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How did you discover otome?

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#1 Tifa


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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:19 AM

A discussion in another thread made me wonder how people find otome games and become fans of the genre when there's just a small handful of obscure titles in English, and most game/anime fans don't even know what the word means! How did all these people end up in here?

I'll start with my story.

I've been a gamer most of my life, and a japanofile for around ten years. I became aware of dating sims several years ago, when some anime magazines and internet articles mentioned the popularity of Tokimeki Memorial in Japan. There was a casual mention of similar games for girls, but at the time I wasn't interested --partly because there weren't any titles in English at the time, and partly because I have a strong dislike towards romance books, "chick flicks", soap operas, and other forms of popular romance.

I've always been into RPGs, especially RPGs made by a company called Bioware. Bioware RPGs are very story- and character-centric and your character (male or female) can form all sorts of relationships with the other characters of your party, including romantic ones. I shrugged off the first couple of romance arcs I encountered because the characters didn't appeal to me. Finally, when I was playing Hordes of the Underdark and the husky-voiced Valen became involved with my character, I found my interest piqued. Next I played Jade Empire, and I found myself becoming giddy when Sky started flirting with my character. I think I might have squeed at the kiss in the end. I started having a feeling this romance thing, at least in games, was my thing after all!

Next, I wanted to replay Baldur's Gate, and found out that fans had made all sorts of handy mods for it, including romances. Of course I had to try them out! This time my party had four men to romance, and I was utterly, completely, insanely HOOKED! This is a bit embarrassing to admit. I've always thought of myself as a sensible, non-emotional person. But I won't lie. I think I was a little lovesick for Gavin. Okay, maybe a bit more than little. I had butterflies in my stomach and I think I swooned a little at the first kiss. Not just that, Xan's flirts made my skin tingle! I played the game obsessively and it was over too soon. Needless to say, I wanted more! I started playing more Bioware games (and downloading fan mods), and also at this point I remembered reading about romance games earlier. I wondered if any of those romance games for girls had had any English translations while I wasn't looking. I hit Google and was not disappointed. :-)

So, what's your story?

#2 Satomi


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Posted 23 July 2011 - 12:55 PM

I've been a big fan of manga for a while, and so I've seen some references to dating sims like TokiMeki Memorial. But I wasn't really that interested since they were Japanese, and at that point I didn't know the language.

But a couple of years later I started reading the manga adaption of La Corda d'Oro. I saw from the back cover that it was based off a dating sims, but even then didn't pay it much mind. But once I really got into the story and saw screenshots of the game...I wanted to play it! I had a meager knowledge of Japanese at that time, so I asked for the first game for Christmas, and have been hooked ever since. So the La Corda series is really what opened the door to otome games for me.

#3 tam-timmy-toe


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Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:49 AM

lol I think it started with Chinese otoges... I actually think my gateway was this doujin otoge group that had links to other otoge groups and from there on... Yep. :mrgreen:

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#4 silverbell3990


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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:53 AM

I stumbled upon Meine Liebe for the GBA and fell in love. Then I found TMGS1 and desperately a Japanese PS2 to play. I finally found La Corda d'Oro for the PC, and my grades went downhill from there (except for Japanese). XD
蜂蜜プリン (はちみつぷりん)ー> 般若無倫 (はんにゃぶりん)ー> 波羅蜜浮鈴 (はらみつふりん)ー> 伽羅蜜宝輪 (からみつほうりん)ー> 伽羅御稜威光臨 (からみいつこうりん)

#5 D3stinyx


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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:26 AM

I'm not too sure myself since it all happened a long time ago, but I'm sure it all started when I was around the age of 10... I believe, and I was an obsessed fan of Prince of Tennis. I could spend the whole day on the internet, reading fanfictions, searching for their images, listening to the seiyuu's character songs and then going into depression waiting for the next anime episode. Then, I chanced upon all the games it had- and then I noticed Gakuensai. After a bit more research, I realized you could have romance with the guys from the anime! It hit me hard like a dream come true. LOL. 8DDDD This is when I discovered otome, I guess.

Either way, I couldn't get the game since I didn't own a PS2, so I decided to go around searching for more game titles that were similar to Gakuensai. Then, I was introduced to Orange Heart, a PoT fanmade otome game. From there on, I ventured further- uncovering more and more, till where I landed myself now. My computer is bustling with fanmade otome games (I barely have much space left) and my room is spilling over with the commercial titles. Well, I don't regret.

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どれだけ 歩いてきたんだろう?

傷つけ 傷つき 辿りついた場所

#6 CatMuto


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Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:45 AM

Well, my memory is pretty bad considering things that happened before I was the age of 10. But I think I first played an otome game when I was 9 or 12 .. it was TokiMemo Densetsu no Ki no Shita de for the Super Nintendo. I had absolutely no knowledge of what it actually was, what the heck was going on and what was being said, as I understood no japanese. I gave all the girls names - Shiori was "Rose", Ayako was "Disco/Dancing Girl" .. so yeah. I even thought I was a girl and the blonde guy kept flirting with me.

Years later, when I understood a bit more about otome games, I still played TokiMemo at times - getting myself much better results than before, but I still haven't obtained Shiori's ending. I stumbled over some videos on YouTube about Girl's Side, squeed when I heard that Midorikawa was one of the voices - his is so soothingly smexy - and was happy when I found the PS2 version rather cheap-ish on eBay and knew that I'd finally be able to play it.

Haven't really tried any other otome gamesa side TokiMemo, so .. can't find any that interest me.


#7 caddyalan


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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:24 AM

I wandered into visual novel fandom almost ten years ago. At the time, I was already a pretty serious eastern RPG fanboy, and I was almost as dedicated to several anime/manga series. But back then, the English scene was worse than today -- almost everything was very explicit, and full of typos. No companies or fans were even talking about translating GxB games, much less BxB or GxG. And fans hadn't started writing their own games/stories in English. So yeah, it's kind of amazing that I didn't give up after the first VN that I read, which was Three Sisters Story.

Still wasn't hearing much about GxB until around 2006, when Hirameki announced plans to translated Yo-Jin-Bo. Since I was one of the few crazy individuals who bought some of the company's games, I followed the news closely, and purchased it not long after release.

Since then, I've kind of coasted by on what's available in English. Noticed the number of GxB projects on the Lemma Soft forums increase quite a bit. Played TMGS through the English patch, enjoyed it quite a bit. Trying to support indie devs when I'm not broke, and planning to support Hakuouki next year.

#8 Savvy


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Posted 03 August 2011 - 12:12 AM

Yup, Bioware is indirectly responsible for hooking me on otome games. Once I played Knights of the Old Republic and found the romance sidequest to be one of my favorite aspects of the game, I looked up where I could find more romance games. This led me to ren'ai games (as well as the rest of the Bioware library), and milling about JList to see what they were carrying at any given moment. I became very excited when Yo-Jin-Bo was announced since it wasn't just romance, but GxB romance. It was after I played it and loved it that I joined these forums, eager to find more games like Yo-Jin-Bo. Of course I was saddened to learn that Yo-Jin-Bo was unique among games released in North America, but just kept hoping and discussing the prospect of otome games in english.

#9 Tuzi


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Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:29 AM

Ah, for me it was really odd actually. I was on Minitokyo looking for pictures of some animes I enjoyed, when I stumbled upon this GORGEOUS picture of a samurai. Well, being the art freak I am, I had to look for more of this artwork. Going through the tags, I was soon downloading every Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan picture I could find on the site. Which meant that soon I was looking for anything Hakuouki related on the web at large. Which lead to me to finding Hiiro no Kakera and its numerous iterations. Which THEN lead to me finding the Neoromance fansite. In the galleries I found scores of beautiful games, and did research into each one that I thought had particular nice artwork or interesting cgs - for Quinrose, the hook was the cg of Alice punching Peter after he kisses her to give her the potion to make her stay in Wonderland, haha. Having been a romantic nut for quite some time (I started reading romance novels when I was 13), it was an easy hook. Finally, I was able to try one of the games with Clover no Kuni no Alice, and that cemented my love for Otome for good.

So . . . playing a game didn't actually come into the picture until the very end, lol. Even now, I'll only get into the games that I think have really nice artwork to them. If I don't like the art, it doesn't matter how interesting the story is, I won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Thus my strife for being an artist >.<
*insert random sarcastic comment here* Posted Image For Blanca approves

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