This article will introduce several Japanese eroge works produced and made into anime.
For this article, we have selected 15 works from among anime based on adult games based on their recognition, depth of setting, and erotic elements. We have tried to be objective in our analysis, but please forgive us for including our opinions and prejudices.
- 1. Air
- 2. School Days
- 3. In Search of the Lost Future
- 4. Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers
- 5. ef – a tale of memories.
- 6. We Without Wings – Under the Innocent Sky
- 7. Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat
- 8. White Album
- 9. Yosuga no Sora
- 10. Walkure Romanze
- 11. Fate/stay night
- 12. Princess Lover!
- 13. A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd
- 14. The Eden of Grisaia (Series)
- 15. Wagamama High Spec
- Eroge anime is not only about getting down and dirty.
- Eroge anime can also be deep
Air is a work based on Key’s game of the same name. The original PC game was released in 2000, twenty years ago, and has since undergone several edition changes. The anime adaptation was produced by Kyoto Animation and aired in 2005.
The protagonist, Yukito Kunisaki, a wandering puppeteer, arrives in a coastal countryside town. There, he encounters a young girl with traces of innocence named Misuzu Kamio. Along with meeting Misuzu and other heroines, Yukito feels a sense of comfort in this town, which he originally planned to leave soon. And thus, Misuzu’s summer vacation begins alongside Yukito.
Here’s why it’s recommended! Being known as a “tear-jerker” Key title, this work is no exception and will surely bring tears to your eyes. With elements of fantasy and time loops, it develops into a grand “Sekai-kei” (world-building) story. Misuzu, who confronts her tragic romance with Yukito and her complicated relationship with her aunt Haruko, bravely faces her destiny. Her presence is captivating and impossible to look away from.
2. School Days
School Days is an anime adaptation based on the adult game by Overflow. It aired in 2007, but the final episode, Episode 12, was cancelled due to various circumstances. The phrase “Nice boat.” emerged during this time and is well-known to many.
High school student Makoto Itou had feelings for Kotonoha Katsura. However, his childhood friend Sekai Saionji discovered this. Sekai played matchmaker between Makoto and Kotonoha, and they became a couple, but their relationship gradually deteriorated. While Sekai supported him, she secretly developed her feelings for him.
Here’s why it’s recommended! This series features quite daring content despite airing on terrestrial television. It portrays a love triangle among the three characters with an explosive mix of love and hate, including explicit scenes and murder. Witness the extremes of an excessive and disturbing form of pure love and enjoy the despicable nature of Makoto’s character.
3. In Search of the Lost Future
In Search of the Lost Future is an anime work based on the game of the same name released by TRUMPLE. Known as “Warete,” the anime was broadcast in 2014. Its character design is by Kurehito Fukasaki, well-known for his work on “Saekano.”
Kanade Akiyama and Kaori Sasaki, both Uchihama Academy Astronomical Society members, are childhood friends. However, Kaori has an accident that leaves her in a vegetative state and unable to wake up. To wake Kaori up, Kanade and the other members of the Astronomical Society conduct a series of research but fail at every attempt. Eventually, they decide to prevent Kaori’s accident by sending an artificial human, created in their research process, into the past.
This work contains science fiction elements such as time leaps and artificial humans. Since the astronomical society members are all science majors, there is a lot of scientific knowledge in the story. Still, it does not affect your understanding of the content. Instead, the careful research of the story will tickle your intellectual curiosity, and simultaneously, you can enjoy the beautiful girls.
4. Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers
Mashiroiro Symphony: The Color of Lovers is an anime adaptation based on the game released by Palette. The original game has enjoyed enduring popularity, and a remake version is scheduled for release in 2023.
The story revolves around Shingo Uryuu, who attends a co-educational school merged with a prestigious all-girls school in the same town. Selected as one of the chosen students from the co-educational side, Shingo begins his school life at the girls’ school. However, there is a solid anti-merger sentiment among the girls’ school students.
Here’s why it’s recommended! This series follows a classic school romance where bonds are formed from scratch. The soft and cute art style and heartwarming storytelling are its charms. It strikes a good balance between more elements and emotional moments, making it a simple yet enjoyable work recommended for those who want to experience a touching and endearing story.
5. ef – a tale of memories.
Ef – a tale of memories. It is an anime adaptation based on the game of the same name developed by Minori. The original game was divided into two parts: the first half and the latter half. The anime series had two seasons, with the first airing in 2007 and the second in 2008.
The story follows multiple characters: Hiro Hirono, a high school student and aspiring manga artist, and his encounter with Miyako Miyamura; Kei Shindou, Hiro’s childhood friend whom he has feelings for, and Kyosuke Tsutsumi, who pursues Kei; and Renji Asou, a book lover, and Chihiro Shindou, Kei’s twin sister who has a memory disorder. Through their encounters, these young boys and girls start walking toward their respective futures.
Here’s why it’s recommended! The series was produced by Shaft, known for its distinctive and artistic directing style. The show features detailed directions, including foreshadowing through visual cues and changing the OP (opening) animation for each episode to give them more profound meaning. In addition, it has an avant-garde and artistic atmosphere that can be felt throughout the series.
6. We Without Wings – Under the Innocent Sky
We Without Wings – Under the Innocent Sky, also known as “Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai,” is an anime adaptation based on the game of the same name developed by Navel. The story is set in the winter city of Yanagihara and depicts the intertwined emotions of the young people in this city, earning it the nickname “OreTsuba.”
The main characters include Takashi Haneda, a student at Misora Gakuen; Shuusuke Chitose, a poor part-time worker; and Hayato Narita, a handyman running his own business. Initially, these three individuals seem unrelated and live their peaceful daily lives. However, each of them harbours a secret they cannot share.
Here’s why it’s recommended! Even if the initial episodes may be confusing, it’s worth watching until the end. As the story unfolds, you’ll discover it’s not just a typical youth ensemble drama but has a unique worldview with fantasy elements. While the ecchi content is restrained, you’ll likely become engrossed in the series if you enjoy stories incorporating foreshadowing and plot resolution.
7. Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat
Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat is a short anime series based on the game of the same name, which won the Character Design Award at the “Moe Game Awards 2016.” The director, Kenshirou Mori, also worked on the original game’s opening movie, while the original scenario writer, Hato, handled the script. The anime is designed to be a casual and enjoyable introduction to the game.
The story follows Nora, a typical and peaceful high school boy who encounters a girl named Patricia by chance. But, unfortunately, Patricia claims to be the underworld princess and turns Nora into a cat.
Here’s why it’s recommended! First, each episode is only 4 minutes long, making it easy to breeze through all 12 episodes. The comical interactions among the deformed heroine characters are adorable, and the atmosphere is peaceful. Finally, it’s a great way to get to know the characters’ charm before playing the original game!
8. White Album
White Album is an anime series based on the 18+ game by Leaf and is often abbreviated as “WhiAlba.” After the game’s release, a further installment with a different setting titled “2” was also released. The anime adaptation aired in two split-cour seasons, with the first half airing in January and the second half in October 2009.
The story revolves around Touya Fujii, a university student in a relationship with the female idol Yuki Morikawa. However, due to Yuki’s rising popularity and busy schedule, Touya finds it challenging to spend time with her. Amid this, Touya encounters Rina Ogata, an idol of the same talent agency as Yuki. Rina is drawn to Touya’s kindness and how he reaches out to her as she carries her feelings of loneliness.
Here’s why it’s recommended! Like the previous series, White Album also features a love triangle involving Yuki and Rina. Additionally, Touya is known for being a famous loser protagonist, making him one of the “Big Three Loser Protagonists.” Finally, remember that the protagonist may sometimes be frustrating, so please be aware of that aspect.
9. Yosuga no Sora
Yosuga no Sora is an anime series based on the adult game of the same name, which is also Sphere’s debut work. After its release, a fan disc called ‘Haruka Na Sora’ was released, which included new routes for popular characters from the main game. The anime adaptation aired in 2010.
The story revolves around Haruka Kasugano and his twin sister Sora. After losing their parents in an accident, they move to a rural town where their relatives live. Haruka reunites with childhood friends and classmates there, and their relationships deepen over time. However, while Haruka forms close bonds with the girls, Sora also harbours unique feelings for her brother.
Here’s why it’s recommended! First and foremost, it’s important to note that typical visual novels have branching storylines that lead to individual routes for each heroine. In the case of ‘Yosuga no Sora,’ the anime adapts this concept by depicting different heroine routes in each episode. It can be considered an experimental and ambitious approach. It’s worth mentioning that this series contains explicit and provocative content.
10. Walkure Romanze
Walkure Romanze is an anime series based on an adult game released by Ricotta. The anime adaptation aired for a total of 12 episodes from October 2013. It’s worth noting that the same game developer also had another one of their games, ‘Princess Lover!’, adapted into an anime before this series.
The story is set in Winford Academy, a prestigious school known for jousting, a competitive sport where knights engage in one-on-one combat on horseback. Takeru Mizuno was a prodigious knight but suffered a severe injury during a match, forcing him to abandon his path as a knight. Determined to become a top-tier knight’s assistant, known as a “Begleiter,” he encounters various female knights and decides to become the exclusive Begleiter for one of them. Together, they aim to win tournaments and embark on the path of training and growth.
Here’s why it’s recommended! While ecchi scenes are present, the series primarily focuses on the intense sports aspect. Although jousting is relatively unfamiliar, the anime effectively conveys its excitement and thrill. By prioritizing the sports storyline over the romantic elements of the game, it achieves great success with its sports-oriented approach.
11. Fate/stay night
The Fate series is known for coining the phrase “Fate is literature” and has gained immense popularity as a unique genre. The original “Fate/stay night” focuses on what is commonly known as the Saber route.
The story revolves around Shirou Emiya, an amateur magus who gets involved in the Holy Grail War, a battle for the Holy Grail, which is said to grant any wish. Summoning the Servant Saber, he is thrown into an endless struggle that will not cease until only one pair remains.
Here’s why it’s recommended! If you’re interested in explicit and gory scenes, I recommend the “Heaven’s Feel” trilogy of movies. They delve into a dark setting, showcase breathtaking world-building, and feature spectacular battles. In addition, they are so well-executed that you might forget the source material was an 18+ adult game.
12. Princess Lover!
Princess Lover! is based on Ricotta’s famous game of the same name, which gained popularity as their debut work. There are two versions of the anime adaptation: the R15+ version and the adult anime version that faithfully portrays the erotic elements of the original game.
Teppei lost his parents and later discovers that he is a scion of one of the most influential figures in the Japanese economy. Suddenly thrust into high society, Teppei begins to have thrilling interactions with super-elite young ladies.
Here’s why it’s recommended! The anime does a great job of faithfully reproducing the charming character designs from the original game, which is quite appealing. It combines the gap between commoners and elites with a comedic and chaotic school harem atmosphere, and the story, tailored for the anime, is well-executed. Surprisingly, you can also enjoy some battle scenes in this series.
13. A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd
A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd is an anime adaptation based on the game of the same name by August. The anime aired in 2014. August is also known for having many of their works adapted into anime in the past.
Shiomigaoka Academy is a massive school with a vast campus, and its library, in particular, is considered second only to the National Library. Kyoutarou Kakei, a student at the academy, receives a prophetic-like email from someone known as the “Shepherd,” after receiving the email, he meets a girl named Tsugumi Shirasaki.
Here’s why it’s recommended! This series is a straightforward, orthodox school story without many unique or complex elements. However, developing its characters takes time and presents a brief yet engaging narrative. Compared to the “quirky” series mentioned earlier, this one offers a more relaxed and comforting viewing experience, which can be a significant point for many viewers.
14. The Eden of Grisaia (Series)
The Eden of Grisaia is a series of works based on the adult game series by Front Wing. Each installment in the series is referred to as “Grisaia no ○○” and consists of three parts: “The Fruit,” “The Labyrinth,” and “The Eden.” All three elements have been adapted into anime and were broadcast between 2014 and 2015.
The protagonist, Yuuji Kazami, transfers to the private Mihama Academy. However, this school only has five students, all girls, with Yuuji being the only male. These five girls have hidden pasts or secrets they cannot share with others. And Yuuji is no exception to this.
The first part, “The Fruit,” is an introduction that portrays the heroines’ individual routes. The following parts, “The Labyrinth” and “The Eden,” delve into Yuuji’s past, and the tension climaxes. Viewers can become even more engaged with the story by exploring the characters in depth in the first part and then proceeding with a more immersive second part.
Here’s why it’s recommended! The sense of entrapment and desire for everyday life within an abnormal setting is addictive. In addition, the heaviness of the characters’ struggles and the gloomy atmosphere is unique to this series. There’s also an anime adaptation of Phantom Trigger, which depicts events after the main trilogy, so be sure to check it out!
15. Wagamama High Spec
Wagamama High Spec, also known as “Wagahai,” is based on an 18+ game created by Madosoft. It was adapted into a 5-minute anime series that aired in 2016. This famous work significantly boosted the recognition of the game’s developer, and a sequel was released in 2017.
The story revolves around Kouki Narumi, an Ousui Academy student secretly a manga artist. However, the student council president, Kaoruko Rokuonji, also has a secret. She is the illustrator for the manga series that Kouki is in charge of. When Kouki discovers this, Kaoruko decides to recruit him as a male student council member, a role she had been searching for.
Here’s why it’s recommended! This series, true to its eroge game origins, packs cuteness into each 5-minute episode. The content leans towards comedy, allowing for quick and enjoyable viewing. Moreover, Wagamama High Spec is the first 5-minute anime adaptation of an eroge game. It brought a refreshing change to an industry that tends to be hesitant about adapting such content into anime, making it a groundbreaking series.
Eroge anime is not only about getting down and dirty.
Although the term “eroge” is used to describe a single category, the content of eroge varies widely. For example, the ten works mentioned above all have students as central characters. However, while Grisaia has military elements, Air is a world-oriented work. Even the stories of high school students vary widely in setting and subject matter, from the sordid School Days to the high-tension comedy Wagahai.
This is probably why so many eroge and adult game works have been made into anime. It is no exaggeration to say that the environment in which so many subjects can be freely produced is a treasure trove.
However, as mentioned in the previous section, the eroge industry has recently shown some resistance to the animated adaptation of its works. Although they can expect to gain publicity and popularity, they are reluctant to do so due to the high production costs.
It is a waste to have exciting works that cannot be animated. Therefore, we sincerely hope that the hurdles for anime based on eroge will be lowered.
Eroge anime can also be deep
When you hear “eroge,” most people probably think of 18-rated adult games. Unfortunately, that feeling is not wrong, and many works satisfy sexual desires.
On the other hand, eroge also includes many galge works. In other words, these are games where the goal is to develop a rapport with a girl of one’s choice among the characters and become their lover. The erotic element, in this case, is merely an event in the process of deepening the relationship between two people.
What is important is how to get along with the girl (the game’s target). The process is the drama itself, a high-quality work of romance.
Eroge is a term used to refer to games that contain 18 restricted sections, and the games come in various genres. There is the standard romance, horror, suspense, medieval fantasy, and everything in between. The world of eroge is intense.
Watch the anime works based on the eroge introduced in this article and enjoy its depth to your heart’s content!