Best Otome Games of 2021

2021 has been a fantastic year for Western otome fans with a ton of new titles making their English language debut. Not only that, but publishers like PQube and Moonchime have stepped into the otome localization ring with great new releases–crime noir, BUSTAFELLOWS and the indie comedy, Suki Da. On top of that long dormant, Idea Factory International surprised the otome community with their big return, bringing fans Cupid Parasite! And with the end of the year right around the corner, I wanted to reach out to the otome community and see what games they thought were the best otome game localizations of 2021.

So, for this list, I wanted to look specifically at otome games that were localized in English in 2021–I’ll do a separate list for indie games at a later date. I’m also restricting this list to official localizations, so no fan translations or patches. And finally, I also included my picks for the best otome game of 2021 at the end of the post!

Best Otome Games of 2021

Number 3 – Olympia Soiree

  • Genre: Fantasy | Romance
  • Publisher: Aksys Games
  • Where to Play: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $49.99 (Standard Edition) | $59.99 (Limited Edition w/ Soundtrack)

With her entire clan wiped out years ago, Olympia has been isolated for most of her life. Now she lives as the only person on Tenguu Island who can perform the ritual that restores light to a world shrouded in darkness. The heads of each Primary district—Red, Blue, and Yellow—lead a society governed by the island’s rigid class structure. As Olympia travels between the districts, she discovers their wonders and their weaknesses, as well as an entire underground community of shunned individuals whom she becomes determined to help. If she can find the person destined to be her soulmate, she will finally be able to open her heart and reveal her true name, continue her bloodline, and save the world before it is destroyed.

Community Thoughts on Olympia Soiree

Cupid Parasite Review

Number 2 – Cupid Parasite

  • Genre: Romance | Comedy
  • Publisher: Idea Factory & Idea Factory International
  • Where to Play: Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $49.99

In the heart of Los York, a glitzy, trendsetting metropolis that sits on the cutting edge of culture and couture, one daring marriage agency stands apart from the rest in success rate and in style. The Cupid Corporation.

As Cupid Corp’s top bridal advisor, our heroine consults the city’s most in-vogue singles to make their wildest romantic dreams come true. But she has one secret which she can never share.

Her true identity is Cupid, a descendant from Celestia sent here on a heavenly mission.

Only this time, our heroine has been tasked with her biggest challenge yet: handling the matchmaking, and thus the fates, of the infamous Parasite 5.

After a series of unimpressive interviews and workshops, they concoct the perfect plan. Parasite House, a shared home created for reality TV centered around the lives of the Parasite 5 and their romantic exploits.

Leading these hopeless men to marital bliss proves to be a Herculean task even for great Cupid herself! Can she live up to her name and keep her identity secret at the same time?! Find out in the most divinely unpredictable romantic comedy of the millennium! ♥

Community Thoughts on Cupid Parasite

Number 1 – Bustafellows

  • Genre: Mystery | Fantasy | Crime Noir
  • Publisher: PQube & Nippon Cultural Broadcasting eXtend Inc.
  • Where to Play:  Steam | Nintendo Switch
  • Price: $39.99

Arrive in New Sieg, a beautiful fictional town. Step into the shoes of Teuta – a strong, smart and gifted journalist, in this romantic adventure set in America. After witnessing the murder of crooked lawyer, Limbo, Teuta is destined to save him. With the ability to leap into the past for a very brief moment and take on the body of another – you must find clues, search for data, and help those around you. Thus, our journey begins. Travel to the past to warn Limbo of his fate and figure out how to save him!

Community Thoughts on Bustafellows

Who Participated in the Poll & Overall Results!

So, to get these results I created a Google Form for participants to decide on their top 3 otome game localizations of 2021, with optional sections for folks to explain their picks for each choice. The form was open from December 15, 2021 to December 27, 2021 and a total of 318 people participated.

best otome games of 2021

The list of games included in the following seventeen games (with options to write in games):

  • Bustafellows
  • Cupid Parasite
  • Suki Da (I Love You)
  • Taisho x Alice Episode III
  • Taisho x Alice Epilogue
  • Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi
  • Olympia Soiree
  • Code Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ (Switch Port)
  • Dairoku: Agents of Sakuratani
  • Ephemeral ~FANTASY ON DARK~
  • Steam Prison (Switch Port)
  • My First Last Kiss (Switch Port)
  • Kissed By The Baddest Bidder (Switch Port)
  • Scandal in the Spotlight (Switch Port)
  • Her Love in the Force (Switch Port)
  • Kings of Paradise (Switch Port)
  • Ayakashi Romance Reborn (Switch Port)

*Write in titles DEGRAMAN, Red Embrace: Hollywood, and Our Life Beginnings and Always received 1 vote each. However since this vote is restricted to localizations of Japanese otome games they will not be included in the overall results.

*Write in title Café Enchanté also received 1 vote, however the game was released in 2020 and will not be included in the overall results.

The Overall Results

best otome games of 2021

There was a pretty significant difference in votes between the top three games and the other titles released this year, though the Taisho x Alice series as a whole has been pretty well received by Western otome fans for it the comedic localization choices and fun (flawed) characters.

I picked Taisho x Alice Episode 3 because the localization balances out both the drama and the comedy of the games as a whole, but episode 3 deserves my top spot because the twist and associated foreshadowing was so cleverly executed and extremely well done in the English localization.

Participant sharing thoughts on Taisho x Alice localization

I was also pretty surprised to see that Moonchime’s localization of the indie Japanese otome, Suki Da (I Love You) came in at number six. This was a release that more or less flew under the radar when compared with some of the bigger releases of the year, but I loved it’s quirky characters and hilarious story and I really hope we get more indie Japanese otome localizations in the future! Steam Prison making it to in the top 10 isn’t a surprise, it was generally well received when it was released for PC and I’m definitely happy to see it getting a more comprehensive Switch release.

Best otome games of 2021

And to round things out, I figured I’d share my favorite otome game localizations of 2021! But, I’ll keep it brief since my choices are similar to the community picks.

Cupid Parasite Review

My number 1 pick is definitely, Cupid Parasite, it’s a wild ride from start to finish and I absolutely loved it! The characters were fun, the color scheme is technicolor vomit, and the writing had me in tears!

Bustafellows comes in at number 2 (but just barely). I am a sucker for crime noir and mysteries and PQube really came out the gate strong with this release! A nice balance of fun and drama that kept me intrigued until the very end! (Also Scarecrow is bae!)

This was a hard choice, but my number 3 choice goes to Taisho x Alice Epilogue. It was a wild ride, but this definitely this wrapped up the story nicely (at least for me). Verde’s localization grew on me, but I can honestly say its what made this one of the most fun reads of the year.

2021 Was A Good Year for Otome Fans!

2021 might as well be called the year of otome with the sheer number of new releases we got this year! I have been playing otome games for years now and this is the first time Western otome fans have had so much variety, from rom-coms to fantasy to action thrillers, we have our pick of the litter. On top of that more publishers are dipping their toes into the wonderful ikemen filled world of otome (which may create a bit of healthy competition~).

While the number of English language releases are still nowhere near the number of otome released in Japan, it does make me hopeful that there will be even more great releases on the horizon in the future. So I also asked folks to share some of the otome games they’d love to see localized in 2022~

Games the Otome Community wants to see localized in 2022 (Click to reveal list)
  • Shuuen no Virche
  • Jack Jeanne
  • Clock Zero
  • Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side 4th Heart
  • Kagami no Asobi
  • Diabolik Lovers
  • Ken ga Kimi
  • Yoshiwara Higanbara
  • Kenka Bancho Otome
  • Nil Admirari
  • Taisho x Alice Heads & Tails
  • Hakuoki Shinkai FDs
  • Bustafellows 2
  • My Next Life as a Villainess
  • Jakou no Lyla
  • Black Wolves Saga
  • Angelique Luminarise
  • Alice in the Country of Spades ~ Wonderful White World
  • Charade Maniacs
  • Binary Star
  • Bara ni Kakusareshi Verite
  • Koi Sentai Love & Peace the P.S.P.
  • Hakuoki: sweet school life
  • Amnesia Later & Crowds
  • Jooubachi no Oubou
  • Uta no Prince Sama
  • Norn9

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6 thoughts on “Best Otome Games of 2021

  1. Such a great initiative… 🙂 I didn’t take part, as a lot of the survey options are still in my backlog, but I always appreciate reading about the community. <3 This also makes me really hyped for the time I finally start playing all those titles, CupiPara especially (not that I'm not *already* simping over Allan way too much…).

    I also noticed Suki Da! is in the upper half! Love to see it! I think I first heard about the game via one of your posts, and I found it to be SUCH a treat. It was refreshing on many aspects and (miracles of miracles) managed to pull 'eyeless heroine' with the art still being cute and feeling natural. o/ (and MC had so much character, I understand the whole cast having the vapors in front of her, lol)
    I have very high hopes for Moonchime as a localization company and hope they can release bigger/more profitable titles in the future…

    English-language otoges/amares have taken over the bigger part of my playtime this year, so I'm curious whether there are titles that particularly stuck with you in 2021, now that we're nearing the end of the year. (It's okay if you can't answer anything off the top of your head though, you're doing enough indie coverage as part of your regular schedule, I'm just asking in case there were some you'd want to talk about!)

    Happy holidays!! Thank you for the fun and informative year, and here's to another one in 2022 :))).

    1. You are gonna love Allan, he stole the show for me in Cupid Parasite, and Gill is such a sweetie!

      So many great games came out this year that I had a hard time keeping up with a lot of the indies. Gaaah I’m also drawing a bit of a blank lol so I’ll need to look back at what all I played in 2021.

      I hope your new year is off to a great start!

  2. Happy holidays/new years

    Just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful blog post write ups you do! So glad I found your blog in 2021 as I don’t know many black otome game players.

    Wooo this was a YEAR for Otome I have never played so many titles in my anime boy loving life. (My whole nintendo look back was otome with one JRPG 🤣). Next year will also be full of Otome as well. There are 3 games that got localized I really want to play. Cheers to more Otome playing and localzations.

    1. Aww shucks! Thank you, reading comments like this really make my day! I’m so glad you found my site and I hope we can talk more otome!

      LOL so many good otome, my wallet was like sis chill but I needed them all! Oh, which games are they?

  3. Happy Holidays!

    I didn’t take part in the poll since my backlog is rapidly increasing but my play time is not changing at all (aka I still don’t play much otome these days OTL). I’ve just started off with Cupid Parasite on my list and it looks so promising and hilarious! I’m excited to play more and then read your thoughts on it.

    Hoping 2022 will be kind to our wallets and be another great year for otome! We have some promising titles coming out like Birushana, Piofiore 1926, etc.

    Have a great holiday and stay safe!

    1. Ah, that’s okay! I’m just really glad I got as many responses as I did! I’ve kind of been in the same boat, exploring more non-otome games recently, though I try to keep up with new releases.

      Cupid Parasite is such a good game, wild and a little off the walls but hilarious!

      LOL I have a feeling we’ll be getting even more otome games in 2022, so my wallet is already weeping.

      I hope you had a great holiday and that your new year is off to a great start!

Gush about cute otome boys~