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I have questions!

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

My Japanese is not good enough, can I still play (otome) games?

Yes, or rather – it depends. 

I personally have the opinion, that you can read easy native material, that is engaging for you – like otome games – as soon as possible.

I know some people in the community, who did exactly this. Of course it’s gonna take a while to read a sentence and you should at least know hiragana (and katakana), have a decent dictionary and maybe it’s even easier to start playing on PC, with an easy otome game and following this set up.

There are some beginner friendly otome games with easy languages and voiced MCs, that make it easy to start out.

You might be surprised about how much you already know and how fun it can be to fight yourself through a sentence to finally understand it!

I myself started after having finished the Genki books I and II (so basic N4-ish grammar), but I didn’t know a single kanji!

So it depends on your motivation and willingness to look up many words (in my case – every word at the beginning! Took some time but I got better eventually).

And on your willingness to sacrifice a bit of understanding. More about this in the next question!

So why ever you think your Japanese might be “not good enough”, that should not be a reason to hold you back, but to keep you going! Because that means there still is so much to learn, and which way could be a more fun way to learn, than with games and something you love?!

Won’t it ruin the experience, if I don’t understand everything?

I can’t completely deny that. Depending on your level or even if your Japanese is more advanced, there still might be sentences you don’t fully understand.

But even if you don’t understand each sentence, you probably still will understand the gist of the story, the situation and emotions. That is enough for me personally.

But if that troubles you a lot, maybe play a game, that is already localised or has a fan translation available? Also something to check on the community list.

I always was bad with languages, can I still do it?


I personally still don’t understand French, even after years of learning it at school. But I would say I now can understand Japanese better than French. I don’t think there are people “bad with languages” no matter what. Maybe you just didn’t have the proper motivation or didn’t find good learning techniques for you yet.

Maybe you’ll find out Japanese is more fun than French, you have more goals when it comes to learning Japanese, like playing games and watching anime, traveling to Japan and ordering in Japanese when you are at a restaurant!

Don’t put yourself into a box and stop before even trying! If you want to, I’m sure you can do it, just know your Why!

I can’t even read my Japanese textbooks, how am I supposed to understand a game??

Love, my friend, love. 

I always fall asleep when I look at textbooks myself. That seldomly happens with otome games, though! No matter how “hard” the language in an otome game – and even more in love scenes – I’m ready to spend hours to figure out what he’s seductively whispering!

I don’t care, what Mary from the textbook does at university, but I certainly care, what we do with the LI on our date!

So as long as you are motivated and have fun with the text, I’m sure you’ll be willing to put in more effort than into your average textbook conversation and therefore there is not really a “too hard” text.

You won’t understand everything in at glance, but I can promise you: you will get there!

(With the help of 2D husbandos)

I’m so bad with grammar, can’t memorise vocabulary and kanji scare me – are you sure this is a good idea?

Yes, especially then!

…before I started playing otome games I didn’t know any other kanji than 日 (day), only knew grammar in theory, but didn’t truly understand the meaning of a lot of grammar points and didn’t know how to use my limited vocabulary.

I wouldn’t say I’m fluent or anything, but I can clearly see how much I’ve improved just by playing otome games for one year! (I even skipped on a lot of anki reviews, but am now getting back on track and that certainly speeds up the learning process a lot!)

And most importantly otome games helped me to stay motivated!

I had an on-off-relationship with Japanese for almost 10 years, never being able to stick to my study plan for more than one week or two. But since I started learning Japenese with and for otome games, sweet 2D men motivate me to study a bit every day.

So yes, I think that’s the best idea you ever had!

But what if I end up not being able to understand the game – then I just wasted a lot of money!?

That is of course a possibilty – but not a necessity.


First you could try finding games that suit your level using our sheet.

Secondly you could try playing localised games in Japanese to check back on a translation, multilingual games, to change between languages or check for available fan translations. All things I did for choosing my first Japanese otome games to learn Japanese with.

This way even if you end up not being able to understand it, you can just get back to the translation.


AND you could still get back to the game at a later point in time, to see how much you have improved in the meantime or even establish it as your “goal game” – the game you want to be able to play some day to be just major proud of yourself and tell everyone about it!

Though I honestly think every game, every sentence actually is such a success!

And think about how much you spent on textbooks or learning material…for me a game has much more value for money 😉

What to do if I didn’t manage to understand a game? I feel so stupid now…

This feeling is totally relatable and every one feels like this once in a while.

Will you allow this feeling to hold you back, prevent you from making progress, learning a language you love and playing the games you are obsessed with?

And see it this way: the more stupid you feel, the more you can learn!

You are not stupid, you just didn’t understand this sentence YET. The game was to difficult YET. For now chose an easier game.

But always know: you are here to learn and grow.

With so many games being localised these days, it is really worth it?

Another “it depends” question.

Do you want to learn Japanese or do you want to play otome games, solely, only, nothing else?

If it is the latter, you might want to stick to localised games. Because a language is not easily learned. It takes years and thousand of hours to learn.

BUT if you have at least one other reason to learn Japanese, like reading more mange or understanding anime without subtitles, go to Japan…then it’s definitely worth it! Then learning Japanese with otome games is the most fun way I know to learn Japanese!

And there are still so many unlocalised Japanese otome games – and even good ones, like Nil Admirari no Tenbin, Jakou no Lyla, Diabolik Lovers – too many to name. So just for playing hundreds of otome games, it would still be worth it!

And learning a language also means getting to know another culture, challenge your own world views, getting to know more people and overall broadening your horizon! So it’s a big YES from me! It is so worth it!!

Can I really learn Japanese with otome games?

Yes, to some extent.

Well at first, otome probably won’t teach you hiragana. You will imporve your reading ability, but they can’t teach you how to start.

Secondly, some speech in otome games CAN be a bit unnatural, like in anime, there might be expressions you wouldn’t use in real world Japanese. Like your LI will often call you お前(omae) and just mean “you”. But in real world Japanese this could be interpreted as condescending and impolite, except maybe between very very good friends.

Or some LIs might speak extremely slangy or old-fashioned.

So you should always see the language in context. But somehow I do know this, right? Because I sometimes look things up and learn a lot of real world Japanese from this channel. But you might have your own preferred resources!

What I’m trying to say is, that you will most likely have to use some supplementary resources here and there, especially for looking up grammar.

But an admirable girl in my discord reached a solid N2 within a year of reading otome games (she already started after her first Genki book). 

This concerns mainly passive understanding, like reading and listening. When it comes to active reproduction, like writing texts or speaking this is another story. Of course you can write about your otome games in Japanese or talk to a drama CD, but these are then not skills taught to you by the game, but time you actively take to actively study outside the game.

In conclusion I would say: especially when it comes to reading and listening otome games can bring you to N1 without any problem. They are on so varied topics that you easily meet every important vocabulary word and even more unimportant ones. And often passive skills tend to transform into active skills over time – slowly. But in general you might want to put some extra effort in when it comes to the active skills.

So, one game – I’m fluent?

Not quite. 

No matter what you think of the concept of fluency, you will most likely not reach it by just reading one game.

Learning a language takes time, dedication and time – and time. Reading stories about people, who learned Japanese in a year, are stories about people who learned for 6 hours a day at least. Not something everyone of us can do.

By just playing games it might take you years to become conversational. If you study a bit additonally on the side, you will speed up this process. 

Just think about why you are doing this. Is it worth all the effort? Is it worth learning/or playing Japanese otome games instead of watching Netflix or YouTube or which other activity you have to sacrifice in order to make time for learning Japanese.

For me personally it is important, that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, but something I sincerely enjoy doing. And then I don’t care how long it takes for me to become “fluent”. I know I gradually will understand more words in the games I play, understand more grammar as I read and just enjoy my language learning journey.

Can I just read fan-translations?

Of course you could! It’s all about the why!

Fan translations are your saviour.

 Then fan translations should be used supplementary, if even. Better to try and learn and translate it yourself as they can only help you to understand the sentence,  but won’t explain the grammar to you or how this sepcific translation was written.