Since this is the internet, most of you are probably aware that Japan produces a lot of games for genres that don't necessarily exist in other parts of the world. These games can get a little ridiculous at times, sure, but Aksys believes that the "otome" sub-genre of JRPGs is worth bringing to the western hemisphere.
Idea Factory's historical RPG Hakuoki: Demon Of The Fleeting Blossom will be North America's first widely available "otome." The game follows the story of Chizuru Yukimura, who encounters the Shinsengumi samurai clan while traveling through Edo-period Japan on a quest to find her missing father. As luck would have it, the Shinsengumi are also searching for her father, and together they to travel to the city of Hakuoki, which contains "supernatural secrets." (Read: ghosts or something.)
So, sounds like a JRPG, right? Why does this game land in the otome sub-genre, while others don't? Put simply, the "otome" (or "maiden") game is a romance novel for you PSP. In order to be considered an otome, a game must A) have a female protagonist, and B) also make obtaining the affections of a love interest as important as other main story goals. Unlike male-targeted dating sims, otome games contain little to no sexuality, as they are generally intended for female gamers in the pre-teen/tween/teenage demographic.
Aksys plans on bringing big-haired samurai lovin' to any PSP owner interested in that sort of thing sometime during the first quarter of 2012. Who knows, maybe this will finally pave the way for that When Harry Met Sally game we've always wanted from Telltale.
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