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Post Reply Difference between a Harem anime and an anime with a harem
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Posted 5/21/16
So my buddy pointed out that a lot of the anime I have been watching lately is harm anime. Which I don't think they all are, granted some are. For instance Asterisk War is for sure a harem anime. However I watched Baby Steps, and although there is a couple girls into him. It never seemed like a harem anime. When I started thinking about the shows I watched and listing them all off. The main character all had multiple women into him, however the shows don't focus on them like Highschool DxD or Asterisk War. So I argued they aren't harem animes since that isn't a focus in the anime. What is every ones opinions? I don't care if what anime I watch lately is considered but I don't think an anime should be classified a harem anime if it's like Baby Steps, where they don't really focus on multiple love angles like Asterisk War.
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Posted 5/21/16
It's a harem when multiple people show romantic interest in one person and that's the show's main focus. If it's just one guy who happens to hang around with multiple girls and nothing more, it's not a harem.

For example, Netoge has literally no male characters other than the protagonist and all the girls tease him, but only one of them is in love with him. Not a harem. In Hundred, there are multiple girls who would want to claw each other's eyes out fighting over one guy. This is a harem anime.
Sogno- 
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Posted 5/21/16
they're all the same to me
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M / midgar
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Posted 5/21/16
All anime fans need a small harem lol it's awesome lol
xxJing 
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30 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/22/16
There are quite a few animes where the main characters have harems, but the harem aspect isn't what defines the anime :

Kanon, Air, Clannad, Little Busters, We Without Wings... These are Visual Novel anime where there is a harem, technically, but the anime doesn't play up the harem aspect.

D-frag, My Bride is a Mermaid, Heaven's Lost Property, Haruhi... These are anime where the harem is a bit more prevalent, but the main focus is the comedy and narrative rather than the harem.

Asterisk, SAO, Campione, Highschool DxD, Strike the Blood, Infinite Stratos, Hundred... The are harem anime. The harem is the focus, all comedy and romance is derived from girls mindlessly throwing themselves at a self-insert protagonist.
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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 5/21/16

Sogno- wrote:

they're all the same to me


Largely the same here. If the MC is placed in a situation where there are multiple female characters around but pretty much no other males to speak of, that's a harem to me. It doesn't really matter if only some of the females are interested in him or if multiple females are interested but it's not the focus of the anime. There are certainly factors involved with make things even worse (or, in very rare cases, better) of course, but the framework feels similar enough to me to basically treat them the same.
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21 / F / Bay Area
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Posted 5/21/16
I would even consider [email protected] to be a harem anime

They all love their producer
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Posted 5/21/16 , edited 5/22/16

PhantomGundam wrote:

It's a harem when multiple people show romantic interest in one person and that's the show's main focus. If it's just one guy who happens to hang around with multiple girls and nothing more, it's not a harem.

For example, Netoge has literally no male characters other than the protagonist and all the girls tease him, but only one of them is in love with him. Not a harem. In Hundred, there are multiple girls who would want to claw each other's eyes out fighting over one guy. This is a harem anime.


Or to use more recognizable examples, Tenchi is a harem series, with three or more girls fighting over him in one house, while Ranma, who occasionally has to run from three girls while fighting his other enemies, is not.

A harem by definition has involve some sort of seraglio, namely that there's some location where the girls and our hero are forced to live together under one roof.
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43 / M / Canada
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Posted 5/21/16
Is the Harem the central plot elements or is it simply a device used to bring characters into the main plot?

To me, at least, a Good Harem series is one that has a Harem in it but has something else driving the story. The Harem is a plot device that keeps everyone together while they pursue a different goal.
A Harem in a show makes it easy to introduce and keep characters around. It's actually a very handy plot device in that respect. A character introduced for a story arc might have no other reason to stick around when there story is done. After all they have probably done everything they needed to do by that point so why stay. The Harem creates an easy excuse for why they are still there next arc.


The other sort is when the Harem is the only thing a story has going for it, the girls just kind of show up, hang around and bicker with each other and nothing else really happens until maybe the last 2 episodes of the show where they throw in some kind of drama just to pretend there was a point to it all.



Icing on a cake is probably the best metaphore I've heard on it.
Just the right amount decorates the cake and makes it nicer to look at. Too much and your teeth itch just from looking at it.

Worst of all is no Cake at all and just a giant gob of Icing.
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30 / M / Glendale, AZ
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Posted 5/21/16
xxJing, I think you have the best explanation. I can't think of a case of an anime or manga where a guy is surround by 3 or more girls that doesn't qualify as any of those 3 types you mentioned.
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55 / M /
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Posted 5/22/16 , edited 5/22/16
For me the big difference is the MC's role or lack there of. Many people consider Ai Yori Aoshi to be a harem show. I do not. The MC only has eyes for Aoi Sakuraba. While the MC had feelings for Tina Foster along the lines of a crush; she threw that chance away and now it is Aoi alone he loves. Now in Maid--sama you have a lot of boys interested in Misaki Ayuzawa, but she has a love-hate relationship with Takumi Usui and nobody else really matters. Now let's look at what I do consider a harem show. Shuffle!! is a classic harem show. The MC is paralyzed to make a decision partly because he doesn't know who to choose and partially to avoid hurting the girls and getting hurt himself.
So for me the role of the MC (passive or active) defines the show. And I agree that xxJing's explanation is very good too.

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Kazamatsuri
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Posted 5/22/16

Swaggercandy wrote:

I would even consider [email protected] to be a harem anime

They all love their producer


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20 / M
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Posted 5/22/16 , edited 5/22/16
Harem anime like PhantomGundam said are if the show is literally about a guy surrounded by girls who all like him romantically. The Familar of Zero, Shuffle, Heaven's Lost Property, My Bride is a Mernaid, Grisaia, We Without Wings, etc. those are all harems. Don't know what he was talking about with Netoge though, that is absolutely a harem.

You're probably also watching anime with a harem but that's not the main focus of the show. These include Sword Art Online, most of the Key anime, The Tower of Druaga, Vandread, etc. None of these are actually harem shows though.
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30 / M / Glendale, AZ
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Posted 5/22/16
I am sticking with xxjing's post. So, I see The Tower of Druaga as harem but as more of a minor one because it doesn't emphasize.
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27 / M / Northern Ireland
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Posted 5/22/16
Combination of PhantomGundam and xxjing's posts.


Never understood why some people consider something a harem regardless of romantic interest. If simply being surrounded by females is enough to qualify as a harem then the brother from Non Non Biyori counts and that is feeble as ****. 3 or more of the girls have to actually like the guy romantically to quality as a harem, 2 is simply a love triangle, 1 is straight up vanilla romance.

Netoge for example has 5 girls surrounding a single male but only one is romantically interested, the rest are actively trying to get the two of them together and as of volume 10 of the novels that hasn't changed. Not a harem.
Rakudai Kishi is the same despite appearances. The dude is engaged to one girl and ardently monogamous ffs XD
To pick something from this season, Flying witch. There is a guy regularly in the company of 3 or more women. Harem right? Nope because 4 of the regularly occurring women are relatives...
I could go on but I won't
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