For years, J-List has been involved in translating and promoting Japanese “dating-sim games,” a genre of interactive PC game in which the character plays a male (usually) who must interact with several females (usually) and find love with them in various forms. The genre is huge in Japan, and many mainstream anime series start out as dating-sims or visual novels, including both “ero” titles like Fate/stay night and all-ages games like Clannad. I’m currently enjoying Amagami SS which is an anime series based on a PS2 dating-sim. The structure is quite interesting: while most series based on multi-ending games pick one path to bring the characters through, Amagami is set up as a series of arcs, with the story resetting every few episodes with a new romantic target, so fans get to enjoy the complete stories of each character rather than just a subset. As usual there are some cultural observations one can make about the show, specifically relating to how politeness and/or formal speech works in Japanese. In the first arc, the main character Junichi falls for the enigmatic Morishima-senpai, a year his senior, and he speaks polite Japanese to her even though they’re dating, which would be unthinkable in English. The second arc is Kaoru, a girl his age who he’s known for years, followed by the shy Sae, who is one year younger than him, and again the language he uses changes depending on his age and senpai/kohai relationship with the other girl.
Amagami SS is a pure anime based on a dating-sim game.