What does Otome mean?

I have recently been binge playing otome games on both my computer as well as my phone. The Otome’s I play on my computer, I usually use my controller to play, since it is easier and I am lazy. This has got me thinking about the original meaning of the word, otome, and how it has changed.

Definition of Otome

Otome typically refers to a maiden or a young lady in Japanese. However, in recent years, Otome has come to reflect and refer to a genre of games. Otome games are typically geared for women to romantically pursue fictional men who are generally good looking and usually have questionable personalities or traits but always have romantic appeal. There are Otome games designed for men to play as well. They are basically dating simulators.

The game is presented in a visual novel styled game play with conversation prompts. The selection of dialogue option directs you down paths towards various story endings with most players aiming for the ‘good-end’. Some can be binged and completed in a day, others require days of gameplay. Some games are offered for free and others you need to purchase or make in-game purchases.

The main character or avatar of the game is usually a generic character that most could place themselves in to make the game more ‘realistic’. A lot of the time, you do not get to see what the character looks like and the capture targets talk to ‘you’ as the player directly. Your gameplay name gets placed in conversations with voiceovers creating ‘realistic’ pauses where your name would have been spoken in conversation.

Examples of Otome Games:


Free Otome Games:

Obey Me (mobile)

Obey Me is available here on the Play Store

Eternal Hour: Golden Hour – PC

Eternal Hour: Golden Hour available on STEAM

Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time

Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time available on the Play Store

Buyable Otome Games:

Amnesia: Memories

Amnesia: Memories is on STEAM here for R79.


TAISHO x ALICE available on STEAM here for R130.

My Vow to My Liege

My Vow to My Liege on STEAM for R79.

4 thoughts on “What does Otome mean?

Add yours

  1. Really nice description of the otome genre, you have here! but i want to make a few corrections:

    “There are Otome games designed for men to play as well”
    No there aren’t. The term for dating sims aimed with a male are called bishoujo/galge (“girl game”) where the player plays as a dude to date girls.

    Also I see that Obey Me is listed on here as an otoge. Despite how it’s advertised, OM is not an otome game but rather a joseimuke (games/products for women) as there are no routes and the MC is purposely gender neutral with no visuals so the player can project however they wish. Even the official JP twitter of OM doesn’t list itself as an otoge.

    Same goes for Eternal Hour as from what I looked up (never played it and pls make some corrections on my end if I get anything wrong lol) doesn’t have any elements to classify as an otoge as you play both a guy and his aunt 11 years younger in
    some flashback sections(?). Seems like it’s just a romance vn than anything as the steam page for it doesn’t call it an otome either.


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