R-18 otome games are bad

May 7th, 2012

I just finished reading hinano’s post on R18 otome games, and I agree so hard with about 90% of it. I’m going to talk about sex and some pretty unpleasant things, so please be warned.

Honestly, the current selection of R-18 otome games is crappy. And not because there aren’t enough. But because in the most important, most annoying ways, they’re almost all the same.

1. Lots of rape. In unexpected places, by unexpected characters. Oh, you thought you would be safe with your childhood friend? Nope, he gets crazily jealous and rapes you. And you end up with him (Lovers Collection) – that might even be the happy ending. In all the other routes this guy was nice? In his own, he will likely rape you (Akazukin, Ijiwaru).

2. Torture of the heroine. Not only is the heroine often raped, but I’ve seen many scenes where she’s tied up (and not in a fun silky scarf kind of way but rough rope that is described as leaving marks), made to stay in stress positions, and sometimes caused a lot of pain intentionally. By the ‘heroes’. (Akazukin to Mayoi no Mori)

3. Humiliation. Again, only of the heroine OF COURSE. There are so many here I can’t describe just one. How about the one where she’s made to wear a vibrator all day at school (could be vaginal or anal, I can’t really remember) and is actually incoherent by the time the ‘hero’ deigns to remove it (Jingi Naki Otome, this is also in a good route IIRC).

4. Sexual assault / Crime. It’s not romantic when men drug you, ok game makers?! Nor when they kidnap you, or give you things to erase your memory. (Yume o Mou Ichido, Tsundere S Otome and Sumire no Tsubomi, and Akazukin)

5. Virgin/whore dichotomy. I think game makers could do with a quick course in Feminism 101. Liking sex doesn’t make a woman evil. And if you’re making games…with sex in them…for WOMEN, maybe you should realize that! This is one of the most annoying things, because it feels like game writers are insulting their own customers. You’re interested in sex? You’re awful! You’re not pure as the driven snow? You deserve to be verbally abused at all times, especially sexytimes! This comes up when the heroine doesn’t want to admit that she wants sex, and if she ever does (even if it’s half-forced), ‘heros’ will call them really awful names – in the middle of sex! – and treat them like crap. (UH, almost all R-18 games? I remember it specifically in UTM and Ijiwaru My Master. Sugar Beans is awful for this)

6. Painful sex. You know, I’m just going to put it out there that even losing your virginity doesn’t have to hurt usually (depends on the person of course). And if I’m playing a fictional game, I’d rather have it be enjoyable. But often, even non-deflowering sex scenes are described as painful, and really, it’s not fun. Sex, especially fictional fantasy sex, should be good for everyone!!

7. Lack of women in charge. It seems like R-18 games right now are 95% made for ultra-hardcore submissives. Almost the only time I’ve seen the heroine dominate the hero ever is 1) when she turns evil (thanks again Sugar Beans, and Vampire Sweetie!) 2) when she tries a bit and then the guy turns the tables and ends up dominating her hardcore. I had high hopes for Tsundere S Otome, but apparently the level of S in heroines and S in heros is waaaay different. Like S in a heroine is when she’s not fawning over him, and S in a hero is when he ties the heroine up, blindfolds her, and then makes her cry.

8. Anal sex. I actually wouldn’t mind this one, apparently it’s quite common (?) and can be fun, but in otome games it NEVER IS. It’s painful and usually happens when the ‘hero’ is mad, and seems more about domination than pleasure. (Jingi Naki Otome)

9. Toys. Again, I wouldn’t mind it so much if it didn’t always lead to the heroine being humiliated, crying, or in pain. (Jingi Naki Otome again)

10. Sex scenes which are designed like hentai scenes. Who is the market for R-18 otome games? From a lot of the CGs, you’d think it was men, because the heroine is naked way more than the guys, and the sex scenes often show way more of the heroine than the hero, or are posed in a way that the heroine’s body is fully shown while the hero is mostly hidden. If I’m a heterosexual woman, I’d like to see more of the guy please! Same goes for voices.

11. And while we’re talking about voices. In way too many R-18 otome games, the guys show little to no emotion during sex, other than anger or sarcasm or smugness when they make the heroine ‘lose control’. It doesn’t even seem fun for them. Why do you want to have sex so much if you’re not enjoying it?? Sometimes they sound like they’re doing a science experiment instead of enjoying some hot sexytimes (Crazy Rabbits).

Alright, that’s all that I have for complaints (think it’s enough?.) It’s too bad, because I feel like love stories (which otome games are, supposedly) naturally lead into sexual relationships most of the time, especially if your main characters are adults. I just feel like the market for otome games which show sexual relationships along with the ‘falling in love’ stage are really lacking in quality.

Apparently, the romance novel industry was in a similar situation around the 70’s and 80’s (backlash or something maybe?), with lots of rapey heroes and humiliation of the heroine, along with the condemnation of women who weren’t pure and innocent. That industry eventually matured and now there’s a huge variety, from totally PG to NC-17, with lots of positive, happy sexual relationships shown. Hopefully R-18 games will get there sometime.

In the meantime, I do have ideas on what games are LESS bad than most.

1. Of course, Tsubasa no Oka no Hime. This has no rape that I remember (I think I finished all but the old man’s route), almost no problems with humiliation, painful sex, or demonizing the heroine if/because she’s into sex. I love it. Plus the guys actually show emotion during the sex scenes, AND there is some genuine (light) domination by the heroine.

2. Some of Mirai’s older games I think were actually better at this (does that mean it’s getting worse??) Hoshi no Oujo ~Yoshitsune~ wasn’t too bad for humiliation and rape, in most of the routes. Just don’t go for the younger silver-haired brother, or Yoritomo’s bad route. Or Goshirakawa.

3. Another older game, Toiro Komachi. Not a great game, but most of the sex is consensual, except for that evil businessman. And the heroine isn’t a virgin, even though she’s single and unmarried!! Shock!!

4. Aromarie’s games, Gin no Kanmuri, Ao no Namida, and Tsuki no Kage (something I can’t remember, the name is long). Comparatively, there’s less rape(except for the blond guy in Tsuki, watch out for him), the heroine is less of a doormat, and the guys enjoy the sex. Also, no scenes that I can remember where there is unwanted anal/toys. Heroine is also not a virgin in both these games.

5. (edit) I haven’t played Dessert Love on the PC, but there’s no rape in that one. Another older game! This gives me a bad feeling about upcoming games…

Did I miss any (comparatively) good R-18 games? Do you totally disagree with what I’m saying? Let me know in the comments! And sorry if you’re not into/turned off R-18 games. Regular PG posting will resume on Wednesday.

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38 Responses to “R-18 otome games are bad”

  1. Hinano says:

    I have to disagree with Gin no Kanmuri for 2 reasons
    1. Even when the heroine is strong the fact that she’s cheating on her husband to go fuck other men already marks her as a whore by most standards lol. So yea the idea is you’re a whore to begin with so yea it’s ok to TAKE ACTION but yea you’re still a whore.
    2. Based on #1 above, because you’re a whore any rape you get is well deserved so when the husband rapes AND kills her in one of his routes (which I gracefully skipped) you start to wonder “well maybe this was deserved but if she didn’t cheat on him there’d be no game.” Also her reason to cheat on him is because hes busy at work and she’s “lonely” further proving that she’s a whore who just wants dick 24/7 and can’t contain herself.

    so nope I can’t say I agree with aeromarie’s games. don’t know about their other games but I did read that cho no doku had rape too so I’m pretty much avoiding them like the plague

  2. lijakaca says:

    Nah, I don’t agree – I didn’t think the adultery thing could work but in the end it did for me. Her husband wasn’t just working late, he was sleeping at the office multiple days in a row and she saw him maybe for a few minutes a week, as well as him brushing her off about threatening letters she was getting and how she was being followed by yakuza. He totally gaslighted her, and though in his route I accepted that he didn’t mean to and was just horrible at communication, I totally believed that she wasn’t much to blame for seeking comfort with other men. When you’re actually in fear for your safety and the person you’re supposed to trust the most totally shoots you down and minimizes your feelings, that’s a huge deal. And he never wanted to discuss anything either, and then he was off on business trips and crap. By the time anything physical happened, I didn’t mind at all that she cheated on him, I felt like he betrayed her trust first.

    Then again, I should have mentioned the adultery – I know for a lot of people it’s a dealbreaker.

  3. Rita says:

    I avoid R-18 otome games like the plague XD I think the eroge genre in general has more games that actually feel like romance games. Granted, it also has every fetish on the sun, but it’s so damn large that you can easily find a much more touching love story type game with badass main characters and heroines. The irony.

    Then again, I’m picky about my visual novels from any genre :P Otome games in general aren’t usually as fun as a good galge (not necessarily R-18 ones, Type-Moon’s recent Mahoutsukai no Yoru blew every single visual novel I’ve ever played straight out of the water).

  4. lijakaca says:

    Heh, I’ve never played a galge so it’s hard for me to compare. I guess I should, would Mahoutskai no Yoru be a good one to start with? I always imagine them as having tons of annoying fanservice like *some* shounen manga/anime, but I could be wrong.

    So that’s another item to add to my list – I still haven’t played any BL games either, which is just shameful :D

  5. Gtfo anon tard says:

    What the hell…why is anal sex in the list? Sorry dear, but you, are very prude and close minded to the core. Anal sex in otome games is much better than in hentai and yuri. and let’s not talk about BL because that is just horrible.

  6. lijakaca says:

    Actually, I included it because it was on the article which I was inspired by, but I already said I wouldn’t mind it if it seemed enjoyable. Seems like you saw it as a heading and didn’t even bother reading further. Funny that you call me close minded and then call BL ‘just horrible’, though.

  7. Gtfo anon tard says:

    @lijakaca
    I’m sorry, but why would they include something in a project if the target audience doesn’t enjoy it? Otome games even have rape and gangrape as sub themes, why would some thing such as anal that you see everywhere and is practiced by half of world bother you? Don’t get me wrong here, i understand your point, but you made seem like it’s something bad and should be removed from otome games. “but in otome games it NEVER IS” I may be wrong here, but tell me, are you here complaining because the anal sex in otome games was made to look painful or you just think it’s painful only in otome games?

    Lol oh dear, trust me, i read BL and i’ve been a fujoshi longer than you, or you’re saying that anal sex in BL is “normal” and tolerated like it is in regular hentai/otome games? be real.

    oh and by the way, i’d like the link to that article you’re talking about.

  8. Gtfo anon tard says:

    P.S sorry if i misunderstood you in advance or seemed like a bitch. i’m just kind of short-tempered.

    also i’d like the names of the otome games where you came across a “painful” anal sex scene, i’m going to translate the script just for the heck of it.

  9. Gtfo anon tard says:

    And just to clear something up, when i said just horrible i was talking about R-18 BL, i don’t usually read those(Though i read the common BL, stuff with implied sex scenes and stuff), but a friend of mine just happens to feel bored and wanted to traumatize me then she recommended Love prism…what can i say, the word “horrible” is too little to describe it.

    also just a piece of advice, don’t.play.BL.games. and by don’t play bl games, i’m not saying you should totally stay away from them, i’m saying you should completely avoid PC ones, in other words, R-18 ones. if you think R-18 otome games are horrible then wait till you play Togainu no chi or Hadaka shitsuji or Enzai. or pretty much any BL on the pc.
    most of them have dark themes with rape (Ironically, majority of BL has rape, not just games), forced, guro, extreme violence, and everything that’ll give you nightmares, even when the scenes seem mutual at first, shit gets completely flipped the next moment. from mutual oral to
    homosexual anal rape.

    Take my advice and stay away from them, if you have a PSP and can read japanese then by all means, go play the ones on the console.

  10. Gtfo anon tard says:

    Lol i apologize for spamming but i’ve re-read this whole article of yours and you seem like you have alot to learn.

    1.Rape is a common theme in R-18 material, regardless of genre.
    2./3 Have you ever considered the fact that stuff like that actually appeals to us, the target audience? Alot of us have such fantasies and it’s not really surprising, you’re basically basing this article only on your biased views. no offense.
    6.So what exactly are you expecting? the heroine to force the guy down and get him to have sexual intercourse with her? It’s not physically possible unless the heroine has some kind of superpowers or the hero is very weak, which you don’t see often, because the producers are trying to make it at least a bit belieavable.

    Sorry if i seem a bit rude, but you really shouldn’t bother with R-18 stuff, you have alot to learn and you’re not familiar with the genre.
    No offense, but i just realized i wasted my time on this blog.

  11. lijakaca says:

    No offense taken, you’re obviously much better versed in otome games than me. Have fun on other sites, ta!

  12. Gtfo anon tard says:

    …It does look like you took it as an offense, because i can tell you’re being sarcastic and that is hurting my feelings. and no, i’m not joking <_<

  13. Lianne says:

    Word of advice–if you want anyone to listen to you, at all, do not use the word “tard” in your fake username, because that’s offensive as hell. And don’t randomly flame a site repeatedly, get brushed off, and then complain that YOUR feelings are getting hurt. Are you serious?

    Otome and BL R-18 games are great, but saying that they’re anything less than EXTREMELY problematic is naive. They deserve a scathing criticism like the one Lijakaca wrote up. You seem to agree with that point, so I don’t know why you’re being an ass about specifics. You can disagree with particular points without insulting Lijkaca, who’s an extremely well-played otome gamer who’s writing her criticism from a place of love within the fandom. And yes, she knows what’s she’s talking about–she’s probably played 75% (at least!) of the R-18 otome games that exist and used many references.

    And Hinano, a “whore” is someone who sells sex for money. A woman who cheats on her husband is a “cheater” (and an asshole). Not the same thing.

  14. Lianne says:

    P.S.–Hinano, I just read your comment again. Did you seriously imply that cheating on a husband means you deserve to get raped? Wow, this problem runs much deeper than throwing around the word “whore.”

    No one deserves to be raped. Ever. It is not a punishment for a crime, because if it were, it would be something a judge could sentence for a rapist via eye-for-an-eye. Do you understand why a civilized society would never allow a judge to do that? Rape is not something that anyone deserves. I can’t believe I even have to type that sentence. If you cheat on your husband, you deserve to get yelled at, hated, divorced, etc. You do not deserve to be hit, raped, etc. Cheating isn’t even a violent crime, GOOD LORD.

  15. lijakaca says:

    I don’t know if gtfo is serious or not, but it was the first time someone left four comments in a row on my blog! So I’ll chalk it up as a win for me, getting someone so passionate that they couldn’t wait for responses >:D

  16. Lianne says:

    In retrospect, Hinano was maybe being sarcastic? I don’t even know anymore, these games are so screwed up that it’s warping conversation into a nightmare. Dammit, 18+ games!

  17. Gtfo anon tard says:

    Er, i use this username all the time because i had bad experiences with anonymous people.

    I Wasn’t serious, if you couldn’t take that as a joke then it’s your problem, ite? Lighten the hell up people.

    Dude, again, that’s your opinion, based on your biased views, if you don’t like it, don’t play it, There are people waiting to play them and there are people who like stuff like that, for crying out loud, the game developers know what MOST fans want, we have something called a “fantasy”, ever heard of that? I just find 6/7/8 and 9 silly, i’m starting to think this is just a troll post.

    So no, Lijakaca doesn’t have a stinking clue what she’s talking about, you guys are better off playing regular otomes, R-18 is too much for prude people.

  18. Gtfo anon tard says:

    @Lijakaca
    Yes, i was being serious in my posts, but i expect you not to take it as that since you yourself aren’t serious at all with this hilarious, silly post, no wonder my friends came to my laughing and puking rainbows when they read this. good luck next time.

  19. Gtfo anon tard says:

    @Lijakaca
    I have an apology to make.
    I’m sorry for misjudging you, i thought you were prude, but i just read Hirano’s post, the girl is obviously underage and shouldn’t be playing R-18 games.

    again, i apologize for this Lijakaca, you can go ahead and delete my comments.

  20. Lilyn says:

    @Gtfo You shouldn’t call other people immature if you don’t really behave mature either.

    Since your comments about Hinano and your comments on this blog sound the same as the immature guy in that forum I assume that you are the guy or at least a friend of his.

    It’s very ‘mature’ to call someone names and to attack them personally just because they wrote their opinion.

    I can imagine that’s very interesting for a guy to humiliate, abuse and rape girls (at least in a game). But not all girls feel comfortable reading stuff like that in an otome game which is obviously targeted at them. And just because the games are bought doesn’t mean girls are completely happy with them.

    So are you a girl that fantasises about being humiliated, abused and raped? Optimally with lots of pain?
    Or a you a guy who feels offended because some girls don’t like the idea of being humiliated, abused and raped in an OTOME game?

    “R-18 is too much for prude people.”
    Wow, so people are prude if they don’t enjoy scenes in which the heroine is humiliated, abused and raped while she cries and is clearly in pain?
    I’m disgusted.

  21. lijakaca says:

    Lilyn, it is the same guy as at Hinano`s site. So not only is he consistently annoying and immature, he doesn`t even use a consistent pseudonym, though he told Lianne he did and that`s why he has the offensive word in it – so he`s a liar as well. Not worth the energy to respond, as he can`t be reasoned with. I just leave his comments up as a reminder of what mansplaining looks like in regards to otome games, although I do admire all of you guys who respond to his crap with thoughtful, sensible counter-arguments!

  22. Yuki says:

    Hey, was going through your site for otome game reviews when I saw this post. I can see where you’re coming from, but regarding that naked girl/clothed guy thing I have to disagree. While I love my bishies, I do tend to not really want to see them naked, as I don’t think men have attractive bodies compared to women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sexually turned on by seeing breasts but I’m not turned on much either by say, seeing a man’s naked torso, and definitely not a man’s butt, drawn or not. Lol I know it sounds kinda strange (and prude, but I’m definitely not that), I don’t know if I’m kinda desensitized to female bodies, having been to a girl’s school or what, but that’s what I think anyway. My boyfriend agrees with me too so (and is thankfully not annoyed by it…)Either I’m way to naive or what, but interestingly, when I showed my Japanese friend Under the Moon, she said the same thing, and she said she is so glad stuff were pixelated as she didn’t want to see the *ahem* stuff. Maybe it’s a cultural thing? And considering they’re bombarded with girls being raped in hentai all the time maybe they’ve come to expect that? Not making any excuses here, but just trying to understand why the developers add those things in.

  23. Gtfo anon tard says:

    Eh, i’m just an otome gamer who doesn’t bitch at shit that isn’t targeted specifically at me and i don’t rant about shit that makes other people laugh at me.

    I tried to apologize, but you’re being a totall bitch.

    I’m out of here.

  24. lijakaca says:

    I wanted you to leave after your first comments, that’s why I ignored you >.> And you’re totally whining and raging at our opinions which OBVIOUSLY aren’t targeted to you, so you fail at that as well. You’re done here, any more posts you make I will delete.

    Try to be a little more self-aware, maybe you won’t get ignored and shot down.

  25. lijakaca says:

    It’s quite possible that some people like some of these things. I can understand it – I mean, we’re USED to seeing women as sexual (see 99% of advertising, 95% of TV and movies, etc.), and not nearly as used to looking at men that way. I think I’m a bit ahead of that curve – I mean I bought a magazine in high school just to get the foldout of a male star an put it up in my locker. (although I also remember a few other girls doing similar things…maybe I’m not that special after all ^_^).

    I`m also coming at it from a slightly different angle, because I`m used to sex in romance novels. I`ve seen how they`ve evolved from similar slut-shaming and `forced seduction`(rape) tropes to sex that`s enjoyable for both/all parties, much less slut-shaming, as well as many books which celebrate the male body as something that women can admire and enjoy. (For some awesome romance discussions, I recommend checking out Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author.

    The last point is becoming more and more accepted I think – 10 years ago the ‘female gaze’ was almost totally unheard of, and now we have various examples of it – Thor, True Blood, Sherlock. And even in Japan, where women are more culturally pushed to act as if they don’t want sexy men or sex in general (although someone is buying ladies comics and 18+ otome games, and it’s not guys for the most part), comics today acknowledge that women are attracted to good-looking guys – the fanbase of Prince of Tennis is substantially female. Gintama, although the humour is incredibly juvenile 60% of the time, has lots of good-looking guys as well, and let’s not forget that one ED (could only find it on a non-youtube site) which is all the leading men half-naked.

    Man, I could talk about this all day, so I’ll shut up now. It’s just that I’m tired of the lack of variety. Kind of what this post talks about, but about rape and unenjoyable sex.

  26. Maverynthia says:

    When you were talking about the romance novels, were you talking about the Japanese ones or American ones? I was reading recently about the breakdown of rape in those old romance novels and why it was there and the symbology, etc. (Didn’t agree with most of it but bleh, rape is rape to me).

    Here’s a link: http://jprstudies.org/2012/04/a-parody-of-love-the-narrative-uses-of-rape-in-popular-romance-by-angela-toscano/

    I also was reading about even in the year 2012, some authors are asked to have the man in a romance novel take a more alpha male/dominating role. So I guess that is on both side of the pond. Honestly I want to see more stories where the woman is the dominating one, both here and there.

    Also, do you feel that the changes in the R-18 games are a reaction to some of the changes in the non-18 games or the reverse. Like for example the doormat, verbally abused (physically abused) main characters from MANY Idea Factory games (Hiiro no Kakera, Hakuoki) and other games? It seems that even in games from the same company like KOEI, they’ve started to add more abusive characters into the stories like the yandere and such.

    Also was it you that was playing Windfield (Wingfield?), how did that game turn out ultimately?

    I wouldn’t say it’s a trend I notice since I’m floundering around at learning/reading Japanese so I’ve only played some of the fan translated ones as well as the commercial releases. I can only guess how awful some of the characters are on the Google Translated Anime Game Hooker Tool and on how many times they call the main character ‘baka’ and how many times she says ‘gomen/nasai’, as well as their characters in the anime version.

  27. lijakaca says:

    I was talking about English romance novels. I’ll read that paper, it looks interesting, although the idea of rape as a parallel to falling in love is…not my first thought. But hey, I love reading academic papers on romance as long as they’re not dismissing it. The alpha hero thing has been around a long time, but rape and forced seduction in particular is not nearly as mainstream as it once was. Now, with e-books and self-publishing becoming more common, more and more variety is available including any kind of kink you can think of (which is great), but the big market leaders of romance are much less likely to include rape/forced seduction. Also, though there are always some really angsty stories around with abuse that happens, if it’s done by the hero, I think readers demand more justification and more reformation than they used to.

    Honestly I don’t think R-18 games influence PG otome games much, because there just aren’t enough, and they’re quite niche. But I definitely can believe the reverse. I think as well, anime/manga in general probably influence otome games A LOT. Not to mention other media – I’m pretty sure Wand of Fortune was inspired by Harry Potter, although the plot itself is totally different. I mean, yandere as a character type has been in a lot of Japanese fiction recently – lots of bishoujo games have them as well I think. The problem seems to be that in most R-18 otome games, they’re trying to put in a bunch of types, but only the ones where the guys are dominant.

    As for the doormat heroines, it’s hard to tell. I feel like ones that are popular will inspire similar ones, so Hakuouki will inspire more doormat heroines – but then again, Alice does really well and the heroine is fairly strong. Doormat heroines are often in games where I think the writers are going for a placeholder heroine, which the player is supposed to be able to ‘replace’ with herself and feel like she’s the heroine. Romance novels often have that as well, with heroines that don’t have much personality beyond their ‘goodness’ or whatever. Honestly I think it usually fails because I want heroines with their own dreams and opinions, that won’t be pushed around much, but there’s no denying that it’s a popular type of story. Also, readers/players are harder on heroines than they are on heroes. Where heroes can be jerky, arrogant, pushy, or dumb, heroines are criticized for those exact things. And on top of that, a lot of players don’t seem to like it if heroines are ever stronger or smarter than the heroes. So really, no matter what type of heroine is in a story, she won’t please everyone. And I think a lot of creators think meek heroines are ‘safe’, so they’ll go with those more often.

    Wingfield was awesome in my not-humble opinion. The plot itself was pretty loose – as far as I know the reason for the situation is never fully explained. But it’s the ONLY game I’ve played where I didn’t feel like the heroine, Vivian, was ever slut-shamed – and she had a lot of sex with a lot of people, LOL. And she, being a reincarnation over 2000 years old with all her memories, is smart and strong, and doesn’t take crap from anyone.
    Unfortunately I don’t know if it did well commercially, I know I read on 2ch that some people thought Vivian was a ‘bitch’ (she wasn’t, unless you call being honest and not a doormat bitchy).

  28. Maverynthia says:

    I think your comment from 2ch about Vivian expresses a very much Western view of heroines as well. If they are within their own agency, strong, smart maybe even arrogant and pushy they are then called “a bitch” and tossed into the Mary Sue label of dismissiveness. Though going back to e-books and romance novels in relation to doormat characters. It seems every self-pub paranormal romance character has been a doormat save for ONE, but they decided to pull the white knight rape trope on her.
    In all of those ones with doormats I see they replace the ‘rape’ of the character with the male being overly dominant. The woman will get pushed up against a wall or a table and basically trapped as he kisses her. Even Re: Alistair++ wasn’t exempt too much from this. (They avert the kiss but not the domination). Such as in Hakuoki and Hiiro, the doormat is told she’s going to die and/or that she’s stupid for doing anything on her own. Thus the men get to be dominant and get to dominate her.

    I wish more games like Wingfield can be made with out women feeling the need to tear down other women for their strengths. Sad that in both the west and Asia that the doormat heroine is the best kind of heroine people want.

  29. lijakaca says:

    Yes, even in our supposedly more egalitarian Western views, a lot of people still have a lot of issues with strong women. I’ve read quite a few romance with heroines that were either doormats or just fools, but I think there are more mainstream strong heroines in romance than in otome games. Unfortunately I haven’t been reading as much romance as I used to, but I believe Nora Roberts’ (I think she’s the bestselling romance novelist right now?) heroines, especially Eve from In Death, are strong, and that might be the most popular romance series out there. Other very popular authors also are good at strong heroines, like Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick, Loretta Chase, Jo Beverley…the last two are historical though.
    I’ve heard great things about Nalini Singh and Patricia Briggs as well (sci-fi and urban paranormal I think??), although I have to admit to being disappointed in the paranormals I’ve read by Christine Feehan (a lot) and (much less so, but still) Kresley Cole.
    I still haven’t given up on otome game heroines yet :D When I hear about romances from the 70’s/80’s, or mistakenly pick one up, I can’t believe how awful they are in terms of having weak heroines or strong heroines who are punished for it. But it’s gotten WAY better. I mean yes, there’s still a lot of cracked-out ‘alpha’ heroes around, but there are lots of normal relationships in romance novels as well, and heroines who are legitimately strong. I think otome games can get there too – before Wingfield came out I would never have thought we would get such a great heroine in an R18 game.
    And hey, this is one area where there’s lots of opportunity for Western game creators! It will get done, even if I have to do it myself :D

  30. Vanilla says:

    I agree with you and Hinano’s opinions about these games. And seriously, I don’t see how these opinions are considered prude.

    And seriously, with the rape thing, yeah, no one deserves to get raped. In my opinion, I think it’s a bit wrong for people to enjoy fantasies (If that’s their fetish) with regard to things about rape and being abused and all that since those things are a serious issue in the real world. A lot of women are getting abused and sexually harassed everyday. It’s no laughing matter.

    Toys are okay, being adventurous is okay. But there is a certain limit to everything. It’s not pleasurable anymore when that line is crossed. Like the scissors thing in Kuro to Kin no Akanai Kagi, I freaked out there for a second. It horribly reminded me of a real-life story of a Japanese woman who was kidnapped, tortured by all horrible means and sexually abused. Not fun.

    But then again, I’m thinking, developers put in rape and all those stuff in the game so as to cover all the target audiences’ fetishes? Or they are just more accustomed to making games targeting men that they unconsciously put things there for them? This business is tricky.

    And yes, lijakaca-san I’m not giving up with heroines, too. Heroines like QuinRose heroines have given me hope :)

  31. anonymous:P says:

    GTOF they fact you say yourself you choose “tard” as username because you have had problems before from “anonympus” people’s comments should give you a hint that you are very rude….

    P.S i agree with Lijakaca and very werll writted post and rescource i agree with most of the post and hope game developers read this article…but skip the comments below @_@

  32. […] So, I’m currently playing or trying to play Little Cheese’s Trick or Alice and I just finished Minase Shizuka/Kuro Usagi’s route. While I find the game’s menu bgm irritating and its design too frilly-frilly and lacey-lacey, the game itself is “okay” for me, but maybe more about that on another post. What got me after completing Kuro Usagi’s route is the trend that popped out in some of the current R-18 otome games. While there have been a number of growing trends regarding the R-18 otoge genre, I’m talking about the Eroscenes-with-Guys-Fully-Clothed trend that were mentioned in these posts. […]

  33. Jashin says:

    I agree with all points raised by this article.

    R-18 games are free to include any type of fetishes or sexual acts they want… however variety is the spice of life. When you’re constantly bombarded by the same thing that you don’t particularly care for over and over. Isn’t that a flaw in the games? Shouldn’t people seek to correct flaws to appeal to a larger audience?

    I think a large part of the problem stems from the cultural differences between Japan and the Western world however in that Japanese women tend to act like sex is painful for them and that is equated with pleasure. Its odd and seems backwards, I know… but I keep finding evidence that the way Japan expresses female sexuality is a bit different from how it is in the west. Though that could be just me not seeing the whole picture.

  34. the random one says:

    you should add person a,ijiwaru my master,crazy rabbits all of them don’t have any rape

  35. CrownLlyr says:

    Wait, when listing complaints no one mentions the HORRIBLE language used? Just once I’d like to find a R-18 game that doesn’t use the words ‘gently’, ‘tenderly’, ‘squishy’, etc in a sex scene. I mean come on! it’s getting to the point where every scene is the same and rather sickening to read.
    Also, to each their own. Apparently Japanese companies have giant hard-on’s for rape (the men writing them trying to fight female empowerment?) but if you don’t like it, don’t buy/play it. And don’t give it attention–every time you post something complaining someone who does like it sees it, buys it, and the companies keep making them. Ignoring is much better for items that require popularity to continue.

    Also, anyone wish there’d be an R-18 Otome game where you can have a harem? Male-targeted games do.

  36. afrenchgirl says:

    Speaking as a half-Japanese otome game player that grew up around a lot of Japanese culture, I think too many Western otome game players forget that they’re not the target audience of these games. It may sound obvious and even a bit condescending on my part, but otome gamers really do forget this. Putting aside the weaboos that actually don’t know shit about Japan and its culture outside of their misguided anime fantasies, most people really don’t get that Japan’s culture and society is more different and fucked-up in many ways. Obviously, the “rape = hello” is just that: a joke, but compared to Western societies, rape, as well as blatant sexism, isn’t seen as much of a horrible thing. Yes, it’s known as a bad thing, duh, but not to the extent that it stirs up indignation.

    Another common view is that “rape” is more like “forced sex”. To those that aren’t privy to this “distinction”, the former is when the recipient definitely doesn’t want it (not even “deep down inside the darkest depths of their hearts”), and the latter (the more common one) is the rapist forcing past the reluctance of the recipient. Rape is also not really seen as a “crime” in situations where a guy is “so in love” with the girl that they “lose themselves”. I’m sure R18+ players have encountered the yandere character that has raped the heroine in that manner before… but for some girls, this is “flattering”. “He’s so in love with me, that he can’t control himself.” I strongly disagree with that view if it isn’t part of somebody’s fantasy, but whatever, delusions of that extent rarely can be saved.

    As for my opinions on the current R18+ otome games as a whole, a 95% of them will never get a rating beyond a 4~6/10 to me. They’re slightly above average at best, and at worst, they’re a bit shitty. Chou no Doku Hana no Kusari is an exception in the 5% of “above average” R18+ otome games. It’s an example of a game which caters to a mixed bag “fantasies” and “plays”, with the more unconventional or unsavoury varieties being avoidable (from memory… I could be off ’cause it’s been years since I played that game). I hear that Koezaru wa Akai Hana is a good game, too, so I’ll be getting my mits on that shortly. I enjoyed Sumire no Tsubomi, which was a mostly rape-free game. One route does have rape, but since I played SnT a long time ago, I can’t remember if it’s unavoidable or not.

    Riddle Garden is, IMO, a solid example of a “5/10″ R18+ game. There is an overarching plot- it fails to be engaging, but it’s passable and the characters aren’t all that special but not terrible either. Then you get games like “Toiro Komachi ~Kurenai ni Somaru no Toki Made~” which is a truly bad game in almost every way- average art, subpar characters and subpar plot. Some games were quite polarising to the people I know- like “Akazukin to Mayoi no Mori” and “PersonA ~Opera-za no Kaijin~”. Both had interesting plots, IMO, but the execution left quite a bit to be desired. Both had practically every single love interest rape you at some point, unavoidable or not. Which leads me to the characters- I didn’t care for anybody in Akazukin much, and the same goes for PersonA. Tiana was a pretty good heroine compared to the standard R18+ ones, but Christine Daae grated my nerves.

  37. lijakaca says:

    I’m pretty sure Ijiwaru My Master has rape in it, there was a lot in that that I really disliked – I was biased from the beginning because of the heroine’s design (she looks loli to me). If you really want I’ll go and find it, I’m pretty sure the red-haired guy had rape, and the ‘hidden’ guy.

    Edit: I do love Ryuka (Luca?)’s route a lot. He’s my favourite character in the game.

  38. Chibi Writer says:

    Love this article. Agree 100% It’s the reason I’m currently co-producing an otome game with female lead in R18 situations that don’t involve rape, humiliation, etc… Or any anti-woman themes.

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