The otome genre of video games has a main focal point of its storytelling having the player character (often termed as the ‘heroine’) being paired off with a love interest (LI). Such a major factor means that we are offered many different characters we are meant to fall in love with, and maybe even obsess over after years of finishing the game. If you also share this problem, let’s take a deep dive together into our favourite best boys the otome genre has to offer.
As a completely objective list, as everyone’s favourites will be different, these lucky guys are our own top 10 favourite otome husbandos. Only one candidate from each game will be allowed on the list, so allow me to admit here and now that the pain I feel to have to omit Heisuke Todo because of this is immense. And do note, the winning boys may be similar to one another. You lovely readers will quickly learn my type, I’m sure. Therefor, if a certain character or even an entire type of LI is missing be sure to fill me in on your favourite LI’s and archetypes in the comments below!
Kairi from Re:Birthday Song
Kairi is arguably the main boy of this otome title, appearing in the center of the game’s cover and illustrations, and intended as the first route. As showcased in the common route, he is the individual who teaches Cocoro valuable lessons that she holds onto in other routes, such as feeling one another’s thoughts through touch. Kairi may appear as the typical genki type (optimistic, happy go lucky LI) at first, but underneath lies one of the most heartbreaking and interesting characters in an otome game. For such a ray of sunshine, Kairi must be protected at all costs. His route will have you weeping and stay with you even when venturing into the other boys’ routes. My own memories are now centred exclusively around Kairi when it comes to recalling Re:Birthday Song.
Re:Birthday Song may be only available in a patch for English speaking audiences, but it’s still a worthwhile investment to import for those who enjoy a tale more bittersweet than most romantic focused games. The story follows Cocoro (changeable name) who wakes up in a world where a society of once human occupants train in a school to become proficient reapers. And as many players may already be expecting with a player character awakening, yes, she is suffering from amnesia. With her memories of her past life being unknown to her, such a phenomenon for inhabitants of this world is unusual, as each character suffers in some way from their own past experiences and memories. Within the school, she falls behind and joins a special supplementary class to partner up with one of the lucky (or not so lucky, considering her poor academic skills) boy students to graduate together.
Re:Birthday Song is available for importing from Amazon JP on PC.
Enomoto Mineo from Collar x Malice
One love interest who stands head and shoulders above the rest in Collar x Malice is Mineo. And I will speak this truth even in my dying breath. Mineo has a certain endearing charm that will immediately grab players’ attention in his initial appearance. His hotheaded and loud disposition paired with his fiery red hair and fashionable eye-patch (I always love an eye-patch, you’ll see) he wears as a dedication to his love of the Sengoku period (how adorable) makes his later displays of affection a treat to behold.
This is especially notable during the midpoint of his route as his big talk hides his shyness towards women and easy embarrassment. Just the sight of a blushing Mineo gets my heart pounding. How Ichika manages to stay calm around him I will never understand. By the time Mineo adamantly calls Ichika his only partner, I knew no other pairing mattered. My heart was set.
From the extremely popular and highest rated English available otome title, Collar x Malice provides an interesting and mysterious scenario, while having plenty of natural relationship building and romantic coupling options otome lovers will be wanting. This story follows police officer Hoshino Ichika, investigating events terrorizing Shinjuku. After a poisonous collar is attached to her neck, suspicions fall on the terrorist organisation named “Adonis”, after instigating a murder every month and suggesting an undetermined day where they will commence their most aggressive attack yet. Before this “X-Day” hits, find the truth before its too late for your own sake, and for Shinjuku’s safety.
Collar x Malice is available on Vita and Switch.
Impey Barbicane from Code: Realize
Impey is often compared to Mineo, both appearing as the most passionate and revealing of their feelings compared to their love rivals, and who also happens to voice Impey (as well as the following best boy!). Impey differentiates himself from this as being flirtatious, vying for Cardia’s attention throughout the common route, and notably being the only love interest to fall for Cardia at first sight. Once on Impey’s route, players are treated to some of the most romantic scenes the otome genre has to offer (my personal favourite being the airship scene!), a heartfelt background, and sweet displays of affection (that one hand holding scene destroys me every time). Impey is driven to helping Cardia in her pursuit of freedom and identity, which only further fuels my love for this adorkable engineer/cook. Impey can do no wrong.
Code: Realize is set in a fantastical steampunk world within London where Cardia suffers a lonely life restricted to living in an abandoned mansion. Feared by surrounding people seeing her as a monster because of a deadly poison emitted through her skin by contact, the most distant memory she has is of her father instructing her to stay in the mansion alone. The cycle is broken once Royal Guards attempt to kidnap her, but she is saved by the handsome thief Arsène Lupin, who set off together to locate her father for answers.
Code: Realize is available on Vita, PS4 and Switch.
Okita Souji from Hakuoki
As I have previously mentioned, I am very partial to voice actor Morikubo Shoutarou (Mineo and Impey), who aided me in my immediate falling for Okita, setting me on his route as my first playthrough, and solidifying him as my favourite boy from the popular Hakuoki series. Okita is a wonderfully complex character, only adding to his attractiveness. When first meeting Chizuru, he appears often cheeky and sometimes rude in his way of speaking. With a carefree yet cold attitude and sarcastic remarks that seamlessly roll off his tongue, this makes the wild and incredibly bittersweet ride of Okita falling for Chizuru all the more exciting and wonderful to witness, as his vulnerabilities and caring nature starts to show gradually and naturally.
Hakuoki is set in Kyoto, Japan in the year 1864. Our heroine is Chizuru Yukimura, who is in search of her father who has not returned home in months. Disguised as a male as safety during her travelling, she is attacked one night by crazed ronin. She is saved by the intervening Shinsengumi, only to be held for interrogation at their headquarters. With both Chizuru and the Shinsengumi sharing the goal of locating her father, the group sets off on a gripping and fantastical tale.
Hakuoki is available on mobile devices, PSP, PS3, Vita, 3DS and Steam.
Ulrik from Steam Prison
Ulrik is a sweetie I want to gobble up, which is appropriate as he’s a massive sweet tooth. As the only tsundere on my list, he ticks all boxes on its tropes, while also hitting deep. I feel you, Ulrik, with those trust issues! A major reason why Ulrik wins my affection isn’t just in his initially resistant yet humorous dialogue with the heroine, Cyrus (changeable), but with Steam Prison’s main love interest and Ulrik’s guardian, Eltcreed. This is portrayed by the game’s unusual chapter end perspective switching to the love interests’ point of view, where Cyrus is not present during the scene. The banter and chemistry between the two men are a highlight in this game, making me more fond of both men as they throw cheeky insults and remarks at one another, and with Eltcreed teasing Ulrik on his never before felt romantic feelings for Cyrus.
As a classic tsundere, Ulrik is not clear or willing to display his affections until the very end, where a simple protective hand holding makes me swoon by its end game. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Ulrik’s route is not only witnessing his own understanding of this newfound feeling of love, but also seeing his development alongside Cyrus’ who is also just as inexperienced. Ulrik even loans a romantic book of his to her where he spoils the ending of the book with a romantic gesture of his own by the game’s end.
In a dystopian, steampunk fictional world, two vastly different locations divides its people as the rich and the poor. Those with wealth live in the Heights, while the Depths, in contract to the beautiful and flourishing colonisation above is a filthy and gritty decaying land. Having been born and raised in the Heights, Cyrus knows little of the Depths, until an observation mission lands her in a predicament she never thought would happen.
Steam Prison is fittingly available on Steam only.
Caramia from OZMAFIA!!
As evident by its title, OZMAFIA!! is influenced by mafia and The Wizard of Oz. Its main three love interests consist of the tinman inspired distant Axel, the cunning scarecrow Kyrie, and the seemingly strong and fearsome Lion, Caramia. Caramia is the poster boy of the game, being the proud famiglia leader of his house, Oz. But throughout his route, we get to see a more vulnerable side to the Lion. Caramia may be an unpopular choice as a favourite, understandable with the game’s very awkward plot progression, confusing character development on certain routes, and ideas that aren’t conceptualized effectively nor developed well. Despite this, I feel strongly for this handsome coward as a parallel to another older Wizard of Oz inspired otome title called Oz+ by Solmare on mobile devices (Leonardo as the lion is so stupidly wholesome).
In Caramia’s best moments, his contagious positivity and cheerfulness, alongside the dependably sweet disposition is infectious. Even with his understandably, yet still painful to watch self criticizing and loathing, he’s a charmingly sympathetic LI I think about far too often. In conclusion, OZMAFIA!!’s dramatic, yet soul crushing option to create a love triangle between two of its three main boys penetrates my soul if I ever involve Caramia. That’s just not going to happen. He can be messy, but he sure can be a cinnamon bun.
Our player character is the amnesiac heroine (default name Fuka) who finds herself being pursued by a man set on killing her. She bumps into the don of the mafia famiglia Oz, who protects her and welcomes her into his famiglia. She then learns that this troubling town is often in uproar due to opposing famiglia fighting one another. Guide Fuka through this war torn world to find trust, love and a place she can call home.
OZMAFIA!! is available on Steam.
Kent from Amnesia
Amnesia is well-known to otome players, and holds many staple archetypes (looking at you, Toma), and favourites. Possibly the most well liked of its whole cast also being my favourite. Kent’s route is one of the most wholesome routes available within mainline English otome titles. The route revolves around the development of Kent and the heroine’s stagnant relationship after the heroine loses her memories, and his improvement in being a good boyfriend as he starts a fresh relationship with his partner.
There are so many notable moments I could mention, with one of my favourite ever CG’s being the final good end one, and a great head rub as seen by the above CG. Kent is a double threat as both a megane (an attractive glasses wearing LI) and kuudere (uncaring on the surface, but truly loves you deep down), two types of LI’s that prove popular. Kent is endearingly smart, gifting the heroine with a half-month anniversary cake, as well as a math workbook (the best of both worlds). Additionally, by accepting to answer his math sets and getting all the questions right, you are rewarded with a CG only obtainable through such means. That’s genius.
If you have yet to play Amnesia, please do so. As a cheaper, popular otome title, you’ll get a lot of enjoyment in each route. But especially Kent. This clover boy always makes me feel lucky to have him.
Amnesia follows the nameable heroine waking up on the 1st of August with no memories of before this date. Confronted by a boyfriend she can no longer recall or even know at this point, she must be suspicious of everyone while concealing her memory loss to discover how her memory loss occurred.
Amnesia is available for download in the PlayStation Store on the Vita and Steam.
Skeletiano from The Niflheim+
Skeletiano is simply hilarious. The Niflheim+ is an extremely entertaining otome, with many of its characters providing plenty of humor in each route, but my favourite has and always will be Mr. Bones right here. Have you ever imagined what it’d be like to romance One Piece’s Brook? Well you won’t need to look any further, as Skeletiano offers plenty of funny (and especially punny) dialogue, the best always tickling my funny bone when its about his unconventional appearance. And, as a man after our own hearts, he loves a good read of romance books! You will often see him referencing stories, tropes, and even his very own books with you. On top of such an attractive personality, who would have thought he’d become even more irresistible in his human form?
The world of Niflheim is the home of the dead. The heroine addressed as the Princess (changeable) has been disrupted from her millennium of sleep with the goal of locating her true love. She is instead met by the ruler of this kingdom, King Jean, who tells her that she is his Queen. But who will you choose to be your true love? The only answer is Skeletiano.
The Niflheim+ is available on mobile devices.
Ran from Destiny Ninja 2+
Ran makes this list as being my first ever otome crush. Having started playing this genre of gaming on mobile devices, as I’m sure many reading this can also relate to, Solmare’s incredible Destiny Ninja 2+’s title offers so many different LI’s on an engrossing journey that’ll keep you waiting on those free story tickets to refresh themselves each night with bated breath. Ran was my first choice once getting into the game, and I never got over him. As an absolutely adorable, relatable good boy who struggles through a superiority complex with his younger brother who also happens to be a love rival, Ran has a lot of depth that took me off guard on initial playthrough.
As I pointed out in my introduction, there are many similarities between the best boys because of my wonderful tastes in otome men, and Ran is very similar to Kairi (and we all know how emotional I am when it comes to Kairi). Ran captured my attention in the game’s prologue with his optimistic and bright personality, and as an absolute mad woman for love interests with angst running through their veins, Ran suffers from a background and struggles we start to learn and understand through developing our relationship with him. I am madly obsessed with Ran, and since he’s also just as into the player character as soon as you start the game, I’m saying the feeling’s mutual. Also take a look at him older, but be careful because it just might take your breath away.
Set in Yamato Island where the four seasons are a main attraction of its villages for their unrelenting beauty, a new threat is set to destroy the lands. The heroine (name changeable) must journey with one fellow ninja as your companion as you travel through the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Villages to save the Island and its inhabitants.
Destiny Ninja 2+ is available for mobile devices.
Yukiya Reizen from Wizardess Heart+
The eye-patch returns with Solmare’s Wizardess Heart+ on mobile devices! Yukiya is the mysterious student in the school, with much of his route being entertaining as Liz (name changeable) becomes exposed to his tragic background, and the reason as to why he wears his cool, all-important face accessory.
This entry is super nostalgic to me, having played it around the same time of Destiny Ninja+ when I was a baby-faced otome newbie. Once more, Yukiya is an initially distant LI, who seems uninterested and cold towards Liz. By being patient with him, you see this mask slip off to reveal an extremely sweet and caring guy. It’s heart warming to watch this development between Liz and Yukiya, and this is doubly sweet once players learn of his origins and reasons for joining the Gedonelune Royal Magic Academy.
Wizardess Heart+ is another title of Solmare’s from their popular ‘Shall We Date’ game series. Liz Hart enrolles into the magic academy for wizards as a provisional wizard student. In a fantastical school life at a wizarding academy, many different adventures and potential LI’s await you.
Wizardess Heart+ is available for mobile devices.
Are you looking for more otome goodness? Check out our guide here! Make sure to let us know if we missed any of your favourites off the list!
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