Article: Dating sims and anime
Dating sims and anime
One of the growing trends in anime is to make a show based off of a dating sim. But what is a dating sim and what do they have to do with anime? Should I watch these kinds of shows or avoid them like the plague? How do I manage my stock portfolio? The answers to most of those questions coming right up.
First of all what is a dating sim? A dating sim is a video game where at least one of the objects is to gain the affections of one of the other characters in the game (generally a girl, but not in all games). Although the term I use is dating sim there are bunch of other names that are also used. Some of these are Ren ai game, bishojo game, H game(although not all of these games are erotic, those are not sometimes called pure games) and visual novel (visual novels tend to be less interactive though).
Dating sims have been around for quite some time in Japan. Although early games almost always revolved around sex things changed in the mid nineties with a game called Tokimeki memorial. Tokimeki memorial not only had improved graphics but also was a pure game. It proved to be a very popular game and has retained a following to this very day.
Dating sims are often used as ideas for new anime show for several reasons. The first thing is that unlike some other genres of video games dating sims already have fleshed out characters, story lines and dialogue that can be used in an anime show. A dating also has publicity attached to it and the fans of the game are usually eager to watch it one television giving it a boost to ratings.
Anime shows that have been spawned from dating sims tend to have two hurdles facing them. The first the amount of characters. When playing a dating you can generally ignore most of the characters and concentrate on your personal favorite (sort of like real life). In an anime adaptation doing that could annoy a fan if their favorite character was left out. So air time has to be divided up among a fairly large cast of characters. Also even if the female cast is interesting and well developed the male lead is often flat as a character. The reason behind this is that in a game you play this character and actually make decisions for him. It is often hard for the writers to translate this into a strong character.
So are these shows worth watching? I would say yes but not for everyone. For one thing, these shows are aimed squarely at men. If you like shows like Tenchi Muyo or Love Hina you would probably be a fan of this genre. Also like any genre anime or otherwise, quality varies from show to show. For example even though I generally like shows of this type I would avoid Angel's tail or Green Green like the plague. Conversely Kannon and Kimi ga nozomu eien are really good and I would espcially recommend the latter even to people that generally don't like the genre. Like anything it is just a matter of taste.