“Are you free this Sunday? Let’s go to the Aquarium together!” came the proposition from the tall, bespectacled School Council president that I’d been eyeing for a few weeks. Of course, I answered, almost immediately and he grinned, elated at my response. “I’ll see you at the station at 1pm then!” and I watched his back as he walked down the hallway. I had a date!
Later that day, I ran into my stunning bleached blonde childhood friend and suggested we go home together, stopping by a cafe on the way back. He agreed, and we chatted about his favourite foods as I stared at his wavy locks and perfect skin.
That night, I checked my horoscope for tips on what to wear for Sunday’s date, and planned the rest of my activities for the week. I was going to study, to increase my intelligence parameters. Ah, life is too good to be true, I thought, as I turned in for the night.
Sliding the stylus back into it’s slot and shutting the DS close, I wondered how dreary life had been before these gorgeous men had waltzed into my life. Hours upon hours was spent tapping with the stylus for ‘skinship’, furious pushes of buttons and multiple checks to make sure I knew every detail about each guy and working towards getting their ‘confession endings’. I had been drawn into the world of Otome Games, or dating sims for women.
The game that first sparked my demise was Tokimeki Memorial Girl’s Side 3rd Story, the third release in Konami’s female-oriented version of their dating sim game, Tokimeki Memorial. The premise is simple – set in a fictional Japanese high school, the protagonist, you, searches for love among the game’s variety of male characters (there’s a type for everyone!), and at the end of your three years in high school, you get an ‘ending’ based on how much you made them like you.
As of all dating sims, you do a variety of tasks to make them like you, such as go on dates with them, join the same clubs as them and raising your parameters to meet their requirements. Sounds simple? Not quite. Full completion of the game means unlocking all the cutscenes, special animations, images, dialogue and stories, and to do so requires very precise planning to fulfill the requirements.
I spent many hours with my brows furrowed as I checked detailed walkthroughs on the internet and created my plan of action. Failing meant reloading a previous
save file and repeating the process once again. But it was rewarding to watch the special scenes unfurl in front of you, squealing in delight and feeling your heart go doki doki.
Otome Games such as Hatoful Boyfriend where you date pigeons, deliver all your interspecies dating fantasies
If high school is too boring for you, the widely diverse selection of Otome Games will leave you spoilt for choice. If you prefer your men in historial garb and fighting as a member of the Shinsengumi, there is Hakuoki. Always wanted to date heartthrob Domyoji Tsukasa from Boys Over Flowers? You can.
Have you ever had the fantasy of losing all your memories and having to regain them while falling in love? Amnesia makes that fantasy a reality. And when you’ve gotten bored of dating humans, Otome Games such as Hatoful Boyfriend where you date pigeons, deliver all your interspecies dating fantasies.
Available on multiple game platforms such as the PSP, DS and PC, there is a game, and guy for everyone. But why stop at only one guy when you can play for the affections of multiple?
Curled up under the covers on a Friday night, I carefully pick my outfit for my date with Konno-senpai; he likes cutesy fashion, hates anything sexy and loves the color green. I’d finally managed to get him to the maximum ‘tokimeki stage’ which mean he was head over heels for me and in a few weeks, I was to graduate high school and join him in college. We were a match made in heaven.
On graduation, he found me in the old church, looking at the stained glass and nervous with anticipation. He confessed, vowing his undying love to me, and finally, after three long years of waiting, we kissed.
“Senpai noticed me”, I whisper before bursting into giggles and snapping the DS shut.
Tomorrow, I ‘date’ another guy.
ha! I loved reading this and I NEED to play these games…sadly I can’t get them here in Australia ;(
This line “Senpai notice me.”
Bernie, myself being a lover of dating sims (both aimed at males and females), loved this article your wrote ^^ I’m hoping to go to Japan to teach English in 2016, and your blog really opens my eyes to what may lie ahead for me as a gaijin ^^ (Chinese Canadian). Thanks for the delightful reads!
Thank you for the comment! Dating sims are just so addictive ahaha.
And the best of luck to you, I really hope you do come to Japan and experience what the country has offer, it’ll be great!