Tomoya Aki is your typical otaku who takes on part-time jobs to fund his anime and light novel obsession. However, one day when he was out riding his bike, he catches the beret of a girl and is so captivated by the scene before him that he sets out to create the ultimate dating sim. While he struggles to do so, he eventually recruits three of the school’s most popular girls, that also happen to be good at drawing, writing, and music as well as otakus themselves to help him create it. In this new doujin circle, he also happens across the girl that inspired him, but she was not what he expected and certainly doesn’t stand up to his 2D expectations.
What does it take to create an anime that will touch otaku’s cold hearts? Cute girls, of course. And I guess maybe to experience those emotions firsthand. The latter is what Saekano is all about and we have the anime recommendations to capture that same feeling.
For Fans of Students Advancing Otaku Culture
As a child, Moritaka Mashiro wanted to be a manga artist like his uncle. However, after certain events transpired, he refocused his efforts towards studying in middle school. One day, aspiring writer Akito Takagi notices some detailed drawings in Moritaka’s notebook and approaches him to propose they become a mangaka together. Realizing that he might be able to get his crush if they make an anime adaption of it with her as the voice actor, Moritaka agrees, and thus, the mangaka Muto Ashirogi is born.
Both Bakumon and Saekano are about school boy otaku that are inspired to make something great. However, the major difference is the amount of people they use to make that happen. However, both Bakuman and Saekano give you a closer look as to what goes into making your favorite media.
Girls Beyond the Wasteland
Buntarou Hojo is a high school student with a talent for writing, but no direction in life. When his classmate Sayuki Kuroda notices his talent, she pressures him into her girl game development group. Will this foray into game development be just about games or will it teach him about life as well?
Naturally, Saekano and Girls Beyond the Wasteland are about people that want to make a doujin game. However, Saekano has a boy otaku and Girls Beyond the Wasteland has a girl otaku. Naturally, they end up making games for their respective genders.
Magic of Stella
Upon entering high school, Tamaki Honda joins the SNS Club that is known for making doujin games. Joined by the programmer, writer, and composer, the four get to work making their next game.
Obviously, Saekano and Magic of Stella are about people making games in a doujin circle. However, the way each anime goes about it is completely different, making them each an experience to watch. While Saekano ups the style a bit, Magic of Stella keeps things super moe.
For Fans of Realistic Harems
White Album 2
Haruki Kitahara’s light music club is on the verge of disbanding due to lack of interest, an event that will crush his dream of playing at the school festival. However, as he solemnly plays “White Album,” the first song he ever learned to play, an angelic voice suddenly harmonizes with his lonely guitar.
Well, Saekano is based off a light novel created by the author who also created the White Album 2 light novel. While they have vastly different plots, you will find some similar personalities, atmospheres, and dramas. However, what makes them most similar is that a group of girls gather around a boy in a way that is not completely out there.
Student Council’s Discretion
The student council of Hekyou Gakuen is all chosen by popular vote, so of course they are all cute girls. The only exception is Ken Sugisaki who managed to get a spot by being the top scoring student of the year. Now he spends his time trying to turn the student council into his harem while the girls focus on more important things like running festivals and driving Ken mad.
It is not such a stretch to imagine a doujin circle or a student council that is all girls and one guy. Well, yeah, it is a stretch, but it is not outside the realms of naturally occurring harem reality. Both Saekano and The Student Council’s Discretion have that. They are both about otaku boys that are completely dominated by women. However, Saekano has a plot line to follow.
Denki-gai no Honya-san
Umio is a shy kid that took a part-time job at a manga store to fund his hobbies. However, while the store is in the center of the city, Umio and his new co-workers are more interested in spending time inside.
Both are shows about otakus doing otaku activities. Denki-gai is a little more random and the women aren’t as thirsty, but both it and Saekano give a glance into the obsessive nature of otaku culture.
For Fans of Otaku Romantic Comedy
The World God Only Knows
Keima Katsuragi is known as the “God of Conquest,” a man that can conquer any girl’s heart, at least in his dating sim games. However, when Keima arrogantly accepts an offer to prove his dating sim supremacy, he finds himself at the mercy of a demon that forces him to woo over real life girl.
Of course, Saekano and The World God Only Knows are about dating sims while the people themselves in the series act like characters in dating sims. Both series are extremely meta in the fact that they poke fun at themselves and the tropes of their genres.
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
On one extraordinary day, the four members of the Literature Club and the faculty advisor’s niece suddenly find themselves with supernatural powers. Each amazed with their own abilities, they try to solve the mystery of them, but very little else has changed in the day to day activities of the Literature Club.
If you take out the actual plots of both series, you almost have the same show in these two anime series. You have a somewhat annoying guy surrounded by four beautiful women and their comedies and romance both rely heavily on that dynamic.
Welcome to the NHK
College dropout Tatsuhiro Satou has been living as a hikikomori shut-in for four years now. In his extreme isolation, he has come to believe a number of conspiracy theories, primary among them is that the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK) is responsible for his isolation by spreading hikikomori culture. However, while struggling to go out into the world and get a job, he has a run-in with the mysterious Misaki Nakahara, a girl who might signal a great change coming to his life.
Although Welcome to the NHK takes a much serious path, like Saekano it gives you a look into otaku culture. However, Satou is more of an otaku by circumstance and more of a NEET while Aki doesn’t have any NEET tendencies, but is hardcore into the otaku culture.
Do you have any more anime recommendations for Saekano up your sleeve? Well, lay them bare in the comments section below.