Best anime about dating sims

dating sims, or “otome games” were a weird subgenre brought up to illustrate just how quirky Japanese games could be. They still are to a large extent, but their influence has spread further. Sometimes they’re sub-stories in bigger games, like Judgement or the Character series, or are honest versions that play the premise directly.

Related: Great Dating Simulator Games On Steam That Deserve More Attention

Other times they’re for yucks and laughs like horror based Addicted to youWhere hateful boyfriend, the simulation of encounters with birds. Whatever form they take, dating sims have inspired a slew of shows that either use their aesthetic or actually use a dating sim game at the center of their plot. Here are the best examples of dating sim anime look for.


6/6 Excel Saga Episode #4: ‘Love Puny’

Dating Sim Anime - Excel Saga Love Puny

The Excel saga parodies everything and anything under the sun. He got to the point where he played an episode entirely seriously because, at this point in the series, it was more bizarre than another parody. Still, Episode 4, “Love Puny,” is perhaps one of the earliest examples of a dating sim featured in an anime. Airing in 1999, Excel is tasked by its leader, Il Palazzo, with finding her missing partner Hyatt.

While she goes there, he passes the time by playing a dating sim featuring Excel and Hyatt. However, he is unaware that his coin also affects an F-city resident named Watanabe, who finds Hyatt and tries to woo her. Their choices are displayed through a dating sim-style HUD, often with Excel interfering in some way. At least they are both gentlemen because, despite the temptation, they never choose the 3rd option to “stick”. If they did, it would probably be the Hokey Pokey.

5/6 Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos Episode #8: ‘Nyaruko’s Exciting High School’

Dating Sim Anime - Nyaruko-San Another Creeping Mayhem

HP Lovecraft’s work has undergone strange adaptations over the past century. An animated romantic comedy has got to be one of the weirdest. In Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Nyarlathotep, the Chaos Creeper, the Stalker Among the Stars, the Faceless God of a Thousand Forms, is now a pretty girl who wants earth boy Mahiro to protect her from other Lovecraftian entities. The third season of the show, Nyaruko-san: another creeping chaossaw Mahiro find himself in a dilemma in his 8th episode.

Nyaruko has just confessed her feelings for him, but he doesn’t know what to do. He picks up a video game console from a market, and as soon as he turns it on, he’s sucked into his game, which happens to be a dating sim. The only way to escape is to get a good ending with Nyaruko, Cthuga, Hastur, or the lone human option Tamao Kurei. Ah, making decisions.

4/6 Kami Nomi Zo Shiru Sekai

Dating Sim Anime - Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai

Single episodes are enough, but what about full series? There are several of them. Kami NomiWhere The world only God knows, twists things a bit. Originally a manga by Tamiki Wakaki for Weekly Shonen Sunday, the series follows a high school student called Keima Katsuragi. When it comes to dating sims, he’s a gamer in every sense of the word. He can “conquer” the heart of any 2D girl. But when it comes to the real world or 3D, he’s just another jerk with glasses.

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He is asked to “conquer” more hearts and, thinking it is about other games, he accepts. Then he discovers too late that Elsie, a demon from hell, has dragged him into a challenge where he must charm real women to prevent them from being possessed by evil spirits. If he goes ahead, he will have to learn how to talk to real women instead of relying on his dating game skills. But if he refuses, he will be decapitated by an invisible blade according to his “arrangement” with Elsie. So now the “God of Dating Games” must become a “God of Dating” to save himself and others from a dark fate.

3/6 WataMote

Dating Sim Anime - WataMote

It’s a good thing that these shows have short hands. Watashi ga Motenai no wa DO Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! is a big mouthful to chew. Its English translation, No matter how I see it, it’s your fault I’m not popular isn’t much better. It’s a divisive series as some see it as an honest portrayal of social anxiety and similar issues to the Welcome to NHKwhile others see it as a petty mockery.

But where do the dating games come from in Nico Tanigawa’s series? Well it’s basically like The world only God knows without demons and magic. 15-year-old student Tomoko Kuroki prepared for high school by mastering dating games, only to find that the real world isn’t like her video games. Still, she aims to achieve her dreams by fixing her flaws, improving her status, and inspiring both popular kids and her equally dark friends in the process.

2/6 My Next Life as a Villainess: All Roads Lead to Death!

Dating Sim Anime - My Next Life as a Villainess

My next life as a villain is one of the most notable examples in the field of dating sim history, having inspired a series of light novels about female villains. Satoru Yamaguchi’s series grew from a light novel to a manga, then to two anime series and a movie. Caterina Claes was an ordinary noble in a fantasy realm until she bumped her head and realized she’s not who others thought she was.

It was actually a Japanese otaku girl who got sucked off Fortune Lover, his favorite dating simulator and reincarnated as a villain. She is the only character who is at best banished or at worst killed depending on the path of the game. So, now she must find a way to avoid her fate and forge a new path. All of this with unexpected consequences for her and the people around her.

1/6 Trapped in a dating simulator

Dating Sim Anime - Trapped in a Dating Sim

Yomu Mishima’s series is perhaps the most obvious example, given that it has “dating sim” in the title. But Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Hard on a Crowd managed to be popular in all its forms, be it the original light novel, the manga, or the ENGI anime adaptation. In it, an ordinary office worker is forced to complete another game by his little sister. Completely indifferent, he leaves, hits his head and dies.

It would be embarrassing enough, but he was reincarnated as Léon Fou Bartfort, one of the NPCs or “mobs” in the game. Being a man in a matriarchal world and a character meant to blend in, chances are against him. But with the help of Luxion, the game’s cheating element, he manages to make a living in the dating sim world and gets drawn into all sorts of bizarre plots with the nobility. For a background character, he often ends up in the foreground.

More: Dating Simulator Games That Have Their Own Anime

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