My Independent Study (I.S.), titled “2D Boys, 3D Desires – A Primer on Sexuality in Shoujo Manga, Anime, and Otome Games”, discusses gender expression and sexuality from a primarily female, heterosexual perspective within the aforementioned forms of media. By writing this project, I hope to create a reference point for those interested in doing research about this topic, since there is little to no research available on otome games. In this I.S., I plan to lay a groundwork for various tropes, character types, and phenomena within these primarily Japanese forms of media. I will put a spotlight on works such as The Rose of Versailles (1971-1972), Fruits Basket (1998-2006), Ouran High School Host Club (2006), DRAMAtical Murder (2012, PC), Nameless: The One Thing You Must Recall (2013, PC), and Mystic Messenger (2016, Mobile), and discuss how the presentation of men and women—especially with LGBTQIA+ individuals—factors into the objectification and the liberation of its characters and its readers. I also discuss the historical background of these tropes and contrast them with Western media tropes and romance fiction, along with contemporizing works with LGBTQIA+ themes with events in LGBTQIA+ history as well. As a primer, this project’s purpose is not to go into deep detail for these works, but instead to provide a solid base for any research that I would like to do in the future, helping to elucidate the place within the gaming canon and within academia for this intriguing subgenre.


Alkemeyer, Bryan


Interdepartmental; Comparative Literature; English


Digital Humanities | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Modern Literature | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Film and Media Studies | Television | Visual Studies | Women's Studies


anime, manga, video games, games studies, graphic narrative studies, shoujo, otome, new media studies, interdisciplinary

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Katherine M. Randazzo