering but to be honest, I didn’t have a particular love interest I didn’t really like. The closest would possibly be Piofiore’s Dante BUT only because I didn’t like him in one specific ending (3 guesses on which ending was that). Other than that, my man’s okay.
Side Character I Wish Was Romanceable
I have two actually: Claris (Cupid Parasite) and Saeki (Collar x Malice)
Claris because the dynamic between her and Lynette hade chemistry and I am still here for having a female love interest in an otome, please and thank you. Plus, who wouldn’t fall for her?
As for Saeki, he’s voiced by Ono Yuuki and I just want to hear more of his voice. Okay, but for real, Saeki’s an interesting guy (if not a bit, uhhh…). I won’t spoil. I do know he is in Unlimited BUT still not romanceable despite some people trolling and saying he is. Shame on y’all.
How Many Otomes I Purchased This Past Year
9 I think, but it might become 10 because I was too naïve in thinking that otome games wouldn’t go on sale around Valentine’s Day because that’s crazy, right? Right?
Otome fans are really here just to suffer, huh?
Latest Otome to Play
So after a Twitter poll where everyone and their mother voted for me to get Lover Pretend (sorry to, like, the two people who voted for Paradox Paradigm), I was able to play and stream it for the first time yesterday for Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty much blind to this game. I went in without even knowing the voice actors for the love interests except for one (Red Riding Hood/Zhongli is in this game and that was enough for me).
However, so far I find the premise intriguing and pretty cute. Lover Pretend gives me rather chill vibes a la Cupid Parasite-style but less campy. Of course, there will be serious moments and trauma confrontation but it doesn’t seem like the game will be deceptively chill like Cafe Enchante.
First Otome to Play in Japanese
Moujuutsukai to Oujisama and Snow Bound Land
Okay, really the game I actually have played more of is Snow Bound Land but I wanted to give a shoutout to Moujuutsukai because it’s also a rather cool otome that seems to get more attention and love than Snow Bound Land. The voice actors for the love interests are well-known and from what I can gleam for the story also holds a promising premise. I only stopped playing it due to the fact that the Japanese was making my head spin a bit too much but I plan to go back to it.
On the other hand, Snow Bound Land caught my attention because it’s based on the story of Hans Christen Andersen’s The Snow Queen which a lot of people know about thanks to Disney’s loose retelling of it through Frozen (and when I say loose, I mean loose). I really like the story thanks mainly to a song called “Dear,” by a Japanese indie duo called Honeycomebear which also takes inspiration from Andersen’s story (they have an interesting kawaii future bass-esque sound so check it out if interested).
Personally, I have planned for ages to create my own story inspired by it one day but realizing there was an otome for it really took the cake. Snow Bound Land has a bit of a slow start, but the story is still pretty engaging and interesting plus you have familar VAs casted into the roles of the love interests so again, bonus points there.
Otome I Want to Get
I mean, I have plenty of otome games I want to get but the first ones to pop in my mind were ones that aren’t even out yet. Code Realize, on the other hand, has been out for ages and have multiple games in the series so of course I feel like it’s a staple otome to get into. It even has an anime adaptation which I watched a couple episodes of but I still consider myself mostly blind to the game. Here’s to hoping I get it one day!
Otome I Want to See Localized
Diabolik Lovers & KLAP!!
Again, any Japanese otome game I’d love to see localized but a LOT of fans would love an official English localization of Diabolik Lovers and not going to lie, I’m plenty curious myself to see how bad these sadistic abusive vampires can get in full on English HD.
KLAP has honestly such a bizarre premise and minigame section that I feel that it needs to be localized so we can experience such absurdity in glorious English. Thanks to a couple friends I was able to experience a little bit of it, but we skipped to the minigame parts which is kind of a shame since the story actually seems really interested (despite, y’know the nature of this game). Also, once again, the voice actors! Including one VA who I was shocked to see actually did otome games.
Otome I Want to See Remade
Snow Bound Land
Yes, I’m mentioning this game again because I would love to see a more modern remake of this game. It’s fun seeing the little minigames older otomes incorporated and it would be kind of cool if they kept it but in general I just want to see a Take 2 on the story of the Snow Queen.
Heck, all of the voice actors for the love interests in this game still are out here voicing otome characters and doing anime work so getting back the original cast wouldn’t be so hard. Even if it’s just remade and not localized, that would be enough for me, please and thank you.
Favorite Otome This Year
Collar x Malice
Cupid Parasite is a close second but the winner is Collar x Malice. Despite being a constant stress fest because I played through the whole game blind (including no love catch), I had a lot of fun piecing together the mystery of X-Day and trying to figure out who Zero is (who I guess right off the bat actually). The Trigger Mode minigame where you have to shoot your gun was the bane of my CxM existence but I did surprisingly okay.
CxM is also my favorite because once again, it introduced me to the otome community and after a long streaming journey, when I finally finished it, I felt so accomplished.
Least Favorite Otome This Year
Well, I don’t really have a least favorite of the year. I just placed this here in case someone was wondering if I disliked any of the otome I came across. But nope. Nothing was bad enough for me to put down and be like, I’m never touching this again. I guess I’m either easily pleased or I picked up some really good games this year.
Okay, I think that’s enough categories for this list. I don’t want to drag out this post longer than necessary, but I hoped that you got a little insight to my otome journey of 2022-2023. I did want to thank those you I’ve met on this journey because I’ve met a lot of new people, other fans and content creators alike, once I started streaming otome and I love it! The community is still quite niche and while it may have it’s ups and downs, mostly everyone has been friendly and nice.
I would also be remiss to say that it’s due to this community that I finally reached 100 followers on Twitch yesterday which was a wonderful Valentine’s Day treat. I hope to continue to provide content that people can enjoy and brighten their day even if it’s just a bit. Thank you for everything and hope to see you guys again soon in a future post!