Eroge to Anime: The large number of games that become anime series
June 12, 2011 Leave a comment
So this post is going to be about the amazing number of computer games that get turned into anime, but more specifically the number of eroge games (Japanese video games that include erotic or sexual content, in case anyone who reads this does not know).
Having a quick trawl through the Internet I found this particular list of eroge that are also anime (by no means an entire list, but it should provide an idea as to how many of these erotic games become anime):
• Canvas 2
• Da Capo
• Fate/stay Night
• Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
• Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
• Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru
• Prism Ark
• School Days
• Tears of Tiara
• To Heart
• Yosuga no Sora
The list goes on, what is very interesting about the majority of these games are that they became romance/harem anime. This is fairly obvious since eroge game play and style is effectively that of a Bishōjo game or dating sim, whereby there are a number of different female characters for the male lead (played by the player) to interact with (romantically, and of course in eroge sexually). This style of game play lends itself heavily to harem and romance anime.
What is so interesting about this is that the games companies and studios tend not to push for a erotic or hentai animation release, rather they have series where the main male character interacts with the female characters in the game and. This is clearly the industry capitalizing on the popularity of these games among a certain group of people. But rather than simply pandering to their wishes it is also a ways of getting a much wider coverage on the characters and art of the game for those who have not actually played them.
There are a few exceptions, Yosuga no Sora for example features sexual content similar to the game, and while it does play a part in the overall story it is clearly a case of fanservice (slightly more extreme than skirt flips and panty shots, but I would count it as fanservice nonetheless).
One of the major problems I see with eroge being turned into anime series is that they can suffer from a serious lack of plot or character progressions. They are essentially a longer version of some of the animated cut scenes in the games, created to capitalize on the success of the game itself. There are some good anime that have a plot and some character progression, but since the characters you only ever see are the female ones, the male lead being the payer it is often very difficult to create a male character that is slightly more than being a little shallow. More importantly it is often very hard to end the anime properly. Since the games all have multiple endings all based upon which route you take and which character you end up with the ending of the anime can be pretty difficult.In the case of Air, School Days and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien we get what are probably some the worse endings from the game. However for many of these series they tend to end on a happy but entirely inconclusive note with all the main characters still being in love and there still being a harem. Shuffle! is a classic example of this where the main character chooses one of the girls, yet still ends up with all the others continuing to follow him, love him and generally be his girlfriends as well.
Simply put I enjoy many of the anime that I have mentioned in some way or other, however I have found a significant number of anime that were created from games to be dull and actually quite annoying. The main problem is the lack of plot in many of them, and since the characters are based around a video game they tend to be entirely 2D (more so than simply being animated). There are of course exceptions from that, Lamune and Fate/stay night are both excellent anime with what I consider to be a good plot and characters.
But in the end what it comes down to is that these anime involve cute or ‘kawaii’ girls, one for each particular look (short hair, long hair, twin tails, megane, Tsundere, the list goes on) and that is what these games and anime are about, the fanservice. This does not stop me from enjoying many of these series in some way though.