It’s no secret that I love manga just as much if not more than otome games—I have the bank statements to prove it. But, when I’m not romancing 2D hotties on my Switch you can usually find me curled up on my couch with a manga or two. I read a lot of manga and played a lot of otome games over the years and I’ve noticed a few similarities between the two mediums. Of course my tastes are over the place: action, horror, romance, slice-of-life… I’ll give just about anything a try at least once.
Otome games are story-based visual novels aimed at women, where the goal is to romance your own personal harem of love interests.Short description of otome games
So, while I was looking at my latest manga TBR, it got me thinking, what are some manga titles that I’d recommend to otome fans, and thus this post was born. All of the manga on this list are available in English (either digitally or in print)!
From Far Away
On her way home from school one day, Noriko is unexpectedly plunged into a strange and extraordinary fantasy world. Her troubles compound exponentially when she is rescued and befriended by a handsome young man by the name of Izark.
He may be brave and courageous, but inside Izark lurks the darkest evil imaginable. And according to an ancient prophecy, Noriko possesses the power to unleash that evil. Now, inexorably bound together, these two unlikely allies must navigate a world both wondrous and hostile.
- Genre: Isekai | Fantasy | Romance
- Author: Kiyoko Hikawa
- Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ)
- Price: $9.99 USD
- Length: 14 volumes (Complete)
From Far Away is one of my favorite classic shojo series, so I’ll find just about any opportunity to recommend it. But, with it’s immersive isekai story, strong lead, and engaging romance, From Far Away is a must read for otome fans looking for a new manga series to dive into. The whole series has a very Angelique vibe to it—high school girl is sent to another world to fulfill a prophesy/role and along the way finds love with a hottie. It’s not anything especially new, but this series holds up surprisingly well and I find myself giving the whole series a binge every couple of years!
When feisty college student Yuri is attacked at a party, she’s saved by Toshiomi Oya, the underboss of a yakuza syndicate. Despite her obvious attraction to him, she convinces herself that she’s not in the market for a bad boy type. But when they meet again, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him—kicking off a steamy and dangerous love affair that threatens to consume her, body and soul.
After the attack at the party, Yuri goes to see Oya to thank him for saving her and as much as she hates to admit it, she can’t deny there’s an attraction. However, when tragedy strikes, Yuri attempts to turn her back on Oya and his dangerous lifestyle for good—but will the allure prove too great to resist?
- Genre: Josei | Romance | Mature
- Author: Nozomi Mino
- Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ)
- Price: $9.99 USD
- Length: 3 volumes (Ongoing)
As an “older” otome gamer I am always excited to see more mature romances in the games that I play. In recent years there seems to be more of a trend in that direction, though, I’m still waiting for more R18 otome to make their way to the west. But, in the meantime, Yakuza Lover will more than satisfy your cravings for dangerous men and steamy sex! If you enjoyed games Piofiore: Fated Memories or Kings of Paradise you’ll find a lot to love in Yakuza Lover.
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!.
When a woman is reborn into an otome video game as the villainess, how can she play to win?
A high school girl is stunned to find herself reincarnated as the conniving villainess from her favorite dating sim game, Fortune Lover. Now, as Catarina Claes, the impossibly rich and spoiled daughter of a Duke, her new life seems to perfectly sync up with the world of the game. This means big trouble! No matter how the game turned out, there were only two fates for Catarina: exile or death!
- Genre: Isekai | Fantasy | Parody
- Author: Satoru Yamaguchi
- Artist: Nami Hidaka
- Publisher: Seven Seas
- Price: $13.99 USD
- Length: 6 volumes (Ongoing)
Not gonna lie, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! has been extremely popular since it’s light novel debut spawning an anime series, an upcoming otome game, and of course a manga adaptation. Catarina is living the otome gamer dream—being reborn in the world of an otome game, but with a fun twist. The same premise is explored in Rejet’s Dot Kareshi – We’re 8bit Lovers! series, but love how My Next Life as a Villainess gives it’s heroine a LOT more agency, which makes for a much more fun experience overall!
Sweat and Soap
In an office romance, there’s a fine line between sexy and awkward… and that line is where Asako — a woman who sweats copiusly — met Koutarou — a perfume developer who can’t get enough of Asako’s, er, scent.
Asako’s living her dream, working at the toiletry maker Lilia Drop. Little do her coworkers know, the reason she loves the company so much is that she’s ashamed of her body odor, and their soap is the only thing that does the trick. So when the company’s lead product developer, a perfuming genius, approaches her in the lobby and wonders what “that smell” is, she’s terrified… but could it be… that he likes it? And, even more surprising to Yae… does she like him?
- Genre: Josei | Mature | Slice-of-Life
- Author: Kintetsu Yamada
- Publisher: Kodansha
- Price: $12.99 USD
- Length: 11 volumes (Complete)
Sweat and Soap has one of those premises that sounds like something out of a hentai—a woman who sweats a lot meets a guy that is not only okay with it, totally gets off on her body odor. It’s kinky, it’s awkward, and I love it. This series taps into the basic otome fantasy: a completely ordinary heroine through no effort of their own, finds themselves in a situation where hot guys are practically throwing themselves at her (except in this case it’s one guy, but he’s cute so it counts). It’s a fun read that a lot of folks will find relatable and there are quite a few steamy scenes to make things spicy~
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for an Otaku
Can a professional man who’s secretly a hardcore gamer and a woman who’s secretly a fujoshi date without their hobbies getting in the way, or revealing each other’s secrets? Narumi Momose has had it rough: every boyfriend she’s had dumped her once they found out she was an otaku, so she’s gone to great lengths to hide it. When a chance meeting at her new job with childhood friend, fellow otaku, and now coworker Hirotaka Nifuji almost gets her secret outed at work, she comes up with a plan to make sure he never speaks up. But he comes up with a counter-proposal: why doesn’t she just date him instead? In love, there are no save points.
- Genre: Romance | Comedy | Slice-of-Life
- Author: Fujita
- Publisher: Kodansha
- Price: $17.99 USD
- Length: 5 volumes (Ongoing)
Rounding out this list is Wotakoi: Life is Hard for an Otaku! We all deal with our hobbies differently, so folks are loud and proud shouting about their faves from the rooftops, while others enjoy their fandoms in secret. Wotakoi explores the ups and downs of finding love as an otaku and this series is honestly one of the most relatable reads on this list! If you have not read this series, you need to ASAP, because it’s amazing!
If you love otome you’ll definitely love these manga!
So, these are my manga recommendations for otome game lovers! Each manga on this list embodies a different aspect of otome games that will appeal to most players. Whether you’re looking for something spicy or something with chill vibes, you’ll find something good to add to your manga library. Even if you’re not an otome gamer, I highly recommend giving these picks a read (they’re all among my personal faves). Of course, I would love to hear from you! What are some manga series that you’d recomend to otome game lovers?